Interview: William Fitzsimmons

Nashville based William Fitzsimmons has had a pretty rough ride these last couple of years. A relationship breakdown in the middle of recording a new record paid more than a personal toll on the songwriter. Creatively, unable to live with the finished record for obvious reasons Fitzsimmons decided to leave it on the cutting room floor, team up with a new producer and set about recording a brand new record. The resulting work, ‘Mission Bell‘ is a startling, at times heartbreaking, yet ultimately cathartic piece of work that warrants serious investigation. Americana-UK delves a little deeper. Continue reading “Interview: William Fitzsimmons”

Amy Helm “This Too Shall Light” (Yep Roc, 2018)

This Too Shall Light‘ is the second album under her own name, but Amy Helm’s music goes back someway longer as a founder member of Ollabelle, and as a backing musician in the Midnight Ramble Band.  Yes, that Helm.  For this album Amy Helm has teamed with Joe Henry as the producer to make a richly layered and soulful Americana. All the more remarkable in that it all came together in an LA studio rather than back home in Helm’s Woodstock stomping ground, and that the recordings were put together and laid down in just four days. Continue reading “Amy Helm “This Too Shall Light” (Yep Roc, 2018)”

Ferris & Sylvester “Burning River” – Listen

London duo Ferris & Sylvester have released their new single, ‘Burning River‘, which represents their first new music since their well received ‘Made in Streatham EP‘ from earlier this year. ‘Burning River‘ is the first  fruit of their brand new project which has been inspired by writing trips to Iceland and draws on the experience of the vast breath-taking landscapes and mesmeric weather patterns.  ‘Burning River’ pulls together Icelandic chants, captivating percussion, blues guitars and the pair’s unmistakable harmonies. The result finds Ferris & Sylvester expanding their sound into something of a new direction for them.

Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, 15th October 2018, The Barbican, London

Forty years ago, after the demise of Planxty, two of that band’s members – Andy Irvine and Paul Brady – decided to cut a duo album, with the help of Planxty’s Donal Lunny, and violinist Kevin Burke (both of whom are also here tonight). What they produced was a perfect crystallisation of all that was good in the more progressive Irish folk movement. Their magic ingredients were threefold – masterful musicianship, distinctive vocals and song selection. Continue reading “Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, 15th October 2018, The Barbican, London”

Steve Earle announces lineup for December benefit show

Not this side of the pond as it were, we’ve got Steps to co-ordinate our charity gigs and I know who I’d rather have (I suspect you might do too). Leaving you this weekend dear reader with news that Steve Earle has announced the lineup for his John Henry’s Friends benefit show which he hosts annually, taking place this year on December 3rd in New York.  Continue reading “Steve Earle announces lineup for December benefit show”

Frontperson “Frontrunner” (Oscar Street Records, 2018)

Kathryn Calder, singer and keyboard player with The New Pornographers and Woodpigeon’s Mark Andrew Hamilton form this new duo whose debut album is a frequently beguiling mix of dreamy atmospherics with poppy vocals from Calder and boasts a generally mellow vibe layered with strings and rich harmonies. Continue reading “Frontperson “Frontrunner” (Oscar Street Records, 2018)”

Ben de la Cour “The High Cost Of Living Strange” (Flour Sack Cape, 2018)

Want a backstory?  How’s this:  Brooklyn native starts singing in dive bars with his brother a full decade before he can legally drink, drops out of high school, spends a year in Havana training with the Cuban national boxing team, then tours Europe – again with his brother – and their doom metal band, Dead Man’s Root, before it implodes and Ben de la Cour finds himself again stateside, this time armed with an acoustic guitar case full of songs he’s dubbed Americanoir. Continue reading “Ben de la Cour “The High Cost Of Living Strange” (Flour Sack Cape, 2018)”

Pick of the Political Pops: R. Stevie Moore “Conflict of Interest”

We have little time for fossil fuels here at Americana-UK Towers. The entire roof is covered in solar panels and the former stable block now houses the wind turbine. And as stated last week we are fond of recycling (indeed now that all submissions to our site are now digital we don’t have to turn all those CDs into bird scarers in the gardens). We were somewhat surprised recently when those anti-fracking protestors were sent down for over a year for sitting on the tops of some lorries because they didn’t like the idea of mining company Cuadrilla causing potential environmental damage in Lancashire. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: R. Stevie Moore “Conflict of Interest””

Seasick Steve “Can U Cook?” (BMG, 2018)

On the official Seasick Steve website, you will find a 38-second video clip in which a hugely self-conscious and apologetic looking Steve stands propped against a water tank alongside a stack of empty pallets at the back of his barn. As far as trailers for a new album go this is just about as low key as it gets, “I don’t know much what to say……. they want me to say something.” A vision of a groaning PR exec with his face in his hands springs to mind. Continue reading “Seasick Steve “Can U Cook?” (BMG, 2018)”