Crowell, Cash and John Paul White pay homage to Guy Clark – Watch

This is lurvely (and not blocked for UK viewing for once) with a great sentiment behind it. Rolling Stone report: “Rodney Crowell was joined by Rosanne Cash and John Paul White to recreate the trio’s rendition of “It Ain’t Over Yet,” the lead single from Crowell’s new album, Close Ties. The song was just one of several highlights during Crowell’s album-release show Thursday, March 30th at New York’s City Winery, which also included Crowell and Cash duetting on both 1979’s “No Memories Hangin’ Round” and Crowell’s signature song, “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight.” Watch the performance of “It Ain’t Over Yet” [below].  Continue reading “Crowell, Cash and John Paul White pay homage to Guy Clark – Watch”

Imelda May “Life Love Flesh Blood” (Decca, 2017)

This is the first album from Imelda May since 2014 and it is impecably produced by none other than the legendary T Bone Burnett. The style represents a change of direction from the Dublin born singer who has emerged from the break up of her 18 year marriage with an album concentrating on matters of the heart. However, this is not introspective soul searching work but rather well thought out and intelligent songs about the human condition. Continue reading “Imelda May “Life Love Flesh Blood” (Decca, 2017)”

Ryan Lee “Always A River” (Independent, 2016)

Ryan Lee doesn’t perform like most singer-songwriters since he marches to the beat of a different drum. His style of work reminds me of the anguished torment associated with much of the work of the late Vic Chesnutt, as he weaves images awash in intricate artful beauty. Honest and unbending the lyrics are given flight by his interesting vocals and varied arrangements. Supported by guitars, piano, drums, percussion and harmony vocals Lee, who performs all duties apart from percussion on four tracks is said to have seen his life take an exciting turn when an unexpected love showed up, one to propel him into an exciting world of adventure, creative rebirth and wide-eyed optimism to the degree he now has an urgency to share his work with the world. Lee has grabbed hold of the opportunity to capitalise on the energy gained from this experience with both hands. On the song Simple he speaks of how he (and his love) are in the need of nothing or desire of the finer things such the feeling of contentment gained from them meeting.  Continue reading “Ryan Lee “Always A River” (Independent, 2016)”

Adult Karate “Indoors” (Plug Research, 2017)

This might be a hard sell, and to be straight from the outset there is not a shred of what most people would define as Americana in this release. Nor is there a touch of roots, or for that matter rocking. Adult Karate – which is for all intents and purposes KC Maloney – is an all electric band : yes, we’re talking synthesisers here. Continue reading “Adult Karate “Indoors” (Plug Research, 2017)”

Paul Kelly announces UK dates for later this year

Paul Kelly is one of the legends of Aussie singer-songwriting, so much so that he’s been Bob Dylan’s support of choice when he’s toured in Australia, but he’s still relatively unknown on UK shores – although to be fair from the fact that his UK dates always all sell out then he’s probably not that best kept a secret.  Anyway he’s heading to the UK (and Europe) in September for a handful of dates which include London, Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham, Amsterdam and Paris.  And after you’ve perused the finer details, here’s a clip of Paul and Neil Finn playing his 80s antipodean anthem “Leaps & Bounds”  Continue reading “Paul Kelly announces UK dates for later this year”

South By Southwest Festival 2017. Austin, Texas

I normally advise Americana-loving friends who enquire about sxsw simply to visit Austin at any time of the year and check out venues like the Broken Spoke or the Saxon Pub to get the authentic Austin feel. You’ll be sure to see the likes of Jon Dee Graham, William Harries Graham, Bob Schneider, Darden Smith, James McMurtry and other such stalwarts of the scene. But there are certain sxsw American events that are unique to that week and are not to be missed.

The Yard Dog Gallery on South Congress has a yard at the back which is covered by a gazebo during sxsw and it is really worth spending a whole afternoon there, because the music is invariably top notch and the audience respectful and very much “up for it”. A common characteristic of all the places I shall describe is the superhuman amount of alcohol consumed. I’m by no means teetotal but I tell you, the amount these guys put away is mind-boggling. Nursing a three dollar local IPA, I was hugely entertained by a highly-wired Austin Lucas (whose Alone In Memphis always brings a lump to the throat), who also duetted with Mara Connor. Continue reading “South By Southwest Festival 2017. Austin, Texas”

Robert Cray announces UK Tour 2017

There are some artists who chip away at the coal face of an existing musical genre, and there are those who through the dint of their efforts take a form that is in danger of becoming moribund and predictable and give it an effective and new direction. Robert Cray is one of the latter – who shook up the blues scene in the 1980s and forty years later in 2014 topped the blues charts with his release In My Soul.   That’s probably why he’s picked up a handful of Grammys along the way as well as being noted as a favourite of Barak Obama (remember him?).  In the intervening years he’s shaped a special niche for himself – too soulful for some hardcore fans, too many touches of rock for others, but it is this striking individuality that makes him, like Eric Bibb, someone who truly crosses boundaries.  Continue reading “Robert Cray announces UK Tour 2017”