Cam Penner and Jon Wood – UK Tour

cam-penner-2016Cam Penner and Jon Wood have arrived on our shores armed with a ridiculous amount of equipment for two people and ready to undertake an extensive and fast moving tour.  They launched off with an appearance at The Green Note in London – but that was last night and you’re too late for it now.  Don’t despair there are many opportunities available to catch their musical wizardry.  Continue reading “Cam Penner and Jon Wood – UK Tour”

John Paul White: Bush Hall, London – 8th November 2016

John Paul White, along with Joy Williams, was The Civil Wars – the all-conquering duo who filled the void when Plant and Krauss stopped gigging their Raising Sand album. The Civil Wars lasted for a similar timespan, coming to a crashing halt after a gig at the Roundhouse in 2012. No longer talking to each other, all future gigs were cancelled and a band hiatus called. During this a hugely successful second album managed to be released, but White declined to help promote it and soon after their parting of the musical ways was announced with the cryptic comment that it was due to “differences of ambition”. In subsequent interviews neither party has really clarified what that meant, and the general consensus that they’d had an affair that had ended badly remains neither confirmed or denied. John Paul White set up a studio and record label and seemed happy to promote the likes of Dylan LeBlanc – at least until now. Continue reading “John Paul White: Bush Hall, London – 8th November 2016”

Grateful Dead – 30 days of November

30-days-of-dead-2016-cover-artIn an act of typical generosity The Grateful Dead are giving away a song a day all through the month of November.  Covering all periods of the Dead these range from a few minutes long to the epics that one has come to expect from The Grateful Dead.  There’s also a prize quiz, but you don’t need to enter this to get access to the tracks.  Even better, the tracks already posted will remain available all month.  So, if you’d like to have a free Grateful Dead album – then your wish has been granted.  Just head over to www.dead.net.  Thanks guys – we needed a lift this month.

The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society “Turn it Golden” (Greywood Records, 2016)

tselliotappreciation-2016Tom Gerritsen (a.k.a. The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society) proffers a back story which invites disbelief – born into a travelling carnival he abandoned the carny life to write songs whilst working in a bookshop before taking said songs on an extended two year long busking tour of North America. Well, I’ll buy the bookshop – many of Gerritsen’s fantastical songs are undeniably literary in style, with The Grand Tour also showing the hallmark of a man who has had to read Where the Wild Things Are to a fidgety bunch of toddlers, restlessly sitting in the children’s corner, just one too many times. Continue reading “The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society “Turn it Golden” (Greywood Records, 2016)”

The Lumineers: Hammersmith Apollo, London – 4th November 2016

The Lumineers burst onto the scene with a huge breakthrough hit Ho, Hey, and quickly found themselves pigeonholed alongside the likes of Mumford & Sons. Whereas that band had shot religious imagery right through their lyrics and clung to a “every song builds to a crescendo” formula, The Lumineers were more interested in girls and relationships and a stripped down musical vibe. All that was four years ago, now in 2016 for their second album, Cleopatra, they’ve teamed up with Simone Felice as producer and steered in a direction that’s slightly darker whilst retaining a distinct upbeat undercurrent. And it clearly has wide-appeal, this sold out appearance was the first of two nights at the legendary Hammersmith Apollo. Continue reading “The Lumineers: Hammersmith Apollo, London – 4th November 2016”

3hattrio “Solitaire” (American Desert Music, 2016)

3hattrio-2016I’d never be one to suggest that experimentation is of itself not a good thing, and 3hattrio’s music does offer something new – their blend of elements of roots Americana with a modern jazz sensibility and an affection for sound effects is certainly removed from the mainstream. But, as Doctor Frankenstein discovered, not all experiments are an unqualified success. So, whilst Texas Time Traveller will do little to shock those who have followed Howe Gelb’s more out there compositions and extended improvisations, 3hattrios banjo led bluegrass version of “Get Up Stand Up” may raise a few eyebrows. Continue reading “3hattrio “Solitaire” (American Desert Music, 2016)”

Steve Grozier “Take My Leave” (Batcat Records, 2016)

steve-grozier-2016Steve Grozier has had the four songs which make up the Take My Leave EP knocking around unrecorded for more than a decade. Not stuffed, half forgotten, in a draw like some embarrassing half finished first draft of a novel. Nope these songs which document the part of his life spent living in Toronto have remained in the Scottish singer-songwriters’ set lists, it’s just that they’ve been newly polished up through being played in a band setting. The presence of a rhythm section and additional guitars has changed them enough to make Grozier keen to record them – and it’s easy to hear why. Continue reading “Steve Grozier “Take My Leave” (Batcat Records, 2016)”

Bob Dylan – Nobel Laureate for Literature

bob-dylan-2016It can hardly have passed by anyone’s attention that the Nobel committee have announced that this year they will be awarding the sumptuous gold medal and even more sumptuous cheque – payable to cash – to Bob Dylan for his services to literature. Here at Americana-UK we like to think of ourselves as impartial observers of and commentators on the world of music. However, this announcement prompts, nay demands, a more fulsome response. And that response is – “About Damn Time”. Continue reading “Bob Dylan – Nobel Laureate for Literature”

Ana Egge & The Sentimentals “Say That Now” (Grace Records, 2016)

ann-egge-2016Ana Egge has a collaborative nature – she has recorded with the likes of Steve Earle and Ron Sexsmith; her last album had The Stray Birds backing her up and on Say That Now she’s gone back to her Danish roots recording in Denmark with folk-rockers The Sentimentals. And again it’s a full collaboration – amongst the self-penned songs there are also co-writes with Jacob Chano (drums), Nikolaj Wolf (bass) and M C Hansen (guitars) – and even one song credited just to Hansen. An integrated group of musicians, then, sparking off one another and freely giving room for all to breath. Continue reading “Ana Egge & The Sentimentals “Say That Now” (Grace Records, 2016)”

Bruce Springsteen “Chapter and Verse” (Columbia Records, 2016)

bruce-springsteen-2016As is probably obvious from the title, this is the companion album to The Boss’ recent biography Born To Run – the songs chosen by him – and as such covers the breadth of his career, including a few pre-E Street Band recordings. It’s not exactly a best of, but with five previously unreleased tracks alongside a whole bunch of the big numbers it’s more of a musical life story. Springsteen has been a masterful exponent of reinvention – perhaps the best at this in the last fifty years. He hasn’t had quite as many musical changes of direction as Dylan, but easily as many as David Bowie. Where Bowie accompanied each side step with a new persona Bruce has managed to perform his musical shimmies whilst always remaining as The Boss. Continue reading “Bruce Springsteen “Chapter and Verse” (Columbia Records, 2016)”