Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Matt Hill (AKA Quiet Loner)

Our series of mini-gigs continues with an exclusive show from Matt Hill, formerly known by his stage name, Quiet Loner.  In an incredibly varied career, Hill has co-written an album with people at a homeless project, enjoyed residencies in a museum and a prison as well as festival appearances and a song-writers’ circle with Billy Bragg at Glastonbury.  What contrasts!  His song-writing ability has led to two UK Americana chart number 1 albums and we are delighted to showcase his talent on AUK. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Matt Hill (AKA Quiet Loner)”

Ten covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘To Ramona’

The original track ‘To Ramona’ is taken from Dylan’s fourth album ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’, released in 1964. This release saw Dylan shift away from the previously politically orientated, ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’’ to a more personal perspective. ‘To Ramona’ is played in waltz time and may have been adapted from a 1930s folk tune, though claims have also been made that the melody is Mexican in origin. Continue reading “Ten covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘To Ramona’”

Video: Rosa Tu “The Swamp”

This is the heart-breaking tale of an old man and an orphan, finding and supporting one another through their loneliness.  This is finely-balanced, sorrowful storytelling with a tragic ending.  The song is accompanied by a well-realised animated video that draws us into the characters’ lives.  ‘The Swamp’ is the first single from Rosa Tu’s forthcoming album, ‘Drink All the Wine’, due for release in August 2020.  The New York-based artist’s songs are an introspective blend of folk and pop influences.


Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom “Never Work” (BB Island, 2020)

Initially due for release on 3rd April, this terrific album was delayed due to a global pandemic, so was pushed back to International Workers Day which, given this once in a lifetime occurrence, has made the themes herein oddly apposite. The millionaires and the billionaires have been little use in dealing with the effects precipitated by a global pandemic, and those of hitherto less socially respected roles have been the ones keeping many countries going. Capitalism is on its arse. Workers, actual workers that is, are finally being acknowledged, as is the very nature of work itself. Continue reading “Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom “Never Work” (BB Island, 2020)”

Pick of the Political Pops: Elvis Costello “Night Rally”

This week sees the 75th anniversary of the fall of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and, since nobody likes a fascist dictator, we thought that we would nod to it here. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Elvis Costello “Night Rally””

The Nautical Theme “Lows and Highs” (Independent, 2020)

The Nautical Theme are an indie-folk duo from Deyton, Ohio. Their second album ‘Lows and Highs‘, continues to develop the sound they established on the 2018 record ‘Float‘. That sounds is a fairly traditional indie-folk offering; piano, guitar, shuffling drum beats and harmony vocals. The whole thing has a nice pop polish to it without being too commercial. The harmonies in particular really lift the overall sound into something more than the sum of its parts.  Continue reading “The Nautical Theme “Lows and Highs” (Independent, 2020)”

Henry Jamison “Tourism” (Color Study, 2020)

Tourism’ is the latest EP from Henry Jamison, one which breaks the typical boundaries of Americana. The collaboration EP, featuring artists who Jamison met on the road, was written after a break-up and months of touring. Jamison’s hard work really shows as each song has been well thought through and perfectly fits the vocals of who he sings with. Continue reading “Henry Jamison “Tourism” (Color Study, 2020)”

Jon Patrick Walker “All-Night Diner” – Listen

In his musical theatre career Jon Patrick Walker has portrayed The Boss, and Lennon and he’s had the furthering of his recording career helped along by Josh Kaufman , who we last heard of within the context of Bonny Light Horseman.  Jon Patrick Walker’s musical obsessions are good ones – The Beatles, Paul Simon, The Who and Harry Nilsson are some of them.  ‘All-Night Diner‘ is a rather cool  laid back confessional style song which has hints of that Lennon influence in it. Continue reading “Jon Patrick Walker “All-Night Diner” – Listen”

Video: Brendan & the Strangest Ways “We Can Beat Mercury”

This is an example of solid country-rock song-writing from Brendan & the Strangest Ways.  The video is a tongue-in-cheek demonstration of the difficulties musicians have in getting noticed.  Brendan Shea’s positive anthem competes with jugglers, dancers and all sorts of other performers, trying to get the attention of the judges.  it’s good-humoured but it’s also making an important point about the many conflicting demands on our attention and the challenges of finding an audience.  Continue reading “Video: Brendan & the Strangest Ways “We Can Beat Mercury””