Native Harrow close in on Fulford Arms concert with new single Do It Again out now

Native Harrow’s Stephen Harms and Devin Tuel

PENNSYLVANIAN folk/rock duo Native Harrow are on the final leg of their tour travels showcasing their beautiful fourth album, Closeness. Close at hand is their York gig, booked for the Fulford Arms on December 7.

Now re-located to Brighton, guitarist-singer Devin Tuel and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Harms have just completed a string of European dates supporting American country singer Courtney Marie Andrews.

Native Harrow’s autumn concerts are accompanied by a new single, Do It Again, a song conceived during the sessions for Closeness, the album they released in September 2020 on Loose Music

Without the possibility of touring to support their most expansive record to date, Tuel and Harms elected to return to the studio where they had made Closeness to continue living in that world, if only for a few more days.

They recorded six new songs, again in tandem with drummer/engineer Alex Hall, and Do It Again emerges as the second and final single to be issued from the sessions. Tuel and Harms next will turn their focus towards a new sound, a new direction and the next era of Native Harrow.

Native Harrow’s artwork for September 2020’s album, Closeness, on the Loose label

“As much as someone could say this one speaks for itself, I don’t think it’s that simple,” says Tuel. “Yes, it could be only about the pandemic, but quite honestly this is how I felt before all of this unfolded.

“I am typically drawn to hiding away and being lost in my own dreamland; living for moments with nature and quiet. I read the news and see the lack of understanding going around, which has been accelerated by the utter state of chaos wreaking havoc on the world.

“The brains turn off and we seem to just putter along, ‘en routine’. We tell the same stories, each time embellishing upon them a little more. You still love the storyteller, but we have to have a sense of reality.”

Doors open at 7.30pm for Native Harrow’s 8pm gig (originally booked for March 1 until Lockdown 3 intervened). Box office: seetickets.com/event/native-harrow/the-fulford-arms/1471604.

More Things To Do in and around York eventually and deep into lockdown at home now. List No. 26, courtesy of The Press

Worrying times : Story Craft Theatre’s Janet Bruce, left, and Cassie Vallance to present four half-term Crafty Tales sessions built around The Worrysaurus

SNOWHERE to go in freezing-cold Lockdown 3, except for yet another regulation walk and Chai Latte, as the live arts remain in pandemic hibernation, Charles Hutchinson looks online and ahead to bolster his sparse diary.

Online half-term fun, part one: Story Craft Theatre’s Crafty Tales, The Worrysaurus, February 17 to 20, 10am to 11am

YORK children’s theatre company Story Craft Theatre are running four storytelling and craft-making sessions on Rachel Bright’s The Worrysaurus on Zoom over half-term.

Janet Bruce and Cassie Vallance will begin each session for two to seven-year-old children with the Crafty Tales song and a butterfly craft-making session, followed by the interactive story of the little Worrysaurus dealing with butterflies in the tummy. Cue songs, games, dancing and fun galore.

The February 17 session is fully booked; prompt booking is advised for the other three at bookwhen.com/storycrafttheatre.

Wizard and Frog: Magic Carpet Theatre’s Jon Marshall and his amphibian accompanist in The Wizard Of Castle Magic

Online half-term fun, part two: Magic Carpet Theatre, The Wizard Of Castle Magic, streaming from February 18

MAGIC Carpet Theatre and Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) are teaming up for a free online streaming event for the February half-term.

The Hull company’s family show The Wizard Of Castle Magic will be shown on PAC’s  YouTube channel from Thursday, February 18 at 2.30pm, available to view for 14 days until March 4.

Filmed live at PAC behind closed doors by Pocklington production company Digifish last autumn, director Jon Marshall performs an enchanting show based on the traditional Sorcerer’s Apprentice tale for children aged three to 11 and their families with a script packed with comedy, illusion and special theatrical effects. 

