The Band

The Great Western Tears are a Country band and acoustic duo hailing from Oxford England who subscribe whole heartedly to the Ameripolitan ethos of authentic Roots music.

The song-writing partnership of Dava Waterhouse and Garry Richardson is the foundation of the band with both having a deep running respect and love for old time Country, Blues, folk and late 60’s West coast, matched to lived-in lyricism and expressive acoustic picking. While we believe we can do any of our songs proud with the bare bones of guitar and vocal, Kurt Hamilton’s creative pedal steel playing and Fern Thornton’s vocals add depth and atmosphere to the tales we tell.

Latest press release

The debut LP from rising UK Roots band The Great Western Tears expertly captures the warmth and integrity of their finely crafted CountryFolk tales.

Taking its name from the rugged and beautiful Tallows beach in Australia’s coastal haven of Byron Bay, a place that held a magnetic sway over lyricist and lead vocalist David Waterhouse through his late teens and twenties, this is a collection of truly, and at times starkly honest, story songs that chart a life lived perpetually on the road between the Northern and Southern hemispheres falling in and out of love with both people and place.

The Great Western Tears roam the same musical landscape that Springsteen inhabited during his Nebraska & Tom Joad journeys and are fueled as much by the ramblings of Kerouac as they are by Neil Young.
While their songs owe a debt to the pantheon of American Roots music it is their distinctive Anglo-Antipodean point of view that sets them apart from their contemporaries.

Borne of Multi Instrumentalist Garry Richardson & Waterhouse’s desire to explore the intimate and acoustic side of their songwriting partnership they quickly gathered a full band around them and what was initially destined to be a stripped back guitar and vocal album became a project of much greater depth and range.
Kurt hamilton’s pedal steel playing is integral to the bands soundscape. Rather than ploughing the familiar furrow of Country licks and tricks he uses his instrument to create widescreen themes and big hooks that add rich texture and atmosphere to the strongly grounded compositions.
Fern Thornton already had years of Country, Blues and Rock n’ Roll duetting with husband Waterhouse behind her but inviting childhood friend Jodie Cooper to join the fray completed the sound of the band and adds a genuine Soul satisfaction on feel good songs Binky Of The Bay and Hang My Hat and poignant melancholy to the more introspective A Part Of You.

Coming from the same close knit Oxford Americana scene that has seen the likes of Ags Connolly and The August List emerge in recent years The Great Western Tears themselves have been key players in invigorating and promoting that scene, hosting the CountryFolk songwriters circles and more recently the infamous Roots Ramble pub crawl sessions.

After a keenly received self titled Ep in the summer of 2015 the band built up a head of steam on the gig circuit and 2016 has seen them play in exalted company at Country 2 Country festival at London’s 02 Arena and receive airplay for early single Not The Losing Kind on Bob Harris’s Radio 2 show.

Whilst Tales From Tallows is at its heart a contemplative and laid back record, their live show has rapidly grown in to something much more expansive and suggests a great future entertaining large festival audiences on sun drenched evenings both in the UK and further afield.

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