Big Star remembered in new film to premiere at SXSW – Watch

And if you think that’s just the name of a Jayhawks song, here’s a story on a band that will join the dots for you. Billboard reports: “Big Star will get another opportunity to reclaim a positive legacy next week during the music portion of South by Southwest. Few will forget frontman Alex Chilton’s unexpected death on March 17, 2010, just days before Big Star was due to perform at the festival. That show became an all-star memorial for Chilton, while friend and The dB’s co-founder Chris Stamey launched a series of concerts celebrating the 1978 Third album (later known as Sister Lovers) later that year. This year’s SXSW will see the launch of the new concert film Thank You Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…And More, captured last April at the appropriately selected Alex Theatre in Glendale, Calif.  Continue reading “Big Star remembered in new film to premiere at SXSW – Watch”

Curse of Lono “Severed” (Submarine Cat Records, 2017)

On first hearing this record without reading anything about it I thought that Steven Adams (Broken Family Band) had adopted a back to basics approach and formed a new band. It’s a thought that stuck with me every time I listen to the record and it’s certainly meant as a compliment – there’s the voice of Felix Bechtolsheimer (Hey Negrita) which is a dead ringer for Adams and then there’s the lyrics which explore the same melancholic self-deprecating squalor. CofL have an admirably broad palate, the songs spreading out across a range of styles – the opener cheekily references the Byrds with both the title and the bass line of Five Miles (add three and some altitude and you’re there). Continue reading “Curse of Lono “Severed” (Submarine Cat Records, 2017)”

Loudon Wainwright III – Surviving Twin, Leicester Square Theatre, London, 11th March 2017

Coming on to the darkened stage of this basement London theatre, strumming guitar, Loudon Wainwright III unexpectedly encountered a mic’ stand, causing a minor stumble – maybe a Freudian Trip – quickly recovered from. It got an early laugh. Surviving Twin (as you may have read in an earlier feature on Americana-UK) is his one man theatre performance mixing songs, monologues and a backdrop of photo’s and film clips. Continue reading “Loudon Wainwright III – Surviving Twin, Leicester Square Theatre, London, 11th March 2017”

Stephen Simmons “A World Without” (Blue Rose Records, 2016)

At a time when the great and good of mainstream Nashville can be found in the UK playing the country fest that is C2C Stephen Simmons’ latest offering acts as an antidote to much of the current anodyne output of that great song writing town. As is befitting a native of Tennessee, his 10th album offers up a collection of self-penned songs that, although having a definite taste of country running through them, have an intelligence and musical nuance that sets them apart. Continue reading “Stephen Simmons “A World Without” (Blue Rose Records, 2016)”

RS Country discusses Jason Isbell’s new album

RS Country have a really interesting piece up about the forthcoming new Jason Isbell album which talks about its politics, the label it’ll be out on and its overall sound:  “New songs. Rock & roll influences. Danceable tempos. A collaborative dynamic that shines a spotlight not only on the frontman, but on the band behind him, too. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s upcoming album The Nashville Sound will unveil all of the above on June 16th, hitting stores two years after the songwriter’s Grammy-winning Something More Than Free. Continue reading “RS Country discusses Jason Isbell’s new album”

Ryan Adams improvises a song about long-lasting freshness – Watch

News from Stereogum on the best product placement since Half Man Half Biscuit sang in National Shite Day: “There’s a man with a mullet going mad with a mallet in Millets”: “Ryan Adams is currently on tour in support of his most recent album, Prisoner, and last night at his show in Charleston, SC, he improvised a song about the odor eliminator Febreze. According to tipster Douglas Thompson, the song came about after someone in the audience yelled out a suggestion to play a song that sounded like “Febreze.” “What the fuck song is ‘Febreze? Sometimes people yell out songs and I’ll be like what the fuck because I can’t hear shit up here,” Adams apparently said. “They could be calling out ‘Free Bird’ and I’d be like ‘ok ‘Too Legit To Quit,’ here we go.” He incorporates some of that intro into the song itself. Watch below.”  Continue reading “Ryan Adams improvises a song about long-lasting freshness – Watch”

The Sadies “Northern Passages” (Yep Roc Records, 2017)

The Sadies are enjoying a fantastic run of form. Their last two records have both been brilliant autumnal works and this one begins in pretty much the same vein – the opening chords of Riverview Fog are a quite specific swirl of acoustic country psychedelia; it’s like they’ve captured the sound of light dappling the delicate fire of autumn leaves. It’s not far from the kind of sound that tyros like Ryley Walker have reached. Then again Another Season Again reaches back into their more raucous like past, the guitar sounding like a huge pick is strumming a chain link fence, the guitar solo like a string of barbed wire placed atop, while inside there’s a more tender heart with harmonies buried well down in the mix. Suddenly the trees are all bare and the light hurts your eyes. It’s a return to their spiky roots and something you might find in The Noise Museum but instead this is an instrumental that sifts through the surf, twang and jangle that they’ve been trading for the past couple of decades. Continue reading “The Sadies “Northern Passages” (Yep Roc Records, 2017)”

Carter Sampson announces UK dates

Oklahoma’s Carter Sampson returns to the UK in April and May for a short run of dates that include two shows at the Kilkenny Roots Festival.  She’s not long been out of the UK so she must quite like us. Sampson’s latest album ‘Wilder Side’ has been picking up some rather nice reviews in the press and picking up plays on Bob Harris at Radio 2 who described the album as ‘impeccable’.  She will be touring alongside BJ Baartmans – here’s those dates.  Continue reading “Carter Sampson announces UK dates”