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Young Brit Americana stars – Blair Dunlop and Ward Thomas

April 12, 2014

Ah, sweet  youth. Time for an update on Blair Dunlop and Ward Thomas, two young British music talents that  I have mentioned before on these pages and who are worth keeping an eye on.

Dunlop turned 22 in February. He is a folk-country singer with an impressive musical pedigree (his dad is British folk icon Ashley Hutchings) and who, I have just learned played the young Willie Wonka in Tim Burton’s 2005 “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

After a debut album in 2012 and an EP with Larkin Poe, Dunlop is back on May 26 with a new CD – “House of Jacks”.  His style is not exactly unique, but nor is it common place. It mixes English folk with U.S. country and heartfelt indie. It s really quick addictive.

The new album seems more sophisticated than the debut “Blight & Blossom”, both musically and lyrically. There is a fair deal of Angst, which gives it a nice edge. The video below is a good example. It is of the first track, “Something’s Gonna Give”, about a young boy so bullied at school it all goes badly. Interestingly but perhaps not surprisingly, this theme is a very modern take on old English folk (and U.S. country) in which disaster befalls someone who doesn’t deserve it.

http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/young-brits-climbing-the-ladder-blair-dunlop-and-ward-thomas/edit#

Now to Ward Thomas, who make Dunlop seem positively aged. Unless they have just had a birthday, they are 19-year old twins Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas from the rather posh and very English county of Hampshire.

The two, who recently got rave reviews from one of Britain’s better-known radio DJs, are pure county – only, as they like to say, “a different one”. So I wish I could be around to see the reaction in Nashville in May when the play in the heartland. I am sue they will knock a few socks off. They play Tootsies on May 1 and Belcourt Taps on May 5 as part of a Tennessee tour.

Here they are (not sounding very Hampshire). Get ready Nashville.

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From → Music, Music Review

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