Revisiting old glories is a tricky business. We all know of tracks rerecorded that fail to match treasured originals or albums where a revisitation of a classic is the loss leader for some rum stuff so it was a mixture of apprehension and intrigue that this reviewer picked up the copy of the Martin Stephenson and the Daintees ‘Gladsome, Humour and Blue’. Continue reading “Martin Stephenson and the Daintees “Gladsome, Humour & Blue 30” (Barbaraville Records 2018)”
This might be the album that America needs to hear now more than any other. Musically, it is gorgeous folk/americana enhanced by a stellar cast of supporting musicians. Lyrically, it is by turns meditative, moving, uplifting – and deeply unifying. If only America would listen – riven as it is, in these troubled times, by tribalism, religious hatred and anger. Continue reading “Eliza Gilkyson “Secularia” (Red House Records, 2018)”
Legendary US songwriter Steve Forbert will release his brand new album ‘The Magic Tree’ on October 26th, and will play a special show at Nell’s Jazz and Blues in London this Sunday (October 21st). ‘The Magic Tree’ is a concept album based on the Enid Blyton books of almost the same name. Actually it’s not, but there’s an idea for someone. The record is built on previously recorded acoustic demos, augmented with new backing tracks, and will be released alongside a memoir chronicling Steve’s career spanning over 40 years and 18 studio albums, making him, to all intents and purposes, a true folk legend.
The absolutely exquisite in every sense of the word Darlingside are returning to the UK at the end of this month to play headline shows – just 3 of them but they’re well spaced out, taking place as they are in Edinburgh, Manchester and London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. Their third album ‘Extralife’ was released in February via More Doug Records/Thirty Tigers, which found the band looking to the future, mourning the loss of our world with an almost post-apocalyptic view. Continue reading “Darlingside head back to UK for more dates”
Joan Shelley is no stranger to Glasgow’s Glad Cafe. Returning to the venue for a fourth time, the Kentucky-born artist has built up a loyal following. Whether a long term fan or a relative newbie attracted by Shelley’s 2017 self-titled album, a sell-out crowd filled the intimate south side room anticipating a night of fine music. Tonight’s openers were Maiden Radio, an all female trio consisting of Cheyenne Marie Mize, Julia Purcell and Joan Shelley herself. It’s arguable that Shelley has been making music with her band for as long as under her own name, both self-releasing debuts in 2010. Purcell confesses that this is their first non-US tour in the ten years they’ve been together and you can’t help but feel a little regret that we’ve waited so long for them to explore beyond their home shores. Firmly rooted in classic country and Appalachian traditionals, it was a chance for Shelley to show another side of her musical talents with which many fans may be unfamiliar. Continue reading “Joan Shelley + Maiden Radio, The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 10th October 2018”
Philippe Bronchtein comes from Madison, in Nashville, Tennessee. This is his fourth full length album, but the first under his real name; before this, he was Hip Hatchet. Check out the track, ‘Sun Can’t Walk’ from Hip Hatchet’s 2011 album, “Men Who Share My Name’. You will hear a taster of Philippe’s appealing and honest sensitivity. This new album was recorded at 2-Track Mind in Portland Oregon, Phil’s bedroom, and The Adrift Hotel’s band cabin in Long Beach WA. With him, singing and playing keys are two musicians: Jason Montgomery on pedal steel and dobro, and Anna Hoone harmony vocals. Be prepared to be moved by a portrayal with insight into everyday life. Continue reading “Philippe Bronchtein “Me and the Moon” (Independent, 2018)”
For those who seek out excellent music in intimate surroundings the upstairs lounge in Aberdeen’s Blue Lamp is a place to check out. Tonight’s show, from the opening set by Scottish duo Doghouse Roses which was followed by almost two hours from the excellent Nathan Bell, proved that as venues and shows go they don’t come much better! For those not familiar with them, Doghouse Roses comprise Paul Tasker and Iona Macdonald who serve up, in their own words, “primarily folk music,” but that description doesn’t really do their art justice. Between McDonald’s powerfully expressive vocals and Tasker’s high-quality guitar playing, you have a very talented duo who set the scene wonderfully for what was to come later. Continue reading “Nathan Bell + Doghouse Roses, The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, 6th October 2018”
Always good to feature a great new UK band and Jaywalkers are definitely that. This is from their new album Time To Save the World, out on November 5th, and has a lovely video too. They’re also on tour in November. Go see.
So what am I supposed to tell you about Tom Petty that you’re not already aware of? And what is the point of this compilation to an Americana music fan who already has all the albums? It’s not going to be enough, I’m sure, to mention that’s it a sumptuous 4CD set, presented as a hardback book format, with a solid introductory essay and lots of great pictures. Each song has some notes on it mostly written by Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, who made the selections along with Petty’s longtime engineer/archivist Ryan Ulyate. Continue reading “Tom Petty “An American Treasure – 4CD Deluxe” (Reprise Records, 2018)”
Now in its 12th year the Glasgow Americana Festival is essentially a very concentrated dose of life affirming music delivered courtesy of local promoters, The Fallen Angels Club, who otherwise offer us locals regular spoonfuls of sugar throughout the year. Over five days and in various venues throughout the city around 25 acts converged, varying in style for sure but all rooting for roots music, that indefinable Americana we all talk about and which they all, in one way or other, delivered to their audiences. Continue reading “Glasgow Americana Festival, 3rd -7th October 2018”