Sturgill Simpson slims down for new tour

Not literally.  Rolling Stone reports: “Sturgill Simpson has made key changes to his band, debuting a stripped-down, lean lineup at a performance in Florida this past weekend. Simpson addressed the transformation, which bids farewell to his touring horn section and, most noticeably, longtime lead guitarist Laur Joamets, on Facebook. “We’ve been trying to keep it under wraps to avoid the inevitable rumor mill, but last night’s gig in Okeechobee FL officially marks the beginning of a new chapter,” Simpson wrote. “We’re all very sad to say that after nearly four years Laur Joamets has decided it’s time to move on to pursue greener pastures and a gig with little more wiggle room for him to stretch out. It’s been a pleasure and an honor watching him grow into one of the baddest guitar players on the planet and everyone in the band wishes him the best in his future endeavors.”  Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson slims down for new tour”

Fleet Foxes preview forthcoming album with new track – Listen

More small furry omnivorous mammal news from Rolling Stone: “Fleet Foxes will return June 16th with Crack-Up, the follow-up to 2011’s Helplessness Blues. The band announced the album on Tuesday and released “Third of May/Ōdaigahara,” which shows that their harmony-heavy folk-rock remains intact. “Third of May/Ōdaigahara” is an ambitious composition with string orchestration, multiple voices rising in unison and marked shifts from loud to quiet. At several points during the nearly nine-minute song, the pounding piano falls to leave a lone singer, who sounds fragile and isolated. The band roars back to full volume, but in the final minutes of the song are voiceless and beat-less – just a soothing wash of strings.   Continue reading “Fleet Foxes preview forthcoming album with new track – Listen”

Johnny Cash Sun Records collection out next month

Charly Records have announced the release of a new rather lovely looking Johnny Cash box set – The Original Sun Albums 1957-1964 will arrive on 8 CDs with all kinds of extras on April 28th 2017. The release celebrates the 60th anniversary of the release of Johnny Cash’s first album in 1957, presenting for the first time all 7 classic Cash Sun albums in one collection, comprising 83 songs as they appeared on the original LPs, plus a bonus disc of alternate versions, rare recordings and outtakes, all newly remastered from the original Sun master tapes. Also included are every Johnny Cash 7-inch single A & B side originally released on Sun Records. Continue reading “Johnny Cash Sun Records collection out next month”

Thea Gilmore announces new album – Listen

Thea Gilmore – who Uncut once described as “the best British singer-songwriter of the last ten years – and then some” – has announced the release of her new album The Counterweight, which will be released June 2nd through our friends over at Cooking Vinyl. The first single to be taken from the album ‘Sounds Good To Me’, is out now. You can listen to it below, and Gilmore says of it: “I like to think of it as a bit of an anarchist’s polka… Calling the dispossessed, the downtrodden, the weary to arms. Lighting a fire… remembering there’s more than one way to live and who wants to walk when you can dance!” The album deals with issues such as Brexit, Orlando and the murder of Jo Cox. It may not be the feel-good album of 2017 but then we should count our lucky stars for protest singers in this day and age. Continue reading “Thea Gilmore announces new album – Listen”

Jarrod Dickenson “Ready The Horses” (Hooked Records, 2017)

Good God Jarrod can sing. He’s a storyteller with a voice rich as agave nectar; he holds a narrative and bends it however he feels, you hang onto every word. On this set of songs he’s pretty much equidistant between Tom Waits and Michael Buble, and that’s not meant to be derogatory in any way, it’s testament to the way he controls the songs and the audience – the opening one-two of the bluesy belters of Faint of Heart and Take It From Me are big set-pieces full of showmanship  Then he settles down and the simpler Your Heart Belongs To Me shows him in more intimate circumstances his voice even more seductive when near a whisper. Continue reading “Jarrod Dickenson “Ready The Horses” (Hooked Records, 2017)”

Alison Krauss chats to Guardian readers about all kinds of stuff

But crucially is evasive when it comes to the mayonnaise vs salad cream question. What is she trying to hide?  Alison Krauss took the time to chat to Guardian readers this morning – The whole webchat is over at the Guardian site here and covers some really interesting topics including what British female singers have inspired her (“Sonia”), plans for a live album (“yes, I have a tour planned with Climie Fisher”) and why she picked Brenda Lee songs (“loved her cookery programmes in the eighties”).  Paraphrasing, probably best to go and have a look at her reponses yourself.  “Windy City” is out in the UK now, number 1 in Amazon’s Country Chart and already garnering some lovely reviews – look out for ours shortly.  Continue reading “Alison Krauss chats to Guardian readers about all kinds of stuff”

Neil Young shares video for ‘Peace Trail’ – Watch

NPR are being good to us again this week – they’re carrying the new Neil Young video (which is really quite lovely) with the following blurb: “When Neil Young gets fired up, sometimes his best music comes to pass. Just weeks after the election, Neil Young released his second album of 2016, the quietly optimistic Peace Trail, recorded in “about a week” according to The Los Angeles Times, with drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Paul Bushnell. The largely acoustic record’s title track closes with classic electric-Neil, but is driven by classic lyrical-Neil:  Continue reading “Neil Young shares video for ‘Peace Trail’ – Watch”

Ags Connolly “Nothin’ Unexpected” (At The Helm Records, 2017)

Who doesn’t love Ags over-easy? Bob Harris really digs this new offering from Ags Connolly. He’s already played several tracks on his show and it’s easy to see why it has got him all stirred up. Ags has teamed up with a sterling group of musicians that includes Michael Guerra from The Mavericks on accordion, and Grand Ole Opry stalwart Eamon McLoughlin on fiddle.  Released on the tuned-in Brighton-based At The Helm label which specialises in releasing ‘un-scrubbed Americana music’, it has been three years since Ags’ first release, How About Now, but the wait has been worth it. Continue reading “Ags Connolly “Nothin’ Unexpected” (At The Helm Records, 2017)”