For many, Arbre will be not so much a forgotten band as one they have never heard of – but this is a band that could claim to be among the earliest British exponents of Americana, long before the term “Americana” was in common usage. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Arbre”
So we begin our first full week back with a new feature here on AUK whereby we are starting our own kind of version of Radcliffe and Maconie’s The Chain, a never-ending list of americana songs with some connection between each new track to the last. What better way to start with this track from Wilco’s ‘AM’ album, one of the first and indeed finest records in the 90s new wave of americana which contains the classic line “You’re gonna make me spill my beer, If you don’t learn how to steer”. Which weirdly enough is exactly what I said to my Uber driver last Friday.
When I was given the letter “G” in the Americana UK A to Z, I initially thought I’d write about Gram Parsons, but then I changed my mind and decided on Gene Clark. To borrow the title of a Byrds song – Clark was one of the band’s founding members – why? Well, I was reminded of an interview I did with filmmaker Paul Kendall in 2013, to tie-in with the release of his great documentary, ‘Gene Clark – The Byrd Who Flew Alone.’ Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Gene Clark”
Rolling Stone Country published a really interesting piece just before we had our Christmas break which described how americana was once a niche genre (rude), before finding a wider audience in the last decade citing artists like the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and the Avett Brothers. Cue the heated debate over what constitutes americana but hey, if a band causes a banjo to be played on Radio 1, who are we to cast the first stone. Continue reading “RS Country: “How Americana Went Mainstream in the 2010s””
This is our first obituary of 2020 in our new The Song Remains section and it is by Alasdair Fotheringham. Readers’ feedback on the new section would be really appreciated. Continue reading “The Song Remains: Thomas Paulsley LaBeff aka ‘Sleepy LaBeef’ – 1935–2019”
The roots of Americana music run deep and wide and many of the early originators and influencers are now approaching or are in old age. To recognise and celebrate recently lost artists AUK will start publishing obituaries in 2020 in our The Song Remains section reflecting the fact that while an artist may have died their music, art and spirit remain with us through their recordings. To kick start this new section of the website there is a Rollcall of some of those artists lost in 2019 with a full obituary of Paul Barrere guitarist with Little Feat. Our readers’ thoughts on this new section will be very much appreciated. Continue reading “Americana UK introduces our new Obituaries section The Song Remains”
Mark Underwood continues his irregular feature on music by great songwriters with great lyrics.
Continue reading “10 songs for lovers of great writing”
Here at AUK, we are jolly souls, who like to share the seasonal joy – three things we particularly love are endlessly debatable top ten lists, Christmas songs, and Roseanne Reid. Could it be possible to combine all three? Indeed, it could! We are delighted to spread a little peace and goodwill to all with a selection box of festive musical treats specially selected for us by the wonderful Roseanne Reid. Continue reading “Roseanne Reid selects her top ten Americana Christmas tracks”
I can quite vividly remember New Year’s Eve last year, with family members clustered around the TV set for Jools Holland’s Hootenanny and the satisfaction I had in being able to point to a rising star in the Americana genre, a musical form for whom most of those assembled had either little interest or understanding. Not surprisingly, the person in question was Yola, winner of this year’s AUK’s readers poll best UK artist and best solo artist – and 2019 has proven to be more successful for her than she could possibly have imagined. Continue reading “2019 has been Yola’s year”
So here we are again. If the word “poll” is still making you break out in cold sweats, this will hopefully be cathartic before the year is out. We should have actually started counting the number of years we’ve done this – From recollection, in our first readers poll, the winner of best new act was Thomas Edison and Alfonso XIII of Spain was our hero of the year, although it has moved on from the days when Ryan Adams won every other category (and not the one he almost came runner-up in this year). Let’s just say that two artists in particular have done very well this year. Congratulations to Gary Walker who wins some promos which will be winging their way to you soon! So without further ado, here are the results from this year’s AUK readers poll. Continue reading “Here are the results of 2019’s Americana UK readers poll!”