Chip Taylor “A Song I Can Live With” (Train Wreck Records, 2017)

“Good Morning from New York. It is January 11th 2016. David Bowie died yesterday.” Chip Taylor’s voice and delivery conjures up a feeling of warmth and intimacy that reminds one greatly of the late Alistair Cooke and his weekly ‘Letter from America’ for Radio 4. Taylor shares a similar avuncular style to the radio presenter. In a bizarre crime, before cremation, Cooke’s body was stolen and his bones sold as parts for bone grafts by a crooked surgeon, who never told the recipients that Cooke had died from cancer that had metastasized throughout his body, including said bones. Continue reading “Chip Taylor “A Song I Can Live With” (Train Wreck Records, 2017)”

Gin Blossoms reflect on their classic album 25 years on

If you’ve never heard “New Miserable Experience” and you want a new not all that miserable experience, it really is worth digging out. Nice little piece (well, not so little) in Rolling Stone this morning about the Gin Blossoms classic: “It’s a miracle that the Gin Blossoms’ breakthrough album, New Miserable Experience, exists at all. When the band left Tempe, Arizona, in 1992, headed for Memphis’ famed Ardent Studios to record their first album for A&M Records, the mood was far from optimistic. A first attempt at cutting the record in 1991 in Los Angeles was a $100,000 disaster. The group teetered on the edge of being dropped, and, most alarmingly, their founder and chief songwriter, guitarist Doug Hopkins, was in the throes of mental illness and alcoholism.  Continue reading “Gin Blossoms reflect on their classic album 25 years on”

Those Lavender Whales “My Bones are Singing” (Fork & Spoon Records, 2017)

There is a backstory to My Bones Are Singing, and although it’s not explicitly spelt out at any point on the album it’s so relevant that it can’t really be ignored. Before recording My Bones are Singing, Aaron Graves, who is Those Lavender Whales, had been diagnosed with a life threatening brain tumour. Knowing this puts an extra emphasis on the reflections on mortality that permeate the album – it’s not something that can just be dismissed as existential angst or a grappling with the awful inevitability of life’s ultimate destination. Continue reading “Those Lavender Whales “My Bones are Singing” (Fork & Spoon Records, 2017)”

The Andrew Collins Trio “And It Was Good” (Independent, 2017)

This is a difficult album to review simply because I’ve never heard anything quite like it before. For a start, it’s totally instrumental; unusual in the Americana genre, though the music does have its roots quite firmly in Bluegrass.  It’s also a concept album, something else that’s quite rare in this genre. And not just any old concept – this album takes the rather grand biblical story of creation as its theme. You certainly can’t accuse Andrew Collins and his band mates, Mike Mezzatesta and James McEleney of lacking ambition. Continue reading “The Andrew Collins Trio “And It Was Good” (Independent, 2017)”

Uncut wants you to ask Jason Isbell some questions

If you’ve always wondered what Jason Isbell’s favourite colour is, whether he ever wears socks with sandals and who his favourite Hollyoaks character is (now or historical Jason, your choice!) then carpe diem as the saying goes. Uncut report: ” Ahead of the release of his new album, The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell will be answering your questions as part of our regular An Audience With… feature. So is there anything you’d like us to ask the singer song-writer?  Continue reading “Uncut wants you to ask Jason Isbell some questions”

Yola Carter announces Scottish dates for June

Bristol Americana / country-soul songwriter Yola Carter, voted the AMA UK Artist of the Year 2017, has announced a run of Scottish tour dates. Following a year that saw the release of her debut solo EP ‘Orphan Offering’ she has added an acoustic trio tour of Scotland to her forthcoming live dates. A firm favourite at Southern Fried Festival following several performances in recent years, as well as a standout performance as part of the Roaming Roots Revue at Celtic Connections in January, the country has become a key part of her touring. In her own words: “Scotland is one of my favourite places to play. It’s a place where the folk tradition is alive and kicking and open to so much music.”  Here are those dates.  Continue reading “Yola Carter announces Scottish dates for June”