AUK’S Chain Gang: Uncle Tupelo “Anodyne”

The last link in the Chain Gang was Wilco’s delightfully mournful ‘Via Chicago’ with Jeff Tweedy singing at his very best about going home via that city. So, thinking about the next link, I realised I had gone somewhere via Chicago a couple of years ago when to celebrate my 70th birthday, we flew to the Windy City to start our drive south on Route 66. Our next major stop after Chicago was St Louis which as a city was a big disappointment and should be avoided at all costs! We listened to a lot of music on the radio driving along the “Mother Road” mainly on country stations and the most played was Florida Country Line’s ‘Simple’ but that’s not my link in the chain – it’s more New Country than Alt-Country! Continue reading “AUK’S Chain Gang: Uncle Tupelo “Anodyne””

Forgotten Artists – Katy Moffatt

Here we are again with another feature in the FORGOTTEN ARTISTS series, where we take a look at some of the Americana musicians who may just have dropped out of people’s memories or who, perhaps, never received the appreciation their contribution to the genre deserved. This time frequent contributor to the series, Clint West, turns his attention to the fine singer-songwriter, Katy Moffatt. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Katy Moffatt”

Video: Charley Crockett “Fool Somebody Else”

Here is the latest video from the fabulous Charley Crockett.  It continues the spaghetti western-inspired series of videos, following a lonesome character on his travels through the glorious American countryside.  Crockett says of the concept: “Everybody thinks it’s about a relationship. On the surface I guess it is, but I was thinking of it as a metaphor about my health problems. But the meaning belongs as much to the folks listening as it does to me.”  That telephone has been everywhere. Continue reading “Video: Charley Crockett “Fool Somebody Else””

Kronos Quartet & Friends celebrate the music of Pete Seeger

The GRAMMY-winning Kronos Quartet has announced its new album ‘Long Time Passing: Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger’, a tribute to the music, political philosophy, and social impact of Seeger, which is due out 9th October on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Joining the  group are Sam Amidon who appears on Kronos’ 2017 album ‘Folk Songs’ (which came out on the Nonesuch label), Maria Arnal, Brian Carpenter, Lee Knight, Meklit, and Aoife O’Donovan. The artists give voice to the plainspoken songs of struggle that Seeger both wrote and collected in his seventy-plus years as a musician, while Jacob Garchik and Kronos’ arrangements translate his banjo-playing for the group’s two violins, viola, and cello. Continue reading “Kronos Quartet & Friends celebrate the music of Pete Seeger”

Michael McArthur “Oh Sedona”/”How to Fall in Love” (Independent, 2020)

With release dates that are only weeks apart, Michael McArthur has conjured up a mighty fine pair of acoustic EPs and luckily for the reviewer who has to squeeze this duo into a single review, both ‘Oh Sedona’ and ‘How to Fall in Love’ are immensely enjoyable, making this task a hugely pleasurable one.  Both EP’s feature new tracks as well as solo acoustic versions from the highly regarded 2019 LP, ‘Ever Green, Ever Rain’. Continue reading “Michael McArthur “Oh Sedona”/”How to Fall in Love” (Independent, 2020)”

Danny Schmidt “Black & Blue” – Listen

Danny Schmidt wrote and recorded this song on July 3rd, and sent it out into the world on the 4th because he “wanted it to go out into the world on Independence Day, in the footsteps of Frederick Douglass’ approach to celebrating the birth of this country . . . naming its ideals and principles and then evaluating where we still have much work to do to complete the constructionContinue reading “Danny Schmidt “Black & Blue” – Listen”

Video Premiere: Market Junction “Out of Love”

The latest single from Market junction is the heartfelt, familiar story of relationships unravelling.  We can all relate to the recognition that the initial, overpowering love and connection has gone and the resignation of, “It’s just easier to live here in the way.”  We are delighted to share this exclusive video premiere in the week the brand new album will be released.  The Houston-based act deliver new full-length LP ‘Burning Bridges’ on 7th August, which promises to be a melodic, well-crafted collection on the strength of singles ‘Out of Love’ and ‘Nebraska’. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Market Junction “Out of Love””

Something for the weekend: Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell play in support of Mighty Writers

Well that’s a wrap from us this week everyone. Enjoy the blistering weather, hopefully while listening to the wonderful new Charley Crockett album (but spare a thought for the poor folks in Abadan, Iran Climate change is “fake news” of course…) We leave you anyway this week dear reader with a clip of Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell playing three songs from the former’s album to kick off Literary Hub’s new video performance series in support of Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that teaches reading and writing to thousands of low-income and marginalized students every year. “One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was when I was studying at Sewanee University in the south,” Shires said. “My professor, Andrew Hudgins — who is a fantastic and wonderful poet — told me that a lot of times when you’re writing, the actual start of where you think the start is isn’t at the start.” Find out more in the clip. Have a good one.

Americana Roots: Howlin Rain

Americana Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US.  It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores.  Sounding like The Faces let loose on a drunken, cross-country, road-trip through the American heartland on acid is San Francisco’s Howlin Rain, whose live shows are a mind-bending journey with attitude to spare. Continue reading “Americana Roots: Howlin Rain”

Video Premiere: Ags Connolly “Indian Sign”

Our final video of the week is the premiere of the gorgeous ‘Indian Sign’ from Ags Connolly.  His voice is beautifully resonant and melodic on this acoustic recording.  ‘Indian Sign’ is from ‘Wrong Again’, Connolly’s acclaimed third album, originally released in November 2019.  The English singer-songwriter is considered to be one of the UK’s finest on the country and Americana scene, known for his distinctive vocal and well-crafted songs and for remaining true to the the music’s traditional roots. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Ags Connolly “Indian Sign””