Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Mackenzie Shivers

In these strange days, when everyone’s plans have gone awry, we continue to spread the joy of music through sharing exclusive ‘mini-gigs’.  Hopefully, these little gestures can help keep everyone going.  Today we’re delighted to share the fabulous voice of Mackenzie Shivers.  She brings emotion to her music, real and powerful.   Her first song was written when she was just four years old.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Mackenzie Shivers”

The Song Remains: Adam Schlesinger 1967 – 2020

Regular and recent readers of this website will have seen from his current posts following Adam Schlesinger’s death on April 1st, from complications with Covid-19, that our esteemed editor is a particular fan of the artist and his band Fountains Of Wayne. In these, he shared his personal feelings on what Adam’s music has meant to him and acknowledging that while they weren’t a country band, Fountains Of Wayne recorded, in his opinion, a great country track with ‘Fire In The Canyon’, which just happens to be his favourite track of all time. Fountains Of Wayne were the most obvious outlet for Adam Schlesinger’s talents as songwriter, with his college friend and lead vocalist Chris Collingwood, producer, bassist and multi-instrumentalist, but they are only part of his rich legacy. Continue reading “The Song Remains: Adam Schlesinger 1967 – 2020”

The Song Remains: Steve Weber 1943-2020

The death of Steve Weber, one half of the fabled Holy Modal Rounders, progenitors of underground then psychedelic and eventually freak-folk has, for the most part gone unnoticed. The Rounders, a guitar, banjo and fiddle duo featuring Weber and co-founder Peter Stampfel, were a bellwether of sorts back in the sixties, blazing trails and opening the doors for acts such as The Lovin’ Spoonful while they became a touchstone for many in the freak-folk movement at the turn of the century. They were irreverent, sometimes obscene, always euphoric, putting the alt in folk and country long before the term was coined. As Rolling Stone called them at one point, they were gonzo traditionalists, they made folk music weird. Continue reading “The Song Remains: Steve Weber 1943-2020”

Forgotten Artists – Roger Tillison

Roger Tillison is not a name many will have come across in the first place let alone forgotten. However, he is a fine example of the Tulsa Sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s, which included Leon Russell and J J Cale as its standard-bearers. Additionally, he spent time in Woodstock when Dylan and The Band were in town. In our increasingly globalised world, with immediate access to virtually unlimited digital music, it is easy to forget the rich legacy of the many individual regional musical styles of the United States that provide such rich foundations for Americana. These musical styles were developed from local influences and worked up in live shows as much as in recording studios and therefore have a distinct and unique sound. The Tulsa Sound was one such key component and Roger Tillison was at the heart of it in its heyday. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Roger Tillison”

10 Fountains of Wayne songs with an americana vibe

Whenever I would tell someone that Fountains of Wayne were my favourite band, it would often be a met by a kind of bemused look, mainly because of that song. But as is often the case with bands who have one big hit, there was so much more to them than that. You sadly only find out of course how loved people are when they’re not with us any more and the news of the Fountains’ Adam Schlesinger’s death from Coronavirus last week felt like a devastating blow, particularly given his young age. It was made marginally more bearable by the accolades heaped upon him by writers across the world which evidenced the esteem he was held in and the respect from musical journalist and fellow musicians which he garnered far and wide. Continue reading “10 Fountains of Wayne songs with an americana vibe”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jeff Karoub

It’s been great to see how artists of all genres have responded to these strange times with live streams, house concerts and collaborations over the internet.  Here at AUK, we have been regularly publishing ‘mini-gigs’ from some of our favourite artists, who have recorded themselves performing songs exclusively for us.  For today’s show, we have Detroit singer-songwriter, Jeff Karoub. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jeff Karoub”

AUK’s Chain Gang: Otis Gibbs “The Town That Killed Kennedy”

Following on from last week’s selection of ‘Dallas’ by the wonderful Caitlin Rose, I’ve gone with that Texas location link and have chosen ‘The Town That Killed Kennedy’ by Otis Gibbs. The song is taken from his 2010 album ‘Joe Hill’ Ashes’ and is about riding a Greyhound bus. As the album title indicates, Otis Gibbs is a political songwriter (he has supported Billy Bragg in the past), but he also writes great songs of everyday life and personal experiences. If you are not familiar with him already, do check him out.

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jess Guise

These are strange times and many are isolating or just feel isolated.  To help life the gloom and spread some joy, we have been asking some of our favourite artists to record exclusive ‘mini-gigs’, performing just for you, dear reader.  Today’s show comes from Jess Guise.  ‘Countdown’ is a song Guise wrote about having to wait to see someone she loved, someone far away.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jess Guise”

Classic Americana Albums: Robbie Fulks ‘”Country Love Songs” (Bloodshot, 1996)

It’s late July 2019 and my latest Bloodshot records update drops through the electronic mailbox. My excitement is palpable. Finally, after 23 years, one of the finest records ever to pass through my CD laser beams was coming out on vinyl and I would be able to hear (and smell!) it in its full glory.  Robbie Fulks’ ‘Country Love Songs’ was about to become only the third album in my entire accumulation deemed so special as to be purchased on more than one format*. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Robbie Fulks ‘”Country Love Songs” (Bloodshot, 1996)”

Studio Life: Jonathan Hultén

Jonathan Hultén has just released his debut solo album, ‘Chants From Another Place’.  It’s mesmerising music inspired by acapella folk and church choir compositions. Hultén says the album, which was recorded in his own studio in Sweden, “…will thematically take you through landscapes of ecstasy, passing mountains of death and rebirth, sailing seas of adventure, traversing wastelands of despair and forests of myth. It is an inward journey and only time can tell which places will be visited under its duration. It is a tale of spiritual death and rebirth.”  Indeed, its dark, melancholy tales feel timeless. Continue reading “Studio Life: Jonathan Hultén”