Carson McHone's “Sad” is alt-country at its most gloriously heartbreaking, honky-tonking, two-stepping, shit-giving best.
This last year has been an easily forgettable one for country music. John Prine and Kacey Musgraves aside, it’s been a year of half-baked turkeys and over-boiled sprouts. Thankfully, 2019 is already looking like an all-you-can-eat buffet of slow cooked country deliciousness - hopefully with unlimited gravy.
“Sad” epitomises Carson McHone’s off-centre, oddball take on traditional country. Taking her inspiration from Dylan, The Velvet Underground and Thomas Wolfe, it turns to you like an old regular on a barstool before it begins opening up - “Well, here’s the deal / I got this thing / I call it sad and it calls me home” she sings, while a fiddle and pedal steel shuffle away beneath her woozy Texan drawl.
The video, directed by Ryan Hamilton, finds McHone returning to The White Horse, the legendary honky-tonk in East Austin where she’d previously held the coveted Thursday night residency, to dance around the bar stools stacked up on the tables in clown make-up. Just like the song it’s sweet, melancholic and casually eccentric.
The ever-dependable Loose Records signed McHone after AmericanaFest in Nashville in September, and her sophomore album Carousel drops in January to coincide with a smattering of UK tour dates. Recorded in Nashville with producer Mike McCarthy, the award-winning producer behind albums for Spoon, Patty Griffin and Heartless Bastards, Carousel sees Carson McHone swinging out of her corner of the Texas honky-tonks with the most exciting country record since Margo Price's Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.
29 January – London - AmericanaFest
1 – Guildford - The Keep
2 – Oxford - Jericho (with Asleep At The Wheel)
3 – Durham - Old Cinema Launderette
4 – York - Basement
5 – Hull - Adelphi
6 – Manchester - The Castle
8 – Glasgow - Hug & Pint
9 – Newcastle - Live Theatre
10 – Aberdeen - Lemon Tree (with Blue Rose Code)