Traveller “Blank Page” (TVL Records 2019)

Scottish country/Americana trio Traveller has made quite a statement with their latest release which clearly shows their influences of REM and Keith Urban. The band consisting of Gerry Sheridan (lead vocals, guitar and keyboard), Brian Socha (bass), Simon Usher (drum, vocals and piano) has made an impressive debut with several singles released before the album dropped in November, the stand out track being their first single ‘Old Stories’ which is an infectious toe-tapper of a song featuring a pure Scottish folk style in the instrumentation, yet delivering the song with a modern twist, which is a recurring theme on the album. Continue reading “Traveller “Blank Page” (TVL Records 2019)”

AUK’s Chain Gang: Hannah Grace “Different Kind of Love”

Last week was a timeless hit, so this week I chose a timeless voice. Hannah Grace’s ‘Different Kind of Love’ is a lovely stripped back song that perfectly encapsulates her voice and the story of a special relationship. It’s safe to say the powerful lyrics and minimalist backing music won’t be affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion – timeless in the true sense.

Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders “The Southern Sessions” (Independent, 2019)

Australian band, Billy Roberts and The Rough Riders has given new life to some of their best songs with ‘The Southern Sessions’. The ten tracks include some fan favourites from the past few years such as ‘Hillbilly Blues’ and ‘Kayla’. The reinvention of some of the songs almost makes them sound new. It’s clear at the first listen that the band has some strong rockabilly influences, yet they have managed to create a unique twist with it. Continue reading “Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders “The Southern Sessions” (Independent, 2019)”

Possessed by Paul James “As We Go Wandering” (Independent, 2020)

‘As We Go Wandering’ as an album sounds like something you would here from Mumford & Sons with its military-esqe drumming, fast guitar strumming, the fiddle and expressive vocals. Yet Possessed by Paul James is a far cry from the UK folk-rock band. The singer Konrad West, as known by his stage name of Possessed by Paul James, shows pride for his home roots throughout the album, quite obviously with ‘I Come From SW Florida’. The song showcases his talent, just his vocals and a guitar. As it one of the most stripped back productions on the album, it simply tells the story of family, that most people can relate, by telling the story of how his parents met, and yet pairing it with lyrics like: “let’s go back in the heart of every home, thereby may bitterness confusion and dismay but we will laugh along the Gulf coast waters”  which shows the juxtaposition that comes along with family. Remembering the happy memories as well as the not so pleasant ones. Continue reading “Possessed by Paul James “As We Go Wandering” (Independent, 2020)”

The Bean Pickers Union “Archeology” (Independent, 2019)

‘Archaeology’ by The Bean Pickers Union, a small collective of musicians based in Cambridge Massachusetts, can best be described as authentic Americana. It has got everything you would expect – banjo, pedal steels, and even a cello, whatever you are hoping to hear will be found on this album. The ten-track album takes you on a journey that visits old school folk and Americana that then leaves you up to date with a cool folk-rock feel at the end. Continue reading “The Bean Pickers Union “Archeology” (Independent, 2019)”

Noah Derksen “America, Dreaming” (Independent, 2019)

Noah Derksen has found the perfect mix of warm vocals and expert guitar playing to make a great autumnal release. ‘Dreaming, America’ focuses on the American born Canadian exploring the states. The list of things that are impressive on this album are endless. Derksen’s vocals are full of warmth and soul, paired well with his female vocalist throughout the album. The production values are something you would expect from the like of John Mayer, with the amazing backing band performance. The songwriting is incredibly personal yet still very relatable – even on songs like ‘Land of the Free’ which has a more gritty edge in production with the drums being the main focal point. Lyrically focussing on darker incidents in America, including Vietnam and Sandy Hook, Derksen mocks the belief that America is an indestructible country by closing the song with “land of the free/falling onto its, falling onto its knees” Continue reading “Noah Derksen “America, Dreaming” (Independent, 2019)”

Ed Dupas “The Lonesome Side of Town” (Road Trip Songs, 2019)

Ed Dupas’s third album truly merits the definition of a self-reflective LP. Across its eleven tracks you can clearly hear a more personal edge on ‘The Lonesome Side of Town’ with a slightly rockier take than perhaps is found in traditional Americana music. The record was written when Dupas was facing a time of personal isolation but unlike some albums it doesn’t completely wallow in self-pity but attempts to show some personal growth. Songs like ‘Just For Two’ takes a true acoustic sound to tell a love story within its lyrics,  describing a world where the only person that matters is the one you’re with. It is definitely one of the stronger songs on the album. Continue reading “Ed Dupas “The Lonesome Side of Town” (Road Trip Songs, 2019)”

Silver Lake 66 “Ragged Heart” (Independent, 2019)

‘Ragged Heart’ by duo Silver Lake 66 defines what modern-day Americana music is. Taking its influences from classical country music, folk and a little bit of blues,  it falls into similar realms as The Civil Wars. The ten-track LP by the duo, Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo, mainly focuses on hope and resilience, inspired by Francis’ improved health after the trials of being diagnosed and then overcoming thyroid cancer. Continue reading “Silver Lake 66 “Ragged Heart” (Independent, 2019)”

Kelsey Waldon “White Noise/White Lines” (Oh Boy Records, 2019)

Kentucky Grit has the potential to be a big hit. That’s the best way to describe Kelsey Waldon’s new album. The rugged eleven-track record showcases her true and undeniable talent, as both a singer and a songwriter. The fact that she’s the first person in fifteen years to get signed to Oh Boy Records, John Prine’s label, shows that the Waldon is a force to be reckoned with. The album as whole feels quite intimate, but would still work great booming out over amps and speakers live. Continue reading “Kelsey Waldon “White Noise/White Lines” (Oh Boy Records, 2019)”

David Picco “Out of the Past” (Independent, 2019)

David Picco’s new album ‘Out of the Past’ draws on influences from Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen – with an added rockabilly edge to the alt-country sound: what some listeners might describe as heartland soul. The ten tracks of his fifth, self-produced record cover more intimate areas than his 2015 album ‘Start Again’, but with a rootsy and harder vibe. Continue reading “David Picco “Out of the Past” (Independent, 2019)”