Interview: Jerry Leger talks live streaming, lockdown and staying positive

When Americana UK last caught up with Jerry Leger in November 2019 (the week after the release of his new album), we asked him why the record was called ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’. While the album’s literal title was based on an early ’60s dime store collection of science fiction short stories, Jerry said at the time that it was “hard to have a clear explanation but the title just seemed to fit. Maybe parts of the album are a bit sci-fi. We’re living in strange times.” 6 months ago Leger couldn’t have appreciated quite how strange things were about to get – with life right now feeling as though we’re living in a nightmarish, dystopian science fiction reality. Nothing sums up the present more than the book store that put a sign in its window which said that its post apocalyptic fiction had been moved to the current affairs section. Continue reading “Interview: Jerry Leger talks live streaming, lockdown and staying positive”

Interview: Mashville’s Graham Loft and Berin Riley talk beginnings, songwriting and a mutual love for all things Wilco

The British Americana scene seems to go from strength to strength with some really interesting homegrown bands producing increasingly good, original music and showing that you don’t have to be American to play real Americana.   One such British band is Mashville, whose members live in the county of Kent and who have produced three albums in their eight years as a functioning band. Recent changes to band personnel has seen an increase in activity that has had them featured on local radio shows and seen them playing at various festivals around the country – something that would, no doubt, have continued this Summer were it not for the current situation. The fact that they can’t be out gigging at the moment did afford Americana-UK the opportunity to catch up with the songwriting duo at the heart of the band, Berin Riley and Graham Loft, to talk about the realities and challenges of being a British Americana band playing original compositions. Continue reading “Interview: Mashville’s Graham Loft and Berin Riley talk beginnings, songwriting and a mutual love for all things Wilco”

Interview: Clubhouse Record’s Tristan Tipping celebrates ten years for one of the UK’s premier roots labels

Brothers Tristan and Danny Tipping set up Clubhouse Records ten years ago when Americana was considered Alt.County and plaid was still worn underneath your jacket to avoid tough questioning. That, a decade later, Clubhouse is considered one of the UK’s best roots labels that has provided the launchpad here in the UK and Europe for likes of Cale Tyson, Erin Rae, Don Gallardo alongside much-loved roots renegades, Redlands Palomino Company, is some achievement. Americana-UK catches up with Tristan to get to the nitty-gritty of what it takes to make the Clubhouse run smoothly and yet still be fun. Continue reading “Interview: Clubhouse Record’s Tristan Tipping celebrates ten years for one of the UK’s premier roots labels”

Interview: Joshua Radin

Joshua Radin is described by AllMusic as “a yearning singer/songwriter with a gentle sound steeped in the acoustic folk tradition” which is probably as good a description as you’re going to get of him. If you’ve ever watched old episodes of Scrubs, chances are you’ll know his music – but he’s recorded prolifically since his debut back in 2004, most recently releasing the album ‘Here, Right Now’ which contains some of his best work to date, including covers of songs by the Rolling Stones and Tom Petty. Mark Whitfield caught up with him for a quick chat about the new record, his new label home and how he came to write his first political song. Continue reading “Interview: Joshua Radin”

Ten Questions with America

America are currently on their 50th anniversary world tour.  Don’t get too excited – there’s just one UK gig date scheduled (10th July Shepherds Bush Empire, as well as a festival appearance (Cornbury, 12th July).  The world, in this definition, is the USA.  So it goes.  And if you haven’t been paying attention to the evolution of America the trio are a duo now – Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell – that’s been the case since Dan Peek left the band in 1977 so hopefully is no great surprise. Continue reading “Ten Questions with America”

Interview: Mark Whitfield, Founder and Editor of Americana UK

Almost two decades ago, Mark Whitfield set up the Americana UK website and blog as a university project. And just never stopped. Essentially a bedroom operation, the site has evolved and survived changes in technology, social media and the music industry, becoming one of the UK’s longest-running music websites in the process. Continue reading “Interview: Mark Whitfield, Founder and Editor of Americana UK”

Interview: Shovels & Rope on making records, touring and obsessing over Sharon Van Etten

Husband and wife duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, Shovels & Rope, based in Charleston, South Carolina released their new album, ‘By Blood’ on Dualtone last year to great critical acclaim.  They even feature in their own film, Shovels & Rope, The Movie’ written and produced by Curtis Wayne Millard the NY based filmmaker and photographer who has worked with likes of Margo Price and Aaron Lee Tasjan.  The pair, whose unique take on folk, country, and country roots is always beautifully written and played with electrifying fervour live, are playing a handful of shows in the UK later this month.  Americana-UK caught up with the pair to ask about making record, touring and whether living in each others pockets emotionally and musically comes with any drawbacks! Continue reading “Interview: Shovels & Rope on making records, touring and obsessing over Sharon Van Etten”

Interview: Andrew Combs on new album, politics and how fatherhood is shaping his future

Tennessean Andrew Combs, an artist who has managed to make big strides  both in the indie and Americana worlds over four beautifully crafted albums, is an increasingly regular visitor to these shores over the last few years. His excellent live shows are perfectly accompanied by albums that resonate soulfully, emotionally and politically. With ‘Ideal Man’  just released on New West, Coombs again pushes the envelope that little bit further in terms of approach and sound. Americana-UK’s Gordon Sharpe caught up with Andrew pre-show on a recent UK tour to discuss everything from babies to Woody Guthrie!  Continue reading “Interview: Andrew Combs on new album, politics and how fatherhood is shaping his future”

Interview: Cam Penner – “We want to make a real joyful noise”

Glasgow’s international celebration of roots music, Celtic Connections, kicks off this week and for this writer, one of the highlights will be the return of Cam Penner’s unique music. Accompanied as usual by his musical partner Jon Wood, a sonic wizard and master musician, their stage show has been described as, “Mystery and menace, love and humility, savage blues and tender romances, sounds one can imagine primitive man heard, allied with tribal ritual and chain gang hollers, delta moans and sylvan murmurs. All summoned up by these two Canadians armed with guitars, a drum kit and tape loops.” Continue reading “Interview: Cam Penner – “We want to make a real joyful noise””

Interview: Frank Turner talks about the perils of purity, and Chas & Dave

After eight studio albums and almost two and a half thousand shows, Frank Turner has gathered legions of loyal fans and earned a reputation for exciting live performances. Recent release, ‘No Man’s Land’, was Turner’s fourth consecutive top-three album, a level of commercial success that may have seemed unlikely when he emerged from punk band Million Dead in 2005. Always looking for new inspiration, methods and approaches, Turner’s latest studio album reflects his love of history: a selection of stories about significant women, whose lives and contributions to society have been largely overlooked. The audio and video recording of ‘Show 2000 Live at Nottingham Rock City’ has also just been released, capturing the energy of Turner and The Sleeping Souls and their sing-along communion with their passionate audience. Andrew Frolish of Americana UK, caught up with Frank Turner backstage at the Alexandra Palace just before he took to the stage on the recent ‘No Man’s Land’ tour. Continue reading “Interview: Frank Turner talks about the perils of purity, and Chas & Dave”