A new project by Katie West, one half of Truckstop Honeymoon alongside husband Mike (who duly adds acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals as well as producing), and also featuring Manchester born guitarist Danny McGaw, bassist Paul Schmidt and drummer Colin Mahoney, this is a more rock n roll affair than the duo’s retro country and rockabilly material. Indeed, while there remains a country edge to the terrific title track opener ‘After The Show‘ with its tumbling chorus refrain, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine The Pretenders or Fleetwood Mac doing it.
Likewise, she doesn’t stray too far from rootsy influences on things like the mid tempo banjo dappled ballad Sometimes I Cry, Parton-esque stomper Kansas, the pulsing, and the autobiographical celebration of her life with Mike West that is the simple but lovely My Somehow. However, elsewhere you can gear her spreading her wings, digging into the blues on the guitar distortion of a slow burn Lotus Blossom, a talked cover of Andre Williams 1857 R&B hit Bacon Fat (with Harry Miller on piano) and a terrific motorcycle mama restyling of I Get Around while the swaggering barrelhouse My Little Red Bird borrows its opening riff from Happy Together and its feel from Smiley Lewis (whose I Hear You Knockin’ it references). Needless to say, the guitar ringing Classic Rock is just that (assuming the definition encompasses Tom Petty/The Byrds fronted by Stevie definition), an anthemic, layered sound echoed in the chorus cascading Natalie and the slow swaying You’re All I Need. You might think 40 watts is a bit dim, but on the evidence here, Katie West could light up an entire city.
Review by: Mike Davies