Sean Rowe “New Lore” (Anti, 2017)

I really try to be fair when writing these reviews. I try not to get too caught up in my own taste, try to be a little bit objective at least, measure the records against what we collectively agree is our scoring system. I try to find the positives; it gives me no pleasure to disagree fervently with some of my fellow writers. I really fight hard not to give in to urges to grandly dismiss a record in a hail of sarcasm and self-serving vitriol wrapped up as criticism (for this see my work from 2005). Then I get records like this to review that I dislike on first listen and every time I listen (again and again – I like to discern and understand the roots of my dislike) I really fail to see the good or understand the attraction of a record like this.  Continue reading “Sean Rowe “New Lore” (Anti, 2017)”

London based and fancy reviewing gigs for us?

We get a fair amount of offers to cover gigs by americana artists here at AUK but particularly with showcases and album launches, they are often London based which is awkward since precisely one of our writers lives in London and his whole life would be spent going to see live music if he attended them all. Which doesn’t sound like such a bad thing when you come to think about it.  Anyway, as is common knowledge it’s grim up north where we’re based, so if you are one of those new-fangled London people, can write well, produce copy quickly and fancy seeing some Americana for free from time to time (normally on week nights) then please get in touch with us. A lot of the artists are “up and coming” as they say, but today’s fresh faces are tomorrow’s Ryan Adams.  Or Ryan Adams-es.  And you could be the person to tell the world about them.

Lucy Rose announces UK/European dates, new album

Lucy Rose has announced details of a new album and a “global cinema tour” taking her to rather exciting places to showcase the record and its companion documentary film. ‘Something’s Changing’ will be released on the 14th July through Communion Records. The album will be accompanied by a short documentary, acting as a fly-on-the-wall account of Lucy’s debut tour of Latin America last year. The trip, organised independently by Lucy with the help of her Latin American fans, became an inspiration for the record and the film is an intimate account of how it all came together.  Here are those dates along with her new single recorded with The Staves.  Continue reading “Lucy Rose announces UK/European dates, new album”

The Handsome Family, Folkestone Quarterhouse: 4th March 2017

Tonight The Handsome Family arrive in town to play to a near capacity crowd at Folkestone’s Quarterhouse. Most it seems, are committed fans of the band although some like me have come along because the venue is on their doorstep and they have been lured by the penning of the darkly enthralling Far from any Road, from the equally darkly enthralling series ‘True Detective’. Continue reading “The Handsome Family, Folkestone Quarterhouse: 4th March 2017”

Alison Krauss ”Windy City” (Decca/Capitol, 2017)

Alison Krauss is phenomenal. Whether you look at figures like her record 27 Grammy Awards, millions of records sold, career longevity or simply judge her from the purity of her vocals, Krauss really is one of the stand-out performers in modern music. Windy City is her first solo record in 18 years, after she took a hiatus to record music with her Union Station band. The album is a tribute to older classics, with tracks such as those originally performed by artists like Glen Campbell, Bill Monroe, Willie Nelson and The Osborne Brothers. With a sensitive touch provided by producer Buddy Cannon, it’s a masterpiece of music re-interpretation and a fitting ode to the giants on whose shoulders present artists stand on.  Continue reading “Alison Krauss ”Windy City” (Decca/Capitol, 2017)”

Dirty Dozen: Laura James

Laura James is an award-winning London-based, Cumbrian-born songstress. Laura’s music leans heavily on the poetic side of folk and her ‘haunting’ vocal coupled with her sensitivity for lyrics and melody is a captivating combination.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years? I grew up just outside Carlisle, in Cumbria. I moved to Liverpool when I was 18 to study music at university where I met a lot of the people that formed my band ‘The Lyres’. We released our debut EP in 2011. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Laura James”