My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Pretty self-explanatory
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:46 pm

http://thinkcountrymusic.com/whats-new/ ... -costello/

My Darling Clementine break through the “Country Darkness” as they join with Steve Nieve to open up the country songbook of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Member Elvis Costello

“Country Darkness Volume 1” launches through Fretsore Records on October 11th as an introduction to a wider project under the same premise from husband and wife duo My Darling Clementine in collaboration with Steve Nieve. The project as beautifully demonstrated by this initial 4 track EP explores the duo interpreting a number of songs previously recorded by a man that Nieve has spent over 40 years working with and is one of the most decorated musicians the UK has ever known. As a member of The Attractions and subsequently The Imposters, talking about Nieve is almost automatic when encountering the music of Elvis Costello and this is the music which is being explored in the form of country duets by Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish.

This EP and the overall project with Nieve was produced by King and Colin Elliott who the duo had previously worked with on their acclaimed sophomore record ‘The Reconciliation’ and acts as the follow up to their last country centred record ‘Still Testifying’ which they released back in 2017 and brings a beautiful and unique account of some of the tracks from the extensive Costello songbook that may not be as widely heard as they should be.

The 4 tracks are all songs Costello was involved in that have a connection or dynamic fitting for country or what is regarded as modern day Americana music. Leading in with the chilling piano solo by Nieve before the duo trade vocals and share harmonies for ‘Heart Shaped Bruise’ which as a breakup ballad acts as both a great introduction to the project in addition to the way these two vocals intertwine together so beautifully.

This is followed by ‘Stranger in the House’ a track that Costello had specifically written with George Jones in mind and the pair recorded it as part of Jones’s 1978 ‘My Very Special Guests’ collaboration album which the way the harmonies of My Darling Clementine make it retain the classic beauty of the song, having the female vocal aspect in the duet really brings a wonderful perspective to the song.

The penultimate and final tracks on the EP ‘ That Day is Done’ and ‘I Felt the Chill Before the Winter Came’ are both more traditional sounding country songs and themes that are a perfect fit to demonstrate Costello’s connection to the genre that were originally recorded and collaborated by him along with Paul McCartney and Loretta Lynne respectively. The vocal dynamic from King and Dalgleish is a perfect fit for both of these songs and just highlights their individual vocal prowess in addition to the majestic classic yet relevant sound they deliver as a duo.

This is a very intriguing project to bring some classic Elvis Costello numbers that may be forgotten or undiscovered into the ever growing Americana scene that is done beautifully and gracefully in a way that will open up the songs of a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to a new audience whilst highlighting their position as one of the most talented duos within the UK’s fastest emerging genre.
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019?

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:58 pm

https://buildingourownnashville.com/201 ... ep-review/

My Darling Clementine – Country Darkness – EP Review

My Darling Clementine are a UK based Country/Americana duo who consist of Michael Weston King & Lou Dalgleish. The critically acclaimed duo have released three albums, played over 700 shows across Europe and N. America, received numerous awards and they are currently one of the most exciting artists dominating the Americana scene at the moment.

Most recently the duo released their EP Country Darkness. The 4-track set is comprised of the bands re-interpretation of the country and country-soul songs of Elvis Costello, in collaboration with the great Steve Nieve.

The recordings also feature Colin Elliott, Shez Sheridan and Dean Beresford (from the Richard Hawley band) with whom they made their 2nd album ‘The Reconciliation’

‘Country Darkness Vol.1’ was produced by Colin Elliot (Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Duane Eddy) and MWK, and will is available on 12” inch vinyl including a free download code. It comes with stunning artwork by Jared Swafford, who has designed all previous MDC sleeves.

Kicking off with a hauntingly beautiful piano ballad, the song Heart Shaped Bruise is breathtaking and stunning. Lou’s vocals are captivating and the vocal harmonies from both Lou and Michael are alluring and elegant and blend perfectly. My Darling Clementine are like a less dark Handsome Family in this song and equally loveable.

