Rab Noakes “The Treatment Tapes EP” (Neon Records 2017)

This is an outstanding and unforgettable record for two reasons: Firstly, it shines musically, and secondly, it tells the specific story of the discovery and treatment of Rab’s tonsillar cancer, diagnosed early in 2015. For both reasons the EP will appeal to most peoples’ inner sensitivity, drawing them in, in a particular and very personal way. This, musically and lyrically, is a short collection, but it takes you firmly along what could be a difficult path, where a “howling ghost” lurks, but ends up somehow in a place where a sense of hope survives, in whatever context you would allow it to blossom in. Continue reading “Rab Noakes “The Treatment Tapes EP” (Neon Records 2017)”

Grandaddy return with first new album in over a decade

Lovely news from Consequence of Sound – like the prodigal son returning (although there’s no evidence they’ve done anything wrong).  They report: “Ever since Grandaddy reformed six years ago, fans have been begging for a new record from Jason Lytle and the boys. On March 3rd, their prayers will finally be answered when the reunited alternative rockers release Last Place via Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records. In anticipation, the record is streaming in its entirety below (via NPR) [if you live in the US – sorry UK subjects].  Continue reading “Grandaddy return with first new album in over a decade”

Robert Vincent “I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins” (At The Helm Records, 2017)

Of late fortune has smiled on Liverpudlian Robert Vincent. He was the first recipient of The Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award at the inaugural Americana Association UK Conference and Awards last year. He was also invited to be a showcase UK artist for Nashville’s Americana Fest in September and ended up in Rolling Stone’s list of “20 Best Things We Saw at Americana Fest”. On top of positive reviews for his debut album Life In Easy steps it seems it’s onwards and upwards for Mr. Vincent and consequently expectations for this album are quite high. Recorded in Liverpool and mixed in Nashville (with Ray Kennedy at the controls) I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins certainly meets these expectations although it’s an album that has a few surprises up its sleeve. Continue reading “Robert Vincent “I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins” (At The Helm Records, 2017)”

Johnny Parry “An Anthology of All Things” (Songs & Whispers, 2017)

Most records we get have such a limited scope and ambition that we can at least attempt to encapsulate them within a few hundred words. This record is of such ludicrous sweep and ambition that I doubt I could ever even start to detail its borders. It contains a chamber orchestra, a soprano (Donna Lennard) and the Bedford Arts choir. It consists of eight movements with the lyrics constructed from short statements submitted by the local community. It appears to be both a logistical nightmare and one of those projects that seem worthy of approbation but are seldom enjoyed. If it were American I’d be talking about Charles Ives, John Adams, Saul Chaplin, Michael Daugherty and how it fits into Americana in its broader sense. I have fewer British reference points, possibly Benjamin Britten, then I’m at the limits of my knowledge. Continue reading “Johnny Parry “An Anthology of All Things” (Songs & Whispers, 2017)”

RS Country talks to Rhett Miller

And what better excuse for sticking a picture of Rhett Miller up for a Friday morning than a new RS Country interview with him where he talks about the Old 97s’ new record. They report: “When the Old 97’s decided to record their new album Graveyard Whistling in the same West Texas studio they’d recorded in 20 years ago, it was anything but a safe decision. Sonic Ranch, a recording studio built into an old hacienda on a giant pecan orchard in the border town of Tornillo, outside El Paso, hadn’t changed much over the years. But the lives of singer Rhett Miller and his band mates couldn’t have been more different.”  Continue reading “RS Country talks to Rhett Miller”