The Mighty Bosscats “God Bless America” (Eigen Beheer, 2018)

  • The poisonous attitudes within the American political climate continues to divide the nation and whip up unrest everywhere you turn. Protest remains consistent among the liberal americana scene and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Well known UK based artists are getting in on the act, the latest being prolific exponent of blues-based rock n roll Richard Townend and his band The Mighty Bosscats. Continue reading “The Mighty Bosscats “God Bless America” (Eigen Beheer, 2018)”

Fender Undiscovered Artist of the Year 2018, Globe, London, 10th July

The bright future of our young acoustic talent was  showcased in north London tonight as the finalists of the Fender Undiscovered Artist Of The Year awards gathered to battle it out at the Globe. And they WERE all rather bright and rather young – almost disagreeably so – including the hosts and the judges and the compères. And as they introduced the evening’s entertainment, clarifying their position on everything from use of e-cigarettes to the #metoo campaign, your forty-something AUK representative who had somehow sneaked past the beauty police inched closer to the free bar in the knowledge that it could be a longer evening than anticipated. Continue reading “Fender Undiscovered Artist of the Year 2018, Globe, London, 10th July”

Ruen Brothers “All My Shades Of Blue” (Ramseur, 2018)

Ruen Brothers aka Henry and Rupert Stansall are Scunthorpe’s very own success story. Having been catapulted from boozy ‘Sunny Scunny’ dives to Rick Rubin’s Malibu Shangri La studios they could be forgiven for being a little bewildered at the fanfare surrounding their Roy Orbison and Everly Brothers -inspired take on rock n roll. Instead, their starched shirts remain as crisp as ever and there’s still not a hair out of place while debut album ‘All My Shades Of Blue’ continues to take the US by storm. Continue reading “Ruen Brothers “All My Shades Of Blue” (Ramseur, 2018)”

Hadnot Creek “Winter” (Independent, 2018)

Hadnot Creek released ‘Winter’ back in February for those of you wondering why this bleak and desolate collection of spit and sawdust Americana appears on these pages to coincide with some of the hottest days in recent memory. We might be breaking out the strawberries and cream for Wimbledon over here but Cliff Richard this is not. Formed in 2016 by Charlottesville, Virginia’s self-confessed shoegazer Rober Sawrey, Hadnot Creek brings to mind windswept log cabins on lonely mountains. Opener ‘Everyone Is Guilty Of Something’ sets the mood. It’s not just the Cash-esque depths of Sawrey’s vocals, the whole vibe is lo-fi, the lyrics harsh and the guitars delightfully fuzz-boxed in the style of Beck or early Radiohead. Acoustic guitar also plays a large part on the album, you can feel the frostbite on tracks like ‘I’m Never Far Away’ as Sawrey uses his unique talent for melancholy to suck the listener into his Neverland of unrequited love and twist the powers of sonic interpretation to make the listener hear rather an unholy perversion. Oh, the power of a well-timed violin draw! Continue reading “Hadnot Creek “Winter” (Independent, 2018)”

We Are Muffy “The Charcoal Pool” (Tapete Record, 2018)

Listening to the distant Cornish trappings of We Are Muffy is like stepping into a time capsule of Brylcreem, pinstripes and windy seaside shingle. The listener is taken on a journey of random droll observations on urban Albion life, inspired by Nick Duffy and Angeline Morrison’s shared Birmingham past. It’s heavy to the point of comical on trombone, music box, bottle tops, broken china…the list goes on and serious traditional folk it may be, but there’s more than a cursory tip of the bowler hat to The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and other eccentrics on the liberal wing of the sixties folk revival to be found here. Continue reading “We Are Muffy “The Charcoal Pool” (Tapete Record, 2018)”

Ben Bostick “Hellfire” (Independent, 2018)

Easy to dismiss at first listen as the kind of low-grade dirty country rock mastered and simultaneously lampooned by Jeff Bridges in his 2009 Oscar-winning performance as ‘Bad’ Blake in Crazy Heart, ‘Hellfire’ should not be so quickly thrown to the dive bar wolves. Just as Blake, with the help of T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham actually had some fine songs, so has South Carolina’s Ben Bostick, once you overcome any initial misgivings based on the drinking and shagging first impressions of the song content and dig a little deeper. He has some killer riffs, not to mention genuinely dark moments of disenfranchisement and what it means to be marginalised in the American South. Continue reading “Ben Bostick “Hellfire” (Independent, 2018)”

Curse Of Lono, Dot To Dot Festival, Mr Wolfs, Bristol, 25th May

Most fans of Americana music should by now be familiar with the works of Felix Bechtolsteimer, whether that be from his groundbreaking British country blues revivalists Hey Negrita or the more recent murky window into his soul that is his latest venture, the dramatic rock’nroll caravan that is Curse Of Lono. Continue reading “Curse Of Lono, Dot To Dot Festival, Mr Wolfs, Bristol, 25th May”

Interview: Littlemen

Summer is approaching and the West Country is coming alive with festivals and events from all walks of the musical spectrum. Robert Plant is back in his old stomping ground, Glastonbury is just around the corner and soulful Americana combo Littlemen are still bringing their own unique brand of melodic country blues to their faithful Somerset following and beyond. ‘Brothers from another mother’, Simon and Nick Allen sat down with Tim Merricks at that last outpost of sanctuary for Bath musicians, ‘The Bell’ to chew over a life out west. Continue reading “Interview: Littlemen”

Vickers Vimy “Atlas Of Hearts” (Vickers Vimy Music, 2018)

For the record, the Vickers Vimy was a First World War bomber originally manufactured in County Mayo, Ireland and was the first aircraft to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. It’s also the name of this band of Galway alt-Celtic freewheelers, adopted to drive the patriotic point home. It wasn’t necessary. This collection of bittersweet jigs and ballads may embrace the vivid cinematics and vast soundscapes of faraway lands, but scratch the surface and it’s as green as the shamrock of The Emerald Isle itself. Continue reading “Vickers Vimy “Atlas Of Hearts” (Vickers Vimy Music, 2018)”

Keaton Simons “123-Go” (Independent 2018)

A friend stops by for a beer and asks casually what music you’ve got playing. Keaton Simons? Hmm, the name is kind of familiar and so is the feel but they just can’t place it. ‘123-Go’ is the new EP by the man from LA who, if Americana was a sound that could be nailed down and pinned to a mast then Keaton Simon’s version would be blowing in the wind for all to pay homage. So why is a man with Simon’s talent and connections not sharing platforms and sales with the Ryan Adams’ of this world? Continue reading “Keaton Simons “123-Go” (Independent 2018)”