‘Country Darkness Vol. 2’ will be released on June 5th 2020 via Fretsore Records via all digital services worldwide and on limited edition 12” vinyl.
The 12″ vinyl is now available for pre-order via the official MDC site.
The EP contains re-interpretations of 4 more Elvis Costello country songs in collaboration with Steve Nieve.
Like Vol 1, ‘Country Darkness Vol. 2’ was produced by Colin Elliot and MWK, and features Colin Elliot, Shez Sheridan and Dean Beresford.
The vinyl also comes with a free download code, and all copies ordered here will be signed and personalised as requested.
“I can’t think of any act more appropriate to reappraise the extensive Costello songbook.”
“My Darling Clementine and the country songs of Elvis Costello are a match made in heaven.”
The Alternate Root, USA
COUNTRY DARKNESS VOL 2 – the songs
Either Side Of The Same Town:
Without question one of our favourite Elvis songs, of any style. I think Elvis must have been listening to a lot of Dan Penn when he wrote this. It is a song mined from the same seam as The Dark End Of The Street, originally a hit for James Carr. One of my favourite songs sung by one the greatest singers.
In 2006 Lou was on tour with The Brodsky Quartet as their guest vocalist and they performed a version of this song, arranged for quartet and voice by Brodsky viola player Paul Cassidy, based on the original demo Elvis had given to Paul. Quite a lot different from how it ended up on The Delivery Man album, and in turn, quite a lot different from our version here.
I Lost You:
This songs comes from the more acoustic, bluegrass album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane and is co-written by Jim Lauderdale, who was also part of the touring ensemble Elvis put together at that time. Lou and I shared a festival bill with Jim at the River Town Festival in Bristol in 2017 and our paths have crossed a few times, most recently at a festival in Lafayette, Louisiana. Jim is one of the sweetest, and funniest guys and a master of the high harmony. A very fine songwriter too. The original of this opens with a guitar riff which then reoccurs later. We replaced that with Steve’s arpeggiated piano motif. Although written originally for one voice, the song works particularly well as a conversational duet.
A song that just had to be done for the this project. One of EC’s most authentic honky- tonkers, like Stranger in the House, it is a classic country song, although still with a few songwriting idiosyncrasies that are totally Costello (as opposed to the simplicity of say Harlan Howard or Merle Haggard). Steve had played on the original so we wanted to find a different approach, as we have tried with all these songs, so for this we went with the Marty Robbins treatment. Hats off to Piero Tucci for some stunning accordion playing, and also the beautiful Spanish guitar styling of Shez Sheridan
Too Soon To Know:
This song turned out much more moody and atmospheric than any of us thought. In 2016 Darlene Love recorded this song, duetting with will Bill Medley, approaching it in that true 60s soul style she is famous for. I had initially thought we may also go in that direction but once Steve had set the tone with his spooky keys, and sombre feel, the song went somewhere else altogether, and I would argue all the better for it. We have taken a more understated vocal approach to try and set it apart from previous versions. Of any of the songs we have cut so far, this track personifies the phrase Country Darkness.