The Travelling Band “Sails” (Sideways Saloon Records, 2017)

First off, it’s nice to have a vinyl release to review. Vinyl has a warmer sound and a better tonal range than CDs or downloads, so it’s nice to hear a band making the most of the format. It’s a good quality pressing too and on white vinyl – very stylish. Of course, it doesn’t matter how stylish or upmarket the format is – it’s the music that matters and Mancunian rockers, The Travelling Band, serve up an extremely good selection of music on this album. Continue reading “The Travelling Band “Sails” (Sideways Saloon Records, 2017)”

Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer “Not Dark Yet” (Silver Cross Records, 2017)

For those that don’t know, and there can’t be many, Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer are sisters (Shelby was christened Shelby Lynn Moorer), Shelby Lynne being the elder by three years. Yet, despite both having been established performers since they were in their teens, this is their first album together. We should’ve been treated to this collaboration so much sooner! Continue reading “Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer “Not Dark Yet” (Silver Cross Records, 2017)”

Mo Kenney “The Details” (Pheremone Records, 2017)

“The Details” is the fascinating third album from multi award winning Canadian singer-songwriter Mo Kenney. Kenney was discovered by noted Canadian rocker, Joel Plaskett, while she was still at school and released her debut eponymous album in 2012. While that album was still groaning under the weight of awards and award nominations she put out her second album, 2014’s “In My Dreams”, which also attracted awards nominations by the bucket load, including a Nova Scotia Music Award Winner for Recording of the Year. At a tender age it’s fair to say that Mo Kenney is already a well-established name in her native Canada, even if she’s yet to make a major impact wider afield. Continue reading “Mo Kenney “The Details” (Pheremone Records, 2017)”

Kenny Foster “Deep Cuts” (Independent, 2017)

Back in April of this year, Rolling Stone ran their list of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: April 2017” and the first name on that list was Kenny Foster. Listening to his new release “Deep Cuts” it’s easy to hear why. Foster has that journeyman sound and feel to his songs; someone who’s been around the block a few times and sings about life as he experiences it. Continue reading “Kenny Foster “Deep Cuts” (Independent, 2017)”

Tami Neilson “Don’t Be Afraid” (Outside Records 2017)

Tami Neilson is a Canadian born, New Zealand based singer and songwriter who has won a host of awards in her adoptive country. Her previous album, “Dynamite”, released in 2014, was one of The Guardian’s Top Ten Country Albums for that year. So, she has form – and she has pedigree; her father was talented Canadian musician Ron Neilson, who was a full time musician throughout his life and Tami’s early experience was with the family band, The Nielsons, touring throughout North America.  Continue reading “Tami Neilson “Don’t Be Afraid” (Outside Records 2017)”

Lost Harbours “Towers of Silence” (Liminal Noise Tapes, 2017)

This recording is many things – it is haunting and ethereally beautiful in places. It is well performed and produced. It is intriguing and often quite fascinating. What it is not, in any way, shape or form, is Americana. There’s been quite a bit of discussion at AUK recently about what actually constitutes the Americana genre of music and, while there’s a bit of disagreement about an exact definition, there is general agreement that Americana draws on American roots music – blues, country and folk. Continue reading “Lost Harbours “Towers of Silence” (Liminal Noise Tapes, 2017)”

Hard Working Americans “We’re All In This Together” (Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers 2017)

Hard Working Americans are what might be called a “supergroup” in some circles, with members being drawn from Widespread Panic and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. The band’s musical credentials are impressive and they have a good sound, based fairly firmly in the southern rock genre. Formed in 2013 they’ve put out three albums prior to this new release without ever really making much impact outside the U.S. and it’s hard to see this latest release being the one to change that. “We’re All in This Together” is a live album (as was 2014’s The First Waltz) and it’s really one for the established fan. Continue reading “Hard Working Americans “We’re All In This Together” (Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers 2017)”