Argyll Gathering is new Scottish Festival

Argyll Gathering is a new Scottish event celebrating the best of music, culture and the arts opening its doors August 19th – 20th 2017 in the stunning setting of Helensburgh, some thirty miles outside Glasgow. The event will showcase the best in traditional contemporary Scottish music, local food and drink and feature interactive workshops.  Artists confirmed so far include the former lead singer of one of Scotland’s most celebrated groups, Runrig‘s Donnie Munro, who will be performing live with a full band. Continue reading “Argyll Gathering is new Scottish Festival”

Morton Valence “Europa” (Bastard Recordings, 2017)

Were it not for the declaration on the album cover that “millions of us…consider ourselves as both citizens of the UK and Europe” Morton Valence’s latest release would represent the subtlest political album you’re ever likely to encounter. At first glance it’s a collection of multi-lingual cover versions, capped off with a reworking of the band’s own Sailors’ Return. Look a little closer and there’s a subliminal message here : je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais takes Serge Gainsbourg’s song and makes of it a lament for the EU Referendum vote, following it up with a crackling Weimer republic version of Wenn ich mir was wunschen durfte that hammers home the message. Continue reading “Morton Valence “Europa” (Bastard Recordings, 2017)”

Joe Purdy has something to sing about.

It is often said that hard times, or difficult times, bring forth the best music. You know – Woody and the Dust Bowl, the Civil Rights Movement and Dylan, Thatcherism and Bucks Fizz. Or should that be Billy Bragg? Anyway, that kind of thing. It does sometimes make one pause and wonder if the hard times are worth going through just to get the music, but then if they’re unavoidable at least having someone who’ll stand up and be counted, point a few fingers and tell a few home truths makes them a little easier to take. The craziness of the last couple of years has thrown up more than a few protest singers worth the name, but none more worthy than Joe Purdy. Continue reading “Joe Purdy has something to sing about.”

Slaid Cleaves previews track from new album

Over on Rolling Stone Country, much underrated Americana troubadour Slaid Cleaves has been talking about his upcoming new album  Ghost on the Car Radio and previewing the first song from it Drunken Barber’s Hand.   It’s a co-write with frequent collaborator Rod Picott who, as is often the case,  has released his own version of the tune.  Drunken Barber’s Hand sees Cleaves revisiting the more political bent he took on his last LP, 2013’s Still Fighting the War. Continue reading “Slaid Cleaves previews track from new album”

Courtney Marie Andrews to tour Britain late Summer

Courtney Marie Andrews obviously likes the UK, as she’s already spent some time here earlier this year opening for the Handsome Family and she’s decided to bring her brand of country inspired singer-songwriting back again for dates in late August and early September. Having started touring at the age of 16 when she left her home in Arizona she’s travelled far – literally and figuratively – over the last decade. She’s racked up plenty of road miles, and still found time for five studio albums of new classics in the mode of an Emmylou Harris – with a touch of Linda Rontstadt around the edges. Continue reading “Courtney Marie Andrews to tour Britain late Summer”

Juanita Stein to release solo debut album

Juanita Stein, who is already known as the singer-songwriter with Howling Bells, has recorded her debut solo album America, and it is set for release on Nude Records on the 28th of July. The album was recorded in Los Angeles and was produced by Gus Seyffert who has previously worked with Beck and Ryan Adams. Continue reading “Juanita Stein to release solo debut album”

Hear Eric Burdon’s take on For What It’s Worth

Eric Burdon has been talking to Uncut about his new take on the Buffalo Springfield classic For What It’s Worth to mark his 76th birthday, fifty years on from the song’s original release. Why this song and why now? Well, as Burdon explains: “The message is clear. Racism is back, stronger than it ever has been. The struggle between the sexes is at a boiling point. Violence is out of control. Continue reading “Hear Eric Burdon’s take on For What It’s Worth”

The Weeks “Easy” (Serpents and Snakes Records, 2017)

It’s no surprise at all that The Weeks are on the Kings of Leon’s label – Talk Like That, the opening track of Easy, could be The Kings of Leon in full Southern Rock Band mode on this good natured assessment of a girl and the crazy things she says. Perhaps fortunately, considering how close Cyle Barnes’ vocals sound to those of the Kings of Leon’s main vocalist Caleb Followill, The Weeks soon open out their music to bring in a wider spectrum of southern rock sounds – a little swampy here, groovily soulful there. Continue reading “The Weeks “Easy” (Serpents and Snakes Records, 2017)”

Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson, Green Note, London, 4th May 2017

The Green Note was proving, and not for the first time, that its stage is just a little bit bijou – even for a duo. If that duo has several guitars, a drum kit and a ragtime washboard then that’s a lot that needs packing into a small space. The plus side to this, and what keeps people coming back time and again, is that the rest of the venue is to scale – meaning that you’re virtually on stage with Hat Fitz and Cara. Intimate isn’t up close and personal enough of an adjective. Continue reading “Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson, Green Note, London, 4th May 2017”

Bob Dylan “Triplicate” (Columbia, 2017)

Bob Dylan’s latest release is his first studio recorded triple album, and it sees him continuing his exploration of the Great American Songbook over three discs of ten songs each. Each disc has a subtitle – ‘Til the sun goes down, Devil Dolls, and Comin’ Home Late. In a long, and wide ranging, interview with Bill Flanagan (available on BobDylan.Com) Dylan explains Triplicate as three discs each of a different mood that together make for a coherent narrative whole. If one accepts this at face value then these three moods could be summarised as “I’ve lost my gal and I’m getting old”, “I’ve fallen in love”, “It’s all over and I’m learning to live with it”. Continue reading “Bob Dylan “Triplicate” (Columbia, 2017)”