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Applewood Road @ O2 Academy Liverpool (16/11/16)

It was not long ago that solo singers Amy Speace, Amber Rubarth and Emily Barker first met up in a ‘hipster’ coffee shop in Nashville and realised that they had an instant connection. The three of them bonded over life, family, relationships and music, and in fact they got on so well that they decided to write a song together. That night, in Amy’s living room, along with her dog Flo, they had written their first track together, Applewood Road.

Within a few months they had written, rehearsed and recorded their debut album, which came out in February of this year. All of their vocals were recorded with a single microphone and a two-track tape, creating a stark, vintage sound, showcasing their exquisite country tones. The album is a testament to their song-writing talent and each song is beautiful and memorable in its own way, each with a different story to tell.

The gig took place on the smaller stage of Liverpool’s O2 Academy. The dark, intimate room created the perfect setting for the bands simple and soothing sounds. Before forming the band, the girls all had their own solo careers. Therefore, they decided to ‘open for themselves’, each taking to the stage and performing their own solo material; Amber opened the set, followed by Amy and Emily.  This gave us a chance to hear their own individual sounds and style before coming together to perform their material as a trio.

They opened with their title track Applewood Road, followed by To The Stars and Old Country Song, all of which echo the sounds of old-time country singers such as Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. After this they sang Give Me Love and Amy spoke of her recent marriage to her husband, she described this song as the only love song she ever wrote; he proposed to her after hearing it. They followed this with Lovin’ Eyes, a song that Amber described as ‘one of many’ love songs she has written.

Throughout the set they continued to play songs from their self-titled album including Bring The Car Around, a touching track on Emily’s experience of wild fires growing up in Australia, and Josephine, a beautiful song written by Amy dedicated to her niece. The band also performed a stunning version of Losing My Religion, their striking harmonies and country tone combined to create a brand new take on the classic R.E.M. track. They finished off the set with a faultless acoustic cover of Jean Ritchie’s Have You Seen My Dear Companion.

The gig was incredibly intimate and personal and the band gave us an insight into their lives and everything that has inspired them to write. The three incredibly talented musicians showcased their incredible gift for song writing as well as their ability to draw from musicians of the past, holding the audience to attention and stunning them with their smooth, intricate folk melodies.


Photo Credit: Applewood Road Facebook Page

Roma Brown


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