We leave you this week dear reader with a clip courtesy of the Blues Kitchen from this year’s AMAUK awards where Billy Bragg performed the classic ‘Rock Island Line’ with Lonnie Donegan’s son Peter. It was the first debut record to be certified gold in the UK and Bob Harris introduced the performance by noting how seminal the single was to the whole of the British pop and rock scene that went on to evolve from the mid-1950s, despite its origins as a US folk song. The performance is absolutely blistering anyway (also it’s nice to watch it not frazzled). Have a good one.
The tracks ‘Intro’, ‘Interlude’ and ‘Finale’ on The Lone Bellow’s fourth studio album are all parts of a hymn. This may seem a little strange for a band hailing from Brooklyn, New York, but The Lone Bellow have nothing but the south running through their musical veins. We hear musical snatches in the first and eighth tracks of the hymn in question (‘The Eastern Gate’, written in 1905 by Isaiah G. Martin), but it’s only on the final track that we hear the unvarnished vocals of lead singer Zach Williams’ grandmother, recorded at the funeral of her late husband. The song carries a message of hope and positivity for what’s ahead and fittingly, there is a lot of that in this album – even as it deals with uneasy themes. Continue reading “The Lone Bellow “Half Moon Light” (Dualtone Records, 2020)”
Almost two decades ago, Mark Whitfield set up the Americana UK website and blog as a university project. And just never stopped. Essentially a bedroom operation, the site has evolved and survived changes in technology, social media and the music industry, becoming one of the UK’s longest-running music websites in the process. Continue reading “Interview: Mark Whitfield, Founder and Editor of Americana UK”
Beautiful landscapes and beautiful harmonies feature on this new video from The Remedy Club. It’s from the new country-roots album, ‘True Hand True Heart’, which comes out on 27th March. The album has been produced by five-time Grammy winner Ray Kennedy, who has worked with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson and Steve Earle. The husband-and-wife duo have been confirmed to play at the C2C Festival in London and will be touring Ireland in March, April and May and the UK in June to support the new album. Enjoy.
There must be something in the water in Kentucky given the proliferation of independent americana music performers from there in recent years. As proof, there’s not just well established acts such as Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Angaleena Presley and Tyler Childers, but also up and coming artists such as Kelsey Waldon, Eric Bolander, Korey Rose, Jeremy Pinnell, The Local Honeys and Dillon Carmichael. To this impressive list, Ian Noe deserves to move towards the head of the queue as he was responsible for one of the best debut albums released in 2019, or any other year for that matter. Continue reading “Ian Noe, Omeara, London, 3rd February 2020”
Having accidentally started playing the title track ‘Judas’ from Gary Fulton’s 2014 album of the same name on Spotify, the immediate thought was “ooh this reminds me a bit of Mercury Rev”, a catchy melody and some Rev-esque vocals, not quite as unique as Jonathan Donahue but heading the right way. Realising the error, fast forward five years to Cheshire-based Fulton’s sixth album ‘Blood and Dust’. Continue reading “Gary Fulton “Blood and Dust” (Independent, 2019)”
This week the great and the good, the mediocre and the medium and the poor and the poorest of the residents of Americana-UK Towers (actually they were all great and good but we like to be inclusive) went on a jolly to the windswept north of the country in order to conduct The Annual General Meeting. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Bob Dylan “It’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall””
A Venn diagram of the musical genres that go to make up this thing we call Americana would be an enormous and extremely complex entity. It is such a joy that so many excellent and diverse musical styles can be enjoyed under this huge umbrella label and provide us lucky listeners with a never-ending stream of quality songs and artists. Residing comfortably in the Indie-Americana circle of the aforementioned diagram is ‘The Longest Part of the Night’, the latest album from Modern Hinterland, a record of reflections of life in modern Britain.
‘Leave the Gray’ is the second album from Jesse Fox and Heather Camacho, known together as The Lone Canary. Throughout, there is a common theme of loss, which is frequently, intensely emotional. Another thread running through the album is the use of strings and other well-chosen instruments to create lovely layers of sound, helped by the clean, clear, fresh production. Fox and Camacho’s effortless vocals blend beautifully when they harmonise together, though this is not overdone and they often take turns to sing, providing backing for one another. Continue reading “The Lone Canary “Leave the Gray” (Independent, 2019)”
Clem Snide (the recording name that Eef Barzelay goes under) has released his new single ‘Don’t Bring no Ladder’which is taken from his Ramseur Records/Thirty Tigers releases ‘Forever Just Beyond‘. His first new album in almost five years was producer by Scott Avett – and this song was, says Snide “the first song I sent Scott in the hopes that it would entice him to make a record with me and with the extra secret hope that he would sing it” adding that “both of those hopes were sweetly fulfilled. May we all die without resentment and regret.” Continue reading “Clem Snide “Don’t Bring No Ladder” – Listen”