Solo show: Harpist Cecile Saout will be playing at Opera North‘s ONe-to-ONe online home performances in Lockdown 3

Opera North goes home: ONe-to-ONe personal live performances on Zoom, February 15 to February 27

OPERA North is launching ONe-to-ONe, a digital initiative to bring live performance into homes across the country during Lockdown 3.

ONe-to-ONe will provide personal online performances delivered by members of the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North, with slots available to book at operanorth.co.uk.

From a cappella arias and folk songs to Bach cello suites and a marimba solo, the recipient will be treated to a free virtual solo at a time of their choice, performed by a professional musician over Zoom.

Something fishy this way comes: Six Sprats, by Giles Ward, from Blue Tree Gallery’s online show, Revive

Online exhibition of the season: Revive, curated by Blue Tree Gallery, Bootham, York, until March 13

BLUE Tree Gallery’s latest online show, Revive, is bringing together paintings by artist-in-residence Giuliana Lazzerini, Steve Tomlinson, James Wheeler and Giles Ward.

Memory and imagination come to interplay in Lazzerini’s landscapes; the sea and the “associated physical and emotional experiences it brings” inform Tomlinson’s work; memory and desire in the light and atmosphere mark out Glaswegian Wheeler’s landscapes; the natural world inspires Giles Ward’s experimental, other-worldly paintings.

Revive can be viewed online at pyramidgallery.com, and artworks are being displayed in the gallery and gallery windows for those passing by.

Courtney Marie Andrews: New date for her Pocklington Arts Centre gig

Rearranged gig: Courtney Marie Andrews, Pocklington Arts Centre, June 17

PHOENIX country singer Courtney Marie Andrews has moved her Pocklington gig from June 17 2020 to exactly one year later, on the back of being newly crowned International Artist of the Year at the 2021 UK Americana Awards.

Courtney, 30, will perform the Grammy-nominated Old Flowers, her break-up album released last July, on her return to Pocklington for the first time since December 2018.

In the quietude of an emptied 2020 diary, she completed her debut poetry collection, Old Monarch, set for publication by Simon & Schuster on May 13.

York River Art Market: Artists and makers sought for summer return

Down by the river: York River Art Market call-out for artists

YORK River Art Market 2021 is issuing a call-out to artists for this summer’s riverside event on Dame Judi Dench Walk, Lendal Bridge, York.

After a barren 2020, the organisers have announced plans to return for markets on June 26; July 3, 24, 25 and 31, and August 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28, when 30-plus artists will be selling original art and hand-crafted goods at each stalls day.

Applications to take part should be emailed to yorkriverart@gmail.com with three quality images of your work; a few sentences about your art; links to your digital platforms, and your preferred choice of dates, listed in the YRAM biography on its Facebook page.

Glenn Tilbrook: The Crescent awaits in March 2022

Making plans for next year: Glenn Tilbrook, The Crescent, York, March 13 2022

SQUEEZE up, make room for Glenn Tilbrook, freshly booked into The Crescent for next March.

One half of the Tilbrook-Difford song-writing partnership known as Deptford’s answer to Lennon and McCartney, singer, songwriter and guitarist Tilbrook, 63, can draw on a catalogue boasting the likes of Take Me I’m Yours; Cool For Cats; Goodbye Girl; Up The Junction; Pulling Mussels; Another Nail In My Heart; Tempted; Labelled With Love and Black Coffee In Bed.

Expect picks from his solo works, The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook, Transatlantic Ping-Pong, Pandemonium Ensues and Happy Ending, too.

Celeste: Number one album

And what about?

DISCOVERING debut albums by rising British stars Celeste (the chart-topping Not Your Muse on Polydor Records) and Arlo Parks (Collapsed In Sunbeams on Transgressive Records). Revelling in the soundtrack while crying your way through Russell T Davies’s five-part mini-series It’s A Sin on Channel 4. Savouring Joe Root’s batting against spin in the return of Test Match Cricket to Channel 4 as England take on India.

