Norfolk country band Sam Coe & The Long Shadows to release debut album
- Credit: Denver Smith
They have their roots in Norfolk but country band Sam Coe & The Long Shadows are now looking to gallop to national success with launch of their debut album Full Moon.
Norfolk-based country band Sam Coe & The Long Shadows are set to release their highly anticipated debut album the latest step in their rise to the forefront of the UK country/Americana scene.
Tipped to be a breakthrough for the band, Full Moon, which is being released on March 16, and which will be launched with a special gig at Norwich's Open venue, comes after previous success that has seen the five-piece undertake their first UK tour, support The Shires at Taverham Hall, and play the prestigious C2C: Country 2 Country Festival at London's O2 Arena.
Full Moon is the first release since the debut EP Santa Fe, which achieved critical acclaim in 2017. Produced by Kevin Duncan at Gingerdog Studios in Suffolk, the album is a vibrant collection of honest, gutsy and heart wrenching songs ride on a wave of 1970s retro country-pop.
However singer Sam Coe is keen to point out the music has more to it than hummable tunes. 'It's important to me that although the music is able to be played on the radio, it's got to keep some substance,' she said. 'There are so many UK country acts at the moment with fake accents and clichés, it's a real shame people forget to include the truth in the music they're making.'
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Sam knows what she is talking about. Though she has been writing country music for many years, she had a brief stint in pop, unashamedly part of a manufactured girl band Wildflowers that supported Take That on their reunion tour.
'Pop music doesn't have to be bland, but unfortunately some of it is,' she added. 'We definitely cross over into the realms of pop music on this record, but it's far from bland.'
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The band was formed in 2015, when wanting to returns to her country roots Sam placed an advert for local musicians interested in joining a modern country band. The first response came from childhood friend and drummer Wayne Moore, 'which was a really bizarre coincidence' explains Sam, as they hadn't been in contact since they were teenagers.
With the addition of Steve Clark (dobro and lap steel guitar), Mark Howes (lead guitar) and later on Giff Mulley (bass) it became apparent that The Long Shadows created a sound that blends modern country with just the right amount of pop.
After the success of their Santa Fe EP the band have been recording their forthcoming debut whilst continuing the play live opening for Jarrod Dickenson in Norwich and playing C2C, the UK's largest annual country music festival and where every budding country artist and performer wants to play.
'C2C was amazing,' recalls Sam. 'We have played for the last two years, appearing this year on both days of the festival. Playing on the same bill as lots of American and UK artists was fantastic and really helped to raise our profile.'
The band will be supporting Jess and The Bandits at the Waterfront in Norwich next month but Full Moon will be launched with the gig at Open on March 16.
Songs such as Whiskey Dreaming and 'End In Tears dig deeper into Sam's song-writing ability, drawing on a failed relationship and subsequent heartache, a perfect recipe to write a country music album around.
Motel Cherokee leans towards traditional country music, a story of a road trip overnight stay that shouldn't have been so good, and the title track Full Moon is a 70s dream, a chaotic three minutes of catchy hooks and Hammond organ.
Tennessee Blue, written alongside co-writer Amanda Moore is a stand out country love song, which the band decided just had to make the album.
'Taking it right back to what I know, simple and honest lyrics that I can truthfully pour my heart into,' says Sam about what we can expect from the album. 'It is a story of the before, during and after of a certain chapter in my life…it's been therapeutic to finally bring it together.'
• Sam Coe & The Long Shadows will be supporting Jess and The Bandits at the Waterfront, Norwich, on February 7. They will also be performing a special album launch gig at Open, Norwich, on March 16, £9 (including booking fee) from opennorwich.org.uk• Full Moon will be released on March 16. More details at samcoeandthelongshadows.com