Stranger In The House really brings a strong traditional country sound to the mix with a Rock and Roll edge. Lou proves her wide vocal range during this song and shows how she can sing ballads, uptempo, you name it, she can do it. The old fashioned stylings of Michaels vocals are infectious and seeing the pair live, I can only imagine is one hell of an experience. This track is the second single from this EP and is an interpretation of the Costello and George Jones classic. This is said to have been written with George Jones is mind and is one of the first country songs Costello ever wrote.

That Day Is Done is the kind of song that reminds us why we fell in love with country music in the first place. The old school sounds, the instrumentation, the story-telling, emotive vocals and the authenticity and My Darling Clementine have it all.

I Felt The Chill Before The Winter Came is a nice way to finish off what is way too short of an EP. Whilst the EP is somewhat perfect in its quantity we of course want more but that’s a good thing and they do have a nice back catalogue so we will be delving into that. This track has a wonderful rhythm to it and the song is wonderfully calming with a great wintery feel which is perfect in December of course. Costello wrote this with Loretta Lynn so is even more of a reason to love it!

I don’t really know much about Elvis Costello apart from his biggest hits but am certainly going to look up these tracks, however, I am sure I will find them to not be as good as these versions, perhaps in part because I am always won over by a female voice.

Overall this is a wonderful EP and something every true country/americana should get their hands on. The production has been done perfectly with strong instrumentation and on-point vocals.
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019?

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:18 pm

Stranger In The House: https://youtu.be/vzFVsFXH-iU
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019?

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:32 pm

https://americana-uk.com/my-darling-cle ... cords-2019

My Darling Clementine “Country Darkness Vol. 1” (Fretsore Records, 2019)

‘Country Darkness Vol. 1′ is a four-track EP of Elvis Costello songs performed by Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish AKA My Darling Clementine. The duo has been described by the Guardian as “a bravely unfashionable British Band who set out to play tribute to those great country duos Tammy and George, or Johnny Cash and June Carter. And they do it remarkably well”, and on the pages of this site as “one of the best bands the UK has offered in a good while”.

This being Vol. 1, more, perhaps unsurprisingly, is promised to further explore and rework more Costello country songs to duet. In fact, the band are well connected with Costello; Dalgleish wrote and performed in a play about obsession and infatuation which was based around Costello songs, while Costello collaborator Martin Belmont plays in the MDC touring band, while the Brodsky quartet blips on the radar of both artists. Most prominently, this volume also features the keyboard playing of Steve Nieve. The mutual roots, do indeed, run deep.

Given all of that, it is safer to say that the songs on offer here are Costello with a MDC twist rather than a full-scale reimagining. Indeed, the raw material for two of the songs is largely already shaped as they are from very country-tinged Costello albums: ‘Heart Shaped Bruise’ from the 2004 offering ‘The Delivery Man’ and ‘I Felt the Chill Before Winter Came’ co-written by Costello and Loretta Lynn, from ‘Secret, Profane & Sugarcane’. While ‘The Day is Done’ was co-written with Paul McCartney and appears on the gospel group the Fairfield Four’s ‘The Fairfield Four and Friends Live’. ‘Stranger in the House’ from Costello’s debut ‘My Aim is True’ when he was recognised more as a new wave/pub rock artist is the one that perhaps represents more of an exploratory interpretation.

Performed as duos the songs work extremely well, not least because Weston King and Dalgleish are accomplished artists who know what they are doing. Each song has a recognisable kernel of Costello; taking another artist’s songs and knowing what to add (or take away) without spoiling what made them unique to the writer is a difficult task. The addition of Steve Nieve is nice, his keyboards may not layer the songs with a signature sound, but there is something very satisfying about the completeness of having him contribute to these tunes. All in all, Vol 1. Is a tantalising entrée which leaves the listener hungry for more.

8/10
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019?

Postby Man out of Time » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:38 pm

A short note on the MDC website says:

"Thanks to everyone who has bought COUNTRY DARKNESS Vol.1 and for those who have asked, yes, we are working on Vol 2 right now, hoping for it to be ready for release in February."

I understand that for Vol. 2, Michael and Lou are working with different musicians from those involved in Vol. 1. So Steve touring the US is not holding up proceedings. I look forward to hearing the next set of songs.

