Joshua Hedley: Sage Gateshead – live review

Joshua HedleyJoshua Hedley

Sage Gateshead

7th September 2018

The brilliant Joshua Hedley truly lives up to his name as Mr Jukebox dazzles an enthralled crowd in Gateshead!

Tonight is the penultimate night of Joshua Hedley’s UK and EU tour, having produced one of the finest Country records of the year this is bound to be a real treat. However, tonight begins with an unexpected and equally very welcome last minute special guest in the form of Erin Rae, one of Nashville’s brightest stars, she provides an equally dazzling set this evening.

The softly spoken singer-songwriter has a plethora of songs packed with passion and heartfelt sentiments, whilst the majority of them are dour and tackle tough subject matter. There is something truly exciting and endearing about Erin Rae, you cannot help but be captivated by her beautiful tracks. This is a real treat and something to savour, there is no doubt that Erin Rae is soon to be a star.

The same plaudits can also be applied to Mr Hedley who is quick to follow Erin Rae’s excellent set with a wonderful set of his own. The majority of Hedley’s initial set is taken from his excellent debut album Mr Jukebox, from the delicacy of I Never Shed (A Tear) to the upbeat Weird Thought Thinker. Hedley has every facet of Country music covered, befitting the name Mr Jukebox.

Similar to Erin Rae before him many of these tracks aren’t the happiest, but Hedley conveys them beautifully. Especially as he welcomes Erin Rae back to the stage to perform the wonderful duet Old Habits, adding to the truly special atmosphere of the evening. Together their voices are out of this world, especially when Country music now is all too often blurred into the boundaries of pop music. These two have a truly authentic quality to their songs as they join the likes of Margo Price, Chris Stapleton and Andrew Combs in keeping traditional country alive.

As Hedley closes out with his wonderful title track Mr Jukebox, he quickly returns to take requests, once again living up to his name as Mr Jukebox. A further five tracks followed by the likes of Merle Haggard, Charlie Pride, Hank Williams and Willy Nelson. Joshua Hedley is a Country music machine, his ability to switch between these artists is incredible and truly finishes off a night which is completely out of this world!

~
Joshua Hedley can be found online here joshuahedley.com. He is also on Facebook and tweets as @JoshuaHedley.

All words by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee at his Louder Than War author’s archive, he also tweets as @Napzap.

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