John Oates announces new album “Arkansas”

John Oates, one part of the duo Hall & Oates, has teamed up with a group of rising stars in the Americana music world for his new solo album “Arkansas” which sees its worldwide release date set for February 2nd via Thirty Tigers.  The Good Road Band who feature on the record have quite an impressive lineup consisting of mandolin player Sam Bush, pedal steel innovator Russ Pahl, electric guitar picker Guthrie Trapp, bass veteran Steve Mackey, cello virtuoso Nat Smith, and percussionist Josh Day.   Continue reading “John Oates announces new album “Arkansas””

Track premiere: Stills “Pacific Coast”

Brooklyn based folk-rock-americany band Stills’ new EP “Work & Wine” is coming out on December 15th and they’ve shared the track Pacific Coast with us for the first time today which is full of lovely harmonies and lapsteel. We asked band member Katie Schottland what the track was about and she emailed us: “Ummm… ‘I had written a poem for my lover in the beginning of our short and intense relationship.  While in the depths of winter, I decided to put music behind it.’ If you need something more interesting… ‘I was traveling along the coast of California, stopped off in Big Sur and met a traveling musician.  We developed a kinship.  I learned a few months later that he had passed away and I wrote this song for him.’  The first one is true, the second all lies.  Haha.” Possibly the best email reply we’ve had all year.  Oh and the track is fantastic – just listen.

The Wailin’ Jennys “Fifteen” (True North Records,2017)

Six years after their last album The Wailin’ Jennys (Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody, & Heather Masse) reconvened for a five day recording session. The title? Well – it’s fifteen years since the original trio (Carla Luft had the gig before Heather Masse) got together for a one-off show in a Winnipeg guitar shop. Once they realised just how well their voices blended in gorgeous three part harmonies it made more sense to carry on performing together – a decision that led on to two Juno awards and a clutch of well received albums. Continue reading “The Wailin’ Jennys “Fifteen” (True North Records,2017)”

Martin Rὅssel. “Don’t Blame Me” (Erik Alx Sund Records, 2017)

For an album that’s been ten years in the making, Sweden’s Martin Rὅssel’s Don’t Blame Me turns out to be a relatively taut affair. Turns out that Rὅssel is an in demand producer in Sweden and elsewhere and was continually sidetracked by various projects. As he says in the liner notes, “Deadlines are tough but sometimes good, and I had none.” However he eventually had the songs in ship shape order and managed to recruit an army of around 30 musicians (including Marty Wilson-Piper on guitar) for the recording. Despite the plethora of players Rὅssel turns in a tightly wound selection of songs with several of them saluting the bands and artists he grew up hearing. Continue reading “Martin Rὅssel. “Don’t Blame Me” (Erik Alx Sund Records, 2017)”

Jim White “Waffles Triangles & Jesus” (Loose, 2017)

Jim White’s first couple of records are classics of the genre; they were strange missives and they heralded a new voice. It’s frightening to think that it is 20 years since Wrong-Eyed Jesus and this latest record – with a title that’s almost a parody of a Jim White record title – tries hard but ultimately falls short. White is an engaging performer and live he often bends his songs into interesting new shapes. White doesn’t make bad records, he doesn’t write bad songs, but he didn’t used to write ordinary songs and he does now, and that’s what is disappointing. Continue reading “Jim White “Waffles Triangles & Jesus” (Loose, 2017)”

Tom Russell, The 100 Club, London, 1st December 2017

It doesn’t pay to be late to a Tom Russell gig, you might miss the opening act who takes the stage to do a little “guess that tune” as he plays snippets of road songs. A little bit of Pancho and Lefty, a little snippet of Guy Clark, it could be anything, even Leonard Cohen.  Since he’s a gruff voiced seventy year old American in a cowboy hat with an easy line of patter then you really don’t want to miss the support. Having warmed up both the audience and his own voice it was time for Tom Russell to emerge from his carefully crafted disguise as himself – a gruff voiced seventy year old American in a cowboy hat, with an easy line of patter. Continue reading “Tom Russell, The 100 Club, London, 1st December 2017”

Various “13 Days Of Xmas” (Bloodshot Records 2017)

Christmas comes but once a year and for the country community it’s the perfect excuse to drip an extra tear into the beer and mourn another year of lost love and lonely hearts. 13 Days Of Xmas is a compilation of artists with one thing in common – the festive season blues. The relish which Bloodshot Records upholds the tradition of good ‘ol guys and gals in the gutter certainly stays true to the Western character. Bloodshot have served the alternative music community out of Chicago since 1994 and are this year offering up an Americana album of various label family members along with their usual festive bargains. It’s touted as a “Thirteen-song compilation of off-kilter original Christmas songs and unlikely covers” and the darkness is there for all to see (sic). Continue reading “Various “13 Days Of Xmas” (Bloodshot Records 2017)”

Pick of the Political Pops: Graham Nash “Military Madness”

This week at Americana-UK Towers we have mostly been thanking our lucky stars. Thankful that we have The Bunker to repair to in times of extremis, thankful that the code to get into the bunker is tighter than the Mac OS login system and thankful that we are blessed with a library of great tunes. Given the amount of mad, bad and dangerous people in the world it truly is amazing that we manage to keep our own sanity intact.

Ian Felice + Gill Landry, The Borderline, London. 27th November 2017

Pretty much a sell out at the revamped Borderline for Ian Felice’s first solo foray to these shores. It’s been a busy period what with a new baby, propping up the excellent Conor Oberst’s album and tour and now an excellent new album full of image soaked Americana and a tour to support it. The crowd ( including Loose alumni Danny Champ and label boss Tom – here as a fan as much as management) can’t wait, but they have to for tonight it’s no tacked on support but a full blown talent in his own right. Continue reading “Ian Felice + Gill Landry, The Borderline, London. 27th November 2017”