The Good Lovelies + The Fortunate Ones, The Old Queens Head, Islington, 17th April 2019

St John’s, the capital of the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador, is actually nearer to London than to Nashville which might make one give pause for thought on whether the Atlantic is just, well, overrated. Both of tonight’s bands hail from that Canadian province and both are in a celebratory mood as it’s the last … Continue reading “The Good Lovelies + The Fortunate Ones, The Old Queens Head, Islington, 17th April 2019”

Dirty Dozen: Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire

If the Scots slang – which gives Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire’s “Swithering” its name – suggests any sort of indecisiveness at play, then it’s one that the band whole-heartedly embraced to help push the boundaries of what it felt capable of creating.  From the very beginning, this was a group of players eager … Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire”

Jo Schornikow “Secret Weapon” (Keeled Scales, 2019)

This album raised two questions – what are the furthest limits of Americana and how do you review music that is not inherently to your taste, but is likely to appeal to someone, somewhere?  Both these issues led to some interesting discussion with AUK headquarters.  Beware of investing in this debut offering if you think … Continue reading “Jo Schornikow “Secret Weapon” (Keeled Scales, 2019)”

Billard Blossom “Change Your Grip” (Independent, 2019)

Billard Blossom seem like a pretty okay group of fellas. They have a few videos posted on YouTube that feature the band playing out or working in their rehearsal room. From the available evidence, it seems like they’d be a good time if you stopped in for a beer and they just happened to be … Continue reading “Billard Blossom “Change Your Grip” (Independent, 2019)”

Interview: Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll has been making albums for nigh on two decades with a smile on his face and a knowing glint in his eye. A surveyor of people and situations, Carll writes songs that could have been written from the watchful eye of a barfly documenting the world around him. Like a Texan Todd Snider, Carll … Continue reading “Interview: Hayes Carll”

Rodney Crowell “Christmas Everywhere” (New West, 2018)

At last, a grown up Christmas album which acknowledges the conflicting demands of the season, how to weather the commercial blitzkrieg, keep the kids happy and keep oneself sane. Rodney Crowell’s Christmas album has been some years in the making with the man himself admitting that it’s not his favourite time of the year but … Continue reading “Rodney Crowell “Christmas Everywhere” (New West, 2018)”

Drew Morrison and the Darkwood “Electric-Notes Wild” (Storm Cloud Agency Records, 2018)

Electric-Notes Wild is the debut album by Drew Morrison and The Darkwood. The Scottish songwriter and his combo have been the house band at Country Soul Sessions in London’s Soho for over 5 years, performing with acts such as Rotifer, Paul McClure and The Local Heroes, Matthew Edwards and The Unfortunates, Morton Valence, Bob Collum and … Continue reading “Drew Morrison and the Darkwood “Electric-Notes Wild” (Storm Cloud Agency Records, 2018)”

Interview: BJ Barham of American Aquarium

BJ Barham is over in the UK for a short tour, with his band American Aquarium, showcasing tunes from his latest and greatest album, ‘Things Change.’ Mark Underwood of AUK sat down to talk to him before their Borderline show in London earlier this month, where they discussed – among other things – his experiences … Continue reading “Interview: BJ Barham of American Aquarium”

Interview: Jarrod Dickenson

The honey-voiced Jarrod Dickenson has toured extensively across the USA, Europe, the UK and Ireland. If you have been lucky enough to catch one of his performances, alongside his wife, Claire, then you will have been drawn in by the measured beauty and timeless quality of his songs. The precise storytelling and intimate interaction engage the listener … Continue reading “Interview: Jarrod Dickenson”

Paul Simon “In The Blue Light” (Sony Music, 2018)

Almost two years following 2016’s magnificent ‘Stranger to Stranger,’ Paul Simon announced he was retiring from the road before embarking on the appropriately named “Homeward Bound – the Farewell Tour.”  Simon’s thoughts may have been on the past when he stepped in the studio to work on what would become his 14th studio album, ‘In the … Continue reading “Paul Simon “In The Blue Light” (Sony Music, 2018)”