Mossy Kilcher “Northwind Calling” (Tompkins Square, 2020)

Over the last few years labels like Light in the Attic, Finders Keepers and Tompkins Square have created a small industry based around the re-issue of long lost, forgotten and overlooked recordings by usually equally obscure artists. There have been some genuine finds, but most have failed to reach out beyond academic interest and a small obscurest and collectors’ market. By definition, such releases are a finite resource in terms of both quantity and quality. The well will inevitably, sooner or later, run dry. However, the evidence of this re-issue, suggests that there is still some crystal-clear water waiting to be drawn up. Continue reading “Mossy Kilcher “Northwind Calling” (Tompkins Square, 2020)”

The Song Remains: Charlie Daniels 1936-2020

The death of Charlie Daniels almost inevitably was met with various headlines and tributes centred around his best-known song ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’. Released in 1979, the song marked a noticeably clear crossroads in his career. He went on to be a major mainstream country crossover star whose music became evermore dull, predictable and undistinguished. However, had his passing occurred prematurely, before the advent of his big hit, he would be remembered in a quite different way. Continue reading “The Song Remains: Charlie Daniels 1936-2020”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Jonathan Aird

At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘top 10 americana albums ever’. Over the last few weeks our writers have been going through the mental anguish of 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.  This time we turn to AUK deputy editor Jonathan Aird for our weekly shot of americana greatness: Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Jonathan Aird”

10 Americana songs with a boxing theme

Listening to the excellent new Matt Hill album ‘Savage Pilgrims’ I was particularly struck by the track ‘Bendigo’ which tells the story of a 19th century Nottinghamshire prizefighter. It set me thinking about boxing-themed songs and how I’d not really heard such a good one in some while. So here I present to you ten more boxing-themed songs. Continue reading “10 Americana songs with a boxing theme”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Andrew Frolish

At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the last few weeks our writers have been going through the mental anguish of 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.  This week’s tortured soul is Andrew Frolish. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Andrew Frolish”

AUK’s Top Ten Americana Albums Ever: Paul Kerr

At AUK we are now well into our 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 order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. This week AUK stalwart and institution Paul Kerr steps up to the podium.

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Forgotten Artists – Freakwater

Of all the bands that were tagged with the ‘alternative-country’ label, for Freakwater, more than any other, it fitted least well. Their music was set in the traditions of Appalachian folk, bluegrass and old-time country into which they injected a dose of modern energy and a healthy application of recalcitrance. The instrumentation was largely acoustic and, unlike the majority of the ‘alt-country’ bands that emerged in the late 80s and early 90s, Freakwater were fronted by two women. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Freakwater”

AUK’s Top 10 Americana albums ever: Peter Churchill

Mary Chapin Carpenter Tragically Loses A Loved One | Country Rebel

At AUK we are now well into our 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 order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. So whilst we put ourselves through this hell, you get to sit back and admire or despair as suits your own tastes. This week’s tortured soul is Peter Churchill. Continue reading “AUK’s Top 10 Americana albums ever: Peter Churchill”

Richard Davies & The Dissidents “Human Traffic” (Bucketful of Brains, 2020)

Richard Davies’ career so far has seen him largely occupying a place in the background. He has done session work for various artists but is better known as guitarist for Brit-Popsters Tiny Monroe and more recently as part of the excellent London-based Americana act The Snakes. With ‘Human Traffic’ Davies steps out of the shadows to showcase his songwriting and vocal talents as well as his trademark guitar. The result begs the question as to why it’s taken him so long? as he has produced a very accomplished album of catchy garage rock and power-pop. Continue reading “Richard Davies & The Dissidents “Human Traffic” (Bucketful of Brains, 2020)”

AmericanA to Z: Golden Smog

Golden Smog is a loose and occasional association of musicians centring around various members of The Jayhawks, Wilco and Soul Asylum. On occasion they have also been joined by members of The Replacements, Big Star and The Honeydogs. The only members to play on all their recordings are guitarist Kraig Johnson from the lesser-known Run Westy Run, Gary Louris and Marc Perlman from The Jayhawks and Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy. To all intents and purposes, they are what we might have referred to in the past as a ‘supergroup’. But we would not use such crude terminology today, would we? Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Golden Smog”