Our attention was drawn this week to the annual festival of gloating in which a national ‘news’ paper rubs the rest of our noses in the dirt by telling us who has the most money in the country. How odd, we thought, that when so many people have so little that it’s deemed acceptable to tell us how so few have so much. And it was also interesting to note how much is given by whom to various political parties. Actually not that varied of course with 99% going ‘blue’. Given our track record you’d think that at this point we would think of some smart arsed quip to make making light of the situation. But we can’t. It’s just too familiar and depressing. So have some ‘blues’ on the subject.
A little bonus video for you today on this International Workers Day from the lefty bard of our time. The words seem as resonant today as when they were first written: “Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own, Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone, What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child, There is power in a union.” Have a good one comrades!
The deep and growling Charlie Overbey has LA written all over him, and his new album ‘Broken Arrow’ takes his mixture of music honed through decades on the country and punk rock scenes and gives it a modern day Outlaw twist. There may even be a subtle nod to Neil Young. The album features a number of great guests including the wonderful Miranda Lee Richards on first track ‘Slip Away’ and the awesome Mastersons on the chippy and bouncy ‘Outlaws’. Americana-UK is more than proud to be able to offer the first listen opportunity for ‘Broken Arrow’– it’s out everywhere on the 20th, but you’ll hear it here first today.
Half forgotten bands, albums that slipped away – that’s what this part of the site is about. Canada’s Acres and Acres were one of the first bands, possibly the actual first, that I reviewed a CD for back in the distant days of Americana-UK (but not the dim and distant days – that was before my time). They were basically a duo of Kris Pope and Dave Scolten at the time, although they were ably supported by friends on their debut recording ‘All Nations’. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Acres and Acres”
This week when we came to boot up our trusty BBC Micro (younger readers might need to Google that) in order to check our social media we were surprised to learn that, via Netscape Navigator (younger readers might need to Google that too), all and sundry knew everything about us from our shoe sizes to our off-shore bank account numbers. Actually on closer inspection it became obvious that marketing companies didn’t know that about us because we have our profile set up in such a way that we identify as mixed race, non-binary, early twenty-somethings. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Clarence Gatemouth Brown “Information Blues””
A reminder about this dear readers, we’ve not had a lot of entries yet so “it could be you!” as the deep-voiced saying goes. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and US folk icon, Tom Paxton, is returning to the UK next month to perform twelve shows with singer/songwriter duo The DonJuans – Don Henry & Jon Vezner. Collectively, their songs have been covered by (wait for this…) Harry Belafonte, John Mellencamp, Miranda Lambert, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Kathy Mattea, John Denver, Faith Hill, B.J. Thomas, Blake Shelton, Peter, Paul & Mary and a little know singer called Bob Dylan who sounds like he might do big things one day. Continue reading “Win tickets to see Tom Paxton with AUK!”
The Soundscreen Festival of music and film begins in London from tomorrow until Thursday (29th) next week which features films and live performances across London including venues such as Koko and the 100 Club, and there’s a healthy dose of americana in there through two films, “All the Labor: The Story of the Gourds” which is what it says on the tin, and “The Shopkeeper” about music producer Mark Hallman and his Austin recording studio and its struggle to stay viable in the era of Spotify, with interviews with Tom Russell and Eliza Gilkyson among others. We have a pair of tickets for each film to give away to two AUK readers – just email us with your name before Friday at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re not in or around London, wipe away your tears with this performance from the Gourds back in 2011. Continue reading “Win tickets to Soundscreen film showings with AUK”
Got to be honest, there probably isn’t a square mile of the US or Europe that Brett and Rennie, The Handsome Family, haven’t covered at some point. The husband and wife duo must have one hell of a relationship to endure that many miles on the road together without serious risk of divorce or mental instability. That they appear, at least on the surface, as musically and harmoniously entwined is surely testament to a rigorously tested van life routine that has stood the test of time. I catch up with them en route to Aberdeen to get the lowdown.
Continue reading “Van Life: Rennie Sparks (The Handsome Family)”
We thanked Crikey Almighty for The Bunker this week what with nutters running around with chemical weapons and nerve agents poisoning folk. Appalling behaviour and something we hope is dealt with swiftly. TM The PM did take action of sorts and berated the Leningrad Cowboy giving him a right ticking off. That’ll show him. And the 800 million or so quid donated to her party by Russian oligarchs need not concern us…
The Handsome Family are nearly halfway through their biggest UK tour to date which is good news if you happen to live near the places they haven’t been yet. 25 years into their career now, Rennie and Brett Sparks’ twisted take on Americana was given a boost when a track from their 2003 ‘Singing Bones’ album ‘Far From Any Road’ was plucked from relative obscurity to be used as the theme tune for the first season of ‘True Detective’ in 2015. Since then, the track has been streamed over 50 million times and counting. Continue reading “Handsomes continue their 20th anniversary tour”