It was the end of a very busy week for this insanely talented singer/songwriter. Over in the UK ostensibly to promote her forthcoming album (more of that later!), interviews had been interspersed with acoustic gigs and she had also performed in Glasgow at Celtic Connections and collected the “International Artist” award at Thursday’s UK Americana Awards.
But the 60 or so fans lucky enough to witness her very “up close and personal” performance in this tiny Surrey pub were treated to a performance that showed no signs of this hectic schedule. Courtney Marie’s voice was as pure, emotional and note perfect as ever, just the artist and her acoustic guitar (switching to keyboard for two numbers) keeping the audience enthralled throughout the hour long set which was the second of the day, a matinee added due to demand.
Relaxed and confident throughout, she relayed Interesting and amusing anecdotes between numbers, which included favourites from her back catalogue such as “Table For One”, “Paintings From Michael” , “Put The Fire Out” and “How Quickly You Heart Mends” and also took requests from the audience at the end (after confessing that she needed to brush up a bit on some of her songs, having had to read the lyrics to one from someone’s cellphone during the afternoon show!)
With her next album “ May Your Kindness Remain” due for release on 23rd March (via Loose Music over here) we were treated to several new songs which Courtney Marie said were being “tested out “ by herself before she returns with her band in the Spring. She told how the album was recorded in a “house in LA with buds (buddies) and a gospel singer” and from what I heard at this gig I can’t wait to hear the finished product! She is one of the best observers of the human condition and I always find her writing thought provoking. Sorry if I have got any of the titles wrong by the way….
The album’s title track has been released as a single and is a wonderful prayer like song, emphasising what is really important in life, which seems to be a theme that recurs in different guises in quite a few of her songs.
“Rough Around The Edges” is an “accept me for what i am/apology-type” write about not being perfect …..lines that caught my attention include “the past was cruel and it caught up with me” and “if i let you down baby, don’t take it to heart”. “ This House” is a dreamy , romantic waltz inspired by a friend giving Courtney Marie a list of things that don’t work in her home for when she was house sitting, “those types of houses always seem the most homely” she told us. Then there was “I Like You Honey” an list song and an unusually amusing write from Courtney Marie which she introduced as “ dripping with satire” . Back to her usual intensity with further new offerings “Southern Border” inspired by a true life inhumane sheriff and a love song which i think was called “I Took You Up” .
“Kindness of Strangers” was requested as an encore song, a new but already available track apparently written after the suicide of a musician in Seattle, emphasising how important kindness is in everyday situations.
As at the previous Courtney Marie Andrews gigs I’ve attended she was happy to hang out and chat/sign merch at the end, what a really special evening this was and one well worth braving freezing temperatures and the M25 for!
You can pre-order the new album ( look out for our review!) and find out about all future shows at https://www.courtneymarieandrews.com
Review written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)