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Re: My Darling Clementine working on Country Darkness Vol. 2

Postby Man out of Time » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:32 pm

So following the success of their first E.P. of EC Covers (Country Darkness Vol. 1) on the mighty Fretsore records , My Darling Clementine are following up with Country Darkness Vol. 2, which is recorded and awaiting mixing. It includes "Different Finger" in a Tex-Mex style and also "I Lost You".

They gave an interview on the Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Scotland on 23 January, and played a couple of songs including "I Felt The Chill". Interesting to see how they adapted the lyrics of the original to make it a duet.

You can "listen again" to the interview and their playing here: The Afternoon Show. It may not work in all parts of the world and you may need to register. Lou and Michael appear about 37:30 into the recorded show. Lou talks about her love of Elvis and respect for Steve Nieve (who played on Country Darkness Vol 1).

And according to Michael, we can look forward to seeing the duo somewhere in the audience on the forthcoming JustTrust2020 Tour. Possibly Birmingham or Manchester or Blackpool?

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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019?

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:45 pm

In the interview Michael reveals that there will be two more vinyl-EP’s (volume two and three ).
In the summer all these tracks will come out on CD and 12-inch vinyl.
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019?

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:27 pm

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:52 pm

Stranger In The House from The Quay Sessions: https://youtu.be/RdVFSyplbqA

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p082mjfg
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:29 pm

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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby Man out of Time » Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:14 am

While we wait for Volume 2 of Country Darkness to "drop" (as the kids like to say), it may be time to look back on an interview that Michael and Lou gave to Roz Laws at the Birmingham Post in September 2014, prior to a show with crime author (and EC-fan) Mark Billingham:

"Moseley country music duo My Darling Clementine to play the Pride of Birmingham Awards

Americana comes to Birmingham thanks to country music couple My Darling Clementine. They tell Roz Laws about how Elvis Costello brought them together

They are a couple making country music who regularly play Nashville and live in Birmingham.

But this is not Birmingham, Alabama as you might expect. This is Birmingham, England.

Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish live in Moseley with their eight-year-old daughter Mabel.

They are one of the city’s musical secrets, a successful singer-songwriting duo who are big on the Americana and country scene and perform all over the world but rarely appear in their home city.

Although this autumn sees two extra performances in Birmingham – one at the Pride of Birmingham Awards at the Town Hall tonight, and one at Birmingham Rep in a show with one of their biggest fans, bestselling author Mark Billingham.

Lou was born in Erdington and at 16 ran away to join the circus in Mexico, the beginning of a 10-year career as a dancer.

She then moved into singer-songwriting, but didn’t take up country music until she met Michael.

Michael remembers: “It was 17 years ago, when I was also working as a booking agent. I was told about this amazing singer who kept selling out Ronnie Scott’s and who had written a dissertation on the lyrics of Elvis Costello songs.

“I’m a big fan of Elvis and left her a message asking her to ring me.

“She thought I was going to book her for a gig. She still hasn’t let me see the dissertation, but it’s a chat-up line I would recommend.”

Lou tempted Michael down from his home town of Southport to live in Birmingham.

“I never thought I’d live here, but the heart does strange things, and I have grown to love Birmingham,” he says.

In return, Michael introduced Lou to country music.

She says: “I was guilty, like a lot of people, of thinking that country music was naff and a lesser form of music. And there is some music that is like that, but Michael opened my eyes.

“Plus, Elvis Costello made a country record and I thought well, if he says it’s OK!”

The couple have been married for 12 years, but Lou points out: “We say 12 years ‘for now’. We like to keep our fans guessing as to whether we are still together or not.”

Their first album, How Do You Plead? – which was hailed by the editor of Country Music magazine as the “finest country album ever made by a British artist” – was about a relationship on the rocks.

Their latest album is called The Reconciliation? – note the question mark.

Michael remarks: “Twelve years is actually a longer time than Tammy and George were together.”

Lou and Michael have been heavily influenced by country music couple Tammy Wynette and her husband George Jones.

They say they wanted to make their first duets record sound like they were recorded in 1969 by Tammy and George.

