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The Stray Birds
plus The Great Western Tears

Thursday 16th November 2017

The Bullingdon, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE

Doors 7.30 pm
Tickets £15 in advance, £17 on the night
Buy tickets . . .
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Due to sound check restriction the door time indicates the earliest opportunity we can give access to the venue. Live music will start 20-30 minutes after the door open time.
Since they last played for us the Stray Birds continued to build their UK fan base in 2016 with a tour of sold-out shows and ended the year on a high being voted Band of The Year in the annual Readers’ Poll at Americana UK where they also took the Album of The Year award too. They also won the Song Of The Year award at the International Folk Music Awards with ‘Best Medicine’.

All originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, The Stray Birds started as a duo of acoustic buskers in early 2010 when Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven met with their instruments, their voices, and their songs. It didn't take much convincing to get bassist Charlie Muench on board, and with the addition of a third unique and powerful voice, the group began to define its captivating sound. Seven years, three original records, and some six hundred performances later, the band is best known today for its songwriting, its tight and forthcoming vocal harmony blend and its commitment to an impassioned delivery of original material, both on stage and in the studio. They've been seen from LA to London, sung songs from Dallas to Denmark, and played tunes from New York to New Orleans.

Their 2016 Yep Roc Records release ‘Magic Fire’ was produced by Grammy-winner Larry Campbell and earned much praise, including being named by NPR as one of Folk Alley's Top Ten Records of 2016. With time, their sound has evolved to a palate broader than what it first was on the street corners and in the markets, but this much remains true: The Stray Birds is a band of musicians as subtle and nuanced as they are energetic, a band of writers as blatant and bold as they are coy, and perhaps most importantly, a band of people as friendly and compassionate as they are talented. It's safe to imagine that most who hear their music come back for another listen, time and again.

The Great Western Tears are a Country band and acoustic duo hailing from Oxford England who subscribe whole-heartedly to the Ameripolitan ethos of authentic Roots music. The song-writing partnership of Dava Waterhouse and Garry Richardson is the foundation of the band with both having a deep running respect and love for old time Country, Blues, folk and late 60’s West coast, matched to lived-in lyricism and expressive acoustic picking.

The band roam the same musical landscape that Springsteen inhabited during his Nebraska & Tom Joad journeys and are fuelled as much by the ramblings of Kerouac as they are by Neil Young. While their songs owe a debt to the pantheon of American Roots music it is their distinctive Anglo-Antipodean point of view that sets them apart from their contemporaries.

Coming from the same close knit Oxford Americana scene that has seen the likes of Ags Connolly and The August List emerge in recent years The Great Western Tears themselves have been key players in invigorating and promoting that scene, hosting the CountryFolk songwriters circles and more recently the infamous Roots Ramble pub crawl sessions. After a keenly received self-titled Ep in the summer of 2015 the band built up a head of steam on the gig circuit and 2016 has seen them play in exalted company at Country 2 Country festival at London’s 02 Arena and receive airplay for early single Not The Losing Kind on Bob Harris’s Radio 2 show.