The Avett Brothers “Closer Than Together” (American/Republic, 2019)

Prior to its release, Seth Avett laid out a mission statement for the Avett Brothers’ 10th full-length album by way of a four-paragraph letter. In it, he opines that “the last thing the world needs is another piece of sociopolitical commentary,” before going on to explain why some of the tracks on the album seem to break with the band’s tried-and-true formula and veer in that direction. He concludes the letter with the observation that “the Avett Brothers will probably never make a sociopolitical record. But if we did, it might sound something like this”. Continue reading “The Avett Brothers “Closer Than Together” (American/Republic, 2019)”

AmericanA to Z – Alison Krauss (and Union Station)

In the first run through the alphabet of Americana we focused on some artists who weren’t particularly big names. For the start of this pass at the A to Z we are looking at someone with 27 Grammy Awards and a stack of gold and platinum records. Alison Krauss started recording with Union Station in 1987 at the age of 16. Initially she enjoyed patchy success with her early singles and albums. The 1995 compilation ‘Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection’ was her breakthrough, with The Foundations ‘Baby, Now That I’ve Found You’ and ‘When You Say Nothing at All’, originally a hit for Keith Whitley pushing the album to the upper reaches of the country charts. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Alison Krauss (and Union Station)”

Horace Holloway “Tin Foil Stars” (Dirtleg Records, 2019)

‘Tin Foil Stars ‘ is the debut five track EP by Florida based Horace Holloway, the recording alias of Jeffery Morrison, and a very promising debut it is too. Featuring strong support from players including Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown), Neil Franz (Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris) and Brett Williams (Mighty Joe Plum), the EP is characterised by strong song writing, often introspective but with a positive take reflected in mostly up tempo and up beat arrangements, which are at their strongest when augmented on the opening track ‘King of Diamonds‘ by Morrison himself on harmonica, by sideman Mark Robertson-Tessi who plays very tasty mandolin on ‘Paper Heroes’, and by pedal steel player Neil Flanz. Continue reading “Horace Holloway “Tin Foil Stars” (Dirtleg Records, 2019)”

Midnight Vesta “Complicated Pony” – Listen

Toronto’s Midnight Vesta have a new single ‘Complicated Pony’ out, which is a lead in to their new album.  Along with the rest of the album it was recorded in a mammoth ten-day session at the guitarist Collin’s childhood home in Calabogie, Ontario.  Coffee, rewrites, computer crashes and a gorgeous blending of harmonising vocals and a beautiful classic folk-rock arrangement led to today’s featured song. Continue reading “Midnight Vesta “Complicated Pony” – Listen”

Watch YouTube’s new Johnny Cash documentary

YouTube Originals have begun to stream the new documentary  ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’, which is a 90-minute film directed by Emmy- and Grammy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny and which includes commentary from Emmylou Harris and Bruce Springsteen along with members of the Cash family, including his daughter Rosanne Cash and son John Carter Cash. RS Country have a nice piece up on it here, or you can jump straight to the film below if you have an hour and a half to spare.

Andrea Baker “Wild In The Hollow” (Independent, 2019)

If you want to hear of honesty through one person and their music, then ‘Wild In The Hollow’ would be a great place to start. This record bleeds truth and brings you right back to the basics of this world. Built through counselling sessions, conversations that came about in difficult fashion, and travelling around the north-west of America meeting new people, this record comes to us from the very heart of  Seattle Singer/Songwriter Andrea Baker. The whole record feels very natural, portraying the nature of the North West. Continue reading “Andrea Baker “Wild In The Hollow” (Independent, 2019)”

Jeremy Johnson “Insecuriosity” (Independent, 2019)

If you saw the album’s cover and then just heard ‘A Song For Agnes’, ‘Unrelenting’ and ‘The King And The Thief’, the first three tracks of Jeremy Johnson’s debut studio album ‘Insecuriosity’ you’d think here was a traditional English folk troubadour following in the storytelling footsteps of the likes of Nick Drake, Richard Thompson, Ralph McTell and Clifford T Ward – even the titles sound like folk songs. However, when you get to the fourth track on the album ‘I Roam’, everything changes – the album throws the listener a curveball and there’s suddenly a funky bass intro, drums and a distinctly pop feel to the track. This continues with ‘Runaway Train’ which features drums, bass and electric guitar and ‘Predictable’ another track with a pop sensibility. Continue reading “Jeremy Johnson “Insecuriosity” (Independent, 2019)”

Video: Beans on Toast “England, I Love You”

A bonus and beautifully animated video for you today which was released on October 31st, the day we were meant to be leaving the EU (version 2). ‘England, I Love You’ sees Beans cast us back to Summer 2019 and the very day Boris Johnson moved into Downing Street; a day that also hit the history books as one of the hottest days in London on record. But how do you remember it?  You can catch him on tour around the UK this and next month. All the dates are here.

Fallon Cush “Stranger Things Have Happened” (Independent, 2019)

The title of  ‘Stranger Things Have Happened’, the fifth album by Sydney- based power pop/Americana act Fallon Cush, is very apt – this record very nearly didn’t happen. Singer-songwriter Steve Smith, the brains behind the band, has admitted that after finishing their last long-player, 2017’s ‘Morning’, which was fraught with difficulties, he thought that it was the end for them. However, against all odds, they’re back and on the anthemic opener ‘Burn’, they’re in fine form, with big country-rock guitars, warm organ and a killer chorus. Continue reading “Fallon Cush “Stranger Things Have Happened” (Independent, 2019)”