Unless you're a fan of singer-songwriter Frank Turner, you might be surprised by hearing a twangy folk-punk album emerge out of the UK. But the distinctly Americana approach works pretty well on North Country Steed, the full-length from Serious Sam Barrett and James "the Fang" of Pine Hill Haints, released on the West Yorkshire-based YaDig? Records. The album is the result of a Skate Folk tour in the UK, where Pine Hill Haints, Serious Sam and guests cruised around going skateboarding by day and playing acoustic shows at night. Along the way, James and Sam got together to record some tracks.
The result, North Country Steed, is a gentle, somewhat lo-fi affair that sounds straight out of Appalachia. James' familiar plaintive vocals alternate with Serious Sam's, who mostly sings in an American accent, while they fiddle or strum guitar and sing about cowboys and lost love. The album perfectly evokes the atmosphere of sitting around a campfire and passing a bottle of whiskey. Some joys transcend borders.
James the Fang and Serious Sam Barrett play the VFW Sat., March 28, along with Joey Running Crane and the Dirty Birds, Uplanders and Whiskey Hooves. 8 PM. $3/$5 for ages 18-plus.