Weaving musical magic by pulling A Different Thread

A Different Thread...Alicia Best and Robert Jackson’s Galway return.
A Different Thread...Alicia Best and Robert Jackson’s Galway return.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

A Different Thread’s upcoming Galway gig marks a return to the city of their formation.  The transatlantic duo first met while busking on Shop Street in 2016, perhaps fittingly allowing Galway to become a natural middle ground between Alicia Best’s North Carolina and Robert Jackson’s home in Staffordshire – and this Saturday, A Different Thread are back to play the Róisín Dubh as part of their fifteen-day Irish tour.

The pair describes themselves as ‘British Americana’, and their origin story isn’t the only thing that lends itself to the wandering narrative of folk music.

Best and Jackson’s blend of soft, raw vocals and atmospheric instrumentation shows the impact of their respective experience as solo singer-songwriters while offering catchy hooks in the style of folk-rock outfits like The Lumineers.

The music is eclectic, boasting elements of country and folk as well as blues and classic rock.

Variation and adaptability seem to be at the core of the act – it’s certainly evident in A Different Thread’s debut album. On a Whim was released in September of last year.

The twelve-track LP moves from upbeat, semi-trad songs like Hold Me Down to melodic, slow-paced country in the form of Potter’s Field. Best and Jackson interchange on lead vocals which keeps the record fresh and even more than that, they again draw attention to their multitude of influences.

Travel and change are major lyrical themes throughout On a Whim. Jackson began writing the title track in New York City and finished it upon returning home.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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