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)”

Dean Maywood “Dean Maywood” (Independent, 2019)

Dean Maywood is an Irish born singer-songwriter, who has played extensively live in both Ireland and the US.  This musical experience has influenced his musical journey with traces of bluegrass in his playing. His debut EP is heavily inspired by the so-called golden era of the 1970s and the music of his father who was also a musician in his own right. The five tracks cover a lot of mixed emotions including joy, fear and heartache which are staple themes in the field of country music, especially from a debut singer-songwriter. Continue reading “Dean Maywood “Dean Maywood” (Independent, 2019)”

Jade Jackson “Wilderness” (ANTI-, 2019)

Jade Jackson’s sophomore album ‘Wilderness’ is her first music release in two years. The twelve track album focuses heavily on self-discovery using country and folk rock to aid in her storytelling. The first single released from the album ‘Bottle It Up’ is best described as a toe-tapper of a tune – a statement of independence while recognising those parts of a relationship worth valuing. Aided with humorous lyrics like: “I don’t need a man’s hands to open the jar/ Where I’ve captured and kept safe/The things that I’m willing to share with you babe” the song is fun and lighthearted, although the concluding line of the chorus, “If ever I get lonely gonna pour myself a drink”, isn’t probably one of which her doctor would approve. Continue reading “Jade Jackson “Wilderness” (ANTI-, 2019)”

Greens “Greens” (Five Kill Records, 2019)

Green’s self-titled debut EP falls right into the alt-country category with strong rock and electronic influences throughout the five tracks. Clearly influenced by the early ’70s folk on songs like ‘Virgo’ the same era’s rock sound play heavily into the others like ‘Bigger’. ‘Virgo’ is the closest out of the five tracks to an Americana-folk piece, a self-reflective number filled with familiar tropes: lap steel guitar, acoustic riffs and drums and backing vocals – it all makes for an enjoyable folk song. Continue reading “Greens “Greens” (Five Kill Records, 2019)”

Adam Carroll “Walked in them Shoes” (Gypsy Shuffler Records, 2019)

“Walked in them Shoes” by Texas born Adam Carroll is a brilliantly written album first and foremost. The album is very reliant on its lyrics which is what arguably makes it a great piece of pure Americana music at its core.  It is a highly intimate record, primarily relying on an acoustic guitar throughout, all of which was recorded in one day. Carroll has honed his talent on 7 earlier solo albums and has collaborated with other artists on songs and recordings. Latterly, with his wife Chris whom he credits with improving his playing. Continue reading “Adam Carroll “Walked in them Shoes” (Gypsy Shuffler Records, 2019)”