Album Review: Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane – Grit

According to their profile on the Greywoods Record website Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane have played 548 concerts in 11 countries since they first came together in 2014 (not that anyone is counting). With such an intense stint on the road under their belts it is easy enough to understand how their music reaches greater and greater heights. This year saw the duo release their latest album Grit.

Grit is a peculiar album simply because at times it seems as though it is grit by name and grit by nature. Harsh, quickfire songs like No Integrity Man and I Don’t Have a Gun seem to be heavy, gritty country tunes that burn through to strings of their slide guitar while a harmonica hurricane blows above. But then in equal measure there are soft, almost tender songs like Willie’s Diamond Joe and Lost which unveil a softer, almost sombre side to the duo. It’s a refreshing juxtaposition to the rest of their album and shows their versatility perfectly. No matter you feel about country, Grit is a classic and playful album that combines country and blues with their own unique and sardonic brand of humour. With songs like Craft Beer & Man Buns the pair reveal their own sarcastic warning to the youth of today about how they might feel looking back at themselves in the years to come. Citing their own opinions of the mullet and likening the effect of craft beer and man buns to the site of a tattoo on a roll of fat they pair express their opinions in a comedic way that is sure to leave you chuckling.

The music that the duo surround themselves is rich, vibrant and strikingly dextrous. The rapid-fire finger plucking in No Integrity Man goes by so fast that your mind splits in two trying to keep up with the tune coming from each instrument. Their instruments in themselves are reason enough to listen to this album as Tentrees and Haldane combine a wealthy combination of banjo, mandolin cigar box guitars, dobro and even musical saws. This heady combination is driven by just two astoundingly talented people which is a constant surprise as they produce this beautiful and stripped back country styling and combine it with their masterful art of storytelling. The result is an album rife with songs that will leave your feet stomping but also your mind running away with you.

Tentrees and Haldane mix their lightning snap instrumental skills with a dose of comedy that makes their words stick in your mind. Grit is an album that can make you think as well as dance and laugh, it seems to have a life of its own and as the pair bring their stories to life you start to see things in another light.

Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane · January-February 2019 UK Tour


Wed 30      London                                                   What’s Cookin’@ Leytonstone Ex-Servicemens Club

Thu 31       South Moltonnr. Barnstaple          The Plough Hotel


Fri 1          Wellingtonnr. Taunton                     The Beambridge Inn

Sat 2         Worth Matraversnr. Swanage      The Square & Compass

Sun 3        Worth Matraversnr. Swanage      The Square & Compass    NB. Matinee Show

Mon 4        Brighton                                                The Greys

Tue 5        BangorNorth Wales                           Blue Sky Café

Wed 6       Southport                                              Grateful Fred’s at The Atkinson

Thu 7        Stroud                                                     The Subscription Rooms

Fri 8          East BarshamNorfolk                     The Moonshine Club, East Barsham Village Hall

Sat 9         York                                                         House Concerts York

Sun 10      ColdinghamScottish Borders        Coldingham Village Hall

Mon 11      Glasgow                                                The Doublet

Tue 12       Dundee                                                 Gardyne Theatre

Wed 13      KelsoScottish Borders                    The Tipsy Ghillie

Thu 14       Edinburgh                                          The Bluebird Cafe

Fri 15        AlfordAberdeenshire                       Piggery-Smokery

Sat 16       Aberdeen                                             The Blue Lamp

Sun 17      BiggarSouth Lanarkshire               The Wee Gig, Arcadia Music Cafe

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Review by Joe Knipe

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