Brent Cowles “How To Be Okay Alone” (Dine Alone Records, 2018)

The debut solo album from Brent Cowles, ‘How To Be Okay Alone’, follows two well-received records with his band, You, Me & Apollo. His personal narrative has included a strictly religious childhood, divorce by the age of just 19, the break-up of his band and homelessness. ‘How To Be Okay Alone’ was the question Cowles asked himself, scribbled in his notebook, following another relationship breakdown. It is a deeply personal record that covers the range of emotions from self-doubt, lonesomeness and despair to exhilarating joy. Continue reading “Brent Cowles “How To Be Okay Alone” (Dine Alone Records, 2018)”

Vive La Rose “For She Who Hangs the Moon” (Gestation Records, 2018)

‘For She Who Hangs the Moon’ is David Luximon-Herbert’s first full album release as Vive La Rose, his solo project that began with the well-received 2014 EP ‘Don’t Move, Don’t Speak’. Once again, this release showcases Luximon-Herbert’s distinctive, husky voice; his hushed vocal creates an emotional intimacy that serves these songs well. This is an album to lose yourself in, full of absorbing, dreamy soundscapes that would make a compelling cinematic soundtrack. Continue reading “Vive La Rose “For She Who Hangs the Moon” (Gestation Records, 2018)”

Interview: Jarrod Dickenson

The honey-voiced Jarrod Dickenson has toured extensively across the USA, Europe, the UK and Ireland. If you have been lucky enough to catch one of his performances, alongside his wife, Claire, then you will have been drawn in by the measured beauty and timeless quality of his songs. The precise storytelling and intimate interaction engage the listener effortlessly. Major label release, ‘Ready the Horses’, was critically acclaimed in 2017.  Its layered and richly textured songs are a natural progression from more acoustic previous work.  The tall, affable Texan with the distinctive voice is touring the UK once again during autumn 2018 and plans to return next year for headline gigs with new songs.  Americana UK’s Andrew Frolish caught up with Jarrod and Claire Dickenson for an in-depth chat about recording, touring and songwriting while they prepared to take to the stage in Norwich. Continue reading “Interview: Jarrod Dickenson”

Steve Forbert + Molly Armstrong, The Robinson Theatre, Cambridge, 24th October 2018

Some forty years after being labelled as the “new Dylan”with his debut album, ‘Alive on Arrival’, Steve Forbert remains a respected, much-loved troubadour. Although that early commercial success is long ago, Forbert has developed a cult following through consistently releasing high-quality albums, regular touring and engaging warmly with his fans. This is the last of three UK gigs before Forbert returns next year for a full tour. Each of these performances, in Oxford, London and Cambridge, is a one-off, with a different song selection and Forbert taking requests from the audience. Forbert has a huge back-catalogue to draw upon and, along with his great experience and confidence, this allows him to fashion a unique event for his audience. Continue reading “Steve Forbert + Molly Armstrong, The Robinson Theatre, Cambridge, 24th October 2018”

Longstay “Calling Me Home” (Goldrush Records, 2018)

Longstay are a confident country-rock act from Perth with a growing reputation in the Scottish Americana scene. After several years of gigging, Longstay already have plenty of experience and chemistry to draw upon and there is a sureness in their musical performances. Longstay’s accomplished debut album, ‘Calling Me Home’, is a convincing introduction. Continue reading “Longstay “Calling Me Home” (Goldrush Records, 2018)”

Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters “All Damn Day” (Eastwood Records, 2018)

The second full album from Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters is an enjoyable southern country rock romp, offering a varied selection of lively toe-tapping songs and melodic, reflective pieces. What holds it all together is Dittmeier’s authentic storytelling. These ten character-driven tales are packed with arresting details and bear repeated listening. The opening track ‘Love Me Like You Did’ starts and finishes with the vocal, drawing the listener in immediately and ensuring the focus is on the lyrics. The song’s narrator complains about his new lover: “She don’t understand Townes Van Zandt…She don’t know me like you did,” which seems to make an early statement about Dittmeier’s country credentials. Continue reading “Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters “All Damn Day” (Eastwood Records, 2018)”