Manor House sure ain’t Mississippi, no matter how much Bourbon you knock back at the Finsbury, but last Sunday, with the thermometer stuck in the 20s come dusk, Meg Cavanaugh’s sultry country swing band brought a sense of the Deep South to this precious venue a few miles north of the River Thames. Originally from the Midwestern environs of Ohio and now based in London, Meg, Epiphone in hand, led her group with a crystalline vocal that shone more brightly even than her golden hotpants. Her worldly takes on heartache and hedonism were backed by luscious, never-faltering harmonies from keyboardist Bridget, and, behind these two, a trio of experienced hands looked, and sounded, as if they’d been a steadying presence on many a stage; the guitarist, in particular, added colour to the frame with his slide and subtle lead-play. It all resulted in comforting bluesy alt-country Americana, and while it seems a little lame to compare Meg to guitar-toting female solo artists on a similar tip, her more rockish numbers, such as the hooky ‘Adventurous’, brought to mind a rootsier Sheryl Crow. Meg has an easy on-stage charisma, too, supplementing between-song banter with jokes that’d make Frankie Boyle blush, and demonstrating that the best thing to do when there isn’t a trumpet-player in the house is to impersonate one yourself. A pleasantly laid-back scene-setter then, for a steamy summer evening, evocative enough to bring on a kind of hazy US dive-bar reverie, at least until a lamb doner, a pint of milk from Costcutter and a traffic snarl-up on Green Lanes swiftly fractured the illusion on the walk home.