They also like to dress like them, which involves “lots of polyester bought in vintage shops like Top Banana in Kings Heath”.

Not that Lou is entirely in favour of all of Tammy’s songs, especially her best-known one, Stand By Your Man.

She has written an antidote to the song called No Matter What Tammy Said (I Won’t Stand By Him), about domestic violence.

Lou says: “I wanted to redress the balance and say that it’s OK to not stand by your man.

“I wanted to write it as an anthemic, melodic song that people will sing along to, even though the darker side of it is it’s about a woman in an abusive relationship.”

Michael says: “They love us in Nashville. The fans who come to our shows can see we know our onions when it comes to country music. We’re not just playing at it, we have credibility.”

Lou says: “When I was pregnant with our daughter, we nicknamed the bump Clementine and that’s partly why we are called My Darling Clementine.

“But when she was born she didn’t look at all like a Clementine, so we called her Mabel.

“She often comes with us to gigs, a few of the songs are about her and there’s usually a photo of her on the album covers.

“She even played on one of our songs. We did a remix of How Do You Plead? on a 10 inch vinyl EP for Record Store Day and Mabel played her recorder.

“In the true tradition of country artists, we get them involved very early! Actually I’d like to point out it was the producer’s idea, I wasn’t being a pushy mum.”

Gigs take them as far afield as Scandinavia, Vienna and America, but this autumn sees two special performances in their home city.

First they are singing two songs at the Pride of Birmingham Awards at the Town Hall tomorrow.

Organised by the Birmingham Mail, the awards celebrate the courage and compassion of remarkable people who make a difference.

Gaby Roslin hosts and celebrities appearing include Jason Manford, Tony Iommi, Laura Mvula, Ruby Turner, Roy Wood, Ali Campbell, Dion Dublin and Glynn Purnell.

“We’re delighted to be playing there,” says Lou.

“It will be a special night. We are Brummies and we’re proud of our city.”

Then they are collaborating with one of their biggest fans, bestselling Birmingham crime writer Mark Billingham.

There will be one show of The Other Half in The Studio of Birmingham Rep on November 10.

In a rundown Memphis bar, three couples tell their different stories.

Billingham will read his story with My Darling Clementine punctuating the narrative with the songs which inspired it.

After the interval, audiences will enjoy a full live set from MDC.

Michael explains: “We’ve known for a while that Mark liked our music, as he’s been to our shows and we’ve talked to him.

“His fictional detective Tom Thorne is a country music fan. In his last novel, The Bones Beneath, he compiled a playlist for a journey Tom was going on and included a My Darling Clementine song.

“A promoter suggested we collaborate on a show and it’s now happening. It’s all very exciting.”

* For tickets to the Pride of Birmingham Awards, ring 0121 345 0600 or go to http://www.thsh.co.uk. The Other Half is at Birmingham Rep on November 10. For tickets, ring 0121 236 4455 or go to http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk"

MOOT

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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby Man out of Time » Thu May 21, 2020 1:55 pm

A new newsletter arrives from MDC. Here are the more relevant bits:

" ON STAGE:

We are doing another Livestream show, playing from 10pm -11pm UK time. Here is the link

https://www.facebook.com/countryst/

From Our Place To Yours No 2.jpg
From Our Place To Yours No. 2
From Our Place To Yours No 2.jpg (160.51 KiB) Viewed 1706 times


We are going to play a few songs from Country Darkness Vol 1 and 2, some old MDC songs, a few choice covers too maybe, and anything else you want to hear.

So send us a request here.

ON THE RECORD:

Our new single, Different Finger, the first from the upcoming EP Country Darkness Vol 2, also comes out on Friday.

PLEASE head over to Spotify and pre-save - https://presave.to/pFRDB0018

We have a brand new, animated video created by Mark James. Hope you enjoy, and please share it far and wide.

Link.

Meanwhile the full EP comes out June 5th and there are various ways of pre-ordering:

Signed vinyl copies

Streaming and download options "

So get your copy (in whatever format) ordered soon... and enjoy the video.

