AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Martin Johnson

At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the coming weeks and months each AUK writer will in turn, present their own personal selections. When each writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in … Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Martin Johnson”

Bonny Light Horseman + Sam Airey, The Lexington, London, 1st February 2020

 Remember when Mary Travers told Peter and Paul, “To hell with this, I’m through with this crap. Jerry gave me a call and I’m going to go sing with the Grateful Dead“?  Bonny Light Horseman surely do, and they brought that alternate reality to fruition in The Lexington for their first ever headlining gig in … Continue reading “Bonny Light Horseman + Sam Airey, The Lexington, London, 1st February 2020”

Carter Sampson Trio + Sean Duggan, St Pancras Old Church, 30th October 2019

A Thursday night in the capital and there’s an embarrassment of riches on offer for the fan of Americana music. Slightly to the north of us, Ana Egge is playing at the Green Note in Camden, Caroline Spence is just up the road in Islington and Tyler Ramsey, former lead guitar player for Band of … Continue reading “Carter Sampson Trio + Sean Duggan, St Pancras Old Church, 30th October 2019”

Scott Matthews + Ady Johnson, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, 4th October 2018.

Whilst heckling of a complimentary nature is probably welcomed by most performers, when the name John Martyn popped up during Scott Matthews’ set there was a mildly perturbing shout of, “You’re better than he is….cos he’s dead!” from the crowd. Welcome back to Portsmouth Mr Matthews, welcome back. With that tumbleweed of a comment however … Continue reading “Scott Matthews + Ady Johnson, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, 4th October 2018.”

Ady Johnson “London Songs” (Independent, 2018)

It isn’t often that a record reminds the listener of Ray Davies, Mark Linkous and Tom Waits, as this one does. It has the lyrical sensibility of Davies, the clatter and oomph of Waits at his most extravagant and it has the shifts in tone, the juxtaposition of the abrasive and the beautiful as mastered … Continue reading “Ady Johnson “London Songs” (Independent, 2018)”

Home Life: Michael Weston King

For nigh on thirty years UK singer-songwriter Michael Weston King has been forging himself a well-respected lofty position on the roots scene with his solo work, the now defunct country rockers The Good Sons, and most recently alongside his musical and life partner Lou Dalgleish in My Darling Clementine. Drawing inspiration from the classic Texan … Continue reading “Home Life: Michael Weston King”

James Dixon “Trespassing Light” (Independent, 2020)

James Dixon is clearly very proud of his heritage. He’s grown up in the South West of England with blues and folk music, found rock music for himself and, since the age of 5 when he first strummed his axe, he has been a scholar of the sound. Since that tender age he has studied … Continue reading “James Dixon “Trespassing Light” (Independent, 2020)”

AmericanA-Z – Buffy Sainte-Marie

Beverly Sainte-Marie was born in February 1941 on the Cree nation’s Piapot 75 Reserve in Saskatchewan, Canada.  As a youngster, she fell victim to the hideously shameful Sixties Scoop – a catch-all name for a series of policies, originating in the early fifties, enacted by provincial child welfare authorities which saw thousands of Indigenous children … Continue reading “AmericanA-Z – Buffy Sainte-Marie”

Forgotten Artists – Willis Alan Ramsey

Willis Alan Ramsey was not only in at the start of the Austin music scene of the ‘70s but he was also one of the first of the new wave of singer-songwriters, subsequently tagged as progressive country, to get a contract with a major label. His first self-titled album, released in 1972, contained eleven self-written … Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Willis Alan Ramsey”

10 songs showing how the human spirit deals with illness

Before free and easy access to doctors and medical care, many people struggled to understand disease. This is where folk and popular songs of the day played an important role in public awareness. The birth of the recording industry in the ’20s meant that the reliance on song for medical information was captured for posterity. … Continue reading “10 songs showing how the human spirit deals with illness”