Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Oh, What a Good Line-Up

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Oh, What a Good Line-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Nichol

The Jumpin' & Hot Club fires up another batch of gigs in the coming weeks with some fine visiting performers.

The Union Country Festival starts on Sunday and the focus of events is the Cluny on Lime Street in Byker.

Ladies take pride of place with an excellent triple bill opening proceedings. Headliner Oh Susanna (real name Suzie Ungerleider), is from Vancouver, Canada, and returns to the UK with considerable praise from the pundits greeting her arrival.

Her first couple of albums picked up glowing reviews for the material and the voice. Her new CD, although unimaginatively called Oh Susanna (Hot Records 1093), is sure to continue the trend with its mix of folk-country (The One and Bob Dylan's little-heard I'll Keep It With Mine), rocky social comment (Cain is Rising) and swamp/bluegrass hybrid on Down by the Quarry. Second on the bill is Detroit's Rosie Thomas, who possesses a delicate vocal style which works well with her sparse, minimal arrangements. She used Detroit's oldest church as a recording studio and the ethereal results can be found on her new CD, Only With Laughter Can You Win. The title is apparently a reference to one of her musical influences (Joni Mitchell) but the fact that Ms Thomas also moonlights as a stand-up comedian could also have equal relevance. Completing the trio is piano vocalist Beccy Owen. Tickets are pounds 10 and the box office number is (0191) 232 1232.

Also headed in the direction of the Cluny is the act which has become one of the driving forces of alt-country, The Handsome Family. This family is actually a husband-and-wife duo, Brett and Rennie Sparks, who manage to fashion dark and witty songs out of almost any conceivable topic as the many witnesses to their past visits - including Jools Holland - will testify. …

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