Eric Westbury “Atomic Wilderness” (Barreltown Records 2017)

There is something immediately striking about this album; that feeling of familiarity and reassurance you only really get when hearing something for the first time that just “sounds right”. And Atomic Wilderness certainly sounds right. It’s the third release by the Vancouver-based artist Eric Westbury, a gravel-voiced purveyor of Americana with a hint of Punk and a lot of keen social observation. If you like your songs tight, well-crafted and punchy, Eric Westbury is your man. First track The Cavalcade is a bouncing, easy melody that sets the scene for a hugely impressive group of songs.  Continue reading “Eric Westbury “Atomic Wilderness” (Barreltown Records 2017)”

Emmylou and Earle headline songwriters festival

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear as the saying goes but imagine being taught the art of writing a song by anyone on this list. Rolling Stone reports: “It’s still summer but music fans anticipating the mid-winter blahs are already planning a trip to Florida’s South Walton County next January for the ninth annual 30A Songwriters Festival. Set for January 12th through 15th, 2018, the event will include appearances from Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Lee Ann Womack, North Mississippi Allstars, Shawn Mullins, classic rock band The Zombies, Indigo Girls’ singer Emily Saliers, fronting her Murmuration Nation Band and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley. Continue reading “Emmylou and Earle headline songwriters festival”

Matt Patershuk “Same As I Have Ever Been” (Black Hen Music 2017)

The back cover portrait photo for Matt Patershuk’s new album may make you recoil in horror at the super clichéd Americana-ness on display. Farmyard, haystack, dogs, Telecaster, beard and hat. All are squeezed in. Fear not – they’re actually his own dogs and his own rural Alberta farmyard. Safe to assume the guitar and beard belong to him too. Despite this early alarm, Same As I Have Ever Been is a damn fine record. Continue reading “Matt Patershuk “Same As I Have Ever Been” (Black Hen Music 2017)”

Jon C Butler “Universal Stranger” (Strataville, 2017)

Jon C Butler has had a lengthy career with his band Diesel Park West most noted for their critically acclaimed debut ‘Shakespeare Alabama’ released some 25 years ago. His newest output and debut solo album ‘Universal Stranger’, puts a modern spin on a retro sound – using lyrics and themes from 2017 against a backdrop of 70’s or 80’s sounding production and as a whole, that sound works. First track When The Walls Went Down is reminiscent of Dylan’s work with the band, kicking out with a purposeful almost spoken-word vocal and slides into the more melodic Each Other a steady paced song that is lyrically, highlighting the importance of realising we are all in this together which seems to be a message threaded throughout the record as a whole. Continue reading “Jon C Butler “Universal Stranger” (Strataville, 2017)”

Interview: Steve Earle

CREDIT: Chad Batka

Long regarded as one of Nashville’s most important songwriters, Steve Earle chats about new album, Waylon and Guy Clark with Americana UK’s Iain Patience: If there’s anyone out there in music land who might truly be described as an ‘outlaw,’ it must surely be Steve Earle, a rabble-rousing, rebellious guy who has been there and done it all, repeatedly, it often seems. Few, if any, of the current crop of Nashville superstars can, and do, admit to having spent time at the Federal Government’s expense sheet. But for Earle, it was just part of life, youthful wildness combined with naivety, now long -lost chimaeras. Continue reading “Interview: Steve Earle”

RS Country: “The 20 best things we saw at Americanafest 2017”

Nice little piece up on RS Country this morning which lists the 20 best things they saw at the 18th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference which took place in Nashville last week.  They say: “The highlights were as plentiful as the vintage denim, with artists from veteran Lee Ann Womack to Countrypolitan revivalist Joshua Hedley performing showcases in the backyards of record stores, inside Jack White’s Third Man Records and in clubs all over Music City.” And our own Yola gets a mention too: “It may have been close to 90 degrees outside, but Carter’s set was as cool as ice.”  Read the piece here or watch JD McPherson looking rather suave below. Continue reading “RS Country: “The 20 best things we saw at Americanafest 2017””