Courtney Marie Andrews to release debut poetry collection ahead of Pocklington gig

Courtney Marie Andrews: Double award winner at the 2021 UK Americana Awards

COURTNEY Marie Andrews will play Pocklington Arts Centre on June 17 on the back of being crowned International Artist of the Year at the 2021 UK Americana Awards.

The Phoenix singer-songwriter also saw off competition from American Aquarium, Margo Price and Katie Pruitt to win Best International Album for Old Flowers at the January 28 virtual ceremony presented by Bob Harris, host of The Country Show on BBC Radio 2.

Elvis Costello, Steve Earle and Gillian Welch all performed at the awards, run by the Americana Music Association, to celebrate the very best in country from Britain and internationally. 

This summer, Courtney, 30, will perform the Grammy-nominated Old Flowers, her break-up album released last July on Loose/Fat Possum Records, on her return to Pocklington.

She last played a sold-out PAC in December 2018, at the end of a week when she was felled by a viral infection the morning after her London gig and had to call off her Birmingham, Bristol and Oxford gigs.

Rested and recuperated, she was still nursing a cough, but found the energy for a solo set of songs and stories, introducing Ships In The Night and It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault, two new compositions that would end up on Old Flowers.

Courtney had been booked to play PAC on June 17 last year, but Covid restrictions forced the postponement of her six-date tour. In the quietude of an emptied diary, she completed her debut poetry collection, Old Monarch, set for release in the UK on May 13 (preceded by April 6 in the United States) through Simon & Schuster.

The book cover for Courtney Marie Andrews’ first poetry collection, Old Monarch

“It’s been hard to contain my excitement about this news…my first poetry collection,” Courtney said on Instagram, introducing a book that “reads like a transformation, me, the narrator, being the figurative Old Monarch”.

“Some people are like monarch butterflies – solitary by nature, on a passionate search for somewhere,” the publicity explains for a collection divided into three sections, Sonoran Milkweed, Longing In Flight and Eucalyptus Tree (My Arrival to Rest).

Centred on themes of longing and a desire to belong, while excavating scenes from her childhood in the American Southwest, the poems address Courtney’s childhood in Arizona, family and the naive assumptions of youth; leaving home; falling in love for the first time and becoming an adult as the Old Monarch butterfly arrives in a figurative garden.

“Last summer, while on an island out at sea, I decided to finish some poems I started years ago. Pondering metaphysical transformation, I collected these questions and instilled them onto these pages,” Courtney’s Instagram post  said.

“From my childhood in Arizona to allegorical gardens of rest, you can follow my journey as an Old Monarch. Between its pages, I hope you find patterns of your own path reflected.”

Summing up the third section in the book’s press release, Courtney concludes: “There are a lot of metaphysical and philosophical poems in this section. I arrive at the figurative garden, and I finally understand the journey at the edge of my life.

“There are a lot of poems in the context of a garden here, accepting mortality and the ever-changing world. These are meant to be wise old woman poems.”

“Between its pages, I hope you find patterns of your own path reflected,” says Courtney Marie Andrews of her Old Monarch poetry collection

You will have to wait until June 17 to discover if Courtney will include any of Old Monarch’s poems in her Pocklington set, when she will be accompanied by a full band.

Looking forward to Courtney’s return, PAC director Janet Farmer says: “We would like to congratulate Courtney on her impressive, but not surprising, UK Americana Awards wins, as well as the publication of her debut collection of poetry. 

“We can’t wait to welcome Courtney back to Pocklington this June when we’ll get the chance to hear her perform her stunning album Old Flowers live.

“If you don’t want to miss this incredible opportunity, I would urge you to buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment.”

Old Flowers was created in the aftermath of a long-term relationship ending, leading to her most vulnerable writing on ten songs that chronicle her journey through heartbreak, loneliness and finding herself again.

“There are a million records and songs about heartbreak, but I did not lie when writing these songs,” Courtney says. “This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with.

