LIVE REVIEW: Courtney Marie Andrews @ Sage Gateshead (21.10.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Standing in darkness by the Millennium Bridge, the bleak chill of the late autumn night is acutely perceptible, as is the knowledge that my bones will soon be warmed by Courtney Marie Andrews’ classic Arizonan blend of folk and country in the intimate cocoon of the Sage Gateshead’s Hall Two.

Andrews’ critically-acclaimed seventh and most recent album, Old Flowers, released in July 2020, features a backing band throughout; though minimal for the most part, it gives the album a fuller sound. However, due to the effects of the pandemic, Courtney’s tour in support of the album features the musician with just her acoustic guitar and keyboard. But given the power of her vocal performance alongside her tender and contemplative music, this in no way detracts from the set. Supported by the hushed mellowness of Brightonian folk duo Memorial, who returned to provide backing vocals on two tracks from Old Flowers, Burlap String and Break The Spell, Andrews’ set journeyed through her back catalogue of lilting love songs and all-American ballads.

From Rookie Dreaming, the opening track from her 2016 commercial break, Honest Life, through a selection of her other favourites, including James Dean, the as-of-yet unreleased Bonnie-and-Clyde cowboy song, to Ships In The Night, the last song from Old Flowers, Andrews’ performance pleased and impressed all present, with a welcoming atmosphere for listeners, old and new.

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