B.R. Lively “Into the Blue” (Independent, 2018)

This debut album from B.R. Lively is deep-rooted in folk, but has a unique style all its own, with a lot of outside inspirations, which show in its use of Motown beats and string arrangements. Lively is a great storyteller and using folk music to tell these stories works in his favour.  ‘Into The Blue’ is a great album made for easy listening with songs about heartbreak and the world at large.   Continue reading “B.R. Lively “Into the Blue” (Independent, 2018)”

Son of the Chief “Needless Road” (Boxwood Records, 2018)

The Scottish singer Son of the Chief, more commonly known as Mackie Mackintosh, has released a debut solo album “Needless Road” that is a true Americana-indie album. The ten-track piece from the Scottish artist sticks true to an Americana sound, but has clear country-rock inspiration, “Coalfax Avenue” being a great example of this -the electric guitar intro to the track making you believe this is a more mainstream country song, but then the fiddle instrumental in the middle and the banjo backing throughout, brings it home with an Americana sound. Continue reading “Son of the Chief “Needless Road” (Boxwood Records, 2018)”

Neil Sturgeon & the Infomaniacs “Geography &  Luck” (Buzzwagon Beat, 2018)

Neil Sturgeon & the Infomanics’ debut release is called ‘Geography & Luck’, an album which ranges from Americana to pop with more than passing nod to folk rock. The twelve track album produced by Raymond McGinley, of Teenage Fanclub fame, features a wide range of Glasgow musicians which allows it to draw on a variety of high-quality vocalists and instrumentalists. Their talents are highlighted throughout the album without ever overwhelming the storytelling vocals. Continue reading “Neil Sturgeon & the Infomaniacs “Geography &  Luck” (Buzzwagon Beat, 2018)”

The Equatorial Group “Apricity” (Independent, 2018)

The Equatorial Group’s self-funded debut album ‘Apricity’ does not fit neatly into a particular genre of Americana, having a distinctly psychedelic acoustic sound.  ‘Motorbikes’ is the closest to a country-Americana song with the opening guitar picking of the track similar to an old-school country song. The ten track album from the five-piece band does not have a set sound. Some tracks like ‘Farewell My Lovely’  are purely acoustic with the vocalist sounding similar to the likes of Dido with a breathy vocal and simple guitar background, while the likes of ‘Burning’ is more of a jazz number with the use of brass instruments playing in the background of the piano. Continue reading “The Equatorial Group “Apricity” (Independent, 2018)”

Ross Cooper “I Rode The Wild Horses” (Independent 2018)

Ross Cooper’s new album is a true cry to cowboy country. Many of the songs echo his career as a bareback rider, with the lyrics reflecting the rodeo lifestyle. ‘I Rode The  Wild Horses’ combines both folk and alt-rock to create a “new Nashville sound” as Cooper calls it. The title track takes an authentic Texas Western feel on a cowboy song, which tells the tale of a weary cowboy traveller. With lyrics like “I’m a spitfire son of the road” it shows Cooper’s impressive songwriting talent and highlights his experience of being on the road with the rodeo.
Continue reading “Ross Cooper “I Rode The Wild Horses” (Independent 2018)”

Will Stewart “Country Seat” (Cornelius Chapel Records, 2018)

Will Stewart’s debut solo album ‘Country Seat’ explores his southern roots, with folk-rock being the foreground for the piece.  The album takes Stewart’s musical influences from many artists, including Neil Young, with the electrified moments and modern folk attraction of Hiss Golden Messenger. Stewart has called this album a love letter to the south, with the guitar being the main focal point of the music and with his vocals it allows the album to be quite an easy listening piece. Continue reading “Will Stewart “Country Seat” (Cornelius Chapel Records, 2018)”

Bennett Wilson Poole “Bennett Wilson Poole” (AURORA, 2018)

 Bennett Wilson Poole’s eleven track debut album has strong vocal and guitar throughout, feeling like the true definition of an americana band. The supergroup made of Tony Poole (Starry Eyed and Laughing), Robin Bennett (The Dreaming Spires) and Danny Wilson (Danny and The Champions Of The World) has a strong Crosby, Stills Nash and Young influence to it, which will take listeners of a certain age back to their younger days. Continue reading “Bennett Wilson Poole “Bennett Wilson Poole” (AURORA, 2018)”

Ferris & Sylvester “Made in Streatham” (Archtop Records, 2018)

Ferris & Sylvester’s new EP Made In Streatham takes a bluesy twist on the indie folk singing and guitar picking, the five-track offering taking a different turn on the music fans heard on their first EP The Yellow Line. Their latest single from the EP Better in Yellow is a more uplifting song with the brass notes throughout bringing out the lively character of the lyrics.  It is clear to see why they were on BBC Introducing‘s In Devon Best of 2017 with this hit. Continue reading “Ferris & Sylvester “Made in Streatham” (Archtop Records, 2018)”