"Formed in 2005 in Newport, South Wales, Blind River Scare is a vehicle for the very talented singer and guitarist Tim Manning, backed by Stuart Loosemore on stand-up bass and Mike Hopkins on Harmonium, Hammond Organ and mandolin.
Together they create a very effective and big, authentic-sounding acoustic Americana and Alt-Country sound, with Tim’s resonator guitar playing adding a pedal steel like sound at times (try ‘Restless Soul’ to hear it at its best). His voice is suitably world-weary and convincing, with the six songs all original. Pastures New memorable, often bluesy – take a listen to ‘Sideways Slide’ – and always rootsy; just pick any track at random"
Norman Darwen - RnR Magazine
"You can count on Blind River Scare to come up with the goods, deliver a package of great songs but the clever thing is that whilst singing about what a big, exciting and sometimes scary place the world can be, the universality of the music reminds us that, in some sense at least, it really isn’t that big at all"
Dave Franklin - Dancing About Architecture
"Lovers of Americana should certainly check out the six track CD 'Pastures New' ... A fine Acoustic based sound"
Twoj Blues Magazine (Poland)
Blind River Scare's wonderful new record Pastures New, deserves a very close listen. There are stories being told and the songs weave through a journey of everyday life in an extraordinary way.
Dave Tonberg, Americana and Roots radio presenter, Caithness FM
"If your interests include Americana, do make the effort to hear this, it is well worth the effort"
Blues News Magazine (Norway)
"It's by far the best album I have heard from Blind River Scare. A real musical tour de force"
Dan James - The Folk Show, BRFM
"Love it so much, an absolute beauty" "Arguably the best thing they've recorded"
Alex Huskisson - The Mystery Train Radio Show, Severn FM
It's only a six track release, but Manning ensures each one counts"
Mike Davies - Folking.com
Blind River Scare - 'Pastures New'
Blind River Scare - 'The Mileage Made'
Blind River Scare is back with a brand new album 'The Mileage Made', this is 11 tracks of Americana gold and we are so glad to see it! This is such a fun album kicking things off with the title track 'The Mileage Made' and 'One Horse Town' will have you tapping your foot in no time.
I always enjoy that the guitar is as recognisable as his voice, as his acoustic playfully bounces and runs down between the lyrics in that signature Blind River Scare style. I've played a few acoustic shows with Tim so hearing a full studio band is a real treat and really adds to his sound particularly the way the lap steel dances between the songs but not overpowering the stories and melody.
My personal favourite track from the album would have to be 'Ghosts From The Past' but don't let me sway you because over
There's a biased review coming up (be warned). I'm a big fan of Tim Manning and his Blind River Scare project so it was with some excitement that I put this on the CD player this week - and I wasn't disappointed ! The Mileage Made is quality from track
1 through to track 11.
It's Americymru at its very best. Taking the likes of Steve Earle and John Mellencamp to task with some high-end songwriting and quality performances. Supported by Jem Ponsford, Paul Ambrose & Mike Hopkins Tim has delivered up the goods in style. It's an upbeat slice of the dustbowl complete with resonator, lap steel and mandolins - even the slower songs are filled with joy and this is due in no small part to Tim's love of making the music.
The Mileage Made is a strong album - strong on songs, melody and delivery and it deserves to be heard by a wide audience.
Michael Kennedy - Welsh Connections
Across a string of well-received releases, Blind River Scare has established a wonderful signature sound, one with one foot in the New World, the other in the Old, a sound that ebbs and flows between cool Americana infusions and smart folky sonics, homespun roots sounds and glorious adventure. The Mileage Made is the latest chapter in that genre-balancing, culture blending journey.
Perhaps driven by the fact that Tim Manning, the driving force behind Blind River Scare, is just as often found performing as a solo act as he is leading a full band, the album is often a fairly understated affair, a blend of the ornateness that the ensemble set up allows and the openness and freedom of the troubadour approach. A practical answer to the problem of needing the songs working in both formats or just a naturally reserved, deft and spacious songwriter? Perhaps both? Not that it matters, it is the songs that count and the songs are great.
The title track kicks things off, leaning more towards the glitter of West Nashville than the mud of Cambridge Folk Festival, and it’s a great introduction to what Blind River Scare does, built around coiled and cascading acoustic riffs and driven by unfussy drums, a lean yet punctuating bass, and some wistful and wandering lap steel guitar. At the other extreme is the reflective folk of Driving The Coastline and its tumbling and slightly brooding ways.
Between these two points the album gently sways one way or the other, One Became Many More is an ode to getting carried away with the demon drink (and then finding yourself unceremoniously dumped in a ditch before deciding too it all again) and Drift Along does just that in a gentle and gorgeous fashion.
If you are already aware of Tim Manning and Blind River Scare, then you will love everything about The Mileage Made, a whole batch of fresh-sounding songs and their trademark great narratives. If this is new ground for you then there is lots to love and lots to explore, and then a whole lot of music in the back catalogue to check out also. So why not go and do that now? Go on, I’ll wait right here and you can thank me when you get back.
