Honey Rider Review 12-02-16
As you listen to Honey Ryder, Lindsay O’Mahony’s vocal talent comes across as a mixture of the earthy tones of Stevie Nicks and the melodic lilt of Eddie Reader. The other members of the band, Matt Bishop and Jason Huxley are both accomplished musicians and the sounds produced by the three –both instrumentally and vocally- make for a very enjoyable listening experience.
The influence of the C & W on ‘Beautiful Horizon’ is just as obvious as that of Fleetwood Mac on ‘You Can’t Say That’ but they have taken the different musical styles, added to them, put their own stamp onto them, creating a very varied and quite original sound; a case in point being their cover version of ‘Annie’s Song’ by the late John Denver.
The Zed Café in Sevenoaks is a small venue but what it lacked in size was more than made up for by the ability of the band to entertain the audience by a constant and varied set as well as engaging them with anecdotes in between the songs. The mixed age audience were themselves quite vocal in their appreciation of the band applauding loudly after each number while some fans of the trio were in evidence, observed singing along with each of the songs.
Honey Ryder have created a comfortable niche for themselves in the folk/easy listening market and if you want to see and hear more of them their next gig is at the Little Rabbit Barn in Ardleigh, near Colchester in Essex on 27th February or for more information have a look at their website at http://honeyryder.com/.
On the 12th of February Honey Ryder, that is Lindsay O’Mahony, Matt Bishop and Jason Huxley played a sold out show at the Zed Music café in Sevenoaks. They’ve had a spot on the late and legendary Terry Wogan’s Radio 2 show, and following on from the success of their newest album Born In A Bottle, which was written and recorded in Nashville with some legendary producers and writers, it seems that fans of this country trio really do adore them, the venue was full to the brim way before Honey Ryder took to the stage, and lead singer Lindsay walked around and greeted those in the audience. Before the show I got a chance to catch up with them in a very small cupboard and chat about their previous albums, plans for the next year and even more: You recorded your album in Nashville, did you find there was pressure on you as a British band out there? Lindsay: No! There wasn’t any pressure at all we just enjoyed ourselves. We wrote for the second album out there as well so we’ve had a few trips, and when you cowrite with anyone, especially some A-list people, that’s quite scary. But as far as recording, everyone is super friendly and nice. We went to Ocean Wave Studios to record, which was just brilliant. Who was your favourite person to work with in the US? Lindsay: Steven Dale Jones, the songwriter. He’s great fun, I mean everyone was! Matt: Rivers Rutherford. Lindsay: Yeah Rivers Rutherford, he’s a character isn’t he? They’re all big characters actually, they’re good fun to be around. Rivers Rutherford is probably high on the list of characters. We work with a lot of musicians who are brilliant as well. Who were the guys in the studio? Matt: Chad Cromwell. Lindsay: And the bassist that’s played for Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow, Neil Young and everyone basically. The studio we were in – Ocean Way – Kings of Leon and Dolly Parton, all of the massive people have recorded there. Matt: In the studio the band we were playing with had played with so many massive people that I love, and I still can’t get over that. I got on YouTube now and see some of my favourite guitarists. Michael Rose, the bass player, I was in the studio with him some days feeling starstruck. Lindsay: Yeah definitely starstruck! Matt: It was a brilliant experience. A lot of American bands come over here and say that places like London are a better crowd to perform to… Lindsay: Really?! How do you find it? Do you have a preference? You have a big following in Denmark? Lindsay: We’ve had some radio play in Denmark, but we haven’t actually ever played in Denmark. We’d like to get out there. We’ve played in America, at South by South West in Austin, Texas. And then we’ve played in Nashville as well, it depends on the vibe and the evening. We played quite intimate venues in Nashville, so it’s chilled. If we’re doing an acoustic, stripped-back set there isn’t a raucous reaction, but I think Americans are quite like the English in they way they watch stuff. They can be excitable, they can be quite reserved. It depends on whether people are drinking, what day of the week it is. So I’ve got no preference really, I love playing to anyone and everyone. There’s no one I’ve ever thought ‘oooh, not playing there again, they’re miserable’. So if you’re having a good time onstage it tends to be infectious, unless you’ve got a really nightmare audience but that’s very rare. You’re influenced by Fleetwood Mac, and a lot of people say you sound like Lady Antebellum, but what are your influences outside of music? Lindsay: Everything. I read all sorts of books, and I do get ideas for lyrics from books. When I wrote Marley’s Chains, obviously it’s a Dickensian reference to Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol. I also watched a film called Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts, there was a character in there who had major regret because he was an alcoholic and had problems with his son. He was finding a way to cope and deal with it. So films can influence me. With lyrics, everywhere I go I’m looking at words and things to get ideas and note them on my phone, so life in general. I wouldn’t say there is a specific artist or writer, just if I read something and it evokes emotion I’ll write. Matt: Literature wise? Oh yeah well lots of novels, things I’ve read in the past like Interview With A Vampire. Lindsay: You wrote Born In a Bottle about- Matt: Yeah Robert Johnson, the story about him selling his soul to the Devil at the crossroads. Kind of folklore really, isn’t it? Supernatural. So is there a new album in the works? Lindsay: There are several songs in the works, we’re just trying to find the time to record them, and we