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Music Editorial

carsonmchone19.jpg McHone is where the heart is

One of the best country albums of 2019 has surely arrived early in the year with Carson McHone’s superb ‘Carousel’, which was released in January. And she’ll no doubt be playing songs from it when she visits Durham and Newcastle this February.

I note that the Newcastle gig is being presented by the Jumpin’ Hot Club, which is always a real stamp of quality in my book, and they’re bringing us a true star in the making in the shape of Carson McHone. I was lucky enough to get an early copy of her new album, ‘Carousel’, back in December and it’s nary been off my turntable ever since. It’s most definitely a country album but it leans in all sorts of interesting directions taking in alt concerns, torch-song twang, late-night jazzy melancholia and a touch of honky-tonk. A native of Austin, Texas, she honed (make that McHoned) her craft in local bars where she flooded her music with tales of heartbrokenness and high-tolerance and soon had the likes of Rolling Stone magazine on board, flagging up her rule-breaking roots music, as well as local icons such as Ray Wylie Hubbard who said that she “writes songs like her life depends on it”. You can see just why she is being talked up as being the Next Big Thing when she plays intimate gigs in both Durham and Newcastle this February.

Carson McHone: Sunday 3 February, Old Cinema Launderette, Durham, 7pm, £10, oldcinemalaunderette.uk; Carson McHone + Martha Healy, Saturday 9 February, Live Theatre, Newcastle, 8pm, £12. www.live.org.uk