Louis Brennan “Airport Hotel” – Listen

On this folk mini-epic, gravel voiced Louis Brennan captures the particular bleakness of cheap airport hotels – nothing says transitory more than a brief encounter that involves the contents of a mini-bar and a feeling that things could be better than this.  And it’s an airport – so someone’s not going to be here tomorrow.

Kyle Craft “Full Circle Nightmare” (Sub Pop, 2018)

Listening to this record is like mistakenly making conversation with a drunk that you can’t get away from, only this drunk has some great stories to tell. Like the bastard child of Jerry Lee Lewis and Lou Reed he’s imbued with rock and roll – with the mythology, he’s a crumple-suited romantic, forever nursing a broken heart. The opening line of Heartbreak Junky just about sums up his worldview: “So you fell in love, and it wasn’t with me” – love is never easy, love will always break your heart and love is just another addiction. Craft really bangs the songs out, guitars, piano, organ and brass all entwined all rooted strongly in classic songwriting and with such energy and such conviction that you do end up listening to every word. Continue reading “Kyle Craft “Full Circle Nightmare” (Sub Pop, 2018)”

Tyler Childers “Purgatory” (Thirty Tigers 2018)

Building up a steady head of public interest, Tyler Childers follows his three singles of last year with his debut album co-produced by Sturgill Simpson no less. And it could well have been hewn from the same wood as Sturgill’s earlier releases. Lots of guitars, rebel lyricism and fiddles with nods to Nashville, Appalachia and Steve Earle particularly with the ‘Copperhead Road’ fuelled ‘Whitehouse Road’ – note the repeat of the word road to enable such comparisons. Continue reading “Tyler Childers “Purgatory” (Thirty Tigers 2018)”

Paul Simon’s final concert ?

We’ve all been so busy being excited about the Americana Music Association UK’s showcases and awards gigs that we’ve let this announcement in Rolling Stone ( here ) roll past us a little.  Paul Simon is scheduled to close the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park on July 15th.  He’ll be joined by Bonny Raitt and James Taylor and the concert is being billed as his farewell performance – it’s also his only currently planned performance in 2018.  As those paying attention will recall it was back in 1993 that Paul Simon undertook a Farewell Simon & Garfunkel Tour with Art Garfunkel (naturally enough).  Continue reading “Paul Simon’s final concert ?”

Here’s the lowdown on last night’s winners at the UK Americana Awards

Only three years old yet the UK Americana Awards jamboree is already established as THE showcase for all that is great and good in these benighted times. With two days of conferences, panel discussions and live shows featuring acts from across the UK, the event culminated last night with the Awards show held at The Hackney Empire. Continue reading “Here’s the lowdown on last night’s winners at the UK Americana Awards”

J. Briozo “Deep In The Waves” (Swallow The Music, 2017)

J.Briozo is in fact Jeff Crandall, the lead singer of Swallows, who found himself writing a parallel set of songs as Swallows recorded their third album. He invited his band mates along to fill in the framework of the songs and J. Briozo was/were born. The stylistic diversity of the record is probably a result of him trying to do things differently from Swallows. The sounds are more eclectic and less roots based, the standout Beautiful Mess sounding so much like an Elliott Smith song that I had to check it wasn’t, but in fairness to Crandall he does start by mentioning Miss Misery so the resemblance is not coincidental. Continue reading “J. Briozo “Deep In The Waves” (Swallow The Music, 2017)”