Archives for July 2023
Florida singer-songwriter Van Plating brings her essence to country music on her third album, Orange Blossom Child, which she aptly calls “Orange Blossom Country”. A distinctive mix of Southern Americana sinew, old-school bluegrass, and vintage folk-rock, Orange Blossom Child is a nod to the songwriting and musical essence of Gram Parsons, Tom Petty, and Elizabeth Cook, the latter of which lends her voice to the record’s debut single, “The Heron”.
She recalls that the song that ushers in Van Plating’s Orange Blossom Child era was the last to come into being. Plating tells PopMatters, “This song could not exist without the other ten. The other ten songs on the album were mixed and completed by the time I sat down to materialize song 11, ‘The Heron’. I’d wanted to wait until I knew where the record was going and what it needed to round out the story I was trying to tell. I had no idea what it would be, but I knew the album wasn’t complete without an 11th song.”
It’s an upbeat, instantly infectious tune that sings to the spirit of musical collaboration, from Van Plating’s work with Cook and Jon Corneal to growing up with a bluegrass-picking family. Lyrics tell a tale of wonderment and appreciation towards each of her artistic inroads, married perfectly to gorgeous, pop-driven melodies that wouldn’t feel out of place on Top 40 country radio but would sure give it a considerable overhaul with its presence.
Yes, Ross Cooper knows the reality – the wearing leather chaps, the riding a horse, the big, big hat. These are the things that people like about being a cowboy. Oooh, and the boots and the fancy jangly spurs. And probably a gun of some sort, gosh don’t we feel manly now? The other parts of the lifestyle though – not so much, as Ross Cooper notes “everybody wants to be a cowboy until it’s time to do cowboy shit.” Cooper knows what he’s talking about on this Outlaw-country styled mocking of those whose only connection to being a cowboy is the clothes – he’s a second-generation competitive horse rider and musician. This Texan was raised with an insatiable love for both the thrill of the rodeo and the power of music. Having experienced the exhilaration of bareback riding firsthand, Cooper’s journey took an unexpected turn when he decided to pursue his musical aspirations. He’s about to release his album ‘Lightning Heart‘, from which today’s song is taken.