“What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Gordon Sharpe

You lucky people: whilst we are all (hopefully) self-isolating – watch how quickly that comment dates – you will have plenty of time to read the latest instalment of “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway” in which our writers and contributors tell us what, why and where they got into Americana. This week top bloke and diamond geezer Gordon (Not A Moron) Sharpe steers into his choices via a jazz route, which is refreshingly different, and tells us of his love for the smaller venue. Continue reading ““What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Gordon Sharpe”

Top ten banjo tracks

The banjo has made a significant contribution to Americana dating back in its earliest forms to thirteenth-century sub-Saharan cultures. It almost certainly reached America with slaves during the eighteenth century and by the nineteenth century it was being accompanied by that Northern European import, the fiddle. Appalachian folk music adopted the instrument creating new interpretations of European folk tunes eventually leading to legendary banjo exponent, Earl Scruggs influencing many players of the twentieth century. Continue reading “Top ten banjo tracks”

AmericanA to Z – Tom Petty

Tom Petty is one of the strongest and most resonant of all the artists connecting the 1970s to current Americana. In a desperately shortened career that still spanned over 41 years he wrote songs that appealed to the plaid wearing beer-drinking hell raisers, the shiny popsters with their beatboxes and hip shoes, the blue-collar workers heading out to their dead-end jobs singing to their dashboards about freedom and every other social grouping besides.  Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Tom Petty”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jeremy Pinnell

When times are tough, we need to find ways to come together and celebrate.  Many of us find joy in live music… now that’s in short supply at the moment, so we’re sharing ‘mini-gigs’ from great artists to compensate.  Jeremy Pinnell has a wonderfully characterful voice, used to full effect on Gary Stewart’s ‘Blue Ribbon Blues’ and ‘Big Bright World’ from his debut solo album, ‘OH / KY’Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jeremy Pinnell”

Support Your Local Venue – Worcester’s Huntingdon Hall

As part of our occasional series looking at smaller scale local venues, let us tell you a little about the Huntingdon Hall in Worcester – which is a city worth visiting in its own right.  The Hall itself is within spitting distance of the magnificent Cathedral.  It will, of course, be shut now and it’s near enough to the river in Worcester to be at risk from what seems to be the annual Severn flood.  Some venues have all the luck! Continue reading “Support Your Local Venue – Worcester’s Huntingdon Hall”

Ten great “Los Angeles” songs

Los Angeles seems like some kind of paradise from its iconic images and its magnetic pull on many who work in the visual and audio arts. Yet in song it can seem a much bleaker place than the constant sunshine of the sunshine state might lead one to imagine – it seems to retain the darkness of the long vanished LA of Phillip Marlowe. In music it’s a place that people seem to be going to go, or going from, pining for or wishing they could throw off. Let’s take a bit of a stroll down those wide boulevards – but let’s at least try and save Hollywood for another occasion. Continue reading “Ten great “Los Angeles” songs”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jerry Leger

What a fantastic way to close out a week of exclusive AUK mini-gigs!  Every day this week, we have brought you a different artist, showcasing their talent and performing just for you.  It’s a small gesture to make up for all those cancelled gigs and it’s a little light in the darkness.  Today, that shining light is Jerry Leger. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jerry Leger”

The Song Remains: Eric Weissberg 1939-2020

To many, Eric Weissberg, who died on March 22nd, 2020, from Alzheimer’s Disease, was a one-hit wonder with ‘Duelling Banjos’ from John Boorman’s 1972 film ‘Deliverance’. However, he was so much more than that, being one of the first young urban musicians to join the ‘50s folk revival, a populariser of bluegrass and the banjo and a major session and touring musician, adept on any stringed instrument including banjo, dobro, guitar, fiddle, mandolin and pedal steel. Continue reading “The Song Remains: Eric Weissberg 1939-2020”

Studio Life – Whitacre

Whitacre call their blend of musical influences ‘mountain rock’, which feels just right when you absorb their sound.  The Denver-based group are set to release their debut full-length album on 17th April and ‘Seasons’ promises to be an engaging listen.  They have consciously set out to create something different.  Paul Whitacre (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) says of the album: “It displays some quirky ideas, includes longer songs and more honest lyrics. We intentionally made sure that not every song on this album would fit the radio format. We stopped caring so much about that and focused on writing and recording what we bleed for.”  As the group gear up for the album’s release, Americana UK caught up with them to explore the story behind the final single before the launch. Continue reading “Studio Life – Whitacre”

Pick of the Political Pops: “Coronavirus Explained”

Obviously this is no time for levity so we are suspending our usual nark-fest of political tirades and piss-taking. Instead we have found this video which is one of the clearest and simplest explanations we have seen thus far (and unlike some seems legitimate). Stay safe. [Editor’s note: The video is from the always excellent ‘Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell’ series but do watch it until the end or you’ll give yourself nightmares]