The brilliant young Perth Americana band Longstay have just released their new album, Quarantine Sessions, a collection of (mostly) covers recorded at home. They've kindly put together a special video version of Untitled (Love Song) for us. It was originally written by Luke Scott for his band The Romany Rye, and later became a hit for Counting Crows.
Longstay are a young band playing a mix of country rock and Americana music, based in their home city of Perth. Originally formed as a trio in 2014, they have grown to a 5-piece with the addition of drums, bass and piano. Despite having a 6-year pedigree on the live circuit, the average age of the band is still only 19!
Callum Campbell and Malcolm Swan, who front the band, have been playing music together for four years. Their influences range from Creedence Clearwater Revival through Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to current artists such as Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton.
Perth is the beating heart of Americana in Scotland. Forty years ago, John and Barclay Thomson of Goldrush Records brought acts like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Mickey Newbury and Steve Young to play in local venues. This directly led to the thriving scene that now exists in Perth with bands like Red Pine Timber Company and The New Madrids and Southern Fried festival going from strength to strength.
Their debut album was released in August 2018 to critical acclaim. 2019 saw them spreading their wings and performing across Scotland and England. 2020 looked set to be a big year for the band with plans for a second record and many gigs and festivals across the UK in the diary. However, COVID-19 had other plans for the band, and the music industry.
With gigs cancelled, the band's income and ability to promote the album was curtailed, so the decision was made to postpone the album release until 2021. However, theband still got together online and played some virtual gigs for their fans, performing a mixture of covers and their own songs. After many requests to release the tracks, and without access to a studio, they recorded their parts individually in their homes and these were released as the album Quarantine Sessions last week - an entirely homegrown affair!