Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Caitlin Cannon

Times are strange and challenging but we hope to lift the gloom a little with our series of mini-gigs. Our aim is to help everyone feel a little more connected to the world out there.  During this period of enforced isolation, readers and listeners may be able to relate to ‘Deliver’, the recent single from Caitlin Cannon and the first of the songs she has recorded for this exclusive mini-gig.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Caitlin Cannon”

Top ten Americana songs influenced by the moon and moonshine

Earth’s nearest neighbour has provided much inspiration to songwriters from all musical genres and Americana is no exception. The moon has been used as a metaphor for the impossible, the unattainable as well as providing a romantic backdrop for Americana songs. It is also perhaps no accident that the illicitly produced spirit Moonshine and respective bootlegging activities have given a rich seam of material for Americana artists keen to express the human spirit of defiance and rebellion. Continue reading “Top ten Americana songs influenced by the moon and moonshine”

Classic Americana Albums: Jeff Buckley “Grace” (Columbia, 1994)

An ex boyfriend of mine once told me that a friend of his (whom I never met) got to see Jeff Buckley perform once. This was told to me years ago, yet I still sometimes find myself thinking enviously of this person whose name I don’t recall, which is a sure testament to the God-like level of worship Buckley brings when you hear his music. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Jeff Buckley “Grace” (Columbia, 1994)”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Bandits on the Run

Making a connection from isolation: that’s what it’s all about.  Our series of mini-gigs give you the chance to see great artists perform great music, all from the comfort of your home.  Today’s mini-gig comes from Bandits on the Run, who were touring together and on their way to South by Southwest when everyone began socially isolating.  At least this means that they can continue to make music together.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Bandits on the Run”

Home Life: Doug Hoekstra

As a regular reader you may well be thinking, ‘not sure those ‘Van Life’ pieces are particularly relevant at the moment given all these musicians are holed up riding out the lockdown.’  And you would of course be right. But, even though the wheels on tarmac may be on hold, the ears on vinyl is still very much apparent. So, for the time being or at least until things start to get moving again in terms of gigging and touring, we are asking some isolating musicians what is on their turntables keeping them sane. First up is Nashville resident, singer-songwriter, author and all round good egg Doug Hoekstra who is currently in the last throws of recording a brand new album. A wonderful observationalist, Hoekstra conjures songs that run the gamut from wistful pop to articulate Americana.   With the wonders of modern technology Americana-UK gets virtually invited into the Hoekstra household to get a handle on how things are panning out. Continue reading “Home Life: Doug Hoekstra”

AmericanA to Z – Suzanne Vega

Last week was Tom Petty and so AmericanA to Z reaches the letter U. And since Uncle Tupelo have been covered already, skips directly to V. It was that or The Upsetters, and really that was a stretch too far even for our generous definition of Americana. Instead, let’s go back to the mid-eighties and a sad time for female singer-songwriters. Joni had put out the reasonable ‘Wild Things Run Fast‘, had the patchy ‘Dog Eat Dog‘ ready to go and would follow this up with the ho-hum ‘Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm‘ – Joni’s doing covers and using co-writers? Not good. If she were ever really the next big thing Carly Simon had got into a rut of banal songs for movies – with ‘Coming Around Again‘ only a partial exception. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Suzanne Vega”

AUK’s Chain Gang: James McMurtry “Childish Things”

The most obvious connection between last week’s ‘The Town That Killed Kennedy‘ by Otis Gibbs and this week’s link in the chain is the view of the world that one gets through the window of a bus. But the title track from James McMurtry’s 2005 release – which received the AMA’s Album of the Year award in 2006 – connects to the Gibbs track on multiple levels. Both tracks address the complicated exchanges that spur a coming of age. The innocence, optimism, and energy of youth eventually sees too much and gives way to guarded wisdom and reluctant acceptance. From different perspectives and on different levels, both tracks force us to acknowledge that even while we are pursuing life, life is pursuing each of us.

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Ali Holder

We are on a mission to bring you great music – reaching out from artists’ homes to yours.  The songs are coming to you from some distance (Texas in this case) but there’s no social distancing here.  Today’s mini-gig is brought to you by Ali holder.  Known for her impassioned vocals, Holder’s music is perfect for an intimate, stripped backed gig like this. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Ali Holder”

Ten great John Prine songs

We’ve lost of one the truly great ones with the passing of John Prine, finally succumbing as he did to complications arising from Covid-19 infection.  When our editor asked who wanted to do a Top 10 John Prine Songs feature my hand shot straight up, “Pick me, pick me” or something to that effect I replied back to him on our staff forum.  Continue reading “Ten great John Prine songs”

Pick of the Political Pops: Richard Thompson “Keep Your Distance”

Well here we (still) are. Here’s hoping that you are keeping well, dear reader, and that you are finding things to keep you occupied if you happen to be self-isolating, social distancing, furloughed or simply keeping the rest of the mad bastards from your door. Of course you might be a key worker and hence busier than you have ever been – a medical worker or emergency services personnel or possibly one of those people who nobody previously realised was a key worker. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Richard Thompson “Keep Your Distance””