AmericanA to Z – Nanci Griffith

With twenty albums under her belt Nanci Griffith is by no means an unknown artist; singing what she classes a folkabilly, she writes with a confessional style, and with her voice, which is made for folk music. It is a perfect combination for a true Americana singer. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Nanci Griffith”

Anton & The Colts “No End of the Line” (Independent, 2018)

After four years of gigging around Scotland, Anton & The Colts decided to release their debut album last September. ‘No End of the Line’ draws on various influences with bluesy guitar riffs and a bit of soul but truly sticks to their Americana angle. The 4 piece line up of Anton O’Donnell, Roscoe Wilson, John Dunlop, and Dillon Haldane have certainly provided a tight sounding set of tracks, from a band that has played a lot of live gigs and it shows with the musicians easily blending together to produce a fairly authentic sounding Americana album. Continue reading “Anton & The Colts “No End of the Line” (Independent, 2018)”

Ferris & Sylvester, The Poetry Club, Glasgow, Tuesday 5th February 2019

Glasgow’s Poetry Club is a great place for an intimate gig. With a sold-out crowd of 125, it was the perfect venue for the second night of Ferris & Sylvester’s first headline tour.  The duo of Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester had a simple set up tonight, just the pair of them, their guitars, bass, tambourine, and drum. It took them a minute to find their feet on the stage but opening with one of their older songs ‘Save Yourself’ ,the bittersweet love song from their debut EP- ‘The Yellow Line’,  they immediately showed what the duo are highly capable of which and which they proved throughout the night as their set continued. Continue reading “Ferris & Sylvester, The Poetry Club, Glasgow, Tuesday 5th February 2019”

Sean McConnell “Secondhand Smoke” (Big Picnic Records, 2019)

It is probably too early in the year to think about what your album of the year is, but it would be safe to say that Sean McConnell’s new album ‘Secondhand Smoke’ will probably end up at the top of the list. The thirteen track album is pretty basic in terms of its production, everything recorded by him- minus the synths and strings. It has an authentic homegrown feel to the album which is nicely reflected in the fact he recorded it in his home. Continue reading “Sean McConnell “Secondhand Smoke” (Big Picnic Records, 2019)”

The Steel Woods “Old News” (Thirty Tigers, 2019)

When listening to The Steel Woods’ new album, ‘Old News’, the influences are clear from the opening line of the first track, ‘All of These Years’.  If you mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers somewhere in the middle you would arrive at this record. Lyrically it may sound familiar to fans of Chris Stapleton with mortality being at the forefront of the storytelling. Continue reading “The Steel Woods “Old News” (Thirty Tigers, 2019)”

Steve Forbert “The Magic Tree” (Blue Rose Music, 2018)

Steve Forbert’s new album ‘Magic Tree,’ recorded in Meridian (his birthplace in Mississippi), Nashville, New York, New Jersey and Virginia, is a collection of his own songs and the music loses nothing in its quality of production despite the country wide recording venues.  Throughout the album his folk roots shine clear, as does his song writing ability honed over his forty years in the music industry. Continue reading “Steve Forbert “The Magic Tree” (Blue Rose Music, 2018)”

BD Harrington “Then All Was Still” (Independent, 2018)

‘Then All Was Still’ is the new EP from BD Harrington, who was raised and lives in Canada. This release takes a different spin from his previous outing ‘The Diver’s Curse,’ with a stripped back acoustic sound, leaving the record going back to basics. The four tracks, ‘Underside of Love,’ ‘Cold Starlight,’ ‘Out of Reach’ and ‘Rue St. Dominique’ all have a melancholic feel to them in both the rhythm and the lyrics.  Harrington’s voice add to this feeling, while unfortunately the backing music – instead of complementing his vocals – appears somewhat intrusive and distracting. Continue reading “BD Harrington “Then All Was Still” (Independent, 2018)”

Malcolm Holcombe “Come Hell or High Water” (Gypsy Eyes Music, 2018)

Malcolm Holcombe’s latest release ‘Come Hell or High Water’ seems to reflect a man reaching an age where he looks around the place where he lives, casting back over the years and unconsciously puts into song his feelings about what he sees around him. His songs certainly conjure up a picture of wooded mountains, changing seasons, times and the fortunes of the people living there. Continue reading “Malcolm Holcombe “Come Hell or High Water” (Gypsy Eyes Music, 2018)”

Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard “Sing Me Back Home: The DC Tapes 1965-69” (Free Dirt Records, 2018)

Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard are seen as the pioneering women of bluegrass music.  ‘Sing Me Back: The DC Tapes, 1965-1969’ is a raw, unproduced album that highlights the duo’s quality, recorded in Gerrard’s kitchen on a reel-to-reel recorder – their authentic talent does shine through. Some of the songs will be familiar when listening to the unearthed album, like the Everly Brothers’ ‘Bye Bye Love,’ The Carter Family’s ‘Cannonball Blues,’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad).’ Continue reading “Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard “Sing Me Back Home: The DC Tapes 1965-69” (Free Dirt Records, 2018)”

Josh King “Into The Blue” (Independent, 2018)

Josh King’s solo debut album ‘Into The Blue’ is a deeply personal Americana album, which differs strongly from the indie-rock music he’s renowned for as the front man for the band House of Fools. A lot of the album comes from a dark period in King’s life as he battled with drugs and trying to leave his reckless young days behind him. ‘Follow Through,’ for example, was written after a cocaine bender; instead of sobering up in the morning he went to meet his dealer to get more. The song ends with him admitting that he wishes that he didn’t go through with his plans to get more coke. The juxtaposition of the happy poppy guitar backing with the dark lyrics really does make a great song, despite the story behind it. Continue reading “Josh King “Into The Blue” (Independent, 2018)”