Picking up where their last instalment of this beautifully crafted and almost mystical project, Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish or husband and wife duo: My Darling Clementine continue their collaboration with Steve Nieve as they bring the back catalogue of the great Elvis Costello to a new audience in the form of uniquely creative duets geared towards a more country or Americana based sound.
Volume 2 of “Country Darkness” is out today (June 5th) through Fretsore Records and is available HERE or to order through their website on 12″ vinyl and was again like it’s predecessor brought to life by Nieve and the duo along with producer Colin Elliott which also features exquisite further musicianship from Shez Sheridan, Dean Beresford and Piero Tucci. It further re-imagines the Costello back catalogue in a dynamic and progressive blend of mystique to intensify these wonderful stories in a way that only My Darling Clementine could achieve.
This record opens up with their piano driven duet where they trade verses on “Either Side of the Same Town” originally recorded for 2004’s “The Delivery Man” which infuses a gospel feel intertwined with slick electric guitar licks over the powerful piano base and powerful organic solo’s and perfect harmonies.
The project features a lot of lesser known and deeper Costello cuts including “I Lost You” which is the EP’s second track, that follows. Taken from his 2010 “National Ransom” record that he co-wrote with Jim Lauderdale retains a more typical country feel like the original but utilises great use of instrumentals and change of timbre and pace through the track to give it a nice neo traditional feel. This is a contrast to the real Latin edges heard in their version of “Different Finger” which I feel with the vocal interchanges and tempo has the most authentic feel to them and a perfect fit into their growth in the Americana scene.
The second instalment of Country Darkness concludes with a song that had previously been reworked as a duet since the original with Bill Medley joining Darlene Love (who people like myself would be most familiar with for recording one of the world’s most underrated festive songs “All Alone on Christmas” that featured in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and included a video featuring the song’s writer Steve Van Zandt along with fellow members of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band) to record “Still Too Soon To Know”. King and Dalgleish’s version not only has a slightly modified title leaving out the “Still” but has a real dark melodic feeling to continue a more gospel side of Americana yet majestic production combined with the drums over the top of the organ and some sublime notes being hit by Dalgleish makes for such a beautiful sound and interpretation.
There is the continued curiosity and excitement for further editions of this project but once again like it’s predecessor My Darling Clementine not only symbolise the beauty of their own sound and the passion in Americana but a desire to explore the back catalogue even more of Mr Elvis Costello!