Introducing ‘The Twang Factor’ – AUK’s showcase for new artists

Another reminder about this one everyone! At AUK we are firm believers in supporting new talent, especially in the current difficult environment. We are therefore putting our money where our mouth is by introducing ‘The Twang Factor’, a showcase for new, unknown and emerging artists. Each week we will feature a different new artist and publish a clip of them performing, along with some information about them. This is your chance to perform to a large, and hopefully appreciative audience. So what are you waiting for? Continue reading “Introducing ‘The Twang Factor’ – AUK’s showcase for new artists”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Ljubinko Zivkovic

Welcome to our weekly feature in which AUK writers in turn make their selections for the ‘top 10 americana albums ever’. When all have contributed we will then draw up a shortlist and ask them to vote to decide the overall AUK writers top 10. This week Netherlands based writer Ljubinko Zivkovic takes up the baton and guides us down the back straight with a scintillating run of albums, a number of which are definite podium contenders when this particular race is finally run. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Ljubinko Zivkovic”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Viv Fish

Our quest to find the best americana album ever continues with another compelling list, this time from AUK writer Viv Fish. It’s been a fascinating journey so far and if nothing else, has demonstrated the wide range of musical tastes that our writers possess. Just a reminder that when all the writers have chipped in with their selections, a shortlist will be drawn up and they will vote from that list for the prestigious accolade (it says here) of AUK’s best americana album ever. Over to you Viv… Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Viv Fish”

Classic Americana Albums: Butch Hancock “West Texas Waltzes and Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes” (Rainlight Records, 1978)

When we think of legendary Texas band, The Flatlanders, we tend to regard them as the band that launched the careers of Texas music icons Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. The third member of the band, Butch Hancock sometimes gets overlooked by comparison. Given that Hancock wrote four of the songs on the Flatlanders fabled ‘One More Road’ album, whereas Gilmore wrote three and a further co-write and Ely wrote none, it’s fair to say that Hancock’s part in that celebrated band has sometimes been understated. After the initial demise of The Flatlanders, Hancock continued to write songs throughout the 1970s which were used by both Jerry Jeff Walker and Joe Ely. In fact, Hancock contributed eleven songs to Ely’s first three albums. Nevertheless, it was Hancock’s own debut LP ‘West Texas Waltzes & Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes’ that singled him out as a truly original and innovative artist. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Butch Hancock “West Texas Waltzes and Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes” (Rainlight Records, 1978)”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Guy Lincoln

At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘top 10 americana albums ever’. Over the last few months our writers have been going through an internal monologue of constant torment in trying to narrow the whole history of americana down to just ten albums. When every writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. After a brief summer hiatus, we are back with an eclectic list from AUK writer Guy Lincoln. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Guy Lincoln”

Ruston Kelly “Shape & Destroy” (Rounder Records, 2020)

With his 2018 debut album ‘Dying Star’, Ruston Kelly announced himself as a serious talent. AUK’s Jim Finnie described that release as “A really solid debut album by an artist destined for greater things”. The record was largely built around Kelly’s own personal struggles with drug addiction, alcoholism, and his mental health. His new album ‘Shape & Destroy’ can be viewed as much as a companion piece, as it is follow-up. The themes are similar but where ‘Dying Star’ documented Kelly’s problems, on ‘Shape & Destroy’ he navigates his way through them. It is a journey which has been transformative, although Kelly acknowledges that, although he is now on the right path, there have been some trips along the way and that he has not yet completed the journey. Continue reading “Ruston Kelly “Shape & Destroy” (Rounder Records, 2020)”

Jerry Joseph “The Beautiful Madness” (Décor Records, 2020)

When Patterson Hood of The Drive-By Truckers describes you as “long one of my favourite songwriters, one of the absolute best of our generation” people are going to sit up and take notice and so it is that this album has already attracted a great deal of interest, even prior to its release. Hood produced the album and the Truckers provide the backing to Joseph’s songs further adding to the anticipation. So, who is Jerry Joseph, and does the album live up to expectations? Continue reading “Jerry Joseph “The Beautiful Madness” (Décor Records, 2020)”

Don’t stop the music: How one small venue is fighting back against Covid-19

The concerns raised for the future of small venues has, for music lovers, been one of the most depressing aspects of the whole Covid-19 situation. Now one small venue in Manchester is fighting back and has been running a series of physically distanced, outdoor gigs in their beer garden. The Rose and Monkey Hotel is located in Manchester’s cultural Northern Quarter and I went along to talk with owner Chris Slater and Jezebel Music Presents promoter Mike Nuttall. Continue reading “Don’t stop the music: How one small venue is fighting back against Covid-19”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Alasdair Fotheringham

After a week off to catch our breath, AUK’s quest to find the ’10 best americana albums ever’ returns this week with the selections of Alasdair Fotheringham.  Each week a different AUK writer offers his or herself up to scrutiny by presenting their personal selections of the top 10. When all have had their say (and you try shutting them up), the most frequently chosen albums will be compiled into a shortlist on which we will all vote to produce the ultimate AUK writers top 10 albums ever. But you knew all that didn’t you? – and if you didn’t, where the hell have you been? Take it away Alasdair! Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Alasdair Fotheringham”

10 americana fishing songs

Fishing is the second most popular outdoor recreational activity in America (behind running). It is estimated that around 50 million Americans fish regularly. Despite being associated with the older generation, 60% of American anglers are under 45 and 22% are under 18. In many parts of rural America, fishing is an integral part of the culture. It therefore seems appropriate to reflect that in this series. So, fetch your fold-out chair, pack your beer and sandwiches and cast into this little lot. Continue reading “10 americana fishing songs”