There are those for whom the late Sixties and early Seventies represent the apogee of popular music. There are those for whom the power trio is the finest possible format for a band. Where those groups intersect is the place where New York outfit Handsome Jack reside. The raw power of Cream, the Stones at their most soulful, the driving rhythms of Creedence, all this and more is present and correct. The riffs are heavy and the vocals raw and impassioned. If these guys have the blues then they’re having a damn good time singing about it. ‘Baby Be Cool’ sounds exactly like its title and it’s a song and performance that the Glimmer Twins would be proud of while ‘Why Do I Love You The Way I Do’ just oozes soul and ‘Got It Bad’, well, let’s just say that if John Fogerty and the late Jim Ford had ever recorded this is what it would sound like. Continue reading “Handsome Jack “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” (Alive Naturalsound, 2018)”
Where is the next great Americana album going to come from? How about out of Queensland, Australia? That isn’t exactly true; Dan Parsons’ fourth album ‘Sunday Morning Cinema’ was recorded in Melbourne. But Parsons himself grew up in rural Queensland; an only child with a reel to reel 4-track and a developing talent for playing drums, pedal steel, guitar and keys. He learnt his craft well and make no mistake, this is a fine record; nine tracks and 35 minutes fully deserving of your appreciation. Continue reading “Dan Parsons “Sunday Morning Cinema”(Metropolitan Groove Merchants, 2018)”
You may have been wondering what’s happened to Joy Williams, the other half of the Civil Wars. Well, she had her second baby and, whilst she was getting on with that there was also the small subject of recording a new album. It – the album that is – is called ‘Front Porch‘ and is due to be released next year. Joy Williams called on the services of Milk Carton Kid Kenneth Pattengale as producer, and the result is beautifully crisp and uncluttered music – with Joy Williams hitting high notes exquisitely, as demonstrated on ‘Canary‘.
From his new album ‘Emotional Geography’ released on February 22nd with a launch gig at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, this is a powerful powerful song of immigration and refugees that doesn’t so much tug on the heartstrings as yank them almost out.
The exclamation being the show’s, not our surprise. Leaving you this weekend dear reader with a clip rather than a news story. Phosphorescent aka singer-songwriter Matthew Houck and band appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday to play ‘New Birth in New England’ which is taken from the band’s latest album ‘C’est La Vie’ which hasn’t been given a proper UK release yet but hey, we are citizens of nowhere these days. It’s a lovely version of the tune and full of pizzazz (imagine that on a triple word score in Scrabble). Have a good one.
Since releasing a couple of albums near a decade ago Swedish singer-songwriter Charlee Porter has maintained steadfast radio silence until this new four track EP. Which is a pity, as it’s an impressive outing that makes you want more, a lot more. The title track has something of the bruised yearning of Lucinda Williams, although the music is much more lush and of a straighter country ilk. The steady beat of ‘Oh Man’ follows while ‘Damn You For All The Heartache’ is as much of a beautiful old school country tearjerker as its title suggests. Things end all too soon with the upbeat, driving and deliciously hooky ‘On A Porch’. Continue reading “Charlee Porter “Ride With Me” (Spinupp, 2018)”
Lera Lynn has announced a run of intimate duo tour dates for December in support of her new ‘Plays Well With Others’ album out now on Single Lock Records. As part of the tour, Lynn will be playing London’s Omeara on December 10th alongside shows in Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Bedford. ‘Plays Well With Others’ is a unique duets album — one in which nearly every song is completely co-written and co-sung. Continue reading “Lera Lynn embarks on short run of UK dates this month”
Licking the Moose recently released the well received album ‘The death of Henry Miller and many others’, their first release in nine years. Opening with an almost jazzy piano line with Lasse Karlsen’s whisky ravaged vocals lamenting the life he’s lived, before the band kicks-in with hellish guitar work and a bottomless bass riff. It’s like a great western movie (probably shot in Spain) condensed into four minutes.
After some early success, David Graff turned his back on the music industry in the late 1990s and began a career as an artist. However, the urge to create new music never left him. ‘Supposed to Fly’ is Graff’s first album this century. Although he started his musical career as a drummer, Graff soon took up singing and song writing in order to satisfy his creativity. Indeed, it is his singing, full of character and experience – a distinctive storyteller’s voice, that is the most notable aspect of this new release. Continue reading “David Graff “Supposed to Fly” (Independent, 2018)”
Last week, regular readers will remember, we were visited by our friend BOB (Bored of Brexit as he styles himself) much to our consternation and chagrin. This week he returned somehow managing to avoid the man-traps (or person-traps) and rabid dogs of Americana-UK Towers which usually serve as our security system. Presenting himself at the cast iron, quadruple locked doors of The Bunker he banged away for a full ten minutes until he attracted the attention of the least drunk of us. Sadly that particular member of staff (no longer extant) decided to let him in. The ensuing conversation wasn’t pretty but it was a full and frank exchange of ideas and followed this general pattern: Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Crosby, Stills and Nash “Helplessly Hoping””