The Grahams and Friends (Live in studio) – The Grahams


The Grahams, Alyssa and Doug have known each other since they were little kids and have been playing with each other, in one guise or another, since those early days; never more so than now when they are man and wife. Their musical unity has gone hand in hand with their friendship and marital unity and they (along with a few musical friends) are about to release their latest collection of tunes created from their shared life experiences.

Previous musical inclinations have included dalliances with psychedelic rock and jazz but recent output is firmly ensconced in the country music scene and on this album they have teamed up with some of their pals in the making of this album.

I have to confess that for some unknown reason to me that my musical device has been playing the tracks of the latest album in its own particular order – apparently totally out of sync with the proposed release so please forgive any song titles that are chronologically out of sequence.

‘Biscuits’ is a warm track which to this listener is a euphemism for a rampant sexual encounter. Alyssa is inviting someone into her kitchen as a thunderstorm is brewing outside and promises to show them just how the biscuits rise! A mid paced bouncer it has a nice bit of slide guitar to accompany Alyssa’s promises to show you what is cooking in her kitchen.

‘Blow Wind Blow’ is a far more sinister affair – a dark brooding story of family secrets and lost loved ones to conflicts in the middle east, Alyssa is accompanied by her husband Doug for a vocal harmony throughout the track and it is a rare murky moment on an album of fairly easy listening.

‘Gambling Girl’ is a bluesy knockabout warning about the dangers of messing around with ladies from the wrong side of the tracks whilst ‘Glory Bound’ allegedly proclaims Alyssa’s regret at doing the things she did when she was young – I don’t necessarily believe her though; a bit of rebellion and soft drug use is pretty standard behaviour for any youth worth their salt! It isn’t the most remarkable of tracks but it has a neat guitar and fiddle solo to help it out.

‘Griggstown’ is a nice shuffle of a tune evoking images of a lawless wild west, replete with more slide guitar and a strong chorus which must be a live favourite. Tender tune ‘Lay Me Down’ is a stripped down offering with a gentle brush strokes on the percussion to keep it flowing smoothly and a plaintive vocal delivery in keeping with the tune.

‘Kansas City’ is a bit of a hoedown affair complete with a brass arrangement more in keeping with New Orleans rather than Kansas City; as does (not surprisingly!) the actual track ‘City of New Orleans’.

This album is a nice easy listening offering and although it is predominantly a country affair it has a mix of song styles and influences that give indication to their previous musical incarnations. I imagine that as a live outfit complete with full band they would tear the place up – here’s hoping.

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