Fabrizio Cammarata, The Sebright Arms, London, 29th May 2019

There was something ill fitting about Fabrizio Cammarata and his Euro entourage holed up deep within the vaults of this back alley retreat for beatnutz and shoegazers that is the Sebright Arms, way out in the frayed, albeit regenerating,  back pockets of Hackney. His recent album, ‘Lights’ has been well received since it was scrapped and rewritten during a period of inner conflict, the result being much more of a ‘band’ sound than the singer/songwriter we’ve known before. Perhaps the tour venues were chosen with this in mind as Fabrizio came charging out of the blocks with a toughened up, rock ‘n’ roll infused version of the all-new Fabrizio Cammarata. Continue reading “Fabrizio Cammarata, The Sebright Arms, London, 29th May 2019”

Sunday Morning “Four” (Bronson Recordings, 2019)

Following on from the release of Sicilian Fabrizio Cammarata’s critically acclaimed ‘Lights’, the Italian Americana (is that a coffee?) theme is continued by Sunday Morning, who returned with a new line-up in 2015 after eight years in the wilderness. Andrea Cola is back again with a brand new sound to go with the updated personnel. A little older, a little wiser, a new direction – and it sounds like rebirth. Continue reading “Sunday Morning “Four” (Bronson Recordings, 2019)”

Ordinary Elephant “Honest” (Independent, 2019)

One thing that should be made clear from the outset about ‘Honest’ is that there is not a weak track on the album. This is only partly down to the strength of the material – a large debt is owed to the sheer power and authenticity of the delivery. This collection of thought-provoking, heartstring-tugging Americana is all the more remarkable when taken in the context of the relative inexperience of its exponents.  The circumstances surrounding this songwriting duo’s leap of faith from the safety of their nine to five lives to taking a chance on themselves, the open road and a bunch of songs to tell the tale brings an American Dream to generations across the globe. Continue reading “Ordinary Elephant “Honest” (Independent, 2019)”

David Quinn “Wanderin’ Fool” (Independent, 2019)

“Chicago cosmic country!” thus David Quinn is introduced via the gimmick weary world of the media press release. The resulting introduction into the life of this travelling proponent of country rock tells a different story. From the northern woods of Wisconsin to the California pop-rock scene, right up to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and on down to Texas on what he calls his “quarter-life crisis”, there’s more to the man than the label. Continue reading “David Quinn “Wanderin’ Fool” (Independent, 2019)”

Fabrizio Cammarata “Lights” (800A Records, 2019)

Fabrizio Cammarata, from Palermo, Sicily is not a well-known name on the UK circuit. It’s an outdated inequity that our continental neighbours are not given the attention here that our American cousins enjoy when it comes to the genre. Having said that, it’s a debate for another day (and one that I know is close to our cosmopolitan editor’s heart). But to dig a little into the journeys that influence this Mediterranean singer-songwriter and to understand a little of the mystique that drives his craft, backs up the first impression of a class act creating a portfolio of dark, cinematic insights into a Hispanic style of alternative folk.
Continue reading “Fabrizio Cammarata “Lights” (800A Records, 2019)”

Mules & Men “Thinking Sideways” (Independent, 2019)

There’s no disputing the talent, energy and togetherness that this unique band bring to the table. You can argue over the genre – they call it ‘Acid Celtgrass’. What that means is open to interpretation, pigeonholing was never an AUK preference. What matters is that Luke Coffey and his gang of Irish reprobates sting the listener with razor- edged hoedowns not heard from the Emerald Isle since The Pogues last raised hell . Continue reading “Mules & Men “Thinking Sideways” (Independent, 2019)”

Jess Klein “Back To My Green” (Blue Rose Records, 2019)

Just as the generations have always offered up explosions of outstanding peer collectives down the ages,  so it seems that lately there has been an outbreak of gifted female americana singer-songwriters. Not that Jess Klein is exactly hot off the press – her career spans nearly two decades. She does, however, have an uncanny knack of reinventing herself and is a modern day inspiration for the newcomers that have flooded the scene in the last couple of years. Continue reading “Jess Klein “Back To My Green” (Blue Rose Records, 2019)”

Rachel Baiman, The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol, 22nd January 2019

Bristol’s Wardrobe Theatre is a bohemian gem of a venue in a neglected but vibrant corner of the city, offering up a mix of independent productions and cutting edge Americana to an audience made up of old and young. A taste for low key performances and local craft ale seems to be a prerequisite for this minimalist Victorian dance hall setting and tonight Rachel Baiman and friends touched down from Nashville to a seasonal West Country welcome. Continue reading “Rachel Baiman, The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol, 22nd January 2019”

Straw Bear “Fiction” (Independent, 2018)

Straw Bear named their band after a “bizarre” festival in the home counties during which a single participant is dressed as yep, a straw bear, in celebration of the start of the agricultural year. This says more about frontman and founding member Ian Ray’s sense of the offbeat than it does about any association with crop rotation schemes among their members. This is mirrored in the quirky lyrics and weaving melodies of ‘Fiction’ – the third album and by far the most psychedelic release by this unorthodox, intriguing fellowship. Continue reading “Straw Bear “Fiction” (Independent, 2018)”

Kramies (ft. Grandaddy, Guided By Voices, Train) “Of All The Places Been & Everything The End” (Hidden Shoal, 2018)

Since signing with Australian label Hidden Shoal Records, Colorado-based Kramies Windt has forged a critically, if not necessarily commercially successful career by drawing on his European (Dutch) background, adding this to his own Appalachian roots and teaming up with indie producer, Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle. The result is a unique blend of the new world and the traditional; the medieval hipster who, through the delicate spells he weaves, creates a mellow trip to a sonic netherworld. Continue reading “Kramies (ft. Grandaddy, Guided By Voices, Train) “Of All The Places Been & Everything The End” (Hidden Shoal, 2018)”