At Americana-UK Towers we are somewhat divided about the festive season. The opportunities for falling out with each other are manifold – the correct ratio of gin to Campari to vermouth in our Negronis, whether sprouts should be considered an actual foodstuff and which Christmas tunes to play on the jukebox are just some examples. However after erecting our tree in The Bunker and given a liberal sprinkling of tinsel and cocktails we have settled on this as representative of our Christmas mindset. Thank goodness for Ray Davies…
Here at AUK towers we used to quite often fall out over our end of year list, and even the stronger among us walked away in a sea of blood, sweat and tears (the things). It was the block vote what done it. And so, like Ed Miliband before us we moved to a one member one vote system in a non-secret ballot and things seemed to work out much better. We don’t settle on a definitive list, who can in these troubled muddled times, but here, dear readers, are our picks of the best stuff we’ve listened to over the last 12 months. Complaints and accusations of nepotism to the usual address please. Oh and tomorrow we’ll have the results of YOUR picks of 2017. Contain your excitement if you can. Continue reading “Here they are! AUK writers’ best albums of 2017”
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”
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”
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”
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!”
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.
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”
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.
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”