The Buttertones “Gravedigging ” (Innovative Leisure, 2017)

Well, at last here’s an album with plenty of twang – of course in this case it’s the treble high guitar twang of a surf band, given a somewhat harder edge with a heavy dose of Garage Rock.  An album like Gravediggin’ is what results when you’ve spent too much time listening to Dick Dale and the original Nuggets collection in regular rotation. Continue reading “The Buttertones “Gravedigging ” (Innovative Leisure, 2017)”

Rodney Crowell talks about Guy Clark in new podcast

Imagine having this many friends. Rolling Stone reports: “Rodney Crowell has been Guy Clark’s buddy, Emmylou Harris’ bandmate and one of country music’s biggest hitmakers, and this week he’s Chris Shiflett’s guest on the latest episode of the Walking the Floor podcast. Crowell’s interview is sprinkled not only with anecdotes about his upcoming album, Close Ties, but of memories from Nashville’s golden years. “It had a lot more street cred back then,” he says of the Tennessee capital, where he moved in 1972. As a songwriter and sideman, Crowell spent the next decade landing hits for other artists and rubbing shoulders with up-and-comers like Steve Earle and Vince Gill. Later, he struck gold with his own Diamonds & Dirt,the late-Eighties album that spun off five Number One hits. During the years since, he’s charted his own course, becoming an Americana icon along the way.  Continue reading “Rodney Crowell talks about Guy Clark in new podcast”

Steepways “Holy Smoke” (Mansion House Records 2017)

This is a strong first album from London songwriting duo Blair Chadwick and Charlie Bateson, operating under the nom de guerre of Steepways.
They’ve assembled a talented group of musicians around them – Drummer Jamie Shaw, pedal steel player Darren Buddell, Andy Fairclough on Hammond Organ and other keyboards (is there such a thing as a song that can’t be improved by the addition of a Hammond Organ?!) and Chris Clarke playing bass and making a major contribution as producer. They also have former Alabama 3 singer Siobhan Parr providing some outstanding backing vocals and a nice duet on penultimate track Rather Be Alone.  Continue reading “Steepways “Holy Smoke” (Mansion House Records 2017)”

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”