As we realised when we were excavating the cellar in order to turn it into The Bunker here at Americana-UK Towers – when you’re in a hole, stop digging. Such advice seems to have fallen on deaf ears with Terry Might and The Blues however. In the continuing saga of “Leave You, EU, Wouldn’t Wanna Be You” it would, for all the world, appear that (a) there isn’t a plan (b) there isn’t an objective and (c) there isn’t an achievable outcome. If anyone is unfamiliar with the back story here then what you need to know is that the mess we’re in is entirely about the survival of The Blues as a political entity and always has been – from the announcement of The Plebiscite to the triggering of Article 50 the main focus has been on balancing the various factions of The Blues from the Raab-id right to the Eton(ian) Mess to the Vaguely Misguided In Thinking That We Are Centrists. So thanks for that but, as this tune has it, we’re sick and tired of hanging around with dogs like you…
Not every A-Z artist is a complete unknown, sometimes it’s good to remember just how good some of the seminal bands really were. The Byrds are the band that spawned a thousand jangly guitar bands, seemingly destined to be ‘rediscovered’ every ten years or so. The Byrds famously invented country-rock on ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo‘ – although even putting aside the many other contenders for that claim there is the small matter of previous material on ‘Younger then Yesterday‘ and ‘The Notorious Byrd Brothers‘. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z : The Byrds”
This week we have noted with a strange combination of amusement and disbelief that the UK’s negotiating strategy regarding Brexit (yep – that again) continues to consist mainly of our glorious leaders throwing their toys out of the pram and stamping their petulant little feet (supposing that it is possible to stamp one’s feet in a pram). People from all over the political spectrum are divided over the issue and it did look at one point as if The Blues might implode under the pressure of self-righteousness. However Minister Prime Terry Might stepped in and poured oil on burning waters promising some of the rebellious little tykes all manner of concessions in order to keep the party together. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Wilbert Harrison “Let’s Stick Together””
Americana, a form of music based, in part, on the traditions embodied in American folk music can’t neglect the huge influence of bluegrass in the 20th century. Bela Fleck is the preeminent living exponent of the banjo, his dazzling level of technical mastery is unquestionable and his influence is huge. Having recorded a series of keystone bluegrass albums for Rounder Records he branched out, taking the banjo into music it is rarely associated with – such as modern funk-jazz with the electric band The Flecktones. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z : Bela Fleck”
Our attention was drawn this week to the annual festival of gloating in which a national ‘news’ paper rubs the rest of our noses in the dirt by telling us who has the most money in the country. How odd, we thought, that when so many people have so little that it’s deemed acceptable to tell us how so few have so much. And it was also interesting to note how much is given by whom to various political parties. Actually not that varied of course with 99% going ‘blue’. Given our track record you’d think that at this point we would think of some smart arsed quip to make making light of the situation. But we can’t. It’s just too familiar and depressing. So have some ‘blues’ on the subject.
A little bonus video for you today on this International Workers Day from the lefty bard of our time. The words seem as resonant today as when they were first written: “Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own, Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone, What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child, There is power in a union.” Have a good one comrades!
The deep and growling Charlie Overbey has LA written all over him, and his new album ‘Broken Arrow’ takes his mixture of music honed through decades on the country and punk rock scenes and gives it a modern day Outlaw twist. There may even be a subtle nod to Neil Young. The album features a number of great guests including the wonderful Miranda Lee Richards on first track ‘Slip Away’ and the awesome Mastersons on the chippy and bouncy ‘Outlaws’. Americana-UK is more than proud to be able to offer the first listen opportunity for ‘Broken Arrow’– it’s out everywhere on the 20th, but you’ll hear it here first today.
Half forgotten bands, albums that slipped away – that’s what this part of the site is about. Canada’s Acres and Acres were one of the first bands, possibly the actual first, that I reviewed a CD for back in the distant days of Americana-UK (but not the dim and distant days – that was before my time). They were basically a duo of Kris Pope and Dave Scolten at the time, although they were ably supported by friends on their debut recording ‘All Nations’. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Acres and Acres”
This week when we came to boot up our trusty BBC Micro (younger readers might need to Google that) in order to check our social media we were surprised to learn that, via Netscape Navigator (younger readers might need to Google that too), all and sundry knew everything about us from our shoe sizes to our off-shore bank account numbers. Actually on closer inspection it became obvious that marketing companies didn’t know that about us because we have our profile set up in such a way that we identify as mixed race, non-binary, early twenty-somethings. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Clarence Gatemouth Brown “Information Blues””
A reminder about this dear readers, we’ve not had a lot of entries yet so “it could be you!” as the deep-voiced saying goes. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and US folk icon, Tom Paxton, is returning to the UK next month to perform twelve shows with singer/songwriter duo The DonJuans – Don Henry & Jon Vezner. Collectively, their songs have been covered by (wait for this…) Harry Belafonte, John Mellencamp, Miranda Lambert, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Kathy Mattea, John Denver, Faith Hill, B.J. Thomas, Blake Shelton, Peter, Paul & Mary and a little know singer called Bob Dylan who sounds like he might do big things one day. Continue reading “Win tickets to see Tom Paxton with AUK!”