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)”

AmericanA to Z – Emmylou Harris

As a renowned singer, songwriter and musician, Emmylou Harris will no doubt need little or no introduction. Harris is, without doubt, one of the all-time greats. Her contribution to music over the years is summed up magnificently in the notes accompanying her 2005 compilation album ‘The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways’ as “a cornerstone of the country-rock genre, who led country music back to its roots, who was a trailblazer for female musical collaborations, who prefigured the resurgence of bluegrass, and who became a key artist of the Americana movement”. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Emmylou Harris”

Gold Light “Zephyr” (Bailey Park, 2019)

Joe Chang, aka Gold Light, has been releasing music since 2013 from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. ‘Zephyr‘, his fourth album, was all written, performed and mixed by Chang himself and recorded over just three days on a 4-track cassette player, in his bedroom. The fact this was all accomplished in his bedroom might make one think he is young and inexperienced, but that is far from the case. Continue reading “Gold Light “Zephyr” (Bailey Park, 2019)”

Jesse Terry + Emma Stevens, Cluny 2, Newcastle, 9th October 2019

Sharing the headlines on this tour of the UK and Ireland, Jesse Terry and Emma Stevens, two experienced singer-songwriters, hailing from opposite sides of the Pond, may have seemed an unlikely co-bill. However, even though they’d never actually met before this tour, and their styles are quite different, they gracefully complemented one another. Co-bills (as opposed to a name act plus support) are an excellent idea but, and I’m sure it’s part of the strategy, they have a tendency to leave you wanting more from both acts and this was the case tonight. Continue reading “Jesse Terry + Emma Stevens, Cluny 2, Newcastle, 9th October 2019”

The Divine Comedy + Man & The Echo, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, 6th October 2019

Launching their tour at Dublin’s old Gas Board offices allowed an apt backdrop for the six-piece The Divine Comedy’s presentation of their latest symphony of songs ‘Office Politics’. The scene was set, much like the album cover, in an office with all the office equipment & technology you could imagine, and it made for a charming atmosphere in which Neil Hannon was able to enact his take on life at the office. By his own admission, not having ever worked in an office, Hannon wasn’t qualified to do this, and perhaps that was reflected by the odd ‘admin error’ that Alastair the Caretaker had to tend. On the whole, the audience was thoroughly entertained throughout by the exquisite band and Hannon’s remarkable observations & distinguished delivery. His unrivalled talent as a wordsmith knows no bounds. The subject matter of his writing is down to earth, real, and touches everybody. Then there is the music; melodious and lyrical, beautiful and brilliant. Continue reading “The Divine Comedy + Man & The Echo, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, 6th October 2019”