The Dead South “Illusion & Doubt” (DevilDuck, 2018)

Canada is a major home of Americana, but not perhaps where you would look to find bluegrass. The Dead South are firmly established as a self described folk-bluegrass outfit, and are finally bringing their second album to the UK. Their basic cello/acoustic/mandolin/banjo set up is enhanced on record by layering and strings, with tempos and … Continue reading “The Dead South “Illusion & Doubt” (DevilDuck, 2018)”

South By Southwest Festival 2018, Austin, Texas

The annual jamboree that is Austin’s South by Southwest Festival plows on with over two thousand artists descending on the town for a week long binge and that’s just the music. With film, gaming and politics all well served alongside a bewildering variety of showcases from well known acts to those just starting out on … Continue reading “South By Southwest Festival 2018, Austin, Texas”

Dirty Dozen: The Death South

They wear white shirts and black suspenders, black pants and travellers’ hats. They sing about murderous, estranged spouses and runaway lover cousins in a boot-stomping acoustic configuration that includes banjo, mandolin, cello and guitar, some whistles, hoots and hollerin’, and finger snappin’. Sometimes their fans dress up like them too and dance and sing the … Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Death South”

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”

RJ Chesney “Amateur Revolution” (Independent, 2019)

From the moment RJ Chesney and his band of assorted Los Angelinos and Norwegians clatter into the rockabillied country rock of ‘Splendors Of This Earth’ it’s evident that ‘Amateur Revolution’ is not going to be the most polished album to grace the decks this month. It’s all the better for that as the loose-limbed feel … Continue reading “RJ Chesney “Amateur Revolution” (Independent, 2019)”

AmericanA to Z – Carolina Chocolate Drops

It’s easy to think that the Carolina Chocolate Drops were all about “reclaiming the banjo” and taking back a strand of American vernacular music of the 19th and early 20th centuries that had been culturally appropriated.  And, despite the band members protestations to the contrary  in interviews there is surely something to that – for … Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Carolina Chocolate Drops”

AmericanaFest UK 2019 Conference Showcase preview – part four

The AMAUK conference is now into its fourth year and one of the highlights is the two nights of showcases which take place before the awards ceremony featuring the best of americana talent, both homegrown and from around the world. At five venues across Hackney, all within walking distance and for the price of one … Continue reading “AmericanaFest UK 2019 Conference Showcase preview – part four”

Once Great Estate “Battles” – Listen

This track from Once Great Estate’s eponymous release manages to mix a Southern Rock feel with that slightly unearthly sound we call Southern Gothic with lyrics that could have been robbed out from Led Zeppelin demo’s “there’s a cold wind from the North / and has come to raise the dead / It’s taken all … Continue reading “Once Great Estate “Battles” – Listen”

Americana UK writers pick their albums of 2018

Once upon a time we used to do a “Top 10” list of our favourite stuff from the last year, but we used to all fall out, on several occasions it came to blows and three ex-AUK staff are doing life sentences for killing other writers purely for their taste. So we moved to a … Continue reading “Americana UK writers pick their albums of 2018”

Curse of Lono + Izzy Walsh, Borderline, London. 6th December 2018

With over 15 years of history going back to when Felix Bechtolsheimer was playing as Hey Negrita, there’s a great deal of experience in Curse Of Lono yet they seem genuinely and pleasingly surprised at the sudden surge in popularity they have had in the last 18 months. Their latest album, their second, ‘As I … Continue reading “Curse of Lono + Izzy Walsh, Borderline, London. 6th December 2018”