Betsy Phillips “Like We’re Talking” (Independent, 2019)

In the 1970s cult science-fiction comedy novel ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, given the billions of planets floating around the universe, the description for Planet Earth is limited to two words: “mostly harmless”.  And, regrettably, “mostly harmless” could also apply to Nebraska-born singer-songwriter Betsy Phillips latest EP, ‘Like We’re Talking’.

Video: Phil Hooley “Come On Home”

Start your week with the lovely voice of Phil Hooley, full of character and depth.  The video for ‘Come On Home’ showcases all the players recording – these are precision performances and it’s great to see them at work. Inspiration came from a woman’s appeal to her sister who had been missing for fifteen years.  … Continue reading “Video: Phil Hooley “Come On Home””

“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.

The Wood Brothers “Kingdom In My Mind” (Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers, 2020)

The new album from the Wood Brothers has a lot to live up to. ‘Kingdom In My Mind’ is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated 2018 release ‘One Drop of Truth’. While it would have been easy for them to return to the same formula that lead them to success last time, the Brothers … Continue reading “The Wood Brothers “Kingdom In My Mind” (Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers, 2020)”

Paul Kelly “Songs From The South 1985 – 2019” (Cooking Vinyl, 2019)

It’s a point of pride for Australians that they don’t beat around the bush. So when it comes to reviewing ‘Songs From the South 1985-2019’, by one of that country’s greatest modern-day singer-songwriters,  you could maybe get away with just writing “this album is stunningly and consistently brilliant, go out and buy it today.” (That … Continue reading “Paul Kelly “Songs From The South 1985 – 2019” (Cooking Vinyl, 2019)”

E.G. Phillips “At Home At Sea” (Independent, 2019)

As a singer/songwriter it’s always considered an advantage to have a distinctive voice – but can a voice be a little too “distinctive”? You can argue that a very distinctive voice never harmed the sales of the likes of Tiny Tim, Tom Waits, Neil Young and many more – but it will often polarise opinion; … Continue reading “E.G. Phillips “At Home At Sea” (Independent, 2019)”

John Jenkins and the James Street Band “Looking for That American Dream” (Independent 2019)

Here is a notable and established band from Liverpool. The reliability of John Jenkins’ work is demonstrated in the title track ‘Looking for That American Dream’ which begins the record and captures the listener’s attention immediately with its references to ‘The American Song Book, John Denver and Dolly.’ You are in safe hands. Look out … Continue reading “John Jenkins and the James Street Band “Looking for That American Dream” (Independent 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”

Pick of the Political Pops: Phil Ochs “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”

This week saw the “celebrations” (?) or “commemorations” (?) of one hundred years since the end of the World War One. Obviously the big talking point was that Red Jez wore the wrong sort of coat or had on the wrong sized poppy at The Cenotaph. The unspeakable rogue. The fact that he is a … Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Phil Ochs “I Ain’t Marching Anymore””