Bill Callahan “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest” (Drag City, 2019)

Bill Callahan makes everything sound momentous – that dark growl of a baritone, reminiscent of Kurt Wagner, adds weight of course.  And then there’s the quietly, and intellectually, confessional side of his lyrics which means that the lyrics tend to drop like concrete blocks, cemented permanently in place before the next thought is paraded slyly … Continue reading “Bill Callahan “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest” (Drag City, 2019)”

New Bill Callahan album due June – UK dates too

Rejoice! Bill Callahan’s late-phase hot streak continues with the announcement of his first record since 2013, ‘Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest.’  After its predecessor ‘Dream River’, Callahan’s life went through some changes including marriage and children, but described the situation where afterwards it was  harder for him to find the place where the songs came, … Continue reading “New Bill Callahan album due June – UK dates too”

Bill Callahan confirmed as headliner for EOTR 2017

The battle between Green Man and End of the Road for the best americana festival vibe this year continues as Uncut report: “Bill Callahan has been announced as the final headliner for this year’s End Of The Road Festival. Other new additions to the bill include Slowdive, Japandroids and Pond. They join Father John Misty, Mac DeMarco, … Continue reading “Bill Callahan confirmed as headliner for EOTR 2017”

What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…

Here’s another voyage into the psyche of our writers and contributors in which we interrogate the (often) unfathomable reasons why we are all such junkies for this Americana stuff. This week self-confessed needle dropper Andrew Frolish documents his journey from the unfashionable to the deeply unfashionable (or fashionable to the uber fashionable depending on who … Continue reading “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…”

The “Godfather of Cosmic Americana” Michael Chapman is back!

Leaving you this weekend dear dear readers with news that the Leeds born so-called “Godfather of Cosmic Americana” is back with a new album ‘True North’ recorded with close ally Steve Gunn and which features pals Bridget St John and BJ Cole. Chapman has been championed by (or collaborated with) the likes of Hiss Golden … Continue reading “The “Godfather of Cosmic Americana” Michael Chapman is back!”

Silver Jews finally available to stream on Spotify

You can finally hear probably the finest lyricist alive today on Spotify (“In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection” – try that Ed Sheeran) and other streaming services in the UK as Drag City have finally released their entire catalogue bar Joanna Newsom (who once said that Spotify is the “banana of the music industry,” … Continue reading “Silver Jews finally available to stream on Spotify”

Virgin of the Birds “Secret Kids” (Song, By Toad Records, 2016)

Jon Rooney records are documents of how songs are captured at the moment of recording. I always suspect that the next time I hear the song it could be significantly different, and in this respect he’s like Howe Gelb. He shares the immediacy (but not quite the Bandcamp catalogue) of Car Seat Headrest, moving between … Continue reading “Virgin of the Birds “Secret Kids” (Song, By Toad Records, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: Laish

Danny Green, aka Laish, is set to release his third album Pendulum Swing on Talitres. A set of twelve songs that span the spectrum of gentle fingerpicked acoustic guitar ballads, through to more robust art-rock jams. Laish’s plaintive tenor – rich, deeply textured and affecting – takes centre stage as he sings honest, self-reflective songs … Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Laish”

Albert Af Ekenstam “Ashes” (Kning Disk, 2016)

Ashes is the debut album from Albert Af Ekenstam, a Swede who seems to have been in various bands prior to this including “post rock” instrumental band Tempel and who cites as influences Bon Iver and Mogwai. One can see the influence of both here, haunting soundscapes as heard on soundtracks such Les Revenants are … Continue reading “Albert Af Ekenstam “Ashes” (Kning Disk, 2016)”

Christian Kjellvander “A Village: Natural Light” (Tapete Records, 2016)

Christian Kjellvander has created quite a body of work. He’s acquired the aura and weight of a performer that has a catalogue that is to be admired. In short, he’s earned respect. He’s also honed and refined his craft and here again his dark narratives (somewhere between Tindersticks, Richard Buckner and latter period Nick Cave) … Continue reading “Christian Kjellvander “A Village: Natural Light” (Tapete Records, 2016)”