Van Plating “Bird On A Wire” – Listen

First things first – this is not the ‘Bird on a Wire‘ you’re thinking of, it’s a new song that Van Plating co-wrote with Brian Elijah Smith.  Second thing  second – after her re-emergence in 2019 after a nine year hiatus from music you could have been forgiven for thinking that she’d gone back on hiatus.  Forgiven, but incorrect as Van Plating has been working on all sorts of things in the interim. Continue reading “Van Plating “Bird On A Wire” – Listen”

‘The Twang Factor’ presents: M. Butterfly

Welcome to the penultimate edition of the first series of ‘The Twang Factor’.  This week’s artist is Martyn Moss from Brighton who performs under the name M. Butterfly.  In Martyn’s own words: “M. Butterfly is from Brighton and he plays very sad Americana songs very slowly. He has recurring nightmares of nuclear fallout. He is bisexual. He writes the words at the same time as the music. He thinks he’s a poet. He feels too much. He likes survival horror video games. He believes in UFOs. He thinks he can speak a lot more French than he actually can. He is often the support act. He loves Townes Van Zandt, PJ Harvey and Low and he might just be the man of your dreams.”

Continue reading “‘The Twang Factor’ presents: M. Butterfly”

400 Bears “400 Bears” (2020)

‘400 Bears’ is the self-titled solo project of Paul Wilkinson from the band Mason Porter.  Wilkinson describes the album as being guided by the spirits of music his parents introduced him to when he was younger.  He states that “Dylan and Grateful Dead — were a gateway into all kinds of stuff.”  The songs on ‘400 Bears’ feel exploratory in nature dipping in and out of these frameworks introducing folk and country tones with some songs tipping into the arena of blues music.  Wilkinson’s vocal style is influenced by his childhood heroes but is individual enough that it adds to the canon of Americana music. Continue reading “400 Bears “400 Bears” (2020)”

Forgotten Artists – The Bottle Rockets

Our FORGOTTEN ARTISTS series isn’t so much about bands and singers who’re no longer with us or who have completely disappeared from the scene. The core idea of this series is to remind our readers of bands that may have slipped from memory or to introduce them to an artist they may have missed when they first emerged. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – The Bottle Rockets”

Wayne Graham “1% Juice” (Hometown Caravan, 2020)

Wayne Graham, a musical partnership between brothers Kenny and Hayden Miles, badge themselves as an alt-country/Americana group, and this self-produced twelve-track album lives up to the billing, with a foot firmly in both camps. With roots in the music of East Kentucky, Central Appalachia, the band formed in 2010 and have half a dozen album releases to their name. Their latest release blends a wide range of influences, while never losing their Americana core. Continue reading “Wayne Graham “1% Juice” (Hometown Caravan, 2020)”

Matt Owens “Scorched Earth” (Independent, 2020)

Take a large portion of Willie Nile, add a soupçon of Neil Young, a dash of Tom Petty and a pinch of The Pogues. Then stir in some folk, a little rock, a mournful harmonica, Celtic fiddle a funky guitar solo or two and an ethereal female voice,  some double-tracking and reverb, stir vigorously and add a little seasoning to taste. That should be the recipe for a great album but in the case of Matt Owens’ second solo record ‘Scorched Earth’, the sum isn’t greater than the parts and to beat  (pun intended) the analogy to death, it doesn’t really rise and falls a little bit flat. Continue reading “Matt Owens “Scorched Earth” (Independent, 2020)”

Bruce Springsteen “The Power Of Prayer” – Listen

We’re not going to insult your intelligence – this is The Boss, it’s from the new album ‘Letter to You.‘  It’s just the classic E Street Band sound, there’s nostalgia in the lyrics and Bruce sounds just great.  So go play the song. Continue reading “Bruce Springsteen “The Power Of Prayer” – Listen”

Video: The Weather Station “Tried to Tell You”

This beautifully produced video is full of engaging details and will have you hooked from the moment ‘the man’ opens his apartment door and walks into a lounge  located in the woods.  The song feels rhythmic, urgent and fresh and features absorbing sonic layers and a lovely vocal melody.  The Weather Station is the musical project of Tamara Lindeman, who also produced and directed the accompanying video.  Continue reading “Video: The Weather Station “Tried to Tell You””

Interview: Spencer Cullum on the future of the pedal steel, folk and krautrock

Have you heard of Spencer Cullum? You may not have heard of him but if you have enjoyed the music of Miranda Lambert, Dylan LeBlanc, Deer Tick, Little Big Town, Charlie Worsham, Caitlin Rose and many more you will have heard his pedal steel playing because he is one of the most in-demand pedal steel players in Nashville.  You may not think that is too surprising but when you realise he was born in Romford, Essex, and was a key part of the UK americana scene you begin to realise he is not your average Nashville musician. This uniqueness is a characteristic of his new album ‘Coin Collection’ where he channels the spirit of Sandy Denny and ‘70s British folk-rock with that of the krautrock of Can and Neu! to move the sound of Continue reading “Interview: Spencer Cullum on the future of the pedal steel, folk and krautrock”

Track Premiere: Annie Mack “Judge And Jury”

Annie Mack’s hard hitting folk song ‘Judge and Jury‘ takes a swipe at those who feel they have a right to decide what someone else should think, what someone else should do and what someone else’s access to equality should be limited to.  It comes from a compilation album ‘#metoompls‘ of equally forthright songs. Continue reading “Track Premiere: Annie Mack “Judge And Jury””