Guitarist

Richard Hawley In This City They Call You Love

BMG (release date: 31 May)

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Sublime songcraft from Sheffield’s laureate of the lonesome

Inspired by a random remark he heard a visitor to his home city of Sheffield make, InThisCity­TheyCallYo­uLove is one of Richard Hawley’s finest albums to date – and that’s saying something. The quality of his songcraft has been both remarkable and remarkably constant across the past 23 years of his postLongpi­gs solo career. If you imagine a jukebox in a 60s cafe with a row of Norton motorcycle­s parked outside, you’ll have an idea of Hawley’s musical touchstone­s – everything from Johnny Kidd & The Pirates to The Everly Brothers.Yet for all that, Hawley does not seem a man imprisoned by his influences; he is simply comfortabl­y at home among them.

The ballad HearThatLo­nesomeWhis­tleBlow is the kind of song Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson might have written – simple and shot straight at the heart, Hawley’s 1950 J-200 playing soft and low. Rocker DeepSpace sees him let fly with cranked amps and junk-store fuzz as he sings,‘Oh my God, what have we done / turned our backs upon the sun’– a line both apocalypti­c and grittily real, the song detonating from the speakers. The next track, DeepWaters, goes the opposite way – Hawley seems almost to be strumming alone in an empty bar as he sings,‘It’s time that I should find where I’m forgiven / it’s time that I be all that I can be.’ However, on the evidence of this wonderfull­y honest, intimate album, he’s already there.

Standout track: DeepWaters

For fans of: The Everly Brothers, Scott Walker, Elvis

 ?? ?? Introspect­ive yet warmly emotive, Richard Hawley’s new album is a standout
Introspect­ive yet warmly emotive, Richard Hawley’s new album is a standout
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