Brandi Carlile (3 stars)

Brandi Carlile

Barrowland, Glasgow, Thu 28 Feb


It’s fairly rare to see a support act who will easily outlast a headliner, and even if the main attraction on this occasion was Newton Faulkner – an artist with all the staying power (and strangely the look) of an upturned house plant in dire need of re-potting – the compliment still stands for Washington State-born singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile.

Raised, as she put it, ‘on classic country and western’, her earthy, natural grasp of dusty Americana has been refined into a radio friendly strain of sentimental slow rock by country production heavyweight T Bone Burnett. Belting out cuts from her second album The Story, between two exceptionally bald and exceptionally related identical twin brothers on bass and guitar, she carried the confident air of a performer earmarked as a big unit shifter.

Carlile’s rootsiest moments were her best: the country yodel-affected ‘Have You Ever’ and a fairly raucous version of Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, alongside a solo acoustic rendition of ‘Hallelujah’, which found the audience in good voice. ‘Sing it,’ she chirped, ‘it sounds like church.’

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