Billy Bragg “Bridges Not Walls” (Cooking Vinyl, 2017)

2017 was a tumultuous year, Brexit and Trump providing an endless spectacle of rancour and discord, right wingers on the march, reason stifled by media barons (aside from those accused of printing “fake news”).  Billy Bragg, a voice of conscience since day one, pondered, “What’s a singer -songwriter to do when events keep challenging the … Continue reading “Billy Bragg “Bridges Not Walls” (Cooking Vinyl, 2017)”

Billy Bragg builds bridges not walls – new album out next month

Billy Bragg, currently in North America for the first leg of his ‘Bridges Not Walls’ tour, has released his new single Saffiyah Smiles which you can see the video to below.  The song is a rousing Hammond-drenched country soul shuffle written by Bragg and was inspired by the bravery of Saffiyah Khan who smiled benignly in the face of the incensed leader of … Continue reading “Billy Bragg builds bridges not walls – new album out next month”

SummerTyne Americana Festival , Sage Gateshead, 19th – 21st July, 2019

Returning for its fourteenth year, one of the pioneers of the Americana festival scene continues its very relaxed mix of fun and music. When it started, the question was, “What is Americana?” but nowadays it is more,  “What isn’t Americana?” and certainly SummerTyne with its eclectic lineup suggests that if you have a vague connection … Continue reading “SummerTyne Americana Festival , Sage Gateshead, 19th – 21st July, 2019”

Izzy Heltai “Only Yesterday” (Sleeper Cave Records, 2019)

Izzy Heltai is an indie-folk, singer-songwriter from Northampton, Massachusetts. His new four-track EP ‘Only Yesterday’ tells tales of love and loss that perhaps belie his 22 years. Arrangements on this record are deliberately simple with layering of guitar, piano, trumpet and fiddle kept to a minimum: Heltai wanted to explore how uncomplicated instrumentation can support … Continue reading “Izzy Heltai “Only Yesterday” (Sleeper Cave Records, 2019)”

Sean McConnell “Secondhand Smoke” (Big Picnic Records, 2019)

It is probably too early in the year to think about what your album of the year is, but it would be safe to say that Sean McConnell’s new album ‘Secondhand Smoke’ will probably end up at the top of the list. The thirteen track album is pretty basic in terms of its production, everything recorded … Continue reading “Sean McConnell “Secondhand Smoke” (Big Picnic Records, 2019)”

Brent Cowles “How To Be Okay Alone” (Dine Alone Records, 2018)

The debut solo album from Brent Cowles, ‘How To Be Okay Alone’, follows two well-received records with his band, You, Me & Apollo. His personal narrative has included a strictly religious childhood, divorce by the age of just 19, the break-up of his band and homelessness. ‘How To Be Okay Alone’ was the question Cowles … Continue reading “Brent Cowles “How To Be Okay Alone” (Dine Alone Records, 2018)”

UK Americana Gig Guide

Welcome to the new Americana UK gig guide. You can search by artist name, town or venue – if you want gigs just in Liverpool for instance, just start typing ‘Liver’ in the search box below. For more information on an artist, just click on their name. If you’re a promoter/artist and want your UK gig listed, … Continue reading “UK Americana Gig Guide”

Nicholson & Randell “Candyman” – Listen

Nicholson & Randell are Lea Nicholson (concertina) and Naomi Randell (guitar and lead vocals) and they hail out of the dark heart of the Cambridgeshire fen-lands.  And they bring us this take on the Grateful Dead’s take on ‘Candyman‘ – and rather tasty it is too.  Americana-UK caught them as the opener to C W  … Continue reading “Nicholson & Randell “Candyman” – Listen”

Ben Bostick “Hellfire” (Independent, 2018)

Easy to dismiss at first listen as the kind of low-grade dirty country rock mastered and simultaneously lampooned by Jeff Bridges in his 2009 Oscar-winning performance as ‘Bad’ Blake in Crazy Heart, ‘Hellfire’ should not be so quickly thrown to the dive bar wolves. Just as Blake, with the help of T Bone Burnett and … Continue reading “Ben Bostick “Hellfire” (Independent, 2018)”