Van Life – Sunday Morning

Italian roots renegades Sunday Morning’s excellent new album ‘Four’ sounds much like a sunglazed heartland rock US road movie soundtrack. With the best part of ten years behind them in terms of touring and making records, this is a band that are totally at one with each other. It’s uplifting roots music that nods its cap to all manner of influences from The Replacements to Springsteen. Yet, far from a nostalgia trip Sunday Morning depicts a band refining their sound, with ‘Four‘ they have made a record that I’m sure will make a ‘Van Life’ piece in future months. It’s a perfect accompaniment to any trip! Americana-UK caught up with the band to see how life on the road works out for them.  Continue reading “Van Life – Sunday Morning”

Van Life: Ana Egge

North Dakota’s Ana Egge has long been regarded as one of the brightest talents on the Americana scene. Her distinct brand of evocative, folk-infused songs have really made an impact – emotionally and artistically – on her growing fan base this side of the pond. With her new album, ‘Is It The Kiss’ – featuring amongst others the dulcet tones of Iris Dement – Egge is set to gain a multitude of new fans. America-UK catches up with the singer-songwriter as she is over here on a short run of shows to ask about her life on the road and what music she needs to have in that glovebox on any such trip. Continue reading “Van Life: Ana Egge”

Van Life – The Southern Fold

Ireland’s love of American roots music is something that has long been championed and applauded. There are any number of bands an artists who take inspiration both from the giants of the genre – Zandt, Clark, etc – and those that head a little further afield trawling the old alt.country archives. The Southern Fold are one such example. Led by guitarist and vocalist Emlyn Holden the band draw as much from Son Volt and Creedence for their guitar driven sound with the band making their UK debut at Red Rooster Festival at the end of May.  Americana-UK caught up with Holden at Kilkenny Roots Festival to chat about life on the road and those all important CD’s for the glovebox. Continue reading “Van Life – The Southern Fold”

Van Life – Steve Folk

If there was ever a musician who epitomises the role of the troubadour, Steve Folk would be used as a prime modern day example. This boat-dwelling songsmith and artist spends weeks on end touring solo around the European mainland playing house concerts, bars, gigs, basically anywhere he can bring his songs to the world.  Folk exists outside the usual parameters set by the day-to-day music business, instead he charts his own path with only his guitar and trusty music player for company.  Americana-UK chats to the uncompromising musician about life on the road and, more importantly what music keeps his spirits up on those tough days. Continue reading “Van Life – Steve Folk”

Van Life – Peter Bruntnell

Regular visitors to this site wont need me to tell you the level of regard we here at Americana-UK  hold for Peter Bruntnell. One of the UK’s finest troubadours, Bruntnell has been writing some of the greatest songs the genre has heard over the last twenty years. Since causing a stir on the US college rock scene with his seminal ‘Normal For Bridgwater’ album in the late 90’s, the New Zealand born songsmith has become a byword for quality and class, both as a solo performer and when tearing it up with his band. Ahead of  new album and UK dates, Americana-UK catches up with the songwriter to see how things will shape up out on the road and what sounds he’ll have with him to ease the strain. Continue reading “Van Life – Peter Bruntnell”

Van Life – William the Conqueror

West country trio William The Conqueror have been making steady inroads on the Americana scene for a few years now with their latest album ‘Bleeding On The Soundtrack’ just released on Loose Music. Headed by singer-songwriter Ruarri Joseph, who released a number of albums ten years ago under his own name and was quite a favourite on the folk scene, William The Conqueror are altogether a different beast.  Blues-driven riffs, building beautifully to full-on glorious crescendos, this is a band that utilises all three musicians to their full potential. Their sound is simple yet completely mesmeric. There is a certain bond between these guys that has clearly been built on the road. Americana UK asks Joseph how things shape up as the miles pass.  Continue reading “Van Life – William the Conqueror”

Van Life – Johnny Dowd

Ithaca NY’s Johnny Dowd has been patrolling the dark, uneasy, unclassified byways and B-roads of the American heartlands for over two decades. A blistering, uncompromising guitar slinger and songwriter, Dowd is set to release his new album ‘Family Picnic’ this month, an ‘americana’ gem that returns to the topics and themes that inspired his legendary debut, ‘Wrong Side Of Memphis‘ and once again underlines Dowd as one of America’s true musical explorers. Americana-UK catches up with him as he prepares to embark on another European tour and asks him about the music that accompanies any such road trip. Continue reading “Van Life – Johnny Dowd”

Van Life: The Wave Pictures

The Wave Pictures have crafted their own special place in the UK’s music scene with a number of eloquent, beautifully crafted and utterly charming albums over the years alongside live shows that can go from howling laughter to pin-drop startling beauty in the beat of a heart.  Fresh from the release of their latest album, ‘Look Inside Your Heart‘ out now on Moshi Moshi, A-UK catches up with the band’s lead man Dave Tattersall,  currently burning tread on the autobahns of Germany, to see how life on the road is treating them and inquire what music they turn to when in need of inspiration, motivation or just plain titillation.  Continue reading “Van Life: The Wave Pictures”

Van Life: Eilen Jewell & Jason Beek

Boise, Idaho’s Eilen Jewell and her husband (and drummer!) Jason Beek have been touring the US and Europe for a number of years, bringing their blend of country, americana, and old-time gospel to a loyal following both sides of the pond. Last year’s ‘Down Hearted Blues’ saw Jewell unearthing a number of old-time blues songs and giving them both a polish and a place in the modern musical world. Her band, including the inimitable Jerry Miller, a guitarist who resides at the very summit when it comes to GREAT guitar players, are seasoned road dogs these days. Americana-UK caught up with Eilen and Jason on a recent visit to these shores to find out how life on four wheels really is and found out CDs isn’t the only thing they carry with them!  Continue reading “Van Life: Eilen Jewell & Jason Beek”

Van Life: Radiator King

Boston’s Adam Silvestri (AKA Radiator King) is the type of musician this feature was pretty much designed to  accommodate. A road dog, traveller, essentially a musical explorer both sonically and literally,  Silvestri spends many many hours on the road, clicking up the miles and cranking up the toons.  His latest album, ‘A Hollow Triumph After All,’ is awash with vivid imagery, Waits-esque swagger and fuelled by  a unflinching punk spirit, its therefore unsurprising his glovebox is full of gems. Americana-UK catches up with  the now New York-based trobadour ahead of another US tour. Continue reading “Van Life: Radiator King”