Book review: Iain Matthews “Thro’ My Eyes” (Route Publishing, 2018)

If there was an award for the role of Godfather of Americana in the UK, serious consideration would have to go to Iain Matthews as a deserving nominee. An early member of Fairport Convention, recruited for his fine voice and ability to front a band, he was an early advocate of American singer songwriters like … Continue reading “Book review: Iain Matthews “Thro’ My Eyes” (Route Publishing, 2018)”

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

“What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Richard Phillips

It’s time, folks, for another instalment of our feature in which the writers of AUK attempt to put into words their personal reflections of what our genre is and why they love it so much. This time Richard Phillips, lover of cheap records and twelve-string guitars tells us where it’s at musically speaking.

Signe Marie Rustad “When Words Flew Freely” (Die With Your Boots On Records, 2019)

‘Big in Norway’ might not seem like the kind of ringing endorsement that will have you reaching for your wallet to buy Signe Marie Rustad’s new album ‘When Words Flew Freely’; but honestly, you know what? It should. The Norwegians and their burgeoning Americana fan base clearly have an eye (and ear) for talent. Rustad … Continue reading “Signe Marie Rustad “When Words Flew Freely” (Die With Your Boots On Records, 2019)”

Sarah Lee Langford “Two Hearted Rounder” (Cornelius Chapel Records, 2019)

Hopefully one of the benefits of a review is that it can tell you something you don’t know – usually about the artist, the subject matter or the musicians involved.  In this case I am going to struggle.  Having applied my usual due diligence I have failed to come up with much – not even … Continue reading “Sarah Lee Langford “Two Hearted Rounder” (Cornelius Chapel Records, 2019)”

Frankie Lee + Native Harrow, Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, London, 4th September, 2019

Frankie Lee isn’t your average Americana singer-songwriter: his latest job involved the herding of 20 sheep on a small farm in Afton. For the recording of his latest album he retreated to his hometown of Stillwater and found that the house he grew up in was still available. In a backwoods setting and resembling a … Continue reading “Frankie Lee + Native Harrow, Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, London, 4th September, 2019”

Studio Life – Kathy Zimmer

Moving from the small town in Nebraska in which she was raised to the bustling New York City was the making of Kathy Zimmer. The music of her rural youth has combined with more sophisticated, urban sounds and orchestration to create something new and different: a genre that Zimmer herself describes as ‘cosmopolitan folk’. This … Continue reading “Studio Life – Kathy Zimmer”

Gretchen Pleuss “Daughter Of The Broader Skies” (Sun Pedal Recordings, 2019)

There’s something of Joni Mitchell in Gretchen Pleuss, which of course can only be a good thing. It’s there in her phrasing, her time signatures, her subject matter and indeed Pleuss’ music is something of a throwback to that golden age of singer-songwriters in the late Sixties and early Seventies, but were she transported back … Continue reading “Gretchen Pleuss “Daughter Of The Broader Skies” (Sun Pedal Recordings, 2019)”

Interview: Phil Lee on how he finally saddled up with Crazy Horse

It’s taken a hell of a long time for Phil Lee to get in the saddle and corral his Crazy Horse buddies, Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot, into the studio to record an album with him. His online notes for his 2013 album ‘The Fall And Further Decline Of The Mighty King Of Love’ state, … Continue reading “Interview: Phil Lee on how he finally saddled up with Crazy Horse”

Ana Egge and Ben Kunder, The Green Note, Camden, 25th October 2018

Ana Egge may be a name known to relatively few people, but she’s now released no fewer than ten albums since her debut back in 1997. During that period she’s also managed to collaborate with the Stray Birds (Pensylvania’s finest acoustic roots trio) and Danish folk rockers, The Sentimentals, as well as recording with the … Continue reading “Ana Egge and Ben Kunder, The Green Note, Camden, 25th October 2018”