Classic Americana Albums: Bob Dylan “Blonde on Blonde” (CBS, 1966)

For those less initiated (are there any?) or less interested in Bob Dylan, a pertinent question might come up here – when did the connection between Dylan and Americana start? The answer is quite clear – from the beginning. Even as a young music enthusiast when he still responded to the name of Robert Zimmerman, Dylan was completely enamoured with what was then divided into very neat genres of folk, blues, roots, and country (& western). While he started out as a full-fledged musician/singer/songwriter and stuck strictly to the folk part of this equation, at the well-recorded horror of folk purists at the time he started incorporating elements of other musical genres into his music. Whether it was something that was influenced by his ever-expanding lyrical imagination or it was the other way around (or most probably both) makes no difference. Once he strapped on an electric guitar he never stopped or looked back. OK, sometimes he did, but it was with completely different eyes, ears, and voice. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Bob Dylan “Blonde on Blonde” (CBS, 1966)”

Track Premiere: Darling West “Good Luck Charmer “

Good Luck Charmer‘ is the new original tune from Darling West, the duo, of Mari Sandvær Kreken and Tor Egil.  It’s a song that came together around the time of their most recent album ‘We´ll Never Know Unless We Try‘ but was held over – until now (well, until October 2nd when it’ll be available as a single). Continue reading “Track Premiere: Darling West “Good Luck Charmer “”

Thirty Tigers announces “Sounds of the Storytellers”

Inspired by the ‘new normal’ artists face, in particular with touring by and large on hold for now, our friends over at Thirty Tigers have announced “a destination playlist for fans to stream their favourite UK artists in the UK Americana world, along with an online campaign to promote the great storytelling artists in our community, hosted exclusively on Spotify.” Continue reading “Thirty Tigers announces “Sounds of the Storytellers””

Scott Cook “Tangle of Souls” (Independent, 2020)

Sometimes a package arrives that might just take your breath away and, ‘Tangle of Souls’, by Canadian Scott Cook, is one such. As well as the download, CD (or vinyl if you prefer) there is a beautiful 240-page book – packaged with great care, from the specially commissioned endpapers to the photographs, quality paper and the binding.  Just the smell of a new book can be an intoxicant and there are no apologies for focussing there initially. Continue reading “Scott Cook “Tangle of Souls” (Independent, 2020)”

Stephie James “These Days EP” (Independent, 2020)

It’s normally a safe assumption that you can tell most of what you need to know about a person by the company that they keep. So, when a young singer-songwriter can boast of work done for Dan Auerbach and tours in support of Nikki Lane—it makes sense to give them your undivided attention. Of course, there’s always a possibility that you set your expectations too high and come away disappointed. At the same time, there’s a chance that you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Continue reading “Stephie James “These Days EP” (Independent, 2020)”

Track Premiere: Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt “Carry A Tune”

The duo of Philadelphia based guitarist /songwriter Aaron Nathans and Cincinnati cellist / songwriter Michael G. Ronstadt (yes, he has a famous Aunt) have produced a new album showcasing the rich and dark combination that can be produced from their principal instruments.  It’s called ‘Shadow of the Cyclone‘ and they see it as a suitable metaphor for a year that has been packed full of storms – from the expected but more frequent wild winds to the ravaging blast of pandemic that has blown across their homeland. Continue reading “Track Premiere: Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt “Carry A Tune””

Larkin Poe announce new album of covers

On the back of their success with their recent album ‘Self Made Man‘, Larkin Poe have quickly returned to the recording studio to produce an album of stripped back acoustic songs called ‘Kindred Spirits‘.  Cover versions all, they are drawn from favourite songs of the duo as they explain “ Coming up in a family of music lovers, a lot of the songs we have always seemed to gravitate towards learning have been with us since childhood; we started a YouTube series dedicated to paying tribute to our musical heroes in 2015 that unexpectedly took off and when fans began requesting recorded versions of the songs, we started daydreaming about how an interpretive album might take shape.”    Continue reading “Larkin Poe announce new album of covers”

Joan Osborne “That Was A Lie” – Listen

Taken from her tenth album ‘Trouble and Strife‘ which was released on September 18th, ‘That Was a Lie‘ might sound like a personal exchange but Osborne is aiming at a bigger picture; as she explains, the scathing lyrics are really for “those camera-ready mouthpieces for corrupt officials.Continue reading “Joan Osborne “That Was A Lie” – Listen”

Video: Seafarers “Virgin Soil”

Jonathan Hodgson’s beautifully surreal animation is the perfect accompaniment to the gently melodic ‘Virgin Soil’, which rises and falls, introducing layers of instrumentation: wind, brass, piano, underpinned by a warm bass.  The musicianship is excellent, creating a sonic landscape to lose yourself in.  The members of the London-based band represent a range of genres and when they come together, they create music that is stylistically fresh and engaging. Continue reading “Video: Seafarers “Virgin Soil””

‘The Twang Factor’ presents: Anton O’Donnell

Welcome to ‘The Twang Factor’ AUK’s brand new weekly series providing a showcase for some of the best new and emerging artists around. Each week we will bring you a different artist selected from the submissions we receive. The standard so far has been incredibly high and believe us, you are in for some real treats over the coming weeks. Continue reading “‘The Twang Factor’ presents: Anton O’Donnell”