Red Sky July Exploring The Truth and The Lie
Having listened to the album I know The Truth is Red Sky July have hit the jackpot with their third album. The Lie has to be that this is just another trio singing Americana. The trio may have escaped your attention, despite opening for high-profile acts including Sheryl Crow and Steve Earle, radio play must be assured with the tracks on offer as they harmonise and connect with ten tracks that ignite your musical antennae with happiness. The Red Sky July are husband Ally McErlaine and Shelly Poole , and completing the trio is Charity Hair. Names seem familiar, well Ally was guitarist in Texas, Shelley on half of Alisha’s Attic and Charity guitarist/vocalist in The Alice Band. They combine to fill the airwaves from your speaker with a full sound of lush guitar chords, melodic harmonies and a tempo that just gets the rhythm in your soul buzzing.
Opening The Truth and The Lie, with Jet Trails, the beat and drive hits you and then the vocals spiral around the lyrics you are uplifted watching the shapes of the music, this is country infused music with attitude. Painting a picture of jet trails shaping the blue sky with abstract imagery. Then the title track bursts through the speakers with sultry vocals this is music that makes you smile and is easy listening with hidden depths that as you listen to the album you hear the subtleties in the crevices of the overall sound. The tracks work individually, yet this is an album that is greater than the sum of the parts of individual tracks and builds in emotional textures if listened from beginning to end.
The spiraling whine of country tones from guitar and vocals take you to a new place. In Black is a darker story as the narrative of Ally’s brain aneurism, defying all odds surviving and now with a third album they have time to reflect in a moving number. The beat picks up with Earthwards as the moods brighten and The Red July Sky swamps the dark clouds with music that makes you smile, listen and connect to. No one will want to Dodge around this track, it is lyrically clever and the instrumentation adds a depth to a number that makes you smile and sit up and listen. There is a personal feel throughout the album, grasping the moment as in Long Time Dead. As they sing “no time for regrets” it is life’s journey that is important not the hurt and bruising. “Laugh lots and feel more turn life on its head” is the perfect mantra for everyone. The pedal guitar is perfect for this number that is a highlight of the album. It is two numbers as the album closes really lifts and shapes your memories of this fine album. Walking Country Song, strong vocals that make you want to sing-a-long to and then the closing number Sway. This number has a breathless energy and closes the album with energy, style and the feeling that you want to hear Red Sky July often and definitely live.
The trio are joined on the album by twice grammy nominated Beth Nielsen Chapman, Nashville based singer/songwriter, for the added pedal steel guitar from Mark Neary and Dave Etherington’s layers of sound from his Wurlitzer Electric Piano. The Truth and The Lie is absolutely a Red July Sky project it is there enthusiasm and magic in the arrangements that brings the collaboration on the album to life.
Red Sky July Exploring The Truth and The Lie bursts into your conscious with a vim and vigour they have an authentic sound the blends country with folk. Like a Red Sky they change the intensity and combination of music in a flash reforming creating a new beat and tone. They are mercurial and refuse to be trapped in the confines of a genre. The Truth is this is jolly good music and The Lie well not to have a copy in your collection would be dishonest to your collection of folk/Americana delights.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
Red Sky July – The Truth and The Lie – Shadowbirds Records – Release Date 25th March 2016>
- Jet Trails
- The Truth and The Lie
- Taking Myself Back
- In Black
- Long Time Dead
- Walking Country Song