Studio Life – Peter Donegan

Peter Donegan grew up with music. Surrounded by songs and the legacy of his father, Lonnie Donegan, music was always part of his life and it’s no surprise that he grew up playing guitar and piano and with a natural flair for singing. Lonnie Donegan transformed the British music industry when he led the skiffle revival in the 1950s, inspiring countless musicians who followed. Continue reading “Studio Life – Peter Donegan”

Interview: JP Ruggieri

From the woods of Connecticut to Nashville via New York, Jon Paul Ruggieri has come a long way. Growing up with a severe stutter limited his speech and meant that Ruggieri was compelled to find new ways to communicate. As a child, he discovered that he could express himself through music and never looked back. Ruggieri’s technical gifts have led to him being highly regarded on the singer-songwriter scenes in both New York and Nashville, where he has been a go-to session musician, collaborating with a host of other artists. All these experiences in the studio have helped Ruggieri to find his own musical voice and his debut album, ‘Waiting on You’, was released earlier this year. Andrew Frolish from Americana UK caught up with JP Ruggieri over the phone to Nashville, while Ruggieri was taking a break from writing songs for the next album. Continue reading “Interview: JP Ruggieri”

Interview: Jim Walker, Brighthelmstone Promotions

Jim Walker is managing director of Brighthelmstone Promotions. In 2017 he started a festival in his hometown of Hassocks, West Sussex featuring two of our greatest loves – Americana music and good beer. The Mid-Sussex Americana beer festival is running for a third year at the Hassocks hotel in East Sussex on the 24th of August and involves a range of established and emerging talent such as William The Conqueror, Danny George Wilson (of Danny and the Champions of the World), Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, Lucas & King, Jamie Freeman, Loud Mountains, Noble Jacks, Porchlight Smoker and Ben Featherstone. Mark Underwood of Americana-UK caught up with Jim to talk about plans for the festival and the promotions business. Continue reading “Interview: Jim Walker, Brighthelmstone Promotions”

Interview: Monroeville

It’s a bit disconcerting for someone from this side of The Pond, to drive through The Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, and all of the natural beauty that entails, to arrive in ‘downtown Gatlinburg’, which makes Skegness (insert UK seaside resort name here) seem restrained. That was where we found ourselves in mid-May. The shock to the system was tempered somewhat by a chance encounter with the band, Monroeville who were playing a free gig outside a local Moonshine emporium. As you do. I have to say that I thought they were fantastic, and afterwards had the briefest of chats with Matt Munsey from the Band. Continue reading “Interview: Monroeville”

Interview: Sam Morrow

Since he first came to the UK Sam Morrow has been winning increasing numbers of fans for the quality of his live performances, with our recent review hailing Morrow and his band as “an outstanding live turn. Combining the best elements of the Allman Brothers, Little Feat and Rusty Weir… they manage to channel all that’s good about their predecessors, while still retaining a sound uniquely their own.” Over in the UK for a brief series of dates – and to help promote his third album, ‘Concrete and Mud’ which we felt was deserving of a hefty 9/10 score – Mark Underwood and Barry Warren sat down with Sam for a chat.
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Studio Life – Kathy Zimmer

Moving from the small town in Nebraska in which she was raised to the bustling New York City was the making of Kathy Zimmer. The music of her rural youth has combined with more sophisticated, urban sounds and orchestration to create something new and different: a genre that Zimmer herself describes as ‘cosmopolitan folk’. This conflict between the old and new and between styles gives Zimmer’s songs a clear identity and often provides the subject matter for her lyrics, as evident in ‘I <3 NY’ from recent EP, ‘Sparkling Smile’. American-UK caught up with Zimmer to explore the story of this beguiling song. Continue reading “Studio Life – Kathy Zimmer”

Interview: Jeb Loy Nichols on keeping it simple

Although he is now happily ensconced in the rural delights of mid Wales, Jeb Loy Nichols has a chequered past. Born in Wyoming, raised in Missouri and Texas, he grew up steeped in music and aged 17,  stepped out into the world, working in New York record stores before coming to the UK in the early 80’s and falling in with the burgeoning post punk reggae scene. He first recorded as the Fellow Travellers in 1990 with an intriguing mix of country, folk, soul and reggae, and that questing spirit has informed his subsequent solo and collaborative efforts. Continue reading “Interview: Jeb Loy Nichols on keeping it simple”

Interview: Carson McHone

There’s an old expression about dying with your boots on. Carson McHone certainly lives up to that. Interview ready in her dressing room,  she’s attired in a raggedy white cotton t-shirt, with a pair of jogging bottoms tucked into her cowboy boots. A Texan from top to bottom, Carson undergoes something of a transformation later on so that by the time she hits the stage at the Borderline she’s attired in a smart white suit, hair tousled – performance ready. Before her show in London, Mark Underwood of Americana UK and Kerry Fearon, presenter of Downtown Country and Kerry’s Gold Country, sat down to talk to Carson about the tour, her latest album ‘Carousel’ and her approach to songwriting. Continue reading “Interview: Carson McHone”

Interview: Johnny Lloyd

After parting ways with the indie rock band, Tribes, Johnny Lloyd took to the life of a solo musician. First by releasing two EPs by the titles of ‘Dreamland’ and‘Eden’ and has now begun to make his mark on the alt-folk world with his first full-length release ‘Next Episode Starts in 15 Seconds’. Johnny made time in his hectic schedule to speak to me about life since Tribes, including writing for TV and film, his songwriting for the new album, becoming the newest member of the Yamaha family and his ownership of a guitar played by a pioneer of sad alternative 
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