With recent recognition from artists such as Elton John, Ryan Adams and actor Chris Pratt, it’s no wonder the Brude is filled to the brim with an excited audience who are eagerly anticipating the arrival of country singer, Courtney Marie Andrews. Dressed in a long white dress, the rawness of Andrew’s sound seems to be echoed in the purity of her attire. Accompanied simply with a bass, an electric guitar and a groovy keys player, Andrews welcomes the audience with open arms, playing songs from her most recent soulful masterpiece, May Your Kindness Remain.
The audience is respectful and quiet in their reception of the long-way-from-home band and are quick to warm to her renditions of much-loved ballads such as ‘How Quickly Your Heart Mends’ and ‘Honest Life’. It is not however until Andrews takes up the exquisite closing track of her latest album, ‘Long Road Back to You’, that the room becomes alive. No longer standing in a gig venue in North Yorkshire, Andrews transports the room back to an old American bar at the end of the night, the last lone regulars sat listening and drowning their sorrows. The cry of the electric guitar echoes her characteristic heart-stricken lyrics, a few empathetic members of the audience welling up at the mesmerizing sound filling the room: ‘Clouds rollin’ to now block the view / It’s a long, long road back to you’.
Andrews has previously been compared to a young Joni Mitchell and indeed, her heart-wrenching debut album, Honest Life, is a nod to the country goddess. In her latest album however, Andrews seems to have found her own unique sound with her blues-like edge bringing an updated contemporary vibe to the genre. With a cracking band and a talent for capturing the bitterness of heartbreak both lyrically and musically, I for one can’t wait to see what she produces next.