As the nights draw in this winter, My Darling Clementine will warm us up with Country Darkness

My Darling Clementine, along with Steve Nieve reimagine Elvis Costello songs on new album – Country Darkness.

A new album that throws a spotlight on 12 hidden gems from the Elvis Costello repertoire and vividly reimagines them in the duet’s definitive country-soul styling.

Released on 6th November 2020, the record will see the familiar husband/wife pairing of Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish joined by a very special guest in the form of The Imposters / The Attractions original: Steve Nieve, whose inimitable keys and wisdom radiate throughout the release.

Teasing the release with a new single, The Crooked Line, the folksy ‘Secret, Profane & Sugarcane’-era Costello number receives a ramped-up and electrifying rework that sets a tantalising precedent of what lies ahead on the upcoming LP.

As admirers of Costello’s rich back catalogue since his “angry young man” earliest days, Country Darkness arrives as both a salutation to the man himself and something of a labour of love for My Darling Clementine.

Drawing together a collection of three 4-track EPs for the first time (Country Darkness Vol. 1-3), the upcoming compilation sees the band host some of the lesser-known marvels from Costello’s repertoire and explore their potential for something entirely different; and often darker.

Reconfiguring the tracks with shades of Gothic Americana, Outlaw Country and heartbreaking Folk, the trademark vocal duet of King’s lugubrious baritone and Dalgleish’s tender siren-song unearth exquisite drama in Costello’s scriptures.

Country Darkness

Synonymous with the Elvis Costello sound, Steve Nieve has worked with Elvis since 1977, recording with him for the first time on his second album This Years Model. He was a founding member of The Attractions, and now, for over 20 years, one of The Imposters.

A Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, Nieve has become one of the most in-demand session keyboard players, with his playing identifiable on countless classic records.

Which now includes My Darling Clementine’s Country Darkness LP.

As the band sought Nieve’s seal of approval for the project, the legendary keyboardist went one better and offered his services to the project instead. Actively involved throughout working with the pair in song selections and arrangements, his unmistakable style is evident throughout.

Speaking about the Country Darkness project, Michael Weston King says:

Making these recordings took me back to my 19-year-old-self, out buying a copy of ‘Almost Blue’ during my lunch hour. It was Elvis and Steve’s making of that album which set me, and I think many others of my generation, off along a country path to discover more about this form of music previously only viewed with suspicion. For me it became something of a pilgrimage, a vocation, even a “career.” So this feels like the completing of a musical circle of sorts — to record a selection of some of mine and Lou’s favourite EC country songs with the added thrill of performing them with Steve”.

And on working with Steve Nieve on the project, Lou Dalgleish adds:

Reflecting on those early years spent listening to my hero of the keyboard [accompanying my personal king of songwriting, EC) was it any wonder that in the spring of 2019, when he sat down right next to me and began his incredible intro to our first collaboration, that I couldn’t sing for crying? Thanks Steve, for making this sulky girl very happy.”

The Country Darkness album (compiling all tracks featured across the EP Volumes 1-3, plus bonus track Powerless) will be available on CD and digitally on 6th November 2020, via Fretsore Records.


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