Ciara O’Neill “Arrow” (Independent, 2018)

Arrow,’ the second album from the Ciara O’Neill, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from  Portadown, Northern Ireland really is quite a special record. There’s no doubting Ciara’s origins; her voice has that Celtic folk inflexion that is instantly recognisable and has a tendency to make the listener stare into space with wistful homesickness no matter if they haven’t set foot in Ireland, north or south.  The core folk tradition in which this album is rooted flowers in O’Neill’s songwriting with some quite brilliant arrangements where cello and violin often dominate and accentuate the impassioned lyrics. Continue reading “Ciara O’Neill “Arrow” (Independent, 2018)”

Robyn Hitchcock, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 24th May 2018

I don’t know if Brian Ferry’s ears were burning the other night but if so it was probably because he received several mentions from Robyn Hitchcock in his fantastical  and  extremely funny in between song patter at Glasgow’s Oran Mor. Ferry was but one thread in Hitchcock’s surrealistic tapestry of tales as he let his imagination roam, talking of handkerchiefs zapped into space and how to determine a song’s cheese factor amongst other oddities. Continue reading “Robyn Hitchcock, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 24th May 2018”

Nils Lofgren, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge 24th May 2018

Joseph Quever

Nils Lofgren near-solo – he’s accompanied tonight by multi-instrumentalist Gregg Varlotta – is a very different thing from what one might imagine from his “day job”. Shortly before heading off for his UK tour celebrating fifty years on the road Nils Lofgren could be found blasting it out alongside Neil Young in a reconvened Crazy Horse. Nils Lofgren is, of course, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer for his long tenure in the E-Street band. We’re talking rock royalty here, and yet solo Nils Lofgren is relaxed in his own multi-instrumentalist abilities and self-effacing to the point of being humble. Continue reading “Nils Lofgren, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge 24th May 2018”

Kashena Sampson – UK dates in support of debut album ‘Wild Heart’

Following her successful performance at the UK Americana Awards showcase back in January, new Nashville singer-songwriter Kashena Sampson hits these shores at the end of the month to help promote her debut album ‘Wild Heart’ which came out in the United States last year and has just been released here on New Moon Records. Recorded live to tape in a couple days at popular East Nashville recording studio, The Bomb Shelter, Sampson has recorded with top Nashville-based players, including Jon Estes co-producing – as well as playing bass – Jeremy Fetzer on guitar, and Jon Radford on drums. Continue reading “Kashena Sampson – UK dates in support of debut album ‘Wild Heart’”

The Hanging Stars “For You (My Blue Eyed Son)” – Listen

Rising new stars of jangly country rock The Hanging Stars released this, their new single, as they geared up for a tour supporting GospelbeacH.  The first date was yesterday but they’re playing Manchester tonight then up to Scotland for a couple of nights, scooting to Red Rooster Festival in Suffolk, a detour to Wales and finishing up in London June 4th.  Check their website for details, whilst you sit back and revel in this mellow masterclass in harmony vocals.  And jangly guitar.

Suburban Dirts “I Want Blood” (Old Jank Records, 2018)

This is an album that asks a big question. That question is, how does a band from Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, UK manage to get such an authentic Americana sound?! Listening to this album you would swear this band had southern States dirt under their fingernails – it’s dark, broody and moody in all the best possible ways and it has American gothic influences running all the way through it! Continue reading “Suburban Dirts “I Want Blood” (Old Jank Records, 2018)”

Passenger leans into americana for new album, due August

We leave you this week with news that Passenger aka Brighton’s Mike Rosenberg has announced details of his new album ‘Runaway’, which will be released on August 31st on Black Crow Records via Cooking Vinyl and is available to pre-order now. ‘Runaway’ will be released on CD, Vinyl LP and download with Deluxe 2CD, 2LP and Deluxe Digital formats available that include Live Acoustic versions of the album recorded across North America. Continue reading “Passenger leans into americana for new album, due August”

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore “Downey to Lubbock” (Yep Roc, 2018)

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore have been scene buddies for 30 years, but never recorded together until now. Whilst joint headlining recently they realised the chemistry, and decided they had to get something down, resulting in an album of history sweeping covers and two originals. Alvin started in The Blasters, Gilmore in The Flatliners, but they are now both touring troubadour senior citizens, performing their tales of the new and old west with huge energy and love for their craft, and much respect for each other.  Continue reading “Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore “Downey to Lubbock” (Yep Roc, 2018)”