Happy Easter from Americana UK

We’re taking a break until Tuesday next week to celebrate the ascension of the Easter bunny into heaven. Don’t forget ‘Three Chords and the Truth’ the Woody Guthrie documentary which shows on BBC4 tomorrow night at 9pm. We leave you with this cheery little number to ponder on. It’s presumably a rhetorical question for most of us, Kirk Douglas aside. Have a good one.

Danny Schmidt announces UK dates for May

Austin, Texas-based folk-Americana singer-songwriter Danny Schmidt has announced details of a UK tour next month in support of his new album ‘Standard Deviation’ which we described as a collection of “songs of the troubadour, the worldly-wise minstrel, sung with strength, intelligence and insightfulness” and a “lyrical work of art.” Continue reading “Danny Schmidt announces UK dates for May”

NPR previews new Josh Ritter album in full

Well this is a treat for the Easter weekend – NPR are previewing today the new Josh Ritter album ‘Fever Breaks’ which is due out on Friday next week and which, of course, is produced by Jason Isbell, whose 400 Unit serve as the backing band for the record. NPR comment: Continue reading “NPR previews new Josh Ritter album in full”

Wild Rose out today, Jessie Buckley to play Black Deer

We leave you today dear reader with a reminder that ‘Wild Rose’ which we recently glowingly reviewed goes on general release across the UK from today. The film sees Jessie Buckley star as Rose-Lynn Harlan, a woman recently released from prison hellbent on pursuing her dream of getting to Nashville and becoming a country singer in what’s described as a “gritty, heartwarming and inspiring story” – and hey, it has our very own Bob Harris in it. Black Deer have announced today that Buckley will be performing songs from the film for the first time at their festival which is exciting. Anyway, go and see the film – and have a good one!

Pick of the Political Pops: Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls “Maralinga (Rainy Land)”

British nuclear tests at Maralinga occurred between 1956 and 1963 at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia and about 800 kilometres north-west of Adelaide. Indigenous people who lived in the vicinity of the test sites suffered displacement, injury and death, not to mention the service personnel from several countries including Britain and Australia who also suffered long term damage from the tests. The cost of the clean-up exceeded £50m but the UK paid less than half that amount, and that was only after protracted pressure and negotiations. Still today, the full extent of the effects suffered by service personnel and local communities is not known. Despite years of legal wrangling, the suffering and illness that those communities endured has never been properly recognised or compensated.

Songs for the apocalypse: The Lemonheads “Outdoor Type”

I grew up liking bands that everyone else thought were shit, so it was a welcome relief when the 90s came along and guitar-based music had something of a renaissance. Boston’s Lemonheads were always described as “alternative rock” but they sounded mighty gentle for a rock band sometimes with flecks of country guitar, and the introspection of this particular track made me cry and laugh at the same time, basically because it was me. Oh and the Dando I fancied was called Evan not Jill. Even the cover and title of the album from which this was taken were just brilliant. Long live the Lemonheads.

Neil Young to record new album with Crazy Horse

News from Rolling Stone this morning that Neil Young has announced that he’ll be recording a new studio album with Crazy Horse “in the near future” which will be their first new album since 2012’s ‘Psychedelic Pill’. New of the new album came via Young himself who broke it on his Neil Young Archives website in a response to a fan’s letter enquiring after his future recording plans. Young replied: “Crazy Horse is about to enter the studio with 11 new ones.” Continue reading “Neil Young to record new album with Crazy Horse”

The Devil Makes Three head to UK with Dropkick Murphys

Americana triumvirate (there’s a good word) The Devil Makes Three — featuring Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean – have announced their 2019 Spring European, which kicks off for a three night residency at Vicar St in Dublin on April 17th and ends in Belgium on Mayday.  Supporting the trio’s latest release ‘Chains Are Broken’, the dates will feature the act supporting Massachusetts Celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys. Continue reading “The Devil Makes Three head to UK with Dropkick Murphys”

Track premiere: Danni Nicholls “Hear Your Voice”

We’ve got a nice first listen for a Monday morning today. Written and recorded in Nashville by Danni Nicholls and songwriter Kyshona Armstrong, ‘Hear Your Voice’ from new album ‘The Melted Morning’ is an anthemic empowerment song with gospel and americana flavours, and Grammy-nominated duo The Secret Sisters on backing vocals. In light of the ‘Me Too’ movement and inspired by personal experience, the song is a call for women everywhere with a story to tell to ‘sing it out’ and a message that we need to work toward everyone feeling safe to do this.

Courtney Marie Andrews plays NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert

We leave you this weekend dear reader in much the same way as we left you last weekend – that’s right, it’s Courtney Marie Andrews Friday on AUK, and this week we bring you one of NPR’s lovely little Tiny Desk Concerts which she performed earlier this week, described by NPR as “a shining example of why the songs of Courtney Marie Andrews endure” that showcases the “subtleties that make her music sustain and strengthen over many listens.” It won’t embed for some reason but you can find it over at NPR here. Have a good one!