Lauren Housley hails from Rotherham and works in and around Manchester, but listening to this, her debut long player, you’d be forgiven for thinking that her roots were deep down in the Louisiana bayous. Working with long term partner, guitarist Thomas Dibb, Lauren has crafted an album that mixes country, rock and soul; the flavour and feel are the flavours and feelings of people like Tony Joe White, Bonnie Raitt… even Janis Joplin.
Clearly then ‘Sweet Surrender’ is not a full on soul album; its appeal is clearly aimed at lovers of Americana. That said there are a number of tracks that could find favour with sympathetic soul ears. ‘The Waiting Game’ boasts one of the album’s best melodies and with its sweet harmonies it has real soul appeal. It reminds me of a vintage Muscle Shoals recording. The album’s title track – complete with melancholy harmonica – is another soul highlight; more a rainy night in Georgia than a cold afternoon in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy here!
Elsewhere, there are a couple of plaintive ballads (‘When Autumn Came’ and ‘Face The World Alone’) and heaps of country rock with plenty of Dobros and pedal steel.
Never a mainstream soul set then, but if you want to find out more do so @ www.laurenhousley.co.uk