Valparaiso “Broken Homeland” (Zamora, 2017)

This French collective rose from the corpse of Jack the Ripper (the French Band – named for the Nick Cave song) and provide a particularly Gallic flavoured brand of Americana. The four corners of their world are populated by Giant Sand, Spain (both Howe Gelb and Josh Haden guest), PJ Harvey and the Tindersticks, so it’s slow burning Desert rock with an overcoat and a bucketful of attitude. It’s produced by John Parish (who also appears) and it sounds beautifully organic, suffused with as much atmosphere as a Joseph Conrad novel. Continue reading “Valparaiso “Broken Homeland” (Zamora, 2017)”

Video premiere: Elliott Brood “2 4 6 8”

Elliott Brood’s new album “Ghost Gardens” came out on Friday and they’ve shared with us the video for the track 2 4 6 8 from it.  Lead singer Mark Sasso told us: “The lyrics and idea of the song come from an incident I witnessed live on TV when I was still just in grade school… the station we were watching cut away to an accident where a car with a family inside had driven through some barriers and sunk to the bottom of the Detroit river.  It cut from the regular programming to the scene at the exact same time that rescue crews were pulling out the soaking lifeless bodies of the children from the river. A horrible thing broadcast to families and children especially with no disclaimers or warnings. That image has never left me.”

The Wynntown Marshals “After All These Years” (Independent, 2017)

After almost ten years since their formation and three full length albums as well as countless EP’s into their career, The Wynntown Marshals have decided to stop and celebrate their output in the form of half-retrospective, half-greatest hits ‘After All These Years’ whilst treating us to two new tracks and a re-recorded version of an older track with the groups most current line-up. Continue reading “The Wynntown Marshals “After All These Years” (Independent, 2017)”

Mo Kenney “The Details” (Pheremone Records, 2017)

“The Details” is the fascinating third album from multi award winning Canadian singer-songwriter Mo Kenney. Kenney was discovered by noted Canadian rocker, Joel Plaskett, while she was still at school and released her debut eponymous album in 2012. While that album was still groaning under the weight of awards and award nominations she put out her second album, 2014’s “In My Dreams”, which also attracted awards nominations by the bucket load, including a Nova Scotia Music Award Winner for Recording of the Year. At a tender age it’s fair to say that Mo Kenney is already a well-established name in her native Canada, even if she’s yet to make a major impact wider afield. Continue reading “Mo Kenney “The Details” (Pheremone Records, 2017)”

Wand “Blue Cloud” – Listen

Los Angeles five-piece Wand will release “Plum”, their fourth album since forming in 2013 on September 22nd via Drag City. After a whirlwind initial phase of writing, recording, and touring at a frenetic pace, “Plum” marks a period of relative patience, and there’s no better example of this than via new single Blue Cloud one of two songs on Plum over seven-minutes long. As Uncut put it: “Blue Cloud is a perfect summation of what Wand do best, offering a variety of moods that manage to sound both instinctive and considered. This is psychedelia in the truest sense of the meaning – coltish, dark invigorating, and endlessly curious.”

Adrian Bates “Small World” E.P. (Strange Reality, 2017)

Adrian Bates is a singer songwriter and folk balladeer from South Elmsall, an ex-mining village on the border between South and West Yorkshire. It’s clear that his debut solo E.P, titled “Small World” draws heavy inspiration from his birthplace. Hard WorkinMan, the opening song on the E.P. is about a truck driver working all hours to put food on the table for his family, “One day I’m going to get there; I’m giving all I can; success is for the taking, for every hard workin’ man.” It’s a reflection on the difficulties facing so many people in low wage, insecure employment these days, with the knowledge that the hard working man of the song title is ultimately unlikely to succeed in his quest for success. The key difficulties with the song are Bates’s somewhat flat vocal delivery and the rather clunky lyrics which don’t particularly scan. Continue reading “Adrian Bates “Small World” E.P. (Strange Reality, 2017)”

Sturgill and Prine triumph at americana awards

Obviously this pales into insignifance compared to TV Choice Awards in which Emmerdale won 4 this year, but still, if you can drag yourself through the article, Rolling Stone reports: “Thank you to the Americana fans, because, without you, there might be no other place for me,” said Amanda Shires, collecting her award for Emerging Artist of the Year at Wednesday’s 16th annual Americana Honors & Awards in Nashville. And she’s right: as guests filtered into the Ryman Auditorium, Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” played over the outdoor speakers and tourists danced to Luke Bryan covers on Lower Broadway. Continue reading “Sturgill and Prine triumph at americana awards”