Wizz Jones & Ralph McTell, Junction 2, Cambridge, 21st June 2018

In the wake of the passing of John Renbourn in 2015, old friends Ralph McTell and Wizz Jones were prompted to finally get around to recording an album together the title of which – ‘About Time‘ – was a reference to their long standing intention to “do something together” which had now been crystallized into action. It was pretty well received and so has now been followed up with a second album called, with great imagination and a small pun, ‘About Time Too‘. Both albums see the pair recording songs that they like that have also, perhaps, been an influence on their respective musical lives Continue reading “Wizz Jones & Ralph McTell, Junction 2, Cambridge, 21st June 2018”

Nicholson & Randell “Candyman” – Listen

Nicholson & Randell are Lea Nicholson (concertina) and Naomi Randell (guitar and lead vocals) and they hail out of the dark heart of the Cambridgeshire fen-lands.  And they bring us this take on the Grateful Dead’s take on ‘Candyman‘ – and rather tasty it is too.  Americana-UK caught them as the opener to C W  Stoneking last week – and they were pretty impressive live too.

Leon III “Leon III” (Cornelius Chapel Records, 2018)

Leon III (or Leon the Third if you prefer, their PR blurb mentions both) are a side project of two members of a Virginia alt-country band, the Wrinkle Neck Mules, a band this reviewer had never heard of. Before we get to the main thrust of this review however, do yourself a favour and check them out. Comprised of Andy Stepanian and Mason Brent, respectively singer and guitarist of those Mules, Leon III move away from the more traditional sounds of the parent band into a kind of blissed out cosmic Americana with both of them citing the good old Grateful Dead as an inspiration and certainly throughout the album the gleeful countenance of Jerry Garcia can be imagined as the grooves spin. Continue reading “Leon III “Leon III” (Cornelius Chapel Records, 2018)”

Kim Richey, Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham, 19 June 2018

“I normally have my roadies do this” quips Kim Richey as she arrives and fumbles with her guitar lead, setting the tone for an intimate, folksy evening more akin to being in a friend’s living room than a music venue, even one as warm and small as the Café. The audience are largely long term fans and given that Richey played in Birmingham only a few weeks ago supporting Gretchen Peters it’s good to see a solid crowd of them for her own gig. Continue reading “Kim Richey, Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham, 19 June 2018”

Mean Mary “Blazing: Hell is Naked Soundtrack” (Woodrock Records 2018)

Mean Mary (Mary James), renowned multi-instrumentalist and lightning-fingered banjo picker, returns with her new album ‘Blazing,’ which is a soundtrack to accompany the novel she has recently written with her mother, Jean James. The novel, which is to be released ahead of her tour of Europe and the UK beginning, in August is based around a former cop using unconventional methods to investigate crime around the Hollywood scene. Continue reading “Mean Mary “Blazing: Hell is Naked Soundtrack” (Woodrock Records 2018)”

Jessica’s Brother “Jessica’s Brother” (Fika Recordings, 2018)

Jessica’s Brother are a group from London formed in 2016, after drummer of The Wave Pictures’ Jonny Helm’s girlfriend (Jessica) introduced him to the man who would become primary songwriter in the group, her brother, Tom Charleston and with the inclusion of bassist, Charlie Higgs, the trio was complete and Jessica’s Brother was born. A mere nine months afterwards, the trio entered The Booze Cube in Stoke Newington to begin recording what would become their self-titled debut album. Continue reading “Jessica’s Brother “Jessica’s Brother” (Fika Recordings, 2018)”

The Lied To’s “Millionaire” – Listen

Wow.  Susan Levine’s vocals are just perfect on this song about how life, and family life in particular, can be so imperfect.  With Doug Kwartler backing her up beautifully a song unfolds that’s full of weary acceptance of the way life goes.  Marriages fall apart, second wives aren’t great stepmoms, and all the time the train’s roll by a small town that only knows small town concerns.  It’s a beauty – and The Lied To’s have a whole album of such songs – ‘The Lesser of Two Evils‘ – that’s recently been released.

RS lists best country and americana album so far for 2018

Have a good weekend dear readers. We’ll be at Black Deer trying to not get drunk too early in the day so do come up and say hello if you recognise any of our faces (I look like a more haggard version of the face pic next to each article).  Leaving you with a link to this piece from RS Country who have listed their favourite americana and country albums of 2018 so far, which has some firm AUK favourites in there including Old Crow Medicine Show, Mary Gauthier and Joshua Hedley (just to spoil three surprises for you). Continue reading “RS lists best country and americana album so far for 2018”