Sierra Ferrell trio + Rob Heron duo @ The Cluny – Fri 24th June 2022 By Shippy – the good pics by Juan Fitzgerald
It’s taken me a few days to think about this review. So a bit of background is really needed here.
Over the last couple of decades a few American female artists have very successfully used the crooning vintage /original sweet country music as a template. I’m thinking of Jolie Holland, Eilen Jewell & Meschiya Lake (although she’s jazz) to name just three. It’s very difficult to actually get the old time/new tunes just about right. Singing for you supper, in those French Quarter Streets of New Orleans helped Meschiya & her vocals, & it also helped a young Sierra Ferrell. I got tipped off about Sierra & her retro old country swing music about 3-4 years ago from Johnny Hicks (thanks bud). He’d saw her busking, and then he caught her when she had just moved to Nashville. I checked her out and was massively impressed. I noted her as my no1 pick for SXSW 2020 but alas that festival didn’t happen. Anyway during lockdown (probably after seeing Sierra’s brilliant social media house concerts) Dolph Ramseur signed her up for his North Carolina management label Ramseur records (home to The Avett Bros). Quite out the blue he contacted me, asking if Id like to book a toon date for her on a small UK tour (I’d known Dolph through Martin Stephenson for many years). He put me in touch with her European agent & successful negotiations were immediately made. So at the second attempt in 2022, Sierra Ferrell made it to the UK & Newcastle witnessed her second ever UK show @ The Cluny on Friday night for The Jumpin Hot Club.
I’m just telling you all of this, just for the record, as I believe Sierra will become a big star
You can also tell, I was pretty damn excited for the show. I even got a florist to make up a special flower hair design (first item on her rider) so everything would run smoothly. The TM thanked me for the rider & with the legendary Ross Lewis on sound, we were certainly major league. The actual sound check couldn’t have gone any better. Sierra crooning a Kitty Wells tune at the top of her voice, then waltzing around the stage with the Fiddle player. She was here & happy. I made my introduction & of course she was quirky but also a people person … I liked her. During catering a couple fans asked her for requests, so she sang to them at the dinner table in The Cluny. We’d sold out the gig & Rob Heron & Tom had warmed up the audience nicely & everything was ready for Sierra. On she trod with a cool beer or two sat on the table, on one of the hottest nights of the year (both musically/weather wise). Her able Nashville companions were Oliver Crane (fiddle /mandolin) who’d played here with The Stray Birds & Geoff (Double Bass). She chose my favourite love letter song “ Give It Time” as her opener & ‘My Oh My’, what a voice. It was off the bloody planet. After the second song “The Sea’ people were literally stunned. Sierra had arrived & everything was set for one of the best shows we’d put on in 37 years. You’d be nowhere without good songs & Sierra had them by the bucketful. “Bells Of Every Chapel” Why’d Ya Do It” “Oh Jeremiah” At The End Of The Rainbow” “Far Away Across The Sea” “Little Bird” all soon to be country classic’s played with great musicianship & some lovely harmonies too. “I don’t want your “Silver Dollar” had the whole of the Ouse burn singing along & “West Virginia Waltz” had everyone swaying along. Then a mean Sister Rosetta like solo song “Magic Spell?“ reminded us just what a fine guitar player Sierra was.
Sometimes you get gigs that start well and fade a bit …not this one. After a full 90 minute set, nobody, I repeat nobody had left the building & on Saturday morning our social media went absolutely nuts! Check them out below.. She’ll be back….
Kay Brown She was amazing and the guys too. Thanks so much for your persistence and efforts in getting them here. Davey Dormand Absolutely amazing vocalist, I’m still in shock at how fantastic she is live. The performance was of the scale… one of the best gigs I’ve ever attended. Thanks to the J&H team for putting her on. Colin Ford She was absolutely amazing!!! What a voice 👏👏👏 I am going to Nashville in September, I hope she is going to be on somewhere Neil Jackson.at 55 I’ve been to a lot of gigs and festivals over the years and last night is up there will my favorites ever …Sierra is unique and exceptional………she’s a STAR!!!! ………And this is just the beginning!! Thanks Jumping Hot Club. Julie Campbell Loved every minute of this gig!! Superb. Thank you Sierra Ferrell and thank you Jumpin’ Hot Club!! Berni Anderson Unique and amazing … I’m still in shock 😘 Peter Snell Thank you for a fantastic night 🌹
Bob Heron I do think Conrad Bird was correct in saying it was probably one of the best gigs we’ve ever seen Ian Mclachlan Sierra was amazing. I thought that the first time I heard her sing. Brilliant. Cheers. Paul Tootsie She was amazing… 👌👌👌
Nick Bousfield What else can I add? Fantastic. Allan Cunningham Awesome😎 David Goard Yep. Great stuff.