Wednesday 2nd May. The Islington, London. H.C. McEntire. We’re back in North London tonight and after Heather has been double shifting it for the past two nights both supporting and playing with Angel Olsen up the road it’s her first headline show in London.
I have been a fan of Mount Moriah for a little while and have a couple of their albums but it’s with the release of her first solo album ‘Lionheart’ this year that H.C. has really taken a massive leap to the next level with her song writing. The voice is still as great as ever but it’s difficult to draw vocal comparisons with any other countryish female singer at the moment. So largely playing tracks from arguably my album of the year so far we are taken on a journey out into the desert with a whisky and coyotes howling and H.C. telling her country tales with just her guitar and one trusty partner, Luke on guitar and backup vocals.
Its atmospheric stuff and at times it’s like she has welded her inner Tom Waits and Ry Cooder together and channelled it through her beautiful voice especially so on the evocative ‘When you come for Me’. She then segues into straight country mode with ‘Quartz in the Valley’ where she unleashes her inner Dolly.
With most of the new album played there’s still time for a couple of Mount Moriah numbers but it’s all over too soon. She seems genuinely surprised and humbled that so many people have a: heard of her and b; turned up but after tonight and her album I am sure many more will be turning up at her next show.
There are moments of greatness tonight and the crowd are quiet and respectful and without any distractions I was often transported away in a world of my own floating above the clouds wrapped in that voice.
I am so grateful to be able to experience concerts of this quality and in the past seven days I have been thankful to see three great country, although all very different, voices in Courtney Marie Andrews, Whitney Rose and H.C. McEntire. All superb in what is a golden age for female country singer songwriters.
‘Till the next time, keep on country rockin’ y’all.