Video premiere: Drew Danburry “Mediocrity, For Micah Dahl Anderson”

We leave you this week dear reader with something very special indeed. Sometimes a song comes along that just blows you out of the water and this is one such moment. Drew Danburry owns and runs a barbershop in Provo, Utah, and first came onto my horizon when he played a house gig at my place back in around 2004. To say he made an impression is to understate the evening. Continue reading “Video premiere: Drew Danburry “Mediocrity, For Micah Dahl Anderson””

Noble Jacks + Jake Morrell, The Black Heart, Camden, London, 29th November 2019

The penultimate night of an extensive UK tour has Sussex-based band Noble Jacks headlining at a bustling, sold out and very enthusiastic Black Heart. If there’s a niche for ‘power folk’ then the band seem prime candidates for that category. They have also thrown ‘BrAmericana’ into the descriptive mix. If we mention that their recent album ‘Stay Awake’ was recorded at The Levellers’ studio, that’s a big hint of one major influence on their sound. As, to this reviewer’s ears, is Seth Lakeman. It’s a beefy rumbustious vibe in the main – indeed they self-assess it as “ something of an antidote to unhappiness” –   and it’s not a surprise to see that their career thus far is peppered with many well received festival slots, and foot stomping is pretty much instinctive when they get rolling. Continue reading “Noble Jacks + Jake Morrell, The Black Heart, Camden, London, 29th November 2019”

Kevin Daniel “Things I Don’t See” (Independent, 2019)

Prior to commencing a solo career in 2013, Kevin Daniel, a multi-instrumentalist, had played in a diverse range of settings from bluegrass quartets to big jazz bands. Daniel’s musical eclecticism is reflected in this album which shares with us twangy guitar, glorious three-part harmonies, Hammond B3 organ, strings and unexpected horns on some of the tracks. Tragedy haunts the title track, ‘Things I Don’t See’ which explores the moments before Daniel’s mother and step-father died in a plane crash.
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Pick of the Political Pops: Jack Greene “Statue of a Fool”

Our Americana-UK election – a sort of microcosm of the country at large’s descent into folly – is going swimmingly and as the big day approaches we become more half-arsed about it by the minute…er…sorry that should read ‘we become more engaged with it by the second’. I suppose we should be grateful that existing in our own little bubble as we do we aren’t subjected to the daily torrent of lies, obfuscation and cant from the majority of those up for election and that the smears, character assassinations and foaming-mouth scare stories from the (billionaire right wing-owned) press have little effect on us. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Jack Greene “Statue of a Fool””

Scott H.Biram “Sold Out to the Devil: A Collection of Gospel Cuts by the Rev. Scott H. Biram” (Bloodshot Records, 2019)

Hailing from Austin Texas, Scott H. Biram brings a distinctive elemental country blues sound to his latest album, ‘Sold Out to the Devil: A Collection of Gospel Cuts by the Rev. Scott H. Biram’, on which he plays all instruments and provides both lead and backing vocals. As the title suggests, this is a collection of songs with a strong gospel thread, but we are in the realm of struggles for salvation more than simple praise for the Lord.
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Townes Van Zandt Albums for 50th Anniversery Reissue

One of the troubadour voices that define Americana, Townes Van Zandt, saw the release of an album -‘Sky Blue‘ – of “lost tracks” at the start of the year.  And here, at the back end of 2019, comes news of the release of two of his original albums.  To call them influential would be a gross understatement. Continue reading “Townes Van Zandt Albums for 50th Anniversery Reissue”

Flora Hibberd “As Long As There is Night” – Listen

Flora Hibberd’s songs all happened – that is there is a kernel of truth within them – scenes are captured and played out – and given the gloss of insight and understanding.  ‘As Long as There is Night’ is one such story taken from Flora Hibberd’s new release ‘The Absentee EP‘. Continue reading “Flora Hibberd “As Long As There is Night” – Listen”

Jarrod Dickenson + Darrin Bradbury, The Waterfront Studio, Norwich, 28th November 2019

Just in case we needed any persuasion to come out and see Jarrod Dickenson on his sold-out ‘Unplugged & Distilled’ tour, he ensured everyone was welcomed to the show with a taste of Balcones Whisky, all the way from Dickenson’s hometown of Waco, Texas. Their ‘Baby Blue’ has a southern kick, the ‘Texas Rye’ is spicy, and the single malt is dark, complex and has a sweet finish. All of these flavours nicely sum up Jarrod Dickenson’s warm, whisky voice and easy, smooth vocal delivery. When Dickenson took to the stage, he declared, “First thing’s first,” and took a sip of Balcones to claps from the appreciative crowd. Continue reading “Jarrod Dickenson + Darrin Bradbury, The Waterfront Studio, Norwich, 28th November 2019”

Honey Cane “Brother Sister” (Independent, 2019)

Artists and their work often develop a tight bond with a specific geographical location. Whole genres are identified by their association with a region but perhaps less common is an entire album evoking a place. Honey Cane’s second album ‘Brother Sister’ does just that in creating a record that sonically embraces their home state of California. Whether big cities, arid desert or wild coastline, this aural travelogue stops everywhere. Sundrenched aptly describes the Americana, indie-folk and pop that lie within Honey Cane’s state lines. Continue reading “Honey Cane “Brother Sister” (Independent, 2019)”