Dori Freeman “Letters Never Read” (Blue Hens Music, 2017)

If you’re looking for a vocal that’s as clear as a mountain stream then Dori Freeman has the vocal you’re chasing. On Letters Never Read she defines a modern form of Appalachian country – there’s no affectation here but there’s a lot of variety. Her back story is worth
recounting again – growing up in the Appalachian city of Galax (population 7,000) in a traditional music family she rebelled against these constraints by falling for the wildly modern sounds of Teddy Thompson going so far as to dropping him an email accompanied by a sample of her singing. Continue reading “Dori Freeman “Letters Never Read” (Blue Hens Music, 2017)”

The Travelling Band – The Borderline, 21 November 2017

Having premiered their ‘Sails’ album live in full for the first time back in August at the Water Rats in King’s Cross, The Travelling Band returned to the Borderline in London on Tuesday as part of a tour to promote the new record. The scope and breadth of The Travelling Band’s ambition is fully apparent throughout ‘Sails – traversing a range of styles from pop to folk, and from indie to Americana. Continue reading “The Travelling Band – The Borderline, 21 November 2017”

Willie Meighan

Americana UK is saddened to hear of the passing of Willie Meighan, the face of and one of the guiding lights of the Kilkenny Roots Festival. Willie was the man who ran ” the happiest little record shop in the world,” Roller Coaster Records, a haven for all who entered with his passion for music  enduring throughout the tough times of downloading and musical piracy. A focal point for anyone musically minded, he shared his enthusiasm with anyone who walked through the doors. Continue reading “Willie Meighan”

Soft Fangs “Honey Colony” – Listen

Soft Fangs is the musical project of Brooklyn-based songwriter, John Lutkevich. Having previously released an EP and a debut album, Lutkevich’s latest release Fractures saw a change in the recording process, as he explains “The LP is a collection of songs that I wrote over the past year in fragments and then recorded in three days during a snowstorm in Maine…it’s the first album where I’ve enlisted the help of others to engineer, so I let my good friends Bradford Krieger & Chaimes Parker (Big Nice Studio) handle all of the recording aspects, and I just got to run from instrument to instrument.” The result is the place where pop meets hauntingly dark imagery and sounds.

Calexico “Voices in the Field” – Listen

Stereogum have premiered a new track by the act they describe as “Arizona’s resident Americana band” Calexico who recently announced their ninth studio album, “The Thread That Keeps Us”. Voices In The Field follows on from lead single End Of The World With You with all the usual mariachi influences but a nice dash of doom thrown in. After all, tis the season to be gloomy.

Darlingside “Eschaton” – Listen

Alt-folk quartet Darlingside are back with a new single and a new album for 2018.  Eschaton is taken from the forthcoming release “Extralife” due out February which will be launched officially in London on January 30th at the Courtyard Theatre, the follow up to the band’s 2016 European breakthrough debut release “Birds Say”.  While that record was steeped in childhood nostalgia and the loss of innocence, “Extralife” finds the band looking to the future, mourning the loss of our world with an almost post-apocalyptic view, although it’s not without an underlying sense of hope and optimism – the new series of Star Trek continues after the Christmas break after all.

Bap Kennedy tribute EP to raise money for cancer charity

The music of the late Belfast singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy is being celebrated with a new release ‘Raving for Bap’ by The Raving Beauties, all profits of which will be going to Belfast’s Marie Curie Hospice. The release marks the 1st anniversary of when Bap passed away at the Hospice in November 2016 after a short fight with cancer. The 5-track E.P., which features original cover art by County Antrim artist Kenny McKendry and  sleevenotes from Belfast music journalist Stuart Bailie, is available for pre-order on limited edition 10” vinyl and via digital download. The record includes songs from Bap’s solo career as well as his years as frontman for Energy Orchard and is being released on the Farm Music label. Continue reading “Bap Kennedy tribute EP to raise money for cancer charity”

Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Scala, London, 22nd November 2017

Those who still pine for the folk excesses of Bellowhead can take some comfort from Jon Boden’s latest outfit. After a solo tour Jon Boden has got the old band back together and is taking new album Afterglow out on tour with The Remnant Kings, backed up by the string trio that is the Remnant Strings. This makes the stage at the Scala impressively full with eleven musicians, and since most of them are also multi-instrumentalists an almost excessive number of instrument stands and microphone setups. Continue reading “Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Scala, London, 22nd November 2017”

Rebecca Pronsky “Witness – Hillary’s Song Cycle” (Independent, 2017)

A mini album dedicated to Hillary Clinton’s ‘defeat’ in the 2016 US Presidential Election and her (imagined) personal aftermath. Let’s not dwell on the name of her opponent, shall we? As is fitting for such a subject, a cast of six female musicians underpin Brooklynite Pronksy’ self-penned song suite in fine style. Although an idea firmly out of left field, it’s a pretty good record; full of the poppy/folky/jazz character you’d expect from Rebecca Pronsky. Continue reading “Rebecca Pronsky “Witness – Hillary’s Song Cycle” (Independent, 2017)”