A Country Routes Show: feat' Travellin Rose

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A Country Routes Show: feat' Travellin Rose

Postby lo&m » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:29 pm

This show which was held in Birtley, Co Durham on 10 March was billed as 3 styles of country. Which it was. Absolutely spot on there. It was also billed as a celebration of our best. Which I'm sure it was meant to be but hand-on-heart, I cannot agree that it was. Just my opinion, of course, which is worth exactly what you paid for it but I've got to be honest when doing reviews
So, to the 3 styles of country, what were they? The first was solo singer-songwriter and the evening opened up with Brian Hughes accompanying himself on guitar in fine style. It was good to hear his songs in a live setting. Following Brian came a chap called Jet Taylor playing covers. He played half his set self-accompanied on acoustic guitar before turning on the disc player for the dancers benefit and proving himself adept at both disciplines.
Just as an aside here, I was quite bemused to see the audience all with their tuppaware boxes, thermos flasks and cling-film covered plates of sandwiches tucking in to their picnics when the music started. Maybe it is a north-eastern thing as I've not seen it happen before. Except at open air festivals, of course, many times. Just not in a concert setting. No criticism intended, I was a guest on their patch so it would be rude to. I'm just remarking that it seemed, well ... unusual.
Anyway, on to the second of the 3 styles, the full live band. This was Denver Drive, a good amateur level band playing traditional country, who were raised from the mundane by some nice pedal steel.
After a break for a hot meal (to go with all those sarnies and pastries) we came to the third of the 3 styles. Duos singing to backing tracks. A couple of guys called Chasin' the wind and Travellin Rose.
To be fair, the girls were not intending to go out with tracks but one of their band members was ill. I don't know how much lead-in time they had, enough for Irene to include the fact in the laminate programs set on each table, but they would have been better served getting a dep in for the gig. For example, Denver Drive's drummer backed out on the day but they still had a replacement lined up at short notice. Or maybe the rest of their band could have taken up the slack for their absent colleague.
Perhaps it was due to this but although their singing was excellent, they certainly have the vocal chops, the girls were visibly affected by nerves at first. One indicator of this was the way Kelly kept hanging on to the mic stand despite using a hand held mic. It took a couple of songs for them to loosen up but once they did they were much better. Unfortunately it was too late for one customer. The promoter of the Jumpin' Hot Club in Newcastle had come down to see them but he left after the second song. He has a strict no backing tracks policy. A more pertinent question for me was how did the audience as a whole react? Did Tania and Kelly reach out to them? Well, a few people were visibly taken with them but on the whole, Chasin' the Wind got more of a response. Whether that was because they were more familiar with the guys and this was only Travellin Roses first trip north, who can say?
One thing I would have liked to have seen was Tania and Kelly using the stage more. Not having a band with them meant they had the stage to themselves. They would have been better served by making use of the space to really engage with the audience rather than just standing on their spot singing. Especially as they had hand held mics. Now they did try this on a couple of numbers, You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man for one, but going by this gig alone, they really need to work on their stagecraft. And they will learn more when it goes wrong than when it goes right.
But enough of the waffle, what you really want to see are the pics. Well, here you go ...

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Re: A Country Routes Show: feat' Travellin Rose

Postby plainjane » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:32 pm

Hey Lo&M,
Nice to meet you on sat, I think Irene put together a lovely evening, I missed Brian and Jet Taylor though, due to the long drive and having to check into the hotel before the show : (
This was the first CM night I have been to and the atmosphere was brill, unfortunatly I agree with your comments re Travellin Rose, We were not given the option to bring the remaining members of our band with us as they refused to attend at the last min stating it was too far to travel !?!?!
Needless to say we can't rely on gigs in london only so we are now looking for a replacement band : (
We felt terrible having to rely on B/trax, we had to ask Jet Taylor to try and conert tracks, and borrow his system on the day.....so not the ideal scenario....but Irene and her friends did all the could to accomodate us in our hour of need.

But as you can imagine practising and performing with a 5 piece band, and then having to change the set list and performance (or lack of) really paid its toll....

I hope you won't 'write us off' on this one show, as it was only our 4th gig as TR, and hopefully next time we meet up we will have our band and you can see the 'real' travellin rose xx

(Ps you could have at least airbrushed the pics !! Lol x)

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Re: A Country Routes Show: feat' Travellin Rose

Postby lo&m » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:47 pm

I agree, Irene did put on a good show. It seemed like everything was thought of, if she missed out anything it wasn't noticeable.
But your band refusing to travel? What were they thinking? If your band takes off you will be on the road to clubs and festivals up and down the country every weekend. You'd think that when they turned up to audition for a band named Travellin Rose it would have given them some idea of what was expected.
And don't worry, I won't write you off on the basis of one gig. Only a fool would do that so early in an entertainer's career. The review was a honest and I believe, a constructive one. You and Kelly will learn and progress as you go on. I look forward to seeing you again sometime.
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Re: A Country Routes Show: feat' Travellin Rose

Postby Irene-T » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:31 am

A tad ''hard'' Lonesome on the girls
Possibly as their recordings are very good, coupled with their industry connections and visits overseas. Many expect, or hope to see a performance on a level of their American counterparts. But unrealistic

The girls pen a crackin' tune, have individually great voices. I get what you mean about 'stage presence' but like they say, twas only their 4th gig! And as with any job, it takes time to master your craft and profession

For me, what was notably absent from what we expect from the best female combo's.- Harmonies.
In their shoes, I'd get a pal to help them musically arrange the parts on every song, that works with harmony touches.
This would on live gigs, really lift them.

