We leave you this holiday weekend dear readers with some great footage of Steve Earle who while in town to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at the end of last month, joined Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a late-night gig at the group’s own venue in the French Quarter for one of their annual Midnight Preserves shows. They collaborate on a version of the blues standard ‘T’Aint Nobody’s Business’ and boy what a collaboration. Have a good one.
‘Undress’ is the Felice Brothers’ 14th album, the first album of new material for three years and something of a treat. Another of those ‘recorded live’ records (though not quite, this one has minimal overdubs), it does capture a band channelling a vital energy and clearly enjoying themselves. Continue reading “The Felice Brothers “Undress” (Yep Roc, 2019)”
Down here in The Bunker of AUK Towers we are champions of pointless exercises. The Editor is fond of making us do physical jerks first thing of a morning to set us up for the day’s work. Then we’ll take the landfill (we like to think of it as ‘recycling’) out, then we’ll discuss the hot news of the day whilst simultaneously patting ourselves on the back for our progressive politicality, then we’ll perhaps have a spot of lunch – generally a quinoa salad washed down with a pint or two of IPA from the local Brewing Co-Operative, then we’ll wash up (recycling the washing-up water because its better tasting than the IPA) and then we’ll begin the day’s work of writing reviews/features/news snippets/videos. It is nothing if not a picture of Elysian goodness. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Dan Hicks “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away””
‘Goodbye El Dorado’ is the eighth solo release from True West frontman and founder Russ Tolman. Written in the midst of a sabbatical in Osaka, Japan, it is a love letter to his US homeland and is sonically rooted in American country standards. The primary issue here, however, is that Tolman does not even threaten to tread new ground. The record is a drab affair of simplistic melodies and lyrical content which has been covered a million times before. ‘405’ is an ode to an overlong bus journey that nobody needed to hear, with Randy Newman-esque observations (“you’re really gonna piss me off, I’m stuck and I can’t get off”), and ‘North Hollywood Dream’ is soaked in more clichés than the title suggests (“you’ll have plenty of time for dreaming, so dream for dreaming’s sake”). Continue reading “Russ Tolman “Goodbye El Dorado” (Blue Rose Records, 2019)”
“Sometimes it’s anger and sometimes I want a way back” sings Mitch McAteer on the lead single from his debut EP before adding “to the love we one had but I know it’s not simple like that“. It’s the gruff voiced Irish singer acknowledging the pain of still loving someone who can seemingly do without you. It hurts, and that pain is right there in his raw vocal. The song, like the rest of the EP, was recorded over four days in the isolated Irish countryside – no signal, no wifi, no distraction. Just captured emotions.
The legendary activist and folk singer Si Kahn has just turned 75 and there are all sorts of celebrations planned. The man himself is releasing and album, “It’s A Dogs’ Life”, which will be out on May 31st. This is the first single from it and excellent it is too. The fire still burns.
The debut album from Sacramento-based Ryan Thompson delivers country-infused Americana that showcases his solid song-writing skills. In his own words, Thompson says: “I did not spend my twenties on the music scene, trying to make a name for myself.” Indeed, this selection of warm, mid-tempo songs is informed by a life lived and the time taken to discover his sound; years spent in indie-rock and honky-tonk bands have influenced and honed Thompson’s creative output. Continue reading “Ryan Thompson & The Delicate Hounds “Waiting on a Ghost” (Independent, 2019)”
Mike Frazier hails from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and it’s this region that informs and infuses his new album ‘Where The Valley Kissed The Sky’, with the singer/songwriter drawing on his observations -living and working in and around various towns in the valley.
The Shenandoah Valley is, apparently, an area that encompasses a range of communities from college towns to rural farms and is, by all accounts, a region that has experienced a lot of rapid cultural and economic upheaval in recent years and it’s this that provides a loose concept for Frazier’s songs; a concept that serves the album well. Continue reading “Mike Frazier “Where The Valley Kissed The Sky” (Geneva Records, 2019)”
Ireland’s love of American roots music is something that has long been championed and applauded. There are any number of bands an artists who take inspiration both from the giants of the genre – Zandt, Clark, etc – and those that head a little further afield trawling the old alt.country archives. The Southern Fold are one such example. Led by guitarist and vocalist Emlyn Holden the band draw as much from Son Volt and Creedence for their guitar driven sound with the band making their UK debut at Red Rooster Festival at the end of May. Americana-UK caught up with Holden at Kilkenny Roots Festival to chat about life on the road and those all important CD’s for the glovebox. Continue reading “Van Life – The Southern Fold”
On her latest single, Lo Carmen plays out a tale of the ingenue fresh in town and relying on her battered paperback guide to see her through. It’s honky-tonk country to its (probably dyed) roots, and features a cheatin’ cowboy who in the traditional way kisses off with “well you’ll get a song out of this“. Seems he was right.