The dark edge of American music - with sideburns

Reuben's Train playing at the Senlac Inn In Battle for Mrs Y Music club
Reuben's Train playing at the Senlac Inn In Battle for Mrs Y Music club

Reuben’s Train is a duo performing mostly American songs from the darker side of life.

Mick Watson - on vocals - and Keith Osborne - on vocals, guitar and banjo - have been working together for the last 15 years. After a nerve-racking first performance at Sharp’s Folk Club, Mick and Keith began to realise that audiences were having a hard time working out quite how to react, with one half laughing and the other half telling them to be quiet.

They’ve never looked back.

Reuben’s Train puts deep sorrow and drama back into music; Mick wrings emotion and pathos out of the words while Keith, a serious guitar player, provides beautifully judged accompaniment.

Mick’s musical career started while living in a squat behind Finsbury Park Station in the 1980s, where he became the frontman of a band called The Fleas. His introduction to country music began with a duo performing obscure Hank Williams songs, and it was during this time that he was introduced to Keith, who is a musician, composer and producer based locally. He plays electric, acoustic and lap steel guitar and banjo. Keith also runs a project studio, Pett Sounds, recording his own and local artists’ releases, and is also one half of a production team known as The Past Present Organisation. He spends the rest of his time as a local director for Music For Health, running music therapy workshops in residential care homes and day centres.

Time Out said of Reuben’s Train: “Excellent harmony, guitar and banjo, plus frock-coats and impressive eyebrows”

They play for Mrs Yarrington’s Music Club next Tuesday, March 28, at the Senlac Inn in Battle, from 8pm. Tickets (£12) from or 07794821454