Classic Americana Compilations: Various Artists “Cash Covered” (Mojo, 2004)

Johnny Cash had a career that would take a very large book or two to encapsulate and this Mojo sampler from 2004 offers 15 tracks that only represent the briefest overview with a variety of disparate artists offering their takes on the man’s work.  It is a good selection though and worth a listen; the cover versions fascinate in the way the somehow do. Continue reading “Classic Americana Compilations: Various Artists “Cash Covered” (Mojo, 2004)”

Turkeyfoot “Promise of Tomorrow” (Independent, 2020).

Colorado based Turkeyfoot are essentially new to recording and have only an EP produced in June 2018 prior to this their first full-length offering. Researching the story of its beginnings makes you realise what the term ‘grassroots’ can really mean. Among treats offered to supporters in a Kickstarter funding drive were a chef-cooked meal and a fly-fishing trip. Who could resist? Continue reading “Turkeyfoot “Promise of Tomorrow” (Independent, 2020).”

Classic Americana Albums: Gregg Allman “Laid Back” (Capricorn/Polydor, 1973)

A friend once offered me the thought that music, as with all art, could and should offer the listener the opportunity to experience the depths as well as the heights of feeling. He suggested two examples, ‘Berlin’, by Lou Reed, and, ‘Laid Back’, by Gregg Allman. I’m not intending to review, ‘Berlin’The thing about perceived emotional content is that one man’s meat is almost bound to be another’s poison. Often it seems to relate to nothing more than the faces that are pulled or the amount of sweat generated. But then why do we swear that A is all soulful connection and intent whilst B is lightweight and lacking any emotional depth, based solely on the sound that comes out of their mouths? Why are we seduced into thinking that guitarists that play at one end of the neck are more ‘emotional’ and ‘heartfelt’ than someone at the other? Any answers are very welcome.    Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Gregg Allman “Laid Back” (Capricorn/Polydor, 1973)”

Andrew Hibbard “Andrew Hibbard” (Sofaburn Records 2020)

This self-titled offering is Andrew Hibbard’s third album, following on from ‘Foot in the Door’ from 2012 and ‘Under the Knife’ from 2015.  The first was made when he was 17 so we can assume that he is a precocious talent. Hibbard was born and grew up in rural Ohio in 1995, young in years but something of an experienced hand in the music business. Whilst he has garnered some very positive press, there seems to be limited information on the man himself.  The current album was apparently a one-take affair completed in 6 hours, which may have its pros and cons.  Hibbard’s professed influences can all be heard very clearly, Dylan, Neil Young, Lou Reed and Hank Williams – funny how often Reed’s name crops up as a guiding light with a number of Americana artists. Continue reading “Andrew Hibbard “Andrew Hibbard” (Sofaburn Records 2020)”

Support Your Local Venue: The Crown Nantwich

The Crown Inn, Nantwich South Cheshire, is a black and white timbered building, grade two listed and over four centuries old. Landlord Roger Crockett was murdered in a brawl on 19 December 1572, in a case that involved many of the town’s gentry and was heard in the Star Chamber.  The original ‘Crowne’ was one of seven inns destroyed in the Great Fire of Nantwich of 1583. Continue reading “Support Your Local Venue: The Crown Nantwich”

Pokey LaFarge “Rock Bottom Rhapsody” (New West Records, 2020)

Pokey LaFarge has been a busy man in his 14 year recorded career and, ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’, is his 9th album, the last being recorded in 2017. His current offering is his first on New West Records and produced by Chris Seefried who also co-wrote several of the songs. LaFarge recounts the story of the album thus. In 2018 he moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles and entered a time of downward dissolution. Many of the songs were written in that time and, ‘Fuck Me Up’, certainly encapsulates all that needs to be said about that period and is probably one of the stand-out tracks. During the recording of the album, it seems LaFarge had a spiritual awakening or found God as we might say. He makes the point that the man who wrote the songs is not the man who sings them now – and probably just as well. Continue reading “Pokey LaFarge “Rock Bottom Rhapsody” (New West Records, 2020)”

Jarrod Dickenson “Ready the Horses” (Hooked Records, 2020)

Looking forward, out of interest rather than any prior knowledge, to seeing Jarrod Dickenson locally, there was a particular disappointment when all events were suspended. If and when he comes back I am sure to be in the front row. His most recent album, ‘Ready the Horses’, is a cracker. The only thought is that he may struggle to reproduce its richness on stage. For once the press release did offer some genuine and accurate insight, informing us that: ‘Dickenson is known for his soulful vocals and ability to blend a variety of instruments and influences into one signature sound.Continue reading “Jarrod Dickenson “Ready the Horses” (Hooked Records, 2020)”

Handsome Family “Odessa” / “Milk and Scissors” (Loose, 2020)

It seems 35 million people think that the Handsome Family created something special having been chosen to provide the first series of, ‘True Detective’, with its title song, ‘Far From Any Road‘. That’s the remarkable number of hits it’s had online and, as much as any one track, it sums up their appeal. Coming from their sixth studio album, ‘Singing Bones‘, released in 2003, it provided just the perfect unsettling introduction to a series that may well have been one of the best ever by HBO. Continue reading “Handsome Family “Odessa” / “Milk and Scissors” (Loose, 2020)”

Seth Anderson “We Could Be” (Snappy Little Numbers, 2020)

When you looked at the picture on the front of this album it makes you recall that there was a time when the cover art of a vinyl album could be attractive or distinctive enough to at least make you stop, if not buy – obviously, that was the idea.  The ‘Run-down Gas Station’, photo on the front of this offering had the same effect; eye-catching and intriguing – just what a cover should be. Continue reading “Seth Anderson “We Could Be” (Snappy Little Numbers, 2020)”

Support Your Local Venue – Worcester’s Huntingdon Hall

As part of our occasional series looking at smaller scale local venues, let us tell you a little about the Huntingdon Hall in Worcester – which is a city worth visiting in its own right.  The Hall itself is within spitting distance of the magnificent Cathedral.  It will, of course, be shut now and it’s near enough to the river in Worcester to be at risk from what seems to be the annual Severn flood.  Some venues have all the luck! Continue reading “Support Your Local Venue – Worcester’s Huntingdon Hall”