The husband and wife duo, who record and perform under the moniker My Darling Clementine, will be introducing their Americana and Country tunes to a hometown crowd when they play the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath on October 2.
The show, part of a UK tour, is prompted by the release of the duo's second album, The Reconciliation?, the follow-up to How Do You Plead?.
How do you plead?: My Darling Clementine (pic: Richard Battye)
Michael explains that the new record develops what was started on the first. "There was a game plan with the debut to dive deep into late 1960's / early '70s Nashville folklore and emulate those classic country duets.We studied it and forged our own album in its likeness. The song-writing, the way we recorded, the way we sang, the musicians we hired to play on the album, were all carefully selected with one aim in mind. With this new album it is more about building on what we have done but also making it a little more contemporary. Still looking back to that musical period but without replicating. Hence a new studio, a new producer and a new team of players.''
Birmingham duo: My Darling Clementine (pic: Richard Battye)
Lou continues: "For The Reconciliation? we wanted to extend the lyrical side of the songs, deal with more diverse topics other than the cheatin' hurtin', heartbreak scenarios associated with classic country. Don't get me wrong, we love all that, and there is plenty of it on this album, and when done right it is as powerful as Shakespeare, but during the writing process other topics came through, things that had happened to Michael and I or people we knew. So there are songs that deal with domestic abuse (No Matter What Tammy Said), the death of parents (Ashes Flowers & Dust), life in a travelling circus in Mexico (King of the Carnival), the life and death of George Jones (The Gospel According To George) and even the process of conceiving our daughter (Miracle Mabel).''
The Reconciliation? features Richard Hawley's band – Shez Sheridan (guitars), Colin Elliot (bass), Dean Beresford (drums), and John Trier (piano, organ) – alongside Al Cook (pedal steel), Paul Corry (sax), Pat Walker (violin) and Mike Cosgrave (accordion). Also guesting are Texan songwriter and humorist Kinky Friedman and UK string group The Brodsky Quartet.
Oh, My Darling: Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish (pic: Richard Battye)
Michael is a veteran singer-songwriter having released 15 albums as a solo artist and as part of the alt.country band The Good Sons. He has collaborated with the likes of Chris Hillman, Ron Sexsmith, Jakie Leven and Townes Van Zandt.
Lou has released four solo albums and has worked with the likes of Elvis Costello and The Brodsky Quartet. She collaborated with Michael on They Call Her Natasha, a musical play based around the songs of Elvis Costello.
My Darling Clementine 2013 UK tour:
Sept 29: Portsmouth, The Square Tower; Oct 1: London, Dingwalls; Oct 2: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds;
Oct 3: Manchester, Ruby Lounge;
Oct 4: Oxford, The Bullingdon;
Oct 5 & 6: Glasgow, Americana Festival;
Oct 8: Leicester, The Musician;
Oct 12: Northampton, Harpole Village Hall.