Glasgow Americana Festival, 3rd -7th October 2018

Now in its 12th year the Glasgow Americana Festival is essentially a very concentrated dose of life affirming music delivered courtesy of local promoters, The Fallen Angels Club, who otherwise offer us locals regular spoonfuls of sugar throughout the year. Over five days and in various venues throughout the city around 25 acts converged, varying in style for sure but all rooting for roots music, that indefinable Americana we all talk about and which they all, in one way or other, delivered to their audiences. Continue reading “Glasgow Americana Festival, 3rd -7th October 2018”

Roo Panes “Ophelia” – Listen

British singer-songwriter Roo Panes has just released the single version of ‘Ophelia’ from his latest album ‘Quiet Man’ which was released  June 18th via CRC Records, disappointingly not a concept album about Iain Duncan Smith but instead sounding like Jeff Buckley on an MDMA comedown.  Roo’s third album which we described as “uniformly beautiful and moving”, his music has been streamed over 180 million times on Spotify – pity those who have never had a track played once.

Stills & Collins “Everybody Knows” (Cleopatra Records, 2018)

Sometimes you can be genuinely surprised by an album for any number of reasons. In this case, it’s the surprise of seeing these two artists recording together in 2018. There’s no obvious reason why they shouldn’t but it’s odd that they never recorded together when they were a couple yet are doing so now, relatively late in life. Judy Collins is, of course, the subject of famous Stephen Stills songs like “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Helplessly Hoping”. Continue reading “Stills & Collins “Everybody Knows” (Cleopatra Records, 2018)”

Murphykid “Skeletons” (Murphykid Records, 2018)

There’s a rather sweet tale behind this album which involves Al Murphy, AKA Murphykid, retreating, wounded following a broke down love affair, to a garden shed in order to pour his heart out to an eight-track recorder. This all  happened back in 2004, just before Bon Iver carved out a career from a similar move but Murphy’s tapes languished in his sister’s attic as he went on to become a successful illustrator. Noting some interest in these old recordings Murphy retrieved them and after some spit and polish (in the form of additional studio embellishments), he now unveils his 14-year-old heartbreak for all to hear. Continue reading “Murphykid “Skeletons” (Murphykid Records, 2018)”

Willie Nelson “Vote ‘Em Out” – Listen

We’re leaving you this week dear readers with the studio version of a track we’ve already covered on the site recently when Willie Nelson headlined a rally for Democratic Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke last month in Austin. He played a new political anthem ‘Vote ‘Em Out’ which urged Americans to exercise their hard fought right to vote on Election Day. As RS Country noted: “The “On the Road Again” singer was criticized by some conservative fans who objected to his performing at the O’Rourke rally. Unfazed, Nelson appeared on the talk show The View and defended his support for the Democrat. “Everybody has an opinion,” he said. “Everybody has a right to an opinion. I think I have one too.”” Have a good weekend everyone.

Paul Simon “Late in the Evening” – Listen

Not, we admit straight off a new song, but it’s Paul Simon’s birthday tomorrow.  He’ll be 77.  Paul Simon has played his farewell concerts this year, but he’s still got music in him, as the recent release of the album ‘In the blue light‘ proves.  This one’s from a little while back, a monster cut from the ‘One Trick Pony‘ soundtrack.  And yes ! This is, unusually for Tracks, a video, but hey – it is Paul Simon.

Israel Nash “Lifted” (Loose, 2018)

This is Big Music. It’s all about the production, which seems to have everything, with bells on – figuratively on ‘Northwest Stars (Out of Tacoma)’. Kitchen sink isn’t actually listed as an instrument, but if it had been used it would have fitted as well as anything else on this glorious album. Orchestra, choir, endless layers of sound, multi-tracked vocals all lend to a symphonic effect, where the music billows and soars. Which is precisely Israel Nash’s intent. The montage album cover of ‘Lifted’ has clouds, planes, flowers in the air. He wants to have this music lift the listener to euphoria and succeeds; it’s all about positivity. Continue reading “Israel Nash “Lifted” (Loose, 2018)”

Guitar maestro Robert Cray to tour the UK

There are few guitarists more masterful than Robert Cray, and it’s a mastery that he has been displaying for over forty years. Bursting onto the mainstream – and bringing his music to the mainstream was quite a feat at the time – in the eighties he has moved easily between pop-rock, soulful ballads and, of course, outright electric blues – hearkening back to earlier greats such as BB King and Buddy Guy.  It’s a rounded sound that crosses strict genre boundaries – heck, the Robert Cray Band played the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2011 (a good year for guitarists as Richard Thompson was also on the bill). Continue reading “Guitar maestro Robert Cray to tour the UK”

O&O “Truth Comes Out” (Independent, 2018)

‘Truth Comes Out’ is the debut EP from London-based duo O&O. Comprising of Orian Peled and Obadiah Jones. The pair, who originally hail from Israel and Colorado respectively, have an interesting backstory from meeting at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, and getting a one-on-one songwriting session with Sir Paul McCartney, through performing on Caribbean cruise ships while they sorted out visa issues, to performing at the O2 Arena in their current home city, Peled and Jones have experienced more in their thus far short existence than most acts experience in their lives. Continue reading “O&O “Truth Comes Out” (Independent, 2018)”