Robert Plant to receive AMAUK Lifetime Achievement Award, Nominations Announced

The third annual UK Americana Awards will take place on Thursday 1st February 2018 at Hackney Empire, a move to a larger venue due to the increasing popularity of the event,  and AUK will of course be there covering it. The Americana Music Association UK has chosen Robert Plant to receive its highest honour, the 2018 UK Americana Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his contribution to the Americana genre over the span of his career and life in music. Continue reading “Robert Plant to receive AMAUK Lifetime Achievement Award, Nominations Announced”

Anna Tivel “Small Believer” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)

Small Believer, the follow up to last year’s Heroes Waking Up shows, that Anna Tivel has no shortage of complex and satisfying songs at her finger tips. In fact her talent is nothing less than prodigious, especially considering that this collection of word perfect songs were written while Tivel was out on tour. Anna Tivel’s songs occupy intimate spaces, her whispered voice just serving to emphasise this, and they tell stories. Continue reading “Anna Tivel “Small Believer” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)”

Van Morrison Announces New Album : Versatile

Rolling Stone reports (here) that, just three months after his last release Roll with the Punches, Van Morrison is preparing to releases his 38th studio LP. Where Roll with the Punches saw Van revisiting his blues and early rock and roll roots, the new album, Versatile, mixes jazz standards with new originals from the man himself. Much like his contemporary Bob Dylan, Van Morrisson is cherry picking from the Great American Songbook with jazz standards like George and Ira Gershwin’s A Foggy Day and They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Cole Porter’s I Get a Kick Out of You and Unchained Melody, popularized by the Righteous Brothers. Continue reading “Van Morrison Announces New Album : Versatile”

Ian James Stewart “Articana” (Independent, 2017)

Cast your mind back to the eighties and the age of poodle haired AOR (Album Orientated Rock) bands and it’s the likes of Foreigner and Journey who come to mind. Some delving reveals that a bunch of Scots lads, under the name of Strangeways, were serious contenders back then although they just missed out on the big time. They’re still a going concern but the reason for mentioning them is that their guitarist (and sometime lead singer), Ian James Stewart, has released his second solo album, Articana, an album far removed from chest beating arena rock. Heck, even Robert Wyatt appears on it. Continue reading “Ian James Stewart “Articana” (Independent, 2017)”

The Mining Co. “Mountain Fires” (Independent, 2017)

The Mining Company is singer/songwriter Michael Gallagher, indulging in the modern fashion of operating under a band name rather than his own. “Mountain Fires” is his second album, following on from 2016’s “Burning Sun and The Atomic Powers Within” and it’s an assured collection of well-written material. Given that it’s common for artists to use all their best material, often built up over a number of years, for their debut album it says a lot about Gallagher’s talent as a writer that he’s able to put out such a solid album so soon after his first offering.  Continue reading “The Mining Co. “Mountain Fires” (Independent, 2017)”

CC Smugglers + All Our Exes Live In Texas, The Cookie, Leicester, 4 November 2017

Although it was a Saturday and therefore de facto Bonfire Night a good-sized crowd piled into the basement of the Cookie and were rewarded with an outstanding evening.  Despite their name openers All Our Exes Live In Texas are from Sydney, Australia and are a delightful blend of folk and Americana.  The female four piece deliver gorgeous harmonies and some great songs while not taking themselves too seriously, happy to laugh at the odd on-stage fluffing of chords or telling of pointless stories.  They clearly enjoy themselves and the crowd respond to them.  Hopefully this won’t be their last visit to either Leicester or the UK. Continue reading “CC Smugglers + All Our Exes Live In Texas, The Cookie, Leicester, 4 November 2017”