Nathaniel Talbot “Animal” (AWAL, 2018)

Nathaniel Talbot’s fifth album ‘Animal’ takes a new direction from his previous recordings. Whereas they were dominated by acoustic fingerpicking and fiddle, ‘Animal’ adds an electric edge. Talbot works in the Americana genre; this is roots music that encompasses spirituality (“I’m a man, a man of god, a god-loving man, show me where answers lie lord, take me by the hand shed a light”) and charts a disaffection with American politics (“Another man up in the pulpit, in the statehouse, head of a table. Got a fat pen, scratching egos, talking too loud’). Continue reading “Nathaniel Talbot “Animal” (AWAL, 2018)”

Interview: Passenger

One of the things I like to smugly get annoyed about is when you mention Passenger and someone says “Oh I really like them” and I’m like “Er, it’s a he” with a disapproving stare. To be fair, Passenger used to be a “them” when they had some added punctuation to their moniker but that was an age ago, and a decade on Mike Rosenberg has become one of those established artists who sometimes flies under the radar in terms of press coverage but still manages to have UK number one albums and more importantly writes some of the most achingly lovely songs you’re likely to hear right now. His new album is being promoted as his first foray into americana, although he’s had form for many a year. Americana UK chatted to him about the new record, the current state America is in and whether he feels like a survivor in life. Continue reading “Interview: Passenger”

Ace of Wands “Float the Flood” – Listen

It is possible that Toronto-based  Ace of Wands aren’t tipping their hat to the series that pre-dated The Tomorrow People in that long gone age of children’s TV where the occult and sub-wickerman stories were deemed suitable for impressionable young minds.  Or, maybe they are.  Whichever, this track is a great and powerful way to kick-start the post-bank holiday week.  Ace of Wands features the songwriting of Lee Rose, with Anna Mernieks and Jody Brumell making up the band.  Of ‘Float the Flood‘ Lee Rose has said “I wrote this song as a way of getting in touch with some of my truths that usually get buried in metaphor in my lyrics. With this song I tried to be as blunt as possible about my anger, self-loathing and shame.”  Blunt indeed, we feel we should warn readers of a nervous (or sheltered) disposition that if they listen to this track they will encounter the word ‘fuck‘.  More than once.  So, if you don’t want to hear the word ‘fuck‘ sung over a wildly raucous power-pop meets rock accompaniment then move along now, move along. 

Jesse Dayton comes in from the outside

Jesse Dayton has tour dates in the UK over the next fortnight. The Texan’s new record ‘The Outsider’ is more than suggestive of the fact he’s flown somewhat under the radar in terms of popularity in recent years in spite of having worked with such luminaries as Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell – while scoring countless films for Rob Zombie.  Continue reading “Jesse Dayton comes in from the outside”

Philip Marino “Chasing Ghosts”(Independent, 2018)

Philip Marino is an American singer-songwriter who resides in Essex, England. He is influenced by the likes of John Mellencamp, Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, and you can certainly hear this in his latest offering ‘Chasing Ghosts.’ A fine record, it is his fourth offering and most definitely worth a listen. Kicking off with ‘The Way it Goes,’ we are instantly taken in by Marino’s gravel voice, not dissimilar to Eddie Vedder. We are provided with an immediate lyrical statement of intent: ‘…in my life I’ve lost my way…….well I rolled the dice and I hoped I’d win’. Continue reading “Philip Marino “Chasing Ghosts”(Independent, 2018)”

The Corn Potato String Band, The Green Note, London, 17th August 2018

Americana is a flexible term. It has been stretched in recent years to near breaking point as it has struggled to embrace an ever wider spectrum of musical styles wanting to promote itself with the currently trendy ‘Americana’ tag but its very core is undoubtedly occupied by acoustic musicians playing traditional instruments and singing songs crafted around everyday life. Cue banjo, fiddle and guitar; throw in an impressive full bushy beard, empty the traditional songbook from the last 150 years and The Corn Potato String Band score something of an Americana bull’s-eye. Continue reading “The Corn Potato String Band, The Green Note, London, 17th August 2018”

Passenger “Runaway” (Black Crow, 2018)

Passenger aka Mike Rosenberg has been writing songs with a prolificacy that would leave most other songwriters, Willie Nelson aside maybe, in the dust. He’s barely released a new record before another set of songs present themselves, sometimes through gigs, sometimes through clips posted on YouTube.  Hearing a song in a live setting or acoustically before it gets the studio treatment is something of an adventure – sometimes, as with the closing track ‘Home’ to 2016’s ‘Young as the Morning Old as the Sea’ which became transformed into an epic which closed most of his gigs from that year, the metamorphosis is really striking, like you can’t believe the amount of life he can squeeze out of one song; his arrangements are superb.  Continue reading “Passenger “Runaway” (Black Crow, 2018)”

John Smith announces new album, track, autumn dates

John Smith has announced the release of his new album ‘Hummingbird’ which features appearances from Cara Dillon, John Mccosker and Ben Nicholls, and will be released on October 5th on his own Commoner Records (via Thirty Tigers worldwide).  He had also announced a fairly huge UK headline tour of 29 dates throughout October & November and made the track ‘Willy Moore’, taken from the new record available to stream – you can give your ears a treat below.  Continue reading “John Smith announces new album, track, autumn dates”