Red Sky July talk to eGigs

Ally Mcerlaine talks Texas, accolades, the new album, and more on Thursday 18 September 2014

Red Sky July are husband and wife duo Ally Mcerlaine (guitarist in 15 million selling band Texas) and Shelly Poole (previously one half of Alisha's Attic), along with former model Charity Hair (The Alice Band and latterly The Ailerons, with Blurs Dave Rowntree).

With the release of their stupendous second album, 'Shadowbirds', (Which is out now), they are ready to hit the road with a ten date tour, under their own steam and are ready to accompany both Sheryl Crow as support on five of her UK dates in October, and 10cc too providing the support slot.
eGigs caught up with Ally Mcerlaine to find out what's what in the Red Sky July world:

Why did you decide to start Red Sky July, especially after all the success with Texas?
Shelly and I started Red Sky July in a period when we both had a lot of spare time, I had always wanted to play more Americana influenced music which I never had a chance to in Texas then we enlisted Charity Hair too, she's from Florida so has that country twang.

If asked, how would you describe Red Sky July?
I would say our genre is folk, Americana with a pop sensibility too.

Ally, how do you find it being on stage with your wife (Shelly) and spending time at home together? Is there any friction?
Not too bad friction wise but usually charity stands in between us just in case.

How is your new album 'Shadowbirds' different from your debut album ‘'Red Sky July'?
Shadowbirds is probably more focused tag the first one, we had more experience of playing together, we recorded in Glasgow with some of my Texas mates guesting so it was a great experience.

How would you describe your writing process? Tune first, lyrics first?
Songs always come in mysterious ways, sometimes Shelly has a lyric she really wants to use of I have a riff it's never the same.

You have quite a few accolades with Red Sky July including being asked to play with Jools Holland, not once but twice and receiving a Tartan Clef Award, which has been the most special and why?
Winning the Tartan Clef was quite special as its a brilliant cause and I don't think I ever won an award before.

You've supported quite a few acts/bands/solo performers, whose been your favourite and why?
Probably the best thing for us was opening for Steve Earle, we are massive fans and he was a very cool dude. Also, had a real fun tour with Heather Peace, we all stayed friends after that one.

I see your supporting Sheryl Crow in October at the Royal Albert Hall, How will you feel on the night of the show?
We are looking forward to opening for Sheryl at the Albert Hall, it's actually my birthday that night so couldn't be a better way to celebrate

Is the buzz you get from playing with Red Sky July different to what you get, playing with Texas?
It's very different, with Texas it's usually the same set and everyone knows the tunes but with RSJ we never do the same set so it's much more musically challenging for me.

I went to Carfest this year and I was shocked not to see you playing with Texas, it seemed really strange, How do Texas cope without you, as you're one of the main stays of the band?
I don't know as I wasn't there ha.

Is there any friction with paying in two bands? i.e. you might be double booked?!
I have to prioritise RSJ nowadays as there is a lot of work invested in it, I have had to pull out of a few Texas shows because of double booking you'd have to ask them what they think of that. I still love doing Texas shows if they ask me.

What do you think the future holds for Red Sky July?
I hope we can continue making records and gain more fans, we are currently improving our studio at home so we can do more work there in the future.

You can catch Red Sky July on the following dates:
4th Oct: Swiss Cottage, Twyford
5th Oct: The Stables, Milton Keynes
6th Oct: The Maze@The Forest Tavern, Nottingham
7th Oct: The Musician, Leicester
8th Oct: Elgar Rooms, The Royal Albert Hall, London

Touring with Sheryl Crow:
27th Oct: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
28th Oct: Sage, Gateshead
29th Oct: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
30th Oct: The Ritz, Manchester
31st Oct: Bluesfest UK, The Royal Albert Hall, London

To buy tickets click here.

New album 'Shadowbirds' is out NOW treat yourself to a copy, you'll be presently surprised.

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article by: Michelle Owen-Williams

published: 18/09/2014 14:48


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