AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Martin Johnson

At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the coming weeks and months each AUK writer will in turn, present their own personal selections. When each writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Martin Johnson”

Hollowsage & the Three Mile Islanders “Nuclear Home” (Independent, 2020)

This was first sent in to AUK towers in March this year, but something happened and everything went mad and there’s little point in explaining what that thing was, as besides it causing misery to thousands, it’s boring. If you need to know what happened, you’re either an alien or waking from a coma, both of which preclude you from reading this. You probably have more pressing things to do, anyway. Continue reading “Hollowsage & the Three Mile Islanders “Nuclear Home” (Independent, 2020)”

Video: Our Man in the Field “It Was Ever So”

On this, the new single from Our Man in the Field, also-known-as Alexander Ellis, there is an impressively emotive vocal performance as we are drawn into the intimate story about the closure of London’s oldest fire station in 2014.  Ellis explains: “I wrote the song back in 2014 after catching the end of a news report about the closure of Clerkenwell fire station, the
oldest operational fire station in Europe. Continue reading “Video: Our Man in the Field “It Was Ever So””

Home Life: Michael Weston King

For nigh on thirty years UK singer-songwriter Michael Weston King has been forging himself a well-respected lofty position on the roots scene with his solo work, the now defunct country rockers The Good Sons, and most recently alongside his musical and life partner Lou Dalgleish in My Darling Clementine. Drawing inspiration from the classic Texan songwriters of the 70’s alongside the honky-tonk bravado of the likes of  George and Tammy, King has managed to fuse a love of country music, both idealogical and conceptual, with a deep sense of political angst to produce albums that always deserve full attention. Most recently My Darling Clementine have teamed up with Steve Nieve to produce  a number of four-track EP’s dedicated to the work of Elvis Costello called ‘Country Darkness‘ the second of which is released on June 5th.  Americana-UK spoke to the midlands based songwriter and asked how things are panning out right now for usually noticeably active performer. Continue reading “Home Life: Michael Weston King”

Stripmall Ballads “Distant” (Freeloader Free Press, 2020)

Now, these are not the happiest of times, obviously, but why do so many new albums coming from singer/songwriters have to be so relentlessly miserable? Even a miserable song with a jaunty tune would be a welcome departure but so many of the new songs we hear are slow, minor-key moans about the trials of life. Surely someone out there must be having some fun? At least occasionally! Continue reading “Stripmall Ballads “Distant” (Freeloader Free Press, 2020)”

Songs for the apocalypse: The Broken Family Band “Mother O’Jesus”

Many years ago in the life of this website, the year after it started in fact, one of the first albums we ever got sent was called ‘The King Will Build a Disco‘ by The Broken Family Band, and I was immediately taken with them. They were just so damn clever, and funny, and warm, and inviting. Their music style was described as all kinds of things – indie-rock apparently being their preferred choice although it did have very alt-country leanings at times. I’ve stuck through frontman Steven Adams’ career ever since, its most recent iteration being in the form of “and the French Drops” but if you put a gun to my head and asked me for my favourite song by this beautiful little band I’d go back to 2004 for this track from their relatively understated EP ‘Jesus Songs’. The Broken Family Band has been deceased for over a decade now, but this will always have a place on my very long list of desert island discs.

Mike McKenna “At the Edge of the World” (Independent, 2020)

With his second LP Mike McKenna jr. has constructed an intricate and finely crafted piece of work that invites us to consider what he calls the “distinct local culture” of his home manor. Given that the location of the ‘manor’ in question is the island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada it seems entirely fitting that the record is called ‘At the Edge of the World’ and the soundscapes on offer perfectly capture the otherworldly yet hardscrabble nature of such remote locations. Continue reading “Mike McKenna “At the Edge of the World” (Independent, 2020)”

Nicholas Mudd “Heartache Express” – Listen

The last time we heard from Nicholas Mudd it was on last year’s ‘Sailing Song‘.  There’s another form of transport this time – a traditional country steam powered Iron Horse, pulling the ‘Heartache Express‘ and heading straight for Mr Mudd.  It’s unstoppable and laden down with ‘words I don’t want to hear‘. Continue reading “Nicholas Mudd “Heartache Express” – Listen”

Video: Abigail Lapell “Down By the Water”

This song from Abigail Lapell has a lovely guitar melody and accompanying vocal.  The video, featuring a boxing match, complete with a knockout blow, is a real contrast to the gentle beauty of the music.  It covers themes of redemption and escape through this memorable and evocative scene.  The song is taken from Lapell’s most recent album, ‘Getaway’.  It’s folk for the 21st century and well worth checking out.

John Prine Family announce live streaming tribute

The family of the late John Prine have announced a celebration of the singer-songwriter’s legacy with a live-streamed “Picture Show” tribute. The June 11th show will be produced by the Prine family and his label Oh Boy Records and feature “musicians, actors, and friends remembering our beloved JP.” The list of people participating in the online celebration — which will stream via Prine’s YouTube and Facebook accounts — have not yet been announced. Continue reading “John Prine Family announce live streaming tribute”