Dave Franklin - Dancing About Architecture
There was a time when the music scene in South Wales, and in particular Newport, became synonymous with punk and Rock ‘n’ Roll, terms such as the ‘New Seattle’ were thrown around like confetti at a wedding. However, under the raucousness there emerged a wealth of talented songwriters, such as Tim Manning, the man behind Country/Americana band Blind River Scare who emerged along with a host of songwriters based in Newport.
Following up from the 2017s successful Pastures New, Tim got the band together again for a new full album The Mileage Made, a collection of 11 life-affirming songs that will resonate and have everyone singing them for a while to come, I’m still humming One Horse Town and Too Much On My Mind! There’s certainly echoes here of Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, not to mention a nod to Hank Williams, all used wonderfully in a wealth of storytelling that help bring these songs to life.
With a vast array of great Welsh music, it’s often easy to lose track of the great artists out there who do what they love with the music and genre they love, and this love is what shines through in Tim’s writing on The Mileage Made, this is truly high-quality songwriting from start to finish. Supported by accompanying band Jem Ponsford, Paul Ambrose and Mike Hopkins, The Mileage Made stands as one of the finest albums from Wales I’ve heard for a long time, and an album that should be heard along farther shores.
Tom Stanger - Pilgrim House
The trading name of South Wales-based Americana singer-songwriter Tim Manning, this, recorded with his three piece backing band, is his fourth album and builds on the acoustic-based sound of 2017's Pastures New. The title track kicks things off with a rolling country sound, a song about the roads taken and how one always leads you further from the other, as you "take a chance until the Angels or Demons arrive" and you either find who you are or run from it.
It's a chugging alt-country rhythm too for 'One Horse Town', which, as you might expect, is about living in a small town with one road in and one road out. However, rather than see this as a dead end life, it's actually a celebration of how it can bring folk together and turn friends into lovers, and lovers into parents.
A simpler arrangement carries the chiming notes of 'Too Much On My Mind', although the emotions about lying awake wrestling with responsibilities takes it into deeper, darker waters, to be followed by the life on the road snapshot of 'Another Night Another Town' with familiar trappings of roadside diners, friendly waitresses, the faded star whose sole hit still gets airplay and of signing away your future lured by promises of fame and wishing you knew better then.
More musically upbeat is the jaunty 'One Became One More' with its mandolin, rolling drum rhythm, although, again that belies a lyric about the acrimonious end of a relationship as the result of an over fondness for just one more glass. Regrets too haunt the bustling 'Ghosts From The Past', about always moving on and leaving your different lives and its debris behind, but unable to shake off the things that still haunt, its scampering rhythm and hints of Frankie Laine throwing a curve ball at the end as the narrator discovers one of the ghosts has borne him a son.
Elsewhere, there's the strummed early Willie Nelson country echoes of 'The Highs and Lows' and 'Drift Along', a storysong about finding yourself literally wearing dead man's clothes as a brewery security guard to take the only job you can find to make ends meet, spending the nights listening to Hank Williams and Pink Floyd's Meddle and deciding the stakes aren't high enough to stop someone leaving with stolen goods.
It ends with the lap steel coloured jaunty outlaw life of riding the 'Road To The Unknown', staying on the highway and 'Driving The Coastline' with its tempo and stuttering time signature shifts of gear and, finally the classic barroom country chugging rhythm and catchy hooks of 'Looking For Inspiration', arguably my favourite track, which, with a lyric that mention of a photo of him and his father, taps into how Christmas and New Year brings out our sentimental, reflective side with memories of childhood, of generations that have passed on, and the things we hold dear. There's mileage on the clock, but the motor's still running perfectly.
Mike Davies - Fatea Magazine
Blind River Scare is a new name to me but their music harks back to a time in country music when the hair was big and the whisky was drunk by the gallon. Their music has a timeless quality and will undoubtedly be loved for years to come"
Russell Hill's Country Music Show, Express FM
"Overall Point Of No Return is an interesting and often contagious showcase of Blind River Scare, Tim’s vocals and lyrics are for the most part slow burning, rich and welcoming whilst the band create a tasteful country backing" ... "If you want to hear well played inviting roots you’ll find a great deal to admire about Blind River Scare"
Rhythmn & Booze
"What makes this CD stand out is the quality of some of the lyrics. Opening with the title track, 'The Point Of No Return', right from the start you realise that something's a bit different with the way that the band approaches its material"
Whisperin and Hollerin
"What a lovely sound, nice production. Thought of it being a cross between The Jayhawks 'Tomorrow The Green Grass' and something Gram Parsonsesque".
Alex Huskisson – The Mystery Train Radio Show, Severn FM
"The chic term these days is roots music, which is a fair enough handle if you need one and these roots anchor the band somewhere just the other side of the mid-Atlantic ridge. As they say, east is east and west is west ... but when the twain does meet, you get music as great as this"
Dave Franklin - Dancing About Architecture
"Tales of self-doubt, car crashes, parenthood, and regret" … "Point Of No Return suggests a band worth keeping an eye on"
"If you like your Americana on the purer side then you'll like this"
Blind River Scare - 'The Point Of No Return'
all the whole album has a great feel and energy to it and is a perfect companion whilst out on a drive.
Josh Beddis - Rogue Country