Film review: “Wild Rose” (Entertainment One, 2019)

A British film that doesn’t just feature country music, but is soaked in it, ‘Wild Rose’ is an unalloyed joy, a celebration of the power of three chords and the truth, as tattooed straight down our heroine Rose-Lynn’s arm. Hollywood has made a few of these movies, which tend to come with big hats and bro-country backing. This is very different in approach; every time any character mentions ‘country and western’ they are shouted down with “it’s just country,” but it’s not even just that as most of the music featured sits very nicely with an Americana crowd. Continue reading “Film review: “Wild Rose” (Entertainment One, 2019)”

SXSW 2019, Austin, Texas, 8th-16th March 2019

One piece of received wisdom regarding SXSW,  the sprawling music showcase held annually in Austin, is that it has become over-corporate and is no longer worth attending for an Americana fan. This I would refute strongly. It’s true that it was heading that way a few years ago, but the organisers have pulled back and taken the festival back to its roots as a showcase for new and established bands. The “big names” and overcrowding have stopped and the experience is just brilliant. I think that many AUK subscribers would be tempted to head to SXSW. I’m saying, if you can, then you should. Maybe a few details about how it all works will help you decide. Continue reading “SXSW 2019, Austin, Texas, 8th-16th March 2019”

Anna Tivel “Worthless” – Listen

Anna Tivel’s new album ‘The Question’ is out on April 19th on Portland’s Fluff & Gravy Records, and it’ll feature her trademark ability to paint vivid pictures with just a few words.  ‘Worthless‘ takes on that old saw “sticks and stones may break my bones” and says, you know what – hate-filled words can hurt, hamper and maim.  “I never did wrong / I never did gamble / until the day you called me worthless” suggests a damaged ego, but as the song expands there’s a suggestion that something heavier, much heavier, than “just” self-destructive tendencies is going down.

Video Premiere: Dean Owens “Mother”

Slightly in advance of Mother’s Day we have Dean Owens and his new single, a song he co-wrote with Danny Wilson and Will Kimbrough taken from his excellent latest album, ‘Southern Wind‘, the title track of which won Song Of The Year at this year’s UK Americana Association awards.  The single is out on 31 March and he’s also on tour in America in April/May and the UK in June.

Steve Earle talks to RS about new Guy Clark tribute album

RS Country have published a nice little interview with Steve Earle where he talks about the new Guy Clark tribute album he’s recorded with the Dukes due out the end of this week – we’ll have an AUK review any day now. He tells them: “It’s my fucking Guy Clark record, so I’ll do the ones that I was more personally connected to.” So there you go. Continue reading “Steve Earle talks to RS about new Guy Clark tribute album”

David Banks “Until The End” (Independent, 2019)

This is the first solo album from former Whybirds guitarist and co-writer David Banks. It’s an ambitious sound –big, big ballads; to some extent picking up where the Whybirds left off in 2017. They returned to Bedfordshire to ponder their next moves, the joy of Clangers and the legacy of Luton box vans. Banks has found the time to give us own manifesto Opener ‘Someone To Lean On’ has crashing guitar chords and pounding drums, with Banks’s gentle voice pleading to be, err, leaned on. Continue reading “David Banks “Until The End” (Independent, 2019)”

Songs for the apocalypse: The Tyde “Your Tattoos”

Tracing their roots to early 1990s LA indie band Further, formed by Darren Rademaker and brother Brent (who went on to form another classic americana band Beachwood Sparks), The Tyde cite Felt, The Beach Boys and The Byrds as major influences and you can hear them and more all over this track from their debut album ‘Once’ from 2001 which still sounds as fresh today as when it came out 18 years ago.  Listen to that sublime instrumental break at 2.22 and the refrain that follows: “You made me wish I was your man”. A timeless sentiment but one that rarely sounds as heartfelt as the last minute of this song. I still love it more than life itself (and it taught me how to spell the word “tattoos”).

Jessie Buckley’s star bursts in new movie ‘Wild Rose’

We’ve got news of a new movie coming out next month which you’ll probably want to put on your “to do” list along with verruca plasters and noodles. With a UK release of April 12th, ‘Wild Rose’ is a Cinderella story with the City of Nashville itself representing the prince. Jessie Buckley plays Rose-Lynn Harlen, a “Glasgow ne’er-do-well with talent, a dream and a ‘three chords and the truth’ tattoo.” She’s supported by an impressive cast including Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo. Continue reading “Jessie Buckley’s star bursts in new movie ‘Wild Rose’”

LoMB “Cuts” (Seahorse Recordings, 2019)

Cuts’ is nine tracks of avant-garde musical exploration from Giuseppe Lombardo – LoMB – a graphic artist and photographer who has been around the music scene since the early ‘90s in various incarnations. Back then his vehicles were post-punk and new wave bands – sharing stages with the likes of Sonic Youth and Wire give an indication of his pedigree. That influence is still evident and why this nine album is something of an interesting challenge. What LoMB offers on ‘Cuts’ will resonate with some readers on this site but it is fair to say that this is probably not his natural habitat. Continue reading “LoMB “Cuts” (Seahorse Recordings, 2019)”

Ordinary Elephant “Scars We Keep” – Listen

What do you get when you cross a veterinary cardiologist with a computer programmer? Well, when they are Crystal and Pete Damore then you get the powerful folk duo Ordinary Elephant.  On this sparse guitar and banjo song, taken from their soon to be released album ‘Honest‘, they confront a dark stain on their nation’s conscience.  “Scars We Keep” is about coming to terms with being raised in an area historically entrenched in racism, and refusing to be bound by that, as they sing “I was born to be a bigot but that doesn’t mean I am one“.  Powerful stuff, and well worth your time to listen, and ponder on.