From today’s perspective it’s hard to underestimate the importance of Lucinda Williams’ ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ to the Americana genre. While its impact on release in 1998 wasn’t particularly apparent (it only reached 65 on the Billboard 200 chart), it was given a major boost through countless positive reviews which culminated in it winning a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Since then, it’s been understandably referred to as a seminal work, kickstarting the Americana movement, and is rightly considered as one of the best albums of the 1990s. On the 20th anniversary of its release Williams has been playing the album in its entirety and tonight it was London’s turn. Continue reading “Lucinda Williams, the Barbican, London, 27th July 2019”
‘Chasing Lights‘ is the debut album from this British-born duo, and what a debut it is; showcasing a depth and breadth of talent as well as a range of styles, from tender folk to swaggering rock and roll. Now based in Nashville, the pair have their feet planted firmly in the fertile soil of American roots music. Even their band name, Ida Mae, comes from an old Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee song, and this heritage courses through the record with dazzling vitality. Continue reading “Ida Mae “Chasing Lights” (Thirty Tigers, 2019)”
“Now, you and I can sing a song / and we can build a congregation / but only when we take a stand / will we change our broken nation.” Those lyrics are lifted from ‘The Dreamer,’ the first single from ‘Rearrange My Heart,’ the new album from Americana/Latingrass/folk group Che Apalache. ‘The Dreamer’ chronicles the life of Moises Serrano, a DACA Dreamer born in Mexico and raised in North Carolina, also the home state of Che Apalache frontman, Joe Troop. Troop worked on the song with Serrano (who is also the subject of a documentary, ‘Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America’), and it’s the centrepiece of a powerful and diverse album that musically touches on everything from bluegrass, Americana, and folk, to Latin, jazz, swing, even rural Japanese melodies. Continue reading “Che Apalache “Rearrange My Heart” (Free Dirt Records, 2019)”
We introduced Louien – also known as Live Miranda Solberg – a few months back and here she is again with another stunning track from her new album ‘None of My Words’ which will be released on Jansen Records on September 13th. This song is an elegant interlude in the realms of despair, grief and loss. Doesn’t sound much fun, we know, but it’s contemplative and honest and Solberg’s vocals soar like a beautiful, if mournful, breeze. Unarguably delicious.
Here’s a fun animated video to accompany the new song from Davina And The Vagabonds. It’s taken from their new album ‘Sugar Drops’, out on August 2nd, and it’s a great little mash-up of all sorts of Americana, soul and jazz.