Alt-country has always had a reputation as being Americana’s brattish, bastard cousin. Despite having somewhat died a death in recent years, one of its trailblazers, Jesse Malin, still continues to make exciting and relevant music to this day.
Continue reading “Americana A-Z – Jesse Malin”
Denver three-piece The Yawpers return with their third record ‘Human Question’. There are few acts around with a back catalogue as strong as they have over the space of two full-lengths, with killer rock n’ roll their speciality. This latest release takes the bona fida Yawpers sound and ramps it up infinite notches. Continue reading “The Yawpers “Human Question” (Bloodshot, 2019)”
‘Running Wild’ is the debut album from Arkansas singer-songwriter Jared Henry – a collection of sun-soaked mellow acoustic jams, which evoke Jack Johnson at his most breezy. The result is a record which fails to inspire. Running at almost an hour, it is an overly-long set of mediocre melodies with little substance, in a style which has already been done to death. Continue reading “Jared Henry “Running Wild” (Venison Records, 2018)”
‘Roll The Dice’ is the latest release from Brooklynite Radiator King (aka Adam Silvestri). His first release since 2017’s ‘A Hollow Triumph After All’, Silvestri has established himself amongst the latest wave of earnest songwriters who have been brought up on punk, but perform Americana-inspired rock and roll and this latest EP is more of the same. Continue reading “Radiator King “Roll The Dice” (SoundEvolution Records, 2019)”
‘Just Another Night’, the debut record from Nottingham-based singer-songwriter Ryan Farmer wastes little time in giving the listener a precise idea of what to expect for the next forty minutes. Within the first sixty seconds of the excellently-titled ‘She Can Do Everything (But Fall In Love With Me)’, he ticks all the old-time country cliché boxes, as he sings of turning his back to Jesus, copious amounts of whiskey, and an elusive lover. The track is akin to the classic country sound which has been popularised by the likes of Joshua Hedley et al in recent times and despite the themes which have been heard before a million times or more, the track is charming enough to ingratiate itself amongst their standards. Continue reading “Ryan Farmer “Just Another Night” (Independent, 2019)”
‘Grenades,’ the excellent second record from Grenadian-Canadian Kaia Kater comes with an intriguing back story. The singer-songwriter decided to explore her father’s Grenadian roots and it sets an interesting platform upon which the record is built. Having fled to Canada following the US invasion of his home country in 1986, he recounts his experience on interludes throughout the record. These provide not only interesting context to his daughter’s lyrical content, but a damning indictment on US treatment of developing countries such as Grenada. His words are often hard-hitting, such as on ‘Death Of A Dream’ when he helplessly exclaims “to describe the invasion… it defies words”.
Continue reading “Kaia Kater “Grenades” (Smithsonian Folkways, 2019)”
‘The Family’ is the debut release from Nashville-based Alabama duo, Timber. Formed almost by coincidence when Janet Simpson of the Delicate Cutters was recommended to Will Stewart of Willie & The Giant as a potential contributor, the collaboration went so well that they decided to write together, which led to the formation of this new project. The record begins promisingly with the melodic ‘Burying Ground’, as Stewart’s effortless croon combines with Simpson’s accompaniment on a beautiful chorus. The result is an alt-country classic in waiting. Continue reading “Timber “The Family” (Cornelius Chapel Records, 2018)”
A record titled ‘A Failure’ is hardly likely to be brimful with positivity, however, Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Clements clearly prefers to deal with the darker side of life. His fourth record is a completely introspective affair, and Clements has had total control over the creative process with this being his first self-produced release. The writing style is almost entirely delivered from a first-person perspective, and Clements adopts various personas over the eight tracks. Continue reading “Jim Clements “A Failure” (Independent, 2018)”
‘Truth Comes Out’ is the debut EP from London-based duo O&O. Comprising of Orian Peled and Obadiah Jones. The pair, who originally hail from Israel and Colorado respectively, have an interesting backstory from meeting at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, and getting a one-on-one songwriting session with Sir Paul McCartney, through performing on Caribbean cruise ships while they sorted out visa issues, to performing at the O2 Arena in their current home city, Peled and Jones have experienced more in their thus far short existence than most acts experience in their lives. Continue reading “O&O “Truth Comes Out” (Independent, 2018)”