Luke Roberts is certainly an interesting man, one who has spent many of his years travelling across The United States surrounding himself amongst the influences of the southern folk and delta blues of his homeland after running away from home at a young age. Those adventures and influences have culminated in Roberts producing, with the help of Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk, an album filled with tales of his life on the road.

Big Bells and Dime Songs is an album which delivers simplistic songs expressing the many scenarios faced by Roberts through his somewhat unusual progression through life. Creating a sound owing to the southern musical genres Big Bells and Dime Songs takes a slow ramble across varying styles of the bluegrass and blues Roberts has so obviously been influenced by, his vocals throughout tinged with a wistful edge which add a feel of real sadness to parts of the album, especially on the standout ‘Unspotted Clothes’.

There is a real feeling of Americana and storytelling surrounding Big Bells and Dime Songs, it reaches out and attempts to depict a slice of life through music of an age almost gone by through Roberts’s finger picked acoustic guitar and the heavy, steady drum beats which are sprawled across each track. Roberts harks back to a time where songs where simply stories about life, accounts of the musician and of all he had gone through to get to where he was today. The musical history is not lost on Roberts and often he does a great service to those roots, most notably the sorrow laden ‘Dime Song’ and bittersweet ‘All American’.

Big Bells and Dime Songs does sometimes lose its pacing, however, and can drag a little in between the more tender and quality moments. This isn’t enough to bring the album to a standstill though with the abundance of heartfelt and rough sounds of the south carrying it through beyond the weaker moments making for a well-crafted and touching, if a little sombre, offering.