Press Release – The Reconciliation
My Darling Clementine, the acclaimed husband & wife duo, to release new album.
The Reconciliation?, out on September 30th 2013 on Continental Song City.
Following on from their hugely acclaimed debut, How Do You Plead?, husband and wife duo My Darling Clementine – Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish – will be releasing their new album, The Reconciliation?, on September 30th on Continental Song City.
Recorded at Yellow Arch in Sheffield and produced by Colin Elliot (Richard Hawley, Duane Eddy, Kylie) and featuring Richard Hawley’s band alongside guest appearances from Kinky Friedman and The Brodsky Quartet, The Reconciliation? underlines My Darling Clementine’s position at the very summit of the UK’s music scene.
A full UK tour has been announced to promote the album (dates below).
Whereas the unmistakable retro country sound on their debut was conceived with an implicit brief, The Reconciliation? takes on a wider, more contemporary feel.
“There was a game plan with the debut to dive deep into late 1960’s / early 70’s Nashville folklore and emulate those classic country duets” explains King. “We studied it and forged our own album in its likeness.
The song writing, the way we recorded, the way we sang, the musicians we hired to play on the album were all carefully selected with one aim in mind.”
The debut was produced by Neil Brockbank, famed for his work with Nick Lowe and featured some of Britain’s finest players from the classic pub rock era (including Geraint Watkins, Martin Belmont, Bobby Irwin.) The result was sensational, a country record that would hold its own with the great records of the time with the likes of The Guardian welcoming “a great album” and country bible CMP hailing it the “greatest UK country record ever”.
Far from abandoning that ethos and the duo’s unflinching love of old school classic country, The Reconciliation? offers a nonetheless different, broader take on the genre. As King notes, “With this new album it is more about building on what we have done but also making it a little more contemporary. Still looking back to that musical period but without replicating. Hence a new studio, a new producer and a new team of players.”
Featuring eleven new songs alongside a very rare Ronnie Self cover (incidentally given to King by his old friend and songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols); The Reconciliation? fuses modern, contemporary themes with a country soul vibe that is both infectious and utterly compelling. In King and Dalgleish we have two performers who know intrinsically what makes each other tick. They know which buttons to push and how to get the best out of each other’s performance, painfully cajoling each other one minute only to be in each other’s arms the next. But let’s be clear, this isn’t some kind of 50’s Porter Dolly love-in, My Darling Clementine are very much aware of the complex, challenging world they reside.
As Dalgeish explains, “(For The Reconciliation?) We wanted to extend the lyrical side of the songs, deal with more diverse topics other than the cheatin’ hurtin’, heartbreak scenarios associated with classic country, Don’t get me wrong, we love all that, and there is plenty of it on this album, and when done right it is as powerful as Shakespeare. But during the writing process other topics came through, things that had happened to Michael and I or people we knew. So there are songs that deal with domestic abuse (No Matter What Tammy Said), the death of parents (Ashes Flowers & Dust), life in a traveling circus in Mexico (King of the Carnival), the life and death of George Jones (The Gospel According To George) and even the process of conceiving our daughter (Miracle Mabel).”
Utilizing Richard Hawley’s crack band – Shez Sheridan (guitars), Colin Elliot (bass), Dean Beresford (drums), and John Trier (piano, organ) – alongside Al Cook (pedal steel), Paul Corry (sax), Pat Walker (violin) and Mike Cosgrave (accordion), The Reconciliation? also features the legendary Texan songwriter and humorist Kinky Friedman and the world-renowned UK string group The Brodsky Quartet.
When listening to The Reconciliation? there is no doubting that My Darling Clementine are of the ‘here and now’. Their hearts may well be in some rammed to the rafters Honky Tonk in Texas in the 60’s, but, as contemporary writers and performers, their heads are very much full of life’s everyday conflicts and complexities.
On the front cover of their debut album our unhappy couple are seen sitting, coldly next to each other. Were they waiting to go into a wedding or a divorce court? Either way, there is clear animosity. On The Reconciliation? cover clearly there is a new sense of affection between the two. Have they kissed and made up? Will The Reconciliation last? Who knows? At the end of the day this is country music and that very rarely serves up a ‘happy ever after.’
My Darling Clementine have toured Europe and N. America extensively since the release of their debut album which was voted ‘Album Of The Year’ in numerous publications in UK, Europe and the US. Their debut single 100.000 Words was played extensively on Radio 2 and they have had tracks featured on cover mount CDs in Mojo and Word. The album received widespread acclaim in the music press and from fellow musicians alike.
“13 all-new duets that carry the sting of authentic country classics. Just wonderful!”
UNCUT **** 4/5
“This is a great album. A finely crafted all original tribute to the classic country duet”
“King & Dalgleish brilliantly evoke the feuding spirit of George and Tammy’”
“King and Dalgleish effortlessly earning their place in the role call of great country duettists”
UNCUT **** 4/5
“One of the most exquisitely pained American country albums of the year comes from this British couple”
New York Daily News – Top Ten Album of the week
“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the best British country record ever!”
Duncan Warwick, Editor – Country Music People.
“Truly a great record”
Chris Hillman (The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers)
“A baker’s dozen of originals that sounds like they came straight out of the June/ Johnny-Emmylou/Gram-Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood catalogs. This is as authentic as anything out of Nashville or Texas…A batch of superb C&W corkers.”
American Songwriter, USA **** 4/5
“If anything is going to make country music hip again, this is it”
Maverick *****5/5 Editors pick of the month
No Depression ***** 5/5
“Every song could be mistaken for a classic Nashville standard. You could easily imagine it topping the country charts in the ’50s or ‘60s”
Kai Roberts, Americana-uk.com ******** 8/10
“King’s song revive the lost art of songsmiths like Harlan Howard & Merle Haggard”
Manchester Evening News ****4/5
“You would swear blind this albums cuts are lifted straight from the pages of some long-lost classic country songbook”
BBC on-line music reviews