Interview: Russ Tolman. From Paisley Underground to Laurel Canyon vibes

The so called Paisley Underground has been back in the news recently with The Long Ryders releasing a new album and touring while a Record Store Day release of an album, ‘3X4’, featured The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate, The Three O’Clock and The Rain Parade. And now Russ Tolman, a founding member of another Paisley Underground band, True West, has released his first solo album in many moons and will be touring the UK for the first time since the 1990’s. Tolman, a native Californian, formed his first band, Suspects, in 1978 along with Steve Wynn and Kendra Smith. Considered the first new wave Californian band, they foundered when Wynn and Smith moved to LA and formed their own band, the Dream Syndicate. Tolman then moved on to True West, a band noted for their twin guitar attack and blend of American and English rock styles (even recording a version of Syd Barrett’s ‘Lucifer Sam’). Despite several close brushes with fame True West called it a day in 1985 and Tolman went on to forge a solo career releasing several acclaimed albums. Continue reading “Interview: Russ Tolman. From Paisley Underground to Laurel Canyon vibes”

Interview: Ian Craft of The Howlin’ Brothers

Formed in 2005, The Howlin’ Brothers are a 3 piece ole’ time bluegrass and country band based in Nashville, Tennessee. They consist of Jared Green who sings lead vocal and plays acoustic guitar, Dan Swan plays upright bass and Ian Craft who sings lead vocal and plays fiddle, mandolin, banjo and the bass drum. My friendship with The Howlin’ Brothers began during their first U.K tour in October 2014, when they were put up by my Dad and a friend of ours for a few nights whilst they played shows in and around my hometown of Wrexham.  I was lucky enough to set up an interview with Ian Craft after he had just finished playing fiddle for 4 hours at Layla’s on Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway. Continue reading “Interview: Ian Craft of The Howlin’ Brothers”

Interview – John Cleere

There are so many ‘roots’ festivals these days you could spend years visiting a different one without ever going back to the same one twice. That Kilkenny Roots Festival attracts the same crowd year on year without fail is testament to an event that has really found a place in many hearts, mine included. Now in its twenty-second year, Kilkenny Roots – or ‘The Roots’ as the regulars refer to it – this small but perfectly formed nugget is the go to place every May for roots lovers from all over the world.   With the likes of Patty Griffin (pictured), The Sadies, and Texan legend Alejandro Escovedo topping the bill, this year will be no different. Americana-UK  caught up with Festival director John Cleere ahead of the impending frivolity. Continue reading “Interview – John Cleere”

Interview: Jerry Leger

Ahead of his UK and European tour with two members of his band, The Situation, Mark Underwood of Americana UK sat down with Canadian singer-songwriter, Jerry Leger to talk about the forthcoming shows and his latest release, the retrospective compilation, ‘Too Broke To Die,’ released to coincide with the tour dates. Continue reading “Interview: Jerry Leger”

Interview: Phil Lee on how he finally saddled up with Crazy Horse

It’s taken a hell of a long time for Phil Lee to get in the saddle and corral his Crazy Horse buddies, Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot, into the studio to record an album with him. His online notes for his 2013 album ‘The Fall And Further Decline Of The Mighty King Of Love’ state, “This was to be the album I was going to make with Ralph and Billy of Crazy Horse. We had a couple of great rehearsals and could’ve done it if we had a mobile unit in Ralph’s garage. Logistics didn’t help as they live in California. Continue reading “Interview: Phil Lee on how he finally saddled up with Crazy Horse”

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”

Interview: Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll has been making albums for nigh on two decades with a smile on his face and a knowing glint in his eye. A surveyor of people and situations, Carll writes songs that could have been written from the watchful eye of a barfly documenting the world around him. Like a Texan Todd Snider, Carll embodies both a sardonic swagger and a laissez-faire disposition. That changed with the hugely personal ‘Lovers And Leavers‘ album in 2016, but is clearly evident once again on ‘What It Is‘ his sixth album released this month. Americana-UK catches up with the acclaimed singer-songwriter ahead on his upcoming UK dates.  Continue reading “Interview: Hayes Carll”

Walking the trail of tears with Buffalo Blood

Buffalo Blood is an international film and music collaboration which addresses the very current issues of displacement, immigration, refugees and the power of the human spirit through revisiting the lands, myths and histories of America’s Native Americans. Comprised of Nashville musicians, Neilson Hubbard, Joshua Britt and Audrey Spillman alongside Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens (and with Nashville studio engineer Jim DeMain as a fifth member) they have a self-titled album due out on February 15th. The album was recorded live and in the field in New Mexico in several iconic locations including La Plaza Bianca, Echo Canyon and artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch. Continue reading “Walking the trail of tears with Buffalo Blood”

Interview: Willy Vlautin

The long-awaited follow up to ‘Colfax’ the sublime debut from The Delines, essentially a side project at the time for Richmond Fontaine’s head-honcho Willy Vlautin and The Damnations’ Amy Boone, finally sees the light of day after three years of delay due to a serious accident that rendered Boone suffering life changing injury. ‘The Imperial’ released in the UK in January on Decor Records, is not only testament to her powers of recovery but underlines Vlautin as one of America’s finest songwriters and observers of life’s downtrodden and emotionally wrought underbelly.   Americana-UK catches up with Vlautin to discuss further.  Continue reading “Interview: Willy Vlautin”

Interview: Will Hoge

Nashville’s Will Hoge has been making records since the turn of the century and built a sizeable following for his brand of honest, heartfelt, and as on the new album, ‘My American Dream‘ thought-provoking music. Never one  to shy away from the issues of the day, Hoge has produced an album that perfectly encapsulates both personal and universal questions on what it means to be an american artist in an ever-changing, volatile political climate.  Americana-UK catches up with Hoge prior to a run of UK dates in December.  Continue reading “Interview: Will Hoge”