Something for the (long) weekend: Chris Stapleton “Starting Over”

Another week flies by and so we leave you this week dear reader with something to warm your cockles over the bank holiday weekend. Chris Staplegun won the Americana Association’s artist of the year award back in 2016 in the days before he made massive records with Justin Timberlake, but he’s back with a new album ‘Starting Over’ which arrives on November 13th prior to a huge tour planned for next year. Recorded with Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, the album’s tracklist includes 11 new songs and three covers: Guy Clark’s ‘Old Friends’ and ‘Worry B Gone,’ and John Fogerty’s ‘Joy of My Life.’  The first song to be released from it is the title track and it’s actually rather lovely. Have a good one.

Diana Jones feat. Steve Earle, Richard Thompson & Peggy Seeger “We Believe You” – Listen

Diana Jones has released a new single called ‘We Believe You’ taken from her forthcoming new album ‘Song To A Refugee’ which comes out on Proper Records on September 25th. The song features the help of Steve Addabbo producing and guest artists Steve Earle, Richard Thompson and Peggy Seeger each singing a verse, Mark Hunter on piano and Joe DeJarnette on bass. It was previewed on BBC Radio 2 Country Show with Bob Harris last night. Continue reading “Diana Jones feat. Steve Earle, Richard Thompson & Peggy Seeger “We Believe You” – Listen”

Austin Lucas returns with new album “Alive In The Hot Zone!” – Listen

Austin Lucas has announced the release of a new album ‘Alive In The Hot Zone!’ which lands on October 30th 2020 via Cornelius Chapel Records, along with the first single ‘Already Dead’. Written and recorded in the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter/American uprising, the album is described as representing “a new direction for Austin, yet retains his distinctive voice and hyperliterate writing style. Contained are ten songs that serve as direct commentary regarding the ongoing global situation, isolation, fear and the indomitable spirit required to stand up against systemic racism and fascism, in a world spiralling out of control.” Continue reading “Austin Lucas returns with new album “Alive In The Hot Zone!” – Listen”

Video Premiere: Jesse Aycock “Tulsa County”

We are delighted to feature the video premiere of ‘Tulsa County’ from Jesse Aycock, which is part of the ‘BACK TO PARADISE: A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music’ project on Horton Records. The song, a Jesse Ed Davis cover, features masterful steel guitar from Aycock and is one of three songs he recorded for the album, which is released today, 28th August.  The album was tracked at Leon Russell’s Paradise Studio at Grand Lake in Tia Juana, the first to be recorded there in 30 years.  The likes of Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Bob Seeger were part of the Paradise Studio’s rich musical history. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Jesse Aycock “Tulsa County””

Various Artists “Back to Paradise: A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music” (Horton Records, 2020)

The migration of people of Oklahoma, ‘the Okies’, to California from the mid-’30s to the mid-’50s, stirred by the Dust Bowl era, is a huge part of American history captured in the award-winning Steinbeck novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ as well as the Woodie Guthrie song ‘The Ballad of Tom Joad‘.
Due for release on 11th September, ‘Back to Paradise A Tulsa Tribute To Okie Music’ is the result of a group of musicians from Tulsa, Oklahoma, travelling to the iconic Paradise Studio at Grand Lake to record this, the first album recorded there since 1978 thanks to the restoration work of Tulsan, Rick Huskey. It honours numerous Oklahoma musicians from over the years including influential artists such as Leon Russell and JJ Cale. Continue reading “Various Artists “Back to Paradise: A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music” (Horton Records, 2020)”

Pick of the Political Pops: Drive By Truckers “Perfect Timing”

This week we’ve been made aware of some interesting facts and figures. Apparently net migration to the UK (year ending March 2020) was 313,000 – up on 221,000 on last year. Xenophobes and Brexiteers must be wailing and gnashing their teeth. In fact 715,000 people moved to the UK but 403,000 left hence the ‘net’ figure. Of that net figure the vast majority were non-EU nationals. Indeed an estimated 257,000 of those people arrived for study/university and the vast majority of those were from China or India. The remainder were for work and family reasons. That’s a lot of money generated for the economy. Then Covid-19 hit. After that there was a 97% reduction in passenger journeys. Also – and here’s the economy killer – study visa applications are down 99%. And of course the Brexit transition period will end pretty soon with no deal or agreement in sight. And the country is in debt to the tune of something like two trillion pounds. Best start looking for change down the back of the sofa…

Peter Bruntnell classic gets vinyl release for Record Store Day

Peter Bruntnell is the dictionary definition of a UK americana icon, having been receiving much the same consistently high praise since his debut album ‘Cannibal’ was released in 1995, and this weekend sees the release of a limited edition vinyl of one of his best-known records. Continue reading “Peter Bruntnell classic gets vinyl release for Record Store Day”

Wonky Tonk “Wonk On” – Listen

We’re not going to pretend that a band with a name like Wonky Tonk singing a song called ‘Wonk On‘ isn’t likely to provoke thoughts of whimsy and quirkiness – maybe it’ll sound something like Lavender Diamond?  If that is what you have in your head then just forget it.  Well, maybe not completely, there is some quirk,  but don’t let it prevent you from hearing what is a hell of a song. Continue reading “Wonky Tonk “Wonk On” – Listen”

Video: Willard Grant Conspiracy “Distant Shore”

It’s retro-Friday again – these weeks just fly by.  It’s time to reach back into the past and refresh our collective memory.  This week, we have ‘Distant Shore’ from Willard Grant Conspiracy.  It’s the opener from 2006 album ‘Let it Roll’.  This simply has the most beautiful vocal performance and melody.  Robert Fisher’s sonorous voice is unmistakeable and unforgettable.  Lyrically, this is powerful poetry: “My body broken on the shore // I’ll ask for my forgiveness and then for nothing more // My breath will be the breeze you feel // From a distant shore.”  

UK americana festivals go virtual for the end of summer

Sadly in the end there were none – all the hopes americana festival-goers had for a late summer blow out were dashed by news earlier this month that Red Rooster wouldn’t in fact be going ahead as planned with social distancing, but the organisers have announced another virtual version of it (they previously did something in May) which will take place from 4th-6th September. Continue reading “UK americana festivals go virtual for the end of summer”