Fresh from touring with The Eagles, Chicago, and most recently The Doobie Brothers, it’s fair to say JD & The Straight Shot are taking their Americana message further afield than most. The band have just released their new album, Good Luck And Good Night, and just completed a UK tour with the aforementioned Doobies. Americana-UK caches up with guitar player Marc Copely and asks what’s currently lighting their musical fires in the splitter bus.
Portland, Oregon’s Blitzen Trapper have been producing delicately crafted albums for over a decade, charting their own distinct musical course and building a sizable fan base along the way. Wild And Reckless, the band’s ninth studio album, is both adventurous in sound and scope, taking songs initially written for a stage production into the studio to offer a fascinating take on American life. Americana-UK speaks to frontman Eric Earley about stage productions, murder ballads and the song-writing process. Continue reading “Interview: Blitzen Trapper”
A few years back, stumbling into The Great Eastern, a salubrious pub at the bottom of Trafalgar Street in the heart of Brighton’s North Laines, my ears were met by Hank Williams’ unmistakable tones emanating from the end of the room. There, stood in front of two record decks were two innocuous looking blokes, smiles as wide as the Mississippi, flicking through a pile of vinyl. Tony Sexton, AKA Shamblin Sexton and Senor Mick, together under the banner of Whiskey Preachin, have been bringing the country to the people of East Sussex and serving up the grits ‘n’ gravy for last four years whilst slowly making their way through the 300 odd whiskeys behind the bar at The Eastern. Their trademark posters, beautifully designed by Chris Sick – essentially the third member of the gang – cannot fail to catch your eyes as you wander around town. It’s an impressive feat and one that warms the cockles like a swift nip of Elijah Craig. I hook up with Shamblin to find out more. Continue reading “Interview: Shamblin Sexton”
Whenever I think of life on the road as a touring musician I inevitably think of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and those three goodie-laden coaches named after their occupants. Inside, no doubt, the fridges were full to capacity with beers and wine, the bunks were laden with goose feathered quilts, wafts of pheasant and cranberries escaping from the cooking galley with every conceivable need taken care of. Sadly, for every ELP there are a million road warriors out there on the highways and byways living an altogether different van life. Continue reading “Van Life: Wild Ponies”
A chance encounter with the track Runaway Devil, an instantly addictive freewheelin’ guitar-led gem that literally jumped out of the speakers like some kind of flannelled maniac, led me to the London-based four-piece House Above The Sea. I soon discovered that this is a band that can both kick like a mule sonically yet charm your socks off with beautifully entwined dual vocals and a real poetic approach to songwriting. I really needed to investigate further. Five Hours North, their debut album, is out at the end of October so I took the chance to chat with the band about guitar tones, inspirations and their love of ‘alt-country’. Continue reading “Interview: House Above The Sun”
Settling into a short run of European shows, I managed to catch a quick chat with Michael Nau, the Maryland singer-songwriter who, on the back of a new album and most recently a 7-track EP, makes a short visit to these shores this month. Following 2016’s Mowing, a sonically captivating piece of work where the songs, stripped and bare at first gradually colour whilst bathing in a hazy, captivating psychedelic hue, Nau has followed it up with ‘Some Twist’, an equally beguiling record – both in sound and content. I ask Nau about the recording process as, to my ears, the overall sound and feel of these records has as much importance as the songs in the whole process. Continue reading “Interview: Michael Nau”