Chris Stapleton “Broken Halos” – Listen

So this is maybe a little more country than we usually “do” but hey, you can’t keep a good song down.  Chris Stapleton’s new song, “Broken Halos,” premiered late last week and is the first track unveiled from his new album, “From A Room: Volume 1”, which will be released May 5 on Mercury Records Nashville. It’s the first new music from Stapleton since 2015’s breakthrough solo debut “Traveller” and will be followed by “From A Room: Volume 2″—coming later this year.  Who knows, he might do a Chicago and call all his albums the same title with a different number from now on.

Richard Laviolette “Taking The Long Way Home” (You’ve Changed Records, 2017)

This is a good record – nicely written, songs performed well, you can’t really want for much more! Richard Laviolette is the real deal, a singer-songwriter from Ontario, Canada, Taking the Long Way Home is his eighth album since his debut recording (Mary Carl) in 2005 and it’s clear that he’s honed his craft over those intervening twelve years. These are songs about family and friends, about love and loss, about strong characters and about a sense of mortality – all human life is here. Laviolette clearly draws on his own experiences as the inspiration for his songs and, along with some serious heart searching, there’s also some philosophising and not a little humour – My Grandma’s More Punk (Than Most Punks I know) certainly raises a smile on the title alone.  Continue reading “Richard Laviolette “Taking The Long Way Home” (You’ve Changed Records, 2017)”

Lumineers release exclusive vinyl for Record Store Day

Yes, it’s that time of the year again – Eggs and records are what April is all about – and to mark the occasion The Lumineers have announced the release of ‘Seeds’, an exclusive 10” vinyl set to be released in conjunction with Record Store Day which takes place. The limited edition release from the Denver-based outfit shows the progression of two of the most popular tracks from their No.1 sophomore album ‘Cleopatra’ (“Echo-laden, sparse Americana illuminated by Wesley Schultz’s remarkable voice” – so says the Evening Standard – just wait till George Osborne gets his hand on the music reviews) from initial demo, through recording to the live entity.  Discussing the release, Schultz says: “With ‘Angela’, you’ll hear how lyrics change and bridges and verses are moved around. And with ‘Long Way From Home’ you’ll hear an entire intro, i.e. a brand new part of the song that was omitted on the studio album, but can be heard in the live version.”  Here’s the full track list. Continue reading “Lumineers release exclusive vinyl for Record Store Day”

The Long Ryders “Bear in the Woods” – Listen

The Long Ryders are one of those truly seminal bands in americana and they’re back with their first new song in thirty years when the UK was feeling the worst excesses of Thatcherism and things felt very different to now… oh wait. Songwriter Tom Stevens says of it: “The message is complex. I wrote this song about a bear, a friendly one, approaching it like a children’s song. But what emerged under its surface was different. I likely had the state of politics on my mind. The bear in this song may not be the friendly, all-knowing guru that he appears. But in real life, it’s up to us to seek our best hopes and not our worst fears in our gurus. Lately I feel that too many have done the latter.” Yup, change is slow.

Danny Worsnop ‘’The Long Road Home’’ (Earache Records, 2017)

Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria and We Are Harlot fame has gone solo and released a country record. We’ve seen stories like this coming out of Nashville in great Americana records by Don Henley, to more questionable releases from Steven Tyler. Danny certainly has a story to tell, from homelessness to drinking problems and hospitalisations, and it shows in the record, with plenty of well-written songs that do feel personal to him. Continue reading “Danny Worsnop ‘’The Long Road Home’’ (Earache Records, 2017)”

Okkervil River “Denomination Blues” – Listen

This has been an amazing project, we’ll miss it when it’s over for the time being at least. Consequence of Sound report: “We’re nearing the end of the ambitious Our First 100 Days project and, though the great orange beast is still in office, at least we can find respite in the onslaught of amazing new music and the charitable contributions made by this collaboration between the Secretly Group and 30 Songs, 30 Days. As a reminder, a donation of $30 to the project gets you downloads of all 100 songs and will directly benefit issues affected by Trump’s presidency, including climate change, reproductive rights, immigration, and more. Get more info here. Day 90’s contribution belongs to Okkervil River, who on “Denomination Blues” sing of religious hypocrisy in the age of Trump. “The follower follows whoever’s in front,” Will Sheff sings, “He’s weak and he’s hollow and his edge is blunt / He’s small / I bet he feels pretty tall.” Like the best Okkervil River songs, the rollicking track shambles along on rhythmic acoustic strums, jaunty piano plinks, and urgent percussion. Stream it below.”