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”

The Lonesome Ace Stringband “Modern Old Time Sounds For The Bluegrass And Folksong Jamboree” (Independent, 2019)

Canadian trio The Lonesome Ace Stringband reveal new existence in their fourth and aptly titled album, ‘Modern Old Time Sounds For The Bluegrass And Folksong Jamboree’. It is unsurprising to hear after a full preview of the album, that the band concrete so much history together. Performing at Toronto’s legendary Dakota Tavern as the resident band for 7 years is a sure-fire way to interweave a meaningful musical companionship. The setup, although lean, never fails to impress as banjoist and guitarist Chris Coole, fiddle player John Showman and bassist Max Heineman showcase their fresh arrangements of traditional bluegrass songs, bringing an individual character and tonality to the vocal arrangements as all three take turns to sing. Continue reading “The Lonesome Ace Stringband “Modern Old Time Sounds For The Bluegrass And Folksong Jamboree” (Independent, 2019)”

The Drunken Hearts “Wheels Of The City” (LoHi Records, 2019)

For those who aren’t acquainted with The Drunken Hearts, you could think of them as super-charged Eddie Vedder Americana-Rock. Their 2nd full length album ‘Wheels Of The City’ which is currently available on LoHi Records, was imagined at Silo Sound Studios in Denver with producer and ‘Railroad Earth’ member, Tim Carbone. For this record, the band tried something new, focusing on creating and recording a new song every day until the full album was realised. Whether this was pulled off or not, we find out as we delve in… Continue reading “The Drunken Hearts “Wheels Of The City” (LoHi Records, 2019)”

Ags Connolly “Wrong Again” (Finstock Music, 2019)

Ags Connolly, one of the most authentic western swing artists this side of the Atlantic, has delivered once more with his third studio album, ‘Wrong Again’. Dwelling on similar terms to those previous, Connolly’s mix of bar side drinking songs and human sorrow will be a sure hit with existing fans who enjoy his continuation of Tex-Mex adventures. ‘Wrong Again’, recorded at Woodworm Studios in Connolly’s native county of Oxfordshire, pulls together an eclectic mix of well-seasoned musicians that reflect tastefully in the music. Continue reading “Ags Connolly “Wrong Again” (Finstock Music, 2019)”

Alexa Rose “Medicine for Living” (Big Legal Mess, 2019)

Alexa Rose, an Appalachian graduate, has paid homage to her roots to deliver her debut album ‘Medicine For Living’. Rose stands strong amongst her musical contemporaries in delivering an album of old meets new, united with an honest account of human sorrow. The title track, which won Rose the acclaimed songwriting competition at Merlefest in 2019, holds its own but there is so much more worthy of mention. Continue reading “Alexa Rose “Medicine for Living” (Big Legal Mess, 2019)”