Album Reviews

Red Dirt Skinners

Behind the Wheel

Artist:     Red Dirt Skinners

Album:     Behind the Wheel

Label:     Independent

Release Date:     02/05/2016


The fourth studio album from the Red Dirt Skinners, an English husband and wife duo featuring Rob Skinner on guitar and his partner Sarah on Soprano Sax, is a welcome addition to the band’s catalogue. Strong on harmony and driving, rhythmic fretwork from Rob, the whole project is driven forward by Sarah’s searing sax playing and innate sense of musical freedom.

The collection of nine self-written songs serves well to highlight the couple’s ability and a growing confidence evidenced in the maturity of the writing and the music itself. Genres and musical boundaries are pushed aside with a refreshing ease. Switching effortlessly from blues and jazz undertones to Americana and modern-country, the Skinners wheel and deal as they change tempo, pace and styles at almost every turn. This is not a band for die-hard, stuck in the groove, traditionalists.

The only outfit in the UK to have picked up national awards in both blues and country music categories, the Red Dirt Skinners are a sparkling and refreshing antidote to the world of musical blandness. The opening, title track is an excellent rolling, lyrical number that is virtually guaranteed to keep you tuned in for the remainder of the ride.

This is singer-songwriter stuff with an added helping of traditional roots as a core element. The result is an engaging musical mix that sings and soars delightfully.

– Iain Patience

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