Stephen Kellogg “High Highs Low Lows” – Listen

This single, out today, is taken from Stephen Kellogg’s upcoming album ‘Objects In The Mirror‘ (due out November 23rd) and is the definition of a slow builder.  Coming in as just a voice and acoustic guitar it adds instruments until the whole band is there, and then fades out on a gorgeous piano and pedal steel coda. Continue reading “Stephen Kellogg “High Highs Low Lows” – Listen”

Tom Petty “An American Treasure – 4CD Deluxe” (Reprise Records, 2018)

So what am I supposed to tell you about Tom Petty that you’re not already aware of? And what is the point of this compilation to an Americana music fan who already has all the albums? It’s not going to be enough, I’m sure, to mention that’s it a sumptuous 4CD set, presented as a hardback book format, with a solid introductory essay and lots of great pictures. Each song has some notes on it mostly written by Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, who made the selections along with Petty’s longtime engineer/archivist Ryan Ulyate. Continue reading “Tom Petty “An American Treasure – 4CD Deluxe” (Reprise Records, 2018)”

Paul Simon “Late in the Evening” – Listen

Not, we admit straight off a new song, but it’s Paul Simon’s birthday tomorrow.  He’ll be 77.  Paul Simon has played his farewell concerts this year, but he’s still got music in him, as the recent release of the album ‘In the blue light‘ proves.  This one’s from a little while back, a monster cut from the ‘One Trick Pony‘ soundtrack.  And yes ! This is, unusually for Tracks, a video, but hey – it is Paul Simon.

Guitar maestro Robert Cray to tour the UK

There are few guitarists more masterful than Robert Cray, and it’s a mastery that he has been displaying for over forty years. Bursting onto the mainstream – and bringing his music to the mainstream was quite a feat at the time – in the eighties he has moved easily between pop-rock, soulful ballads and, of course, outright electric blues – hearkening back to earlier greats such as BB King and Buddy Guy.  It’s a rounded sound that crosses strict genre boundaries – heck, the Robert Cray Band played the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2011 (a good year for guitarists as Richard Thompson was also on the bill). Continue reading “Guitar maestro Robert Cray to tour the UK”

PD Liddle “Casual Labour” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2018)

It was back in 2015 that Dry the River broke up, and PD Liddle was of course the lead singer with that band which were frequently associated with that other London based folkesque band Mumford & Sons, despite sounding not a lot alike. Dry the River were a much folkier sounding band and not surprisingly there’s more than a hint of that same sound on PD Liddle’s first solo release ‘Casual Labour‘. It’s a collection of songs that has been put together bit by bit over the last few years, recorded in odd free moments, before finally coalescing as a fully formed album. Continue reading “PD Liddle “Casual Labour” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2018)”

Christian and the 2120s “Wellknown Strangers” (Independent, 2018)

The founding member, songwriter, singer and guitar player Christian Smedström got the 2120s together back in 2010, since when there has already been three full albums and a clutch of EPs from this Swedish band. With a fluid line-up over the years, with Christian as the focal point, the current band is filled out with Kristoffer Rangstam on drums and Krister Selander Jonsson on bass and backing vocals. The latest release ‘Wellknown Strangers‘ is a collection of low-fi songs which have the immediacy of live performance, and the intimacy of that live performance being a house gig. Continue reading “Christian and the 2120s “Wellknown Strangers” (Independent, 2018)”

Joshua Ketchmark “The Misses” (Independent, 2018)

Joshua Ketchmark’s latest album ‘The Misses’ opens with high power rock: ‘Cold Feet’ stomps all over another’s tendency to hold back and hesitate. It has a radio-ready feel that reflects the kind of bands that inspired Ketchmark to get into music – and with whom he has been associated with one way or another over the years: Elvis Costello, Don Henley, Ryan Adams. And, according to his bio’, Gene Simmons still owes him six bucks. So it should be no surprise that he has a tendency to delve into emotional situations and personal relationships, whilst tying that to high order riffage and pounding drums – as on ‘Make No Apologies‘ which has the combination of sneering disdain and stabbing lead guitar perfectly combined. Continue reading “Joshua Ketchmark “The Misses” (Independent, 2018)”

Tyler Childers, Dingwalls, London, 4th September 2018

Suddenly the Summer was behind us, a chill in the air and the streets of London were already getting dark, but not dark yet. There’s a chill wind around Hampstead Road Lock 1’s double-double lock. Dingwalls beckons – it’s a night of doubling up, with two Kentucky bands. And even as the opener, Wayne Graham, are preparing to take the stage it’s already getting crowded in Dingwalls, which is a strong indication that Tyler Childers will come out to a fully rammed venue. Wayne Graham is a four piece band, and no-one in the band is called Wayne Graham; it’s an amalgamation of the surnames of the grandfathers of brothers Hayden and Kenny Miles who are the lead singer and drummer in the band respectively. Continue reading “Tyler Childers, Dingwalls, London, 4th September 2018”

Track premiere: Larkin Poe “Sometimes”

Larkin Poe have a new album coming out at the start of November: entitled ‘Venom & Faith’ it cements the pair’s move into a harder, rockier sound full of glam stomp and buckets of attitude.  They haven’t abandoned their roots background entirely though.’Sometimes‘  is a case in point.  It’s a song they got from the repertoire of Bessie Jones – as the duo say of the song:  “We first heard ”Sometimes” being sung by blues legend [Jones]. Her 1960 recording of the song is powerful, raw, and – except for a few sparse hand claps – completely a cappella. We were transfixed and had to create a Larkin Poe rendition. We wove some new lyrics into the fabric of the song and we even wrote out parts for a horn section in the bridge! Bessie Jones was a Georgia girl too, so we find it especially cool to sing this song in her honor.” Larkin Poe will be undertaking a European tour at the end of November.  Eight dates.  The first is at Islington Assembly Hall on November 21st – that’s actually the only UK date.  Yeah, that’s a sad smiley face moment.

Micah P. Hinson “The Sleep of the Damned” – Listen

You’ll recall that Micah P. Hinson’s upcoming album carries the title ‘When I Shoot At You With Arrows, I Will Shoot To Destroy You‘ and is credited to Micah P. Hinson and the Musicians of the Apocalypse.  The full album is due 26th of October, but this is the latest track given an early release.  Unsurprisingly there’s more than an allusion to an ongoing spiritual struggle. Continue reading “Micah P. Hinson “The Sleep of the Damned” – Listen”