The Local Honeys + Rachel Harrington, Sage 2, Gateshead, 20th July 2019

The Local Honeys are from Kentucky, and they make sure their audience know it, repeatedly. They are not just proud, they are bursting with it, and a gig with them is both a history and geography lesson as much as a musical event. The music itself is sublime, old-time Appalachian from a very thoughtful, traditional base. Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs are the duo that form The Local Honeys, tonight joined by Megan Gregory playing as a trio of banjo, acoustic and fiddle. Stokley and Hobbs were the first two women to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in traditional music from Morehead State University, Kentucky which perhaps explains the tuition nature of their act, but certainly establishes their exemplary musicianship. Continue reading “The Local Honeys + Rachel Harrington, Sage 2, Gateshead, 20th July 2019”

Mike Riley “Drug Dealer” – Listen

There’s a bit of a clue as to what inspired Canadian Mike Riley to refocus on music in the title of his new EP – the ‘Divorce EP‘.  Having done the right thing and focused on  professional career Mike Riley found himself in new emotional surroundings  in his adopted town of London (ON).  Music was something he’d always had in his life, and the time felt right to dig in deep for a batch of new songs.  ‘Drug Dealer’ pulls together thoughts of hopelessness, of, as Riley says  “feeling stuck, full of envy and betrayal as you watch the only people you care about move on.”

Erin Durant “Islands” (Keeled Scales, 2019)

Erin Durant takes her craft seriously. On the road, if a venue doesn’t have her instrument of choice, then she brings her 232-pound piano with her. With this revelation in mind, would this be the first ever 21st century music review to reference Laurel & Hardy if this brought the ultimate in piano removals to mind? The Music Box, 1932, for those too young to have a clue where this review is going.
Continue reading “Erin Durant “Islands” (Keeled Scales, 2019)”

SummerTyne Americana Festival , Sage Gateshead, 19th – 21st July, 2019

Returning for its fourteenth year, one of the pioneers of the Americana festival scene continues its very relaxed mix of fun and music. When it started, the question was, “What is Americana?” but nowadays it is more,  “What isn’t Americana?” and certainly SummerTyne with its eclectic lineup suggests that if you have a vague connection to the U.S.A. and/or a stringed instrument, you are in. Indeed, the only form of Americana not found here is the more insurgent type, so you don’t expect the likes of Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson – SummerTyne does not go for edge. Continue reading “SummerTyne Americana Festival , Sage Gateshead, 19th – 21st July, 2019”

Origami Ghosts “Healthy Travel Potions” (Independent, 2019)

If you put “wacky” into a thesaurus you get words and phrases like madcap, weird, zany, way-out, off the wall and mad, amongst others. Origami Ghost’s new album ‘Healthy Travel Options’ is all of those adjectives and more. Many of the songs are straight out of left field with tongue in cheek lyrics such as “My suitcase has a broken wheel – boing, boing” from ‘Lost & Proud’, “I wanna know what the other person is saying” from ‘It’s Not A Séance’, “If you’re not feeling well, take a grumpiness pill” from ‘Grumpiness Pill’ and “Blobby, blobby, blobby” from (of course) ‘Blobby’! Some of the lyrics may have been even wackier than those but unfortunately the vocals are often so low in the mix, that it’s difficult to hear exactly what’s being sung. There are also other unusual song titles such as ‘Brisket’, ‘Doing the Dishes’ and the play on words of ‘Keeper Sutherland’ – this is not your typical, run of the mill Americana album. Continue reading “Origami Ghosts “Healthy Travel Potions” (Independent, 2019)”

John Calvin Abney “Turn Again” – Listen

John Calvin Abney has a new album due out in September called ‘Safe Passsage‘ which features ten new songs by a master of folk-country, including this rather lovely song ‘Turn Again‘. It dreamily reflects on the need to stick to a new direction and to not take the easy temptation to fall back into old ways. Continue reading “John Calvin Abney “Turn Again” – Listen”

Johnny Cash official website relaunches with extensive content

We leave you this weekend dear reader with news that the official Johnny Cash website over at has relaunched and now includes Cash’s tour history, both solo and with the Highwaymen, with nearly 4300 show dates listed – according to RS – “from his 1954 debut in West Memphis, Arkansas, to his last public performance in 2003 at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia — arranged chronologically and supplemented in many cases by setlists. Some feature photos and video from the respective concert date.”  Which sounds like a lost weekend coming up to us. Have a good one.

Native Harrow hit the UK next month for dates

Pennsylvania duo Native Harrow have announced UK tour dates in support of the release of their new album ‘Happier Now’ due out on 2nd August. The month-long tour will include a slot at The Long Road festival, in-store performances at Rough Trade shops in London, Bristol and Nottingham, plus Jumbo Records in Leeds. Continue reading “Native Harrow hit the UK next month for dates”