AUK’s editor chooses his favourite 10 tracks from 2019

2019 – what a f-king year (and that word is being censored for you daily digest readers). Sometimes music was the only respite there was from the sheer abject misery and terror of the outside world. Sometimes nestling down with a mug of cocoa and some good americana was the only thing that blotted it all out (spiced up with about 5 shots of vodka). These are the ten songs that kept my sanity intact throughout the last 12 months. Continue reading “AUK’s editor chooses his favourite 10 tracks from 2019”

The Deer “Do No Harm” (Keeled Scales, 2019)

The Deer are a five-piece band from Austin, TX. They describe themselves as ‘indie folk’, which is slightly disingenuous, because on this evidence they offer far more than that rather limiting label might suggest. Sure, there are elements of folk in their sound (the instrumentation includes fiddle and mandolin), but they also use synthesizers and on balance they are more likely to appeal to those approaching them from the direction of thoughtful, intelligent and literate American rock. The most obvious reference point is Mazzy Star, but The Deer are in no way derivative; quite the opposite in fact, their sound is genuinely unique and distinctive. Continue reading “The Deer “Do No Harm” (Keeled Scales, 2019)”

Amigo the Devil announces 2020 UK tour

If you have ever heard a room full of people yelling “I hope your husband dies” in some harmoniously sloppy,  drunken unison, then you will have stumbled into an Amigo The Devil show. Danny Kiranos, better known as his musical alter ego, has spent the last few years challenging the expectations of traditional folk,  country music purists and rock/extreme metal fans alike with his morbid, yet oddly romantic take on the Americana tradition and has cultivated a dedicated fanbase Stateside. Continue reading “Amigo the Devil announces 2020 UK tour”

Chris Landry & The Seasick Mommas “Two Ninety Three” (Turnup Records, 2019)

On their debut ‘One Fifty Five,’ Chris Landry and the Seasick Mommas found a proper balance between moody folk and Harvest-era country-rock. In fact, Stuart Rutherford’s pedal steel is at times reminiscent of the late Ben Keith. On their follow-up, ‘Two Ninety Three’ (both albums are named after addresses where Landry was living while the respective projects were written), the best moments occur when that balance is again met, although it happens less often this time around. Continue reading “Chris Landry & The Seasick Mommas “Two Ninety Three” (Turnup Records, 2019)”

Songs for the apocalypse: Loudon Wainwright III “Christmas Morning”

I love this Christmas song. It’s typically sardonic Loudon, starting off with innocuous couplets like “Well the banks & the schools & the post office are closed, You can park where you please and you won’t get towed” before he gets stuck in with observations such as “the homeless who have nothing will ask on Christmas day, for us to give them something, God we wish they’d go away.” Nobody does this kind of thing better. Loudon features on a new album of original Hanukkah songs called ‘Hanukkah+’.

Americana UK writers choose their albums of 2019 – part two

It’s part two of our writers picks from 2019 where we collectively list the albums that made the biggest impact on us over the last 12 months. There’s one album repeated from yesterday’s list which I guess by default makes it our album of the year but we’ll leave you eagled-eyed beavers to work that out for yourself. So once again, here we go! Continue reading “Americana UK writers choose their albums of 2019 – part two”

Helen Jones’s Review of 2019

Reflecting on 2019, there has been a lot of quality music released – including fantastic records from Sturgill Simpson, The Highwomen and Tyler Childers to name a few – so much excellent music in fact that I must admit found the idea of writing this piece a little overwhelming. So I’ve decided to pare it back and focus on some smaller records that haven’t always had the press that they might have deserved, but ones whose songs have rattled around in my head for days at a time after many a repeat listen. Continue reading “Helen Jones’s Review of 2019”

Pick of the Political Pops: Robert Wyatt “At Last I Am Free”

Friends, readers, colleagues! Rejoice! AUK have held our election for the position of The Editor and we are supremely proud to announce that – for the nth year running – The Editor has pulled off a triumphant victory and we are beside ourselves with delight. As we have said before his was the only name on the ballot paper but that matters not a jot. He won. Get over it. Don’t even think about taking to the streets in protest. It’s the natural order of things. What the fuck are you thinking??? Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Robert Wyatt “At Last I Am Free””

Dean Owens & The Southerners, Sounds In The Suburbs @ The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 15th December 2019

The irony of this cross border trio appearing in Glasgow in the wake of an election which saw England and Scotland diametrically opposed was not lost on Dean Owens tonight. The prankster in him surreptitiously arranged for the sold out crowd to chant the terrace anthem of ‘Cheerio, Cheerio’ as the actual southerners, Jim Maving and Tom Collison, joined him on stage. Seasoned troupers, they took it in their stride, humbly apologising for inflicting BJ on us and asking if they could stay up north permanently. This was of course, good-natured jousting, and it set the scene for a fabulous and good humoured show with lots of banter and audience interaction amidst the tremendous music the trio performed. Continue reading “Dean Owens & The Southerners, Sounds In The Suburbs @ The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 15th December 2019”