“It’s about being afraid to be vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. It’s about a woman who is alone, but OK with that, if it means truth. This was my truth: my nine-year relationship ended and I’m a woman alone in the world, but happy to know herself.”

The cover artwork for Courtney Marie Andrews’ break-up album, Old Flowers

Truth hurts, love hurts, but Courtney found writing Old Flowers “a safe place, a place of comfort”. “I didn’t lie in what I wrote because it was a very cathartic process,” she says.

“It was the only way I could channel what I was going through but I think sometimes people do lie in these situations because vulnerability is scary – and when you’re vulnerable you show your weakest emotions, and people are uncomfortable with that.”

By way of contrast, Courtney benefited from the confessional self-analysis. “Songs can predict your future or look back at what’s happened, and I didn’t realise that I felt the way I did until I started writing them,” she says.

“I definitely learned a lot about vulnerability: not hiding behind a character I learned so much about my relationship and goodbyes. Everything has a reason and we’re always searching for ourselves and for joy in our lives. This record is no different: when you reach the end of the tunnel, you reach the light and life goes on.”

Produced by Bon Iver and Big Thief producer Andrew Sarlo, Old Flowers was recorded at Sound Space Studio, a private studio in Los Angeles, with only three musicians: Andrews on vocals, acoustic guitar and piano, Twain’s Matthew Davidson, on bass, celeste, mellotron, pedal steel, piano, pump organ, Wurlitzer and background vocals, and Big Thief’s James Krivcheniaon drums and percussion.

“I think it may be only the third or fourth album to have been made there. Andrew had made a connection with the owner, and it’s just an amazing downtown space in the arts district of LA with giant windows and so many cool instruments in there,” says Courtney.

“Andrew and I had both decided the album needed to be made in a very intimate space with the fewer cooks in the kitchen, the better, and this place was perfect.

“A friend of mine once said to me that flowers are timeless, and I can agree with that sentiment,” says Courtney, reflecting on her album title

“A lot of the record was just Matt and me and I guess it was like a musical dance of communication between the two of us, and then James added those small moments of magic between our ‘dancing’.”

Old Flowers is Courtney’s seventh album, following on from 2018’s May Your Kindness Remain; 2016’s Honest Life; 2013’s On My Page; 2010’s No One’s Slate Is Clean; 2009’s Painters Hands And A Seventh Son and 2008’s Urban Myths.

“I definitely look at albums in their own right. I’m with Neil Young on that,” says Courtney. “Every album has its own journey. It would be a disservice and an injustice if I were to try to make the same record over and over again. The best artists are constantly re-born with each album.”

Old Flowers finds Courtney in full bloom. “The title means lots of things to me, one of them being that you can’t revive old flowers, but they remain beautiful even when they’ve died and they’re preserved.

“A friend of mine once said to me that flowers are timeless, and I can agree with that sentiment.”

Tickets for Courtney Marie Andrews’ 8pm concert at Pocklington Arts Centre on June 17 cost £20 at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Did you know?

Courtney Marie Andrews recorded a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s America with Liz Cooper and Molly Sarlé in 2020.

Old Flowers will be older but Courtney will be in full bloom in Pock a year from now

Courtney Marie Andrews: June 17 2021, not June 17 2020, for a night out in Pocklington

AMERICAN country singer Courtney Marie Andrews should have been playing Pocklington Arts Centre tonight. Instead she will do so on…June 17 2021.

Courtney’s postponed date with a full band was to have been a showcase for her new break-up album, Old Flowers, originally set for release on June 5 on Loose/Fat Possum Records.

Phoenix-born Courtney, 29, is now rescheduling the album launch too, again in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Hello dear ones,” she says on the Loose website. “Unfortunately, I must push back the release to July 24th. In order to protect the safety of its workers, the vinyl manufacturing plant producing my record is temporarily closed for the time being, meaning it won’t be possible to meet the original release date.

