Looking back (amazingly) it was just over one year ago that I first encountered UK Country band Dexeter and got on-board with their trademark sound. They were a fledgling outfit then but it was clear that it would only take a short amount of time for everything to click and for this six-piece to start making serious waves on the UK Country music scene.
The last twelve months have been hectic to say the least for the Leicestershire-based members of Dexeter, those members being Deeanne, Gareth, Jim, Paul, Pete and Rachel. The most visible faces of the pack are: Deeanne Dexeter, destined to be at the forefront of proceedings as lead vocalist; and Gareth Thomas the principal songwriter. Make no mistake however, this is a group that only works with all of the assembled pieces in place. Undoubtedly one of the highlights was the appearance of the group at this years’ Country to Country Festival at London’s O2 Arena, where they played a wonderful set on one of the pop-up stages and wowed the assembled crowd. It seems that the buzz from their time on stage at C2C propelled Dexeter on to the next level.
The momentum gained from performing at the same festival as the likes of Brad Paisley and the Zac Brown Band was capitalised upon with the release of debut album ‘Brighter Skies’. Featuring six brand new tracks, along with two alternate versions of those six songs, the album was an absolute joy and received a glowing review on none other than the NCUK website. Featuring strong song-writing, tight & original musicianship, wonderful harmonies and gorgeous lead vocals from Deeanne, ‘Brighter Skies’ was a strong introduction to the music of Dexeter on record. There was no doubting that these guys had created a sound that made them stand out from the crowd, a more roots-based feel to their music was paired with a modern sensibility to appeal to the ever-growing younger UK Country audience. The album landed at a well-deserved 11th spot on the recent NCUK countdown of the Top 15 Albums of 2014 to date, one of only two UK acts to feature on such a competitive listing.
Things continue to be incredibly busy for Dexeter in 2014, a reassuring sign that things are going amazingly well. Appearances at upcoming UK Country music festivals Yeehaw UK (September ’14) and Fort San Antone (October ’14) are just two of the most-anticipated events in the calendar for the six-piece. Which brings us neatly to the present and one of the most exciting things to recently come out of the Dexeter camp, their brand new single ‘Slow It Down’. Not only a fantastic track but boasting a sumptuous video too.
The track has a real slow-burning feel to it with the breathy vocals of Deeanne in the opening verse and the stop-start nature of the stripped down backing, glorious accordion playing adds wonderfully to the mood. Building to its’ strong chorus which enables the lead vocals to really shine and adding in a bed of impressive harmonies, ‘Slow It Down’ offers a more edgier flavour to the Dexeter musical catalogue. It is hugely encouraging to see the group already experimenting and refusing to rest on their musical laurels. A second album is in the pipeline for release in early 2015 and the current single suggests that its’ contents will only further enhance the reputation of one of the most exciting UK Country acts to come along for quite some time. The rise and rise of Dexeter looks set to continue apace!