Benjamin Folke Thomas “Copenhagen” (Louvaio, 2017)

Thomas’ opening gambit Good Enough For Me sparkles with lyrical ideas and has a few sticky hooks thrown in. The first line Wish I could come down from this pedestal strikes the right tone somewhere between two other great Scandinavian cultural icons the Norwegian TV series “Dag” (highly recommended – it has a wonderful soundtrack) and the writing of Karl Ove Knausgaard. Both deal with existential angst in similarly entertaining ways. Good Friend Again only deepens this impression, This is the day I’ll start drinking again, I need something to cope with these avenues of shame. There’s a brutal honesty, even if it is only fiction – it’s far from romantic. Continue reading “Benjamin Folke Thomas “Copenhagen” (Louvaio, 2017)”

Dirty Dozen: Megan O’Neill

‘Stories To Tell’ showcases six original songs that were recorded at British Grove Studios in London and produced by long-time Mark Knopfler collaborator, Guy Fletcher (Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Roxy Music). Megan & The Common Threads weave a unique tapestry of country, blues, folk and Americana. The band has emerged from the solo project of Kildare-born songwriter and front woman, Megan O’Neill, and includes co-writers Dan Clark and Tom Smith (electric & acoustic guitars), Kesh Kanabar (bass), Alessandro Tibaldi (drums) and Mairéad Furlong’s on fiddle. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Megan O’Neill”

Pokey LaFarge releases song about current racial tension in US – Listen

Well worth a listen if you have a spare three minutes and 40 seconds in your life, and he’s playing some dates in the Netherlands next month. Rolling Stone reports: “Roots performer Pokey LaFarge calls St. Louis his home, and the racial tension that boiled over after Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by police in neighboring Ferguson informs his new song “Riot in the Streets.” It will appear on LaFarge’s new album Manic Revelations, out May 19th.  Continue reading “Pokey LaFarge releases song about current racial tension in US – Listen”

Ryan Adams hits number one in 3 US Charts

And he’s number one in the UK’s americana chart too. Billboard reports: “Ryan Adams takes no prisoners as he arrives at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums and Americana/Folk Albums charts (dated March 11) with his new LP, Prisoner. Adams’ 16th studio album, and first of new material since his self-titled 2014 set, opens with 45,000 equivalent album units (42,000 in traditional album sales) in the week ending Feb. 23, according to Nielsen Music. Continue reading “Ryan Adams hits number one in 3 US Charts”

Dirty Dozen: Lonely Avenue

Lonely Avenue is a four-piece alt-country/Americana band from Bakersfield, California who has been playing around 150 shows per year since 2008.  Can you tell us about yourself?  Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We are from different places but all of us have spent most of our lives in Bakersfield, CA where we currently reside.  We grew up together and have played music together in one way or another for 15 years.  Lonely Avenue began as a working band doing mostly covers at several bars in Bakersfield.  About five years ago we began to write a lot together and our live performances became mostly original.  We then spent two years working with Brian Boozer at Aum Studios to create our album and we are very proud of it. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Lonely Avenue”

Punch Brothers’ Noam Pikelny Performs “Old Banjo” in preparation for new album release – Watch

This is rather fine if you have 5 minutes to spare, some nice covers on the way too. Rolling Stone reports: “Sometime last winter, Noam Pikelny grew restless. He’d recently wrapped up a tour with the Punch Brothers, plucking his banjo strings to songs from the group’s chart-topping album, The Phosphorescent Blues. Back in Nashville after the tour’s final gig, though, he found himself sitting at home, missing the road he’d just left behind. “I wound up booking some solo dates as an experiment, to see what sort of material I could perform that would stand alone without a band backing it up,” says the award-winning banjo phenom, who had mostly performed as a member of larger groups. This time, though, the gigs were different. Pikelny took the stage alone. He sang. He played. He told jokes in a stone-faced deadpan. He wasn’t just a bandmate; he was the entire band.  Continue reading “Punch Brothers’ Noam Pikelny Performs “Old Banjo” in preparation for new album release – Watch”

Noble Jacks announce UK dates

Foot-stomping folksters Noble Jacks will release their long-awaited debut album “What The Hammer” on March 24th on Union Music Store, and Harvey’s Brewery in Lewes will be unveiling ‘Noble Jacks,’ a special limited-run brew to coincide with the album release from the Sussex based alt.folk band of the same name. Drink while you listen. Recorded at The Metway Studio in Brighton (The Levellers’ studio) and produced by Jamie Freeman, the album follows on from ‘Gun Hill’ EP, and they’ll be performing all around the UK in March and April – dates below, along with the video for single “Ramblers Steam”. Continue reading “Noble Jacks announce UK dates”

Martha Tilston announces UK dates, new video – Watch

Martha Tilston, whose new double A-side we recently featured, has announced details of her new album “Nomad” which will be released via Squiggly Records on May 12th, which will include “expansive electric guitar, slide guitar, rolling beats, deep bass, banjo and string arrangements.” Martha’s seventh album to date, NOMAD will be preceded by that double A-side single ‘Nomad Blood’/‘Little Arrow’ with UK live dates to follow throughout late April, May and June and a headline date at London’s King’s Place on May 18th. Watch the new video for “Nomad Blood” below while you peruse the dates (or one after the other realistically).  Continue reading “Martha Tilston announces UK dates, new video – Watch”

Dirty Dozen: Amelia Curran

Amelia Curran is a songwriter, activist and mental health advocate from St John’s, Newfoundland.  Curran has won or been nominated for JUNA Awards for three consecutive albums and is firmly established as one of the country’s preeminent poetic songwriters.  The new album “Watershed” marks a threshold and a directional change. The tenor of this new album is openness, a reflection in part of Curran’s increasingly public efforts to battle the stigma of mental health issues in the arts.

Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Amelia Curran”