A Different Thread – On a Whim

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Staffordshire’s Robert Jackson and North Carolina’s Alicia Best make up the formidable team of A Different Thread, a duo who blend their own particular roots with quite pleasing results. The dozen songs included here are all self-penned apart from the traditional “The Prickly Bush”, but it’s difficult to tell them apart. Having first met two years ago in Ireland, the duo have honed their craft through busking, performing and now in the studio, with a style they refer to as British-Americana, which is as good a description as any. There’s a maturity in Robert Jackson’s voice, which sounds like it’s done some travelling, put to good use on such songs as “Honey and Fire” and “Charlotte”, complemented by Alicia Best’s empathetic harmonies. Then, when Alicia takes the lead, the roles are reversed with equal merit. It’s when the duo share verses that the magic starts, again on “Charlotte”, one of the album highlights, and again on “Chairs Instead”, with a perfectly placed trumpet solo, courtesy of Rusty Smith, one of the choice musicians involved in making this really lovely record. The worst disservice you could do to A Different Thread, is to not check them out.