Forgotten Artists – Bonnie Koloc

Bonnie Koloc was one of three performers who, during the early 1970s, made up the celebrated ‘Trinity of the Chicago Folk Scene’. The other two were John Prine and Steve Goodman. That in itself should be enough to make you sit up and take notice. However, Bonnie Koloc was far too good to be remembered only by this association; she was an exceptional artist in her own right. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Bonnie Koloc”

Forgotten Artists – Willy DeVille

Americana is often described as a mix of many different strands of American music. Rock, of all sorts, country, blues, folk and gospel all blended together. Willy DeVille, whether under his own name, or earlier as Mink DeVille, added influences from further South, Cajun, New Orleans R&B and Mariachi all appeared in his sound at one time or another. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Willy DeVille”

Forgotten Artists – Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra

Here at the Forgotten Artists series we don’t necessarily think these artists have actually been forgotten – it’s more that their contribution to Americana may have been overlooked or that they’ve flown below the radar for some fans of the genre. I think this is definitely the case with Hazlewood and Sinatra. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra”

Forgotten Artists – Willis Alan Ramsey

Willis Alan Ramsey was not only in at the start of the Austin music scene of the ‘70s but he was also one of the first of the new wave of singer-songwriters, subsequently tagged as progressive country, to get a contract with a major label. His first self-titled album, released in 1972, contained eleven self-written tracks and ten have subsequently been covered by other artists including Jimmy Buffet, Sam Bush, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Willis Alan Ramsey”

Forgotten Artists – The Cactus Brothers

The Cactus Brothers were a Nashville based band who released two excellent albums in the 1990s before folding. Those two albums, whilst critically lauded, suffered a fate familiar to many bands who dared to stray from the mainstream, namely they bombed. With radio exposure so vital in the US at that time, the Cactus Brothers were deemed to be too country for rock radio and too rock for country radio. After their second album they were dropped by Capitol EMI and the band disintegrated as members went off to do other things. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – The Cactus Brothers”

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”

Forgotten Artists – The Subdudes

Few bands in this day and age can claim to be truly unique but The Subdudes may have a better claim than most. Their music is a curious blend of folk, country, gospel and blues flavoured with New Orleans R&B and Cajun swamp rock; when their eponymous first album arrived in 1989 it was like a breeze blowing through the bayou, you could almost taste the Louisiana air. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – The Subdudes”

Forgotten Artists – Barefoot Jerry

Founded in Nashville in 1971, Barefoot Jerry recorded six albums before calling it a day in 1977. None of them achieved great commercial success, but together they represent a body of work rivalled by few of their contemporary seventies country-rock/Southern rock bands. The first three albums in particular are classics of their genre. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Barefoot Jerry”

Forgotten Artists – Darden Smith

Darden Smith should’ve been a big star. Blessed with an ability to write great songs and being a rangy, good looking Texan it’s hard to believe that his future as a top singer songwriter wasn’t assured. Sometimes the Universe has other plans, it seems. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Darden Smith”

Forgotten Artists – The Hacienda Brothers

The Hacienda Brothers were heading for commercial success having built  a growing live following and being nominated as Band Of The Year in the 2007 Americana Music Awards when their front man and co-founder Chris Gaffney died of liver disease on April 17th 2008 bringing to an abrupt end one of the great lost bands of Americana. Chris Gaffney formed the Hacienda Brothers with Dave Gonzalez, founder and hot shot guitarist Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – The Hacienda Brothers”