Interview: Rose Cousins

Prince Edward Island, just off the coast of Nova Scotia, for a small place sure does punch above its weight in terms of musical talent. Rose Cousins, a native of that beautiful island now based on the mainland, released one of last year’s finest albums. A delicate, thoughtful, adventurous and at times fragile album, ‘Natural Conclusion‘ sees the folk pop songstress throw off the shackles and head into a project driven by notions of danger, vulnerability and creative exploration.  Americana-UK speaks to Cousins ahead of a short run of UK dates supporting John Smith. Continue reading “Interview: Rose Cousins”

Interview: William Fitzsimmons

Nashville based William Fitzsimmons has had a pretty rough ride these last couple of years. A relationship breakdown in the middle of recording a new record paid more than a personal toll on the songwriter. Creatively, unable to live with the finished record for obvious reasons Fitzsimmons decided to leave it on the cutting room floor, team up with a new producer and set about recording a brand new record. The resulting work, ‘Mission Bell‘ is a startling, at times heartbreaking, yet ultimately cathartic piece of work that warrants serious investigation. Americana-UK delves a little deeper. Continue reading “Interview: William Fitzsimmons”

Interview: Matthew Logan Vasquez

A collection of songwriters holed up on the outskirts of Santa Fe in a ramshackle house, fuelled by alcohol, camaraderie and hot tubs, Glorietta sounds like some kind of creative utopian dream.  Delta Spirit’s Matthew Logan Vasquez, alongside buddies and contemporaries David Ramirez, Noah Gundersen, Adrian Quesada, Kelsey Wilson and Jason Robert Blum have recorded a truly wonderful album together that manages to combine beautifully all their collective talents without ever losing that overriding sense of fun.  Americana-UK speaks to Delta Spirit’s Mathew Logan Vasquez about ego management,  the art of collective songwriting, and basic logistics of making a project like this actually happen.  Continue reading “Interview: Matthew Logan Vasquez”

Bennett Wilson Poole set to embark on run of UK dates

Bennett Wilson Poole, the songwriting ‘supergroup’ consisting of Americana-UK faves Danny Wilson, Robin Bennett  and Tony Poole (Starry Eyed and Laughing), producer extraordinaire and king of the electric twelve-string Rickenbacker, embark on fall/winter run of UK dates to promote their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, ‘Bennett Wilson Poole‘ out now on Aurora Records.

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Van Life: Eilen Jewell & Jason Beek

Boise, Idaho’s Eilen Jewell and her husband (and drummer!) Jason Beek have been touring the US and Europe for a number of years, bringing their blend of country, americana, and old-time gospel to a loyal following both sides of the pond. Last year’s ‘Down Hearted Blues’ saw Jewell unearthing a number of old-time blues songs and giving them both a polish and a place in the modern musical world. Her band, including the inimitable Jerry Miller, a guitarist who resides at the very summit when it comes to GREAT guitar players, are seasoned road dogs these days. Americana-UK caught up with Eilen and Jason on a recent visit to these shores to find out how life on four wheels really is and found out CDs isn’t the only thing they carry with them!  Continue reading “Van Life: Eilen Jewell & Jason Beek”

Van Life: Radiator King

Boston’s Adam Silvestri (AKA Radiator King) is the type of musician this feature was pretty much designed to  accommodate. A road dog, traveller, essentially a musical explorer both sonically and literally,  Silvestri spends many many hours on the road, clicking up the miles and cranking up the toons.  His latest album, ‘A Hollow Triumph After All,’ is awash with vivid imagery, Waits-esque swagger and fuelled by  a unflinching punk spirit, its therefore unsurprising his glovebox is full of gems. Americana-UK catches up with  the now New York-based trobadour ahead of another US tour. Continue reading “Van Life: Radiator King”

Interview: Dietmar Leibecke

You can find gold in the most unlikely of places if you look hard enough. Now, Oberhausen, a quiet industrial backwater in the Ruhr valley a few miles from the metropolitan splendour of Dusseldorf, wouldn’t be the first place you would look for an amazing two day americana and roots festival.  Well, it turns out it is THE place to look as for the third year running the magnificent Static Roots Festival graces the town’s Zentrum Altenberg, a converted zinc factory and for two days in July home of some of the genre’s real gems.  AUK took time out to speak to the festival’s curator and  insatiable  supporter of americana music, Dietmar Leibecke, to talk about what is fast becoming a ‘must attend’ event.  Continue reading “Interview: Dietmar Leibecke”

Interview: The Vagaband

Long-established roots stalwarts The Vagaband’s third album, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ came out to great praise earlier this year with this very site loving the album’s “rollicking mix of Dylan and Ronnie Lane like Romany swirls, full-bodied and city sullied dramas and just plain old good fashioned songs”.   AUK’s Nic Rigby caught up with the band’s leader and main songwriter, Jose McGill, at his Norwich home to talk about the album and the band’s place in the Americana genre.  Continue reading “Interview: The Vagaband”

Interview: Kyle Craft

Few records hit you square between the eyes like ‘Full Circle Nightmare‘ the wonderful new album from Portland-based Kyle Craft. A veritable beast of a record drawing influences from the likes of Bowie, Lennon – christ, I can even hear Steve Harley – ‘Full Circle Nightmare‘ is a strident, swaggering and utterly brilliant take on a broken heart and one that leaves the heart racing and the mind alive.  Recorded in Portland with The Decemberist’s Chris Funk in the producer hot seat, Craft has left behind the simplicity and straight-ahead nature of his debut and delivered something altogether more bold and fresh.   Released on Sub Pop ahead of Craft’s first UK shows later this month, AUK caught up with the singer-songwriter. Continue reading “Interview: Kyle Craft”

Interview: Jon Dee Graham

Austin legend Jon Dee Graham makes his first visit to the UK in nearly ten years in May.  The one-time, go-to guitar slinger for likes of Alejandro Escovedo (who he played with in The True Believers for years), John Doe, even making an appearance on a Ry Cooder session, Graham has gone on to earn his place amongst the Texan songwriting greats in a twenty-year solo career.  A lovable giant of a man, a veritable beast of a songsmith, Graham’s observations on life are poignant, at times brash, but always delivered from the heart. His latest mini-album, ‘Knoxville Skyline’ (Decor) runs a gamut of styles from barroom stomp of ‘Things Might Turn Out Right‘  to a glorious  Fontaine-esque, ‘Dan Stuart’s Blues.’  AUK caught up with Graham to chat about the album, his son, William Harries Graham, who accompanies his father on the dates – and how much he was looking forward to returning to UK.  Continue reading “Interview: Jon Dee Graham”