Jared Deck “Bully Pulpit” (Continental Blue Heaven, 2019)

Not many tracks are under the belt before you start to get a good feeling about Jared Deck. He sounds familiar, but that’s because we’re familiar with great music. He sounds a little hard-bitten, until the empathy of moments like ‘Where I Fall’ give the lie to the more embittered extremes of this emotional rollercoaster of a record. From the factories to the rock ‘n’ roll stages of Oklahoma and beyond Deck is chasing the dream down hard, leaving potential careers in the church and politics in his wake. He comes from the same school as Steve Earle and more recently, Sam Morrow. A little bit rock, a little bit country and all served with a healthy dose of soul. Continue reading “Jared Deck “Bully Pulpit” (Continental Blue Heaven, 2019)”

Louien “None Of My Words” (Jansen Records, 2019)

Live Miranda Solberg is one-quarter of Silver Lining, the Norwegian americana band reviewed on these pages last year and now gaining attention as a solo artist in her own right. Indeed, following on from a Soundcloud demo upload, Solberg found herself playing Norway’s two largest festivals and receiving all kinds of well-earned accolades. Very much based around the themes of mourning and grief following the loss of her father, ‘None Of My Words‘ also explores how those emotions can allow for human growth. Continue reading “Louien “None Of My Words” (Jansen Records, 2019)”

Native Harrow, The Golden Lion, Bristol, 30th August 2019

Deep into inner city Bristol, flanking the famous Bearpit, sits The Golden Lion pub. The Lion prides itself on its musical heritage – framed photos of Elvis adorn the walls, alongside previous performers and patrons of this americana flavoured establishment. On entry, visitors are confronted by an imposing bar, complete with longhorns and lonestars. Having established that, Devon Tuel and Stephen Harms, here on in to be known by their performing moniker ‘Native Harrow’, were deep in discussion with the evening’s sound engineer, a charming gentleman borrowed for the evening from the nearby Mother’s Ruin venue. Pale ales  were purchased and introductions made. Continue reading “Native Harrow, The Golden Lion, Bristol, 30th August 2019”

Will Bennett and the Tells “All Your Favorite Things” (Independent, 2019)

Rabbitt’s’ is Will Bennett’s hometown local and the opening track from ‘All Your Favorite Songs’ reintroduces the listener to the narrative of the small-town escape. Only this time the focus is on the return journey. Grinnel, Iowa is the small town in question and having already left, formed the band and chronicled the events on debut album ‘Wichita’, the boys are now back in town. Continue reading “Will Bennett and the Tells “All Your Favorite Things” (Independent, 2019)”

Western States “From The Center Out” (Independent, 2019)

I wanted to dig up old demons who still pull the strings…” declares Tim Lloyd, whose previous band The Doxies, were once hailed as “that rare creature, the great Midwestern rock band”. Now fronting the Western States, Lloyd continues to harness the Mississippi River winds, providing country-infused rock to the St Louis faithful around the old Soulard district and further afield. ‘From The Center Out’ is a collection of character-driven narratives on populist disillusion. Snapshots from the opposite end of the American Dream. Continue reading “Western States “From The Center Out” (Independent, 2019)”

Flagship Romance “Concentric” (Independent, 2019)

For an album penned almost exclusively on the road, touring from house party to small-town theatre, ‘Concentric‘ sounds on first spin a little too glossy, a little too Nashville paper hat for the homespun rags to rags story that follows this New Mexico duo around. On the next listen you realise that was a false dawn, that ‘Flagship Romance’ and their long-time associate and producer Lee Miles Buchanan have lulled you into a comfort zone, only for the initial illusion to be subsequently shattered by the razor-sharp harmonies, fusion styles and culturally dynamite content that initial sugar-coated impressions may have left. Continue reading “Flagship Romance “Concentric” (Independent, 2019)”

Curse Of Lono “4am And Counting” (Submarine Cat Records, 2019)

Curse Of Lono are back with another emotional roller coaster, straight off the back of last year’s breakthrough album ‘As I Fell’. The only difference is that this time the skin is off. ‘4am And Counting’ was recorded uncut, live on to tape at Toe Rag Studios, produced by Liam Watson (White Stripes), mixed by Oli Baysdon (Boxed In) and featuring special guests, pedal steel star BJ Cole and harmonica player Nick Reynolds (Alabama 3). Continue reading “Curse Of Lono “4am And Counting” (Submarine Cat Records, 2019)”

MAVERICK LAUNCH PARTY: Sam Morrow + Broken Islands + Henry Brothers, The Bedford, London, 13th June 2019

The Maverick festival is the grandaddy of UK Americana and roots shindigs. For over a decade, Maverick has been bringing the best of emerging and established acts from wherever they lay their hats to the Easton Farm Park in Suffolk, where Paul Spencer in his multiple roles as founder, host, director and general go-to-guy does the leg work and everyone proud. Back on April Fool’s Day attentive readers might recall a colleague attending the first ever launch party for the hallowed event with performers including Dana Immanuel and The Stolen Band. Heavy on bluegrass and cajun, Dana nicely captured Spencer’s emphases for this years bash.  But hang on there, the jokes on us…It turns out that this was just the warm up to the warm up! Continue reading “MAVERICK LAUNCH PARTY: Sam Morrow + Broken Islands + Henry Brothers, The Bedford, London, 13th June 2019”

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)”