Martyn Joseph “Here Come the Young” (Pipe Records, 2019)

History, as has often been pointed out, is just one thing after another. But within the churn it is also easy to feel trapped in a moment, and the uncertainty that seems to characterise the current zeitgeist is probably not so different from other times – if we could but see that. So in steps Martyn Joseph to hold up a mirror and shine an exploratory light through 11 songs on his new album ‘Here Come the Young’. Continue reading “Martyn Joseph “Here Come the Young” (Pipe Records, 2019)”

Ryan Adams posts Instagram teasers for new album

Ryan Adams has been sharing clips of new songs from his forthcoming album ‘Big Colors’ which is due in April. In a series of video clips with a kind of retro theme, fans can hear tracks from the album (or bits of them) including ‘Dreaming You Backwards’, ‘Showtime’, and ‘Summer Rain’. which features Bob Mould no less. Here they are: Continue reading “Ryan Adams posts Instagram teasers for new album”

Songs for the apocalypse: Grant McLennan “Keep My Word”

‘Horsebreaker Star’ came out as a double album back in 1994, the penultimate to be released by the late ex Go-Betweener Grant McLennan and it was a musical jump from his previous work, being recorded as it was in Athens, Georgia with US musicians, and including flashes of banjo and mandolin. “I wanted it to be the kind of record that could be played by anyone, but not too obvious. You know, the London Symphony Orchestra doesn’t have to do the ballads, Johnny Cash doesn’t have to do the country songs. I don’t like to be that predictable. I like surprises,” he said. It was on my CD player for most of the year and this track used to crush me several times a week.

New posthumous JJ Cale album announced for April

Because Music have announced the release of ‘Stay Around’, the first posthumous album by beloved songwriter, guitarist, and singer JJ Cale, on 26th April in the UK. ‘Stay Around’ has been compiled by those closest to Cale, his widow and musician Christine Lakeland Cale and friend and longtime manager, Mike Kappus. You can watch the video below of the album’s debut single, ‘Chasing You’, featuring footage of Cale touring (which he seldom did) and performing across the U.S.  Continue reading “New posthumous JJ Cale album announced for April”

Americana Music Fest 30th January, Hackney, London

Previous showcases at the AMAUK conference had run for just a single night – expanding to two nights had more than doubled the excitement. And if the previous evening had offered some hard choices then this second night of the AMAUK showcase upped the ante by bringing in Moth Club as a venue, which meant that most time slots now offered a chance of three bands or artists. This cold wet evening started once again at Hackney Empire Bar with the superb sound of The Hanging Stars. Continue reading “Americana Music Fest 30th January, Hackney, London”

I’m With Her “Call My Name” – Listen

Any band that consists of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan is going to be worth listening to – but we all know that already.  What makes this particular gorgeously harmonising song tenderly beseeching a lover to remember that they can “Call my name, say it out loud, when the world is upside down, I’ll still be around” worth hearing?  What did I just say?  Yeah, that’s the reason.  I’m With Her play the Hackney Empire on the 19th of  March.  Should be stunning.

Sean McConnell “Secondhand Smoke” (Big Picnic Records, 2019)

It is probably too early in the year to think about what your album of the year is, but it would be safe to say that Sean McConnell’s new album ‘Secondhand Smoke’ will probably end up at the top of the list. The thirteen track album is pretty basic in terms of its production, everything recorded by him- minus the synths and strings. It has an authentic homegrown feel to the album which is nicely reflected in the fact he recorded it in his home. Continue reading “Sean McConnell “Secondhand Smoke” (Big Picnic Records, 2019)”