Nick Lowe “Love Starvation/ Trombone” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)

He may be on the wrong side of 70 but Nick Lowe isn’t one for letting the grass grow underneath his feet and his latest EP is a case in point.  It may only be four songs long but his sharp lyrics and consistent ability to wrap the words around a catchy melody seems undiminished over time.  Supported admirably by the quirkily named (and even more quirkily masked and attired) Los Straitjackets, Lowe has penned three original tracks in the shape of  ‘Love Starvation’ ‘Trombone’ and the tender ‘Blue on Blue’ while the fourth song is a highly modernised cover version of the somewhat obscure Ricky Nelson track ‘Raincoat in the River’. Continue reading “Nick Lowe “Love Starvation/ Trombone” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)”

Amber Cross, The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, 25th April 2019

Amber Cross was born to stir the emotions. That can be the only conclusion for anyone lucky (or smart) enough to witness her delightfully working through her 19 song set in the intimate setting of the upstairs lounge of The Blue Lamp in Aberdeen. Over the course of almost two and a half hours, aided by her husband James Moore on guitar, mandolin, harmonica and backing vocals, she enchanted the audience, not only with her wonderful music but also with a natural born ability to tell the stories that set the scene and provided the backdrop for most of her songs. Continue reading “Amber Cross, The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, 25th April 2019”

Carrie Tree “The Canoe” (Wild Cedar Records, 2019)

‘The Canoe’ is the third album by Brighton based singer-songwriter Carrie Tree and with production and arrangements being handled by Markus Sieber (know for his ambient recordings as Aukai), you could predict with a high degree of certainty that this would be an album that is in an ambient folk vein. The pair worked remotely across a six month period, with Markus based in Colorado and Mexico, and Carrie in London and Sussex, they finally met ‘halfway’ in the spring of 2018 to complete the record in Greenhouse Studios, Iceland. Continue reading “Carrie Tree “The Canoe” (Wild Cedar Records, 2019)”

Todd Snider “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3” (Aimless Records, 2019)

Well, this is something of a surprise.  After many years of crafting records which were much more in the style of Tom Petty, Todd Snider has gone back to his roots and created a full-on folk album in the form of ‘Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3.’  With a sizable stack of recently penned folk songs in his kit bag and a longing to make a folk record, it seemed almost fateful that Snider would then receive an invitation to play the 2019 Newport Folk Festival, an event he had never appeared at before and with that hefty dose of synchronicity pushing him along, ‘Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3’ was soon born. Continue reading “Todd Snider “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3” (Aimless Records, 2019)”

Americana A-Z – Kasey Chambers

It would have been simple to have taken the path of least resistance and gone for Kris Kristofferson (and even had two K’s for the price of one), but no, here are at Americana UK we don’t do things the easy way and opted instead for a generally much less widely known artist in the form of Kasey Chambers. Continue reading “Americana A-Z – Kasey Chambers”

Clockwork Carousel “Clockwork Carousel” (Tick Tock Records, 2018)

Who would have guessed it!  Americana is alive and well in the New Forest in the shape of Clockwork Carousel who have just released their self-titled debut album.  Normally at this stage – and certainly for a band that relatively few will have heard of – the humble reviewer has listened to the record a number of times, done some background reading and then gleaned all that he/she can from the press release blurb that almost invariably accompanies the music when it is submitted for review. Continue reading “Clockwork Carousel “Clockwork Carousel” (Tick Tock Records, 2018)”

Mandolin Orange “Tides of a Teardrop” (Yep Roc, 2019)

Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, better known of course as Mandolin Orange, have come a long way since their formation in 2009 and their latest album ‘Tides of a Teardrop’ continues in the same intimate vein that has served them so well over the last 10 years. Marlin lost his mother when he was just 18 and the main theme of this album is about letting go and finding peace, a process that for some people can take many years and that certainly seems to be the case in this instance. Continue reading “Mandolin Orange “Tides of a Teardrop” (Yep Roc, 2019)”

Jaywalkers “Time to Save the World” (Burnt Chilli Records, 2018)

‘Time to Save the World’ is the fourth album from the highly accomplished Jaywalkers trio that comprises Mike Giverin, Jay Bradberry and Lucille Williams.  Their music may be on the bluegrass side of the broad Americana church, but they clearly bring their own identity and put their own stamp on the music. Drawing heavily on their own personal experiences, the 10 original tracks and the excellent, and decidedly creative, cover of the Johnny Cash classic ‘Big River’, simply bound along, driven by energetic, high-quality musicianship and a surprisingly fulsome sound from the acoustic trio. Continue reading “Jaywalkers “Time to Save the World” (Burnt Chilli Records, 2018)”

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit “Live From the Ryman” (Southeastern Records, 2018)

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are rightly acclaimed as one of the best live acts doing the rounds today and it’s no surprise to find that they have released a live album in an attempt to capture the on-stage magic which is so beloved by fans.  Recorded over a six-night residency at that fabled auditorium in Nashville, ‘Live From the Ryman‘ is a collection of 13 excellent songs pulled from their last three albums (‘Southeastern’, ‘Something More Than Free’ and ‘The Nashville Sound’). Continue reading “Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit “Live From the Ryman” (Southeastern Records, 2018)”

Paul Kelly “Nature” (Cooking Vinyl, 2018)

Who else but the seemingly ageless Paul Kelly could have dreamed up the idea for turning the timeless Dylan Thomas poem ‘And Death Will Have No Dominion’ into a brilliant and moving opening song for his new album?  Taking the three nine-line stanzas from that classic work, Kelly has created an enthralling piece of music that is fully in keeping with the intent of Thomas’ original words, whereby death has no control over the human soul.  More impressive still is that this is only one of twelve cracking tracks on a finely crafted piece of work. That’s a somewhat deep introduction to Paul Kelly’s latest release ‘Nature’ but actually it’s a perfect example of the raison d’etre of the entire album. Continue reading “Paul Kelly “Nature” (Cooking Vinyl, 2018)”