Little Thunderstorms – KB Bayley (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

“To write a song you just need three things: a place, the weather and something to drink. Start there and you should be OK…” Wise words indeed and the man behind them, none other than Tom Waits, knows a thing or two about making music. As does KB Bayley

Trading in a blend of narrative folk and gentle Americana, KB Bayley joins the dots between the likes of John Prine and Jason Isbell, James Taylor and Ben Glover, who can be found as a guest vocalist on the album. Take one listen to the finger-picked spaciousness and evocative imagery of the title track and it is a hard heart that doesn’t fall for its charms immediately. 

Time To Leave Town is introspective, reflective and gorgeous, North Coast Girl is gracious, heartfelt and romantic and Cheap Suit is a masterclass in space and understatement. And throughout, the lyrics are brilliant, gently painting scenes and scenarios to dance on top of the chiming guitar lines.

And it is understatement that is the word that seems most appropriate to describe this album. Although the songs were written over the last few years, Lockdown meant that they were recorded very much as solo affairs. The result seems more intimate, heartfelt, poignant and magical than it might have been had Bayley had access to the usual resources.

Timeless is a word that is banded about all too easily, I’m as guilty as it as the next scribbler, but Little Thunderstorms is deserving of just such an accolade. 

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