Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra

Micah P. Hinson’s third (proper) record,  …and the Red Empire Orchestra, is further proof that we have a very talented artist here. He’s put out three records in four years, and has yet to put a foot wrong as far as I’m concerned. Granted, he has never returned to the broken, ragged despair of the first record, which was what made me fall for him in the first place, but it would be an exaggeration to say he’s gone all perky on us. And he could do with a break, after all. There’s a new band, the Orchestra, which contains at least one member of BBO favourites the Polyphonic Spree (violinist Tamara Cuable), though I don’t know if they’re touring with him. They certainly sound great – more strings than before, in particular – though on ‘The Fire Came Up To My Knee’ the arrangement is as sparse as anything on the first two albums. There’s surf guitar and melodrama on ‘You Will Find Me’ and some great crooning (and organ) on ‘We Won’t Have To Be Lonesome’.

Choosing two songs for the BBO audience has not been easy, but I’ve decided not to go for (admittedly lovely) songs like ‘Tell Me It Ain’t So’ or ‘Sunrise Over the Olympus Mons’ because they sound more like something from …and the Opera Circuit or…and the Gospel of Progess. Instead these two show off the strings and guitars at their best, I think. Tricky though. I recommend you buy the album, listen to the lot, and go and see him on tour in the UK in November. Or whenever, wherever.

I Keep Havin’ These Dreams‘ – Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra – Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra

Throw The Stone‘ – Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra – Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra

Stream the album at Last.fm. Buy it here. Official site here with a great Black Cab Session.



About jkneale

BothBarsOn's London correspondent.

Posted on August 12, 2008, in Album reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Purchased this before hols on your tip-off and finding it rather lovely. Need to collect the other albums now.

    This blog is costing me money.

  2. You see – music blogs sell records. Just in case anyone’s reading this…

  1. Pingback: Micah P. Hinson: All Dressed Up And Smelling Of Strangers « Both bars on

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