To many the idea of British-Americana may seem a cop-out, a pastiche, a mere echo of another country’s cultural heartbeat. Of some artists that may be true, but D. R. Roberts shows that the home-grown vibe in that genre is just as important as the input from across the water. Rather than settling for it being the wide-eye little brother to its post-colonial sibling, he proves that it can be a just as relevant, mercurial, long lost cousin.
So although there are country backdrops and walls of jangling west-coast sounds in evidence from time to time, this is tempered by a quintessentially British heritage forged by the likes of Bowie, Davis and Hunter and the result is a truly trans-Atlantic sound, veering between the Thames estuary and the wrong side of Nashville and back street, London music bars.
This is Gram Parsons growing up in the London heartland or Bowie in the American hinterland, this is small town England meeting the expansive landscapes that big country, British eloquence meets American dreams.