Songs for the apocalypse: Grant McLennan “Keep My Word”

‘Horsebreaker Star’ came out as a double album back in 1994, the penultimate to be released by the late ex Go-Betweener Grant McLennan and it was a musical jump from his previous work, being recorded as it was in Athens, Georgia with US musicians, and including flashes of banjo and mandolin. “I wanted it to be the kind of record that could be played by anyone, but not too obvious. You know, the London Symphony Orchestra doesn’t have to do the ballads, Johnny Cash doesn’t have to do the country songs. I don’t like to be that predictable. I like surprises,” he said. It was on my CD player for most of the year and this track used to crush me several times a week.

New posthumous JJ Cale album announced for April

Because Music have announced the release of ‘Stay Around’, the first posthumous album by beloved songwriter, guitarist, and singer JJ Cale, on 26th April in the UK. ‘Stay Around’ has been compiled by those closest to Cale, his widow and musician Christine Lakeland Cale and friend and longtime manager, Mike Kappus. You can watch the video below of the album’s debut single, ‘Chasing You’, featuring footage of Cale touring (which he seldom did) and performing across the U.S.  Continue reading “New posthumous JJ Cale album announced for April”

The Mekons announce new album for March – Listen

Leaving you this weekend dear reader with news that British folk-punk collective The Mekons will release a new album ‘Deserted’ on March 29th via our friends at Bloodshot, their first formal studio album since 2011’s Ancient & Modern.  Emboldened by a sold-out tour and a surge of interest in the States after the release of the documentary Revenge of the Mekons, the Mekons retreated to the fringes of Joshua Tree National Park and popular culture to record their new album. Singer/guitarist Jon Langford said of the recording experience: Continue reading “The Mekons announce new album for March – Listen”

Here are all the winners from last night’s AMAUK 2019 awards

The fourth of the Americana Music Association UK’s award shows took place last night in Hackney Empire and it was as star-studded an event as always, with performances from Bennet Wilson Poole, Ethan Johns, Graham Nash, Rhiannon Giddens (who was also a keynote speaker at the AMA UK Conference), Jade Bird, YOLA, Seth Lakeman, Chris Hillman and Curse of Lono.   Continue reading “Here are all the winners from last night’s AMAUK 2019 awards”

Songs for the apocalypse: Richard Shindell “State of the Union”

Richard Shindell writes songs that often break your heart more than once before the song has ended – this track taken from his ‘Not Far Now’ album from 2009 is one of those classic folk storytelling pieces that involves you with the character as much as a Raymond Carver short story, with the grand climax of the song focusing on one of Bush Jr’s state of the union addresses from the last years of his presidency: “The President’s up there grinning that grin, Thinking he’s some kind of John Wayne, We’re howling and jeering all his talk about shooting, And drilling our way out of this.” Lest we forget.

Bear’s Den are back with a new album and UK dates in April – Listen

Bear’s Den have announced details of their third studio album ‘So That You Might Hear Me’ which will be released on 26th April in the UK. The new record was recorded at several studios in Seattle with the producer Phil Ek (The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty) and was mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Metronomy). Continue reading “Bear’s Den are back with a new album and UK dates in April – Listen”

Folk icons Dervish’s Rounder debut features Steve Earle

As one of the most renowned and imaginative interpreters of Irish folk music (and one time Eurovision entry for Ireland), Dervish have devoted the last three decades to gently reinventing the traditional songs of their homeland. On their debut release for Rounder Records,‘The Great Irish Songbook’, the Sligo-based band join up with over a dozen other acts across an eclectic range of genres, including Steve Earle, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Brendan Gleeson, Jamey Johnson, Kate Rusby, The SteelDrivers and Abigail Washburn. Continue reading “Folk icons Dervish’s Rounder debut features Steve Earle”

The Mountain Goats return, In League with Dragons!

The Mountain Goats, our favourite band to be named after animals since, er, The Animals, have announced their return with a new album called ‘In League With Dragons’ which is due April 26th on Merge. The cover of it’s spectacular, which you can gaze at below.  The album is described as “surging with wild tales of revenge and redemption, heroes at a crossroads, and great figures in decline,” with twelve new songs penned by John Darnielle that include a wide array of styles, from shades of the 80s Athens scene to swathes of outlaw country and a few motorik meditations.  Continue reading “The Mountain Goats return, In League with Dragons!”

Iron & Wine announce 15th Anniversary edition of “Our Endless Numbered Days”

Two of the best things in life are ironing and drinking wine and in celebration of that timeless fact, Sub Pop will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Iron & Wine classic ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ with the release of a newly remastered and expanded deluxe edition on CD/2xLP/DL worldwide on March 22nd, 2019. This version will feature eight previously never before heard demos, new artwork, and a 12-page booklet including liner notes from author Amanda Petrusich.  You can now hear the demo version  “Passing Afternoon” below.  Continue reading “Iron & Wine announce 15th Anniversary edition of “Our Endless Numbered Days””