Esteemed North Carolina-formed, now Nashville-based old-time/bluegrass trio Locust Honey String Band announce extensive February-March UK & Ireland tour, including Myles K. McCann’s in Omagh on Monday March 21 and The Red Room in Cookstown on Tuesday March 22, in support of acclaimed new album Never Let Me Cross Your Mind.
As Locust Honey String Band, Chloe Edmonstone and Meredith Watson bring their respective experiences in old-time, bluegrass, and pre-war blues to both their original material and the traditional songs and tunes of the American Southeast. With a rotating instrumentation of fiddles, open-back and resonator banjos, acoustic and resonator guitars and upright bass, they set an emphasis on lively arrangements that showcase their signature vintage vocal harmonies. Joined by John Miller (The Fox Hunt, The Hackensaw Boys) on bass and harmony vocals, they have been touring the US, UK, and Ireland since 2012.
Each member of Locust Honey is steeped in the old-time music of the Appalachian Mountains. They bring a huge passion for American roots and a knowledge of how the different genres of music that criss-cross Appalachia have historically intersected and influenced each other and the music on Never Let Me Cross Your Mind is a jubilee of Southern musical traditions, from old-time string band fiddle-banjo tunes to vintage country duets, old Carter Family songs, dancehall honky-tonk numbers, and mountain blues. It’s all tied together with remarkable finesse by artists who know the roots of the music inside and out, but aren’t afraid to push back at the tradition to get at new truths.
Never Let Me Cross Your Mind strikes a lovely balance between the raw ferocity of a live show and the precision and subtlety of a studio recording. Part of that is due to the deft touch of recording engineer, Grammy-award winner Joel Savoy and Never Let Me Cross Your Mind was recorded, mixed, and mastered at his studios in Eunice, Louisiana. Each member of Locust Honey has a chance to shine and the lively arrangements are remarkably effective at drawing out the heart of the song by reworking its setting. ‘I’ve Forgotten More Than You’ll Ever Know About Him’ turns from its 50s Western roots into a beautiful string band song while Nick Cave’s bleak interpretation of ‘Henry Lee’ is returned to its Appalachian roots without losing its iconoclastic nature and George Jones’ classic ‘Just One More’ becomes a sister-harmony country and western song. Throughout though, Edmonstone’s originals shine from the glow of all these different influences, actively pushing the traditions in new directions, including album opener ‘When the Whiskey’s Gone’, recently featured in the Richard Gere-starring film, Time Out of Mind, directed by Oren Moverman.
It’s an ambitious album, but what makes it even more impressive is how simple and direct every song sounds. Never Let Me Cross Your Mind is a celebration of the power of acoustic roots music, of the fact that when you strip the music back to its core it only grows more powerful.
For details visit Locust Honey String Band website.