Glorietta announce debut album, UK dates (sort of)

Always feels like when the last weekend in August starts on a Friday it should be a bank holiday but sorry, that bird has flown as they say.  Console yourself dear readers with the news that the americana “supergroup”  Glorietta, who American Songwriter described as “the Traveling Wilburys on a bender” have announced the release of their debut album along with a handful of UK dates performed by a couple of the band.  The album comes out on September 21st on Bread + Butter Music, with 12 tracks recorded at a ramshackle rental outside Santa Fe over five days, which have echoes of Ryan Adams, Jeff Tweedy, War On Drugs, Uncle Tupelo and Wilco.  We’ve had a listen and it’s a treat, although listening to some of the vocals if it does turn out to be a secret Ryan Adams side project we won’t be completely amazed.   Continue reading “Glorietta announce debut album, UK dates (sort of)”

Josh King “Into The Blue” (Independent, 2018)

Josh King’s solo debut album ‘Into The Blue’ is a deeply personal Americana album, which differs strongly from the indie-rock music he’s renowned for as the front man for the band House of Fools. A lot of the album comes from a dark period in King’s life as he battled with drugs and trying to leave his reckless young days behind him. ‘Follow Through,’ for example, was written after a cocaine bender; instead of sobering up in the morning he went to meet his dealer to get more. The song ends with him admitting that he wishes that he didn’t go through with his plans to get more coke. The juxtaposition of the happy poppy guitar backing with the dark lyrics really does make a great song, despite the story behind it. Continue reading “Josh King “Into The Blue” (Independent, 2018)”

Music Makers americana festival returns in October

We have been literally (OK not literally) drowning in news of festivals with an americana “bent” in 2018 and here’s another one to add to your money woes. Music Makers is a 2-day London-based independent music festival which will be taking place at The Half Moon, in the heart of Putney, on October 6th & 7th 2018. The festival is organised and curated by the team behind musician Albert Man, and Music Makers celebrates other fellow musicians that both Albert and his manager, Manoja, have got to know over the years, during their time in the business. Continue reading “Music Makers americana festival returns in October”

Ian Fisher “Icarus” – Listen

And so we go into the weekend with this laid back track, that starts quiet and builds up to a cool-seventies country influenced rock feel.  It’s all the fault of the older generation – this self-taught indie musician claims his biggest lessons came from his dad’s record collection featuring the songwriting of the 1970s.  Ian Fisher was further inspired by his love for country and folk music.  Raised in rural Missouri and living in Europe for the last 10 years, singer-songwriter Ian Fisher has written over a thousand songs and played almost as many concerts – this song comes from his latest release, ‘Idle Hands‘, which is out today.

Pick of the Political Pops: Josh Rouse “Slaveship”

This month marks five hundred years (1518) since the first direct shipments of slaves from the continent of Africa to the Americas began. Emperor Charles V of Spain sanctioned the move because the native American populations who had previously been ‘pressed’ into service had been decimated and needed to be replaced. Previously African slaves had to have been born under Christian dominion and because many of the slaves leaving Africa had been either muslim or animistic in religious belief they were thought to have been a seditious risk to the native populations. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Josh Rouse “Slaveship””

Blitzen Trapper revisit Furr with 10th Anniversary Edition, new tracks – Listen

We love a bit of Blitzen here in AUK Towers. He was our favourite reindeer (less needy than Rudolf) and also half of the name of one of americana’s consistently best and most creative bands over the last 10 years or so, Portland, Oregon’s Blitzen Trapper. To celebrate that, they have announced the release of a 10th-anniversary expanded version of their album ‘Furr’, which goes live on September 14th, and which back in 2008  was ranked Number 13 on Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of the year. The band have released the track ‘Booksmart Baby’ online today, one of a dozen tracks added to the original album’s 13 which expands it into their upcoming double LP Furr: Deluxe Edition. You can hear it below. Continue reading “Blitzen Trapper revisit Furr with 10th Anniversary Edition, new tracks – Listen”

Sweet Billy Pilgrim “Wapentak” (PledgeMusic, 2018)

It has been three years since Sweet Billy Pilgrim’s last release and it seems that more than time has been left behind. The stripped-down duo of Tim Elsenberg and Jana Carpenter (they used to be a six-piece) have crafted an equally lean sound that has lost none of the sweet tragedy of previous offerings but may prove to be a step too far for some fans. Continue reading “Sweet Billy Pilgrim “Wapentak” (PledgeMusic, 2018)”

Claire Coupland “On The Other Side” EP (Independent, 2018)

For a self-released EP from an unestablished artist, Claire Coupland delivers a highly professional, and indeed astonishingly polished production. All 5 tracks are strong, individual and, whether it was intentional or not, go straight for the mainstream. Hailing originally from Vancouver Island, but now based in Toronto, Coupland has a beautiful, clear alto with both a powerful and tender delivery. Smooth and pure, her voice is the initial obvious talent, but this is backed by deft fingerpicking, strong songwriting and confident delivery. Continue reading “Claire Coupland “On The Other Side” EP (Independent, 2018)”

Van Life: Eilen Jewell & Jason Beek

Boise, Idaho’s Eilen Jewell and her husband (and drummer!) Jason Beek have been touring the US and Europe for a number of years, bringing their blend of country, americana, and old-time gospel to a loyal following both sides of the pond. Last year’s ‘Down Hearted Blues’ saw Jewell unearthing a number of old-time blues songs and giving them both a polish and a place in the modern musical world. Her band, including the inimitable Jerry Miller, a guitarist who resides at the very summit when it comes to GREAT guitar players, are seasoned road dogs these days. Americana-UK caught up with Eilen and Jason on a recent visit to these shores to find out how life on four wheels really is and found out CDs isn’t the only thing they carry with them!  Continue reading “Van Life: Eilen Jewell & Jason Beek”