Well, it was five years yesterday since we lost the beautiful Richie Havens (Guardian Obituary). He was still working on new songs, some of which have never been given a formal CD release but are available in the usual places. Here’s one you might not have heard – from a children’s literacy project – a duet with Kris Kristofferson on Woody Guthrie’s ‘Grassy, Grass, Grass’. Enjoy.
Kathy Zimmer’s EP ‘White Noise’ is self-described as “Cosmopolitan Folk”, which shouldn’t cause a flinch as it has nothing to do with glossy magazines featuring quizzes about “Is he really into you?”, and articles offering “Successful Secrets of a Sexual Kind” or even “Fifty top tips for the gas cook”. Nope. Cosmopolitan Folk is sophisticated songwriting, with lyrics describing finely observed situations coupled to complicated arrangements and sharp edged singing which cuts through with its combination of detached and sassy. Continue reading “Kathy Zimmer “White Noise” (Independent, 2018)”
Australian C.W. Stoneking made his UK impact with albums of voodoo and jungle blues drawing deeply on a pre-war sound, beefed up with a fine horn section and C.W.’s own playing of National guitar and banjo. A man with tall tales to tell, and prepared to take the time to tell ’em he enthralled audiences. And then he released ‘Gon’ Boogaloo’ which kicked the sound forward a couple of decades to a proto-rock and roll and boogie blues, he toured the UK with an all girl band and brazenly eschewed his previous material informing audiences that he hated the f***ing banjo. Strong words. Continue reading “C.W. Stoneking has upcoming solo dates in UK.”
Well, as we mentioned yesterday Lewisburg’s new release is a Double A-side single, and ‘Terminal’ is such a great burning Southern rocker we thought “what the hell, flip that one over”. Recorded earlier this year in the band’s own studio in Haringey, they are now working on an EP for the early Summer. Should be worth a spin. And a flip.
Lewisburg are a band from North London born out of the solo project of singer-songwriter Ali Robertson. Now a four piece with Julien Baraness (guitar), Alessandro Taglione (bass) and Adrien Latge (drums) they make a music they call “dark-country” showing the influence of the likes of Phosphorescent and Eels. ‘Slow Morning’ is one side of their new Double-A single, it’s slow and sinuous and downright groovy in its tentative indecision.
Tom Paxton turned eighty last October, and he has toured the UK for more than fifty of those years. This latest tour see’s him supported by The DonJuans (Don Henry and Jon Vezner) who both warm up the show with a few songs of their own and then play along with Tom throughout two excellent sets, adding a musical depth to the evening with additional guitars and uke’s as well as keyboards and harmonised vocals. They may be dressed like a pair of Steampunk Live Role Players, but The DonJuans’ four song opening set rarely strayed from the wistful and melodic, very much with a Seventies folk-country feel to them – not unlike a quieter Seals & Crofts. Continue reading “Tom Paxton and The Don Juans, The Stables, Wavendon 15th April 2018”
The deep and growling Charlie Overbey has LA written all over him, and his new album ‘Broken Arrow’ takes his mixture of music honed through decades on the country and punk rock scenes and gives it a modern day Outlaw twist. There may even be a subtle nod to Neil Young. The album features a number of great guests including the wonderful Miranda Lee Richards on first track ‘Slip Away’ and the awesome Mastersons on the chippy and bouncy ‘Outlaws’. Americana-UK is more than proud to be able to offer the first listen opportunity for ‘Broken Arrow’– it’s out everywhere on the 20th, but you’ll hear it here first today.
Americana sometimes has a reputation for dwelling on the bleak, of wilfully embracing the darker side of life. Like most generalisations it isn’t completely true. Take the Orlando-based The 502s’ new release ‘What to do’ which sounds almost exactly like your Americana summer party record 2018. There’s a bit of The Felice Brothers in it, some Avett Brothers too – lots of brothers (although The 502s’ core is built around cousins) making for a big, boisterous sound. Oh, and it’s about trying to figure out whether a relationship has run its course or not. That’s Americana for you – wilfully bleak.
Juanita Stein doesn’t need any introduction, but in case you’ve been living under a rock for a few years (rent’s low, comfort is too) – having been the lead singer for Howling Bells Stein released a debut solo album ‘America’ last year to much acclaim and has now polished off the follow up ‘Until the lights fade’ which is out at the end of August. It has a rockier edge than the previous release, as showcased perfectly on ‘Forgiver’, a cynical tale of a male ingénue, which is the lead single.
The title track of the new album from Josh Rouse sees him heading off in a somewhat different direction to hitherto. Somewhat gone are the mumbled vocals and in comes hints of The Blue Nile, The Style Council, Prefab Sprout and later Roxy Music. The acclaimed Nebraskan folk/roots pop singer’s new album is out on April 13th – and there’s a UK tour to come later in the month.