AmericanA to Z – Hoyt Axton

OK, you’re left with X, Y & Z they said. Not wanting to give short shrift to any Zandt or Young icon, Hoyt Axton contains an x and a y, but is he Americana? Well he started as a folk singer, ended as a country fixture, and in between had a TV special called ‘The Hoyt Axton Country Western Boogie Woogie Gospel Rock and Roll Show’, which touches a lot of Americana bases. Without ever being a major star, Axton’s talents exhibited an almost Zelig-like tendency through his career, not just through music, but on screen. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Hoyt Axton”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Sarah Jarosz

In the age of isolation, AUK is bringing you regular ‘mini-gigs’ to help connect you, dear reader, to the outside world.  We are featuring great artists performing fantastic songs, coming all the way from their home to yours to lift the gloom a little.  For folk and Americana fans around the world, Sarah Jarosz needs little introduction.  As part of folk-supergroup, I’m With Her, Jarosz won this year’s Grammy Award for Best American Roots Song for the 2019 single ‘Call My Name’.  That was her third Grammy.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Sarah Jarosz”

The top ten Americana duets

In these trying times we can think of nothing better here at AUK than knocking out Top Ten’s of this, that and the other. Indeed every man and his wife (or every wife and her husband or every wife and her wife or every husband and his husband or… let’s just say everyone and their significant other) seems to be on the case. Continue reading “The top ten Americana duets”

Classic Americana Albums: Courtney Marie Andrews “Honest Life” (Loose, 2017)

Courtney Marie Andrews ‘Honest Life’ beholds some life-affirming writing. The use of confessional and observational writing coupled with the liquid cool backdrop of the band make this album quite simply, an unmissable modern-day classic of Americana. Released in the good company of the Mama Bird Recording Co in 2016 and Loose in 2017, this album put Andrews in good stead for the future, but getting there did not manifest overnight. This makes it one of the most alluring features as it was actually Andrews’ 6th album, shining a light on the fact that dedication and passion will ultimately prevail. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Courtney Marie Andrews “Honest Life” (Loose, 2017)”

Save Our Venues UK campaign launched

The Music Venue Trust has announced #saveourvenues, a new national campaign to save hundreds of UK grassroots music venues at imminent risk of being permanently closed down. The organisation states on its press release: “Without these independent venues the live music scene in the UK will die. These grassroots venues play a crucial role in the development of British music, nurturing local talent, providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their music and their performance skills. These venues also play a vital role in the cultural and economic vibrancy of any village, town or city.” Continue reading “Save Our Venues UK campaign launched”

Support Your Local Venue: The Railway Inn, Winchester

We’re only two items into our occasional series on those local venues which are the heart and soul of our music and of course, this damned virus has now shut them all down. It’s a blow to all of us who enjoy gig going but this inconvenience is minor compared to the real threat to the livelihoods of many. Musicians have had their dates cancelled but many have recourse to virtual gigs which have proliferated. However, the venues are closed, staff laid off, whether they worked at the bar, on the sound or lighting, in the kitchens or cleaning the place. Many owners and landlords don’t know if they’ll weather the storm or if, at the end of this nightmare, they’ll be able to reopen Continue reading “Support Your Local Venue: The Railway Inn, Winchester”

Home Life: TEOA

TEOA, the Philadelphia based indie-folksters have been extremely busy these last twelve months. Playing a number of well-received live shows alongside a ‘single release a month’ campaign has kept both their profile high and their creative juices flowing. The band will be releasing their latest instalment, ‘Not The End‘, a poignant reflection on the world around them that offers hope and understanding wrapped in a glorious Eagles-esque harmonic hue, on April 30th.  It’s somewhat of an anthem to these times even though it was written before the current pandemic situation.   Needless to say lockdown rears its ugly head and plans, hopes and dreams are all put on hold. Americana-UK speaks with Trevor Leonard to see how he and the band are holding up, how they are adapting to keeping their musical spirits high and what records have been firing up the decks to in these unsettling times. Continue reading “Home Life: TEOA”

AUK’s Chain Gang: The Highwaymen “Desperados Waiting for a Train”

Last week’s chainganger, Guy Clark, was often referred to as the ‘Fifth Highwayman’, in relation to his connections with the famous supergroup, so it is probably no coincidence that the second single release from The Highwaymen’s 1985 debut album ‘Highwayman’ was ‘Desperados Waiting For A Train’, penned by Clark back in 1973. The song is about a man who was like a grandfather to him, and who was in fact his grandmother’s boyfriend, Jack, who rented a room in her hotel in Monahans, Texas. Continue reading “AUK’s Chain Gang: The Highwaymen “Desperados Waiting for a Train””

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Roger Street Friedman

We are in the business of spreading a little love and lifting spirits.  We hope that our regular mini-gigs can generate some positivity and make you feel connected to the world out there.  At the end of another week of isolation, Roger Street Friedman releases his brand new album, ‘Rise’, and we are delighted to share performances of two of the new songs.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Roger Street Friedman”

The top 10 Americana music videos

Creating videos to accompany releases has long been the norm in the music business and our particular field of interest, although not generally burdened with the cliche of mainstream releases is still prone to taking the easy route and there are some frankly dull examples. However some have aspired to create a work of art in their own right whether it be social commentary, an amusing narrative or a comment on the human condition as highlighted by the lyric in that particular song. The videos featured are all ‘official’ releases, although there are some great fan videos wherein footage has been added to tracks (Phil Bebbington’s channel holds many jewels from our genre); however for the purposes of this exercise we will stick to the artist’s ‘vision’. Continue reading “The top 10 Americana music videos”