Boxes “Why Don’t You Listen” EP (Independent, 2020)

Boxes are a four-piece Manchester-based band that, having played their way around most every venue that their home base has to offer, are now hoping that the release of their debut EP ‘Why Don’t You Listen’ will help bring their music to a wider audience. Their music has the rather specific aim of having the characteristics of country-rock whilst remaining true to their northern roots. Continue reading “Boxes “Why Don’t You Listen” EP (Independent, 2020)”

Sunny Ozell “Overnight Lows” (Chitin Records, 2020)

When an artist’s press release cites influences from the likes of Cassandra Wilson, Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt it certainly grabs the attention, which is good, obviously. On the other hand, it does somewhat build up the expectation levels around an album and makes an unsuspecting reviewer approach with caution. ‘Overnight Lows’ is Sunny Ozell’s second album and if she was looking to make an album that showcased her love of the sultry tones of soul, jazz and blues with which these legends made their names then she has succeeded admirably. The album oozes class throughout and, if pressed for a single word to describe the style and feel on offer it would have to be ‘sophisticated’. Continue reading “Sunny Ozell “Overnight Lows” (Chitin Records, 2020)”

AUK’s Chain Gang: Vanessa Peters “Bright Red”

Financed in large part through Kickstarter, Vanessa Peter’s 2012 album ‘The Burn The Truth The Lies’ is evidence, if evidence were needed, of the talent within our beloved genre that just needs a helping hand to get heard. With that in mind I offer no apology for using the tenuous use of the word ‘truth’ in the album title to link to last weeks gem from Mr Prophet and, hopefully, raise Vanessa’s profile just a tad more.

Pete Gow “The Fragile Line” (Clubhouse Records, 2020)

When, almost a year ago, a colleague on this esteemed website reviewed Pete Gow’s debut solo album ‘Here There’s No Sirens’ the only possible criticism to emerge from what was, in the main, a glowing review, was the fact that the album was “a little one note in terms of pace….with no rocky number to break the tension.”
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Carman A.D. “Wilderness E.P.” (Independent, 2020)

Did you hear the one about the musician who moved to Austin, Texas to start a career away from music? Well, that was never going to work was it. The musician concerned is one Carman A.D, aka Drew Carman, who, after 5 years on the road with old-time Americana band The Corduroy Road, gave it all up for a career as a greenspace/park designer. Continue reading “Carman A.D. “Wilderness E.P.” (Independent, 2020)”

Adam Hill “Water In The Draw” (Independent, 2019)

So, a Canadian folk/roots songwriter finds himself in a remote cabin on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch in Wyoming. Taking with him just his upright bass and guitar he heads for the one room where he will be holed up for a month of musical solitude. Now, whether through luck or design we are not privy but, in this far away man cave, happens to reside a grand piano. Continue reading “Adam Hill “Water In The Draw” (Independent, 2019)”

John Salaway “Americana Dreams” (Def Kat Music, 2019)

Nashville-based John Salaway has some pedigree, as a weekly residence at BB King’s Blues Club might testify. With influences that include a familiar roll call of names – Petty, Dylan, The Band and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Salaway has aimed this unambiguously titled album squarely at the Americana market. Continue reading “John Salaway “Americana Dreams” (Def Kat Music, 2019)”

Various Artists “Too Late To Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots” (Bloodshot Records, 2019)

Bloodshot Records came into being 25 years ago with the release of a compilation album of ‘Insurgent Chicago Country’. In their own words, “It embraced the pathos and quotidian hardships of classic country with the energy and immediacy of punk.” Now, on their 25th anniversary, they have released another compilation to shine a light on the music that is Chicago’s “hope and hustle”. Continue reading “Various Artists “Too Late To Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots” (Bloodshot Records, 2019)”

Lizanne Knott “Bones and Gravity” (Independent, 2019)

Lizanne Knott is one of those wonderfully expressive singer-songwriters that sound as though, if they had gone down a different route, might have been swallowed up by mainstream Nashville’s blandness. Instead she, along with so many of her peers who are reviewed on this website, has developed a style of alt country-based Americana that is manna to the ears. Continue reading “Lizanne Knott “Bones and Gravity” (Independent, 2019)”

Don Gallardo feat. Lilly Winwood “In the Name of Good Intentions” (JTM Music, 2019)

With his heart in the Americana sound, coming out of his long-time East Nashville residence, but with roots that are firmly in the soil of California, it should probably come as no surprise that Don Gallardo produces music that merges the twang of country with 1970s Laurel Canyon influences. Gallardo’s latest addition to an already very highly regarded body of work is the seven-track EP ‘In The Name of Good Intentions’ and it is fair to say that this small but perfectly formed piece of work can only add to that burgeoning reputation.
Continue reading “Don Gallardo feat. Lilly Winwood “In the Name of Good Intentions” (JTM Music, 2019)”