AmericanA to Z – Jim Dickinson

While the name JimDickinson may not garner much recognition except by those of us who used to devour countless record sleeves to glean as much information as possible about writers, backing musicians studios etc in the days before the internet, as a recording artist, producer and session musician he embodied the essence of what makes roots American music great. He has contributed to some of the best and most interesting music of the last 50 or so years. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1941 he moved to Memphis in 1950 when he was 9 years old and it was Memphis that was the biggest influence on his musical development and career and led to him becoming the embodiment of that city’s music. While he died in 2009 his ethos and influence are being maintained by his sons Luther and Cody Dickinson, the guitarist and drummer with the North Mississippi Allstars. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Jim Dickinson”

Stephanie Hatfield “Out This Fell” (Independent, 2020)

Stephanie Hatfield is probably a new name to most in the UK. The  cover of her album ‘Out This Fell’ features Stephanie herself very prominently and there is no real hint in the cover as to the genre of the music contained within. Stephanie’s publicity material describes her as “effortlessly navigating multiple genres” and rock, pop, country and folk can all be heard on this album. It’s clear that this music is aimed at a wide potential audience and is not restricted to any single specific genre. Continue reading “Stephanie Hatfield “Out This Fell” (Independent, 2020)”

Video: Modern Hinterland “The Lights”

Here is the tongue-in-cheek new video for ‘The Lights’ by Modern Hinterland.  It’s taken from their forthcoming album, ‘The Longest Part of the Night‘, due for release on 31st January.  The band are inspired by the likes Wilco, Neil Young and Damien Jurado and create an engaging blend of melodic Americana, folk and indie.  Songwriter, Chris Hornsby says of the new material: “We want our music to reflect real life – there has to be some sort of truth in it that allows us to get to something real and honest.”  Check it out.

Frazey Ford @Celtic Connections, Saint Luke’s, Glasgow, 23rd January 2020

Touring before a new album is released can be risky. There’s a desire from the artist to showcase their new material but these are songs that the audience doesn’t yet know. The sense of audience expectation is based on much loved tracks from previous albums and snap judgements can made on unfamiliar new songs. Frazey Ford notes that tonight’s Celtic Connections’ gig is essentially the first that she’s playing to tour her new album ‘U Kin Be The Sun’. It’s a risk she recognises as she observes that she’s “Here to play some old songs, to play some new songs and to try not to f**k things up.” Continue reading “Frazey Ford @Celtic Connections, Saint Luke’s, Glasgow, 23rd January 2020”

The Teskey Brothers, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, 23rd January 2020

When it comes to roots there is no disputing the authenticity of Australian blues and soul band The Teskey Brothers. Behind their own inventive style lies a deep inspiration from Memphis to Muscle Shoals via Melbourne.  The Teskey Brothers are guitarists and vocalists, Josh and Sam with long standing friends Brendon Love (bass) and Liam Hough (drums). Their two albums of blues and soul sound like a Stax back catalogue.  Continue reading “The Teskey Brothers, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, 23rd January 2020”

Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band “Just Like Moby Dick” (Paradise of Bachelors, 2020)

Taking its title from the archetypal monster of American literature and imagery, ‘Just Like Moby Dick’, is Texan songwriter and visual artist, Terry Allen’s first set of brand-new songs since his 2013 album, ‘Bottom of the World’. Casting the net across a range of subjects from abandonment, disaster, war, existential crisis – even a vampire infested circus – a common theme of heartbreak and humour appears through a seamlessly executed album. Joined by the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), as well as his sons Bukka and Bale Allen.

Continue reading “Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band “Just Like Moby Dick” (Paradise of Bachelors, 2020)”

Tyler Childers + The Local Honeys @Celtic Connections, St. Lukes, Glasgow, 19th January 2020

Last time Tyler Childers played Celtic Connections he was hunched behind his acoustic guitar, every inch the talkative Kentucky hillbilly, regaling the audience with tales of “snipe hunts” and the story behind his song ‘Purgatory’. Two years on and he’s an AMA award winner (although he’s not a fan of the term Americana) and, with his buddy, Sturgill Simpson, selling out stadiums in the States. No surprise then that this was one of the hottest tickets at Celtic Connections, sold out with a queue of folk outside this east end church looking for spare tickets. Continue reading “Tyler Childers + The Local Honeys @Celtic Connections, St. Lukes, Glasgow, 19th January 2020”

Catherine MacLellan “Emmet’s Song” – Listen

Catherine MacLellan has spent four years celebrating the work of her father Gene MacLellan through recordings and a stage show, but has returned with her own music on her sixth album ‘Coyote’ and ‘Emmet’s Song’ comes from that very album. Continue reading “Catherine MacLellan “Emmet’s Song” – Listen”

Middlesborough kicks off its folk & country programme with Teilhard Frost & Sam Baker

Middlesborough town hall is set to host two folk and country artists on Thursday and Friday of this week. Opening proceedings is Canadian fiddle-player Teilhard Frost on Thursday with Texan folk musician Sam Baker to follow on Friday, January 31st. These shows follow on the back of The Courtroom Sessions in the town which proved to be a big hit with music fans last year – and both of the upcoming shows will take place in the venue’s intimate performance space.
Continue reading “Middlesborough kicks off its folk & country programme with Teilhard Frost & Sam Baker”

Video: Ned Roberts “The Songbird”

‘The Songbird’ is the second single from the forthcoming album from Ned Roberts.  ‘Dream Sweetheart’ will be released on 4th February, with the album launch at The Slaughtered Lamb.  This is melodic folk with engaging vocals from the London-based Roberts, who said it’s: “…a song of memory and loss – about how shared experiences can be remembered differently, in a different light.  Each verse is a call and response, one fragment of memory answering another.  It’s only in the final verse when the memories coalesce.”