JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys: Fidelity!

A curious, unexpected country-tinged love story.

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Last year’s Break Up The Concrete gave The Pretenders their best-selling

A chance meeting with jobbing 31-year-old Welsh musician JP Jones two years ago has led to this pleasing album of country pop with a built-in concept.

Mirroring the age gap between Hynde and Jones themselves, Fidelity! takes the form of a song cycle about a burgeoning pan- generational romance. The older woman celebrates her young beau in the waltz and sway of the opening Perfect Lover (_‘He was learning how to stand/When I was wearing my first wedding band’_) and the Hammond-led soul of Fairground Luck, but Jones is wary of the pitfalls on Leave Me If You Must, offering a note-perfect gravel-voiced facsimile of country royalty Kris Kristofferson.

The more pumped-up selections would not sound out of place on a Pretenders album, which is inescapable considering Hynde’s distinctive voice, but it’s the folky twinkle and rustic rhythms of Jones that help cement the record’s atmosphere, suggesting a bourbon-soaked pub rock version of Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.