Mandy Rowden “1000 Miles” (Independent, 2017)

Sometimes some records just don’t hit the mark… and from the drab artwork  to the confusion of the songs that dwell within, that seems to be the case here. It’s a dreadful shame – given some of the names Rowden has worked with in the past, this is a record that should have presented far more in the way of highlights. This, Mandy Rowden’s second album, owes much to Lucinda Williams and a bit to Tift Merritt, but lacks the conviction of either. The songs are relatively well put together and in the most part, decently executed, but just not exciting enough. Moreover, the apocalyptic imagery of a couple of songs, notably Flood Song and No Greater Silence,  and the social commentary and ramshackle romp of 5 O’clock World are difficult to take seriously. Continue reading “Mandy Rowden “1000 Miles” (Independent, 2017)”

Red Rooster line-up something to crow about

One of the highlights of the UK Roots Festival season, Red Rooster, the banjo pickin’ summer festival has announced its return for the fourth year, championing “the best in Americana, Blues, Soul, Roots and Country.” Located in the park and woodlands of Euston Hall in Suffolk, festival-goers can enjoy lip-smacking authentic ribs and soul food by a campfire under the stars, or get down to the raucous sounds radiating from the woodland’s main stage venue. The full line-up (so far):  Continue reading “Red Rooster line-up something to crow about”

Israel Nash, The Islington, London, 22nd February 2017

Israel Nash is on tour opening for Band of Horses, but this was a night off and an opportunity to play if not quite a secret gig then at the least an incredibly intimate one. The Islington is not such a big pub, and the performance space is tiny – a capacity of sixty or so perhaps, and not surprisingly it was sold out. Tonight was to be a duo performance – Israel Nash on acoustic guitars and Eric Swanson adding waves of the most perfect pedal steel. Who needs a band ? Continue reading “Israel Nash, The Islington, London, 22nd February 2017”

Ryan Adams covers Springsteen for Radio 1 – Watch

Some other nice clips on the bigger BBC site, and you don’t need to be 13 to watch them. Billboard reports: “In anticipation of BBC Radio 6’s celebration of the year 1994, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams covered one of the year’s biggest hits, Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” in the 6 Music Live Lounge. “Streets of Philadelphia,” written for the 1993 film Philadelphia, won an Academy Award for best original song, as well as four Grammys, including song of the year, best rock song, best male rock vocal performance and best song written specifically for a motion picture or for television.  Continue reading “Ryan Adams covers Springsteen for Radio 1 – Watch”

Dirty Dozen: Jonathan Terrell

Austin, Texas based singer/ songwriter, Jonathan Terrell is a new breed of country.  Gathering inspiration from the gritty corners of Americana, Terrell has bloomed into a well-respected songwriter of deeply moving and resonant country-folk music explorations. Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
Hey, yeah.  I grew up in a small town in North East Texas called Longview that sits in the pine curtain near the Louisiana border. I’ve been in Austin now for about 11 years and I spend a lot of time touring the states and a little in Europe. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Jonathan Terrell”

Norrie McCulloch “Bare Along The Branches” (Black Dust Records, 2017)

There was that awful moment after Mum’s tiny, emaciated body had been lowered into the cold, hard ground with the St. Michael card I’d blu-tacked on the coffin-lid for protection and company; because we left her all alone in the windswept cemetery. Only when the silence became too oppressive did I force myself up into her bedroom, open the wardrobe door and begin to gather her clothes and other personal effects into cardboard boxes for their final journey to the charity shop in the High Street. Norrie McCulloch is also a member of that club no-one wants to join. He writes with such detail of his experience on Safe Keeping. What to give away and what to keep? He knows the excruciating pain that accompanies this task. Continue reading “Norrie McCulloch “Bare Along The Branches” (Black Dust Records, 2017)”

Elliott Smith’s Either/Or – expanded edition soon

Fourteen years have passed since Elliot Smith died, and twenty have passed since the release of Either/Or.  There’s been no dimming in the interest in his music, and there’s no reason why more of it shouldn’t be released.  So here it is, the twentieth anniversary expanded edition of Either/Or. Continue reading “Elliott Smith’s Either/Or – expanded edition soon”