MOOT

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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Thu May 21, 2020 3:48 pm

https://mydarlingclementinemusic.co.uk/ ... l-2-vinyl/

Country Darkness Vol. 2’ will be released on June 5th 2020 via Fretsore Records via all digital services worldwide and on limited edition 12” vinyl.

The 12″ vinyl is now available for pre-order via the official MDC site.

The EP contains re-interpretations of 4 more Elvis Costello country songs in collaboration with Steve Nieve.

Like Vol 1, ‘Country Darkness Vol. 2’ was produced by Colin Elliot and MWK, and features Colin Elliot, Shez Sheridan and Dean Beresford.

The vinyl also comes with a free download code, and all copies ordered here will be signed and personalised as requested.

“I can’t think of any act more appropriate to reappraise the extensive Costello songbook.”
Lonesome Highway

“My Darling Clementine and the country songs of Elvis Costello are a match made in heaven.”
The Alternate Root, USA

COUNTRY DARKNESS VOL 2 – THE SONGS:

Either Side Of The Same Town:
Without question one of our favourite Elvis songs, of any style. I think Elvis must have been listening to a lot of Dan Penn when he wrote this. It is a song mined from the same seam as The Dark End Of The Street, originally a hit for James Carr. One of my favourite songs sung by one the greatest singers.

In 2006 Lou was on tour with The Brodsky Quartet as their guest vocalist and they performed a version of this song, arranged for quartet and voice by Brodsky viola player Paul Cassidy, based on the original demo Elvis had given to Paul. Quite a lot different from how it ended up on The Delivery Man album, and in turn, quite a lot different from our version here.

I Lost You:
This songs comes from the more acoustic, bluegrass album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane and is co-written by Jim Lauderdale, who was also part of the touring ensemble Elvis put together at that time. Lou and I shared a festival bill with Jim at the River Town Festival in Bristol in 2017 and our paths have crossed a few times, most recently at a festival in Lafayette, Louisiana. Jim is one of the sweetest, and funniest guys and a master of the high harmony. A very fine songwriter too. The original of this opens with a guitar riff which then reoccurs later. We replaced that with Steve’s arpeggiated piano motif. Although written originally for one voice, the song works particularly well as a conversational duet.

Different Finger:
A song that just had to be done for the this project. One of EC’s most authentic honky- tonkers, like Stranger in the House, it is a classic country song, although still with a few songwriting idiosyncrasies that are totally Costello (as opposed to the simplicity of say Harlan Howard or Merle Haggard). Steve had played on the original so we wanted to find a different approach, as we have tried with all these songs, so for this we went with the Marty Robbins treatment. Hats off to Piero Tucci for some stunning accordion playing, and also the beautiful Spanish guitar styling of Shez Sheridan

Too Soon To Know:
This song turned out much more moody and atmospheric than any of us thought. In 2016 Darlene Love recorded this song, duetting with will Bill Medley, approaching it in that true 60s soul style she is famous for. I had initially thought we may also go in that direction but once Steve had set the tone with his spooky keys, and sombre feel, the song went somewhere else altogether, and I would argue all the better for it. We have taken a more understated vocal approach to try and set it apart from previous versions. Of any of the songs we have cut so far, this track personifies the phrase Country Darkness.
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Fri May 22, 2020 2:26 am

https://www.bellesandgals.com/2020/05/2 ... nt-finger/

My Darling Clementine Release New Single ‘Different Finger’

Image

A marriage made in heaven — great voices, a great song and a soulful arrangement — ‘Different Finger‘ is the new single from My Darling Clementine, the duo comprising musical and life partners, Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish and featuring Elvis Costello’s long standing keyboard player Steve Nieve.

The single previews their forthcoming follow up EP to last years well received EP ‘Country Darkness Vol 1’, another collaboration with Nieve, which covered country-tinged compositions from the extensive back catalogue of Elvis Costello. ‘Different Finger’ follows in the same successful vein, a Costello original with a classic country music theme of cheating lovers (“Please put your rings on a different finger/if you meet me tonight/’cos I can’t stand those suspicious glances/’cos I know the things they’re saying are right“).

