Amber Cross announces Ireland and UK tour for next month

We leave you this weekend dear reader with news that ascendant California-based Americana singer-songwriter Amber Cross has announced her debut Ireland & UK tour dates in April, in support of her widely praised third album ‘Savage on the Downhill’. It is a brave person that chooses to cross that channel next month too. Continue reading “Amber Cross announces Ireland and UK tour for next month”

Pete Gow “Here There’s No Sirens” (Clubhouse Records, 2019)

Pete Gow, veteran frontman of the acclaimed Case Hardin,  has recorded his first solo record ‘Here There’s No Sirens.’ Released on the same label as Case Hardin, Gow’s sound is a deliberate departure from the band’s usual fare. This album is stripped back, focused, and deeply personal. The songs are a mixture of an almost confessional style, with some character driven tracks and one good old fashioned story song, ‘Some Old Jacobite King’. Continue reading “Pete Gow “Here There’s No Sirens” (Clubhouse Records, 2019)”

Clockwork Carousel “Clockwork Carousel” (Tick Tock Records, 2018)

Who would have guessed it!  Americana is alive and well in the New Forest in the shape of Clockwork Carousel who have just released their self-titled debut album.  Normally at this stage – and certainly for a band that relatively few will have heard of – the humble reviewer has listened to the record a number of times, done some background reading and then gleaned all that he/she can from the press release blurb that almost invariably accompanies the music when it is submitted for review. Continue reading “Clockwork Carousel “Clockwork Carousel” (Tick Tock Records, 2018)”

Pick of the Political Pops: Chairmen of the Board “Give Me Just A Little More Time”

Oliver Cromwell (April 1653): It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue and defiled by your practice of every vice. Ye are a factious crew and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches and would, like Esau, sell your country for a mess of pottage and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Chairmen of the Board “Give Me Just A Little More Time””

Jeremy & The Harlequins, Water Rats, London, 9th March 2019

At the end of their first UK tour New York City’s Jeremy & The Harlequins made the first of their two back-to-back London stops at the Water Rats, with an appearance planned for the BBC’s Andrew Marr show thrown in as an extra. This series of firsts left them undaunted as it was a supremely unfazed band that took to the stage – a rock and roll vision in denim and leather jackets, with lead singer Jeremy Fury coolly hidden behind aviator shades. This is the last gang in town ethos re-born: a band of individuals who’s on-stage presence, the grouping for harmony vocals, the flamboyant playing  and guitar duelling define them as more than the sum of their parts. Continue reading “Jeremy & The Harlequins, Water Rats, London, 9th March 2019”

Track Premiere: Eric Bolander “Closer To That Flame”

The darkness is creeping all over my soul / hold me closer to that flame” sings Eric Bolander on this song taken from his album ‘The Wind‘ (due out March 29th).  For Eric Bolander the darkness is real – when he explains about the album it’s clear that for all its big country-come-folk-rock sounds it draws on a lot of negative experiences.  For example the song ‘Oh Lord‘ which relates closely “I had a cousin who was burned alive in a car. It was marked as an accident. He was caught up in drugs.  From what I understand, he owed money to the wrong people“. Continue reading “Track Premiere: Eric Bolander “Closer To That Flame””

Love Trap “Rosie” (Wild Honey Records, 2019)

Love Trap from Turin, Italy are a super-duo of sorts formed by Stefano Isaia and Marco Spigariol from the remnants of a number of different groups (Movie Star Junkies, Lame and Krano to name a few) and ‘Rosie‘ is their debut release under the Love Trap moniker. Combining elements of country and Americana musicianship in the traditional band sense alongside subtle pop sensibilities within the vocal melodies and harmonies the group have crafted a unique sound which blends the two together seamlessly. Continue reading “Love Trap “Rosie” (Wild Honey Records, 2019)”

Video: David Rodriguez “The Ballad Of The Snow Leopard And The Tanqueray Cowboy”

For the retro slot this week we have the late David Rodriguez, a man who should be better known, and a great song perhaps best known for being covered by Lyle Lovett on ‘Step Inside This House’.  This is a live take from 1981.  Have a good weekend everyone.

J.S. Ondara “Tales of America” (Verve, 2019)

The grand but elusive idea of the ‘American Dream’ is one of the USA’s gifts to the world. J.S. Ondara is, perhaps, the very personification of this ideal but his darkly poetic lyrics and tender confessionals expose the doubts, flaws and difficulties in chasing the myth, just like the pain to be found in the search for love. This is a timely piece of art, exploring the conflict of an outsider, with a deep affection for its culture and musical history, finding his place in modern America. At times joyous and at times bleak and haunting, Ondara’s inspiring debut album tells the story of his determination to pursue his dream of becoming a musician in a land far from home. Continue reading “J.S. Ondara “Tales of America” (Verve, 2019)”

Grain Electric, The Peer Hat, Manchester, 16th March 2019

Stuart Warburton and Jamie Fildes previously worked together in the 1980s as members of the excellent Rhythmaires. When that band broke up, each went their separate ways; Fildes enjoying some minor success with the band Buchanan (who had an 8/10 album review by AUK back in 2010) and Warburton performing as a solo artist. Now they have reunited as the joint songwriters and front men of the newly formed Grain Electric. The Peer Hat, located in Manchester’s artistic Northern Quarter, is an established venue for new bands to find their feet, so it was a natural choice for the band to play only their second gig. Manchester folk are famously not unfamiliar with a drop of rain but this weekend’s deluge made even the hardiest of Mancunians think twice before pulling that old waterproof out of the cupboard. Continue reading “Grain Electric, The Peer Hat, Manchester, 16th March 2019”