We leave you this weekend dear reader with a clip (filmed in portrait, the humanity of it…) of 2019 UK Americana Award Winner Brandi Carlile’s new song ‘Cowgirls’ which she played at California’s Pacific Amphitheatre earlier this week. In the song she focuses on various targets including the male-dominated music business and the NRA. As she sings, “I don’t believe in wealth and excess and I have had debt the size of Texas, but I didn’t follow my dreams to dump my money in your slot machine.” Amen to that. Have a good one.
It comes as no surprise to discover that some of Canadian singer-songwriter Barzin’s music from his four previous albums has been used in films and on TV. The five tracks on this EP all have that rich, atmospheric depth that’s made to accompany reflective moments or big landscapes. That’s not to sell it short in any way, as together with his backing musicians he has created masterpieces of melancholy, exquisitely layered and performed until they become something to luxuriate in and enjoy. Barzin’s beautiful quiet vocals really come to the fore on these live recordings, aching with resignation and barely suppressed pain. Continue reading “Barzin “Studio 13 Session Live At Revolution Recordings” (Monotreme Records, 2019)”
‘From Another World’ is Jim Lauderdale’s, wait for it.. thirty-second album release. It is an astonishing accomplishment. Since releasing his first solo album 1991 he has released an album almost every year and sometimes more (there were three in 2013). Other artists with nigh on thirty-year recording careers take up much less shelf space with their back catalogues. And how many times have you perused the recording output of long-established artists lamenting that they haven’t made a really good album for years? The corollary of course is the much-respected songwriter who pumps out albums a little too regularly when an honest reflection might acknowledge that ever two or three records might condense into one that could have been a classic. So, hats off and three cheers for Jim Lauderdale for ‘From Another World’ – it’s consistently magnificent from start to finish; 12 original songs and forty-six minutes of top quality listening pleasure. Continue reading “Jim Lauderdale “From Another World” (Yep Roc, 2019)”
Hidden under the East Stand of Stamford Bridge stadium, the home of Chelsea Football Club, is Under the Bridge, a music venue that rivals the very best that London has to offer. The stadium of course has seen both triumphic and disastrous sporting events over the years but on this Thursday evening the visiting team were The War and Treaty and the result was only heading in one direction – an undeniably triumphant debut UK performance. In footballing terms this would have been a thrashing. Continue reading “The War And Treaty, Under The Bridge, London, 11th July 2019”
Tonight’s gig marks the launch of Ida Mae’s debut full-length album, ‘Chasing Lights’, produced by UK West Country-based guru Ethan Johns. The Norwich husband and wife pair, Christopher Turpin and Stephanie Jean Ward, now live in Nashville but have penned the album’s material while split between Holloway, North London and touring in Mississippi. Indeed, North American touring has dominated their recent time with the duo racking up an epic 30,000 miles epic across the USA and Canada. Continue reading “Ida Mae, Kings Head, Dalston, London, 11th July 2019”
Our Pops-Master Mr Villers is taking a break at the moment so no witty commentary sorry but following Trump’s sideways move into out and out fascism this week at that rally, this particular track from Tracy Chapman’s excellent ‘New Beginning’ album from 1995 seemed appropriate: “Who stole your heart who took it away, Knowing that without it you can’t live? Who took away the part so essential to the whole, Left you a hollow body, Skin and bone? What robber, what thief, who stole your heart and the key?”
The lovely man who is singer-songwriter Joshua Radin has announced his new studio album ‘Here, Right Now’, which will be released on 4th October 2019 via his new label home, Nettwerk. He’s shared the album’s title track which you can hear below, featuring vocals from Maria Taylor (Azure Ray). Continue reading “Joshua Radin announces new album, European dates”
One thing that reviewing for AUK has taught me is that there are any number of great female vocalists out there. Carly Dow is one such and her album ‘Comet’ is beautifully sung from beginning to end. Dow is based in Manitoba and this is her second release after 2015’s, ‘Ingrained’. ‘Comet’ is apparently the first to use a group of musicians, and it has to be said that they serve her well. From what I have heard of her earlier material this is a move from pared down and minimal to a fuller sound. If the prevailing mood is one of subtle mid-tempo then each track has its own little instrumental highlight. Her Banjo is often to the fore; there’s a nice bass motif at the start of, ‘Like Coyotes’ and the Accordion distinguishes itself on, ‘Cut and Run’. There are instrumental contributions everywhere that reward close listening. Continue reading “Carly Dow “Comet” (Independent, 2019)”
And who, you might ask, is the Moon King? Owen Tromans’ new single sounds like the stuff of legend, and in a way it is. Not a mythological figure though, the Moon King is a reference to the castle building Bavarian monarch Ludwig II and the song is the story of his life – and death – through the eyes of one of his servants. Continue reading “Track Premiere : Owen Tromans “Burying The Moon King””
We’re heading back to 2003 for this week’s retro slot and a track from the great album ‘2.30am‘ by Kevin Montgomery. It’s high time he came back for a UK tour but in the meantime this should send you rocking nicely into the weekend. Have a good one everyone.