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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:26 am 
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Imagine Loretta Lynn playing songs in a garage in Seattle – in 1963. That gets you somewhere near the new territory being scouted out by country soul sensation Rachel Harrington as she heads for the hills and honkytonks with her newest adventure.

Over the course of the past three striking albums, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Rachel Harrington has proven an ability to conjure songs and stories that are resonant and timeless - whether she’s singing about yesterday’s heartache or tomorrow’s dreams. “Ancient sounding country noir” (Q) with “songs that conjure the ghosts of old America” (Mojo).

Asked to perform some tunes at Seattle Theater Group’s annual Patsy Cline tribute concert in 2011, Harrington found herself talking backstage with a host of fellow girl singers and musicians. It didn’t take long for their shared love of honkytonk, classic country, early rock and the Bakersfield sound to become obvious. As the story goes, the Knock Outs were born backstage and christened with a few shots of whisky. Harrington then set to work on writing fresh material for the fledgling group.

The new album, simply titled Rachel Harrington & The Knock Outs, was recorded at Seattle’s legendary Avast Studio (Soundgarden, Jesse Sykes, Fleet Foxes) with Harrington’s longtime producer, Evan Brubaker, and features Alisa Milner on fiddle, Rebecca Young on bass, Moe Provencher on guitar, and Aimee Tubbs on drums. Special guests include duet vocalist Mark Erelli (Lori McKenna), steel player Tommy Hannum (Steve Earle) and guitarist Tim Carroll (Elizabeth Cook). Harrington and company circle the wagons on what Gram Parson’s referred to as “cosmic American music” – from Etta to Loretta – from the wall-of-sound 60‘s soul rave-up of “He’s My Man”, to the women’s lib honkytonk of “Wedding Ring Vacation,” to the cry-in-your-beer gem “I’d Like To Take This Chance.”

A 2011 winner in Merlefest's esteemed songwriting contest (previous winners include Gillian Welch and Tift Merritt), Rachel says her past few albums came largely of her study of the Old West and turn-of-the-century American music. “And the new record may sound a little different, but I’m still writing essentially the same stuff.” She winks. “It’s just that I moved forward in time about 40 years.”

“I’ve always wanted to make a full-band country record. But I still wanted it to be a fundamentally west coast derivative, one in which you could hear its western influences. Something that let you hear some of the songwriting tone of Loretta Lynn (who got her start in Washington State), along with the California country of Gram Parsons and Buck Owens, some hints of the backing vocals of Ray Charles’ Raylettes, a little bit of the indie of the Northwest – that kind of thing.”

Is the result a knock out? You decide.

Support from Paul Handyside.

Advance discount tickets on sale £10 from www.wegottickets.com/event/139567 or www.seetickets.com or www.ticketweb.co.uk or buy direct from www.boohoomusic.co.uk or over-the-counter at Record Collector and the Music Shop.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Hawleytastic!
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:10 pm
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Location: Cheshire
Saw them in Bidduplh the other day - well worth a few bob of anyones money.

Hopefully efsb will be posting pictures and a review sometime soon.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:53 pm 
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Hawleytastic!
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I was just about to...over on t'other thread.

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