My Darling Clementine
ONE country music magazine described their debut album as "the best British country record ever" but it isn't just the country music community who have been raving about My Darling Clementine.
The Birmingham couple, husband and wife Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish, have been all over Radio 2 and won praise from the Sun, the Guardian and Uncut.
King has been a mainstay of the Americana scene for the past 20 years, releasing 15 albums as a solo artist and with alt country band The Good Sons.
Lou Dalgleish is a former dancer and actress who has released four solo albums and worked with the likes of Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet.
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Together they have been crafting songs that echo Johnny Cash and June Carter, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
Michael Weston King does the talking...
Where are you from?
Lou and I both live in Moseley in Birmingham. She is a native of the Second City. I'm from Southport, but have been an honorary Brummie for the past 13 years.
How did you get started?
I studied at the university of the NME in the 70s, got a first in Joy Division, Paul Morley, punk and new wave. Formed bands, got deals, got dropped, fell out with people, split up bands, played folk clubs, formed more bands, fell out with more people, discovered Townes Van Zandt, wrote sad songs... I still am but I'm now doing so with the missus.
How do you describe your music?
My Darling Clementine play out and out country music in its truest form.
Country duets, written by and for people who have felt the ups and downs of adult life.
Who has influenced you?
So many but with regards to My Darling Clementine, initially Elvis Costello, as he turned me on to country music in the first place.
If we are talking country, country soul and country folk, then Merle, Willie, Hank, George and Johnny... of course.
Also, Harlan Howard, Tom T Hall, Jerry Chesnut, Don Gibson, Dan Penn, Townes, John Prine, Guy Clark... too many to mention.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The news, from films, from other songs but mainly from my life and my wife; all the good stuff and the bad stuff. She is the perfect person to be married to when seeking inspiration for heartaching country songs!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
A lot of old country soul re-issues (Light In The Attic in Seattle release some amazing stuff), also Jerry Lee Lewis, Robbie Fulks, Jenny Lewis, Nick Lowe, Villagers and George Jones.
What's your next move?
After UK shows in February, were in America for SXSW and other shows in March, Lou and I tour the UK in April and May opening for Ricky Ross, the new MDC album will come out in June/July, then festivals in the UK, Europe and US over the summer, and touring again on the back of the new album.
I'll be a Mercury Award winner in September and have the Christmas No. 1 in December. It's already written and recorded.