Woody Pines Gig at Big Sparra Vinyl, 6 March 2016 – review Pat Byrne
Americana in Ayr
We had a great day out in Ayr when, Jim, Jimmy and I headed doon the watter to see Woody Pines play at Ian Wallace and Robert McKain’s Big Sparra Vinyl. Local fans alongside those who’d travelled from Glasgow and Edinburgh crowded into the record shop on a cold, dreich Sunday afternoon – it was worth the effort.
Mike Hastings of the Scottish Folk/Rock band The Trembling Bells kicked off – he did a perfect job in setting the tone with some excellent alternative folk, super guitar playing and vocals plus his big smile.
His very attractive vinyl album, ‘Mike and Solveig’ was on display in this very cool record shop.
We were tickled pink to find ourselves standing beside the wall displaying Jim’s CD The Innocent. During the break we had a wee chat with Ian and Jim was delighted to received some payment for sales. The crowd were very friendly and we enjoyed meeting Kylie McGregor, who runs the Bluebird Cafe (5 Cannonmills Edinburgh) and also caught up with Mike Hastings, who will be back playing at Big Sparra Vinyl, with support from Jim Byrne, on Sunday 3 April. You should come along – the atmosphere at the gig was fantastic.
Woody Pines was an absolute treat and the Nashville troubadour Woody engaged with the audience from the outset – giving us some lowdown on the band’s UK – Irish Tour. You can catch them tonight (March, 7th) at The Traverse in Edinburgh before they head off to Ireland, Wales and England.
The trio comprised, Woody, vocals and guitar, Josh Irwin from Florida, resonator guitar, and Dakota Collins from California, double bass – the three appeared very happy to be playing at Big Sparra Vinyl, their ‘only record shop gig of the tour’ and possibly with the most interesting back drop – looking down the river and out to the sea.
Their ‘downhome swing’ fitted right in and the audience got right into the vibe as the band played some favourites plus songs from their latest album Woody Pines (2015 Muddy Roots). They had everyone swinging along to ‘Black Rat Swing’ and ‘Like I Do’, there was some great finger pickin’ on ‘Walking Stick’ and we smiled at all the quirky lyrics including in ‘Long John’. We joined in the chorus of the catchy ‘Anything For Love’ – and foot tapping to every single song. Accomplished musicians, the play was excellent and couldn’t have been more tight than on ‘Casey Jones’. My favourite was ‘Stella Blue’, a slower, simple number with beautiful lyrics, lovely melody, some nice harmonica and fantastic guitar playing. Woody made the gig more enjoyable with his chat and the stories behind the songs , such as a requested number, ‘The Hobo and The Bride.’ Sadly the last song.
When Woody asked how long Ian would like him to play he replied: ‘Till Tuesday.’ I think we would have hung around.
Pat Byrne – 7 March, 2016.
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