have got a few things on the go. We’d love to have an EP out first, maybe in the Spring. How do you think your sound has developed since the first album? There has been a lineup change? Lindsay: I wrote the first album with Martin and he’s amazing, very very into rock music, so it had much more of electric guitar influence whereas we’ve got mandolin and bouzouki and different things on the last two albums. It started off more rocky and then when he left and Jason came onboard, then Matt after that, you know Jason is really into finger pickin’. So that influence has crept in really hasn’t it? So it has evolved, and the Nashville trip has has influenced us, but You Can’t Say That – the first single from the last album – we’d already written and recorded that and we sent it to Paul Worley who produced Lady Antebellum and Dixie Chicks. He got us out to Nashville and set up all the cowrites, so we had already established the sound of the album before we went to Nashville. We just ran with it. How do you feel about the massive return of vinyl in the last decade? Lindsay: We wanna get our stuff on vinyl. Matt: We’ve all got vinyl players and I buy my favourite albums on vinyl. Lindsay: Me too. We definitely want to get our stuff on vinyl, there’s a real upward trend towards it. And I think a lot of the people who like our music will also be into vinyl so we’re gonna look into that. I think in the last few weeks old record sales have overtaken the sales of new releases on vinyl. Lindsay: Really? Wow that is good, it’s exciting actually. People want the physical feel of it, you know? HMV sold a record player every minute over Christmas apparently. Have you got anyone in mind, producer or writer-wise that you would like to work with in the future? Lindsay: Chris Martin… Matt: One of our favourite producers of all time is Steve Jones. That would be a dream come true. Lindsay: My husband, he’s produced the last three! Matt: Rick Ruben Jason: I was gonna say Rick Ruben yeah! He did all the Chilli Peppers stuff… Lindsay: But writers, I’d never thought about it to be honest as there’s loads of people. We’d like to go out to Nashville again and do some writing. You said you enjoyed the Isle of Wight Festival, are there any others you’d like to play in this country? Lindsay: Glastonbury! You know what I’ve never been, unbelievably. I’ve applied for us to try and get on there but it’s hard. That would be an amazing one to say we’ve done, tick off the list. Matt: Isle of Wight Festival seemed like it had quite a family vibe yeah, and I think that’s a big part of Glastonbury. It’s a strange dynamic because in the day people are walking around with their toddlers and at night the place goes insane… Lindsay: Yeah that’s great! I’d love to do Glastonbury, basically the reason I haven’t been is that I set a goal in my head that the first time I go would be to play, so I’m sticking to that. What are your plans for the next year? You’ve got a few shows coming up at the O2! Lindsay: Yeah we’re doing C2C at the O2 on the Saturday and the Sunday so that will be fun! We’ve got something exciting in the pipeline but I can’t say – we haven’t got a date confirmed yet. We just want to try and get around the whole of the U.K. That’s what I’d love, we’ve got people in Scotland constantly asking when we’re going up there, and we’ve had some great gigs there. So more gigging, more writing, more recording. We’re going to Radio 2 with our next single in March. How to you feel about touring? Some people love it, some people hate it… Lindsay: We like it, it’s just the driving isn’t great. When you’re in a tour bus it’s different to when you’re driving yourself around. But we do love it when we’re onstage, the best thing about music is playing live. Jason: Yeah I love being at home with the family but there’s seething great about the gigging, being on stage is just amazing. That’s how I feel. Lindsay: The rest of it is not glamorous at all, loading your gear in and out in the pouring rain and the cold and you’re knackered, but being onstage is great so I don’t think we’ll ever tire of that. As long as you’re getting the reaction you want, and people are enjoying it. Matt: There is something really great about doing gig after gig rather than a gig here and there. When we do gigs say seven nights in a row there’s something really good about that. Lindsay: You get the momentum and you get a team. Matt: The vibe onstage is completely different. Lindsay: You’ve got all of the connections there and you can refer to things that happened at other gigs. Have you got any horror stories from being on tour? Lindsay: We played at Manchester Apollo and our tour manager at the time swapped our packs. So basically everything that I was hearing, Martin wanted in his ears, so his guitar was really loud with very low level vocals. So I went onstage and could hardly hear my voice, and he couldn’t hear his guitar. Jason: It was the best gig ever. Lindsay: It was a real horror moment, and it basically didn’t get much better. It was a shocker, I felt sick, you know like when you feel like you’ve had an adrenaline shot, I didn’t know what to do, it was like I was miming. Oh no another one! My god, I’m Austin, Texas we go onstage and Martin’s guitar just dies, it was a technical failure. We couldn’t play, and instead of the stage manager moving us off stage, they just left us onstage and I had to just talk on my own to the audience for about five minutes. It was like “okay, next joke…” And it was going out globally online. I don’t know how people were watching but it was awful. Was it well received by the audience? Lindsay: They were trying to help but they were sort of laughing. Who was on after us? Jason: Oh The Proclaimers! Lindsay: “I will walk 500 miles!” I felt like walking 500 miles after that. Honey Ryder are exceedingly friendly and charming, and show real love and commitment to what they do. Throughout their set Lindsay kept up a great rapport with the audience and everyone in the packed out venue was enamoured. The vocals were fantastic, the atmosphere was intimate and inviting and Honey Ryder did not disappoint.
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