Video Premiere: Ben Eisenberger “Don’t Change Your Mind”

We are delighted to share the video premiere of ‘Don’t change Your Mind’ from multi-instrumentalist Ben Eisenberger.  The Omaha singer-songwriter trained in classical guitar at the University of Nebraska and he is  known for sparse and delicate folk.  However, the songs on his upcoming sophomore release benefit from layers of instrumentation: lap steel, choral accompaniments and strings. The sound is full and brings to mind classic country from the likes of Glen Campbell. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Ben Eisenberger “Don’t Change Your Mind””

Loudon Wainwright III “I’d Rather Lead A Band” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)

There can’t be many albums reviewed on these pages that have name-checked Irving Berlin, Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, so this may well be a first. ‘I’d Rather Lead a Band’, the latest offering from six-stringed diarist Loudon Wainwright III, renowned as one of the most original songwriters of our times, is a collection of 1920s and 30s big band songs, including numbers written and/or recorded by the famous names above, as well as many others. Created with the backing of outstanding New York nightclub band, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, this album, at first sight, may seem to be an unusual choice for Wainwright, but is in fact an almost perfect fit. Continue reading “Loudon Wainwright III “I’d Rather Lead A Band” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)”

Calexico announce festive album “Seasonal Shift” – Listen

What a year to release your first Christmas album, even if it’s not actually a Christmas album as such – maybe it’s the best year of all given how much cheering up we all need (and perhaps we’ll need even more by Wednesday next week. Eek.) Anyway deck the halls because Calexico are back and have just announced a new album ‘Seasonal Shift’, due Dec 4th via City Slang. The record is a celebration of the festive season and you can listen to the first track from the record ‘Hear the Bells’ below, which is just superb. Continue reading “Calexico announce festive album “Seasonal Shift” – Listen”

Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)

Gordon Barry, an award-winning Irish singer-songwriter from charming Wexford, has remarkably handsome vocal talent and refined musical skills. ‘All the Live Long Year‘, the follow up to Barry’s debut album ‘The Best Way To Kill A Monster‘, is graced with some delicate melodies and alluring harmonies together with the superb skills of established Irish musicians Christian Best (Drums), Conor Brady (Guitar) & Cian Boylan (Piano, keys). Continue reading “Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)”

Annie Dressner “Midnight Bus” – Listen

Today’s new song comes from Annie Dressner’s latest album ‘Coffee At the Corner Bar‘ which was released last month.  You’d never know it from the full sound but it’s a lockdown album – Annie Dressner recorded it at home with her husband Paul Goodwin producing. Continue reading “Annie Dressner “Midnight Bus” – Listen”

Video: Beans on Toast “The Village Disco”

For his 40th birthday, Beans on Toast will be releasing two full-length albums, including ‘Knee Deep in Nostalgia’, produced by Frank Turner.  This is the opening song from the album and Beans travels back in time, sharing some of his earliest memories along the way.  For the video, Frank Turner accompanies Beans on Toast on a road trip through his past: Home & Away, Findus Crispy Pancakes, first dances and first loves. Continue reading “Video: Beans on Toast “The Village Disco””

Classic Americana Albums: Leon Russell “Hank Wilson’s Back Vol 1” (Shelter Records, 1973)

These days, not many people are aware of Leon Russell’s music and while fans of americana may recognise the name of one of the architects of the genre, even most americana fans are more familiar with the name than the actual music. Back in 1973 things were very different. At the time Leon Russell was the official biggest-grossing touring act in America, he had had a number 2 album in 1972, ‘Carney’, written two songs that would join the ranks of the Great American Song Book, ‘A Song For You’ and ‘This Masquerade’, appeared on George Harrison’s ‘Concert For Bangladesh’, produced Bob Dylan and, in the spirit of the times, released a triple-disc live album, ‘Leon Live’. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Leon Russell “Hank Wilson’s Back Vol 1” (Shelter Records, 1973)”

John Murry “Tilting At Windmills” (Submarine Cat Records, 2020)

John Murry’s debut, 2013’s ‘The Graceless Age’, made many of that year’s Best Of lists. While it was his debut, Murry was already 34 and had recorded two albums with legendary Memphis singer-songwriter Bob Frank and an album of Waylon Jennings covers with Chuck Prophet, and it was clear that he was no ordinary artist. He was adopted into the family of author William Faulkner and was brought up in Tupelo, Mississippi, which helps explain his exploration of southern gothic and his absolute understanding of the various roots of rock’n’roll. The critical acclaim did not translate into commercial sales and the same was true of his second album, ‘A Short History Of Decay’, written following the break-up of his marriage and a move to Ireland.  The ‘Tilting At Windmills’  EP is John Murry’s debut release on Submarine Cat Records, a new UK independent label. It collects various cover versions recorded at various times over the last 10 years. It is a short memo, pending the release of a full album in 2021. Continue reading “John Murry “Tilting At Windmills” (Submarine Cat Records, 2020)”

Book Review: Todd Westbrook “Americanaville” (Independent, 2020)

Americanaville is a project created by Todd Westbrook that saw its inception as an essay but which has now burgeoned into a series of chapters that are currently available for free at http://tswestbrook.com. Westbrook describes a personal journey through Country, Americana, Bluegrass and Roots music that takes many detours but never loses its central thread of a series of recordings that, for Westbrook, have been seminal in shaping his experience of the music described. Continue reading “Book Review: Todd Westbrook “Americanaville” (Independent, 2020)”

Video: Whispering Bob’s Allstars “Stand by Me (2020)”

60 years ago, Ben E King wrote the beautiful ballad ‘Stand By Me’.  Right now, in the middle of a crisis for the live music industry, Whispering Bob Harris is asking all of us to stand by those working in music’s grassroots who need our support.  Harris has assembled a huge list of musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, including the likes of Rosanne Cash, Keb’ Mo’, Richard Thompson, Sam Outlaw, Darius Rucker, Martyn Joseph, Elles Bailey, Robert Vincent and many more.  The resulting cover of the King classic is simply glorious. Continue reading “Video: Whispering Bob’s Allstars “Stand by Me (2020)””