Don Gallardo announces summer UK dates

Don Gallardo, whose last album we described last year as “richly layered music on the country-rock side of Americana” has announced a string of summer UK tour dates including Suffolk’s Maverick Festival, shows including London, Bristol and Birmingham, and culminating in a performance at Tingestock Festival (full tour dates below). Continue reading “Don Gallardo announces summer UK dates”

How did bluegrass become the new sound of political protest across the US?

The Guardian ran a superb article over the weekend on a genre we don’t cover enough here on AUK –  bluegrass – partly because it appears to be the marmite of americana. The article focused on the genre’s recent gravitation towards activism: “Bluegrass has no history of protest music. Or rather, its protest has always been a passive, melancholic one, the sound of displaced workers longing for their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains far away. It is a music whose roots are bedded so deep in its nostalgic view of America that it can seem estranged from the modern world – and vice versa.” Continue reading “How did bluegrass become the new sound of political protest across the US?”

Sturgill Simpson records theme for “The Dead Don’t Die” – Listen

Sturgill Simpson has released a new track called ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ which serves as the theme song from Jim Jarmusch‘s new zombie comedy movie of the same name starring Bill Murray and Adam Driver. The movie came out on Friday to fairly middling reviews (“zombies gobbling up scraps of pop culture” said the NYT, presumably about the film and not its audience), but if you don’t want to face it then joy of joys Simpson has released the song as a stand-alone single which you can hear below.

The Avett Brothers reveal new album details – Listen

We leave you this weekend dear dear readers with news that North Carolina’s Avett Brothers (featuring actual brothers) have announced details of their new album ‘Closer Than Together’ which lands on American/Republic Records on October 4th. You can watch the first single below which is creative to say the least. The Avetts clearly don’t like to stand still for too long. Continue reading “The Avett Brothers reveal new album details – Listen”

Hiss Golden Messenger announce new record “Terms of Surrender”

The always delightful North Carolina band Hiss Golden Messenger have announced the release of their anticipated twelfth new album ‘Terms of Surrender’ which will be released on the uber-cool Merge Records on September 20th. Following a tough year and with the help of Jenny Lewis, The National and his regular bandmates, the new record is described as”part apology, part plea, part love letter” and a record “that mirrors the searching spirit of the music.” Continue reading “Hiss Golden Messenger announce new record “Terms of Surrender””

Songs for the apocalypse: The Maureens “Caroline”

Forget everything you know about anyone called Maureen. Namely that woman from Driving School. ‘Bang the Drum’ is the name of the second album by Utrecht quartet The Maureens, and also what I’ve been doing since I heard this record back in 2015 which has in it echoes of everything you could want from a good album – they have a kind of very melodic jangle pop sound with hints of The Byrds or Teenage Fanclub, and in this track ‘Caroline’ the Beatles too (who are still obviously bigger than Jesus here in Liverpool, Ringo’s best efforts notwithstanding). The harmonies, the chord changes, the birdsong at the end – it’s three minutes and five seconds of perfection. If I ever have a daughter I will call her Caroline because of this song.

Massy Ferguson set to divide the UK next month

Seattle based americana quartet Massy Ferguson have announced a series of UK dates including festival appearances at Maverick and Summer Tyne. For more than a dozen years, the band have planted their boots on both sides of the country-rock divide, carving out their own brand of amplified Americana along the way. Continue reading “Massy Ferguson set to divide the UK next month”

Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris perform Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” – Watch

We leave you this wet weekend dear reader with something fairly special. Earlier this week Brandi Carlile played a headlining show in her home state of Washington called ‘Echoes Through the Canyon’ which included performances by support acts Neko Case and Emmylou Harris who Carlile had picked herself.  The latter performed a version of Sarah McLachlan’s classic from 1998 with Carlile itself which it’s fair to say is up there with the original.  Have a good one.

Songs for the apocalypse: Witness “My Time Alone”

Back in 2002 when Americana UK was one years old, we held a mini-festival at the Masque venue in Liverpool which celebrated the best of UK americana. Thanks to my shambolic organisational skills, the event over-ran by so long that half the crowd ended up missing the headline act, alternative-rock band Witness from Wigan who’d just a year earlier released an album on the Island label with a distinct americana tinge. It’s fair to say we liked it rather a lot – “it’s almost impossible to describe the elation you feel on completing the first listen to ‘Under a Sun'” we beamed. And it still sounds spine-tinglingly epic today, with no better example than a track which NME called “the best single REM never wrote; chords crashing and splashing in a melancholic Californian sun.” Perhaps their kiss of death was that they weren’t quite gloomy enough for our genre.

Jesse Malin records album with Lucinda Williams – Listen

This is quite exciting for last thing on a Monday afternoon. Jesse Malin has announced ‘Sunset Kids’, his first studio album in four years, to be released August 30th and produced by Lucinda Williams. Engineered by David Bianco and Geoff Sanoff, it was recorded on both coasts between the two artists’ touring schedules and features two songs co-written by Lucinda Williams  including the first single, ‘Room 13’ which you can listen to below. Continue reading “Jesse Malin records album with Lucinda Williams – Listen”