If you go down to the Deep Dark Woods today, you’d better not close your eyes as the Canadian band drop anchor on our fair shores next week for a series of dates in support of their latest album ‘Yarrow’ which is out now on Sx Shooter Records. The band, returning after a four-year hiatus, will be playing a number of shows up and down the UK including a London show at Bush Hall on May 3rd. They will also play two shows at the Kilkenny Roots Festival before a first-time appearance in Belfast at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. Continue reading “Deep Dark Woods arrive in UK next week for dates”
Les Salues Pleureurs are not as French as they might sound – as they are Robert Paul (Severed Limb) on vocals and guitar, and Sophie Loyer (Urban Voodoo Machine) on violin. Their approach is organic vinyl – this song, art of a double-A side limited edition vinyl only release (downloads are available) was recorded straight to quarter inch tape by Marco Nelson (Paul Weller, Primal Scream) at his all-analogue studio in Brixton. ‘Are You Loathsome Tonight’ has that original country feel to it – one-take, played live, no overdubs. Sounds great.
‘A World Away’ bursts out of the speakers sounding like another time and another place and all seems right in the world. Well, wrong, as it’s a refugee song… but you know what I mean. Old Crow Medicine Show are back – and this time there’s electric guitars! There’s the usual rollick and roll, too, but ‘Volunteer’ sparkles and shines with more urgency than the greatest band Bob Dylan never had in a long time. Recorded at the historic RCA Studio A and produced by man-of-the-moment Dave Cobb, there’s an ache in the soul of ‘Volunteer’ that never truly reconciles with the recklessness and rhythms of reels like the auld time ‘Shout Mountain Music’ and ‘Elzick’s Farewell’. Continue reading “Old Crow Medicine Show “Volunteer” (Columbia Nashville, 2018)”
Fingerpicking roots guitarist Amit Dattani has set the bar high for his debut release ‘Santiago’ which features some beautiful playing as well as some noteworthy songwriting. Opening with the title track, he sets the tone early on. This is going to be a folk guitarist’s album; soft sometimes hushed vocals sitting atop some complex picking. It’s as simple as that but the simplicity of the equation undervalues the overall sense of worth created by this work. Each song is a nugget in a seam of precious stuff – hand hewn and lovingly put together. Continue reading “Amit Dattani “Santiago” (Independent, 2018)”
Strange bedfellows are made in the western outpost of Bath, Somerset. It’s a small community, neatly split into three piles. The tourists, who come for the Georgian tea rooms and Roman spas, the students (Bath has two universities and several colleges) and the locals with their stout hearts and strong heads for scrumpy cider. Forget about the tourists, they don’t venture into Walcot – the ‘Artisan Quarter’ – after dark, but a characteristic feature of Bath’s premier good time bar and live music venue The Bell is the coming together of local middle-age rock ‘n’roll dinosaurs like this reviewer with the students, who hunt in packs out by the picnic tables. They are separate but united in their love of good music, which The Bell has developed a reputation for providing from far and wide down the years. Continue reading “Littlemen, The Bell Inn, Bath, 11th April 2018”
The latest video from the wonderful Kate Ellis accompanies a great song from her album Carve Me Out. Not only that but if you go on to her site here: https://www.kateellis.com/ibelieve there’s an interactive version with live Twitter updates from fans. It’s really worth a look.
Although it isn’t even the end of April yet, here at Americana UK, there’s already fairly widespread agreement that the whole of 2018 is unlikely to throw up a better album than Jerry Leger and The Situation’s new record, ‘Nonsense and Heartache.’ For someone who’s only just turned 33, Canadian singer-songwriter, Jerry Leger, has already enjoyed a musical career spanning some 13 years and 10 albums. Name-checked by none other than Ron Sexsmith as “one of the best songwriters I’ve heard in quite some time,” ‘Nonsense and Heartache’ came out earlier this year on Michael Timmins’ (of Cowboy Junkies fame) Latent Records label. Continue reading “Interview: Jerry Leger”
Possibly the loveliest band to ever exist Teenage Fanclub have announced a UK tour this October/November which sees them play Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London on the Songs From Teenage Fanclub: The Creation Records Years tour – the venues are small, so they will be playing three nights in every city, featuring tracks from their Creation Records era – The first from between 1991-1993, the second from between 1994-1997, and the third between 1998-2000. Continue reading “Teenage Fanclub: 12 nights, 4 cities – this autumn”
Well, it was five years yesterday since we lost the beautiful Richie Havens (Guardian Obituary). He was still working on new songs, some of which have never been given a formal CD release but are available in the usual places. Here’s one you might not have heard – from a children’s literacy project – a duet with Kris Kristofferson on Woody Guthrie’s ‘Grassy, Grass, Grass’. Enjoy.
Gris-De-Lin, or Grey Linen should you prefer to translate from the groovy Gallic into the plain English of Bridgeport, Dorset is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a sense of playful quirkiness evident on her hard-to-pin-down sound and artwork. New album ‘Sprung’ has an amusingly eclectic assortment of descriptors from our colleagues in the world of musical reviews which includes the likes of “skronky jazz and glitchy esoterica” (Uncut). Now, there’s no room in the AUK glossary for such interplanetary labels, but there’s no doubting the originality on show here or indeed the potential for honing a young British talent into something more tangible. Continue reading “Gris-De-Lin “Sprung” (BB Island, 2018)”