AUK Mini-Gig: Paul McClure

We’ll end a week of mini-gigs with ‘Unremarkable Me’ by Paul McClure.  This song was recorded in one take by McClure as part of his ‘House Music Sessions’ at 6:00am before the children were awake because, during this period of isolation, that’s the only moment of calm and peace in the day! It’s taken from the 2016 album, ‘Songs For Anyone’. ‘Unremarkable Me’ was written for McClure’s wife. Continue reading “AUK Mini-Gig: Paul McClure”

Studio Life: Kerri Watt

You may have seen Kerri Watt performing at various festivals, including Glastonbury, Celtic Connections and the Cambridge Folk Festival.  You may have heard her on Bob Harris’s BBC Radio 2 show.  You may have seen her supporting popular acts like Curse of Lono.  The Scottish singer-songwriter is certainly building a reputation as an energetic performer with an ear for a catchy melody.  Kerri Watt had a busy 2019 but 2020 looks set to be a real breakthrough year.  AUK caught up with Watt to explore the ‘story’ behind the title track of her upcoming album, ‘Chasing Aeroplanes’, which will be released soon. Continue reading “Studio Life: Kerri Watt”

Pick of the Political Pops: Bob Dylan “Ballad Of a Thin Man”

Whilst we were all (understandably) looking the other way an extraordinary political scandal has emerged. Now it makes little difference as to what your personal political affiliations or beliefs are this thing is an absolute shocker. It all stems from a leaked report: Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Bob Dylan “Ballad Of a Thin Man””

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Phil Hooley

We continue our series of mini-gigs with the wonderfully characterful voice of Phil Hooley.  Through these exclusive recordings, we hope to connect music lovers with some great live performances, something to enjoy and to create links with the outside world during this period of isolation.  Not only do we get Hooley singing ‘Pour Me a Drink’ (something many of us can relate to at the moment), we also get Millie the Mule at her first gig!  We have published quite a few mini-gigs but this is our first outdoor show.  Check out Hooley’s forthcoming album, ‘Songs From the Back Room’.

Forgotten Artists – The Cactus Brothers

The Cactus Brothers were a Nashville based band who released two excellent albums in the 1990s before folding. Those two albums, whilst critically lauded, suffered a fate familiar to many bands who dared to stray from the mainstream, namely they bombed. With radio exposure so vital in the US at that time, the Cactus Brothers were deemed to be too country for rock radio and too rock for country radio. After their second album they were dropped by Capitol EMI and the band disintegrated as members went off to do other things. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – The Cactus Brothers”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Caitlin Cannon

Times are strange and challenging but we hope to lift the gloom a little with our series of mini-gigs. Our aim is to help everyone feel a little more connected to the world out there.  During this period of enforced isolation, readers and listeners may be able to relate to ‘Deliver’, the recent single from Caitlin Cannon and the first of the songs she has recorded for this exclusive mini-gig.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Caitlin Cannon”

Top ten Americana songs influenced by the moon and moonshine

Earth’s nearest neighbour has provided much inspiration to songwriters from all musical genres and Americana is no exception. The moon has been used as a metaphor for the impossible, the unattainable as well as providing a romantic backdrop for Americana songs. It is also perhaps no accident that the illicitly produced spirit Moonshine and respective bootlegging activities have given a rich seam of material for Americana artists keen to express the human spirit of defiance and rebellion. Continue reading “Top ten Americana songs influenced by the moon and moonshine”

Classic Americana Albums: Jeff Buckley “Grace” (Columbia, 1994)

An ex boyfriend of mine once told me that a friend of his (whom I never met) got to see Jeff Buckley perform once. This was told to me years ago, yet I still sometimes find myself thinking enviously of this person whose name I don’t recall, which is a sure testament to the God-like level of worship Buckley brings when you hear his music. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Jeff Buckley “Grace” (Columbia, 1994)”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Bandits on the Run

Making a connection from isolation: that’s what it’s all about.  Our series of mini-gigs give you the chance to see great artists perform great music, all from the comfort of your home.  Today’s mini-gig comes from Bandits on the Run, who were touring together and on their way to South by Southwest when everyone began socially isolating.  At least this means that they can continue to make music together.  Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Bandits on the Run”

Home Life: Doug Hoekstra

As a regular reader you may well be thinking, ‘not sure those ‘Van Life’ pieces are particularly relevant at the moment given all these musicians are holed up riding out the lockdown.’  And you would of course be right. But, even though the wheels on tarmac may be on hold, the ears on vinyl is still very much apparent. So, for the time being or at least until things start to get moving again in terms of gigging and touring, we are asking some isolating musicians what is on their turntables keeping them sane. First up is Nashville resident, singer-songwriter, author and all round good egg Doug Hoekstra who is currently in the last throws of recording a brand new album. A wonderful observationalist, Hoekstra conjures songs that run the gamut from wistful pop to articulate Americana.   With the wonders of modern technology Americana-UK gets virtually invited into the Hoekstra household to get a handle on how things are panning out. Continue reading “Home Life: Doug Hoekstra”