Willie Watson is making a much-anticipated return to the UK in January for a series of solo, acoustic live dates, including an appearance at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival. The former Old Crow Medicine Show star has released two solo albums creatively titled ‘Folksinger Vol.2’ and ‘Folksinger Vol.1‘, both produced by David Rawlings and featuring songs unearthed from the canon of American roots music. Willie recently made his acting debut in the Coen Brothers’ film ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ (which is superb if you’ve not managed to catch it yet) and also features on the movie soundtrack. Continue reading “Willie Watson announces tour dates for January”
Michael Nau recently released his latest, full band album, ‘Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread’ which saw him revisiting some songs from a little way back. ‘On Ice‘ is an earworm of a song, blending familiarity with Nau’s quirky vocal. It comes out of a literal home recording session which saw Nau and the band taking over guitarist Benny Yurco’s one-bedroom apartment with drums and bass in the bedroom, the guitar amp in the bathroom, Nau’s vocals and piano in the living room, and a vibraphone in the kitchen. This was the first time Nau has been able to record all the music together in one place, and he says “it feels most like a band record than ever before”.
Nashville’s Will Hoge has been making records since the turn of the century and built a sizeable following for his brand of honest, heartfelt, and as on the new album, ‘My American Dream‘ thought-provoking music. Never one to shy away from the issues of the day, Hoge has produced an album that perfectly encapsulates both personal and universal questions on what it means to be an american artist in an ever-changing, volatile political climate. Americana-UK catches up with Hoge prior to a run of UK dates in December. Continue reading “Interview: Will Hoge”
Released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, this final instalment of the former (indie-folksters) Hefner main man’s triptych focuses not only on the aforementioned villages, but also rural stories in general. As such it contains interviews, field recordings, soundscapes and original songs, running much like a radio show. Given this, it’s very much an ‘English’ folk offering and quite removed from what we might consider to be Americana. Continue reading “Darren Hayman “Thankful Villages Volume 3” (Independent, 2018)”
From their new album, Tides Of A Teardrop, out on February 1st, comes this powerful portrayal of grief and coping from Americana duo Mandolin Orange. There’s a European tour in May 2019 (with one UK date).
Since signing with Australian label Hidden Shoal Records, Colorado-based Kramies Windt has forged a critically, if not necessarily commercially successful career by drawing on his European (Dutch) background, adding this to his own Appalachian roots and teaming up with indie producer, Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle. The result is a unique blend of the new world and the traditional; the medieval hipster who, through the delicate spells he weaves, creates a mellow trip to a sonic netherworld. Continue reading “Kramies (ft. Grandaddy, Guided By Voices, Train) “Of All The Places Been & Everything The End” (Hidden Shoal, 2018)”
The debut solo album from Brent Cowles, ‘How To Be Okay Alone’, follows two well-received records with his band, You, Me & Apollo. His personal narrative has included a strictly religious childhood, divorce by the age of just 19, the break-up of his band and homelessness. ‘How To Be Okay Alone’ was the question Cowles asked himself, scribbled in his notebook, following another relationship breakdown. It is a deeply personal record that covers the range of emotions from self-doubt, lonesomeness and despair to exhilarating joy. Continue reading “Brent Cowles “How To Be Okay Alone” (Dine Alone Records, 2018)”
Look, this is the first track feature of December and were we really supposed to ignore a song called ‘Peace‘ that features ‘Voice, Harp, Upright Bass, Cello, Viola, Violin(X2), Tambourine, Sleigh Bells‘ ? Don’t get the wrong idea, we’re not easily swayed sentimentalists, in this game you can’t afford to be, so if Ruth Acuff hadn’t made such a dreamily beautiful track with an inspiring mantra we wouldn’t be spinning it. It’s true, though, that Missourian Acuff was inspired not just by the looming festive season but also by the political turmoil around her, and in part wanted to pour oil on the troubled waters. Consider that balm applied.
Another great song from Passenger’s superb new album Runaway, accompanied by a video filmed on a three week road trip across the United States.