Dom Major “Drive Slow” – Listen

Drive Slow‘ is the latest single by English Americana artist Dom Major, and it’s a multi-layered effort in the vein of The War on Drugs.  It has a classic driving to forget theme, with Dom Major quietly explaining “you’re driving to remember why you’re leaving here.” There’s a worn-out but restless edge to the singing which resolves through the power of a guitar solo to a resolution to give “it” another try.
Continue reading “Dom Major “Drive Slow” – Listen”

Will Hoge + Curran, Night & Day, Manchester, 11th July 2019

So, the Australian minx, Kylie was playing the other side of town at the same time as this lot trooped in. Tremendously entertaining apparently, with glitter bombs, dance troop, synchronised light show etc. Also, no doubt, sequenced tapes, click tracks, covering backing singers. Colourful, fun, singalongs, a real show. But not a gig. Four people walking onto a stage, plugging in, frets raised, count of four and with a crash we are immediately lifted and off we go, that’s a gig. Continue reading “Will Hoge + Curran, Night & Day, Manchester, 11th July 2019”

Oh Susanna “Johnstown 20th Anniversary Re-mastered & Extended” (Continental Song City, 2019)

20 years after its original release, Suzie Ungerleider’s debut album as Oh Susanna gets a reboot. Following on from a vinyl only reissue earlier this year for Record Store Day, it’s now available on CD including five acoustic songs which were offered as a download for purchasers of the limited edition vinyl. On its release ‘Johnstown’ was critically acclaimed and it was championed here in the UK by Bob Harris. Back then it was tagged as folk-noir and there’s no reason to quibble with that as there are dark undertones on many of the numbers but what is remarkable is how contemporary the album sounds. Continue reading “Oh Susanna “Johnstown 20th Anniversary Re-mastered & Extended” (Continental Song City, 2019)”

Sturgill Simpson announces new album “Sound & Fury”

Sturgill Simpson has announced early details for ‘Sound & Fury’, the title of both his new album arriving this fall via Elektra Records and the original Japanese anime film he created with some of the biggest names in its genre which is simultaneously being released by Netflix.  You can watch the first trailer for the album including film footage and music from it below, which was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend during a panel featuring Simpson and two of the filmmakers, writer/director Jumpei Mizusaki and character designer Takashi Okazaki.  Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson announces new album “Sound & Fury””

Old Man Luedecke “Easy Money” (True North Records, 2019)

Old Man Luedecke is the performing name for Canadian singer-songwriter and banjo player Chris Luedecke who typically crosses a number of folk-ish styles in his music, and the new album ‘Easy Money‘ is no exception to that. It’s an album that takes a lot of inspiration from family, one way or another. The opening, and title, song is a banjo led light-hearted daydream of what life could be like if the money just rolled in – there’s no desire for a jet-set lifestyle though, no it’s more down to earth longings “I’m sure that I could spend my days / watching my children play / and getting them to school each day / I never stop dreaming about easy money”. Continue reading “Old Man Luedecke “Easy Money” (True North Records, 2019)”

Oliver Ray “Best Game In Town” – Listen

Patti Smith, the poet of punk, doesn’t turn out to help with just any old debut album, so that’s one reason to lend an ear to this new song from Oliver Ray’s ‘Out Passed Nowhere‘.  Of course Ray was also Patti’s guitarist for a decade so maybe that’s not such a surprise – however ‘Best Game in Town‘ fully deserves that listen, building hypnotically it swirls around like a snow globe of cosmic secrets being tossed around in the blazing desert sun.  Existence is the question under examination and it might be that it isn’t always great: “how many words we wrote?  How many oaks we broke?  How many hearts we choked? ” Yet – predominantly by dint of being the only choice – life remains “the best game in town“.

Watch a clip of Brandi Carlile’s new song “Cowgirls”

We leave you this weekend dear reader with a clip (filmed in portrait, the humanity of it…) of 2019 UK Americana Award Winner Brandi Carlile’s new song ‘Cowgirls’ which she played at California’s Pacific Amphitheatre earlier this week. In the song she focuses on various targets including the male-dominated music business and the NRA. As she sings, “I don’t believe in wealth and excess and I have had debt the size of Texas, but I didn’t follow my dreams to dump my money in your slot machine.” Amen to that. Have a good one.

Barzin “Studio 13 Session Live At Revolution Recordings” (Monotreme Records, 2019)

It comes as no surprise to discover that some of Canadian singer-songwriter Barzin’s music from his four previous albums has been used in films and on TV. The five tracks on this EP all have that rich, atmospheric depth that’s made to accompany reflective moments or big landscapes. That’s not to sell it short in any way, as together with his backing musicians he has created masterpieces of melancholy, exquisitely layered and performed until they become something to luxuriate in and enjoy. Barzin’s beautiful quiet vocals really come to the fore on these live recordings, aching with resignation and barely suppressed pain. Continue reading “Barzin “Studio 13 Session Live At Revolution Recordings” (Monotreme Records, 2019)”