Kendl Winter “Solitude” – Listen

The ironic thing about this lead track from Kendle Winter’s new album ‘Stumbler’s Business‘ is that  it’s distinctive sound and lyrics have been put together in anything less than ‘Solitude‘.  Quite the reverse as Kendl explains “I ran with Solitude for about a year, It started on a foggy one lane highway in the Smokies in West Virginia, I took it on the rail trail in the Hudson Valley and stumbled on some more of it riverside in Waterloo, Iowa. I fumbled over the lyrics running in circles in Durham and sang them drunk at my bandmate in a motel where he gave me the line “I’ll be sober, four leaf clover, and I answered “I swear I’ll never drink again.” …I sang with myself and got some friends to sing with me…I spent a lot of time with Solitude before it was ready. It was great to do it together.

Jack Ellis “Small Change” – Listen

There’s a surge of anger and a revulsion at the unfairness of it all on Jack Ellis’ ‘Small Change‘ which blisters with guitar noise whilst acerbically putting down a heartless ex-love.  And no wonder, who could carry on if instead of being everything – or at least a significant something – you find that you just “feel like you’re small change”.  Ouch.  Small Change is from the E.P ‘Out Of Luck‘ due for release 7th September.

The Autumn Saints “The Autumn Saints EP” (Independent, 2018)

The Autumn Saints are an Oxford based trio of North Carolina born Britt Strickland on lead vocals, backed up by UK natives David Ireland on guitar and Joel Brisk on drums. Appropriately enough there’s a strong College Rock influence on their music across all of the six tracks on their debut EP, with a combination of chirping and intricate guitar lines swirling around the word-dense vocals. It brings a number of bands to mind.  Continue reading “The Autumn Saints “The Autumn Saints EP” (Independent, 2018)”

Ana Silvera “Circle Of Chalk” – Listen

We’re going to be honest with you here, sure Ana Silvera has a beautifully clear voice, swooping and diving across this track.  And yes the blend of folk and semi-classical tones is very appealing.  It’s true there’s a hint of Kate Bush circa ‘The Red Shoes‘ in those lovely “woo-woo’s“.  All true, and all good,  and all reasons to love this superb song.  But – ok, we admit it, it’s the handclaps.  We love handclaps.  Ana Silvera is on tour “later in the year” – keep an eye out for confirmed dates.

Laura Veirs “The Lookout” (Bella Union, 2018)

After the profile raising ‘Case/Lang/Veirs‘ album and tour of a couple of year’s back, ‘The Lookout‘ see’s Laura Veirs return to solo work, albeit solo accompanied by a number of Americana celebrity collaborators. It’s also, on the surface, a return to Veirs’ earlier style of working – unlike the full band power of ‘Saltbreakers‘ and ‘July Flame‘ this is a far more acoustic album, showcasing in sharp relief Veirs’ distinctive vocal and powerful way with the lyric. Continue reading “Laura Veirs “The Lookout” (Bella Union, 2018)”

Sami Simon “Carry You With Me” – Listen

Sami Simon wrote this song whilst he was travelling through Scandinavia and knew, or came to know, that at some-point he would have to leave it’s shining beauty behind him.  At least he wasn’t losing in love, eh? You’d never know it from this simple strum and pick acoustic guitar led slice of folky melancholy, with some spine-tingling pedal steel thrown in for a very good measure.

Mookie Brando & The Second Cousins “Do It In Joeville” (Independent, 2018)

Mookie Brando & The Second Cousins might just be the best Americana band in Hungary – to be honest we’re not that familiar with the Americana scene in Budapest but if there is a better band then they must be damn good. Because Mookie Brando (Toronto born Frank Zsigo) and his not so close relatives hit the sweet spot of ragged-vocalled roots-rock on this, their third album release. ‘Do it in Joeville‘ is a concept album of sorts, with the songs drawing out a series of characters and situations who are tenaciously carrying on in a town that’s not currently at its best. Continue reading “Mookie Brando & The Second Cousins “Do It In Joeville” (Independent, 2018)”

Sons of Bill “Firebird ’85” – Listen

The third single from their new album, ‘Oh God Ma’am‘, takes the Sons of Bill off in a spiritual direction.  Perhaps.  James Wilson has commented “I guess the song is technically “about” a construction worker having a strange redemptive daydream about getting off work. Or maybe he’s dead? Still not sure“.  We’re not sure either, but we do know we’re enjoying the darker edge of the new album.  And we also know that it’s good news that the Sons of Bill are touring the UK in August.

Track Premiere : Charlie Smyth “Far Away”

Premiering right here on Americana-UK, ‘Far Away‘ is the new single from the Nashville via Chicago and Seattle artist’s debut solo album ‘The Way I Feel‘ (released on July 13th).  Smyth has cut a  range of musical chops in the past – from punk/grunge through free jazz, but ‘Far Away‘ features his newly formed band, as Charlie Smyth describes it: “a lot of my friends are great musicians, but they’re high-priced hired guns who stay busy doing sessions and touring for a living.  I wanted a band I wouldn’t have to pay to play with me, so I began looking for people who wanted to make music just for fun. The structure at the time was, ‘I’m writing songs and playing rhythm guitar. I’m not going to tell you guys what to do. If that sounds fun to you, let’s do it.’ Giving everyone that kind of freedom lit a fire under the band—the energy with that approach was really contagious.“.

AmericanA to Z : Bela Fleck

Americana, a form of music based, in part, on the traditions embodied in American folk music can’t neglect the huge influence of bluegrass in the 20th century. Bela Fleck is the preeminent living exponent of the banjo, his dazzling level of technical mastery is unquestionable and his influence is huge. Having recorded a series of keystone bluegrass albums for Rounder Records he branched out, taking the banjo into music it is rarely associated with – such as modern funk-jazz with the electric band The Flecktones. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z : Bela Fleck”