Bye London Bye –  Matthew Austin Hunt (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There seem to be plenty of country crooners wandering around the charts these days but whereas most seem to be some sort of earnest, all-American type with a beard, a pickup truck and a broken heart, Matthew Austin Hunt actually seems more authentic than those cliched images. Instead his style is more believable, more natural, less the product of a marketing focus group and more the sound of a man turning his thoughts and emotions into song.

And just when you think you have got the measure of his heartfelt, troubadourish and balladic ways, the band kick in to help raise the game. But raising the game isn’t about being loud and stomping all over the subtleties and suppleness that he has already laid down, it is about underlining, enhancing and framing, emphasising the sonic highs, allowing space for the musical lulls and lows. It takes a deft band to get that right, thankfully Matthew Austin Hunt has found one of those to help him out.

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