Growing up in Bridgetown, on the banks of the Blackwood River, Emily Barker fell in love with American music – from the soul of Aretha Franklin to the country of Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris, after watching the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou? After leaving Australia, Emily’s travels led her to settling in the UK, where she has released a succession of critically acclaimed albums, including three with all-female band, The Red Clay Halo, and more recently with the folk-country trio Applewood Road alongside Nashville singer/songwriters Amy Speace and Amber Rubarth.
Her latest album, Sweet Kind Of Blue, was recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis with Grammy-winning producer, Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price) and an all-star cast of Memphis session players. The success of the album, with its seamless mix of soul, blues, country and folk influences, and the globetrotting tours to support it, helped land Emily the accolade of ‘UK Artist of the Year 2018’ at the recent UK Americana Awards.
Emily is perhaps best known as the writer and performer of the award-winning theme to the BBC crime drama, Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. She has also written for film, including composing her first feature film soundtrack (for Jake Gavin’s lauded debut feature Hector starring Peter Mullan and Keith Allen).
Praise for Sweet Kind of Blue:
“finally sets out her true claim for stardom” • Q ★★★★
“the arrangements are exquisite and the clear love [Barker] has for this music brings its own integrity” • The Times ★★★★
“the sweltering funk of Sunrise and the title track sound like lost Muscle Shoals gems” • UNCUT 8/10
Stroud – United Kingdom
Emily Barker – guitars, piano, harmonica, vocals
Lukas Drinkwater – bass, vocals
Caleb Quartermaine – drums
Luke Dux – guitar, vocals