Logan and Nathan “The Happening” (Fallen Tree Records, 2020)

Residing in BC after spending much of 2019 in opposite ends of Canada, are couple Logan Thackray and Nathan Turner. Sharing a passion for arts in its many forms, the pair have released their latest creation ‘The Happening’ in the good company of Fallen Tree Records, and to great effect. Having pulled together some very clever engineering and producing, they have also utilized their talents as multi-instrumentalists, that, for any fans of something leaning a little further to ambient indie-folk, will be very worthy of your time.

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Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards “Road May Rise” (Nobody’s Favorite Records, 2020)

Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards have contributed more than a decade to their love of American folk and country music, most recently offering ‘Road May Rise’, their third studio album recorded at Signature Sounds Studio, a staple of the Massachusetts acoustic scene. Upon first listen, Mandeville’s vocals draw phrasing similarities to that of Joe Pugs whilst Richard’s voice echoes a countryfied Susan Tedeschi, linking well as part of a harmonious relationship. Continue reading “Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards “Road May Rise” (Nobody’s Favorite Records, 2020)”

Norma MacDonald “Old Future” (Noyes Records, 2020)

Drawing from late hours as an emergency room nurse, Norma MacDonald discharges her fifth release, ‘Old Future’, seeing to what MacDonald lightly describes as “death by nostalgia”. It is true, that the album nods towards a by-gone era, but there are also plenty of songs that would sit just as well amongst a Michaela Anne record. After several years of songwriting practice, Macdonald has become a great hand at writing pleasing turn arounds that couple both the hook line and cadences beautifully. Continue reading “Norma MacDonald “Old Future” (Noyes Records, 2020)”

Classic Americana Albums: Courtney Marie Andrews “Honest Life” (Loose, 2017)

Courtney Marie Andrews ‘Honest Life’ beholds some life-affirming writing. The use of confessional and observational writing coupled with the liquid cool backdrop of the band make this album quite simply, an unmissable modern-day classic of Americana. Released in the good company of the Mama Bird Recording Co in 2016 and Loose in 2017, this album put Andrews in good stead for the future, but getting there did not manifest overnight. This makes it one of the most alluring features as it was actually Andrews’ 6th album, shining a light on the fact that dedication and passion will ultimately prevail. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Courtney Marie Andrews “Honest Life” (Loose, 2017)”

The Revenue Man “25 Years Behind” (Independent, 2020)

Nashville resident Glenn Brown, aka The Revenue Man, has put forward his debut album ‘25 Years Behind’. The album, recorded at Back Holler studios in Tennessee and mixed in Los Angeles, leaves you to wonder as to the nature of producer Tim David Kelly’s input given his background in rock and metal – and perhaps explains why this record can sound a little disjointed to the genre, somewhat unsure of direction and carrying a tonality that like the record title is perhaps 25 years behind. Continue reading “The Revenue Man “25 Years Behind” (Independent, 2020)”

Ry Cavanaugh “Time For This” (Cav Productions, 2020)

Ry Cavanaugh, known for his work with ‘Session Americana’ has taken time out to record his first album in twenty years, one which brings a rather interesting story with it. Ry was just 22 when his father, George Cavanaugh passed. He himself was a musician, performing as a country and honky-tonk singer in the late 1970’s, bringing with him a musical community to the household. Amongst the musical backdrop, George Cavanaugh suffered with chronic depression and prescription opiate addiction. George was a big dreamer and unfortunately in the early 80’s, everything seemed to dissipate and sadly passed from heart failure. Now more recently in 2019, Ry reached the age at which his father died and took this significant moment to recover and revitalise the songs that his father wrote some 40 years ago. With the album comes a close interpretation of the songs, for who better to speak from his father’s voice than his very own son. Continue reading “Ry Cavanaugh “Time For This” (Cav Productions, 2020)”

The Joy Mills Band “Echolocator” (Independent, 2020)

Hailing from Seattle and now five albums in comes The Joy Mills Band. Their latest record, taking a sonic leap from their country and roots territory now includes influences such as Supertramp and The Police. An eclectic mix of long-term friends brings ten brand new songs into fruition with ‘Echolocator’, released on the 24th of January via their own independent outlet. Continue reading “The Joy Mills Band “Echolocator” (Independent, 2020)”

Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band “Just Like Moby Dick” (Paradise of Bachelors, 2020)

Taking its title from the archetypal monster of American literature and imagery, ‘Just Like Moby Dick’, is Texan songwriter and visual artist, Terry Allen’s first set of brand-new songs since his 2013 album, ‘Bottom of the World’. Casting the net across a range of subjects from abandonment, disaster, war, existential crisis – even a vampire infested circus – a common theme of heartbreak and humour appears through a seamlessly executed album. Joined by the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), as well as his sons Bukka and Bale Allen.

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Matthew Robb “Dead Men Have No Dreams” (Independent, 2019)

Confronting gritty politics and softer periods of reflection and love, Matthew Robb’s second album, ‘Dead Men Have No Dreams’, will bring pleasure to fans of poetic lyricism. Competing with our good friend Bob for the title of king of the verses, Robb produces ten tracks with an award-winning set of musicians from his harbouring hometown in Germany. Collating elements of folk, blues and country, one thing remains consistent throughout, and that is the need for sincerity. This includes the opening title track, which feels more akin than any to the writing of Dylan. Continue reading “Matthew Robb “Dead Men Have No Dreams” (Independent, 2019)”

AmericanA to Z – Ian Felice

Ian Felice, who many of you of course will know as lead singer/guitarist/songwriter for The Felice Brothers has spent better more than a decade carving up the grittier side of Americana. Overlooking the bequeathed politic outlook of his country, denouncing capitalism and greed and shedding light on the darker side of mental condition, are just some of the clear footholds Felice has formed in his song writing. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Ian Felice”