Gillian Nicola “Dried Flowers” (Independent, 2019)

Gillian Nicola is a fledgling recording artist though apparently performing since she was 13. ‘Dried Flowers’ is her first full-length album though there have been two previous E.Ps, ‘No Place to Call’ from 2016 and ‘Chasing Winds’ from 2013. In fact, the final track of the former, ‘Stay’, could well be a standout in her career … Continue reading “Gillian Nicola “Dried Flowers” (Independent, 2019)”

Interview: Ian Craft of The Howlin’ Brothers

Formed in 2005, The Howlin’ Brothers are a 3 piece ole’ time bluegrass and country band based in Nashville, Tennessee. They consist of Jared Green who sings lead vocal and plays acoustic guitar, Dan Swan plays upright bass and Ian Craft who sings lead vocal and plays fiddle, mandolin, banjo and the bass drum. My … Continue reading “Interview: Ian Craft of The Howlin’ Brothers”

Jess Klein “Back To My Green” (Blue Rose Records, 2019)

Just as the generations have always offered up explosions of outstanding peer collectives down the ages,  so it seems that lately there has been an outbreak of gifted female americana singer-songwriters. Not that Jess Klein is exactly hot off the press – her career spans nearly two decades. She does, however, have an uncanny knack … Continue reading “Jess Klein “Back To My Green” (Blue Rose Records, 2019)”

Dave Desmelik with an Army of Love “Childhood Battles” (Independent, 2018)

As a music reviewer, one strives to approach each release dispassionately. However, on occasion it is nigh on impossible to separate an album from the story behind it. This is one such record. First, the personnel: Dave Desmelik is the journeyman songwriter and musician who has written and recorded all the material herein. The songs feature … Continue reading “Dave Desmelik with an Army of Love “Childhood Battles” (Independent, 2018)”

First names for Black Deer’s 2019 line-up announced

The first names have been announced this morning for the americana and country festival Black Deer’s 2019 line up, and there are some belters on there. In a victory for equestrians, South Califonia’s Band of Horses have been confirmed as the first headliner, with other artists announced including Australian roots-rockers the John Butler Trio, Northumberland’s … Continue reading “First names for Black Deer’s 2019 line-up announced”

American Aquarium + Anthony D’Amato, The Louisiana, Bristol, 30th October 2018

Last time Anthony D’Amato toured he was supporting Ziggy Marley as a last minute addition. Winning over a crowd cheering “Ziggy, Ziggy” and expecting the dreadlocked man to walk on stage was not easy. Tonight, however, it’s a whole different ballgame. D’Amato was on the bill this time to open for American Aquarium, so the … Continue reading “American Aquarium + Anthony D’Amato, The Louisiana, Bristol, 30th October 2018”

Amy Helm “This Too Shall Light” (Yep Roc, 2018)

‘This Too Shall Light‘ is the second album under her own name, but Amy Helm’s music goes back someway longer as a founder member of Ollabelle, and as a backing musician in the Midnight Ramble Band.  Yes, that Helm.  For this album Amy Helm has teamed with Joe Henry as the producer to make a richly … Continue reading “Amy Helm “This Too Shall Light” (Yep Roc, 2018)”

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)”

Will Hoge “My American Dream” (EDLO/Thirty Tigers 2018)

‘My American Dream’ is the new collection of songs from Nashville singer, songwriter and musician Will Hoge: 29 minutes and eight songs over which he vents his spleen at the state of his home nation. Someone once said that a message with imagery is poetry, a message without imagery is propaganda. There is no doubt … Continue reading “Will Hoge “My American Dream” (EDLO/Thirty Tigers 2018)”