The NBT Review 38


Beyond The Headlights – Keith Miles (House Of Trout)

Some songs seem to have been comfortably living with us forever. From the drop of the 1st beat they soothe us, set us free from petty tensions. They make us un-self-consciously grin.

Keith Miles and his band of ultra accomplished musicians have crafted tunes of hope and subtle power.  Deceptively simple things these, hiding intricate arrangements of steel guitar, and mandolin gliding sweetly along with the bass, country pop at its finest.

These are songs about not just the journey, but the better places that journey might, no, WILL take us if we just decide to keep driving.

All is not sugar coated however; Miles swings deep into the soul and loneliness of the long distance driver, as he travels across the dark night and contemplates sorrows and stories from the shifting past.

The call and response ghostly and thrilling cover of ‘Samson and Delilah’ and the almost break of dawn nightclub feel of ‘Sweet Waters’ showcase the diversity of both the band and the production moods.

A sincere, heartwarming collection.

Find out more here


Miracle Girl – Beth Wimmer (Independent Release)

Floating, they say the tempo  is floating, and it does, it sneaks in sleepy sensual, it shuffles in along side a languorous guitar solo, the seduction, the come on is the very thing, melting the present, fading out into a dreamlike future.

Then in ‘Ten Four’ taking a macho subject and subverting it like Aimee Mann likes to do, Beth steps up the edgy a little and glancing sideways, throws herself into new wave reggae and the daylight shows itself. This girl doesn’t need her Lover from Last Summer, it’s a put down in a pop song, the best way to be (slightly, honestly) nasty.

And then the ambiguous anti war song, she wants to know how it would feel, she wants to maybe taste the craziness, she says she is not at all strong, then she sings this epic, take her hand and she will pull you as close to the darker edges as she can.

After the intense internal of ‘O my Brother’ (another shy epic) a genuine pop country hit, the shuffle is faster, the words tumble harder. The giddy swing delights. this is ‘Dreams Bring Me Down.’

And in the Neil Young cover, she takes what was always fragile, and adds her own quiet sadness, her own female perspective of the danger and despair of love.

Finally, take the put down described earlier, times it by rock n roll boogie, add thumping drums and wooshing guitar,  and you got this violent cool kick in the pants, F Ya, big sister to ‘Your So Vain ‘ just with way more oooomph.

Find out more

Hear Keith Miles on the NBT podcast that went out on the 1st September 09

And Beth Wimmer on the NBT show going out on the 8th Sept 09