Nathan Xander “Blue House” (Trailer Fire Records, 2017)

Originally from Pennsylvania, Nathan Xander terms himself a troubadour, widely travelled in the States as he sings his songs. Blue House was recorded in upstate New York with a small band set up – guitar, bass, drums and occasional keyboards – allowing Xander to deliver a mixed bunch of dusty memories and raunchier recollections. Continue reading “Nathan Xander “Blue House” (Trailer Fire Records, 2017)”

John Tams & Barry Coope, Hitchin Folk Club, The Sun Inn, Hitchin 24th September 2017

John Tams is not your typical seventy year old folkie – yes he has a great voice and a fine repertoire of songs both traditional and self-penned, and naturally – like many of his contemporaries – he served time in The Albion Band amongst other musical outlets. However, his musical career has also seen him on stage at the National Theatre as musical director for shows like Warhorse, or updating the Radio Ballads concept for modern times or acting (and singing) alongside Sean Bean in the historical drama series Sharpe. Continue reading “John Tams & Barry Coope, Hitchin Folk Club, The Sun Inn, Hitchin 24th September 2017”

Daniel Romano headlines Upstart Crow festival this weekend

Upstart Crow is a festival dedicated to “the art of song” which takes place on the UCF stage under the canopy in Spitalfields with eight hours of original music. The festival is free and runs from midday to 8pm this Sunday (October 1st). Headlining this year is Daniel Romano – the Canadian Juno-nominated musician, poet and visual artist – who will be playing a one-off solo acoustic show for the festival ahead of November full-band dates.  Also appearing are Robert Chaney, Trevor Moss And Hannah Lou, Benedict Benjamin, Pete Greenwood, Bad Parents, Felix Holt And The Radicals, Joe Wilkes,  Emily C. Smith,  Hank Dogs,  Lorraine Wood and Emma Harwood. And if you’re not sure about any of them (or all of them if you’re overly harsh/ignorant) then there’s a Spotify playlist available to fill in those blanks. Continue reading “Daniel Romano headlines Upstart Crow festival this weekend”

Bon Iver announces 5 nights of London dates

And do not get him started on Hillary Clinton. NME reports: “Bon Iver has announced a five-night stint at London’s Eventim Apollo in February next year. The Canadian singer, real name Justin Vernon, will kick off the residency with a show on the 21st February, before further dates on February 22, 25, 26, and 27. Posting on Twitter, the singer explained that fans who previously had tickets to his cancelled show at the Roundhouse will be able to buy tickets from this Wednesday, before any remaining tickets go on general sale from Tuesday October, 3. Continue reading “Bon Iver announces 5 nights of London dates”

Derek Hoke “Bring The Flood” (Independent 2017)

Derek Hoke is a singer-songwriter based in East Nashville but this is not a straightforward Nashville album. A commentary on the dark times he feels are engulfing the States, it was nurtured from fleeting thoughts recorded with a tape-recorder whilst driving at night on the Tenessee blacktop to full album status with the assistance of several friends including the likes of Aaron Lee Tasjan to name but one. Continue reading “Derek Hoke “Bring The Flood” (Independent 2017)”

Ryan Adams + Karen Elson, 02 Academy, Bournemouth, 19th September 2017

In a rare moment of chat towards the end of this show, Ryan Adams took a swipe at a previous live review where he was accused of being self-indulgent. “Man” he proclaims, “That’s like eating a dessert and then complaining that it’s sweet.” He does have a point. Although perhaps Ryan Adams’ stage presence is often closer to shoegaze indie than fist punching stadium, tonight he plays for over two hours straight through and picks from a set list that spans his entire songbook. What more he could or should do, he’d be excused for thinking. Continue reading “Ryan Adams + Karen Elson, 02 Academy, Bournemouth, 19th September 2017”

Nicole Atkins “Goodbye Rhonda Lee” (Single Lock Records, 2017)

It’s not unreasonable to wonder who Rhonda Lee is, and why the ex-queen of Asbury Park and new resident of Nashville is bidding her farewell. Nicole Atkins provides the answer – it’s herself, or at least her worst half. Having struggled with some sobriety issues in recent years Nicole Atkins took the pledge and this album is a tangible result of her abilities returning as her non-drinking days increased in number. Continue reading “Nicole Atkins “Goodbye Rhonda Lee” (Single Lock Records, 2017)”

Lord Youth “Gray Gardens” (Shellshock, 2017)

Creeping its way into your ears with a dirty, slightly otherworldy cha-cha that sounds like a wantonly peculiar outtake from a Richard Hawley record, Lord Youth’s ghoulish novelty-noir is brilliantly uncomfortable listening. Micah Blaichman’s dead-pan tenor, sometimes reminiscent of Johnny Dowd’s unnerving vitriolic intoning, drawls across a raft of 1950s style Americana that is full of creaking, wining guitar, junk-yard percussion and demented honky-tonk piano (nowhere more evident that on “Someone Was Singing Hi Ho Silver”). Continue reading “Lord Youth “Gray Gardens” (Shellshock, 2017)”