Young Readers “Dancing” – Listen

Jordan Herrera’s story is one of perseverance – perseverance in the form of keeping at it raising money to get his third album ‘Migrator‘ mastered and ready to issue after his Kickstarter fell short on the real cost to do so – which meant doing every gig he could, and working construction.  And perseverance in keeping going when diagnosed with cancer – the treatment for which wiped out all of those hard earned funds (as an aside we’re going to take this pertinent opportunity to remind you of those three letters we have to fight to protect – N, H, & S).   Perseverance which brings this scratchy, lo-fi wonder; ‘Dancing‘ is a weary tribute to overcoming life’s turmoils and getting together with that person who really matters.  ‘Migrator‘ came out on vinyl for the first time today.

Pick Of The Political Pops: Grant Lee Buffalo “The Last Days Of Tecumseh”

This week we have been ruminating on the fact that this week is the fifty year anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by The Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany and Poland (a combined force under the direction of The USSR). Some one hundred and thirty seven civilians were killed and a further five hundred were seriously wounded. All, really, because people had expressed discontent with totalitarianism and just wanted an easier life. Here’s a cheer then for the underdogs, the repressed and the put upon who still exist in all corners of the world and who still dream of voicing their discontent and hope for an easier life.

The King Heat Ensemble “Songs” (Independent, 2018)

The King Heat Ensemble released their debut EP, simply entitled ‘Songs’ back in March of this year. An interesting choice of title as it gives nothing away – a title allowing whoever might stumble upon them to make their own mind up about the music within with no expectation whatsoever. This allows for the group, comprising predominantly of Jeff Kightly on guitar and vocals and accompanied on drums and keys by Dave Goldsmith with a few friends to round off the ensemble, to explore the different avenues within the ever-broadening Americana genre and experiment with sounds, textures and instruments without giving the listener a preconceived  idea of what the identity of the group, or the sounds within, could be. Continue reading “The King Heat Ensemble “Songs” (Independent, 2018)”

Curse Of Lono “As I Fell” (Submarine Cat, 2018)

Although last year’s acclaimed ‘Severed’ was the first album to appear under the Curse Of Lono monicker, frontman Felix Bechtolsheimer points out that this terrific new album in some ways represents a proper debut for the band, given that ‘Severed’ was essentially put together by Felix and producer Oli Bayston, whereas this impressive collection was licked into shape by the whole band plus Boyston at a remote desert studio in Joshua Tree after extensive rehearsals and preparation at Flesh & Bone Studios in Hackney. Continue reading “Curse Of Lono “As I Fell” (Submarine Cat, 2018)”

Archie Faulks “It Rains” – Listen

A couple of weeks ago we’d have said “not around here it doesn’t“, but, well, times change, don’t they though ?   On his new single ‘It Rains‘ Archie Faulks has crafted a string rich ballad that’s half folky and half finger clicking jazzy, that captures the disintegration of a once great love.  And whilst the love is clearly going, ebbing away like that ever present rain, the miserable end of the relationship is filling in the gaps of missing love with pain and hurt on both sides.  You can catch Archie Faulks live on his first ever headline show at London’s Servant Jazz Quarters on September 4th.

Dusty Stray “Estranged” (Great Waters, 2018)

Dusty Stray is the adopted moniker of Jonathan Brown, a man raised in Texas who now lives in the Netherlands. ‘Estranged’ is his fifth album of low key (not lo-fi) songs which hover around the more Gothic edges of Americana somewhat akin to the work of Stephin Merritt with The Gothic Arches who released music to accompany the Lemony Snicket novels although Brown is less theatrical. Brown points to the writer and artist Edward Gorey as an influence and indeed one of the songs here is titled ‘Gorey Story’ which is basically a potted biography of the Cape Cod author. Continue reading “Dusty Stray “Estranged” (Great Waters, 2018)”

The Rails “Other People” (Thirty Tigers, 2018)

The Rails have delivered a contrasting follow up to their debut ‘Fair Warning,’ yet it is one that works like a dream. Husband and wife Kami Thompson, daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson, and James Walbourne, who has played with the likes of The Pretenders, Son Volt, Ray Davies, The Pernice Brothers and The Pogues, have deepened their sound from the folk-based debut that impressed many, yet maintained the integrity and experiential beauty of their debut. Continue reading “The Rails “Other People” (Thirty Tigers, 2018)”

Alejandro Escovedo “Outlaw for You” – Listen

The Crossing‘ is the new album from Alejandro Escovedo, it’s out  on the 14th of  September.  It’s got a general theme of  migrants, but this particular tune is just a bit of fun, about this guy who, Escovedo says, “wants to impress this girl and he loves this girl and he’s telling her that her record collection matters. If it’s not the right record collection, then no amount of beauty will overcome the fact that she’s listening to the wrong records. He says at one point, “I love The Stooges and I hate U2, but I wanna be an Outlaw For You.” So he’s in love with this kind of wild rock ‘n’ roll, not this commercial rock ‘n’ roll. He’s in love with the rock ‘n’ roll that’s found in the streets and small clubs and bars and dungeons and basements and backyards. He wants nothing to do with the corporate world“.  Or, as someone else once said “we’re in love with rock and roll –  and we’ll be out all night“.   Hit it!  Then hit it again!