Interview: Ann Savoy

Adopted Cajun, Ann Savoy of the Savoy Cajun Family Band is carrying on the region’s age-old tradition of music and way of life through her work. Savoy, married to accordionist and accordion builder Marc Savoy, is a fine lead vocalist, fiddler and accordionist plus she is one of the finest rhythm guitar players in Cajun music. Recording act, book author and workshop teacher, Savoy has earned the right to be recognised as one of Louisiana’s true treasures. As T-Bone Burnett enthuses, Savoy is “A  trusted keeper of the flame – the kind of girl Duke Ellington had in mind when he wrote Sophisticated Lady – she doesn’t imitate the past, she animates it. She makes dead men walk along a crooked line from the paddocks of Virginia to the swamps of Louisiana. She is a blues singer in French.”  Americana-UK’s Maurice Hope shares a plate of biscuits and gravy with the Cajun legend.    Continue reading “Interview: Ann Savoy”

Chris Blevins “Better Than Alone” (Horton Records, 2017)

Chris Blevins’ music is like a breath of fresh air; his narrative and full-bodied sound and way he removes the veneer to get to the source sets him apart from the field. Americana music has many branches but not too many where the trunk is as stout as with this Oklahoma native and fruit so succulent. On reading the blurb that came with the CD, one phrase is certainly most apt as the quote: ‘artful musical chameleon,’ in part hits the spot. As I buried myself further into the album I could not but help think of John Fullbright. I mention this not just because Fullbright performs wurlitzer on the record but due to the many aspects of Blevins work. His songwriting, vocal delivery and finely worked ambience of the songs make him worthy of comparison. Continue reading “Chris Blevins “Better Than Alone” (Horton Records, 2017)”

Jeremy Tuplin “I Was An Astronaut” (Folkwit Records,2017)

Alternate space folk singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin provides the listener with a series of unique sounds on this his debut full-length release. On progressing to what we have here, he has through the help of his good friend and long-time collaborator Mark Estall a most intriguing project. Recorded in each another’s living rooms, a genuine feel of intimacy is present throughout. The album is innovative and complete, and not in any way unstructured, but beautifully rounded, enjoying many subtle nuances, enough and more to keep you entertained once you have adapted to his particular style of music.  Continue reading “Jeremy Tuplin “I Was An Astronaut” (Folkwit Records,2017)”

Susto “& I’m Fine Today” (Rootsy Nu, 2017)

Charleston, South Carolina-based Susto embrace numerous genres as their music and lyrics dive headlong into the mind of the listener, their new album “I’m Fine Today” following their 2014 self-titled debut. Possessing an addictive draw, the band are fronted by lead vocalist Justin Osborne and guitarist, and songwriter Johnny Delaware, and are aided by Corey Campbell (guitar, bass, keys, backing vocals), Jordan Hicks (bass) and Marshall Hudson and Wolfgang Zimmerman (drums, percussion). Continue reading “Susto “& I’m Fine Today” (Rootsy Nu, 2017)”

The Fremonts “We Don’t Live There” (Independent, 2017)

Boulder, Colorado based The Fremonts, Stephanie Dodd (originally from Fremont, Nebraska) and Justin Badger (originally from Fremont California) utilise alt-country folk, indie pop and a hint of new grass to serve up a series of artistically grounded tunes (all written by them). The duos have tight harmonies and probing arrangements as Badger (guitar), Dodd (piano, accordion, toy Glockenspiel) are joined by guest musicians Maggie Gibson, Matt Kubis (banjo), Zak Kopeikin (bass), Cameron Mannix (drums), Braden Olsen, Alexander (fiddle), Chris Tucker (organ) plus on songs, Tillman’s Wall and Joanne by members of the Ars Nova Singers & Friends. Continue reading “The Fremonts “We Don’t Live There” (Independent, 2017)”

Interview: The Whiskey Gentry

Atlanta-based, The Whiskey Gentry, whose album Dead Ringer on Pitch-A-Tent Records was released earlier this year, pushes the band to a fuller more adventuress guitar powered sound.  Fronted by the effervescent Lauren Staley who, alongside husband, Jason Morrow, has been blending country with rock’n’roll, bluegrass and gritty honky-tonk whilst performing over 150 dates a year, including such festivals as Shaky Knees, Shaky Boots, Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and FloydFest.  Americana-UK’s Maurice Hope catches up Staley in between dates.  Continue reading “Interview: The Whiskey Gentry”

Brandy Clark + Jim Lauderdale, Sage, Gateshead, 30th October 2017

Like fellow country singer-songwriters Angaleena Presley and Kacy Musgrave, Brandy Clark has a wonderful, at times sassy, sense of humour. She starts off a little serious, a little dark, but still okay, but then around the fourth song she lets her mask drop. It must be those official photographers; it wasn’t until after the first three songs allowed for stage photos had elapsed did a genuine smile truly emerge from the raven-haired Washington born act. Her humorous wit has become both a staple diet of her shows and the kind that incite her audience to voice their approval. Some no doubt able to relate all too well to her lyrics, while others, were just happy to hear someone voice a feminist viewpoint. Continue reading “Brandy Clark + Jim Lauderdale, Sage, Gateshead, 30th October 2017”

Interview: Ray Wylie Hubbard

Oklahoma-born but now based in Texas, Ray Wylie Hubbard continues to set the standard for the new boys while continually adding to his already well-stocked legacy of music. His latest album, Tell The Devil I’m Getting There As Fast As I Can (out now on Bordello Records via Thirty Tigers), still clearly ticks all the boxes.  Americana-UK’s Maurice Hope chews the fat with the legendary songwriter and gets the lowdown on the new record, his influences, his time growing up as a songwriter and what it’s like to be an independent musician on the Americana scene these days.  Continue reading “Interview: Ray Wylie Hubbard”

Summertyne Americana Festival, The Sage, Gateshead,July 21-23, 2017

That’s summer over and  our roving reporters have been out and about at various festivals in search of the sun and fine music. A few got lost on the way back so it’s only now that we can offer another report on Summertyne which we had already looked at here. There’s more from the indoor set ups this time, maybe our man forgot to bring his umbrella. Continue reading “Summertyne Americana Festival, The Sage, Gateshead,July 21-23, 2017”

Interview: Amanda Anne Platt (The Honeycutters)

Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters perform a brand of americana music dripping class – such are the dynamics of Platt’s songs, and the playing of the band they come in at a higher level. Consistency is another term you could fire at her and the band. Their recent albums are of the kind you would not want to miss. Maurice Hope talked to her about her music and the future. Continue reading “Interview: Amanda Anne Platt (The Honeycutters)”