Female country stars say “Time’s Up” – Watch

Billboard reports this morning on a new Nashville-based songwriting collective Song Suffragettes which is taking a stand against discrimination and harassment with the song “Time’s Up” whose video made its debut on Friday and which you can watch below. “Co-written by Kalie Shorr and Lacy Green, the song doesn’t mince words about the power imbalances faced by women in every corner of the world. “They say good things come to those who wait, but we’ve waited long enough. Our time is here, our time is now, our time is come,” the members sing in succession, accompanied by an ominous descending piano riff and thunderclap drums. Proceeds from the sale of the song will benefit Time’s Up, an organization and legal defense fund started by women in entertainment to end sexual harassment, assault and abuse against women everywhere.”

Ennis Sisters and Dave Gunning announce UK Tour

The Ennis Sisters and Dave Gunning have announced UK dates through February including shows in York, Birmingham, Bury and London’s King’s Place on March 2nd (full dates below).  The Ennis Sisters have returned to their roots on latest album “Stages”, singing contemporary folk songs with a traditional Irish Newfoundland twist. Dave Gunning on the other hand has a recording career now approaching a full two decades in length, and his music industry awards tally now stands at eight East Coast Music Awards and two Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus a 2012 Juno Award nomination in the Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year category. A bit greedy. Continue reading “Ennis Sisters and Dave Gunning announce UK Tour”

Track premiere: Oberon Rose “Tell Me All About It”

Oberson Rose hail from New England, a band whose sound has been described as “…a wonderful retro-fried slice of rock and psychedelic pop”. The band have shared this new track with AUK which has some lovely Beatles echoes to it. Lead singer Tommy Oberon told us: “To me, Tell Me All About has a multi-coloured spinning or circular type of feeling. Almost like a carousel, or better yet, a roulette wheel.  Each verse is its own vignette that is called up randomly by whichever slot the ball falls into.  Although each verse may seem disconnected from the ones before, when taken in as a whole, it tells a larger story.” And there’s a lyric video if you want to singalong.

Loose Records to celebrate 20 years at the AMAUK conference

Way back in 2001 when I first started Americana UK on a shoestring budget (not even a shoestring to be fair, it was zero) one of the first labels to kindly start sending us through stuff for review was Loose.  The albums were not only by some of the best names in americana but always beautifully packaged too, proving that you can have style and substance – indeed many people came to the genre in the first place through their amazing compilations they would produce in the days when everyone still bought CDs. At this year’s AMAUK awards which take place in Hackney at the end of this month, Loose perhaps more than any other label will have a major presence there, with two showcasing artists, three nominees and a special conference session reflecting on their two decades at the forefront of the genre.  AUK caught up with label founder (“Le Grand Fromage”) Tom Bridgewater and discussed the conference, what’s changed over 20 years and separating the wheat from the chaff. Continue reading “Loose Records to celebrate 20 years at the AMAUK conference”

Track premiere: Eugene Tyler Band “Training”

Eugene Tyler Band’s new album “Young Randy” is out today on Cold Folks Home Records, and they’ve shared their new single “Training” from it with us which has some nice intense guitar interplay that recalls the Milk Carton Kids or Mandolin Orange. Eugene told AUK: “With ‘Training’, we wanted to explore this idea that bodies are adaptable, and will get better at anything with repetition. The more times you do something, the easier it becomes. But what stress is harmful, and what stress is beneficial? What if you’ve just been getting better at being worse?”  Which is a feeling I know all too well…

EELS are back and as slippery as ever

To be fair the slippery bit was just to make a headline, but after a four year wait, EELS have today announced their new album “The Deconstruction”, out April 6th on E Works/[PIAS]. The band have unveiled the title track which you can hear below alongside UK headline shows in July, which includes London’s O2 Brixton Academy. The album is set to be released digitally, on CD, 2 x 10” LP, and on Limited Edition Deluxe 2 x 12” LP Box Set. Continue reading “EELS are back and as slippery as ever”

Track premiere: The Sound of Ghosts “I’m Gonna Be Free”

“I’m Gonna Be Free” is the new single from LA based americana roots collective The Sound of Ghosts who kind of do their own thing in terms of an americana sound and are all the better for it. Vocalist Anna Orbison told us: “This song was written when I quit a job I had been trying to quit for over a year. I took a shower the day I quit and this melody and lyrics just came to me at the same time. Ernesto [the band’s guitarist] then came over and we worked out the song together.” The track really picks up 2 minutes in. It must have been a good shower.

AMA-UK announces schedule for conference

The AMA-UK have announced full details of the schedule for their annual conference which takes place at the end of this month in Hackney and which you can still buy tickets for here.  It looks like a fantastic programme with highlights that include Billy Bragg giving the keynote speech on Wednesday morning, a session on Loose and how they turned three magic beans into one of the most successful americana labels in Europe, Bob Harris in conversation with Joe Henry and a songwriting workshop featuring Mary Gauthier and Sam Baker among others. And there’s lots of foody and boozy bits to break it up (plus a session featuring Frank Turner if you want to enjoy being told why being sponsored by Pepsi is better than the evil statist Arts Council for lazy artists).   Continue reading “AMA-UK announces schedule for conference”

Justin Timberlake: “My new album is modern americana with 808s” – Listen

As Stereogum conclude with this article, let the hoedown begin! They report: “Many hands have been wrung about whether Justin Timberlake is going country on Man Of The Woods and what that means. The album’s initial trailer suggested that it would be an outright roots-music move or perhaps a folksy Bon Iver ripoff; other evidence accrued toward such conclusions includes a tour announcement promising to “bring the outside in”; a tracklist with such titles as “Flannel,” “Breeze Off The Pond,” and “Livin’ Off The Land”; and an interviewin which co-producer Danja said The 20//20 Experience’s country-rocker “Drink You Away” was a good reference point for the new LP. Yet lead single “Filthy” was a heavy-breathing future-funk oddity that didn’t seem to match up with any of the promo campaign’s aesthetic reference points. Continue reading “Justin Timberlake: “My new album is modern americana with 808s” – Listen”

Michelle Shocked returns to UK for dates

Described in the press release as the “Godmother of Americana”, the sometimes excellent Michelle Shocked returns to our shores next month, hopefully in a less biblical mood than 2013, for a series of dates.  The tour promises “small, intimate venues and combining tracks from her sizeable back catalogue with stories from the road, and a few surprises thrown in.”  According to Shocked: “From a Texas campfire to London cabaret… I daresay that’s not as daring a leap as moving my mooring from Tottenham to Kingston on Thames when I lived on a narrowboat in the late 80’s. Continue reading “Michelle Shocked returns to UK for dates”