Album Review: Amber Cross – Savage on the Downhill

When it comes to good country and Americana music it is less about the style with which the work is produced or the contents of the lyrics, but rather it is about a good understanding of the roots from which they came. The passion with which Amber Cross brings her work to life is a prime example of how country music should be.

Savage on the Downhill is the latest offering from country marvel Cross and it is also one of the most heart-rendingly beautiful albums that she has produced to date. One of the traits that has always been prevalent in Cross’s work is her immutable aptitude to transcend between the subgenres of country. Country music has been around in a variety of guises over the decades and Cross seems to slip effortlessly between them all. She deftly steers her listeners between dancing and jovial melodies that puta spring in your step and the more soft and sombre tunes that reflect the pain and anguish in the world. Her craftsmanship of her songs is absolutely breath-taking as she takes us on a journey as she rows us downstream – with the currents she is navigating you are never truly sure where you are likely to end up next.

Cross has surrounded herself with an interesting collection of music as it errs on the side of being almost soft and subtle compared to the likes of her contemporary country counterparts. Comprising her accompaniment of softly ushered slide guitars, deep and resonant bass lines with subtle drum beats, searing steel guitar and the odd arc of a fiddle medley; there is a whole world hidden within her affair. But even surrounded by these stunning tunes Cross stands as though in the eye of a storm, completely focussing your attention on her. As her sultry American lilt spreads through her songs as soft and golden as honey you find the rest of the world drifting gently out of focus. Her work is commanding and you absorb her every word and yet you can’t help but feel slightly dazed when Savage on the Downhill ends, because you feel as though you have been somewhere else.

Savage on the Downhill is a remarkable album that is jam-packed full of a rich a jubilant set of tunes and a voice that can cut through the heart like a knife goes through butter. With a delicate and yet commanding tone to her work Cross has created a niche album that is worthy of a spot on everyone’s shelf.

Amber Cross · Ireland & UK Tour · April-May 2019

Accompanied by James Moore on guitar & mandolin


Thu 11               MullingarCo. Westmeath               The Stables at Smiddy’s

Fri 12                 ManorhamiltonCo. Leitrim          The Glens Centre

Sat 13               Roscommon                               J.J. Harlows

Sun 14               High Wycombe                          Ramblin’ Roots Revue, Bucks Students’ Union Venue

Mon 15              High Wycombe                           Kingsmead House Concert

Tue 16               London                                      Green Note

Wed 17              Hebden Bridge                          The Trades Club

Thu 18               Birmingham                              Kitchen Garden Café  

Tue 23               Liverpool                                   Grateful Fred’s House Concert

Thu 25               Aberdeen                                  The Blue Lamp

Fri 26                 Edinburgh                                 Sneaky Pete’s

Sun 28               Bristol                                       The Canteen

Tue 30               Newport                                    Le Pub


Thu 2                OttertonDevon                          Otterton Mill 

Review by Joe Knipe


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