The atmospheric Tex-Mex Spanish guitar and accordion introduction takes us straight to the dark and dingy bar on a dusty street where the liaison is taking place, and the duet between King and Dalgleish is suitably conversational in tone, while the jaunty honky tonk band arrangement, with characteristic keys from Nieve, is perfectly matched to it’s theme.

With roots in traditional country, but with a fresh feel for contemporary audiences, this is a must listen if you’re a fan of classic country male/female duets, and the fine song writing of Elvis Costello.
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Fri May 22, 2020 2:34 am

https://www.entertainment-focus.com/mus ... 2-in-june/

My Darling Clementine to release Country Darkness Vol. 2 in June

Image

UK country-soul duo My Darling Clementine will release Country Darkness Vol. 2 on 5th June via Fretsore Records.

The release is the second instalment of their Country Darkness collection and it contains four tracks from the catalogue of Elvis Costello. For the project Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish, once again collaborate with Costello’s longtime keyboard-player Steve Nieve.

Today (22nd May) the duo has released the digital single Different Finger. The other three tracks on the EP are Either Side of the Same Town, Too Soon to Know and I Lost You, a song Costello penned with legendary Nashville singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale.

Describing the creative process and song selection, Michael writes, “When we all first convened at Steve’s house in France last year, we had a long list of around twenty-five songs that we deemed as country / country-soul, which we then proceeded to whittle down to twelve, choosing songs that worked best for two voices and contained lyrics that we could adapt as conversations.

“After we had decided on which key, the tempo, the basic arrangement, we left Steve to record a solo piano / keys track, setting the feel for the songs, before sending it to producer Colin Elliot back in England, for us build into a full arrangement with the band.

“We had not worked that way before. It was an interesting experience and one that, despite my initial reservations about us not all being in the same room, playing live, has worked out well. A lot of credit for that must go to Colin Elliott, Shez Sheridan and Dean Beresford, our guitar, bass and drums foundation.”

During the past 9 years King and Dalgleish have released 4 albums, played over 700 shows worldwide, and collaborated with a wide variety of fellow artists including Graham Parker, Kinky Friedman, The Brodsky Quartet, Jim Lauderdale and crime writer Mark Billingham.

Country Darkness Vol.2 will be released via Fretsore Records on digital services worldwide and on limited edition 12″ vinyl.
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:34 am

Still Too Soon To Know is available on the streaming sites: https://open.spotify.com/album/0weWqABA ... aJSHg1Si5A
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:10 am

https://www.folkradio.co.uk/2020/06/my- ... ess-vol-2/

MY DARLING CLEMENTINE WITH STEVE NIEVE – COUNTRY DARKNESS VOL 2

Country Darkness Vol 2 is the second EP in the Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish collaboration with Elvis Costello’s longtime keyboardist Steve Nieve. Loosely reinterpreting country/country-soul styled numbers from the Costello repertoire, it is available as a download or limited edition vinyl, this again illuminates the musical genius of both parties.

While vocally presented in their conversational style duo format, along with Nieve’s piano and organ, the four tracks also feature Shez Sheridan on lap steel, mandola and guitars, drummer Dean Beresford, Piero Tucci on accordion and Colin Elliot playing bass and cello.

The choices are lesser-known numbers in the Costello canon, kicking off with Nieve’s resonant, churchy piano setting the scene for a gospel-infused Either Side of the Same Town from 2004’s The Delivery Man, trading verses on a faithful reading albeit with piano and organ playing a more prominent role and the addition of a twangsome electric guitar solo from Sheridan.

Co-written with Jim Lauderdale, I Lost You appeared on 2010’s National Ransom as a backbeat driven uptempo country track, here the pace slightly slower with Nieve providing saloon piano, the vocals giving the chorus more of a kick than on the original. It’s followed by the earliest song, the cheating-themed Different Finger dating from 1981 album Trust, hewing to the melody line but given a very different Texicana arrangement with strummed acoustic guitar and accordion, Nieve adding a cantina piano solo as the duo make the song their own.

