For what began life as something of a side project for Michael Weston King & Lou Dalgleish, a labour of love, a homage to the classic country duets of the 60’s and 70’s , My Darling Clementine is now very much part of the country and Americana landscape. 3 critically acclaimed albums, over 400 shows across Europe and N. America, numerous accolades and awards has placed the band at the forefront of the burgeoning Americana scene
The debut “How Do You Plead?” was produced by Neil Brockbank (Nick Lowe, Jim Lauderdale,Tift Merritt) and featured some of London’s finest musicians from the 70’s pub rock era. Players who understood ‘classic country’. Released in 2011, it was immediately acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. Country Music People called it; “The greatest British country record ever made” while American Songwriter stated “this is as authentic as anything out of Nashville or Texas…A batch of superb C&W corkers.”
Such praise led to a US record deal and invitations to appear at the Americana Music Association in Nashville and SXSW in Austin in 2013
2013s follow-up, “The Reconciliation,” produced by Colin Eliot (Richard Hawley, Duane Eddy) and featuring guest appearances from Kinky Freidman and The Brodsky Quartet only enhanced the bands growing reputation and received a similar critical response. Uncut exclaimed; “The husband-and-wife duo serve up more countrified duet thrills…on this form, it’s a winning formula that looks set to run and run,” while in the States the New York Daily News choose it as album of the week while Popmatters put it in their Top 10 Country Albums of 2013.
In 2015 Michael & Lou took something of an artistic departure, and collaborated with best-selling crime writer Mark Billingham on an audiobook, a stage play and album called The Other Half (www.theotherhalfshow.com) The song and story project, set in a run down bar in downtown Memphis, and told through the eyes of former Vegas show girl, now agin waitress Marcia featured a brand new Billingham story and 8 MDC songs. The album also featured guest appearances by the actor David Morrissey and iconic British singer songwriter Graham Parker. BBC Radio 4 Front Row described it as;
“A convincing world of barflies, peeling paint and characters on bar stools with very dark secrets” while America’s Americana bible No Depression wrote; “With The Other Half, My Darling Clementine reaffirms the fact that they are the UK’s strongest and most assured purveyors of authentic traditional Americana. A superb collection of stories and songs”
After 18 months of touring The Other Half – time for album number 4. Re-uniting with Neil Brockbank, the new album, Still Testifying, was recorded over the summer of 2016 and will be released in May 2017 Stylistically, it is a further shifting away from classic country to embrace gospel and country soul… ‘more Delaney & Bonnie than George & Tammy’.
But if the musical landscape has changed then the message and tone of the songs stay pretty constant. 2 adults, a man and woman, singing to each, about each other, for and against each other.
My Darling Clementine – ‘STILL TESTIFYING’
Produced by Neil Brockbank & Michael Weston King
Geraint Watkins – Organ, Accordion
Martin Belmont – Electric and Baritone Guitar
Kevin Foster – Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
Liam Grundy – Piano, Wurlitzer
Neil Bullock – Drums
Bob Loveday – Violin, Viola, Recorder
Matt Holland – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Nick Pentelow – Sax, Clarinet
Andy Wood – Trombone, Euphonium
Angie Pollock – Backing vocals
Oliver Darling – Backing vocals
Tuck Nelson – Bongo’s, Backing vocals
Neil Brockbank – Vibraphone
Mabel Dalgleish-King – Recorder, Glockenspiel, Vocals