Americana Roots: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

American Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US.  It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores.  Hailing from the college-town of Stevens Point, Wisconsin is Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, who sound like a bottle of whiskey being passed around at a late-night party by the river hosted by John Hartford & the Dillards and Greensky Bluegrass, that stretches into the early morning hours and welcomes the sunrise with some ‘American Beauty’-era Grateful Dead. Continue reading “Americana Roots: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades”

Americana Roots: Old Town Flood

American Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US.  It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores.  From the historical, bluegrass hotbed of Baltimore is Old Town Flood who are continuing that long legacy of the city with their honest, hard-driving, lyrically-expressive, approach to the old-timey sound. Continue reading “Americana Roots: Old Town Flood”

Americana Roots: Tenth Mountain Division

Americana Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US.  It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores.  Emerging from the fertile musical breeding grounds of the mountains of Colorado is Tenth Mountain Division who sound like the rebellious love child of Little Feat and the Grateful Dead who spent time skipping school to follow Leftover Salmon on tour. Continue reading “Americana Roots: Tenth Mountain Division”

Wood & Wire “No Matter Where It Goes From Here” (Blue Corn Music, 2020)

‘No Matter Where It Goes From Here’ validates the rocket-ship rise of Wood & Wire in the bluegrass world, who in their short time together have already garnered a Grammy nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year with their last album ‘North of Despair’ and received much attention for their powerhouse songwriting and unmatched picking skills.  ‘No Matter Where It Goes From Here’ will do nothing to dissuade those perceptions of the band and only serve to further enhance its reputation.  In fact the album will help the band reach across the aisles of bluegrass and touch those who sometimes are put off by the bluegrass label. Continue reading “Wood & Wire “No Matter Where It Goes From Here” (Blue Corn Music, 2020)”

Americana Roots: Jon Stickley Trio

Americana Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US. It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores. The Jon Stickley Trio, an acoustic-trio from North Carolina, delivers an inventive approach to bluegrass disguised with musical experimentation that straddles the chasm between the traditional and the progressive with a powerful grace. Continue reading “Americana Roots: Jon Stickley Trio”

The Two Tracks “Cheers to Solitude” (Independent, 2020)

‘Cheers to Solitude’ opens with the bouncy, infectious ‘Beautiful’, a song that is a tour across America from the Pacific Redwoods and Pacific ocean on the West Coast, through the deep South to New Orleans and Mississippi, to the mountains of Appalachia.  ‘Beautiful’ encapsulates what makes up the soul of roots music, and at the same time defines the sound of The Two Tracks – a simple, laid-back, breezy, California vibe, the funky Cajun, swamp-foot swing from the Crescent City, a timeless fiddle line born in the mountains, all delivered with a wide-open groove reminiscent of the rollings hills and mountains of their hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming. Continue reading “The Two Tracks “Cheers to Solitude” (Independent, 2020)”

Americana Roots: Nathan Moore

Americana Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US. It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores. Nathan Moore is a  prolific poet, wordsmith, and powerful songwriter whose storyteller’s eye reflects the time and turmoil in our everyday lives. Continue reading “Americana Roots: Nathan Moore”

Grain Thief “Gasoline” (Independent, 2020)

It is a pretty great time for bluegrass right now, as a number of younger bands who have been clearly schooled in the traditions of the music, but who have also been raised with interests that far exceed those roots are exploding across the bluegrass universe with their inventive take on what Bill Monroe first conjured up so many years ago.  Falling squarely in the vein of thoughtful, forward-thinking string-bands is Grain Thief. Continue reading “Grain Thief “Gasoline” (Independent, 2020)”

Americana Roots: Caleb Stine

Americana Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US.  It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores.  Caleb Stine is the child of the renegade-cowboy-poetry of Townes Van Zandt and the sweet, rough and tumble sound of Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’.  He creates music he calls “Mystic Country.” “To me, country is wild, natural, and communal,” says Stine.  “I like wood and acoustic sounds – music that could be made in any century – and the mystic part gets at the poetry and impressionism in my songs.” Continue reading “Americana Roots: Caleb Stine”

AUK’s Chain Gang: Ola Belle Reed “High on a Mountain”

Sometimes that which connects us musically can be described as loose at best.  This week’s instalment in Chain Gang, while a tenuous connection to last week’s ‘Wreck on the Highway’ by Roy Acuff, instead reveals a powerful link in the continuing chain of Americana music and one of the most important women in roots music, Ola Belle Reed and her classic, ‘High on a Mountain’. Continue reading “AUK’s Chain Gang: Ola Belle Reed “High on a Mountain””