Jeff Tweedy ” Together At Last” (DBpm 2017)

To some, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco were the people that made the noughties worth living with his and their shards of myopic observation and songs of equal delicacy and wanton destruction. ‘Together at Last’ is a collection of Tweedy’s songs stripped bare of ornamentation and simply placed one after another in no particular order featuring only Tweedy on guitar and vocals with the occasional toot of a harmonica to leaven the puritanical taste. And this is the vibe. Respectful, almost hushed reverence as classic songs unfold simply with stark arrangements beautifully produced in the now famed Loft studio. Continue reading “Jeff Tweedy ” Together At Last” (DBpm 2017)”

Darling West “While I Was Asleep” – Listen

Since the release of their second album “Vinyl and a Heartache,” Darling West have been played more than two and a half million times on Spotify, been booked to the biggest festivals in Norway and Americanafest in Nashville and won a Norwegian Grammy.  Outrageous. New song While I Was Asleep was begun in Brooklyn and finished in the Ål mountains. “A song where Mari’s pop sense created the lovely chorus, with elements of light country-psychedelia in the rest of the song.” Imagine how good the songs they write while they’re awake will be.

Erin Costelo “Down Below the Status Quo” (Seayou Records, 2016)

Despite the protestations of countless wanabees across the world who all want their MTV, (or whatever the kids say now) being a musician is tough work. It’s difficult to tell if it’s harder in one genre than another but James Brown certainly had an opinion. The hardest working man in show business no doubt sweated his way through a pretty terrific career so maybe we can agree that soul is fairly tough – especially when it’s in competition with faux-soul pop music back by big bucks and gyrating bottoms. Enter Erin Costelo and her new album Down Below the Status Quo; a soul treat that smacks of toil without the pesky PR machine or MTV veneer.  Continue reading “Erin Costelo “Down Below the Status Quo” (Seayou Records, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: Jeremy Parsons

Jeremy Parsons grew up soaking in the sounds of Texas Music in the dance-halls of the Lone Star State. Over the past decade, he has played all over the US and in Europe, including numerous venues in Texas. Jeremy captivates the crowd with his genuine personality, unique humour, and heartfelt love of his occupation. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Jeremy Parsons”

Hillfolk Noir “Junkerpunch” (Independent, 2017)

An obscurely entitled 5th outing if ever there was. “What is a ”Junkerpunch?” we hear you cry. Even good old Google appears to be bereft of answers on that one. Thankfully, the press release accompanying Hillfolk Noir’s 5th album makes it clear – it’s slang for a ‘cheap shot’… the kind of punch that results in the boxer’s break that hampered Travis Ward’s guitar playing for a lengthy 9 months on 2016. As the adopted name of this immense collection of no less than 17 songs and instrumentals, Junkerpunch is also a title that says a lot about the approach adopted by Hillfolk Noir who, let’s face it, write songs like someone thumping, with quite some aggression, at the proverbial door of old time authenticity whilst simultaneously hiding behind a thin veil of playful irreverence like a child hiding behind a curtain, desperate to be noticed. Continue reading “Hillfolk Noir “Junkerpunch” (Independent, 2017)”

Jason Isbell performs on CBS This Morning – Watch

God that man and his band will just not leave television alone at the moment. Rolling Stone reports: “Just a few days after Jason Isbell gave a blistering performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Alabama native returned to the small screen on Saturday for a segment on CBS This Morning. This time saw Isbell and the 400 Unit in a more thoughtful, though not exactly subdued, frame of mind as they performed a handful of songs from their new album, The Nashville Sound [which you can view below]. Continue reading “Jason Isbell performs on CBS This Morning – Watch”

Kaurna Cronin “Euphoria, Delirium and Loneliness” (Songs and Whispers, 2017)

Kaurna Cronin is a youthful Australian singer-songwriter. His bio attests to a number of Antipodean folk awards won, yet this, his third album, is very much an exercise in subtle guitar pop/rock. Cronin has a polite airy voice, perhaps reminiscent of the mighty Paddy McAloon, but not quite emulating the lyrical sharpness of the man. Not to say that Cronin isn’t lyrically astute though – there’s not too many clichés in his words, which are the saving grace of this record. The ten songs do largely fall into the cited folk tradition of story-telling and he paints detailed pictures of his characters, their situations and their woes. Continue reading “Kaurna Cronin “Euphoria, Delirium and Loneliness” (Songs and Whispers, 2017)”

Glen Campbell tops new UK americana chart

Glen Campbell’s moving “Adios” album is number one in this week’s official UK americana chart which Paste describes as being delivered “with the kind of class and grace that characterized much of his career.” There’s a flurry of activity just below the top spot with some big name new entries from Fleet Foxes, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Steve Earle and the Dukes, Kevin Morby and Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo all in the top 10.  Head over to the AMA-UK site for the whole top 40.  Continue reading “Glen Campbell tops new UK americana chart”