Don’t be afraid of Chris Stills – he’s hard to please

Chris Stills will release a new album, his first in over 10 years, ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ in the UK on September 7, 2018 via Rive Gauche Music. The album is the follow-up to 2006’s self-titled release and Chris has also confirmed a string of UK headline shows – including London’s Borderline on November 25, 2018 – alongside a new track, ‘Hard To Please’, which will be one of two previously unreleased songs featured on a forthcoming digital deluxe release of ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ (also out September 7, 2018) – you can have an ear-gander below. Continue reading “Don’t be afraid of Chris Stills – he’s hard to please”

The Wood Brothers “One Drop Of Truth” (Honey Jar Records 2018)

The Wood Brothers comprise the trio of brothers Oliver and Chris Wood, along with Jano Rix, and have been around for some time, this being their sixth album release. On this work they have a bluesy style which is redolent of the deep south (although the band hail from elsewhere) and after much time together they are starting to display a multitude of influences. The group have described this album as the most free they have ever done, having treated each song as if it were its own short film, and importantly it seems as if they’ve had fun along the way. Continue reading “The Wood Brothers “One Drop Of Truth” (Honey Jar Records 2018)”

Ash Mountain “Boom” (Independent, 2018)

This three-song EP by the Mancunian band Ash Mountain is marked by music that is highly enjoyable but hardly original. It’s filled with jangly guitars somewhat reminiscent of The Byrds, and all three tracks sound similar. The instrumentation is full, the lead singer is often backed throughout by one other vocalist, and the tempo doesn’t vary that much. “The title track, ‘Boom’, leads off the EP. It appears to be narrated by a man whose woman repeatedly leaves him, then comes back, and boom goes his heart again. Until, at last, he appears to be unable to take it anymore and – spoiler alert – boom goes his gun. Apparently he does her in. Oops. Continue reading “Ash Mountain “Boom” (Independent, 2018)”

Track Premiere: Nickel & Rose “Americana”

What do you get when one musician  – Carl Nichols – steeped in American gospel music and the sounds of Senegal, Mali and Guinea teams up with a musician – Johanna Rose – who has come out of a punk background to make music more aligned with her greater influences?  You get the sounds of Nickel & Rose which blend European folk translated to the States, hot jazz, country and more.  This lead single from their album of the same name (due September 14th) holds a harsh mirror up to a genre that is, maybe, at risk of letting itself be ghettoised and appropriated by a narrow slice of the potential audience.   It’s  an unpleasant irony that perhaps the most perfect Americana track you’ll hear all month contains the heartfelt words “there ain’t no room for me in Americana / and I don’t want to be Americana“.  Americana-UK is proud to premiere this song.

Track Premiere : Bee Appleseed & The Cosmic Family “21st Century Poet”

Bee Appleseed & The Cosmic Family make a rich sound that blends together rock, folk influences and a healthy portion of American soul.  On this track, from upcoming on the 20th July album ‘Backpacker Blues‘ the question is posed “What is the value of poetry in the modern world?“.  When the skimming of literature and the presentation of shallow understanding represents sophistication then Bee Appleseed & The Cosmic Family clearly have some doubts of its everyday value – whilst still clinging to the hope that true worth can shine through.  Big philosophy, and a big sound, this LA band should be making big progress with ‘Backpackers Blues‘.

Mavis Staples, Union Chapel, London, 10th July 2018

Mavis Staples is a living legend – recent Americana Grammy winner, Jeff Tweedy collaborator, mainstay of STAX Records, civil rights activist, the list goes on. And thankfully a legend that has not been diminished by time.   Mere seconds into ‘If you’re ready (come go with me)’ and the pleasure levels in The Union Chapel had already gone from vibrantly anticipatory to overflowing with ecstasy. It’s one thing to have one of the most recognisable voices in recorded music, it’s quite another to be gently swaying in front of a sold out crowd in an increasingly hot Union Chapel whilst unleashing that voice that covers wide ranges, and burbles delightfully in the lower registers. Continue reading “Mavis Staples, Union Chapel, London, 10th July 2018”

Lord Huron release their Spotify singles session, UK dates announced

We leave you this week dear viewers with something to whet your whistle for the weekend. There are a lot of not very nice lords – Lord Voldemort, the House of Lords, the Lord himself when he smites people – but Lord Huron are a beacon of hope among the malaise of lords, and they have released their Spotify Singles debut this week, which includes a performance of their hit single ‘When The Night Is Over’ as well as a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ – you can hear both of them below. Continue reading “Lord Huron release their Spotify singles session, UK dates announced”

Treetop Flyers “Treetop Flyers” (Loose Music, 2018)

Londoners, Treetop Flyers, return with their eponymous third album, continuing where they left off with their excellent 2016 release ‘Palamino’.  The decision to make this record self-titled is more than apt, as it is the most confident that Treetop Flyers have sounded in themselves yet, largely following a formula of dreamy, mellow 60s-style melodies interspersed with dashings of psychedelia. Continue reading “Treetop Flyers “Treetop Flyers” (Loose Music, 2018)”

Van Life: Radiator King

Boston’s Adam Silvestri (AKA Radiator King) is the type of musician this feature was pretty much designed to  accommodate. A road dog, traveller, essentially a musical explorer both sonically and literally,  Silvestri spends many many hours on the road, clicking up the miles and cranking up the toons.  His latest album, ‘A Hollow Triumph After All,’ is awash with vivid imagery, Waits-esque swagger and fuelled by  a unflinching punk spirit, its therefore  unsurprising his glovebox is full of gems. Americana-UK catches up with  the now New York-based trobadour ahead of another US tour. Continue reading “Van Life: Radiator King”