Ryan Adams performs “A Prairie Home Companion” set

A lovely little listen if you have two hours to spare, again courtesy of US public radio which could do with all the support it can get right now.  Consequence of Sound reports: “The latest episode of “A Prairie Home Companion” featured Ryan Adams as a music guest. He previewed tracks from his upcoming album, Prisoner, including “To Be Without You” and “Doomsday”. He also performed two tracks off his 2011 album, Ashes & Fire, including the title track and “I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say”. The latter performance saw Adams accompanied by country singer Kacey Musgraves, who was also a guest on the episode.  Continue reading “Ryan Adams performs “A Prairie Home Companion” set”

Whitney Rose “South Texas Suite” (Six Shooter Records, 2017)

Six tracks lies somewhere between an E.P. and a mini album, depending on your point of view. Though that’s of little matter when “South Texas Suite” is a thing of such beauty. A Canadian now residing in Austin, Whitney Rose is accompanied here by the seemingly obligatory line-up of musicians who have backed up the great and good (Cash, Willie Nelson, Haggard, The Mavericks) and between them they nail down the groove to perfection. Rose happily describes the collection as a love letter to Texan musical culture; which is hard to argue against with the evidence she presents here. Continue reading “Whitney Rose “South Texas Suite” (Six Shooter Records, 2017)”

Jeff Tweedy writes an open letter to Trump supporting trolls

And there’ll be a lot more of this to come. 3 years, 361 days and counting which might feel more bearable if you can manufacture a self-induced coma. Before you do, have a gander at the video at the end of this article if you’ve not seen it before – it’s a cracker. Billboard reports: “Fans of Wilco should not be surprised to hear the indie rock figureheads are leftists. And yet some recent political social media posts from the band have incited trolling responses on their Facebook page, sparking frontman Jeff Tweedy to respond.   Continue reading “Jeff Tweedy writes an open letter to Trump supporting trolls”

Cassie Josephine and Gabriel Minnikin “Flower Country” (Independent, 2016)

This is a record where it is a truism to say that it a record of two halves. It is constructed as such with Josephine taking on writing duties for the first half and Minnikin picking up the baton and driving home the second. Josephine mainly sings her songs and Minnikin his, so they sound different and they have different sensibilities too; and there’s also a yawning gap in terms of quality. Josephine has a pretty voice and her songs are serviceable genre pieces – The Price and others draw heavily on classic country tropes. There’s a lot to like about the songs. I Don’t Want To Go Anywhere is a slow-burner that nudges towards excellence but for the vocals. The same charge can be levelled at Through The Blue;  Josephine doesn’t quite have the personality in the voice to convince. Continue reading “Cassie Josephine and Gabriel Minnikin “Flower Country” (Independent, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: Jessica Rhaye

Jessica Rhaye is a singer/songwriter from the east coast of Canada who recently released her 5th independent album “Song in Me”; a blend of folk / country / Americana music.   Also an established and award winning graphic design artist, Jessica’s music has been nominated for numerous song-writing awards, including the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, East Coast Music Awards and a Canadian Folk Music Award.    Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Jessica Rhaye”

Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys @Celtic Connections with Louise Bichan. Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow: 21st January 2017

Perhaps due to their previous encounter with Celtic music culture via their attendance at The Shetland Island Folk Festival in 2015 Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys approached their first Celtic Connections with some fervour. Their sold out show on the third night of this year’s festival was actually their third appearance having performed at Thursday’s opening celebrations and then pitching up for Friday’s Late Night Sessions (although it was Saturday by the time they came on stage). Thankfully there was no evidence of burnout or alcohol fuelled ennui when they took to the stage tonight as they parlayed their modern take on bluegrass with Lindsay Lou in fine voice and the guys in the band pretty much on fire as they skipped around the mic and swapped instruments. Continue reading “Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys @Celtic Connections with Louise Bichan. Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow: 21st January 2017”

Son Volt “Notes of Blue” (Transmit Sound, 2017)

Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt. country movement of the 1990s that ultimately became Americana. “Notes of Blue” is the twentieth album to which Jay Farrar, the creative force behind Son Volt, has lent his voice and songwriting. Perhaps it is not surprising that someone who has been in the business for that long has come up with such a variety of styles on the album. The songs are said to be inspired by the blues, but not the blues as most would know it. It could have been, in sporting terms, a game of two halves if that was the way the album had been put together. Continue reading “Son Volt “Notes of Blue” (Transmit Sound, 2017)”

AmericanA to Z: Acetone

I was drawn to Acetone because they were on Vernon Yard Recordings alongside Low, on whom I had a major musical crush. It’s always a risky business but in pre-internet days you had to take a punt, and I did. It turned out that they were a kind of all male Mazzy Star or a cross between Spaceman 3 and Kris Kristofferson. They played a slowcore version of Americana over the span of 5 LP’s and one EP, before calling it quits in 2001 when bass player Ritchie Lee killed himself. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Acetone”

Dirty Dozen: Elles Bailey

Fresh from recording her debut album in Nashville, Elles Bailey’s ‘blues fuelled’ voice is getting her recognition wherever she plays. This captivating, hard-working songstress seamlessly weaves rootsy blues, country and soulful rock with her trademark  ‘smoky vocals’ taking the lead.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years? 
So I’m Elles Bailey, singer/songstress hailing from the very lovely, musical town of Bristol, UK. I fronted an indie band throughout my early teens but when that disbanded, after taking a little break (where I did a degree in Psychology) I started touring as Elles Bailey. For the last few years I have been writing, recording and playing all over the UK & Europe. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best musicians in Bristol and was fortunate to be able to work with some of Nashville’s ‘crème de la crème’ whist recording my debut album. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Elles Bailey”