Pick of the Political Pops: Chris Murray “Heartache”

Having been residents of Americana-UK Towers for longer than we care to remember we were surprised when, having come back from a stroll in the grounds, we were asked at the door to The Bunker to provide evidence of our right to enter. “Come off it” we said “We’ve been here for, like, ever”. “No good” said The Gatekeeper Terry Might “Where are your papers?” “Well last we heard you had them” we said. “Yeah – well I burnt them.” Said Terry “Get back on the good ship Empire Windrush or however you got here – and go home” “But this is our home” we protested. And so it went on for several tedious hours until eventually Terry Might realised what a colossal balls up they had made and sheepishly gave us leave to remain. What a heartache…

The Milk Carton Kids are back and strong and tough

‘All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn’t Do’ is the mouthful of a name of the new album for the Americana Music Association Award-winners for “Best Duo/Group,” Milky Bar Milk Carton Kids which comes out on the ANTI label on 29th June. Their fourth studio album is heralded by the project’s unprecedented centrepiece ‘One More For The Road’ which has been described as “an epic 10 minute-plus musical excursion through folk, jazz and psychedelia.” The track serves as a signpost of what the album has in store apparently and is available today for individual purchase and on all streaming services (you can hear it below while you boil two and a half eggs) (sequentially).  Continue reading “The Milk Carton Kids are back and strong and tough”

Go cruising with Drive By Truckers and Lucinda!

In the nice “sail on a boat” sense.  Rolling Stone reports, for all of you moneybags out there: “Nothing says “outlaw” like a Caribbean cruise, and for the fourth year running the Outlaw Country Cruise will set sail in January 2019. When it does, it will have a stacked lineup including Drive-By Truckers, Margo Price and Lucinda Williams all onboard. Run in conjunction by Steve Van Zandt’s Renegade Circus and Sixthman – organizers of the Americana- and country-heavy Cayamo Cruise – the Outlaw Country Cruise sails from Tampa, Florida, to Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas. Also leading the bill are Bobby Bare, Steve Earle & the Dukes, the Flatlanders, Nikki Lane, Old 97’s, Shooter Jennings and Elizabeth Cook. Continue reading “Go cruising with Drive By Truckers and Lucinda!”

OCMS discuss their “wrecking ball” approach to Nashville

OCMS aka Old Crow Medicine Show have had an interesting little chat with RS Country about their forthcoming new album and how they sit on the “far left” precarious side of country music. Don’t we all, old crows!  They report: “Old Crow Medicine Show’s new album, ‘Volunteer’, out April 20th, marks two decades that have taken the string-band sextet from busking on street corners to Grammy success and membership in the Grand Ole Opry. Continue reading “OCMS discuss their “wrecking ball” approach to Nashville”

Graham Nash heads to UK for July shows

The “I think we can call him legendary” Graham Nash has announced a series of dates over the summer in the UK, promising “performances of his many well-known songs along with anecdotes and tales from throughout his storied career”. He will be joined on stage by guitarist and vocalist Shane Fontayne, longtime collaborator and producer of his most recent album, ‘This Path Tonight’ and former CSN keyboardist and vocalist Todd Caldwell, and together, the trio will perform songs from his days in the Hollies, his years with Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young) and from his solo recordings. Continue reading “Graham Nash heads to UK for July shows”

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats + Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 12th April 2018

Nathaniel Rateliff managed a remarkable feat for an artist whose name is not part of the musical mainstream. He sold out 3 nights at Shepherd’s Bush, which means 6000 people turned up to watch what surely must have been one of the best run of gigs held there for a long time. Rateliff was supported by long term Gospel Americana band Slim Cessna’s Auto Club who enthusiastically warmed up the crowd with a lively set which featured seven band members including pedal steel guitar, saxophone, bass and drums as well as three guitarists.  Slim himself was a tall and rangy figure sporting a full 10 gallon hat and was very comfortable on stage.  He knew just what to do to get everyone into a party mood and it was lovely to see Rateliff himself join them for their invigorating finale. Continue reading “Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats + Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 12th April 2018”

Van Life: Ash Gray

Ash Gray is no stranger to a life of travel. Spending part of his time in Sheffield, the rest in either Austin, NYC or London depending on where his creative muse may court his attention, Gray is a musical traveller by definition. His latest album, ‘Chicken Wire‘, a buoyant mix of storytelling and Texan rock’n’roll, is out now. Americana-UK catches up with the songwriter putting in the miles in the American Southwest where he has just played shows at SXSW. Continue reading “Van Life: Ash Gray”

Great Lake Swimmers ride the waves with new album, EP

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of one of our favourite indie-folk/rock bands here at AUK, Great Lake Swimmers (not to be confused with the also great Great Lakes) and today they’ve announced a new album: ‘The Waves, The Wake’ comes out on 17th August via Nettwerk Records.  Recorded in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario and produced by Chris Stringer, lead singer-songwriter Tony Dekker decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar, which has always been his instrumental mainstay. He further digressed from previous songwriting patterns by looking at each track individually and then tailoring the instrumentation to bring each song to life in its own distinctive way. Continue reading “Great Lake Swimmers ride the waves with new album, EP”

Pick of the Political Pops: Sean Rowe “Soldiers Song”

The world – a mad and bad place at the best of times – got a little too much for us recently so we have taken to the bunker for a couple of weeks respite and partaken of its fully stocked larder and bar. Having poked our heads above ground this week we find that its still mad and bad and possibly even more dangerous than we had previously believed. All sorts of nasty goings on everywhere you look and if Donny John and Terry Might have there way there may just be a new proxy war on the horizon between the west and the east, the battleground being Syria. We are minded of Harry Patch’s words:  “Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder.” This tune sums up our feelings:

Jason Isbell talks to RS: “We ate chicken fingers from the concession stand at the Grammys”

RS has published a nice piece on Jason Isbell which includes some snippets from an interview they recently had with him. They report: “At this year’s Grammys, where he was up for several awards, Jason Isbell didn’t exactly tear the place up. “We weren’t on the televised part of the show, so we didn’t get the good seats,” he says with a good-natured laugh. “We wound up eating chicken fingers from the concession stand.”  Continue reading “Jason Isbell talks to RS: “We ate chicken fingers from the concession stand at the Grammys””