Jason McNiff “Rain Dries Your Eyes” (Tombola Records, 2017)

Delve into the Americana UK archives and you’ll find a lot of love for Jason McNiff. Over the course of 15 years and six albums, McNiff has constantly found favour with assorted reviewers (a task in itself) and his 2003 album Nobody’s Son was our album of that year. A running thread throughout the mentions and reviews is bewilderment as to why McNiff is not more celebrated with comments such as “the UK’s most underrated Americana artist” bandied about. So much for Americana UK being taste makers but we can take comfort in the fact that others such as Mojo, No Depression, The Independent and Time Out all concur and despite that McNiff remains something of a secret. It’s somewhat shameful that when the charts (such as they are) are populated by chaps emoting in a singer songwriter fashion and who are best known for the colour of their hair or their hat sense that someone like McNiff is relegated to cult status. Continue reading “Jason McNiff “Rain Dries Your Eyes” (Tombola Records, 2017)”

Gate to Southwell roots festival announces 2017 line-up

The eleventh Gate To Southwell Festival has announced its line-up and it’s looking pretty ace. Running from Thursday June 8th to Sunday June 11th in rural Nottinghamshire, the festival headliners include the lovely Kate Rusby, and Jon Boden, frontman of Bellowhead (RIP). There’s also an array of international performers including BOC from Mallorca plus Canadian bands Le Vent Du Nord and The East Pointers.  Americana fans will be well served by appearances from two of Norfolk’s Alden, Patterson and Dashwood, and The Vagaband, along with Edinburgh’s Wayward Jane and London’s Dana Immanuel and the Stolen Band. The newest addition to the line-up is The Life and Times of the Brothers Hogg , recent recipient of a 9/10 review from ourselves for their album “Celestial Emporium” Continue reading “Gate to Southwell roots festival announces 2017 line-up”

Aoife O’Donovan announces UK and Ireland dates

Aoife O’Donovan, the artist with probably the highest vowel-consonant ratio of any modern performer, has songs which Mojo describes as “frequently sun-kissed and feather-light, but [they] often develop a dark beauty.” Her most recent album “In the Magic Hour” which was released last year has garnered some rather impressive reviews and she’s now announced a brief run of dates to promote it, kicking off in London and winding its way round our fair isles before arriving in Dublin a week later.  Here are the dates in full along with a new clip of her playing live in Portland, Maine. Continue reading “Aoife O’Donovan announces UK and Ireland dates”

Southern Fried Festival’s 10th Year has a stellar line up

Perched up in the fair city of Perth, regarded as the gateway to the Highlands, Southern Fried has grown in stature over the years to become the premier Americana Festival in Scotland. With its mix of formal concerts, free open stage and late night revelries it is compact (awarded Best Small Festival in 2014) with no need for tents or wellies and it attracts a variety of artists who should be familiar to all readers of Americana UK.

For its 10th anniversary, Southern Fried has just unveiled its line up for this year’s festival and it’s somewhat spectacular. Nick Lowe, Rodney Crowell and Loudon Wainwright are the name draws playing in the concert hall along with evenings dedicated to Chuck Berry (featuring Andy Fairweather Low) and a celebration of Canadian music. Then there’s Jim Lauderdale, Chuck Prophet, Angaleena Presley, Sam Outlaw, Peter Bruntnell, Doug Seegers, Ags Connolly, Rachel Harrington, Sean Taylor, Rab Noakes and Danni Nicholls. We’re still awaiting the line-ups for the open and acoustic stages but there’s no doubt that there’ll be several well- kent names appearing on these.  Continue reading “Southern Fried Festival’s 10th Year has a stellar line up”

NPR music streams new Willie Nelson album in full – Listen

So the end of another week, and another ace preview of a forthcoming album by the lovely people at NPR music, this time of the new album by perhaps the most prolific artist in country music today, Willie Nelson. “God’s Problem Child” is out next Friday, the follow up to last year’s Ray Price tribute, featuring tracks co-written by producer Buddy Cannon. The album includes “Delete And Fast-Forward,” which is his take on the US election (no prizes for guessing his leanings) and there’s also a Merle Haggard tribute song written by Gary Nicholson.  Grab yourself a skinny mocha and settle down for 44 minutes by clicking play below. Continue reading “NPR music streams new Willie Nelson album in full – Listen”

Dire Wolves “Excursions to Cloudland” (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2017)

Four tracks do not an EP make – not when they time-in at up to 12 minutes – so make no mistake, this release from Dire Wolves is a fully fledged album. Excursions to Cloudland is a mostly instrumental excursion into the sphere of tightened up jams, cut with hypnotic riffs and looping bass runs. Dire Wolves pledge an allegiance to the Space-Rock ethos of Hawkwind, and with ever present chirps of violin and strange electronic bleepings on opener Enter Quietly there’s certainly a good nod to the line-up of that band which included Simon House. Continue reading “Dire Wolves “Excursions to Cloudland” (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2017)”