Courtney Marie Andrews, The Keep, Guildford. Surrey Advertiser review

*****

Courtney Marie Andrews, one of Rolling Stones magazine’s “ten new country artists you need to know” is the latest in a long line of talented American singer-songwriters to perform in Guildford. 

Andrews left her Arizona home at the age of 16 to play in any bar that would have her. Ten years later she’s in the midst of a month-long European tour to promote Honest Life, her sixth and latest album.

Tasteful, empathetic accompaniment was skillfully provided by Bryan Daste on pedal steel and vocals, Andrews delivered a flawless set of modern American country music.

Not having visited Guildford before she pronounced it “Awesome! There aren’t too many castles or cobbled streets in Arizona.” 

Like all visiting American artists since last November she felt compelled to mention the presidential election, which inspired her to write a song to empower women called “Heart and Mind.”  She also debuted a song dedicated to her aunt. 

With beautiful ballads, warm personality and engaging song descriptions Andrews captured the hearts of the audience.

Observational lyrics abound in Andrews’ writing. Her closing encore solo song Pomegranate begins with the line “Dried up flowers on your dashboard” and continues with “tell me your secrets, I promise I will bury them in the dirt.”

She has a gentle fingerpicking guitar style that perfectly complements her vocals. Six solo numbers were incorporated into a 16-song set including How Quickly Your Heart Mends, Rookie Dreaming, Irene, Put the Fire Out, 15 Highway Lines, Table for One, Not the End and Let the Good One Go. 

With this gig being sold out several weeks beforehand, next time she visits she will surely be in a larger venue. This is country music, but not as we knew it.

Chaz Brooks

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