CD Review@ The Grahams ~ Glory Bound


CD Review@ The Grahams ~ Glory Bound



12 South Records

Release Date             October 2 2015



Opening the album with the title track two things stand out The Grahams love to deliver lyric rich story telling songs with a jaunty Americana/Country feel this is music that compels you to sit back, smile and tap your feet and clap your hands. Love the line “Wish I never majored in Caffeine and Solitude, Wish I never let them see my attitude” then there is that link to a train journey of life crashing around you and you wish you could put the hammer down! As The Grahams said “There is a special connection between American folk music and the railroad that has no parallel elsewhere in the world. Rail lines stitch together the sprawling fabric of American song. As writers of Americana music, our goal is to draw on the deep, recurring sources of American folk culture, giving them new shape.”

This is an album that chronicles from one track to another; the tempo changes, and the addition of different instruments shapes the tone as the blues harp winds around The Gambling Girl the second track that feels like a station stop on a journey that is defined by the fiery music pouring out of your speakers. You are riding the rails of excitement as fiddles and organ join the party with a storm brewing hurricane of a track Blow Wind Blow; and then the tempo slows as night falls with Lay Me Down. Alyssa’s vocals are clear and calm with the effect of a lullaby cooling a troubled spirit with Doug’s guitar gently underplaying keeping the travelling lullaby in shape. Next stop is a hoe-down at Kansas City this is a real dance time as the energy is rebuilt approaching the half-way point of this self-penned album bought to our ears courtesy of the skills and artistry of Alyssa Graham, Douglas Graham & Bryan McCann. The album is full of country/ Americana tones and The Wild One reflects the storytelling tradition The Grahams are ensuring this is kept at the heart of the music, by the end of the track we feel we know all about Billy Green, we have all met and loved bad wild boys such as him!  The music flows like a journey there are quiet times when all is going along steady, surprises around the corner and then the wildness when heading somewhere unknown and the outcome uncertain above it all it shows life travelled is fun. Borderland has the twang of Country and the tale linked with being at the station and we find the mix of Lord and Devil so the Borderland is an unknown place betwixt and between but definitely grand! Now we have the last two tracks and the feeling of anticipation picks up with a gentle song The Spinner with drumming that brushes the vocals and drives the beat along at a pace neither fast nor slow. The last track is also the shortest and has a feel of optimism as we are on the freight car why we are off to the Promised Land, where is that why HOME!

In addition to the Glory that is their third album Glory Bound they have been involved in a documentary Rattle the Hocks (released digitally) filmed on the move and in venues from Sun Studio to Amtrak’s famed City of New Orleans train, produced and directed by Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, which chronicles their train-bound excursions and the influence of train travel on American roots music.  The list of guests on the album makes this full of depth of tone that curls and shapes around the lyrics and the power of Alyssa’s vocals. Glory Bound is an album that will not linger on the shelves gathering dust but revisited and the favourite track will change to reflect your mood and how life is treating you in that moment.

Simultaneously, the band will be releasing Rattle the Hocks, a musical documentary focusing on the live recording, and the relationship between the railroad and American roots music. Both film and album (which will be released digitally on May 19) were directed and produced by Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Glory Bound
  2. Gambling Girl
  3. Blow WindBlow
  4. Lay Me Down
  5. Kansas City
  6. Mama
  7. The Wild One
  8. Griggstown
  9. Biscuits
  10. The Spinner
  11. Promised Land

Formats available                         CD, Vinyl  & DL


Alyssa Graham – Vocals, Guitar
Douglas Graham – Guitar, Dobro, Vocals


Additional Musicians
Ryan Engleman – Electric Guitar, Pedal Steel Gabe Pearson – Drums, Percussion
Wes Sharon – Bass, Percussion
John Fullbright – Piano, Harmonica, Guitar
Byron Berline – Fiddle, Mandolin
Dan Walker – Electric Organ, Piano, Accordion
Camille Harp – Backing Vocals


The Grahams – UK & Ireland Tour – November 2015

Tuesday 3rd – The Bicycle Shop,– Norwich
Wednesday 4th – The Borderline, London
Thursday 5th – River Cottage, Axminster
Friday 6th – Chapel Arts Centre, Bath
Saturday 7th – The Convent, Stroud
Sunday 8th – Exeter Phoenix, Exeter
Tuesday 10th – Henry Tudor House, Shrewsbury
Wednesday 11th – The Musician, Leicester
Thursday 12th – The Met (Studio), Bury
Friday 13th – Private House Party
Saturday 14th – The Con Club, Lewis
Tuesday 17th – Levis Corner House,  Balleyhob, Co. Cork
Wednesday 18th –  Dolan’s, Limerick
Thursday 19th – Monroe’s Live, Galway
Friday 20th – The Errigle Inn, Belfast
Saturday 21st Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre, Naul, Ireland

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