Glasgow seems to have come up trumps with Rianne Downey, a new acoustic-country queen, who has teamed up with James Skelly from The Coral and now will almost certainly continue to win hearts wherever she plays. If that is, Covid-19 doesn’t screw live music forever.
Let’s not be negative about things though. After all how can you be down once you’ve listened to Rianne’s debut Fuel To The Flame, released this February? It’s a gorgeous cinematic song that Quentin Tarantino, if he was in need of a new track for a cowboy film, could do with signing up. A ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ tune of sorts, but not that Tony Blair endorsing D:Ream one or even the one by 80’s synth popster Howard Jones. This instead is a guitar picking slow burner with a haunting nostalgic quality to it. Rianne has named Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton as influences, but if you want something a bit more modern her vocal has a passing resemblance to that of Katy J Pearson but with a greater degree of purity.
Her second release has a title that sounds instantly like a classic country song: Stand My Ground. It’s a quickstepping, animated skip of a tune that suits Skelly’s production skills perfectly. It doesn’t quite make me want to pull my fringed boots and denim jacket on and run down to the Grand Ole Opry, but it’s a strum-bop nonetheless.
The back story with Rianne is a journey from busking on Buchannan Street in Glasgow through to supporting Gerry Cinnamon to posting You Tube covers in lockdown (and finding the old school indie crowd fawning over her covers of note perfect versions of songs from the likes of The Stones Roses and Arctic Monkeys) through to these two debut songs. Very recently she’s been seen on the internet singing with Alex Moore of The Lathums, another band who have been produced by James Skelly. All of this has led to the 500 copies of her yet to be released debut EP selling out. It wouldn’t surprise me if her shows booked in Manchester and Glasgow this September follow suit very soon.
Rianne Downey - Stand My Ground