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For My Darling Clementine, size doesn't matter

Atwood's Tavern, Cambridge, Mass., March 31, 2016

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

My Darling Clementine - the excellent British country husband-and-wife duo of Michael Weston King and Lou Dagleish - could not have been faulted very much if they mailed it in. When you get less than a dozen people to a show, it's hard to get very excited.

But MDC aptly demonstrated that numbers did not matter one bit when it came to their Beantown area debut. Dagleish and King are playing the type of music you just don't hear these days - at least not on the commercial side of country. They're out there doing the traditional country, duet thing and trading stanzas, a throwback to the sounds of yesterday like George and Tammy.

But this was not an exercise in being a cute retread. The fact of the matter was that MDC has the musical chops, coming off as the real deal. Dagleish has a vibrant voice, with an ability to go from quiet to forceful within a few bars. Let's just say she had no problem belting it out. King could have been overwhelmed by his better half vocally, but was not.

At some points throughout the 65-minute show, they would duet and melded their voices together quite well.

The show had an easy going flow to it between playing a chunk of their own songs (the smart lyrics of "Ho Heart in This Heartache" stood out; "Our Race Is Run") with a few choice covers. They may have a smart-aleck sense about them when it came to a song title at least ("No Matter What Tammy Said (I Won't Stand By Him)"). Yes, it might make you chuckle, but this also was not a case of being gimmicky either and going for an easy laugh. You can't make that argument when the material is up to snuff, even if Dagleish did recall Wynette vocally.

MDC paid musical homage to Dan Penn on "Our Race is Run," while King turned in a credible cover of Hank Sr.'s "Your Cheatin' Heart."

King played guitar throughout, both acoustic and electric, while also being helped by Kevin Maul on pedal steel and Dobro. Maul was especially welcome with his sad sounding sonics.

MDC may not have drawn much of a crowd, but that's through no fault of their own. Their CDs have been top shelf, and they also showed they are a live force. As for those who didn't bother showing up to hear great country music, that was their loss.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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