Interview: Stevie Freeman, Chairperson of AMA-UK

Stevie Freeman is the Chair of the Americana Music Association UK, the trade body for the genre and its musicians in the UK, with the express aim of further the exposure of its artist in the UK and beyond.  She is also the co-owner of Union Music Store (and its associated label and promotions) in Lewes; this year the AMA-UK showcased some of its members on the Friday stage at Maverick Festival, Suffolk – the best Alt Country festival in the UK. Rudie Hayes talks to her about the organisation and its future plans. Continue reading “Interview: Stevie Freeman, Chairperson of AMA-UK”

Dirty Dozen: The Roseline

The Roseline is the musical moniker of singer/songwriter Colin Halliburton, and a myriad collaborators. Over the course of ten years and five albums, The Roseline has forged a sound that is at once familiar and singular.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We’re from Lawrence, Kansas USA. We recently finished our fifth full length album titled “Blood” and it’s coming out October 6th. We recorded it at our local public library’s studio which is free to use with a library card. Just goes to show how dreamy our town can be. 🙂 Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Roseline”

Interview: Amanda Anne Platt (The Honeycutters)

Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters perform a brand of americana music dripping class – such are the dynamics of Platt’s songs, and the playing of the band they come in at a higher level. Consistency is another term you could fire at her and the band. Their recent albums are of the kind you would not want to miss. Maurice Hope talked to her about her music and the future. Continue reading “Interview: Amanda Anne Platt (The Honeycutters)”

Interview: Sonia Leigh

She is always in black, almost always in shades, she is old school cool, sexy, sassy and oozes that rock and roll chic long sucked out the business to make music by the lowest common denominator.  Sonia Leigh is the hoarse voice siren that is single handed sticking to the man one arse kicker of a song at a time.  Tough country, she takes no prisoners, she’ll rock you to your socks and on top of that she really digs fresh lemonade! Continue reading “Interview: Sonia Leigh”

Interview: Paul Spencer (Maverick Festival)

Ten years and still kickin’ was the recent tagline to Maverick Festival, which has had a decade at the top of the tree when it comes to putting on Alt-country, Americana and Roots festivals in the UK.  Based at Easton Farm Park, near Woodbridge in Suffolk it provides three days of multi stage twang based action.  Its Director is Paul Spencer, a drummer and the man that makes it all happen. Continue reading “Interview: Paul Spencer (Maverick Festival)”

Interview: Brooks Williams

Brooks Williams is an elegant man. He has the air of being learned, of art from every pore – he’s charming and is the processor of a killer smile.  He’s also the owner of some serious guitar porn, and one hell of a player.  An American now residing in East Anglia, his last album, ‘My Turn Now’ melds James Taylor with Paul Simon and a resonator guitar. It’s a fine record. The man is old school cool. Like a classic V8, it’s all under the hood, where it matters.  AUK caught him after he was the highlight of Maverick festival. Continue reading “Interview: Brooks Williams”

Interview: Rodney Crowell

Houston-born singer-songwriter and longtime Nashville resident Rodney Crowell continues to lift his game as a songwriter, and his latest album ‘Close Ties’ (New West) qualifies as the most honest set of work he has ever done. Crowell has seen his songs recorded by countless people, ranging from his old boss, Emmylou Harris to Johnny Cash by way of blues legend Etta James, Bob Seger, George Strait, Steve Young, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw, and of course a man he co-wrote a few jewels with, Guy Clark. With Clark’s death in 2016 still very much in the mind of the singer-songwriter community, Crowell was keen to share his admiration with Maurice Hope. Continue reading “Interview: Rodney Crowell”

Interview: Jim Miller (Western Centuries)

Americana musician of long standing Jim Miller is breaking new ground with fellow creative minds Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton and other members of Western Centuries as they bring a new and exciting, and slightly experimental sound to the table. “Weight of the World”, the band’s debut has been met with much praise, so much so people are already marking it down as one of the best of 2017. Maurice Hope spoke to Jim Miller. Continue reading “Interview: Jim Miller (Western Centuries)”

The past is never dead. It’s not even past – an interview with John Murry

John Murry’s 2012 album The Graceless Age was hailed by MOJO magazine with a 5 out of 5 rating, UNCUT called it a “masterpiece”, both magazines included it in their Top 10 albums of the year; American Songwriter put it in their Top 5 of the year and The Guardian included it in their best of the year as well. Written and recorded in the wake of a heroin addiction the album was candid in its depiction of his struggles and near death encounter, the grim tales delivered with an almost suffocating beauty concocted by Murry and his producer, Tim Mooney. On stage Murry seemed at times to be reliving the events described, his performances raw, an exorcism of sorts. The sudden death of his mentor Mooney and a marital breakup derailed whatever momentum was being achieved and although he has continued to perform and has recorded several EPs, many were wondering if he would ever record another album. At times Murry himself seemed to regard the album as a millstone around his neck. Continue reading “The past is never dead. It’s not even past – an interview with John Murry”

Interview: The Lowest Pair

Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, collectively known as The Lowest Pair, made quite a splash last year when they released two albums simultaneously. Uncertain As It Is Uneven was a continuation of their previous releases as a banjo playing duo while Fern Girl & Ice Man employed other musicians to create a fuller band sound with both albums maintaining their interest in traditional American roots music. Both musicians had solo careers and backgrounds in playing with string bands but when they met up in 2013 they recognised their shared interest in traditional banjo techniques and started to share bills before formally setting up the band. Since then they’ve released five albums and toured relentlessly across the States and starting this week they embark on their first UK tour. 24 shows over the next month including a stint at The Shetland Folk Festival and a show at Edinburgh’s Tradfest along with a long sweep through England and Wales. Continue reading “Interview: The Lowest Pair”