Ewan Cruickshanks “A Glasgow Band” (Armellodie Records 2018)

Ewan Cruickshanks is a keen supporter of the Glaswegian roots music scene, with a radio show affiliated to the local university, and February sees the release of his debut album. ‘Y.N.D. (Youth Never Dies),’ the instrumental only opening track sounds something like a collaboration between Sonic Youth and the Pixies, although it’s not typical of the rest of the album which could generally be filed under the heading ‘alternative/indie.’ Continue reading “Ewan Cruickshanks “A Glasgow Band” (Armellodie Records 2018)”

Kathy Greenholdt “Halos Are History” (Bindweed Music, 2017)

If much of modern popular music seems to span an almost infinitesimal range of genres and sub-genres then it’s still fair to say that the category of singer/songwriters dedicated to people who went on to become Catholic saints is still a relatively uncrowded one. Continue reading “Kathy Greenholdt “Halos Are History” (Bindweed Music, 2017)”

David Ramirez, St Pancras Old Church, London, 12th January 2018

“I may as well get in his good graces before I start getting blasphemous”, says David Ramirez as he pauses to reflect on the intimate surroundings of St Pancras Old Church towards the beginning of his set tonight. Ramirez is playing completely solo on his current tour although he pauses to reflect at one point on how playing with the compatriots in his regular band has meant his music is tending to evolve in a more rock ‘n’ roll direction. As for the evening, the environment is perfectly suited to his more intimately personal style of song writing, with Ramirez on acoustic guitar throughout. Continue reading “David Ramirez, St Pancras Old Church, London, 12th January 2018”

Interview: Broken Witt Rebels

The Broken Witt Rebels have just completed a headline tour and widespread success seems to be knocking on their doors following the release of their debut album. They’ve given up their days jobs in order to seek fame and fortune, remember their values, and are prepared to work hard – but are still at a level where they’re worried about who’s going to steal their whiskey. “We piss on our amps too. No one else is going to want to take those,” announces drummer James Dudley. Having seen The Travelling Band the previous week, who famously had about £30,000 of equipment stolen from their van in 2014 (later successfully recovered), this is no mean consideration. And it’s true to say the ‘territorial pissings’ observation has us looking for tell-tale stains on their Orange cabinets as they take to the stage later on.  Continue reading “Interview: Broken Witt Rebels”

Interview: Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

“Yoooooooo!!! Yoooooooo!!!” I hear screamed. I don’t know where it came from, or from whom. To be honest I’m a little afraid to ask. Tyler’s in the room. Tyler’s out the room. I don’t know what’s going on. It’s madness. “That’s life backstage at Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown,” proclaims drummer Caleb Crosby. It’s a wet night in Camden’s Dingwalls for the final show of Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown’s three-night UK tour. It’s been a well-received run by the US blues rockers, and I find myself squeezed into what I’m guessing used to be a storage cupboard. Continue reading “Interview: Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown”

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Dingwall’s, London, 5th December 2017

A random conversation with a total stranger at this summer’s Ramblin’ Man Fair, who insisted I head directly to the Blues tent to see an amazing guitar slinger from Nashville, is what brought me to this pass on a Tuesday evening in Camden. That afternoon’s set in Maidstone back in July had other complete strangers turning to each other in the tent, with a look of excitement borne of witnessing a future star in the making. Continue reading “Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Dingwall’s, London, 5th December 2017”

Broken Witt Rebels, Boston Music Room, London, 29 November 2017

The Broken Witt Rebels brought their unique blend of heavy blues, high energy rock, southern soul and Americana to north London last Tuesday, during a tour for their debut album which they’ve just released. Continue reading “Broken Witt Rebels, Boston Music Room, London, 29 November 2017”

The Travelling Band – The Borderline, 21 November 2017

Having premiered their ‘Sails’ album live in full for the first time back in August at the Water Rats in King’s Cross, The Travelling Band returned to the Borderline in London on Tuesday as part of a tour to promote the new record. The scope and breadth of The Travelling Band’s ambition is fully apparent throughout ‘Sails – traversing a range of styles from pop to folk, and from indie to Americana. Continue reading “The Travelling Band – The Borderline, 21 November 2017”

William The Conqueror, Moth Club, London, 14th November 2017

Expectations for William the Conqueror’s first headline London performance were high given that Ruarrri Joseph’s latest musical project has resulted in a debut album which is one of four nominees for UK Americana album of the year in 2018. The buzz around the three piece has already been building through a recent touring slot supporting Danny and the Champions of the World, and also with the band forming part of the UK cohort of the Americana Music Association’s delegation to Nashville’s Americana Music Festival. However, the MOTH Club – which is an acronym for the ‘Memorable Order of Tin Hats’ – is about as low key a place as possible for a headline slot, a former ex-serviceman’s club converted into a nightlife and music venue, the only glitz provided by the glittery ceiling and a gold tinsel curtain by way of stage backdrop. Continue reading “William The Conqueror, Moth Club, London, 14th November 2017”

Richard Schroder “Drive” (Tinderbox Music, 2017)

Richard Schroder certainly looks like he’s put in the spade work with his debut album, seeking out advice from songwriting coach, Steve Seskin, who says that what separates the debutant from his peers is his willingness to undertake endless re-writes of songs in order to hone them to perfection. Aside from the two years it’s taken him to make the album, Schroder also surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in the business, including Duke Levine (who’s worked with Roseanne Cash and Mary Chapin Carpenter), as well as getting the record mastered by a Grammy award winner who’s assisted Carrie Underwood. Continue reading “Richard Schroder “Drive” (Tinderbox Music, 2017)”