“During these strange times, I think it’s important we work together, rather than trudge ahead alone and abandon those who have helped artists along the way. I can’t explain to you how much this record means to me personally, and I am so incredibly excited for it to reach your ears soon. It’s just showing up fashionably late, 2020 style.”

In the meantime, Courtney has released another taster from Old Flowers: the late-May single It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault, accompanied by a video directed by V Haddad and choreographed by Marlee Cook-Parrot, alias Marlee Grace, a writer and dancer who focuses on improvisation and self-expression.

Haddad reflects: “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault inspired us to create a video exploring being and becoming a woman and the world that surrounds her in this journey. Through dream-logic, we set out to interweave our characters through choreographed echoes and mirror moments of dance to draw out an ode to matriarchy, empathy, and sisterhood.”

This chimes with the overall theme of an album created in the aftermath of a long-term relationship ending, leading to Courtney’s most vulnerable writing on ten new songs that chronicle her journey through heartbreak, loneliness and finding herself again.

“I didn’t lie in what I wrote because it was a very cathartic process,” says Courtney Marie Andrews of her break-up album

“There are a million records and songs about heartbreak, but I did not lie when writing these songs,” Courtney says. “This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with.

“It’s about being afraid to be vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. It’s about a woman who is alone, but OK with that, if it means truth. This was my truth this year: my nine-year relationship ended and I’m a woman alone in the world, but happy to know herself.”

Truth hurts, love hurts, but Courtney found writing Old Flowers “a safe place, a place of comfort”. “I didn’t lie in what I wrote because it was a very cathartic process,” she says. ”It was the only way I could channel what I was going through but I think sometimes people do lie in these situations because vulnerability is scary – and when you’re vulnerable you show your weakest emotions, and people are uncomfortable with that.”

By way of contrast, Courtney benefited from the confessional self-analysis. “Songs can predict your future or look back at what’s happened, and I didn’t realise that I felt the way I did until I started writing them,” she says.

“I definitely learned a lot about vulnerability: not hiding behind a character I learned so much about my relationship and goodbyes. Everything has a reason and we’re always searching for ourselves and for joy in our lives.This record is no different: when you reach the end of the tunnel, you reach the light and life goes on.”

Produced by Bon Iver and Big Thief producer Andrew Sarlo, Old Flowers was recorded at Sound Space Studio, a private studio in Los Angeles, with only three musicians: Andrews on vocals, acoustic guitar and piano, Twain’s Matthew Davidson, on bass, celeste, mellotron, pedal steel, piano, pump organ, Wurlitzer and background vocals, and Big Thief’s James Krivcheniaon drums and percussion.

“You can’t revive old flowers, but they remain beautiful even when they’ve died and they’re preserved,” says Courtney, drawing parallels with the end of her long-term relationship.

“I think it may be only the third or fourth album to have been made there. Andrew had made a connection with the owner, and it’s just an amazing downtown space in the arts district of LA with giant windows and so many cool instruments in there,” says Courtney.

“Andrew and I had both decided the album needed to be made in a very intimate space with the fewer cooks in the kitchen, the better, and this place was perfect.

“A lot of the record was just Matt and me and I guess it was like a musical dance of communication between the two of us, and then James added those small moments of magic between our ‘dancing’.”

Old Flowers is Courtney’s seventh album, following on from 2018’s May Your Kindness Remain; 2016’s Honest Life; 2013’s On My Page; 2010’s No One’s Slate Is Clean; 2009’s Painters Hands And A Seventh Son and 2008’s Urban Myths.

“I definitely look at albums in their own right. I’m with Neil Young on that,” says Courtney. “Every album has its own journey. It would be a disservice and an injustice if I were to try to make the same record over and over again. The best artists are constantly re-born with each album.”

Old Flowers finds Courtney in full bloom. “The title means lots of things to me, one of them being that you can’t revive old flowers, but they remain beautiful even when they’ve died and they’re preserved.

“A friend of mine once said to me that flowers are timeless, and I can agree with that sentiment.”

