My Darling Clementine
Autumn 2016 – ‘Still Testifying’
My Darling Clementine aka Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish have been back in the studio this summer to make album no. 4. After the literary departure that was The Other Half, the song and story album with crime writer Mark Billingham (www.theotherhalfshow.com), the new album,’Still Testifying’ is a further step away from the classic country / countrypolitan style that launched them with their debut How Do You Plead? in 2011.
The 2013 follow up The Reconciliation hinted at where they were heading but this album shows them fully at their destination. The pedal steel has given way to horns, the twang given way to wah-wah and the fiddle replaced by strings. It is more Delaney & Bonnie than George and Tammy with the song writing channelling the likes of Dan Penn and Micky Newbury
The original plan was to cut it in Pasadena with Joe Henry producing at his home studio, but when Joe moved house, that domestic set up that has generated many fine albums in recent years was no long available.
The budget did not run to an LA studio so that collaboration was shelved for now, and after much soul searching it was decided the best option, for the musical direction this album was going to take, was to go back and work with Neil Brockbank (Nick Lowe, Dan Penn, Tift Merrit) who produced the debut album. Between them they pulled in an array of the finest UK musicians with a love and understanding of Stax, Fame, Hi, and mid 60’s era Atlantic Records. Players who between them have worked with Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Ben E King, Van Morrison, Dr John, & Doug Sahm.
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
The song writing process for the new album began in a tiny cottage on Long Beach, in Washington State midway thorough a west coat tour in spring 2015. Following a show in Eugene Oregon, Lou was rushed into a nearby hospital. Consequently 5 shows were cancelled and a week of recuperation was ordered. So, they decamped to a beach house donated by some fans from Seattle and the seeds of the new album were sown.
One of the first songs was aptly named Eugene, written by Lou about the recent terrifying and upsetting events.
One of King’s new songs, Two Lane Texaco, portrays the demise of small town America, and of a musical golden age too. Recounting the halcyon days of early broadcasting, the Shreveport radio tower and such iconic figures as Alan Freed and Wolfman Jack.
Recording and mixing will be complete by late summer and the album planned for release in March 2017
Before then, as ever, they are back on the road. First in Scotland, then England and onto Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Norway and Spain.
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