Texan Jarrod Dickenson loves playing in the UK. It seems we are so much more receptive.
“I am a regular over here, and it is good to be back,” says Jarrod who plays Brighton’s Latest Music Bar on Tuesday, October 17, on the back of the release of his new album Ready The Horses.
“The crowds want to hear my songs here. It seems like audiences are more open to different types of music and find artists that are not necessarily top 40 or being shoved down their throats. I think it is more open here than in the States.
“I don’t know why exactly, but maybe part of the reason is that over here, I am a bit different, a Texan with a funny hat and a funny accent! Back in the States, I am just another guy with a guitar.”
Jarrod is originally from Waco – a place still synonymous with the Waco massacre back in 1993.
“It actually happened about 20-30 miles outside Waco, but we were the closest city and got all the press.”
Last week’s appalling shooting in Las Vegas inevitably brings back memories.
“Yes, I would say America needs healing, as does most of the world at this point. I also think we need clear-headed thinking. I think music is always important at any time when people are hurt or suffering. I think music comes to the forefront at such times. It is tough times now to be alive, but it is a great time to be an artist.”
As for the music, Jarrod would count it as belonging under the umbrella label of Americana.
“That just means that you can play folk and blues and country and rock ‘n’ roll and soul, all jumbled together. Americana is just a label that gives you licence to do whatever you want to do.”
The new album has just been released.
“And it is great to get it out at last. We recorded it in December 2015 in Eastbourne after a month of touring the UK.
“We have been itching to get it out, and it is amazing to be able to share it now. We pitched it to a few labels after it was finished, and then we decided to go down the self-releasing route and were going to bring it out in March.
“But then in January we were playing a show in London, and folks from Decca came to the gig and set everything in motion to do it through them.
“We were happy enough to postpone it for that reason. It has been a nice change. The biggest change is that we have got a whole lot of people that are excited by our record.
“ We had been speaking to Decca for a few months, so it was not just a cold call, but it has worked out well.”
The new album was put together on the Sussex coast in precisely the way Jarrod likes to work –a great coming-together of like-minded musicians enjoying a degree of spontaneity together in the recording studio.
Jarrod is delighted with the results of their collaboration.
“The album was recorded live in a studio in Eastbourne,” as Jarrod explains.
“ A friend of a friend owned the studio and he had just got this great old tape machine and gave us a bit of a mates’ rate to come and do the session. We had just been on the road for a month playing most of the songs live. We just came in and played them live as we had been doing. We got them on tape with just a few additions. It really worked. There is something about getting a bunch of guys together in a room and feeding off each other and capturing that momentum and energy that were in the room.”
Jarrod’s critically-acclaimed album The Lonesome Traveler and his subsequent EP Songs From Willow St paved the way for him to tour the UK, Ireland and Europe extensively over the past few years which have included break-out performances at Glastonbury and Larmer Tree Festival, along with recent tours supporting artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Don McLean and The Waterboys.