Cottiers, Glasgow ***
Unsurprisingly, Sutherland is convincing in the role of country singer – amiable, charismatic and an unapologetic lover of liquor with the battle scars to match. “I’ve never been to prison but I’ve been to jail a few times,” he quipped before delivering the bluegrass-flavoured Shirley Jean, his tribute to Johnny Cash’s prison songs. His first ever love song, Can’t Stay Away, is a yearning for his favourite bar, while Not Enough Whiskey is classic tear-in-his-rye country.
But there were also sentimental paeans to his daughter, his mother and his old rodeo horse before his honky tonking band kicked it up a gear with western swing guitar, plangent double bass and a skiffly beat behind his cover of Patty Loveless’s Blame It On Your Heart.
Sutherland won’t be winning any prizes for originality; rather he is affectionately celebrating a tradition. Even a Q&A portion of proceedings was seamless and relatively insightful before the band returned for a standard run through Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, accompanied by another engaging tale, this time of wild, fun days with his freewheeling father.