Casting a sultry Brooklynite shadow over a swampy honky-tonk jam, “Lovesick Blues” would be as at home in the ember-like aura of a Mississippi roadhouse or the neon glow of a backstreet city bar. Toying with the old to create something new, the single finds Annie tipping her hat to the time-tested formulas of master bluesmen like John Lee Hooker & the Groundhogs or Howlin Wolf, while peppering-in a contemporary character all her own.
Written at her home studio in Brooklyn, NYC during a particularly lonesome chapter of her life; it would be the introduction of a classic British blues artist by her producer Teddy Kumpel, that would strike a chord with her mood and provide the gateway drug for unlocking “Lovesick Blues”. As Annie explains:
“I was feeling lovesick and knew I had to lean into capturing that through a blues song… My producer Teddy Kumpel turned me on to John Lee Hooker & the Groundhogs, absolutely brilliant, timeless roots blues and one of the first 3 piece British Blues bands. I was told he couldn’t read or write but memorized thousands of songs. He had fierce riffs and grit and I wanted that sound for this sound – like provocative, playful and fierce at the same time – so that’s what I was going for on this tune.”
Pushing herself to “avoid the low hanging fruit, easy rhymes” that have become tropes of traditional blues numbers, the lyrics here are as playfully esoteric as the curve ball country arrangements that adorn it. With wry, rhythmic couplets like “Write a song / and make beef stew, I’m still up at midnight / missing you…”, Annie makes clear that the best way to get over the blues is with a healthy dose of humour.
“Lovesick Blues” swiftly follows the Stones-inspired recent single “Sunshine Parade”, with both tracks set to feature on a brand new Annie Keating record entitled ‘Twenty 22 Tour EP’. Including a number of other unreleased tracks, the eight-track set will be available directly to fans ONLY at UK and Ireland shows (as listed below), alongside a 24-page tour booklet. The EP directly follows Keating’s 15 song tour-de-force pandemic album, ‘Bristol County Tides’ (her eighth full-length record which received rave reviews last year) and promises to feature some of her best work yet, from rockers and heartbreakers and beyond.
A staple of the contemporary Americana scene, Annie Keating writes and sings like a woman who knows deep down that heartache is the price of hope, and she can make us believe — in that way that only the best artists can — that all of it is worth the cost.
Talent spotted by BBC Radio’s Bob Harris, Keating released her debut album: ‘The High Dive’ in 2004. Ever since, she has been growing in stature and reputation with each of the 10 studio albums and EPs she put her name on; drawing formidable comparisons to artists including Lucinda Williams and John Prine along the way.
In 2021, Keating unveiled her eighth studio album ‘Bristol County Tides’, a record that tells an evocative story of love, loss, and finding what matters most in uncertain times, the album takes the listener on a journey from Brooklyn to the coast, through fifteen beautiful, tender songs. Standing as her most accomplished, inspired, and ambitious to date, the record was praised by Folk Radio UK as “personal and universal… unequivocally Keating’s finest hour yet.” Stream it here.
Becoming a regular fixture at festivals across the USA and Europe, Keating has performed her music to major crowds at the likes of Take Root (Netherlands), Glasgow Americana Festival, Maverick (UK), Buscadero (Italy) NXNE and The Brooklyn Americana Fest.
Hitting the road again in the Autumn of 2022, a stretch of upcoming European shows will see Keating assembling some of the UK’s finest players to bring an added raucous energy and unbridled joy to her oeuvre. Watch a tour preview here.
Performing as The Annie Keating Band, the line-up will feature Scott Warman on double/electric bass (who recently appeared on Bob Harris’s charity release of Stand By Me alongside the likes of Mark Knopfler), rising star Joe Coombs on electric/acoustic/slide guitars (who has played internationally with a wide variety of artists such as Grammy nominated songwriter Yola on her Walk Through Fire Tour, Jaime Wyatt, Laura Evans, Robert Vincent, Sam Morrow and Lynne Hanson), plus Jamie Dawson on drums (a member of The Dreaming Spires and Steady Habits, and regular collaborator with Speedbuggy USA).
With new music on the horizon, standby for further news and updates from Annie Keating very soon…