Margo Price: “We’re not going to allow things to revert back to the Fifties”

RS Country has a really interesting piece up today on Margo Price, where they chat to her about the forlorn state of the world and country music’s opportunity to do the right thing (preferably so we don’t have another embarrasing Dixie Chicks “Burn in Hell” debacle). They report: “When Margo Price returned to Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis late last year to begin tracking the follow-up to Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, uncertainty and change were hanging in the air. Donald Trump had just been elected president, and his popular MAGA refrain sounded to many like regressive action, a rolling back of rights for American citizens. For Price, it shifted the tone of her new album, appropriately titled All American Made. Continue reading “Margo Price: “We’re not going to allow things to revert back to the Fifties””

Jessica Lea Mayfield “Sorry Is Gone” (ATO Records, 2017)

There are times when great pieces of music can be produced out of the most unlikely source material. As, in her own words, the poisonous marriage of Jessica Lea Mayfield unfolded before her eyes, she started to write lyrics that began to reclaim her life as she reflected on years of domestic abuse. As the songs took shape they acted as therapy and the end product is a searingly open and honest piece of work. Continue reading “Jessica Lea Mayfield “Sorry Is Gone” (ATO Records, 2017)”

Dweezil Zappa, Royal Festival Hall, London, 10th October 2017

Dweezil Zappa could just be the finest current example of a chip off the old block in the world of rock and jazz. Not that there’s anything wrong in the slightest with tribute bands, but Dweezil playing his Dad’s inventive music is in a different class entirely. He seems almost to channel Frank’s guitar and yet also has a style all his own, albeit one that draws on and takes inspiration from his musical heritage. ‬ Continue reading “Dweezil Zappa, Royal Festival Hall, London, 10th October 2017”

Elliott Brood set for European spooktacular

Which makes it sound like it starts on Halloween, which it doesn’t, their latest album is called “Ghost Gardens” though and it’ll be dark when you come out of all their European dates, which they’ve announced a whole load of today.  The three-piece, folk-rock/alt-country band from Ontario, Canada released their sixth full length record earlier this year to some nice reviews, and they won a Juno award back in 2013.  Check out the list of dates on their site including the Borderline on Dec 11th and other England dates in Brighton, Winchester and Newcastle Upon Tyne. Continue reading “Elliott Brood set for European spooktacular”

Van Life: Wild Ponies

Whenever I think of life on the road as a touring musician I inevitably think of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and those three goodie-laden coaches named after their occupants. Inside, no doubt, the fridges were full to capacity with beers and wine, the bunks were laden with goose feathered quilts, wafts of pheasant and cranberries escaping from the cooking galley with every conceivable need taken care of.  Sadly, for every ELP there are a million road warriors out there on the highways and byways living an altogether different van life. Continue reading “Van Life: Wild Ponies”

Pick of the Political Pops: Lynyrd Skynyrd “Sweet Home Alabama”

The vast majority of the statuary here at Americana-Uk Towers is dedicated to our Glorious Leader/Editor in Chief and we can’t see that history being revised anytime soon. Even the small shrine in the furthest corner of The Bunker dedicated to him features a small maquette of his likeness so we are well used to seeing his fairsome and fearsome visage around the place. Our interest was piqued then when we heard that certain statues in certain places (the southern USA for example) were to be removed since they no longer fit a modern view of history. We are planning a referendum on the matter of our own public art and will let you know the outcome when our Glorious Leader says we can. Meantime we have been mulling on the musical history of “The South” and were reminded of this little ditty in which the protagonists seemingly support a segregationist governor and don’t give a hoot about the anti-democratic wrong doings of a right wing president (in a place called Watergate). Perhaps fortunately the meaning of the song has also been subject to some ‘revision’ of its own (according to research) and we can now hopefully, politically correctly, tap our toes to what is a nice little tune. And of course laugh along with well known prankster Mr. N. Young.

The Strange Blue Dreams “The Strange Blue Dreams” (Holy Smokes Records, 2017)

Amongst the many strands of American inspired revivalist music – whether it be Appalachian folk or pre-war Blues, the sounds of the sixties folk boom or the reclaiming of minstrelsy and old-time music one musical thread that has not been so heavily championed is – with the possible exception of Rockabilly and hep-cat music – that strange melange of styles that was present at the birth of Rock and Roll.  Scottish band The Strange Blue Dreams are setting out to redress the balance a little on their debut album with a diverse collection of songs that sound like nothing more or less than a 1956 juke box. Continue reading “The Strange Blue Dreams “The Strange Blue Dreams” (Holy Smokes Records, 2017)”