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”

Interview: Ferris & Sylvester

Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester formed a duo in 2016 and, since then, have released a string of critically acclaimed singles and EPs, including 2018’s ‘Made in Streatham’, which was recorded in the kitchen of their flat in London. Through constant touring and stylish videos, they have been steadily building up a sizeable fanbase and creating a real buzz; the video for recent single ‘Flying Visit’ has been viewed 57,000 times on YouTube in the last four months. 2019 has seen Ferris & Sylvester play various festivals, including Black Deer, Isle of White, Glastonbury and AmericanaFest in Nashville. Soon, they will be returning to the USA to record new songs and 2020 looks set to be even bigger. After completing their biggest headline tour to date, the pair took the time to talk to Andrew Frolish of Americana UK about performing, song writing and preparing to record their first full-length album. Continue reading “Interview: Ferris & Sylvester”

Interview – Forrest Van Tuyl

Forrest Van Tuyl (aka An American Forrest) spends six months of the year working as a cowboy on the trails of some of the remotest wilderness areas of Oregon and the other six months writing and playing music. A singer-songwriter for over a decade, his latest album ‘O Bronder, Donder Yonder?’ (Hearth Music) reviewed earlier this year by AUK, draws deeply on his outdoor life, and, amongst other genres, is inspired by a mixture of folk, Outlaw country and traditional American music. Above all, it feels like it’s modern American frontier music of the deepest kind – about living in one of the last parts of the North American wilderness in the 21st century. We talked to Forrest Van Tuyl about how he came to be writing, singing and playing music like this. Continue reading “Interview – Forrest Van Tuyl”

Interview: Luke Tuchscherer

Carousel’, the new solo album by UK singer-songwriter Luke Tuchscherer, is a stripped-back record that stands in marked contrast to his previous release, the full-on rocking ‘Pieces’ on which he was accompanied by his band The Penny Dreadfuls. What both albums share, though, (aside from their 8/10 ratings from AUK) is some keen social observation and storytelling. Mark Underwood spoke to Luke about his influences, his prodigious musical output, the political situation as we approach the dreaded ‘B’ day, his recent live shows, life in New York, and what the future has in store for him. Continue reading “Interview: Luke Tuchscherer”