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Sounds | Ida Mae, Reaching

Op 7 april 2015 miste ik de opener van Rival Sons in de AB...omdat ik met een buddy nog aan tafel zat en we nagenoten bij een goed glas oude whisky (whiskey). Ik kon me wel een schop onder mijn hol verkopen, want Kill It Kid deed dat blijkbaar verdomme goed. Een vervolg zou er niet meer komen....tot Chris Turpin en Stephanie Jean terugslaan onder de naam Ida Mae! Damn wat klinkt dat (opnieuw) goed.

Hun debuut Chasing Lights verschijnt op 7 juni. Op een concert wordt het nog even wachten: na een korte stop bij onze Oosterburen doorkruisen ze dit voorjaar de V.S.

Even voorstellen

Turpin and Jean are no strangers to the music industry. The pair had earned widespread critical acclaim everywhere from the BBC to the NME with their raucous first group, Kill It Kid, but they walked away from it all when their major label deal turned sour. Rather than view the band’s dissolution as a setback, though, Turpin saw it as an opportunity to get back to his roots, to create the kind of sound he’d imagined a decade earlier when he and Jean were still just students attending university in Bath. “When we met, I was hitting every open mic I could find playing old-time acoustic country blues—Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Mississippi Fred McDowell—and Steph was singing jazz from a similar era: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, that kind of thing,” explains Turpin. “It was like we were two sides of the same coin. One day I heard a recording of Blind Willie McTell and his wife performing together, and I realized that Steph would be perfect, so I asked her to sing with me.”

That brand of fiercely unconditional commitment—to the songs, to the sound, to each other—has defined Ida Mae from the start, and it courses through the veins of the band’s debut, Chasing Lights (June 7). Blending elements of vintage Delta blues and gritty rock and roll with boldly modern arrangements and fearless punk swagger, the record captures Ida Mae in its purest form, with Turpin and his longtime musical partner Stephanie Jean performing nearly everything live in the studio under the guidance of legendary producer Ethan Johns (Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling, Kings of Leon). It’s an electrifying collection, the kind of record that feels both familiar and groundbreaking all at once, fueled by dazzling musicianship, breathtaking harmonies, and the sort of versatile, timeless songwriting that’s earned the band tour dates with everyone from Greta Van Fleet and Blackberry Smoke to Marcus King and The Lone Bellow. One listen to Chasing Lights and it all seems meant to be, but the record might never have happened if Turpin and Jean weren’t willing to, quite literally, bet the house on themselves.

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