Courtney Marie Andrews plays Pocklington Arts Centre on June 17 2021. For tickets, go to pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Courtney Marie adds to Pocklington Arts Centre’s raft of rearranged shows

Courtney Marie Andrews: June date at Pocklington Arts Centre put back by a year

AMERICAN country singer Courtney Marie Andrews is moving her June 17 2020 concert at Pocklington Arts Centre to…June 17 2021.

“All customers are being contacted this week to offer them a transfer or refund,” says venue manager James Duffy, whose 30th birthday falls today, by the way.

Courtney’s now postponed date next month with a full band was to have been a showcase for her new album, Old Flowers, originally set for release on June 5 on Loose/Fat Possum Records.

Phoenix-born Courtney, 29, is now rescheduling the album launch too, again in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Hello dear ones,” she says on the Loose website. “Unfortunately, I must push back the release to July 24th. In order to protect the safety of its workers, the vinyl manufacturing plant producing my record is temporarily closed for the time being, meaning it won’t be possible to meet the original release date.

“During these strange times, I think it’s important we work together, rather than trudge ahead alone and abandon those who have helped artists along the way. I can’t explain to you how much this record means to me personally, and I am so incredibly excited for it to reach your ears soon. It’s just showing up fashionably late, 2020 style.”

John Smith: November 3 date at Pocklington Arts Centre

Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) continues to update its list of rescheduled shows for 2020/21, with the prospect of more being added in the coming weeks and months.

Inquisitive folk truth seeker John Smith has switched from May 21 to November 3; American singer-songwriter Jesse Malin, from June 27 to February 2 2021; retro country soul band The Delines, from July 28 to February 23 2021, and BBC Radio 2 and Channel 5 presenter Jeremy Vine will now ask “What the hell is going on?” on February 26 2021, rather than May 1 2020.

Billy Bremner & Me, comedian Phil Differ’s comedy-drama recounting his dream of eclipsing the fiery Leeds United and Scotland captain’s footballing deeds, has moved from June 5 to March 11 2021; Herman’s Hermits will re-emerge on April 22 next spring, and Mock The Week comedian Andy Parsons’ sold-out April 28 gig is re-booked for April 24 2021.

Led as ever by vocalist Maddy Prior, folk favourites Steeleye Span’s 50th anniversary celebrations of debut album Hark The Village Wait will have to wait until its 51st anniversary, their show now moved from May 3 2020 to May 7 2021.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Catrin Finch, from Wales, and Seckou Keita, from Senegal, will be joined by Canadian multi-instrumental trio Vishten on June 10 next summer, rather than June 13 2020 as first planned.

The Felice Brothers, from the Catskill Mountains, New York State, will be playing almost a year to the day later than their original booking. Ian and James Felice, joined by drummer Will Lawrence and bass Jesske Hume, are in the PAC diary for June 22 2021, replacing June 23 this summer.

Pocklington Arts Centre director Janet Farmer

The spotlight would have been on their 2019 album Undress, as well as their back catalogue from 2006 onwards, but now there should be new material too. .

All existing tickets holders for the rescheduled shows are being contacted by the PAC box office for ticket transfers or refunds.

PAC director Janet Farmer says the public response to the East Yorkshire venue’s prolonged closure, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been “wonderful both in terms of financial support and well wishing”.

“To date, we have raised £8,660 from crowdfunding and customer ticket refund donations, a total well beyond our original target,” she reveals.

“We have been working with artists and agents to reschedule the whole of the venue’s spring and summer 20th anniversary season and most, if not all, shows are being transferred to late 2020 and into 2021.”

