City Roots Festival Returns in 2018

Trialled earlier this year as a winter spin-off from the main Folk Festival, Cambridge will once again see a mini-festival across the city’s music venues at the end of February and into March 2018.  As you’d expect there’s a wide range of artists and events – from Ward Thomas and Wildwood Kin performing a double bill at the Cambridge Corn Exchange to this year’s folk festival Club Tent sensation, Darren Eedens & The Slim Pickin’s at the Portland Arms. Continue reading “City Roots Festival Returns in 2018”

Pick of the Political Pops: Blue Mink “Melting Pot”

Fairly soon there is to be a major celebration which happens at the same time every year. Here at Americana-UK we fall fairly evenly into two camps – those that consider it the most wonderful time of the year and those that consider that we have fallen under the jackboot of emotional fascism. Obviously our differences are settled as soon as we repair to The Bunker for pints of sweet sherry and crème de menthe chasers. We were surprised to learn that one major retailer had come under fire for having the temerity to suggest it was ok to partake in the celebrations if you were other than white (and we assume Christian). How sad. This tune makes us feel better.

David Crosby “Sky Trails” (BMG, 2017)

David Crosby always wanted to sing jazz, and he made some forays into jazzier territory even within The Byrds with songs like Mind Gardens, but has really only indulged this urge more fully within the most recent releases from the duo Crosby-Nash and, most completely, with his work with CPR. Sky Trails features the R of CPR – in the form of Crosby’s biological son James Raymond – across the album and as producer whilst the P – that’s Jeff Pevar – appears on one track. Perhaps unsurprisingly Sky Trails sounds quite CPR-ish. Continue reading “David Crosby “Sky Trails” (BMG, 2017)”

Russell And the Wolf Choir “Every Spark Is An Indication” (Independent, 2017)

A mini-LP with something of a Californian West Coast vibe, yet delivered from the wilds of Essex. On vinyl too! Russell and The Wolf Choir actually nail a power pop/indie sound pretty well in the first part of this record. Big fuzzy choruses abound, with hints of Pixies guitars, Teenage Fanclub harmonies, Tom Petty arrangements (God rest his soul) and suitably non-bombastic vocals. Continue reading “Russell And the Wolf Choir “Every Spark Is An Indication” (Independent, 2017)”

Dan Michaelson “Careless” – Listen

There’s nothing careless about this track – the string section is magnificent, Dan Michaelson’s cracked vocal is simply embodying the distress of unravelling love.  Someone should check Dan’s ok.  But before you do that take a listen to the second single from his upcoming album First Light, which will be out early December.

Video: The Rockingbirds “Gradually Learning”

In the week when the UK Americana Association has announced that its Grass Roots Award for 2018 will go to Alan Tyler and Steve Pulford (and quite right too) it seems appropriate to have a track from Alan’s Rockingbirds for this weeks retro slot.  Something from The Arlenes next week.  Have a good weekend everyone.