Do you like Good Music ? A year in review

There’s an inevitability that December brings some reflection on what has gone before, there’s this midwinter pause that offers an opportunity for this stocktaking. And this is a personal reflection – there’s some “best ofs”” down below, which in their own way are as inevitable as socks as Christmas presents, but they are in no-way the official best ofs for Americana-UK. I take all the blame for them, although there’s a fair chance I’ll have disowned them – or at least in part – by the time New Year comes around. Continue reading “Do you like Good Music ? A year in review”

Cory Branan: Repealing net neutrality could be dangerous for independent art

Excellent piece up on the ever more politically essential RS at the moment on some more hideous legislation (or lack of it).  Thank you Mr President once again.  They report: “On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on whether or not to repeal Net Neutrality, a decision about Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that could impact – among so many other pillars of our country’s modern democracy – the future of music. And independent musicians, those who run a mainly DIY operation, are poised to be hurt the most. Continue reading “Cory Branan: Repealing net neutrality could be dangerous for independent art”

Van Life: Breadfoot

North Carolina’s singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and all-round professional road dog, Breadfoot (AKA Stephan Meyers) takes his music pretty much where anyone will have him.  His latest album, Salvatella, is both short and sweet, akin to a couple of jars with Michael Hurley at some backwater town bar, just chewing the fat and pondering tales of the heart.  Breadfoot swaps instruments with the assured footing of someone at complete ease and in total command of his craft. Americana-UK catches up with the talented troubadour and wonders if it’s as easy pulling the miles,  and finds out what it is that feeds his ears on them endless freeways. Continue reading “Van Life: Breadfoot”

Vote for your favourite stuff from 2017 and win some CDs!

Well dear reader it’s that time of year again when you gaze back at the last 12 months and think “remember when people who disagreed were nice to each other?” (to be fair, you may need to look back further to a time when people weren’t at each other’s throats for glancing at them in the wrong way). As per usual, we’d like to hear your thoughts on what rocked your boat/cradle/world from 2017 (plus a villain section for cathartic effect, although for obvious reasons the category is probably redundant for the foreseeable future).  You can choose up to 3 picks for each category although  Continue reading “Vote for your favourite stuff from 2017 and win some CDs!”

Pick of the Political Pops: The Spencer Davies Group “Every Little Bit Hurts”

At Americana-UK Towers we don’t really have much truck with party politics. Granted we believe ourselves to be progressive in our outlook but essentially we pick and choose ‘policies’ according to our individual and collective wants and needs. Naturally when we repair to The Bunker things get a little reactionary – you try being holed up in a confined space with several other people whose sole purpose in life is to find banging tunes to listen to whilst getting very, very drunk. You see the conundrum. Recently we had one of our “GAS GAS GAS” drills (i.e get down to The Bunker and leave all and sundry behind as quickly as possible) and whilst waiting for the All Clear, news reached us that ‘the government’ (small ‘T’, small ‘G’ by design) had decided that Universal Credit claimants would have to wait for their money over the forthcoming festive season. It’s a five pay day month, apparently. So, y’know, sing for it you fucking paupers they appeared to say. We are not with that. We are not with the constant chipping away at the life prospects, life enhancements or sheer life possibilities of those folk whose only fault is not having enough money available to them to live anything like a comfortable life. Things seem to be taken away bit by bit. And, of course, every little bit hurts.

Van Life: Anthony D’Amato

© Meredith Truax

New Jersey’s Anthony D’Amato is no stranger to the road, his insatiable desire to take his music all around the world inevitable means mile after mile on the byways and highways. Travelling alone brings its own problems, yet inevitably leaves him a lot of time to both reflect on life, take pictures and, of course, listen to some of his favourite tunes.  In the UK for a number of shows alongside Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross and The Felice Brothers’ Ian Felice promoting his current album Cold Snap, Americana-UK catches up with the old (young!)road dog to make sure all is fine and dandy.  Continue reading “Van Life: Anthony D’Amato”

Pick of the Political Pops: Blue Mink “Melting Pot”

Fairly soon there is to be a major celebration which happens at the same time every year. Here at Americana-UK we fall fairly evenly into two camps – those that consider it the most wonderful time of the year and those that consider that we have fallen under the jackboot of emotional fascism. Obviously our differences are settled as soon as we repair to The Bunker for pints of sweet sherry and crème de menthe chasers. We were surprised to learn that one major retailer had come under fire for having the temerity to suggest it was ok to partake in the celebrations if you were other than white (and we assume Christian). How sad. This tune makes us feel better.

Van Life: JD & The Straight Shot

Fresh from touring with The Eagles, Chicago, and most recently The Doobie Brothers, it’s fair to say JD & The Straight Shot are taking their Americana message further afield than most. The band have just released their new album, Good Luck And Good Night, and just completed a UK tour with the aforementioned Doobies. Americana-UK caches up with guitar player Marc Copely and asks what’s currently lighting their musical fires in the splitter bus.

Continue reading “Van Life: JD & The Straight Shot”

Win copies of “Won’t Be Home For Christmas” with AUK

By the time the frost hits the pumpkin, as the saying goes (and no that’s not a euphemism) there typically is no shortage of new Christmas albums from the usual suspects singing, for the most part, the same old spiritual carols and secular classics. And then there’s “Won’t Be Home For Christmas”. The compilation CD, conceived and produced by Swedish music industry veteran Peter Holmstedt, brings together compositions from 18 different singer-songwriters, each of whom approach their assignment to ’write a song about Christmas’ in widely different musical stylings. Continue reading “Win copies of “Won’t Be Home For Christmas” with AUK”

Pick Of The Political Pops: The Members “Offshore Banking Business”

We were intrigued this week when all of the talk was about paradise and papers. Obviously Americana-Uk Towers is its own little paradise and The Bunker is an oasis of calm in a world of madness. That said we do like to pay our taxes and Vaclav and Tomasz, who put the bunker in for us, are fully unionised and known to the tax authorities. So we are squeaky clean. The duty-free we consume is fully above board and needn’t concern anyone else. What we can’t help wondering though is that if everybody (including the super-rich) paid what they morally owe then how much better it would be for us all…350 million for the NHS anyone? Nothing is new under the sun we like to say and this little ditty from well over thirty years ago somewhat proves our point.