Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017

Now in its 11th year, Glasgow Americana brightened up the dark nights coming in as we prepare for winter. Over five days the festival provided a strong set of concerts which showcased some of the brightest talents from the Scottish roots scene along with the usual complement of visiting stars. Altogether over 20 acts appeared at several venues across the city with many of the shows selling out, the venues including converted churches, a brewery, tiny pub back rooms and, according to Michael Weston King of My Darling Clementine, a squash court. As often happens when such a lot of music is squeezed into such a tight time line there were clashes meaning your correspondent had to forego some shows however online comments and actual chat with those who had gone to those shows beamed back with positive smiles and thumbs up. There was a fine mix of standard gigs featuring a headliner along with a couple of portmanteau shows offering a range of acts playing shorter sets. Continue reading “Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017”

The Glass Mountains, Folk Modern – Upstairs at the Ritzy, Brixton, 5th October 2017

“If life were a hotel, then I’d be checking out right now,” sings young frontman Owen Davies. A little extreme for a 25 year old maybe, but All kinds of Trouble, written by one of the more senior members of the band, is delivered with credible sincerity by Davies. The Glass Mountains are slightly incongruous in this folk club atop the Brixton branch of the Picturehouse boutique cinema chain. It’s Americana-UK’s first trip to the club and I imagine that the band’s Stetsons and denim shirts are not de-rigueur for this monthly showcase. Continue reading “The Glass Mountains, Folk Modern – Upstairs at the Ritzy, Brixton, 5th October 2017”

Thunder and Rain “Start Believing” (Independent, 2017)

Thunder and Rain are a four piece from Golden, Colorado who describe their music as an exploration of rock and country music using bluegrass level acoustic musicianship. There are songs here, particularly those that highlight the mandolin of Pete Weber and the lap steel of Chris Herbst, where the music does indeed have a hint of bluegrass running through it but the overall feel of the album is more akin to country pop. Continue reading “Thunder and Rain “Start Believing” (Independent, 2017)”

Chris Stapleton announces “From A Room Vol 2”

Chris Stapleton is the marmite of artists for AUK writers but love his yeastiness or not, “From A Room: Volume 2” has been announced for release on December 1 by Mercury Records Nashville/Decca. The album takes its name from Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (the capital “A” in “From A Room” – see what he did there?) where it was recorded over the last year with producer Dave Cobb. Along with Stapleton on vocals and guitar and Cobb on acoustic guitar, the album features Morgane Stapleton on harmony vocals as well as longtime band-members J.T. Cure on bass and Derek Mixon on drums. Continue reading “Chris Stapleton announces “From A Room Vol 2””

Jason Isbell “artist in residence” at Country Music Hall of Fame

A double dose of Isbell news today as Stereogum report with a ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds’ bent: “Jason Isbell doesn’t make country music, at least not in the traditionalist sense of the word, and exists entirely outside the mainstream music industry in Nashville. (The title of his most recent album, 2017’s stunning The Nashville Sound, seemed to be at least in part a dig against the way the town works.) But people in the country music establishment seem to be recognizing that Isbell is doing great work. And now The Tennesseean reports that the Country Music Hall Of Fame has named Isbell its 2017 Artist-In-Residence. Continue reading “Jason Isbell “artist in residence” at Country Music Hall of Fame”

The Winterlings “American Son” (Independent, 2017)

The history of popular music is littered with chance encounters and the random coming together of artists but surely the Buddhist fire ritual that brought Wolff Bowden and Amanda Birdsall together must be right up there as one of the most unlikely. The Winterlings were borne out of that chance encounter and a move to the wilderness that is the Pacific Northwest seven years ago has subsequently given birth to a creative and productive partnership that continues with the new album American Son. Continue reading “The Winterlings “American Son” (Independent, 2017)”

Dia del Mercado “Another Clumsey Mile” (Root and Branch Recordings, 2017)

Tumbleweeds roll through a dusty town, the barroom doors clatter back and forth in the wind and the Ennio Morricone soundtrack rattles with a raucous choir. It’s not, however, a cheroot chewing man with no name who stumbles into view – rather it is Ruud Slingerland, the Dutch multi-instrumentalist behind the Dia del Mercado name.  Another Clumsey Mile (and, by-the-by, that is the given spelling) is a selection of five new songs taken from a return to Slingerland’s musical roots – putting together tracks home recorded in his living room. Continue reading “Dia del Mercado “Another Clumsey Mile” (Root and Branch Recordings, 2017)”

Jason Isbell and Jerry Douglas cover Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” – Watch

A match made in heaven as it were.  RS Country report: “”I’d like to bring out a very special guest,” Jason Isbell told a hometown crowd at the Ryman Auditorium last night, during the final moments of his band’s unprecedented, six-night run at the historic venue. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best musician in town, which makes him high on the list of the best musicians in the whole wide world. Our dear friend, Mr. Jerry Douglas.” Continue reading “Jason Isbell and Jerry Douglas cover Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” – Watch”

The Anatomy of Frank “The Sunken Coast” – Listen

The Sunken Coast is taken from the Virginia based folk-rock trio The Anatomy of Frank’s most recent album South America. It highlights lead singer Kyle Woolard’s soft, warm vocals and his intricate guitar plucking which weaves together with Jimmy Bullis’ keyboards and Max Bollinger’s drums to give a softly breathed ethereal feel to this song of mixed-emotions from a relationship that’s over but left behind some still glowing embers.