They end with the romantic betrayal-themed Too Soon To Know, retitled from Still Too Soon To Know on 1994’s Brutal Youth to perhaps underline the echo of Roy Orbison’s heart-wrenching ballad, spare, heavy piano notes accompanying Michael’s opening deep and emotionally cauterising vocals before Lou’s more tender yet no less plaintive tones take over for the second verse as organ adds to the accompaniment, the song building to a Big O climax, Lou’s vocal soaring before the harmonies bring it to a dying fall.

When they first conceived the project, they drew up a list of around twenty-five tracks, before whittling them down to a dozen. Which means, of course, that there’s still a Vol 3 waiting in the wings for, perhaps next year’s model, with fingers crossed to hopefully include American Without Tears (surely an obvious duet) and, a My Darling Clementine live staple, Good Year For The Roses. But whatever it holds, as with this and its predecessor, their aim is always true.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:28 am

http://www.covermesongs.com/2020/06/rev ... -2-ep.html

Review: My Darling Clementine, “Country Darkness, Volume 2” EP

Given we are again treading the tearstained paths of country music, as soon as bawling follows brawling, and sinking follows drinking, one other thing in the world to rely on is the expectation honed by entitling anything as “Volume 1.” Not that it always delivers or guarantees a followup, but when husband and wife duo, My Darling Clementine, dropped Country Darkness, Vol. 1 (reviewed here), my hopes for a volume 2 went high and held there. Thankfully, the wait for said volume has not been a long one.

Country Darkness, Volume 2 has arrived. Once more it is an EP of songs of Elvis Costello, tackled by Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish. The duo maintain their mantle as a latter-day George Jones and Tammy Wynette, tho’ with fewer guns and lawnmowers and (hopefully) less naggin’ and nippin’. And once more it is the rippling fingers of guest Steve Nieve that does the heavy lifting beneath their vocal interplay, again proving himself a less frantic and more sensitive player than when with his usual employer. An EP, like its predecessor, with another four songs; I wonder how many more are in the box? (The press release suggests one more, 12 songs having been chosen overall.) Certainly there is no shortage of Costello songs that fall into this genre, and despite the relative annoyance of this gradual drip feeding, I am sure it makes for good accounting for the duo and their record company. Plus, I can’t wait for the eventual compilation, duplication be damned.

Opener “Either Side of the Same Town,” a slow-burner from 2004’s The Delivery Man, demonstrates the close relationship between country and soul. If a clear reference point might be Dan Penn’s “Dark End of the Street” (itself already covered by Costello on The Kojak Variety), then this is the stripped-back original to the more impassioned James Carr evocation adopted by its author on the original. Nieve’s piano is a majestic stage for King’s sonorous vocal, balanced by the lighter touch of Dalgleish. Some swoony organ slots in ahead of a shared chorus, a delightfully appropriate twangy guitar break carrying the middle eight. We’re in business.

“I Lost You” starts off as potentially a weaker number, before Dalgleish seizes the song. An unusual move, given the (flawed) perception that she is the secondary singer, but it sure pays off. Ever the chameleon, here she evokes a blend of Chrissie Hyde and a younger Lucinda Williams, with a stronger grasp on the song than her husband. A more straightforward balladic take than the source, it arises from the bluegrass-rockabilly hybrid National Ransom, from 2010. Costello wrote the song with, of all people, Jim Lauderdale. His finely tuned commercial ear, maybe, explains the astute earworm material it becomes on further listening.

With Dalgleish now taking first dibs on next song, “Different Finger,” first heard on EC’s 1981 album Trust. Back then the song was seemingly bereft of any overt country influence, suddenly and glaringly obvious on a hasty relisten just now. Here it is taken at an altogether jauntier lick, with a south of the border feel courtesy of some delightful accordion work, courtesy Piero Tucci, channeling the full Flaco Jiminez. Nieve works hard to eradicate the memory of his original piano part, with a brief centerpiece where he trills away like Russ Conway. The first Country Favorites song where I prefer Costello’s take; strangely, it is this version I find myself humming today.

