Video: Evelyn Cools “Misfit Paradise”

Found-footage of families from the 1920s and 1930s experiencing the innocent delight in one another’s company features throughout this engaging video from Evelyn Cools.  Cools explains the inspiration behind the video: “There is something about home videos and film from this time that really resonates with me. It feels so simple and pure, accentuating beauty in the little things, which fits perfectly with the message of ‘Misfit Paradise’. My hope is that this video transports people into a different time and place, and shows where our priorities should truly lie – in finding true connection and never taking the simple joys in life for granted.”   Continue reading “Video: Evelyn Cools “Misfit Paradise””

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Emily Dongray

Welcome once again to AUK’s ongoing quest to find the top 10 americana albums ever. For anyone new to this (and by the way, where have you been?) Each week a different AUK writer lists their own personal top 10. When each one has contributed we will draw up a short-list of the most commonly chosen albums. The writers will then be asked to vote from that list in order to generate the ultimate AUK writers’ top ten. This week we turn to Cambridge based writer Emily Dongray who confesses a penchant for bending the rules. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Emily Dongray”

Sam Morrow “Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down'” (Forty Below Records, 2020)

Sam Morrow’s fourth record, ‘Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down’, is hiss most guitar and groove-driven album to date. Wanting to create an album that is rooted in grease, grit, and groove, Morrow focused on making his LP full of hip-shaking rock & roll, and he does so with great success. The album starts with ‘Rosarita’, a song which sets the tone for the whole album. As soon as you hear the first riff on the guitar, you know that it is going to get you feeling both chilled out with the groovy vibes it creates, but also on your feet dancing along. Ultimately, it’s a song about a woman who Morrow can’t get enough of, but actually ‘only brings him rain’. You feel like this song is very real with the detail of the lyrics and Morrow has experienced all of this himself. Continue reading “Sam Morrow “Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down’” (Forty Below Records, 2020)”

Video Premiere: Ben Eisenberger “Don’t Change Your Mind”

We are delighted to share the video premiere of ‘Don’t change Your Mind’ from multi-instrumentalist Ben Eisenberger.  The Omaha singer-songwriter trained in classical guitar at the University of Nebraska and he is  known for sparse and delicate folk.  However, the songs on his upcoming sophomore release benefit from layers of instrumentation: lap steel, choral accompaniments and strings. The sound is full and brings to mind classic country from the likes of Glen Campbell. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Ben Eisenberger “Don’t Change Your Mind””

Loudon Wainwright III “I’d Rather Lead A Band” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)

There can’t be many albums reviewed on these pages that have name-checked Irving Berlin, Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, so this may well be a first. ‘I’d Rather Lead a Band’, the latest offering from six-stringed diarist Loudon Wainwright III, renowned as one of the most original songwriters of our times, is a collection of 1920s and 30s big band songs, including numbers written and/or recorded by the famous names above, as well as many others. Created with the backing of outstanding New York nightclub band, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, this album, at first sight, may seem to be an unusual choice for Wainwright, but is in fact an almost perfect fit. Continue reading “Loudon Wainwright III “I’d Rather Lead A Band” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)”

Calexico announce festive album “Seasonal Shift” – Listen

What a year to release your first Christmas album, even if it’s not actually a Christmas album as such – maybe it’s the best year of all given how much cheering up we all need (and perhaps we’ll need even more by Wednesday next week. Eek.) Anyway deck the halls because Calexico are back and have just announced a new album ‘Seasonal Shift’, due Dec 4th via City Slang. The record is a celebration of the festive season and you can listen to the first track from the record ‘Hear the Bells’ below, which is just superb. Continue reading “Calexico announce festive album “Seasonal Shift” – Listen”

Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)

Gordon Barry, an award-winning Irish singer-songwriter from charming Wexford, has remarkably handsome vocal talent and refined musical skills. ‘All the Live Long Year‘, the follow up to Barry’s debut album ‘The Best Way To Kill A Monster‘, is graced with some delicate melodies and alluring harmonies together with the superb skills of established Irish musicians Christian Best (Drums), Conor Brady (Guitar) & Cian Boylan (Piano, keys). Continue reading “Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)”

Annie Dressner “Midnight Bus” – Listen

Today’s new song comes from Annie Dressner’s latest album ‘Coffee At the Corner Bar‘ which was released last month.  You’d never know it from the full sound but it’s a lockdown album – Annie Dressner recorded it at home with her husband Paul Goodwin producing. Continue reading “Annie Dressner “Midnight Bus” – Listen”

Video: Beans on Toast “The Village Disco”

For his 40th birthday, Beans on Toast will be releasing two full-length albums, including ‘Knee Deep in Nostalgia’, produced by Frank Turner.  This is the opening song from the album and Beans travels back in time, sharing some of his earliest memories along the way.  For the video, Frank Turner accompanies Beans on Toast on a road trip through his past: Home & Away, Findus Crispy Pancakes, first dances and first loves. Continue reading “Video: Beans on Toast “The Village Disco””

Classic Americana Albums: Leon Russell “Hank Wilson’s Back Vol 1” (Shelter Records, 1973)

These days, not many people are aware of Leon Russell’s music and while fans of americana may recognise the name of one of the architects of the genre, even most americana fans are more familiar with the name than the actual music. Back in 1973 things were very different. At the time Leon Russell was the official biggest-grossing touring act in America, he had had a number 2 album in 1972, ‘Carney’, written two songs that would join the ranks of the Great American Song Book, ‘A Song For You’ and ‘This Masquerade’, appeared on George Harrison’s ‘Concert For Bangladesh’, produced Bob Dylan and, in the spirit of the times, released a triple-disc live album, ‘Leon Live’. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Leon Russell “Hank Wilson’s Back Vol 1” (Shelter Records, 1973)”