Skyline In Central Time
All text and images ©2016 David Hill Photography
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead
Released August 2016
Reviewed October 2016
Skyline In Central Time is the third release, after the EP Summer Sleeves and the self-titled 2011 debut by Andrew Leahey & The Homestead. The singer/songwriter now based in Nashville blurs the lines between rock and country on this record, pulling the best from both genres.
The album begins tentatively, with seeming reservations. The songs are well written and performed, especially “Little In Love” which has a great vocal hook, but it all feels just a little tight. By the fourth track, “Shivers and Shakes”, however, suddenly it all seems to come together. The jangly guitars, driving rhythm, and vocal performance evokes early Tom Petty. More so with Leahey’s inflection, rather than vocal quality, which is more refined than Petty’s. The album finds itself with this song, and from then on it’s a very solid record. The words are well chosen, the musicians that Andrew Leahey chose to work with are top-notch, and the songs find that special balance between thoughtful and catchy.
Besides “Shivers and Shakes”, the band shows that they know how to rock with the anthems “10 Years Ago”, and “Shot”. Hard hitting drums, distorted guitars, with melodic solos, and a solid beat are the perfect complement to Leahey’s clever lyrics.
“Who Wants An Easy Love” and “When The Hinges Give” really showcase Leahey’s strong voice and introspective writing. The latter is especially well done, beginning simply with an acoustic guitar that is soon joined by a second guitar, then a violin, and becomes a lush, yet understated arrangement. The vocal harmony with Jill Andrews brings to mind the Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris duet on "One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)" from his 1976 release Desire.
Skyline In Central Time is a strong return to the studio for Andrew Leahey and The Homestead. If you like well written and performed American roots rock; then, as the chorus in the opening track says, “It’s not much to fall a little in love with me”
Andrew Leahey performed songs from Skyline In Central Time at World Cafe Live, October 3, 2016.