“Still Too Soon to Know,” itself surely inspired by Roy Orbison’s cover of Don Gibson’s “Too Soon To Know,” stems back to 1994’s Brutal Youth. Already a sepulchral and haunting song, King and Dalgleish again apply some gravitas, with weeping steel whining over the stately piano, whilst verses are traded in the build to a chorus that cries out in the silence. A stellar finale, matching the opener for power, bookending the lighter fare between.

A broader work than Volume One, overall it falls slightly short of its predecessor, even if it does include, in “Either Side of the Same Town,” the strongest song of the project thus far. I await Volume Three with no small anticipation.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:13 am

Country Darkness, vol. 2 is now available.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4194
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:28 am

https://www.bellesandgals.com/2020/06/0 ... ess-vol-2/

My Darling Clementine Release New EP ‘Country Darkness Vol 2’

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Country Darkness Vol 2 is the second instalment in their Elvis Costello covers project from UK country-soul duo My Darling Clementine, following last years ‘Vol 1’ release. A four track EP like its predecessor, it follows the preview track ‘Different Finger’ released as a single last month and reviewed on our site. The EP features charming duet and harmony arrangements from duo members Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish, and keyboards from Steve Nieve, Elvis Costello’s keyboard player on many of his releases and an instantly recognisable part of the Costello sound.

Costello’s career as a writer and performer is prolific, now in its sixth decade, featuring no fewer than 32 albums, excluding live albums and compilations, providing a wealth of material from which the duo have chosen for these releases, whittling down the latest track listing from a short list of 25 songs. Country music has long featured as an influence on Costello, dating back to his 1981 release ‘Almost Blue’, an album of covers of country songs by writers including Hank Williams, Gram Parsons and Merle Haggard, which at the time reflected something of a change to his original recordings. Perhaps anticipating the mixed reception it would receive, the album famously came with a sticker reading “WARNING: This album contains country & western music and may cause offence to narrow minded listeners”.

Opening track ‘Either Side of the Same Town’, featured on Costello’s 2004 release ‘The Delivery Man’, likened by King and Dalgleish to the writing of Dan Penn, is a heartfelt ballad, sung as a dialogue between former lovers, coming together for the rousing chorus “Now it’s hard to act like strangers/When we used to be so strong/Everything is changing/And most of it is wrong/What do we know of anything?/Two fools of some renown/Either side of the same town”. Tastefully arranged with keys prominent, the duo capture the resigned sadness of the couple separated, but fated to meet by chance, as life goes on.

The EP’s second track ‘I lost You’, co-written with Jim Lauderdale, comes from ‘Secret, Profane and Sugarcane’, released by Costello in 2009. It’s up tempo arrangement features an arpeggiated piano motif from Nieve and a conversational duet from the duo, and some classic ‘chickin’ pickin’ country guitar riffs.

The single release ‘Different Finger’ is another Costello original with a classic country music theme of cheating lovers (“Please put your rings on a different finger/if you meet me tonight/’cos I can’t stand those suspicious glances/’cos I know the things they’re saying are right”). The atmospheric Tex-Mex Spanish guitar and accordion introduction takes us straight to the dark and dingy bar on a dusty street where the liaison is taking place, while the jaunty honky tonk band arrangement, with characteristic keys from Nieve, is perfectly matched to its theme.

Closing track ‘Too Soon to Know’ from Costello’s 1994 album ‘Brutal Youth’ was covered by Darlene Love in 2016, in a classic country soul arrangement in the ‘Dusty in Memphis’ mould, but the version here sets a darker and more sombre tone, highlighting the underlying sense of heartbreak and sadness as King and Dalgleish sing “Are you sorry/Or is it still too soon to know? It didn’t take much to break us in two/For it was in the way that he came close to touching you/The look in your eyes/I thought I recognised/It’s still too soon to know”.

‘Country Darkness Vol 2’ and its predecessor will introduce a new audience to Elvis Costello’s extensive and varied back catalogue, and highlight the great musicianship of My Darling Clementine, with the enticing prospect of further releases to come, with so much great material to draw on.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

johnfoyle
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Re: My Darling Clementine working with Steve Nieve on an album of EC covers , 2019

Postby johnfoyle » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:13 pm

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