The Buckle & Boots Main Stage is starting ever earlier and this year, early arrivals will be treated to Songwriters Round on the Main Stage from 15:30 onwards. Now #TEAMw21 can't claim to have seen any of these performers in the flesh which is one good reason for heading over there early - however let's look at a few more,
Lisa T is someone we've come to via a most circuitous route. At one of last year's Songwriter's Rounds" none other than Gary Quinn laid everybody low with a song called "Want You To Stay", it was a smouldering sensual tune, that was one of the songs of the whole festival. Only a few weeks ago we heard a version of the song by Joe Martin who along with Gary was one of the co writers - the third co writer - Lisa T. That in itself was enough to send us to her current online catalogue which is not huge:
"What Am I Missin?" is a slow brooding verse matched with poppy chorus, that with the backing vocals lifts the song another level.
"The Best Kept Secret" begins as piano ballad, and when joined by the electric guitar becomes almost a power ballad It comes with some full on heartfelt vocals on a song that tries to empower the listener to take a risk
Her other songs "A Year Too Long" and "Babydoll" will probably be served better in the Songwriters Round where they can be stripped back to their bare essentials - losing some of the more annoying aspects of their production.
It's a second time at Buckle & Boots for Chloe Jones and although we picked up her cd on the day we never actually got to see her. That CD "Meet You There" looks like it arrived in 2016 and is clearly someone initially finding their way - 7 years later it still stands up rather well
Skip forward to her 2022 "Sundown" EP and you hear how her sound and voice has developed. The opener "Crocodile" comes with a pedal steel, some fearsome drumming and a voice that is richer and more controlled.
"Giving Up The Ghost" also has a lovely pedal steel running through it, and has an excellent change of pace that sees the backing gradually increase.
There is maybe more of a folky element to Chloe's singing on "New Mexico" and "Big Man Says", though both still sound resolutely country - the latter coming with lovely strings.
Even if you don't make it to the Songwriters Round, #TEAMw21 would highly recommend picking up the "Sundown" EP while the "Meet You There" EP would make a good companion and comparison piece
Katie O'Malley is going to be another unknown quantity - her recorded material is very much fully formed and band orientated - songs like "Hangin 'Round" with it's driving drum beat and guitar would not initially seem to be the thing that songwriters rounds are written for - great as it is. Her most played song "Taste The Dirt" is equally fast paced and rocky.
Katie is blessed with a voice that seems ideally suited for fronting a rock band, so seeing her in a solo round should be as interesting as her choice of material.
Her most recent single "Karma" does suggest a song that maybe could work well in a stripped back version. The buckle & Boots audience is very much a broad church so whether she unveils a new delicate introspective batch of tunes or rocks the roof off - she'll get a warm reception for sure.
The Writers Round with Lisa T, Chloe Jones & Katie O'Malley will be on Friday on The Main Stage at 15:30
Get you tent set up early, grab a beer and head on over!!!!