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Great Western Tears Great Western Tears
Album: Tales From Tallows
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.thegreatwesterntears.com

West Coast coloured country folk from Oxford, this is apparently greatly based on the globetrotting of dusty-voiced singer David Waterhouse, most specifically time spent at Big Sur and Australia, the title referring to a beach in New South Wales, while the songs tend to hew to familiar themes of relationships breaking apart or separated by distance.

Mostly acoustic with extensive pedal steel from Kurt Hamilton, it's a laid back affair even when they up the tempo on something like the jaunty Misty and the Gordon Lightfoot traintime rhythms of Binky of the Bay. There's hints of Guy Clarke on the harmonica-coloured Mistakes, the part spoken Whatever The Cost chugs along with its tale about being an inveterate drifter while the similarly staged A Part of You and, at least until it blossoms into a big gospel finale, Blue Checks, White Cotton suggest Chip Taylor as an influence.

Bottleneck slide sets a suitable lonesome note for the folk-blues styled Not The Losing Kind Bid Her Well softly waltzes through an inevitable break up lyric and the slow waltzing title track itself, another growing apart number, sees itself out with somewhat discordant fiddle, presumably an aural echo of the splintering affair. It doesn't really have that important song to make you stop and want to hear more, but even so it's a very acceptable addition to the UK's Americapolitan ranks.

Mike Davies