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”

Interview: William Prince

The first time Americana-UK caught a live performance from William Prince was at the Indo Nashville venue as part of the Canadian Blast event at AmericanaFest in September three months ago, his warm, enveloping baritone feeling like a great big hug – while the honesty and emotional power at the heart of his songs captivated the small audience who were lucky enough to be in attendance that day. If you’ve yet to hear of William Prince, but you’re a Vodafone customer, then you may be more familiar with him than you realise seeing as his song ‘Breathless’ featured as the “hold” music for the telecoms provider earlier this year. More importantly, this multi-talented singer-songwriter and musician gained wider recognition when he received the JUNO award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in 2017 for his debut release, ‘Earthly Days’. Continue reading “Interview: William Prince”

Interview: Dean Owens – On the road with The Southerners

Kicking off this week is a short tour allowing folk to experience three top-notch musicians who have all been recognised by our buddies at the Americana Music Association-UK at their annual AmericanaFest. The Southerners consist of Dean Owens, winner of the AMAUK’s UK Song of the Year back in January, Tom Collison, instrumentalist of the year in 2018 and Jim Maving who is nominated in the same category for the January awards ceremony. The latest in a long line of collaborative projects from Owens, The Southerners are more home grown than his international efforts such as Buffalo Blood and perhaps his first formal link up with musicians south of the border. Continue reading “Interview: Dean Owens – On the road with The Southerners”

Interview: Jerry Leger

There are many adjectives you could use to describe Jerry Leger, but one word that immediately springs to mind is “prolific”. Time Out For Tomorrow’, released on the 8th of November, is the 9th studio release from the talented Canadian since he turned 19 years of age, along with three more albums with his side projects, The Del-Fi’s and The Bop-Fi’s. It’s also arguably his finest work to date. Of ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ his producer Michael Timmins (founding member of the Cowboy Junkies) said: “..it’s the 3rd (album) in a row that I’ve had the pleasure of producing. In my opinion it’s the most precise example of his craft and vision so far. It’s lean, mean and a beautiful collection of songs and sounds.” Continue reading “Interview: Jerry Leger”