Mookie Brando & The Second Cousins “Do It In Joeville” (Independent, 2018)

Mookie Brando & The Second Cousins might just be the best Americana band in Hungary – to be honest we’re not that familiar with the Americana scene in Budapest but if there is a better band then they must be damn good. Because Mookie Brando (Toronto born Frank Zsigo) and his not so close relatives hit the sweet spot of ragged-vocalled roots-rock on this, their third album release. ‘Do it in Joeville‘ is a concept album of sorts, with the songs drawing out a series of characters and situations who are tenaciously carrying on in a town that’s not currently at its best. Continue reading “Mookie Brando & The Second Cousins “Do It In Joeville” (Independent, 2018)”

Phil Madeira “Providence” (Mercyland Records, 2018)

Nashville resident Phil Madeira is an almost perfect example of those “cats” John Sebastian sang about all those years ago. A multi instrumentalist, an in demand session musician, hit songwriter (for Keb’ Mo’, Alison Krauss and The Civil Wars among others) and producer, he’s probably best known as a member of Emmylou Harris’s Red Dirt band and more recently for having helmed (with Harris) two volumes of ‘Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us’, collections of faith based songs sung by several of his famous friends. Continue reading “Phil Madeira “Providence” (Mercyland Records, 2018)”

Sons of Bill “Firebird ’85” – Listen

The third single from their new album, ‘Oh God Ma’am‘, takes the Sons of Bill off in a spiritual direction.  Perhaps.  James Wilson has commented “I guess the song is technically “about” a construction worker having a strange redemptive daydream about getting off work. Or maybe he’s dead? Still not sure“.  We’re not sure either, but we do know we’re enjoying the darker edge of the new album.  And we also know that it’s good news that the Sons of Bill are touring the UK in August.

Mia and Jonah “Spin as One” (Independent, 2018)

‘Spin as One’ is Los Angeles based duo Mia Mustari and Jonah Blumstein’s fourth album and perhaps it is the confidence of a musical marriage of 15 years together that has allowed them to deliver such a confident and compelling listen. If there were any preconceived notions that this songwriting duo would offer up a gentle laid-back acoustic listen then the opening title track puts those thoughts on hold. Mia and Jonah have recruited able musical support to produce a full band sound with the strings of Alan Grubner and Stevie Destanislao’s insistent drums joining forces with Jonah’s harmonica for a joyously upbeat starter. Continue reading “Mia and Jonah “Spin as One” (Independent, 2018)”

The Americans (nice ones) arrive in UK for dates next week

We leave you this weekend dear reader with news that Los Angeles quartet The Americans are returning to Europe for a series of shows this summer including some high profile support slots in the UK with Eric Clapton at BST Hyde Park and The Gipsy Kings at Kew The Music in Kew Gardens and Cambridge Corn Exchange. They’ll also be playing a slot at Black Deer Festival and regional dates in Winchester, Leeds and Oxford. Continue reading “The Americans (nice ones) arrive in UK for dates next week”

Willie Nelson on border separations: “Christians everywhere should be up in arms”

If you forget the glimmer of hope from earlier in the week (which was not without its humour), it’s been another depressing week for the US and Willie Nelson has something to say about it. RS Country report that Nelson “has issued a statement on the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The country-music icon and Texas native ripped the Department of Justice’s policy under President Trump, calling it “outrageous.” Continue reading “Willie Nelson on border separations: “Christians everywhere should be up in arms””

Luke Tuchscherer “Pieces” (Clubhouse, 2018)

Once of Bedford and The Whybirds, now of New York and with his band the Penny Dreadfuls), Luke Tuchscherer has cooked up a gloriously unholy racket on his third album. Full of the sort of muscular heartland rock’n’roll that’s replete with hooks, chunky guitar work and big choruses, it’s a delight from start to finish. He sets out his stall from with off with the pin your ears back ‘Sudden Getaway’, moves on to ‘The MF Blues’, which is unabbreviated on the vocal, and driven by one of those riffs you’re sure you’ve heard before but actually haven’t. ‘Ain’t That What They Say’ brings the melody without sacrificing the muscle and features a blistering guitar solo. It’s not all full-on though as evidenced by the tender and reflective too ‘Ghosts’. Continue reading “Luke Tuchscherer “Pieces” (Clubhouse, 2018)”

Pick of the Political Pops: Wilbert Harrison “Let’s Stick Together”

This week we have noted with a strange combination of amusement and disbelief that the UK’s negotiating strategy regarding Brexit (yep – that again) continues to consist mainly of our glorious leaders throwing their toys out of the pram and stamping their petulant little feet (supposing that it is possible to stamp one’s feet in a pram). People from all over the political spectrum are divided over the issue and it did look at one point as if The Blues might implode under the pressure of self-righteousness. However Minister Prime Terry Might stepped in and poured oil on burning waters promising some of the rebellious little tykes all manner of concessions in order to keep the party together. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Wilbert Harrison “Let’s Stick Together””

Giant Sand + Patsy’s Rats, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 10th June 2018

Never a man to resist a whim, Howe Gelb has resurrected the band title he retired a few years back and re-recorded the first album which came out under the Giant Sand name, 1985’s ‘Valley of Rain’. The whys and wherefores for this are myriad perhaps but Gelb reasons that the original album suffered from being too clean, his Roland amp being one of the guilty culprits, preferring the final three songs he recorded for the album using an old Fender Tube amp (previously owned by Robbie Krieger, trivia fans). So, having secured an old 80’s Fender 30 amp late last year, Gelb set about recording ‘Return to The Valley of Rain’ and even managed to round up the original band to play on several of the songs. Job done, Giant Sand then set about a European tour to play the album live, tonight’s show the second last in the UK after a swirl around Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Continue reading “Giant Sand + Patsy’s Rats, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 10th June 2018”