This week sees the 70th anniversary of the founding of The People’s Republic of China and we here in The People’s Republic of Liverpudlia thought we would celebrate our fellow People’s Republic’s birthday with lanterns, some dragon costumes and double egg fried rice and sweet and sour sauce all round. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pop: Paul Rodgers “China Blue””
Felix Junger is a talented multi-instrumentalist. He plays in a number of bands across a range of genres but his latest project is a solo indie-folk record, ‘Of Journeys and Other Longings’, released under the name Yunger. It’s a wistful album, with a sense of wonder and a yearning for travel, for new experiences, for something more. Junger’s folk-guitar underpins his modern, uplifting sound and the end result is a confident, cohesive album full of summer melodies. The singer-songwriter from Austria recorded most of the instruments and mixed the album himself, showcasing his skills on the mandolin, banjo and accordion and allowing him to create rich soundscapes to soundtrack his travels. Continue reading “Studio Life – Yunger”
While Tony Lucca may not be a name many around here are immediately familiar with, his impact on my own musically journey has been big. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Tony Lucca”
With the imminent release of a new EP and a seven-week tour coming up, Zoe Nicol and Rosie Jones of Worry Dolls will be keeping busy this autumn. The pair met in Liverpool while studying music and soon discovered that their voices, multi-instrumental talents and song writing skills were well-matched. They have been writing and performing together ever since. Worry Dolls are a lesson in following your dreams: Nicol and Jones made the difficult decision to leave their old lives behind and move to Nashville, where they recorded their well-received debut album, ‘Go Get Gone’. Their song, ‘Endless Road’, was nominated for Song of the Year at the Americana Music Association UK Awards and they have been championed by the likes of Bob Harris. So, anticipation is high for their new EP, ‘The River’. After the new song was showcased brilliantly at The Black Deer Festival, Americana-UK caught up with Worry Dolls just before the single’s release to find out more about the inspiration and song writing process. Continue reading “Studio Life – Worry Dolls”
Boris Johnson, holder of the highest political office in the land, is a liar and a lawbreaker. We’d quite like to come up with our usual smart-arse funny stuff but on this occasion we think we’ll just leave that there.
It’s one of those paradoxes in life that while in my head I prefer the Jayhawks with Mark Olson, in reality some of my favourite songs by the band are from the era when he was no longer a member. The title track from the first record recorded without Olson back in 1997 was as exceptional as anything they’d produced before, with a lyrical honesty and melody that absolutely crushed me on first listen. Gary Louris’ vocals have never sounded so vulnerable. There was a raw nostalgia to lines such as “When I was young, outspoken, Mama said it’ll work out right.” Sometimes of course it doesn’t.
As this series faltered to a grinding halt at the beginning of summer (which clearly now feels like it was about 20 years ago), the next letter up was “S” which provided so many opportunities it was difficult to narrow it down to one single artist. And then David Berman died and it became obvious of course. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Silver Jews”
Being a bit of a vinyl junkie I was indulging my passion for Record Fairs recently when I came across something of a lost gem – “Rick Sings Nelson” – and that started me thinking about a man who was one of the pioneers of the California sound; the brand of country rock that would make megastars out of The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and a host of other artists. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band”
We have a strict hierarchical structure here at Americana-UK Towers (actually we don’t but this is for illustrative purposes). At the top sits The Editor – a surly cove if crossed and a great believer in “do as I say not as I do”. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Suzi Quattro “If You Can’t Give Me Love””
For many years, Danny Schmidt has been releasing critically-acclaimed albums, full of consistently exceptional songcraft and intelligent lyricism. The Texan singer-songwriter is known for his delicate, folk guitar, warm voice and poetic approach to his subjects. A genuine troubadour, Schmidt’s songs of wit and wisdom have a timeless quality. Although Schmidt usually performs solo, he’s also released music with his wife, Carrie Elkin, who is another acclaimed singer-songwriter. Schmidt’s considered approach to lyrical content and musical arrangements mean that he can tackle powerful subjects in subtle ways. His recent record, ‘Standard Deviation’, is his tenth recording and all his experience as a writer and performer has worked its way into this well-received album. In the middle of his American tour to promote the album, Americana-UK caught up with Schmidt to find out a little more about the title track. Continue reading “Studio Life – Danny Schmidt”