You are hereEP Review: Simon Stanley Ward - Myself To Blame (Self Release)

EP Review: Simon Stanley Ward - Myself To Blame (Self Release)


By Allan Wilkinson - Posted on 26 August 2011

Unafraid to level with us right from the get go, this 24 year-old London-based British Country singer confesses that he's not the real thing, whatever that's supposed to mean. In American Voice he tells us that he has no credentials; that he's a fake and a phoney, but he appears to have taken to wearing a cowboy hat nevertheless and judging by the cover of this debut EP, it seems to suit him just fine. Simon Stanley Ward is not an American, nor is he a real cowboy, but there again neither are most Country singers. I doubt if many of those hats in Nashville have ever slapped a horse. With these six self-penned songs, each performed with a distinctive voice and an assured delivery, what does it really matter?

Produced by multi-instrumentalist Arthur Rathbone Pullen who also provides keyboards, bass, drums and additional guitar, MYSELF TO BLAME provides a refreshingly raw take on the current Americana scene; borrowing in places from mid-1960's period Dylan, Stand in the Rain and Homesick both slightly reminiscent of Outlaw Blues for instance, or the final song, The Seven O'clock Alarm, a tongue-in-cheek mournful blues, which almost stands as a pastiche of Townes Van Zandt, with a surprisingly hilarious finale, that I'm sure would have made the legendary Texan smile. If we needed any further proof of the country 'credentials' that this singer-songwriter claims not to have, then look no further than the excellent Behind Closed Doors

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

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