Cup ‘O Joe ‘’Bluebirds’’ (Independent, 2016)

You can be forgiven for not having heard of Cup ‘O Joe before. A gypsy-folk and bluegrass trio from Northern Ireland are as far from mainstream consciousness as you’d expect, but that isn’t such a bad thing, because it allows them to continue on with their gorgeous blend of gentle bluegrass picking, beautiful folk melodies and mellow harmonies throughout Bluebirds, this fantastic EP.
Continue reading “Cup ‘O Joe ‘’Bluebirds’’ (Independent, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: The Nightjar

Drawing influence from the surreal atmospherics of Grouper, the stark and poignant balladry of Diane Cluck and the deft compositions of Colleen, The Nightjar use close-harmonies, tight-interlocking guitars, deep bass and an intense lead vocal to paint fragile, haunting landscapes for their dream-like, ethereal songs of hope, loss and disaster. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Nightjar”

Dirty Dozen: Cassady Southern

Cassady Southern’s new single “Breakdown” is a paean to broken love and showcases the ability of Cassady’s writing to uncover the vulnerable truths within all of us. Cassady’s poetic lyrics and unique delivery are enhanced by the signature sound of guitarist extraordinaire Wolf Mail, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Reuben J Alexander and bassist Brad Fitter. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Cassady Southern”

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Union Chapel, London, 16th January 2017

Serendipity – it happens all the time, that accidental crossing of life’s tentative threads that seem to indicate something significant when a connection is made. Travelling in London by train one inevitably comes into contact with the free newspapers, and tonight the Standard is proclaiming the death of the £300K home. Seems there has been a steady decline in such houses, deemed affordable because a couple both on average salary who have scraped together a significant deposit can escape crippling rents by purchasing such a dwelling on a slightly less crippling mortgage. Not anymore. There’s only one part of London where the average house price falls into this category – Barking. Whether the Bard of Barking is aware of this I don’t know – but he was in London (with Joe Henry) to sing songs about trains. Continue reading “Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Union Chapel, London, 16th January 2017”

Dirty Dozen: Dirty River

This dynamic duo are passionate storytellers who have only just begun to tell their story. Not ever wanting to be labelled as fitting into a particular genre, they find their style in everything from heartfelt folk ballads to alternative country blues. Individually they each bring something unique to the sound, but together they create a vibe that takes their audience on an epic musical journey. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Dirty River”

Sky Coloured “Starting Time” (Independent, 2016)

Challenging is good and this is a record to challenge. It starts like a straightforward jazz record, possibly contemporary Norwegian, a propulsive beat driven by brass. It takes a couple of minutes for the vocals to arrive and they are matter-of-fact; the brass stops and leaves a gap, then it flits back in and the strings flash like a Philadelphia soul record, and the vocals are kitchen-sink, downbeat, describing the day when Thatcher was buried. Then comes Dust that moves from jazz to funk  it feels like Cathy Come Home meeting Bootsy Collins – it’s that strange mix of dour British observation with vibrant American musical forms, ia fascinating contrast. Continue reading “Sky Coloured “Starting Time” (Independent, 2016)”

Video premiere: Jen Lane “My Man”

Saskatoon singer-songwriter Jen Lane’s new single “My Man” twists a classic country heartbreak song to end with a sense of resolution, and we’re delighted to premiere it on AUK today. Her first lyric video (conceptualized, filmed and edited by Taylor Leedahl) embodies the idea of a calm space under water where the artist sorts what is haunting her (perhaps the thought of the next four years). We’ve got a vinyl and 2 CD copies of her new album “This Life of Mine” to giveaway too.  Just email giveaways@americana-uk.com over the weekend with your name and address and “Jen Lane” in the subject line.  And in the meantime, here’s the new song!

Dirty Dozen: Aaron Lee Tasjan

Like a modern day Cosmic Cowboy, Tasjan creates a heady blend of country-flecked rock-n-roll, veering from acoustic blues to garage-pop psych to smooth Nashville sounds to lush Laurel Canyon fare… filled with Tasjan’s remarkable story-telling, imbued with wry wit, a sharp tongue and a lot of heart – bringing to mind the showmanship and humour of Josh Tillman (Father John Misty – whose bassist Eli Thomson produced Silver Tears), as well as Harry Nilsson and Tom Petty. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Aaron Lee Tasjan”