Although it isn’t even the end of April yet, here at Americana UK, there’s already fairly widespread agreement that the whole of 2018 is unlikely to throw up a better album than Jerry Leger and The Situation’s new record, ‘Nonsense and Heartache.’ For someone who’s only just turned 33, Canadian singer-songwriter, Jerry Leger, has already enjoyed a musical career spanning some 13 years and 10 albums. Name-checked by none other than Ron Sexsmith as “one of the best songwriters I’ve heard in quite some time,” ‘Nonsense and Heartache’ came out earlier this year on Michael Timmins’ (of Cowboy Junkies fame) Latent Records label. Continue reading “Interview: Jerry Leger”
Possibly the loveliest band to ever exist Teenage Fanclub have announced a UK tour this October/November which sees them play Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London on the Songs From Teenage Fanclub: The Creation Records Years tour – the venues are small, so they will be playing three nights in every city, featuring tracks from their Creation Records era – The first from between 1991-1993, the second from between 1994-1997, and the third between 1998-2000. Continue reading “Teenage Fanclub: 12 nights, 4 cities – this autumn”
Well, it was five years yesterday since we lost the beautiful Richie Havens (Guardian Obituary). He was still working on new songs, some of which have never been given a formal CD release but are available in the usual places. Here’s one you might not have heard – from a children’s literacy project – a duet with Kris Kristofferson on Woody Guthrie’s ‘Grassy, Grass, Grass’. Enjoy.
Gris-De-Lin, or Grey Linen should you prefer to translate from the groovy Gallic into the plain English of Bridgeport, Dorset is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a sense of playful quirkiness evident on her hard-to-pin-down sound and artwork. New album ‘Sprung’ has an amusingly eclectic assortment of descriptors from our colleagues in the world of musical reviews which includes the likes of “skronky jazz and glitchy esoterica” (Uncut). Now, there’s no room in the AUK glossary for such interplanetary labels, but there’s no doubting the originality on show here or indeed the potential for honing a young British talent into something more tangible. Continue reading “Gris-De-Lin “Sprung” (BB Island, 2018)”
Kathy Zimmer’s EP ‘White Noise’ is self-described as “Cosmopolitan Folk”, which shouldn’t cause a flinch as it has nothing to do with glossy magazines featuring quizzes about “Is he really into you?”, and articles offering “Successful Secrets of a Sexual Kind” or even “Fifty top tips for the gas cook”. Nope. Cosmopolitan Folk is sophisticated songwriting, with lyrics describing finely observed situations coupled to complicated arrangements and sharp edged singing which cuts through with its combination of detached and sassy. Continue reading “Kathy Zimmer “White Noise” (Independent, 2018)”
Stephen Karl & Handsome Animals is the songwriting project of guitarist and composer Stephen Griesgraber and while his heart normally lies in anti-folk (which used to be one of our bylines here at AUK) he decided to go a little bit country for his new single, a split single EP with Darlin Darlin. He told AUK: “‘Shelter’ is an honest story of a relationship that is failing, but it does it in an honest, compassionate, and not-too maudlin way by acknowledging what I’m experiencing, and what I love about the woman I’m losing, and how I basically do want the best for her.” The only disappointing thing about the video is that it doesn’t feature any animals handsome or otherwise. The EP comes out on May 7th.
Texan Charlie Crockett’s music has been described by No Depression as “sounding like what might happen if Roy Orbison and Ry Cooder teamed up with Dick Dale” and what more of a recommendation do you need to go out and see for yourself? Crockett arrives in the UK in July for a series of dates ahead of the release of his new album ‘Lonesome As A Shadow’ due out at the end of this month. Produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Zac Brown) and recorded at Sam Phillip’s Recording in Memphis, TN, the album is Crockett’s fourth full-length album and his first release consisting entirely of original songs. In addition to Crockett on vocals and guitar, the album features his longtime touring band, “The Blue Drifters.” Here are those dates. Continue reading “Charley Crockett and his lonesome shadow hit the UK for July dates”
Rod Picott’s pedigree is prodigious and it shows in his music. In this album, produced by Neilson Hubbard in Nashville, he is framed by standout musicians: Will Kimborough, Lex Price, Evan Hutchings and Kris Donegan. His recent tour of the UK will have re-emphasised his stature. He says of ‘Out Past The Wires’ that it is “My most ambitious project of my seventeen year career.” And “The most satisfying recording I’ve made.” Those words stress how important this work is, and also how important our appreciation and understanding of it is, as well. Continue reading “Rod Picott “Out Past The Wires” (Welding Rod Records, 2018)”
Australian C.W. Stoneking made his UK impact with albums of voodoo and jungle blues drawing deeply on a pre-war sound, beefed up with a fine horn section and C.W.’s own playing of National guitar and banjo. A man with tall tales to tell, and prepared to take the time to tell ’em he enthralled audiences. And then he released ‘Gon’ Boogaloo’ which kicked the sound forward a couple of decades to a proto-rock and roll and boogie blues, he toured the UK with an all girl band and brazenly eschewed his previous material informing audiences that he hated the f***ing banjo. Strong words. Continue reading “C.W. Stoneking has upcoming solo dates in UK.”
A new video for the final track from their outstanding new album Extralife, this is the wonderful Darlingside, one of the best new bands to emerge in the last few years. They’re back in the UK intermittently this year and you really should see them.