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 
Continue reading “Interview: Johnny Lloyd”

Interview: Joe Harvey-Whyte on Heartworn Highways, A Live Tribute

Joe Harvey-Whyte is a highly regarded, London-based multi-instrumentalist renowned for his proficiency on the pedal steel, lap steel, dobro and guitar. He’s also responsible for putting on some of the best Americana and roots-based shows in London through his Honky-Tonkin’ Thursday evenings at the Betsey Trotwood and The Blues Kitchen. Continue reading “Interview: Joe Harvey-Whyte on Heartworn Highways, A Live Tribute”

Interview: Dietmar Leibecke of The Static Roots Festival

At AUK we’ve mentioned before a couple of the newer and smaller festivals which have been popping up in recent years. Dietmar Leibecke from Germany, a towering figure on the European Americana circuit (in all senses of the term), is getting increasing recognition for the popularity of the music festival he started in 2016 – Static Roots. A nicer and more self-effacing individual you’d probably also be harder pushed to find. Ahead of the Static Roots Festival which takes place in Oberhausen on the 12th and 13th of July, Dietmar spoke to Mark Underwood of AUK about the joys of house concerts, his abiding passion for music and his love for the Americana community. Continue reading “Interview: Dietmar Leibecke of The Static Roots Festival”

Interview: Gill Tee, co-founder of the Black Deer Festival

Gill Tee is one of the co-founders of the Black Deer Festival which takes place at Eridge Park in Kent between the 21st and 23rd of June. This year’s line up includes Band of Horses, The Shires, John Butler Trio and Kris Kristofferson. Continue reading “Interview: Gill Tee, co-founder of the Black Deer Festival”

Interview – J.S. Ondara

J.S. Ondara’s journey from Nairobi to Minnesota, Bob Dylan’s home state, is a fascinating one. He arrived in America without any connections in the music business or even a guitar; all he had was his dream of pursuing a life in music. Ondara’s debut album, ‘Tales of America’, was released to critical acclaim earlier this year. Its theme of the ‘American Dream’ and the conflict between the ideal and the reality is brilliantly realised, thanks to Ondara’s beautifully delicate vocal, sparse instrumentation and intelligent lyrics. Sometimes joyful, sometimes bleak and haunting, the album has a strong sense of identity, offering a timely commentary on modern America through the eyes of an outsider. J.S. Ondara took the time to speak to Andrew Frolish of Americana UK before taking to the stage in Bristol during his recent tour. Continue reading “Interview – J.S. Ondara”

Track Premiere: 3 Pairs of Boots “It Ain’t Easy”

There is one thing that we don’t understand about husband and wife duo Andrew Stern and Laura Arias who are 3 Pairs of Boots and it is this – and we fully expect you to be ahead of us on this – two people, but three pairs of boots?  We are not going to make any assumptions about who has 2 pairs and who has but one pair to their name.  What we will mention is that 3 Pairs of Boots make a fine twanging country sound on ‘It Ain’t Easy.Continue reading “Track Premiere: 3 Pairs of Boots “It Ain’t Easy””

Interview: Jesse Dayton revives the mix tape

Up until a couple of years ago, Jesse Dayton wasn’t a name on many folks’ lips despite a CV which is somewhat staggering. In addition to having released 11 solo albums he’s played guitar, live and in the studio, with a host of luminaries who straddle the worlds of country and rock. These include Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, Johnny Gimble, The Supersuckers, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Glen Campbell, and John Doe. He’s also entered the world of movie soundtracks collaborating with Rob Zombie on three of Zombie’s flicks (and appearing in one of them). Continue reading “Interview: Jesse Dayton revives the mix tape”

Interview: Norrie McCulloch on picking up his 12-string guitar and pledging his time

Scottish songwriter Norrie McCulloch comes from stout Ayrshire stock, the same soil that nurtured the likes of Bill Shankly and two of Scotland’s finest writers, the brothers William and Hugh McIlvanney. And just as this trio left Ayrshire to achieve acclaim in their respective fields while never letting anyone forget about their roots, McCulloch, despite working in an Americana folk/country vein, has held on to his roots. He sings without any American pretence, his record label, Black Dust, is so named as a memorial to his grandfather and others, victims of the deadly coal dust which filled their lungs. More importantly, over the course of three albums, he has become one of Scotland’s foremost singer songwriters, fusing the melancholic beauty of Townes Van Zandt’s Texas with Scotland’s proud heritage, from Robert Burns to Bert Jansch and beyond. Continue reading “Interview: Norrie McCulloch on picking up his 12-string guitar and pledging his time”