Stephanie Lambring

Live Review | The Wheelhouse, Wombwell | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Stephanie Lambring first appeared at the Wheelhouse at the end of March this year as part of her UK tour accompanied by singer-guitarist Brad Tursi.  Returning to the venue this time as a solo performer, Stephanie once again delighted her audience with a set of songs from both her current album Lonely to Alone as well as her tour EP Trail of Goodbye, both of which contain some of the strongest songs to have appeared on the Americana scene over the past twelve months.  The Nashville-based singer-songwriter pointed out that the only love song she has ever written, “Tonight”, still has not found the right person yet, despite being young free and single herself.  She confessed that everyone assumed she and Brad were an ‘item’ on her last visit, therefore both hers and Brad’s availability was inadvertently dampened in terms of potential romantic liaison.  On this occasion, joined by another available female companion, Stephanie was out to have fun and she didn’t mind sharing this information with her audience.  Stephanie also claims that her best writing endeavours concern breaking up and she went on to demonstrate this with the remarkable “Mutual” from her EP, along with “Nothing and Flowers”, all played solo this time around but losing none of the power of the recorded versions or indeed the versions she performed last time around at the Wheelhouse.  In the absence of Brad Tursi, this reviewer was only too pleased to help out by accompanying Stephanie with some guitar on Gillian Welch’s “Annabelle” to varying degrees of success.  The high point of the set however was Stephanie’s stunning title song from the album Lonely to Alone, which never fails to impress, before a final encore of “If I Could”.  Kicking off the evening was York’s Holly Taymar, joined by Chris Bilton on a variety of accompanying instruments ranging from mandolin, banjo, glockenspiel and various bits of percussion.  Holly’s trademark rambling was as pleasantly engaging as ever, interspersed with a selection of self-penned songs such as the perennial “Bush Song”, the sublime “Toes” and the exquisite “Home”.  Other songs out to play tonight were the Stairway-esque (by her own admission) “Went to War”, “Beautiful Days” and a specially requested “7am”, as well as the infamous song that actually name checks a former Facebook friend, who will not be mentioned here for fear of opening a libel suit, before closing with a version of the old pop standard “I Can’t Help Falling in Love”.