Mandy Rowden “1000 Miles” (Independent, 2017)

Sometimes some records just don’t hit the mark… and from the drab artwork  to the confusion of the songs that dwell within, that seems to be the case here. It’s a dreadful shame – given some of the names Rowden has worked with in the past, this is a record that should have presented far more in the way of highlights. This, Mandy Rowden’s second album, owes much to Lucinda Williams and a bit to Tift Merritt, but lacks the conviction of either. The songs are relatively well put together and in the most part, decently executed, but just not exciting enough. Moreover, the apocalyptic imagery of a couple of songs, notably Flood Song and No Greater Silence,  and the social commentary and ramshackle romp of 5 O’clock World are difficult to take seriously. Continue reading “Mandy Rowden “1000 Miles” (Independent, 2017)”

Red Rooster line-up something to crow about

One of the highlights of the UK Roots Festival season, Red Rooster, the banjo pickin’ summer festival has announced its return for the fourth year, championing “the best in Americana, Blues, Soul, Roots and Country.” Located in the park and woodlands of Euston Hall in Suffolk, festival-goers can enjoy lip-smacking authentic ribs and soul food by a campfire under the stars, or get down to the raucous sounds radiating from the woodland’s main stage venue. The full line-up (so far):  Continue reading “Red Rooster line-up something to crow about”

Israel Nash, The Islington, London, 22nd February 2017

Israel Nash is on tour opening for Band of Horses, but this was a night off and an opportunity to play if not quite a secret gig then at the least an incredibly intimate one. The Islington is not such a big pub, and the performance space is tiny – a capacity of sixty or so perhaps, and not surprisingly it was sold out. Tonight was to be a duo performance – Israel Nash on acoustic guitars and Eric Swanson adding waves of the most perfect pedal steel. Who needs a band ? Continue reading “Israel Nash, The Islington, London, 22nd February 2017”

Ryan Adams covers Springsteen for Radio 1 – Watch

Some other nice clips on the bigger BBC site, and you don’t need to be 13 to watch them. Billboard reports: “In anticipation of BBC Radio 6’s celebration of the year 1994, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams covered one of the year’s biggest hits, Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” in the 6 Music Live Lounge. “Streets of Philadelphia,” written for the 1993 film Philadelphia, won an Academy Award for best original song, as well as four Grammys, including song of the year, best rock song, best male rock vocal performance and best song written specifically for a motion picture or for television.  Continue reading “Ryan Adams covers Springsteen for Radio 1 – Watch”

Dirty Dozen: Jonathan Terrell

Austin, Texas based singer/ songwriter, Jonathan Terrell is a new breed of country.  Gathering inspiration from the gritty corners of Americana, Terrell has bloomed into a well-respected songwriter of deeply moving and resonant country-folk music explorations. Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
Hey, yeah.  I grew up in a small town in North East Texas called Longview that sits in the pine curtain near the Louisiana border. I’ve been in Austin now for about 11 years and I spend a lot of time touring the states and a little in Europe. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Jonathan Terrell”

Elliott Smith’s Either/Or – expanded edition soon

Fourteen years have passed since Elliot Smith died, and twenty have passed since the release of Either/Or.  There’s been no dimming in the interest in his music, and there’s no reason why more of it shouldn’t be released.  So here it is, the twentieth anniversary expanded edition of Either/Or. Continue reading “Elliott Smith’s Either/Or – expanded edition soon”

Rab Noakes “The Treatment Tapes EP” (Neon Records 2017)

This is an outstanding and unforgettable record for two reasons: Firstly, it shines musically, and secondly, it tells the specific story of the discovery and treatment of Rab’s tonsillar cancer, diagnosed early in 2015. For both reasons the EP will appeal to most peoples’ inner sensitivity, drawing them in, in a particular and very personal way. This, musically and lyrically, is a short collection, but it takes you firmly along what could be a difficult path, where a “howling ghost” lurks, but ends up somehow in a place where a sense of hope survives, in whatever context you would allow it to blossom in. Continue reading “Rab Noakes “The Treatment Tapes EP” (Neon Records 2017)”

Grandaddy return with first new album in over a decade

Lovely news from Consequence of Sound – like the prodigal son returning (although there’s no evidence they’ve done anything wrong).  They report: “Ever since Grandaddy reformed six years ago, fans have been begging for a new record from Jason Lytle and the boys. On March 3rd, their prayers will finally be answered when the reunited alternative rockers release Last Place via Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records. In anticipation, the record is streaming in its entirety below (via NPR) [if you live in the US – sorry UK subjects].  Continue reading “Grandaddy return with first new album in over a decade”

Robert Vincent “I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins” (At The Helm Records, 2017)

Of late fortune has smiled on Liverpudlian Robert Vincent. He was the first recipient of The Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award at the inaugural Americana Association UK Conference and Awards last year. He was also invited to be a showcase UK artist for Nashville’s Americana Fest in September and ended up in Rolling Stone’s list of “20 Best Things We Saw at Americana Fest”. On top of positive reviews for his debut album Life In Easy steps it seems it’s onwards and upwards for Mr. Vincent and consequently expectations for this album are quite high. Recorded in Liverpool and mixed in Nashville (with Ray Kennedy at the controls) I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins certainly meets these expectations although it’s an album that has a few surprises up its sleeve. Continue reading “Robert Vincent “I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins” (At The Helm Records, 2017)”