Singer-songwriter and folk-rock icon Don McLean is set to perform four UK dates later this month as part of his current transatlantic tour. McClean, responsible for ‘American Pie‘, which was listed as the number 5 song of the century by the Recording Industry of Association of America, is one of the most renowned country artists and with over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide, is also regarded as one of the most prolific songwriters of all time.
Continue reading “Grab a slice of American Pie – Don McLean heads to the UK this month”
The last release by Birds of Chicago ‘Love In Wartime’ may prove to be a prescient title before too long given reports from the UK food industry that in the event of a no-deal Brexit the Government will have to put the population on a command-economy war footing for the purposes of rationing and co-ordination of food resources. Quite how the British public will respond to such circumstances is uncertain, although expecting some kind of stoical response along World War II lines is probably fanciful seeing as the Police had to ask people to stop calling 999 when KFC ran out of chicken last February.
Continue reading “Birds of Chicago set to tour through the Brexit deadline”
A few years ago, Texas country-blues singer Charley Crockett wrote a song called ‘How Long Will I Last’ about an uncertain love affair. Little did he know the song title would also prove a prophetic metaphor for his recent struggle with heart disease. Purely by chance when he was seeking medical advice for repairing a hernia in January, Crockett learned he also had bicuspid aortic valve stenosis, a disease where, instead of having three aortic flaps that allow the blood to flow, two are fused together. “The cardiologist determined I was one year away from heart failure. It was really, really good luck that I found out what was wrong with me.” Continue reading “Charley Crockett tours with Jaime Wyatt following major health scare”
An album that’s gained increasing acclaim through five star reviews and word of mouth is Ohtis’ ‘Curve of Earth’. What makes the back story to this debut release so compelling is that it’s an album fully 15 years in the making. Continue reading “Illinois’ Ohtis set to tour UK for the first time”
Following a sold-out show at The Lexington in London on July 31st and an appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival the following day, James Walbourne and Kami Thompson, aka The Rails, head out on a UK headline tour in October. Continue reading “The Rails announce new album and tour dates”
Following the release of her third studio album, ‘Mint Condition’, Caroline Spence returns to the UK for seven dates in October. Having won numerous songwriting awards from industry mainstays like the Kerrville Folk Festival, Spence has long been regarded as a well kept secret on the Americana scene, but the cat is now well and truly out of the bag, with Rick Bayles of Americana UK recently describing ‘Mint Condition’ as a potential album of the year contender: “Repeated listening to this new work reveals it to be a pretty much flawless set of eleven songs, ten of them written by Spence and the eleventh a co-write with fellow artist Ashley Ray.” Continue reading “Caroline Spence has tour dates in October”
When folk royalty such as Richard Thompson venture into the adjoining pub before this sold out show, it tends to ramp up the pressure somewhat. It’s a challenge that his daughter, the prodigiously talented Kami Thompson and her husband, James Walbourne, seem more than ready to meet, however, as they perform an excellent show, showcasing no fewer than eight of the ten songs from their forthcoming release, ‘Cancel the Sun’. Continue reading “The Rails, The Lexington, London, 31 July 2019”
Jim Walker is managing director of Brighthelmstone Promotions. In 2017 he started a festival in his hometown of Hassocks, West Sussex featuring two of our greatest loves – Americana music and good beer. The Mid-Sussex Americana beer festival is running for a third year at the Hassocks hotel in East Sussex on the 24th of August and involves a range of established and emerging talent such as William The Conqueror, Danny George Wilson (of Danny and the Champions of the World), Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, Lucas & King, Jamie Freeman, Loud Mountains, Noble Jacks, Porchlight Smoker and Ben Featherstone. Mark Underwood of Americana-UK caught up with Jim to talk about plans for the festival and the promotions business. Continue reading “Interview: Jim Walker, Brighthelmstone Promotions”
From today’s perspective it’s hard to underestimate the importance of Lucinda Williams’ ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ to the Americana genre. While its impact on release in 1998 wasn’t particularly apparent (it only reached 65 on the Billboard 200 chart), it was given a major boost through countless positive reviews which culminated in it winning a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Since then, it’s been understandably referred to as a seminal work, kickstarting the Americana movement, and is rightly considered as one of the best albums of the 1990s. On the 20th anniversary of its release Williams has been playing the album in its entirety and tonight it was London’s turn. Continue reading “Lucinda Williams, the Barbican, London, 27th July 2019”
Ags Connolly and Whitney Rose may hail from Oxford and Canada, respectively, but they both share a spiritual home in Austin. For Ags it’s the place he relates most to musically, while for Whitney Rose it now represents home following her move from her native Prince Edward Island. While Ags Connolly and Whitney Rose may be at opposite ends of the musical alphabet they are both ruggedly independent acts who demonstrate tonight that they should be filed under the letter ‘C’ for classic country. Continue reading “Whitney Rose and Ags Connolly, The Lexington, London, 23rd July 2019”