David Gould / Katy Ellis “I Believe” – Listen

Never let it be said that Americana-UK are stick in the muds – we like to take a chance every now and again.  We like to party (you should see us party) and in that spirit of adventure we think you’ll like this one.  Take Kate Ellis’s acoustic track, with a gentle vocal on a song of reflective love.  Take that, we say, and get ethnomusicologist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist David Gould to remix it and you have a huge track which still retains that original fragility. Electronicana is what they call it. Nice.

Jessica Risker “I See You In The Stars” (Western Vinyl, 2018)

‘I See You In The Stars’ has a gossamer lightness; it’s wooden music – mostly just a percussive guitar, but with occasional synthetic sounds strung across a tune – like a wispy strand of the glinting lights of Faery. Jessica Risker maintains a dreamlike presence across the album, her vocal the distilled essence of blissed out fragility. It’s as if she’s singing just for herself, in a shaded bedsit, with beams of sunlight cutting through the smoke rising from what is surely a joss stick. Continue reading “Jessica Risker “I See You In The Stars” (Western Vinyl, 2018)”

Steve Earle spills the beans to Rolling Stone

Credit: Chad Batka

Steve Earle answers a lot of stuff in his latest interview with Rolling Stone, which can be found here, explaining his seven marriages (sort of), how he’s luckier than Justin Townes Earle in that he got to ride the tail-end of the rock/singer-songwriter major label era, how he never wants to hear “Steve Earle tweeted” (so he doesn’t use Twitter) and also how it’s ok for us to say whatever we like about him ‘cos he won’t read it.  Continue reading “Steve Earle spills the beans to Rolling Stone”

Track Premiere : Chuck Westmorland “Long Winter Rodeo”

Americana UK is pleased to have the chance to premiere this new song from Portland based troubadour Chuck Westmorland. ‘Long Winter Rodeo’ is the lead single from the album of the same name that is due out on the 1st of June on Black and Gold Records. It’ll be the second album release from Chuck Westmorland, following up on 2016’s eponymous debut. This song is inspired by the real-life Tygh Ridge Rodeo Grounds, and the sparse track unveils a simple love story. “A guy falls for this woman,” Westmorland says, “but she’s already with somebody else.” In an act of serendipity, the two finally end up together. Ultimately, it’s a hopeful tale, though one laced with an inescapable sadness. ‘Long Winter Rodeo’ is a song that is delivered with unflagging directness, and over lightly-strummed acoustic guitars and reverb-tinged lap steel, Chuck Westmorland’s vocal has a lived in quality that’s beautifully balanced out by the almost gospel backing vocals as the song closes out.

Ashley Monroe “Wild Love” – Listen

Ashley Monroe has said of her new album ‘Sparrow’ (out now on Warner Music Nashville) that “Country music is a wide genre, and that’s OK, I don’t even know what genre this record is, but I know it’s me.”  We’re pretty confident that this Dave Cobb produced track, with its lush string arrangements and frail, but strong, stumbling, but sturdy, vocal is truly country – but a dramatic country with an edginess added by the layers of reverb guitar.

Hannah & Ben “A Thousand New Moons” – Listen

Two years after releasing their debut album Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage return with a new collection of new songs, traditional songs and a a song each from the works of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.  That can all be found on the new album ‘Awake’, from which this track highlighting Ben’s dobro playing and the perfectly matched entwining of the duo’s vocals to make something new…but sounding old.  The duo are currently on tour playing a variety of folk clubs and festivals – next appearance is The Golden Hind in Cambridge on Friday.

Josh Rouse “Love In The Modern Age” (Yep Roc Records, 2018)

Everything changes, everything stays the same – so Josh Rouse is still writing songs that look at the world from a slightly oblique angle but the soundtrack has changed a little. Strong opener ‘Salton Sea’ throws some funky uptempo synthesizer and chipping guitar into the mix – to create a sound not unlike something from the current release by The Decemberists. Everyone’s playing with their musical palette this year – to different levels of success. Continue reading “Josh Rouse “Love In The Modern Age” (Yep Roc Records, 2018)”

Jon Sindenius “Dirty Hometown” – Listen

‘Dirty Hometown’ is a new track from Jon Sindenius with a soulful country feel to it that comes straight from Sweden, the beating heart of Scandicountry.  It’s gentle and reflective with a nice arrangement – that crunches up through the gears half way through to rock out (that guitar solo by the way  is by the track’s producer / mixer Patrik Skybäck).

Paddy Nash & Paul Casey “Hard Act To Follow” – Listen

‘Hard Act To Follow’ is the first song from a forthcoming brand new album by two of Derry’s finest singer-songwriters, Paddy Nash & Paul Casey.  It’s something of a heartfelt roots-rocker of a tune about the toughness of persisting along the musical path with some (cough) oblique references: “I’m a 3 star guy, I’m 6 out of 10 / but I’m a hard act to follow”.  We suggest Twitter. But seriously – if you knew the agonies we suffer deciding whether it’s a decent 6/10 or a golden and glorious 7/10 then you’d sympathise with us. Really.

Cosmos Sunshine “Letdown” – Listen

If you’re born on a hippy commune on the Connecticut River then there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a distinctive name like Cosmos Sunshine Heidtmann.  Wisely dropping the Heidtmann, Cosmos Sunshine makes big rolling rock along the lines of several sixties notables with a little My Mourning Jacket mixed in. The decidedly annoyed ‘Letdown’ flexes its muscles with stops and starts and angry snarls.  It’s the first single from the recently released album ‘Comes with the Fall’.