Shed Seven guitarist Paul Banks and singer Rick Witter: Acoustic headline set at Platform Festival 2020 at The Old Station cancelled. Hopefully they will be Chasing Rainbows next summer instead

July’s Platform Festival, organised by Pocklington Arts Centre, with a line-up including Robert Plant’s Saving Grace, Shed Seven’s Rick Witter & Paul Banks, Richard Thompson and Omid Djalili at The Old Station, has been called off too, Again negotiations are on-going to feature as many of the 2020 artists as possible in the 2021 festival’s run from July 21 to 27. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

“It was heart-breaking to have to postpone the majority of the venue’s 20th anniversary celebrations but the safety of our audience members, performers, staff, volunteers and wider community has to come first. We intend to turn these events into 21st anniversary celebrations next year,” says Janet.

“During this period, we believe it is critically important that PAC continues to support its staff, artists and creative partners. We are working closely with our peers, across the region and indeed the country, on collaborative projects during the closure and we hope to announce a series of online events very soon.

“While we will be increasing the venue’s online artistic output, we are very aware there is no substitute to watching a live performance and sharing this experience with fellow audience members. We, like all of our customers, look forward to the time when this can resume.”

Pocklington Arts Centre remains in regular contact with Arts Council England, the Music Venues Trust and the Cinema Exhibitors Association. “All have been very supportive with advice and support,” says Janet. “PAC is determined to weather this storm and emerge from this challenge stronger and more vibrant than ever.”

“We are all braving this crazy storm, in different ships, but together,” says Courtney Marie Andrews

The last word, for now, goes to Courtney Marie Andrews: “We are all braving this crazy storm, in different ships, but together,” she says. “I am continuously inspired by everyone coming together, in so many ways, during this unprecedented time.”

Courtney Marie Andrews to showcase Old Flowers break-up album at Pocklington

Courtney Marie Andrews: Pocklington return in the summer. Picture: Sam Stenson

PHOENIX singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews will showcase her new album at Pocklington Arts Centre on June 17 on her six-date tour.

Old Flowers will be released on June 5 on Loose/Fat Possum Records as her follow-up to 2018’s May Your Kindness Remain.

Created in the ashes of a long-term relationship, Andrews’ ten new songs amount to her most vulnerable writing to date as she chronicles her journey through heartbreak, loneliness and finding herself again.

“Old Flowers is about heartbreak,” says Courtney Marie, 29. “There are a million records and songs about that, but I did not lie when writing these songs. This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with.

“It’s about being afraid to be vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. It’s about a woman who is alone, but OK with that, if it means truth. This was my truth this year: my nine-year relationship ended and I’m a woman alone in the world, but happy to know herself.” 

Produced by Andrew Sarlo, who has worked with Bon Iver and Big Thief, Old Flowers was recorded at Sound Space Studio and features only three musicians: Andrews, on vocals, acoustic guitar and piano; Twain’s Matthew Davidson, on bass, celeste, mellotron, pedal steel, piano, pump organ, Wurlitzer and background vocals, and Big Thief’s James Krivchenia on drums and percussion.

“This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with,” says Courtney Marie Andrews

Defining their intentions, Sarlo says: “Before we got to the studio, we agreed to prioritise making this record as cathartic and minimal as possible, focusing on Courtney’s voice and her intention behind the songs.

“Because of this, the record is all about performance. I believe a great recording is the chemistry between everything during basics and the ability to feel something happening, instead of obsessing over the perfect take. Courtney embraced this approach and we ended up with a raw, natural and human record.”

The resulting track listing comprises Burlap String; Guilty; If I Told; Together Or Alone; Carnival Dream; Old Flowers; Break The Spell; It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault; How You Get Hurt and Ships In The Night.

Courtney Marie last played Pocklington in December 2018, at the end of a week when she was felled by a viral infection the morning after her London gig and had to call off her Birmingham, Bristol and Oxford gigs.

Rested and recuperated, she was still nursing a cough, but found the energy for a solo set of songs and stories, introducing Ships In The Night and It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault, two new compositions that would end up on Old Flowers.

This time Courtney Marie will play with a full band in the lead-up to her series of summer festival engagements. Tickets for June 17’s 8pm gig cost £20 on 01759 301547 or at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.