Studio Life – Worry Dolls

With the imminent release of a new EP and a seven-week tour coming up, Zoe Nicol and Rosie Jones of Worry Dolls will be keeping busy this autumn. The pair met in Liverpool while studying music and soon discovered that their voices, multi-instrumental talents and song writing skills were well-matched. They have been writing and performing together ever since. Worry Dolls are a lesson in following your dreams: Nicol and Jones made the difficult decision to leave their old lives behind and move to Nashville, where they recorded their well-received debut album, ‘Go Get Gone’. Their song, ‘Endless Road’, was nominated for Song of the Year at the Americana Music Association UK Awards and they have been championed by the likes of Bob Harris. So, anticipation is high for their new EP, ‘The River’. After the new song was showcased brilliantly at The Black Deer Festival, Americana-UK caught up with Worry Dolls just before the single’s release to find out more about the inspiration and song writing process. Continue reading “Studio Life – Worry Dolls”

Mean Mary ”Cold” (Woodrock Records, 2019)

There is, it seems, no limit to Mary James’ (Mean Mary is a stage name) talent. This native of Alabama has, astonishingly, been writing songs since the age of five. She could read music before she could read script and can play eleven instruments including the banjo, fiddle and guitar. She has also written novels and a spiritual memoir, and was, as a child, a regular on a local Alabama TV programme The Country Boy Eddie Show. It was one of the songs she regularly performed on the TV, ‘Mean Mary from Alabam’ that inspired her stage name. Sometimes the only thing that can be done is to sit agog at the breadth and depth of talent some people are imbued with. Except it isn’t, because when that talent translates into recorded output such as we have here, we can all enjoy it. Win win. Continue reading “Mean Mary ”Cold” (Woodrock Records, 2019)”

The Band release 50th anniversary edition of second album

When The Band’s seminal eponymous second album was released fifty years ago on September 22, 1969, not much more was known about the reclusive group than when they released their landmark debut ‘Music From Big Pink’ to widespread critical praise and bewilderment, just the year before. Continue reading “The Band release 50th anniversary edition of second album”

Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra “Eta Carinae” (Tea Pad Recordings, 2019)

Rob-Heron-2019Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra describe themselves as a genre-hopping roots quintet from Newcastle. Their new EP, named after a star system, certainly covers a fair bit of ground. Opener ‘Swinging Like a Brick‘ barrels along on an organ riff straight out of ’60s garage rock, while ‘Basket Full of Nothing‘ shows us what The Stray Cats would sound like if Tom Waits wrote their lyrics.
Continue reading “Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra “Eta Carinae” (Tea Pad Recordings, 2019)”

Yo Zushi “Unconditional Love” (TWGDOYP Records, 2019)

With publicity notes telling us that Japanese-Anglo artist Yo Zushi has spent a decade “bankrupting small labels with uncommercial music” and which describe his musical status as “absolutely obscure”, before first listening to ‘Unconditional Love’,  you could be forgiven for wondering what the heck it was you had to review this month.
Continue reading “Yo Zushi “Unconditional Love” (TWGDOYP Records, 2019)”

Barzin “Blue Factory Flame” – Listen

Taken from the ‘Studio 13 Session Live at Revolution Recordings‘ EP (and read the review here) this recording of Jason Molina’s ‘Blue Factory Flame‘ is a stunning interpretation – eerily spooky and the interplay with Diana Blanche’s vocals is hypnotically beautiful.  Should you spend the whole day listening to it then we apologise – but we’ve also done you a favour.
Continue reading “Barzin “Blue Factory Flame” – Listen”

Kacy & Clayton “Carrying On” (New West, 2019)

“Should’ve married for money, like any woman in her right mind would do / instead I settled for love and don’t you know that that’s the worst thing you can do.” So begins ‘The Forty-Ninth Parallel’, the opening track on ‘Carrying On’, the new album from Canadian country/folk duo – and second cousins – Kacy & Clayton, and their first since 2017’s acclaimed ‘The Siren’s Song’. Continue reading “Kacy & Clayton “Carrying On” (New West, 2019)”

Sturgill Simpson “Mercury in Retrogade” – Listen

We leave you for this week dear reader with a track from Sturgill Simpson’s new album ‘Sound and Fury’ which it’s fair to say is getting fairly glowing reviews (The Guardian this morning said: “it’s hard to think of anyone else who’s done it by making an album as gripping and enjoyable as this” and gave it 5 stars). We’ll have a review for you when we pull our fingers out. Have a good one – see you next week.

Video Premiere: The Orphan Brigade “Captain’s Song (Sorley Boy)”

This wonderful and atmospheric music is from the Orphan Brigade’s new album “To The Edge Of The World“, which is out now.  It was written on a boat in Antrim and Sorley Boy is an infamous chieftain from the 1500, though the song is as much about searching for direction.  John Prine guests and is on the video in animated form.  They’re on tour in October and you should go.