Image by Tim Furnish
Much-loved country trio Freakwater ended a decade-long hiatus a couple of years ago, initially to celebrate the 20thbirthday of their phenomenal Feels Like The Third Time album. The Louisville-via-Chicago outfit came to prominence back in the early nineties, in the first flush of what people probably still call ‘alt. country’ (although there was very little ‘alt.’ about Freakwater – their songs had more to do with the Carter Family than Ryan Adams).
As is often the way, the reconvening led to new music, which in turn led to this year’s Bloodshot Records album Scheherazade, a remarkable record even by their lofty standards. Still recognisably a Freakwater album, there’s still some innovation to be heard, delving into West Coast country rock at times, but the key as always is the gorgeous interplay between Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin’s voices, the very epitome of the ‘high lonesome sound’.
The band are set to tour the UK for the first time in a decade this month, arriving at Newcastle’s Cluny 2 on Thursday 13th October (thanks, as ever, to Jumpin’ Hot Club). As this writer will testify, getting through one of their shows without the merest hint of a shed tear as Bean and Irwin break your heart all over again takes a colder, deader heart than most.