Music review: Courtney Marie Andrews
Courtney Marie Andrews
St Luke’s, Glasgow
Arizona-bred, Seattle-based Courtney Marie Andrews has seen her country star gently rise over the past year. Her mellow folk song- writing, infused with the spirit of her Laurel Canyon forebears, is a refreshing antidote to the blare and glare of Nashville.
“It’s a long road back to you,” she sang with a classic country cry in her voice. And in this and other cases it was a very linear musical road she travelled, albeit boosted by a rocking crescendo from her fine band. Andrews’ sweetly melodic songs generally went where expected, following traditional structures.
But fortunately she is also blessed with a pure, natural country voice to kill for, one which harks back to Emmylou Harris, occasionally recalled Joni Mitchell without the weird intervals and even evoked shades of Dolly Parton on the unadorned title track of her most recent album, Honest Life.
There was a pleasing folky simplicity to her own acoustic accompaniment with only the most subtle brushstrokes of electric guitar and organ in the background.
Her storytelling skills truly started to emerge when she dispensed with her band entirely on Paintings from Michael, about her imprisoned uncle, and Woman of Many Colours, a sparse, undulating tribute inspired by her artist mother and her desert upbringing, about those who stay and those who leave, and about thirsting for the opportunity to grow.
When the band returned to the stage, she summoned some testifying spirit and a dash of Joni swing to liven the dynamics before encoring with a sprightly version of Dylan’s Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You.