Ellis Paul “The Storyteller’s Suitcase” (Rosella Records, 2019)

“I felt compelled to write about it. Three people dead – over what? A fucking statue.” Ellis Paul outlines in words that brook little ambiguity the drive behind his song ‘The Battle of Charlottesville’. The song is prompted by the tragic events of August 12th 2017 in his adopted home city, a white supremacist rally … Continue reading “Ellis Paul “The Storyteller’s Suitcase” (Rosella Records, 2019)”

Black Tar Roses “Rebels, Rogues and Outlaws” (Independent, 2019)

There is sometimes a danger of folk albums – and especially those labelled in sub-genres such as Dark Folk, as the release notes for this debut offering from ‘Black Tar Roses’ describe the band – to be a touch homogenous, with songs too standardised and samey to enjoy listening to as a whole album. Fortunately, … Continue reading “Black Tar Roses “Rebels, Rogues and Outlaws” (Independent, 2019)”

Video Premiere: Ellis Paul “The Battle Of Charlottesville”

Here’s a powerful and emotive song, and an equally strong video, from Ellis Paul which commemorates the death of Heather Heyer at the hands of a man who attended the infamous “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017.  It’s from his new album ‘The Storytellers Suitcase‘ out on September 6th.

Mike Gale “Beachhead Galaxy” (Farm Music, 2018)

‘Beachhead Galaxy’ is the latest solo album from Mike Gale (Co-Pilgrim).  It’s a dreamy, ethereal sounding piece which is fitting for the subject matter. Set in space, in the year 2412 where harmony across all lifeforms reigns and war is forbidden, the album’s focus is on how this all might change. A traveller from the … Continue reading “Mike Gale “Beachhead Galaxy” (Farm Music, 2018)”

Sam Baker “Horses and Stars” (Independent, 2019)

Coming 15 years after his debut album, ‘Mercy’, Sam Baker has released his first live album and ‘Horses and Stars’ is a corker of a record that captures everything that is great about his live performances. Recorded at the Imagine Event Center in Buffalo, NY in July 2018, Baker, in his own inimitable semi-spoken style, … Continue reading “Sam Baker “Horses and Stars” (Independent, 2019)”

Erin Durant “Islands” (Keeled Scales, 2019)

Erin Durant takes her craft seriously. On the road, if a venue doesn’t have her instrument of choice, then she brings her 232-pound piano with her. With this revelation in mind, would this be the first ever 21st century music review to reference Laurel & Hardy if this brought the ultimate in piano removals to … Continue reading “Erin Durant “Islands” (Keeled Scales, 2019)”

SummerTyne Americana Festival , Sage Gateshead, 19th – 21st July, 2019

Returning for its fourteenth year, one of the pioneers of the Americana festival scene continues its very relaxed mix of fun and music. When it started, the question was, “What is Americana?” but nowadays it is more,  “What isn’t Americana?” and certainly SummerTyne with its eclectic lineup suggests that if you have a vague connection … Continue reading “SummerTyne Americana Festival , Sage Gateshead, 19th – 21st July, 2019”

What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…

Here’s another voyage into the psyche of our writers and contributors in which we interrogate the (often) unfathomable reasons why we are all such junkies for this Americana stuff. This week self-confessed needle dropper Andrew Frolish documents his journey from the unfashionable to the deeply unfashionable (or fashionable to the uber fashionable depending on who … Continue reading “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…”

Jeffrey Halford and The Healers “West Towards South” (Floating Records, 2019)

This is the ninth album from Jeffrey Halford and the Healers. Halford was originally from Texas, but moved at an early age to California. He has been described as a soulful, blues-influenced storyteller, and does this album have stories. You’ll have to make up your own mind as to whether it is a series of … Continue reading “Jeffrey Halford and The Healers “West Towards South” (Floating Records, 2019)”

Laura Gibson, The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, 28th February 2019

Laura Gibson has been making music for 15 years now. During that time she has self-released a debut EP, collaborated with sound artist and composer Ethan Rose, worked with ballet and musical theatre groups and released five albums of carefully crafted songs that inhabits the overlapping spaces between modern alternative, folk and Americana music. It’s … Continue reading “Laura Gibson, The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, 28th February 2019”