A night that Americana UK is only too happy to support is a celebration of the life of Barry Marshall-Everitt at the Borderline in London – an event that’s particularly timely given the announcement concerning this historic venue at the end of August this year. Back in May, owners of the Borderline, DHP Family, explained that its closure was down to ever-increasing rents, rising business rates and the ongoing redevelopment of the Soho area. Continue reading “A Last Hurrah for Barry Marshall-Everitt”
This glorious album opens with the strident and harmony-drenched ‘Crazy World (Judgement Day)’, a snapshot of the album’s themes and indeed musical muscle – driving banjos, Hammond organ and stomping chords. Ostensibly an acoustic album the Jamestown Revival’s close harmonies are in full evidence with their hints of The Avett Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel and even The Everlys.
Continue reading “Jamestown Revival “San Isabel” (Thirty Tigers, 2019)”
The Maverick festival is the grandaddy of UK Americana and roots shindigs. For over a decade, Maverick has been bringing the best of emerging and established acts from wherever they lay their hats to the Easton Farm Park in Suffolk, where Paul Spencer in his multiple roles as founder, host, director and general go-to-guy does the leg work and everyone proud. Back on April Fool’s Day attentive readers might recall a colleague attending the first ever launch party for the hallowed event with performers including Dana Immanuel and The Stolen Band. Heavy on bluegrass and cajun, Dana nicely captured Spencer’s emphases for this years bash. But hang on there, the jokes on us…It turns out that this was just the warm up to the warm up! Continue reading “MAVERICK LAUNCH PARTY: Sam Morrow + Broken Islands + Henry Brothers, The Bedford, London, 13th June 2019”
Life is bittersweet at best in the scenes summoned by Ethan Fogus on The Witness Marks’ self-titled debut album. Every triumph is tainted. Every success is suspect. The characters are frail and their fortunes are fleeting. Their stories force us to ponder whether it is destiny or circumstance that has done them in. Each song is a snapshot of a moment or a sonnet spun from memories. Continue reading “The Witness Marks “The Witness Marks” (Mudsparkler Music, 2018)”
Some music requires repeated listening and reflection to grasp the artist’s intent. This album is not one of those. It is simply a joy to listen to from the very first time you hear it. Whether this is because it is a well-selected compilation or because we are already so familiar with traditional music is unimportant. Tui have taken old-time music and made it at once fresh and vibrant. Continue reading “Tui “Pretty Little Mister” (Hearth Music, 2019)”
‘Sweet Lucinda‘ is the lead single from Tony Harrah’s new album ‘Unicorns‘, and focuses on farming desperation. Not just crop failures or droughts – the desperation here is that of separating from a wife, the pointlessness of going on with all the effort when the one you love has gone off with another. As ‘Sweet Lucinda‘ unfolds there are dashes of desperation in the lyrics – “Sweet Lucinda, it’s like your heart controls the rain“.
The new single from Canada’s Union Duke is a fine soulful and twangy song. It’s fun too. We liked their latest album “Golden Days” a lot too.
The Love Sprockets are a folk duet from Colorado, comprising husband and wife Jahnavi Newsom and Addison Rice, both singing and playing a plethora of instruments. Their second album ‘Chickadee’ is named after their daughter, who briefly saw the light of day but never touched the ground. Continue reading “The Love Sprockets “Chickadee” (Independent, 2019)”
Flicking through a back catalogue of reviews of Peter Bruntnell albums – and ‘King of Madrid’ is his tenth – a hefty proportion are seemingly dedicated to dreaming up new ways of insisting that the Devon-based singer-songwriter is British Americana’s best-kept secret, the sub-text of the argument presumably being that only the inexplicably fickle tastes of the record-buying public/international music industry/whichever gods secretly rule the universe of popular music have deprived Bruntnell of the star status he so richly deserves.
Continue reading “Peter Bruntnell “King of Madrid” (Domestico, 2019)”
The band Western States formed in St Louis, the great confluence of American music – everything travelled to St Louis along the Mississippi and the Missouri and that includes every strand of music. St. Louis is where Chuck Berry wired together blues, R&B and country to spark rock ‘n’ roll. Where Ike and Tina Turner perfected the fine art of blowing a roof off a club. And where Uncle Tupelo welded together punk and twang. And Western States aim to continue that musical fusion and move it along into the 21st Century. Continue reading “Track Premiere: Western States “Duke””