If they are serious about their music, would bag as many gigs as possible and work butt off. Within a year they'll have ironed out any negs
As neither play an instrument, and this is much harder to do once we leave our teens - I'd again call on a good friend and learn just a few basic chords on an acoustic guitar, or piano (if either of the girls have a little musical background)
So,if playing without a band, they can still show they can play without trax, if even on just a couple of songs, throughout a show

Overall, they showed tremendous promise

Behind the scenes, although felt the format of the billed 5 shows, 5 different style of country. On paper worked. In reality parts didn't. The guy in charge of sound, didn't come through, as he'd promised and this Really let down 4 of the performances. What could have been excellent, became just good for some

Lonesome, agree with some of your thoughts, but where you live there aren't any CMC's. Here there is and it's almost never we see acoustic shows. I took a risk putting on 2. But felt confident with Brian Hughes as he's tremendous and Jet Taylor following carried his baton of excellence on wards.
Before I'd even set the event up, said to a mate...if I get just 30 in to see these acoustic shows before the ''expected'' I'll be happy. 90% were there by the start of Brian's slot at 5pm.
The audience were fab, very respectful and both shows worked well

I'm trying to break the mold Lonesome, but it isn't easy.

Re food, nah, see snacks everywhere! I sometimes bring some along mesel !
And my serving a meal mid way through the night, was two-fold. It was to offer something different from the norm. And secondly. The overheads financially for the event wasn't cheap!
I was charging £6 a tix for 5 acts (£4 for retirees) - remember around here we can go out any night of the week, paying nowt to max 3 quid

So, every penny counted, and the wee bit I made from each meal serving. Added to the additional's made from raffle and irish bingo. To the overall pot and covering costs.
Country in the UK is mostly run on a shoestring, sadly. I wish it wasn't!

The feedback from the event has been 95% positive, with this amount, loving either 2 or 3 of the shows throughout the night. As it was 5 different styles of Country, this ain't bad
We're never too old to learn, and I got a valuable 'sound-lesson' that night. One I will never repeat, cos still grrr about letting my 'heart rule head'!!

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Re: A Country Routes Show: feat' Travellin Rose

Postby livewire » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:18 pm

lo&m wrote:This show which was held in Birtley, Co Durham on 10 March was billed as 3 styles of country. Which it was. Absolutely spot on there. It was also billed as a celebration of our best.

I forgot to THANK YOU for your observations review and the photos of TRAVELLIN ROSE.

With little live experience they did remarkably well to impress the CMA folks at The Cadillac Ranch in Nashville last November to be asked to represent the UK at the CMA Global Artist this June.
I think the CMA are keen to promote young artists. I wonder if other invitations went out to other UK country acts before the girls got asked.
This has to be a great platform. I hope they capitalize on it.
Other UK acts seem to have gone off the radar who preceded them like Luce Diamond, Brianie and Raintown have gone very quiet the last 6 months though their publicist is saying big news on Raintown is due soon.
Last year Country Music People's David Allen had NO CLUE who Raintown were when he saw they were the 2011 UK representatives. Probably he still doesn't.
I hope Kelly and Talia make the UK Press aware of their trip in advance for some free publicity.

I have been to Jumpin Hot events and seen great acoustic performances. Yes I cannot envisage an artist appearing using backing tracks.
That is disappointing to read that Travellin Rose were not able to present themselves in a live band format. Gigs like Jumpin Hot and others are the ones they need to play to make a UK impact like the touring Americana acts do.

Kelly Lee - When I was doing my Travellin Rose spotlight blog feature I was unable to find a smiling Kelly photo. She again looks quite solemn in your photos.
She does have a lovely smile in photos at Wembley Festival.
I think if the stage acts smile it makes the audience smile along with them. Prior to their album recording in their videos Travellin Rose looked to be having such a lot of fun. If only they could bring that to their live shows.

Kelly might have fulfilled a dream to stand on the Opry stage? What must be their Djangopromotions Manager (?) Lee Williams said on CMR Nashville he took them to see the Opry show in Nashville something he hasn't done for a long time. They saw Marty Stuart, The Whites, Restless Heart and newcomer Dustin Lynch (?)
I expect they will learned much about stage presence.

If Kelly and Talia flashed their eyes in Music Row at passers by they could well be bringing back some top musicians in their suitcases or Lee Williams if his is bigger. If so they have a Travellin Band!
Please Visit - http://countryroutesnews.blogspot.com - Country Music News, UK Tours Dates, Album Releases, Press Releases, Billboard Chart News

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Re: A Country Routes Show: feat' Travellin Rose

Postby lo&m » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:49 am

Cheers LW, I appreciate that. Any gig review is just one person's viewpoint, this was mine. I didn't try to be 'hard' on the girls and tbh, I don't think I was. For me, a review should be more than just 'so and so were on and sang such and such songs and bubba won the raffle'. They also should be more than 'puff pieces' for friends or favourites.

For the record, I didn't know until I read Talia's post above that this was only their fourth gig. When she joined the forum last year, she presented Travellin Rose as a fully fledged band and that's how I viewed them. That is probably how Talia and Kelly themselves want to be seen too. I did know of course, that this was their first northern gig and I was taken aback by the fact that professional musicians could decide at short notice that they weren't going to drive up from London to Durham for a gig. However, the girls will learn and improve. Not least in having a commitment to travel written in their next band's contracts. I do hope to see them again sometime.

Re: Raintown. Their new album is in production. They were offering pre-release buyers the chance to get their names printed on the inlay card but that offer is now closed. It will be interesting to see them live this summer and I'll post a review too.
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