The Americans (nice ones) arrive in UK for dates next week

We leave you this weekend dear reader with news that Los Angeles quartet The Americans are returning to Europe for a series of shows this summer including some high profile support slots in the UK with Eric Clapton at BST Hyde Park and The Gipsy Kings at Kew The Music in Kew Gardens and Cambridge Corn Exchange. They’ll also be playing a slot at Black Deer Festival and regional dates in Winchester, Leeds and Oxford. Continue reading “The Americans (nice ones) arrive in UK for dates next week”

Willie Nelson on border separations: “Christians everywhere should be up in arms”

If you forget the glimmer of hope from earlier in the week (which was not without its humour), it’s been another depressing week for the US and Willie Nelson has something to say about it. RS Country report that Nelson “has issued a statement on the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The country-music icon and Texas native ripped the Department of Justice’s policy under President Trump, calling it “outrageous.” Continue reading “Willie Nelson on border separations: “Christians everywhere should be up in arms””

Luke Tuchscherer “Pieces” (Clubhouse, 2018)

Once of Bedford and The Whybirds, now of New York and with his band the Penny Dreadfuls), Luke Tuchscherer has cooked up a gloriously unholy racket on his third album. Full of the sort of muscular heartland rock’n’roll that’s replete with hooks, chunky guitar work and big choruses, it’s a delight from start to finish. He sets out his stall from with off with the pin your ears back ‘Sudden Getaway’, moves on to ‘The MF Blues’, which is unabbreviated on the vocal, and driven by one of those riffs you’re sure you’ve heard before but actually haven’t. ‘Ain’t That What They Say’ brings the melody without sacrificing the muscle and features a blistering guitar solo. It’s not all full-on though as evidenced by the tender and reflective too ‘Ghosts’. Continue reading “Luke Tuchscherer “Pieces” (Clubhouse, 2018)”

Pick of the Political Pops: Wilbert Harrison “Let’s Stick Together”

This week we have noted with a strange combination of amusement and disbelief that the UK’s negotiating strategy regarding Brexit (yep – that again) continues to consist mainly of our glorious leaders throwing their toys out of the pram and stamping their petulant little feet (supposing that it is possible to stamp one’s feet in a pram). People from all over the political spectrum are divided over the issue and it did look at one point as if The Blues might implode under the pressure of self-righteousness. However Minister Prime Terry Might stepped in and poured oil on burning waters promising some of the rebellious little tykes all manner of concessions in order to keep the party together. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Wilbert Harrison “Let’s Stick Together””

Giant Sand + Patsy’s Rats, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 10th June 2018

Never a man to resist a whim, Howe Gelb has resurrected the band title he retired a few years back and re-recorded the first album which came out under the Giant Sand name, 1985’s ‘Valley of Rain’. The whys and wherefores for this are myriad perhaps but Gelb reasons that the original album suffered from being too clean, his Roland amp being one of the guilty culprits, preferring the final three songs he recorded for the album using an old Fender Tube amp (previously owned by Robbie Krieger, trivia fans). So, having secured an old 80’s Fender 30 amp late last year, Gelb set about recording ‘Return to The Valley of Rain’ and even managed to round up the original band to play on several of the songs. Job done, Giant Sand then set about a European tour to play the album live, tonight’s show the second last in the UK after a swirl around Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Continue reading “Giant Sand + Patsy’s Rats, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 10th June 2018”

Gregory Page “A Wild Rose” (Independent, 2018)

Gregory Page’s new album ‘A Wild Rose’ draws on a rich heritage. Page is a Londoner by birth, Irish-Armenian by heritage; his mother was the singer in a band that toured with the Beatles, his uncle the drummer on Tom Jones’ What’s New Pussycat? He counts Jason Mraz among his friends, has supported Dylan and had his music featured on TV and films, while Amnesty International used his 2017 song ‘Say A Prayer’ in a recent campaign. Continue reading “Gregory Page “A Wild Rose” (Independent, 2018)”

Track Premiere : Charlie Smyth “Far Away”

Premiering right here on Americana-UK, ‘Far Away‘ is the new single from the Nashville via Chicago and Seattle artist’s debut solo album ‘The Way I Feel‘ (released on July 13th).  Smyth has cut a  range of musical chops in the past – from punk/grunge through free jazz, but ‘Far Away‘ features his newly formed band, as Charlie Smyth describes it: “a lot of my friends are great musicians, but they’re high-priced hired guns who stay busy doing sessions and touring for a living.  I wanted a band I wouldn’t have to pay to play with me, so I began looking for people who wanted to make music just for fun. The structure at the time was, ‘I’m writing songs and playing rhythm guitar. I’m not going to tell you guys what to do. If that sounds fun to you, let’s do it.’ Giving everyone that kind of freedom lit a fire under the band—the energy with that approach was really contagious.“.

AmericanA to Z : Bela Fleck

Americana, a form of music based, in part, on the traditions embodied in American folk music can’t neglect the huge influence of bluegrass in the 20th century. Bela Fleck is the preeminent living exponent of the banjo, his dazzling level of technical mastery is unquestionable and his influence is huge. Having recorded a series of keystone bluegrass albums for Rounder Records he branched out, taking the banjo into music it is rarely associated with – such as modern funk-jazz with the electric band The Flecktones. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z : Bela Fleck”

Johnny “Chops” Richardson “Johnny Chops and the Razors” (Independent release, 2018)

Johnny “Chops” Richardson is a member of established Texan outfit the Randy Rogers Band, where he’s held down the bass player role for the last sixteen years. Here he steps away from the bass guitar role to front his own band as guitarist, vocalist and writer on what is his second solo outing. It’s a solid, competent recording, as you’d expect from a band of all star musicians – drawn from the likes of Reckless Kelly, the Miranda Lambert Band and John Fogerty’s touring outfit – well produced by Johnny Chops himself and Reckless Kelly guitarist David Abeyta. Continue reading “Johnny “Chops” Richardson “Johnny Chops and the Razors” (Independent release, 2018)”