PETE McCLELLAND – Carolina Sky (Hobgoblin Records HOBCD1016)

Carolina SkyAlthough a co-founder of Hobgoblin Music and a member of several different folk bands, Pete McClelland has only just released an album in his own right. Inspired by nearly forty years of Stateside road trips soundtracked by country music, McClelland describes Carolina Sky as a “real and imagined journey across the USA”. Indeed, there are more than a few inescapable splashes of Americana throughout the album; from the cover image of the Blue Ridge Mountains (immortalised in the country genre for decades) to the American geography found throughout the songs – especially in key numbers, like the title track, and album opener ‘The Appalachian Way’.

Written in 2015, the song paints a picture of true friendship in the setting of the American South:“We’re driving down from Redway to Ashville, Leave the frozen Mississippi far behind /I’m gonna sit and smoke, have a couple of beers, I hope, And see my buddy Jerry bye and bye

Recorded in Sussex, England and Nashville, Tennessee, the sounds of country music absolutely drench the album and along with the aforementioned opener, there are a few other numbers which also stand out. ‘Walk This Road’ is particularly deserving of a mention, not only for McClelland’s lyrical celebration of his own family, but for the fact that this was the piece which got the ball rolling for McClelland as a songwriter. Perhaps the strongest number is the mandolin-laced ‘Carolina Sky’ and its picturesque lyrical content which makes one yearn to go back to Carolina…even if one has never been to Carolina in the first place. The honky-tonking, bluesy follow up, ‘Marie’ and ‘A Kind of Kindness’ (another one of McClelland’s earliest efforts) are worth a shout too. A new flavour is introduced in the album’s final track, ‘Marion’, through the Cajun accordion of Jason Pegg, and it’s a fitting to end the record; dedicated to McClelland’s wife, Mannie, his travelling companion for the coast to coast journeys which inspired Carolina Sky.

In the album’s notes, McClelland writes “I went to Nashville to see if anyone might cover my songs, never really planned to put this out there myself…” but with so much of the album written about friends, family or McClelland’s love of travelling, it feels only right that we should hear his stories and his songs in his own voice.

Christopher James Sheridan

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the PETE McCLELLAND – Carolina Sky link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

DOWNLOAD – [CD]

Artist’s website: www.petemcclelland.com

Hobgoblin founder Pete McClelland announces debut solo album

Carolina Sky is a collection of Pete McClelland’s original songs and is his first solo release, recorded in Sussex and in Nashville during late 2016. Inspired by becoming a grandfather in 2011 the spark was lit and songs began to flow. Pete has driven, along with his wife Mannie, across North America on many occasions, coast to coast, East to West and North to South. This album is also inspired by those journeys and the places along them. The album features Nashville stalwarts Wayne Killius, drums, Tigar Bell fiddle, Mike Joyce Bass, Grand Ole Opry star Pat Severs on guitars, banjo and dobro, and Sussex players Jason Pegg, accordion and piano, John Rain bass and Pete on guitars, banjo, fiddle and vocals. The album was recorded at Beach Studios is Sussex and the stunning cover artwork is a photo of the Blueridge Mountains seen from the Blueridge Parkway

Weehawken to Redwing via Asheville; New York to San Diego; Montreal to New York via Chicago, Des Moines, Tulsa and Jacksonville; San Francisco to Big Bend; Key West to Vancouver; Pete and Mannie have crossed the North American continent over and over since 1978 and listened to country music most of the way. Pete went to Nashville to see if anyone might cover his songs, never really planned to put this out there himself. But now he has, and we hope you like the album!

Pete McClelland is a member of two folk bands:

The Blackthorn Band – www.blackthornband.org

and ThingumaJig – www.thingumajig.org.

He is also a member of country band Montana Rain – www.montanarain.co.uk.

He performs solo with his Turn Of The Tide sea song project.

R2 Magazine: “Surprisingly, Carolina Sky is Pete’s debut solo album. a gently beguiling collection informed by McClelland’s pastoral tones, eschewing any suggestion of a false accent, and at times bringing to mind Al Stewart. He skilfully combines elements of country, blues, bluegrass and folk with soft-rock favours on the Chris Rea-style ‘War of Love’, and Cajun on ‘Marie’.”

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Pete McClelland – Carolina Sky link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

DOWNLOAD – [CD]

Artist’s website: www.petemcclelland.com

See also: www.hobgoblinmusic.co.uk