The Mining Co. “Three Kings” (PinDrop Records, 2019)

Irish born singer/songwriter Michael Gallagher is back with his second release of the year, the Christmas themed EP ‘Three Kings’’.  We reviewed his full length album ‘Frontier’ earlier in the year, describing it as “a gently, intelligently romantic record”, and ‘Three Kings’ is very much more of the same, but with added festive flavour. Continue reading “The Mining Co. “Three Kings” (PinDrop Records, 2019)”

AmericanA to Z – Emmylou Harris

As a renowned singer, songwriter and musician, Emmylou Harris will no doubt need little or no introduction. Harris is, without doubt, one of the all-time greats. Her contribution to music over the years is summed up magnificently in the notes accompanying her 2005 compilation album ‘The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways’ as “a cornerstone of the country-rock genre, who led country music back to its roots, who was a trailblazer for female musical collaborations, who prefigured the resurgence of bluegrass, and who became a key artist of the Americana movement”. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Emmylou Harris”

Karine Polwart, The Barbican, London, 27th November 2019

Karine Polwart came to The Barbican to showcase her latest album ‘Scottish Songbook’ which consists of re-imagined songs by Scottish pop artists – using the term pop quite loosely – of the last fifty years. The album (available on Vinyl, CD and, yes, even cassette, at all good Merch stalls) came out of a show organised as part of the National Museum of Scotland’s exhibition ‘Rip it up: The Story of Scottish Pop’ and features eleven tracks – these all appeared at this gig, expanded to include another nine songs making the gig the Deluxe Edition of the album. Continue reading “Karine Polwart, The Barbican, London, 27th November 2019”

Drew Danburry “Danburry 2003 – 2018” (Independent, 2019)

When a super prolific songwriter has to cull their catalogue for a career compilation, leaving most of their carefully fashioned pieces on an effective second class pile, it must irk. Drew Danburry’s task of reducing his 400+ songlist to just 25 tracks must have been a true labour of love. The only real criteria would be to give an overview of his sound to potential new listeners, and presumably (and hopefully) make it accessible, because Danburry is diverse, disparate and often wilfully challenging. Continue reading “Drew Danburry “Danburry 2003 – 2018” (Independent, 2019)”

The Restoration “You Know What to Do” – Listen

The Restoration released the album ‘West‘ a few weeks ago, and today’s Track ‘You Know What to Do‘ is the lead song on the album.  And from the first notes it is clear that The Restoration are not just another folk-influenced roots-rock band.  ‘West’ is a concept album that tries to untangle the dysfunctional family background of  The Restoration’s frontman Daniel Machado’s father.  Continue reading “The Restoration “You Know What to Do” – Listen”

May Erlewine “Second Sight” (Earthwork, 2019)

Deep within the rustbelt, May Erlewine has written her 20th release to date bringing another slice of Big Rapids to the international stage. A multi-instrumentalist with soul, the daughter of Allmusic founder Michael Erlewine, and a member of the Earthwork Music Collective, May is all about independent Michigan. The rustbelt is often overlooked as a source of Americana, but with artists like Bob Seeger and Jason Molina drawling and twanging the industrial blues, it certainly deserves more attention. Continue reading “May Erlewine “Second Sight” (Earthwork, 2019)”

Video Premiere: Stephen Fearing “Someone Else’s Shoes”

From his new album ‘The Unconquerable Past‘, out now and which we liked a lot here at AUK Towers – check out our review here – this is Stephen Fearing with a heartfelt plea for tolerance.  He’s on tour in January/February – dates below the video – and shouldn’t be missed.

Continue reading “Video Premiere: Stephen Fearing “Someone Else’s Shoes””

Lawrie Duckworth “Wonderful Terrible Things” (Independent, 2019)

Lawrie Duckworth debuts his ‘Wonderful Terrible Things’ as an eccentric purveyor of unashamedly dated, swashbuckling yarns, delivered with a blend of the Kinks breezy Albion, alongside hints of the type of foreboding Americana found on non-PC acts such as Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Theatre of Dreams. The dark satire throughout is as obvious as the metaphorical allusion, that is to say, nothing is as it seems. Continue reading “Lawrie Duckworth “Wonderful Terrible Things” (Independent, 2019)”

The Local Honeys announce UK winter dates

From the rolling hills of the Bluegrass and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Kentucky duo The Local Honeys featuring Montana Hobbs on vocals, guitar and banjo, and Linda Jean Stokley on vocals, guitar and fiddle, have announced UK dates for January and February 2020, including two shows at the Celtic Connections festival. Continue reading “The Local Honeys announce UK winter dates”

Book Review – Sheree Homer “Under The Influence of Classic Country” (McFarland, 2019)

Anyone interested in the history of country music, and its wider influence on this music we call Americana, would do well to check out Sheree Homer’s excellent new book “Under the Influence of Classic Country”. Subtitled “Profiles of 36 Performers of the 1940s to Today” the author has taken a close look at some of the great artists of the Classic Country era (1940s to early 1970s) as well as acknowledging the revivalists currently keeping this music alive. Drawing on extensive original interviews with some of the artists themselves, their family members, friends and associates, as well as the use of well-researched archive material, it’s an affectionate look at some of the finest musicians from this genre, along with snapshots of their lives on the road and in the studios. Effectively these are mini-biographies; as the title says, “profiles” of significant and influential artists. Continue reading “Book Review – Sheree Homer “Under The Influence of Classic Country” (McFarland, 2019)”