Dolly Parton gives $1Million to Coronavirus research

The Country music legend that is Dolly Parton has a long history of charitable generosity – her Imagination Library for example has been responsible for providing more than 130million books to children.  As a side shoot from that endeavour – and as an assistance to relieving the boredom of children during the current lockdown – Ms Parton is launching a YouTube channel called ‘Goodnight With Dolly‘ which will feature readings of classic stories – starting with ‘The Little Engine That Could.‘   There’s even a little singing at the end – well, we are a music website after all. Continue reading “Dolly Parton gives $1Million to Coronavirus research”

Audrey & Hugh “Sisterman” (Independent, 2020)

The duo is an abiding force in Americana music and, more recently, male/female pairings have come very much to the fore – the Civil Wars (before their split), Shovels and Rope, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, The Handsome Family and many more. The latest addition to these ranks may well be singer-songwriters Audrey MacAlpine and Hugh Trimble, operating under the stunningly original moniker of Audrey and Hugh! Continue reading “Audrey & Hugh “Sisterman” (Independent, 2020)”

Video: Mackenzie Shivers “The Canyon”

The visually stunning landscapes in ‘The Canyon’ are a good match for the soaring voice of Mackenzie Shivers.  Directed by Ross Vedder, the video features Shivers trying to out-pace a real snowstorm in the Colorado Mountains in a 1969 Chevy Malibu.  Shivers says: “We filmed this video where I wrote the song – in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The song is about moving forward, escaping the past, and drowning in something other than sorrow (in this case, the majesty of Mother Earth).   Continue reading “Video: Mackenzie Shivers “The Canyon””

Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger dead at 52

Fountains of Wayne haven’t been mentioned on AUK for many years mainly because of their longterm hiatus from recording after recording one of the greatest folk-pop records of all time ‘Sky Full of Holes’ so it’s devastating to report (and late in the day sorry, we have only just heard) that singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger has died at the age of 52 after being diagnosed with coronavirus. Continue reading “Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger dead at 52”

Forgotten Artists – The Subdudes

Few bands in this day and age can claim to be truly unique but The Subdudes may have a better claim than most. Their music is a curious blend of folk, country, gospel and blues flavoured with New Orleans R&B and Cajun swamp rock; when their eponymous first album arrived in 1989 it was like a breeze blowing through the bayou, you could almost taste the Louisiana air. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – The Subdudes”

Kim Richey “A Long Way Back: The Songs of Glimmer” (Yep Roc, 2020)

Kim Richey’s ‘A Long Way Back: The Songs of Glimmer’ is a 20th-anniversary edition of her 1999 album ‘Glimmer’. And here’s the dilemma: should this album be reviewed as a comparison to the original? Or should it be reviewed on its own merits, without reference to the mother lode? After all, they are the same songs, recorded by the original artist, albeit, as she says, “reinterpreted”. Well, no matter, it is a fine album and the decision to re-do the songs more than justified. Continue reading “Kim Richey “A Long Way Back: The Songs of Glimmer” (Yep Roc, 2020)”

Video: Craig Greenberg “All the Hate in the World”

This is a melodic piano-driven song from New York-based Craig Greenberg.  A political song, it was written as a response to the election of President Trump.  Greenberg explains: “I wrote the song in 2016 and it started out from a personal perspective, but it quickly morphed into a political song about the rise of a certain leader of the free world and the overall general amount of hate that seems to be in high supply these days. It also alludes to people who are able to put on blinders to it all. As much as I try to remain optimistic, sometimes I wish I could be one of those people…”  Greenberg’s new album will be released soon.

Songs for the apocalypse: Josh Rouse “Streetlights”

Back in 2005, Josh Rouse released an album called ‘Nashville’ which along with its predecessor ‘1972’ (great year) many consider to be the greatest musical achievements of his life – laidback almost dreamlike in its production, it was one of those albums for me that I could just listen to on rotation over and over again (and I did, much to the irritation of my then partner).  While it’s difficult to highlight a single track, ‘Streetlights’ still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up – just listen to that production. According to the YouTube comments underneath it, this is at least one person’s “most favorite song on the planet”.

Anna Lynch “Apples In The Fall” EP (SJ21 Music, 2020)

It’s been seven years since Anna Lynch released her debut album (little heard but first-rate) and returns with this poignant EP steeped in American rurality. A wanderer around her country, her roots in the apple growing Sonoma County in Northern California are referenced in the title track, where she returns from her sojourns to find change, the old apple picking traditions and buildings replaced by grape harvests and the wine industry. As on all these tracks, Lynch’s voice is centre prominent, supported by her acoustic. Continue reading “Anna Lynch “Apples In The Fall” EP (SJ21 Music, 2020)”