Country sounds with a core of steel

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Country music singer and writer Angaleena Presley visits The Greystones on Monday – the first of a string of American performers who are heading for the city over the next month.

Presley’s twist on country music has a core of steel, reflected on her debut album, American Middle Class, which touches on everything from the state of the economy to unexpected pregnancies to drug abuse.

 “I have lived every minute on this record,” she says.

“My mama ain’t none too happy about me spreading my business around but I have to do it.

“It’s the experience of my life from birth to now.”

Presley certainly ticks many of the traditional boxes - a coal miner’s daughter, native of Beauty, Kentucky, a one-time single mother and a former cashier at the Wal-Mart supermarket chain before enhancing her music CV by joining the platinum-selling trio, the Pistol Annies.

She adds: “I think a good song is one where people listen to a very personal story and think ‘That’s my story, too’.” 

Also on their way to The Greystones, with their attractive blend of southern rock, are Austin-based four-piece band Uncle Lucius, on January 25.

Then there is singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, who spent ten years with the group Crooked Still, on January 30.

She played Sheffield last April with compatriots Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz, who appear on her new album, titled In The Magic Hour.

Long-established country and bluegrass singer and musician Tim O’Brien is at The Greystones on February 3, while Nashville-based singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters – a regular visitor to Sheffield over the years - comes to the City Hall Ballroom on February 18.

Gretchen will be playing in support of her new two-CD collection, called The Essential Gretchen Peters.