My Girl The River - Americana roots/folk adventure
Review live show in Edinburgh (supporting Suzanne Vega) - 'Kris Wilkinson is a writer whose work is very much rooted in her Southern roots and her stories and music make her a perfect opening act to Suzanne Vega- particularly as we are exploring in songs on this tour Southern writer Carson McCullers. My Girl The River have their debut album out now “This Ain’t No Fairy Tale”, and this title track about the 10th anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina hitting Louisiana shows what skillful writers and musicians Kris and Joe are. Other songs like “American Bride” the story of a family wedding and a treasured family heirloom wedding dress and “The Last Song” are just great examples of how a well crafted song can pull you into a little picture that its creators are letting you see. Also, Kris is a singer with an impressive vocal range and richness of tone.' - Tom King
Created by Kris Wilkinson Hughes, My Girl The River was born out of a song. 'The Last Song' was the first song written for this americana, alt country, folk and roots project. Kris, hailing from Louisiana (and having lived in Jackson, MS and Nashville, TN) and English bassist Joe Hughes, have created a gorgeous collection of songs. As one fan responded 'it's like a delicately passionate love letter to the American South, soulfully crafted into something really special. Kris has a voice like sugared espresso, low and evocative with a sweet aftertaste and her eloquently confessional lyrics hit you right in the heart.'
Along with some astonishingly gifted musicians (Jonathan Byrd, Will Kimbrough, Nick Pynn, Max Milligan, Kristin Wilkinson, Jacob Chano Lundby, John Garden and Tom Moth) they are very pleased to offer up their debut album 'This Ain't No Fairytale'. Described as 'stunning', it is mainly inspired by Kris' upbringing in the American Deep South, bringing to life anecdotes, half-truths, white lies and fables. Ranging from alt-country and folk to Americana and roots, it ticks every box. It was recorded in the front room of Kris and Joe's house in November 2015 and mixed by John Garden, produced by Kris, mastered by Mick Conley (Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, Marty Stuart), with art direction by James Marsh (Talk Talk).
What people are saying about 'This Ain't No Fairytale' and My Girl The River:
Paste Magazine 8.1 stars ... a lovely mélange of Americana-Roots music
bring to mind works by other fellow alt-country musicians Jason Isbell and Lucinda Williams.
It demonstrates very well the knack that My Girl The River has for exceptional songwriting.
While this record may not be a fairytale, it will become something that is just as celebrated over the years to come.
Amazingly "This ain't no Fairytale" is the debut album by "My Girl The River" - amazing because it is such a rich and confident production. Add to that amazing an astonishment that the core of the tracks were laid down in just two days in a room in the home of Kris Wilkinson Hughes' - the gorgeously toned singer and songwriter of "My Girl The River" - with overdubs added later. This wonderful wistful country-folk is what experienced musicians can achieve when they set their hearts and minds to it - but this would all be for nothing if this was not also such an accomplished set of songs - superbly written observations on place and family, mixed with a keen edge of nostalgic yearning.
‘Where I Belong’, Wilkinson’s smouldering ode to her southern roots and the call they have upon her very much the same feel as ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’.
The album closes with, appropriately, ‘The Last Song’, an exquisite all acoustic number and the first to be written for the album, a hesitantly strummed guitar setting the scene before strings and brushed drums sweep in for a crooningly star-kissed dreamy number about mortality and final farewells, moving on ‘like a string through the sky tied to the tail of a butterfly’. A new beginning to a hopefully happy ever after, may there be many more last songs to come.
My Girl The River brings us richly textured Americana that transports me to a southern front porch on a warm summer evening. Their sound is reminiscent of folk singers like Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, adding splashes of contemporary alt-country singers such as Lucinda Williams.