The Toy Hearts – Whiskey (2012)
This terrific recording is brimming over with gorgeous female vocals and harmonies, exceptional playing and some excellent songs, all on a beautiful country/western swing album from a band that hails from Birmingham, England! They have their own natural style within the country music field that confirms they come to this music courtesy of their own enthusiasm and feel rather than as copyists, with every song that they tackle on the album having an air of believeability. The band is made up of Hannah Johnson on lead vocals and mandolin, her sister Sophie on lead electric and acoustic guitars as well as harmony vocals, with dad Stewart playing steel guitar, pedal steel, banjo and dobro. Don’t run away with the idea that this is just another ‘family band’ novelty album though. All three are extraordinarily gifted musicians with an expertise on everything they choose to play that few can better. On this recording the sound is rounded out by Eamon McLoughlin’s tremendous fiddle playing and harmony vocals, Danny McCormack on piano and Dean Beresford on drums with John Potter on double bass laying a really solid foundation.