Welcome to the new Americana UK

If you’re staring at the site thinking “whaaa.. happened?” then you can be forgiven, rewarded even, for being astute.  Americana UK has always been run as a non-commercial site with decreasing resources available to support what was becoming a huge undertaking, to the point that earlier this year it became clear it wasn’t sustainable in its existing format.  So we’re regrouped and streamlined AUK into something a bit simpler but still containing all the sections (or nearly all of them) that we had in the previous site.  The main page now runs more like a rolling blog which means you won’t miss any updates for sections like interviews or live reviews which used to be sometimes difficult to keep track of. Continue reading “Welcome to the new Americana UK”

Heidi Talbot “Here We Go, 1, 2, 3…” (Navigator Records, 2016)

For aheidi-talbot-2016nyone who has heard Talbot’s voice, its power and expressiveness are givens – it is a thing of beauty, it sparkles, it could elevate the works of Jilly Cooper towards art. It is one thing to possess something beautiful and another to put it in the right setting, imagine casting Ingrid Bergman in an Adam Sandler film. Luckily for Talbot she has taken more control in this fifth release. It was recorded at her and her husband’s John McCusker, newly built home studio and she was involved in writing eight out of the ten songs which reflect a period of upheaval and show a growing maturity. Continue reading “Heidi Talbot “Here We Go, 1, 2, 3…” (Navigator Records, 2016)”

Jinnwoo “Strangers Bring Me No Light” (GFM Records, 2016)

Jinnwojinwoo-2016o (Ben Webb) dabbles in the kind of outsider folk that at one time would have been snared by the anti-folk brigade; it’s a mix of Lou Barlow (in Sebadoh and Sentridoh low-fi obscured by the process mode) the naivety of Daniel Johnson, some Viking Moses, R Stevie Moore and heap of Danielson’s off-kilter playfulness. He’s gathered a host of collaborators to provide or add vocals, or produce, his own voice is a pronounced witter and when it is stirred into an obfuscated fog of clanging instruments – it can be rather hard going. Continue reading “Jinnwoo “Strangers Bring Me No Light” (GFM Records, 2016)”

Jason Isbell Collaborates with Amanda Shires

And you can have a listen. Rolling Stone Country reports: “One year after popping up in the end credits of British documentary The Fear of 13, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires’ “The Color of a Cloudy Day” is receiving a proper release. The song joins Amazon’s ever-growing “Amazon Acoustics” playlist this morning, appearing alongside stripped-down recordings by John Hiatt, Ashley Monroe and Rodney Crowell. “The Color of a Cloudy Day” drapes Isbell and Shires’ harmonies over acoustic guitars, swelling violins and an understated drum loop. It’s light and lovely, swimming in reverb and moving forward at a moody, measured pace. Collaboratively written in the couple’s living room and kitchen on the outskirts of Nashville, the song also sets the stage for Shires’ upcoming solo album, My Piece of Land, whose songs feature a handful of rare Isbell co-writes. Continue reading “Jason Isbell Collaborates with Amanda Shires”

Johnny Dowd “Execute American Folklore” (Mother Jinx Records, 2016)

Johnny-Dowds-2016By now you either get or don’t get Johnny Dowd. Ten albums in this Ithaca NY resident continues to move further into the outfield with each release. Execute American Folklore features Dowd’s darkly humorous and idiosyncratic lyrics, his pronounced drawl becoming ever more robotic, over a hyperkinetic drum machine with guitar, keyboards and bass fed through pedals and gizmos, fuzzed and funky and above all freaky. Originally lumped in with the Gothic Americana crowd Dowd now seems to have more in common with Snakefinger, sometime associate of The Residents, psychedelic funk and on several songs here, that brand of Tropicalia as practised by Os Mutantes while the grim humour approaches  Lenny Bruce satire. Continue reading “Johnny Dowd “Execute American Folklore” (Mother Jinx Records, 2016)”