St. Ove “County Show” (Half A Cow, 2020)

When is a band not a band? We might all agree that Bon Iver, Palace Music, Smog, Car Seat Headrest and the like are/were really just individuals masquerading as bands. Sure they might have a musical supporting cast helping with recording and playing live but essentially the creative identity of these ‘bands’ is down to one individual. Then we have, say, REM who were a true collective, a real ‘whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ experience. The new UK band St. Ove are somewhere between the two extremes and just about manage to balance the singular artistic vision of leader John George Cooper with the need to feel like a real crew with a mutual clarity of purpose. Continue reading “St. Ove “County Show” (Half A Cow, 2020)”

Listen to an unreleased track from Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers”

You’ll have seen previously that Tom Petty’s ‘Wildflowers & All the Rest’ collection will be out soon, but before that the singer’s estate has shared one of the five previously unreleased tracks from the ‘All the Rest’ half of the reissue – not only that but ‘Leave Virginia Alone’ has a video for it too, starring Tiny Pretty Things’ Casimere Jollette, which was co-directed by Mark Seliger and Tom’s daughter Adria Petty and filmed in Connecticut and Seliger’s studio in New York. It’s among the earliest songs in the collection, Petty originally penning it in January 1993, nearly two years before Wildflowers’ release. Continue reading “Listen to an unreleased track from Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers””

Malin Pettersen “Wildhorse Dream” – Listen

Having had some success in Norway in the band Lucky Lips and as a solo artist, Malin Pettersen has upped the stakes by recording her latest album ‘Wildhorse‘ in Nashville, with a pick of  backing musicians.  It brings Malin a fuller sound that she’d captured on 2019’s ‘Alonesome’ mini-album. Continue reading “Malin Pettersen “Wildhorse Dream” – Listen”

Video Premiere: Dean Owens “A Song for the Dark Times”

Two weeks before the lockdown, Ian Rankin, famous crime novelist, was performing at Cash Back In Fife, the festival organised by award-winning singer-songwriter Dean Owens.  The pair got chatting about Rankin’s new Inspector Rebus novel, ‘A Song for Dark Times’.  The outcome of that conversation, from many months ago, is that these two creative souls are sharing the title and releasing new material simultaneously.  Continue reading “Video Premiere: Dean Owens “A Song for the Dark Times””

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Keith Hargreaves

Welcome once again to the latest selections in AUK’s ongoing search for the ‘top 10 americana albums ever’. You know the format by now: each week a different AUK writer chooses their own personal top 10. When they are all collected and counted, we will draw up a shortlist of the most frequently cited choices. The writers will then vote from that shortlist to reveal our collective top 10. This week the task has been passed on to longstanding AUK scribe and proper gentleman, Keith Hargreaves. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Keith Hargreaves”

Track Premiere: Josh Merritt “The High”

The High‘ is an honest song that comes from having lived through the reality.  Josh Merritt’s childhood was scarred by his mother’s and stepfather’s methamphetamine addiction. Not only as users – they fell into manufacturing and distribution. After several bleak years, Merritt and his brothers were taken away to be raised by their grandparents on a farm in the unincorporated community of Reynolds Station.  So when Josh Merritt sings “hang the ‘phone up on your closest of kin / don’t give three damns if you see them again” he knows what he’s talking about. Continue reading “Track Premiere: Josh Merritt “The High””

Interview: Kelley Swindall & Don Dilego talk about New York Americana

Kelley who? There is often a debate when Americana UK decides which artists we should interview. Clearly, new and emerging artists need the oxygen of publicity to help them build their career momentum, but what of our readers? New artists, at the start of their career, don’t always have an interesting enough backstory and aren’t always that intriguing to our readers, no matter the quality of their output, which is where Americana UK’s Tracks and Video features are so beneficial. Continue reading “Interview: Kelley Swindall & Don Dilego talk about New York Americana”

Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell record pro-choice song – Listen

Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell have released a new song called ‘The Problem’ in which they take on the characters of a couple having an honest, difficult conversation about abortion. The track’s release coincides with International Safe Abortion Day which took place earlier in the week and proceeds from its sales will go to the Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama based reproductive justice organisation. In the last year, draconian, punitive abortion laws have been enacted in Alabama and neighbouring states. “The South is in need of a lot of help,” Shires told Rolling Stone: “I don’t understand why it’s such a big issue, as big of an issue as it is. Because once you have a baby, there’s no social programming to help. It’s all control.”

Video Premiere: Palomino Kings “Any Time At All”

An absorbing melody, excellent guitar work and engaging hooks are features of the brand new single from Palomino Kings.  For the video, the band perform live in the sunshine, which seems fitting for this bright, splash of rocking sound.  There’s a typically gritty energy to ‘Any Time At All’, especially when the guitar solo kicks in towards the end.  The band have made the most of the lockdown to write and record new material. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Palomino Kings “Any Time At All””

Zephaniah OHora “Listening To The Music” ( Last Roundup Records, 2020)

Authentic but new? Old-fashioned whilst fresh? Easy listening and boosting? This album is somehow so antique that it sounds crisp, music circling decades around itself so it comes back to kick its own butt. People love labels, so it is described as new country traditional, or neo-country. It’s the opposite of alt-country, but wholeheartedly Americana. Traditional purists will adore this, modernists may find it hokey. No apparent references to trucks, so bro-country radio should reject. Continue reading “Zephaniah OHora “Listening To The Music” ( Last Roundup Records, 2020)”