Live at Glenbuchat Hall

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Live at Glenbuchat Hall
6 May 2017

Glenbuchat Hall’s Saturday evening stage was unusually, but promisingly, furnished with a minimal Gretsch drum kit, a double bass, a vintage Telecaster, a single six-string acoustic guitar and a pedal steel guitar, just about as ideal as it gets for some of us. There was, too, a hitherto-unseen proliferation of stetsons and cowboy boots as the audience gathered.

Western Centuries were the major draw, with curious country fans, appetites whetted by the band’s YouTube clips, alongside those who have previously been thrilled by Cahalen Morrison’s rootsy natural imagery-heavy duets with Eli West.  

And before the opening song was halfway through, up-country, rural idyll Glenbuchat had mutated into a downtown Bakersfield honky-tonk. With the necessary interval raffle, naturally.

Cahalen and Jim Miller, a knowing, healthily-cynical frontman and a splendid singer and guitarist who understands what the Telecaster was made for, took turns at the mic. When drummer Ethan Lawton stepped forward to sing his own stellar contributions to the band’s two albums, as he was to do on several occasions, Morrison eased himself behind the drums, a far cry from the more usual sight of his bearing a banjo or mandolin.

This was a magical ninety minutes of high-quality country, honky-tonk and swing, featuring finely-judged songs offering instant-gratification from both albums, “brown” and “white”. And the good news is that there is more on the way, as the band will be recording in Louisiana in August. The band’s new songs, including ‘My Own Private Honky Tonk’, ‘Three Swallows’ and ’Warm Guns’ are more than equal to the standard of the current Centuries/Country Hammer catalogue.

With perfectly-honed back-up from Travis Stuart (bass) and the astonishingly-talented Nashville pedal steel player Leo Grassl, this was yet another magical Glenbuchat evening, proven by the early appearance of the venue’s enthusiastic dancers, well before the interval - possibly a new record in this most hospitable of community venues.


Date added: May 09, 2017

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