Dirty Dozen: The Anatomy of Frank

The Virginia based folk-rock trio The Anatomy of Frank explore nostalgia, relationships and mortality with the release of their latest album South America, out on 1st September 2017 via Polar Islands. Having formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2010 as a five-piece, in 2015 the band found themselves in a state of disarray with the departure of two members. As a result, Kyle (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Bullis (keyboards) and Max Bollinger (drums) decided to re-orchestrate their sound and breathe new life into the band’s identity. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Anatomy of Frank”

Interview: Rodney Crowell

Houston-born singer-songwriter and longtime Nashville resident Rodney Crowell continues to lift his game as a songwriter, and his latest album ‘Close Ties’ (New West) qualifies as the most honest set of work he has ever done. Crowell has seen his songs recorded by countless people, ranging from his old boss, Emmylou Harris to Johnny Cash by way of blues legend Etta James, Bob Seger, George Strait, Steve Young, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw, and of course a man he co-wrote a few jewels with, Guy Clark. With Clark’s death in 2016 still very much in the mind of the singer-songwriter community, Crowell was keen to share his admiration with Maurice Hope. Continue reading “Interview: Rodney Crowell”

Los Straitjackets “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets” (Yep Roc, 2017)

In which Los Straitjackets provide thirteen instrumental versions of Nick Lowe songs. They add their usual twang, and it ends up like a Shadows record without Cliff Richard. Mildly diverting at first and in the end a futile exercise, there isn’t really one song that sounds better as an instrumental, and no version really does anything astounding so you forget the vocal melody and they also slide into cheesy territory as Lately I’ve Let Things Slide shows where the melancholy is replaced with musical a kiss me quick hat. Continue reading “Los Straitjackets “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets” (Yep Roc, 2017)”

Interview: Jim Miller (Western Centuries)

Americana musician of long standing Jim Miller is breaking new ground with fellow creative minds Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton and other members of Western Centuries as they bring a new and exciting, and slightly experimental sound to the table. “Weight of the World”, the band’s debut has been met with much praise, so much so people are already marking it down as one of the best of 2017. Maurice Hope spoke to Jim Miller. Continue reading “Interview: Jim Miller (Western Centuries)”

Quiet Loner “The Battle for the Ballot” (Independent, 2017)

I should have reviewed this record during the General Election campaign and it would have provided the perfect backdrop and context. It is an inspiring record, the result of Matt Hill’s stint as songwriter in residence at the People’s History Museum in Manchester – the national museum for democracy. His brief was to explore the story of universal suffrage and these songs tell those tales that are all but forgotten now. As our democracy is being syphoned away it is pertinent to remember the stories of the brave men and women who fought for a better society. Continue reading “Quiet Loner “The Battle for the Ballot” (Independent, 2017)”

Gillian Welch talks vinyl with Stereogum

After yesterday’s terrible Fleet Foxes related news (lol as the kids say), calm yourself with this nice little interview Gillian Welch has done with Stereogum where she talks about the vinyl reissue of her most recent album “The Harrow & the Harvest” which came out back in 2011.  She talks in detail about the process, telling them: “When we were actually cutting the lacquer for Harrow, since it was our first time cutting an album for an LP, it was really stressful and really difficult. Dave and [a few] of the guys doing the cutting with myself and Stephen Marcussen, they were reading this old mastering manual. Continue reading “Gillian Welch talks vinyl with Stereogum”