The undiminished rise and rise of home-grown Americana from these shores continues to make this particular US native feel at home - although the UK has been my home for a long time now. This latest piece of Anglo-Americana comes from Appalachian inspired folk-rock band The Empty Pages with their self-titled debut album, predictably enough the mix of course includes some clear influences from traditional British folk.
They kick off with a foot-stomper 'Autumn Girl', rich with finger picked strings and tight-as-a-tick vocal harmonies, then their Brit-folk heritage bursts through the narrative of 'The Old Mill Lane'. They write fine songs with sharp lyrics and easily memorable hooks, that much is evident in the thoughtful 'Looking Down from Peveril'. Before you know it, you’re dancing to an instrumental showcase of their skills with 'Magic 66', then there are echoes of a West Coast vibe in 'We're Going to Go Far', while once again their skill with the traditional folk narrative comes through 'Welcome to the New World'.
With this debut, The Empty Pages deliver a fusion of genres that’s wholly addictive.
Review: Tom Franks, November 2017.