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Ward Thomas

Footnotes EP

At the London launch of this EP, the female duo were introduced as 19 year old twins who write songs, sing them and LOVE The Dixie Chicks…that’s as may be but on this show and showing they will be bringing something of their own to the country-rock-pop scene, notwithstanding coming from Hampshire, England

Backed by a light percussion chap and another acoustic guitarist, the songs on this release where put over with punch, occasional tenderness and not a little (natural) charm. The ace up their sleeve is that the girls’ voices are not identical, Sorry  don’t know which is which, but the one In gave the record launch congrats card to has the slightly clearer authoritative voice and her sibling a slightly fuzzier, sweeter touch. So when they sing together..its a rich blend and quite an asset, making them distinct from the nearest similar acts – notably The Webb Sisters who from Troubadour Club beginnings where we first met them now split their time between own gigs and touring with Laughing Lenny Cohen…

Single ‘ The Good & The Right’ is not a hymn to David Cameron but rather a catchy rockin’ lil number loaded with banjo’s, guitars, a snappy snare and a descending chord passage. The voices are sweet and persistent and yes, pretty strong, with a subtle string arrangement to boot..obviously a nod to The Dixie Chicks down to the softer solo vocal segment, the chorus waiting to burst back, fiddles et al  ; ‘Footnotes’ is a more tender piece taken at a steady pace and with a hint of Alison Moorer or Suzy Boguss – as listenable as any pop-country out there  ; ‘Take That Train’ is a shuffling and more breathy number with trilling piano and a syncopated rhythm plus the sort of tunefulness that made Dolly Parton a mint and a theme park..I swear Dolly would love this pair, their voices blend so well. Neat guitar at the end of this ; closer ‘Caledonia’ is rather solemn and lined to a documentary about Scotland, if I heard correctly.? ( I wonder if they’d like to use my song about separation – ‘Hit The Road, Jock’ ?)   Very folky and elemental.

A tuneful debut and let’s see where they go from here – a bit of luck with radio is what they need

Pete Sargeant

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