Thursday, March 23, 2017
I lifted the photo above from a BBC doc about UK country stars "The Shires". They are the hottest act on the short circuit that is C&W, at least until the next one comes along. They don't sing about cold beer or pickup trucks or wrangling cattle or the great plagues of tumbleweed, no need for that in the Home Counties. Now they've gone to Nashville or Cashville because the big time is calling aka the Big Machine, an outfit that maps and guides the lives and careers of all the big-time players. It was both sad and wonderful to see their wide-eyed progress. Their manager overwhelmed by the experience, we're a long way from Camden and Kansas now. Songwriting sessions led by the firm's experts, vocal critiques, dress and image counselling and a (no doubt a behind closed doors) session on how to handle fame, wealth and never returning to your old life. Oh, and an even more secretive one where you go to some lonely crossroads out in Mississippi at midnight, sign your name in blood and you know the rest.
Of course if I was in either one of their positions I'd be the same, google eyed and reelin', riding that gravy train and letting them tamper with my precious songs, hell yeah! Somebody said early on in this "you only get one shot so you don't want screw it up." I hope they don't, they're a likeable couple and though the music is corny, it's well written and warmly performed and they look the part. They have the tunes and the glossy, quirky image that fits. Right now they are bankable, pretty and alluring, competent and in the right place at the right time with a strong batch of songs ("some of which we'll have to remix for the American market"). You know that you need to be careful what you sign up for but you're going sign it anyway. I would.