Screaming Orphans “Sunshine and Moss” (Independent, 2020)

This Irish girl-band; Angela (bass, violin, vocals), Gráinne (guitar, vocals), Joan (Drums, vocals)  and Marie-Thérèse Diver (keys, accordion vocals), were formerly known as the Diver Sisters during the years they performed extensively with their mother, American born Kathleen Fitzgerald. The Screaming Orphans, as renamed in the mid-’90s after reaching their teenage years and deciding to go it alone, tour extensively throughout Europe and America where they are best known for their original brand of melodic and timeless pop songs. However, having been born and bred Celtic singers and musicians, the sisters easily step back into their traditional style and sound with a natural sentiment and effortlessly give their modern take on this collection of classic works. Continue reading “Screaming Orphans “Sunshine and Moss” (Independent, 2020)”

Various Artists “Back to Paradise: A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music” (Horton Records, 2020)

The migration of people of Oklahoma, ‘the Okies’, to California from the mid-’30s to the mid-’50s, stirred by the Dust Bowl era, is a huge part of American history captured in the award-winning Steinbeck novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ as well as the Woodie Guthrie song ‘The Ballad of Tom Joad‘.
Due for release on 11th September, ‘Back to Paradise A Tulsa Tribute To Okie Music’ is the result of a group of musicians from Tulsa, Oklahoma, travelling to the iconic Paradise Studio at Grand Lake to record this, the first album recorded there since 1978 thanks to the restoration work of Tulsan, Rick Huskey. It honours numerous Oklahoma musicians from over the years including influential artists such as Leon Russell and JJ Cale. Continue reading “Various Artists “Back to Paradise: A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music” (Horton Records, 2020)”

Graham Bramblett “The Great Inbetween” (Independent, 2020)

Born and bred in Dallas, Texas and following a stint on Nashville’s Music Row, Graham Bramblett has two full-band records under his belt. This time around, however, this stripped-back 6-track boasts no bass, electric guitar or drums yet the vibe Bramblett achieves with his characterful vocal, upright lyrics, and charming musicality is vividly imposing. Each song has an elegance and thoughtfulness, most oozing fun but with sobering undertones besides. Continue reading “Graham Bramblett “The Great Inbetween” (Independent, 2020)”

Ellen Starski “Sara’s Half-Finished Love Affair” (Independent, 2020)

Throughout this album, born of a couple of chance encounters with Sara which led to a great friendship and the sharing of deeply personal experiences, Nashville-based artist and songwriter Ellen Starski explores and exquisitely illustrates the nomadic lifestyle of a drifter couple destined to be together, in a remarkably entrancing way.
The opening track, ‘Come to me‘, has an irresistible allure taking you deep into a heady vortex of elegance. Starski’s pure and dream-like vocal is utterly seductive, making it impossible to switch off. Continue reading “Ellen Starski “Sara’s Half-Finished Love Affair” (Independent, 2020)”

Teghan Devon “Little Lion” (Broken Juke Box Media, 2020)

Teghan Devon’s voice has the lyrical quality of an angel, that can be of no doubt. It is melodic, symphonic, harmonious. Her musicianship, and that of all the participants on this EP ‘Little Lion‘, is delicate and immaculate. Her lyrics thoughtful, real, and moving.
Yet, this project EP about the loss of her beloved dog, Sarge, does not quite work. Continue reading “Teghan Devon “Little Lion” (Broken Juke Box Media, 2020)”

Northline “this is AHORA” (Tunedly, 2020)

This 5-song EP, by Northline, was inspired by a book of the same name by Willy Vlautin (of Richmond Fontaine, The Delines). In a nutshell, the book tells the story of a young girl living a rough life in America with, ultimately, a sense of hope to it. Consequently, the EP emotionally mirrors this, in quite an understated yet beautiful way. Interestingly, the first edition of the novel Northline came with an original instrumental soundtrack performed by Vlautin himself although it is dramatically different to ‘this is AHORA’. Continue reading “Northline “this is AHORA” (Tunedly, 2020)”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Edwina Hayes

Born in Dublin, Edwina Hayes grew up in Preston, Lancashire before moving to the East coast of Yorkshire. Hayes now divides her time between the UK and Nashville, where she is a much-loved songwriter and artist.  Hayes’s beautifully written songs, charming stage presence and voice of an angel have won her a reputation as a real natural talent of gentle folk-Americana. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Edwina Hayes”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Emma Stevens

As we tentatively approach the slow lifting of lockdown and bringing a refreshing glimmer of hope and an abundance of heart and positivity, British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emma Stevens’ music breathes life and honesty. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Emma Stevens”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jesse Terry

A true musical journeyman, New England-based singer-songwriter Jesse Terry has made it his mission to share his love of music fully and completely, without regard for shading his emotions or tempering his convictions. His ability to create a connection, to bare his soul and express his feelings through his songs has been the defining thread in a career that has, to date, spawned five albums, numerous EPs and fostered collaborations with artists such as Dar Williams, Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope, Erin Rae and Sarah Darling. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jesse Terry”

JM Stevens “Invisible Lines” (Chicken Ranch Records)

This stalwart musician has a life steeped in music. Having enjoyed some level of success with previous bands, if this album is anything to go by, he may well be building on that as he seeks to pursue a solo career. Stevens’ mode of expression seems to be to keep his options open with a range of styles, or maybe I should say ‘Invisible Lines’. Continue reading “JM Stevens “Invisible Lines” (Chicken Ranch Records)”