REVIEW: American Young At Nashville Nights

Nashville Nights returned to Under The Bridge once again last Friday (June 30th), and us Buckle & Boots attendees were thankful for that extra dose of country music! The performers this time were US duo American Young (Kristy Osmunsen and Jon Stone), who hugely impressed at Buckle & Boots, supported by their loyal UK fan base. There were ‘AY’ hats galore at Stamford Bridge; it’s really refreshing to see an act who haven’t yet ‘broken’ on country radio receiving so much love on our shores.

There was a lot of excitement surrounding this performance, their only London stop on their current UK tour. Jon and Kristy kicked off their 45-minute set with ‘Thunder Rolls’, a fan favourite from their self-titled 2014 EP with a great rocky edge. Much of the set list was a collection of terrific tracks from last year’s ‘AY’ album which has had such an impact on their cult fan base who passionately sung along from start to finish. My personal favourite is the brilliantly quirky ‘Point Of View’, the epitome of a good old country foot-tapper!

Jon and Kristy have written some awesome tracks for other artists too. It was a shame we didn’t hear ‘A Woman Like You’ (written by Jon), but we all enjoyed their performance of Blake Shelton’s ‘Kiss My Country Ass’ (a superb choice as the beer was flowing!), as well as Kristy’s ‘Cheater, Cheater’ which was recorded by Joey & Rory back in 2008.

They also treated us to a performance of their new single ‘Eighteen’. The studio recording features Lee Brice, who is very close friends with Jon and has used him for production duties on his albums. A wonderfully anthemic chorus combined with a soulful melody that went down so well with the Nashville Nights crowd. They have a knack of leaving you singing along to their choruses for days; ‘American Dream’ and ‘Be Here’ have had the same effect on me this week too. It’s an album full of potential radio hits and it’s rather tragic none of them have come to fruition. ‘Slow Ride’ was another highlight; the sexiest, most soulful, R&B-influenced track on the record which brought the tempo down for a moment.

But the stand-out moment was their final track, a cover of Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’. Their good friend Sonia Leigh was in the house and she joined them on stage for this rocking rendition which absolutely raised the roof. It’s a stunning showcase for their instrumental abilities; I don’t know how Kristy plays that hook so fast! They made a fantastic impression and left the stage to rapturous applause. I’m sure it’ll be one for their memory books.

The next Nashville Nights event will be at Under The Bridge once again on August 19th, featuring Jess & The Bandits! Head to https://www.nashvillenights.uk to get your tickets!

Dan Wharton (@LifeInASong_Dan)