The question of authenticity is something of a bother from time to time – particularly when it comes to music. That age old, folk club-endorsed argument of whether it’s okay for an Englishman to affect an American accent in song is at once as frustrating as it is trivial. If you’re the kind of person that gets hung up on this kind of thing (or indeed find yourself pondering whether or not it’s acceptable for a Canadian to play bluegrass, as ably demonstrated by the other 50% of the case in point we find here), you might want to adjust your wiring. If, however, you’re willing to sidestep such nonsense and simply want to engage with a collection of songs that are clearly born of a desire to render a contemporary take on American roots music by exploring the power of ‘the duet’, look no further- “Shadows and Light” is a gentler but easily as good a place to start as the acclaimed Billy Bragg and Joe Henry’s “Shine A Light” or John Prine’s “For Better or Worse.” Continue reading “Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef “Shardows and Light” (Independent, 2017)”
Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone have teamed up for their joint new album “Transatlantica” which comes out on 3rd March, uniting the pioneers of two major musical movements after decades of playing together – reggae and acid house. OK scratch that, americana and pub rock. The album features contributions from Butch Hancock, Gurf Morlix and Paul “Bassman” Riley among others. They’re also heading to the UK for Dates in March/April which you can find below along with a tracklisting and nice new video to while away the morning. Continue reading “Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone announces new album, UK dates”
A retro moment from the late lamented Washington Squares, whose Tom Goodkind has put together a new album, Monsters of Folk, covering their 1983-1985 recordings, which is out now.
Really good piece in Rolling Stone today in the spirit of their best activism. As they point out in an era of “alternative facts” and alarming rhetoric, three chords and the truth is more important than ever. They report:””Won’t you stand up and use your voice?” implored Sugarland in “Stand Up,” a 2010 anthem about finding strength when “your hope has turned to dust.” But few country artists seem to heed that call today – at a time when it matters most. Continue reading “RS: Why it’s time for country stars to speak up about Trump”
“Twin Solitude” is a perfect example of musical growth. The journey undergone and the music released by Leif Vollebeck doffs the cap to the idea of art imitating life expounded by Oscar Wilde. After all, this collection of melancholy Americana is not without its imperfections, but therein lies much of its beauty. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, Vollebeck felt something was missing from his musical make up, so he made what seemed the obvious decision to travel to Iceland, the land of his forefathers and discover his roots. Continue reading “Leif Vollebeck “Twin Solitude” (Secret City Records ,2017)”
This year’s UK Americana Awards, hosted by the AMA-UK (not to be confused with AUK, although we both feature the words “americana” and “UK” – what are the chances?) take place next week in London and as part of the week which also includes a 2 day conference, there’ll be an evening of curated showcases from twenty new and established artists in the americana music scene, including Angaleena Presley, Robert Vincent, Wild Ponies, Jess Morgan and lead singer of the greatest US band of the nineties, possible ever, Toad the Wet Sprocket: Glen Phillips (editorially speaking of course). Continue reading “AmericanaFest UK announce showcase line-up”
James Parry lives at the other end of the Earth in Hobart, Tasmania and writes independent folk-pop songs. Soft echoes of his island home can be heard in his stories of lives intertwining and colliding. His songs feature sparkling guitars, cool organ and deft drums, over which his searing vocals deliver colourful lyrics packed with subtle details for the sharp listener to unravel. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: James Parry”
There is an almost limitless appetite amongst vinyl addicts for the ever more obscure or rare item released on their favoured medium and in their preferred musical genres. So there will be at least a muted cheer greeting this vinyl only re-issue of another example of Scandinavian psychedelia in the form of Get Dreamy by Norwegian band The Dream. This, the band’s only release, is at least a genuine nugget – dating as it does from 1967 – and it stands as a testament to the world conquering power of youth movements in music. Continue reading “The Dream “Get Dreamy” (Round 2, 2017)”
A fine slice of americana from the Canadian indie-rockers, written by front man Nils Edenloff in response to wildfires which caused the evacuation of the town where he lived.
A lovely little listen if you have two hours to spare, again courtesy of US public radio which could do with all the support it can get right now. Consequence of Sound reports: “The latest episode of “A Prairie Home Companion” featured Ryan Adams as a music guest. He previewed tracks from his upcoming album, Prisoner, including “To Be Without You” and “Doomsday”. He also performed two tracks off his 2011 album, Ashes & Fire, including the title track and “I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say”. The latter performance saw Adams accompanied by country singer Kacey Musgraves, who was also a guest on the episode. Continue reading “Ryan Adams performs “A Prairie Home Companion” set”