Michael McArthur is no stranger to the Americana and Folk world. He’s been releasing singles commercially since 2016, however, has never released anything other than that. Thankfully, McArthur has finally graced us with his full first length release. The album title originates from the idea that you can’t have green without rain and that you must withstand hard times to be rewarded with the good. This concept really sets you up for the journey that the album takes you on. McArthur teamed up with producer Ryan Freeland (Ray Lamontagne, Bonnie Raitt). The pair recorded this album at United Recording Studios, Los Angeles, in the same room that both Frank Sinatra and Elvis once recorded some of their hit songs. Continue reading “Michael McArthur “Ever Green, Ever Rain” (Dark River Records, 2019)”
This, strictly speaking, is breaking all the rules. Not only an old song, but a video. Well, as someone once said “Rules and regulations – who needs them? Throw ’em out the door“. Also, it should be noted that at last night’s Americana Music Association UK Awards ceremony in downtown Hackney Graham Nash was quite rightly awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement, which was presented by old bandmate Allan Clarke, with a special recorded message as well from last year’s winner Richard Thompson. For such special occasions we can bend the rules. So here’s Graham from the Old Grey Whistle Test – did we mention that Whispering Bob was hosting the awards? All these connections don’t happen by accident…
Mentioning Nick Drakes in singer-songwriter reviews has become a cliché of epic proportions but with Hjalte Ross it’s simply unavoidable because not only has he used Drakes’ producer John Wood but he really does sound extraordinarily like him, just with a slighter deeper and slightly less fragile voice. The song arrangements gorgeous and are distinctly Drake-ian too, soft, gentle and lush, subtle strings and orchestration with delicate piano, and across the nine songs and barely thirty minutes of ‘Embody’ Ross evokes the early Seventies spirit like nobody else. Continue reading “Hjalte Ross “Embody” (Wouldn’t Waste Records, 2018)”
This week news reached us in The Bunker that The World and His Wife (by which we of course mean The World and His/Her Significant Other) had decided that what is happening in Venezuela is their business and that Venezuelans should damn well sit up and take notice of the pontifications of all non-Venezuelans everywhere. Donny John and the rootin’, tootin’ US of A demanded that Juan Marquez of The Voluntad Popular Party (“Popular Will” to us Bunker residents) be recognised as the President (supported in this view by notable ‘nice guy’ Jair Bolsanaro of Brazil but also, bizarrely, by Canada). Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Merle Haggard “Oil Tanker Train””
The fourth of the Americana Music Association UK’s award shows took place last night in Hackney Empire and it was as star-studded an event as always, with performances from Bennet Wilson Poole, Ethan Johns, Graham Nash, Rhiannon Giddens (who was also a keynote speaker at the AMA UK Conference), Jade Bird, YOLA, Seth Lakeman, Chris Hillman and Curse of Lono. Continue reading “Here are all the winners from last night’s AMAUK 2019 awards”
Back to 1994 for the retro slot this week, with Dave Edmunds and Geraint Watkins knocking out a storming version of the Chuck Berry classic. Have a good weekend everyone.