The Secret Sisters have a new album and UK dates

The Secret Sisters –  Laura and Lydia Rogers – return early next year with a new album ‘Saturn Return‘ (to be released February 28th 2020 on New West Records) and a double visit to the UK – the first will be in January for one-off appearances at Celtic Connections and at the Americana Music Association UK’s AmericanaFest in swinging Hackney.  The longer tour will be in June. Continue reading “The Secret Sisters have a new album and UK dates”

Drive By Truckers announce new album, single, UK dates for 2020

Drive-By Truckers will release their new album ‘The Unraveling’ through ATO Records on 31st January and they’ve just released their first single from it called ‘Armageddon’s Back In Town’ which you can hear below. In addition, the band have announced some European tour dates next year, including a show at London’s 02 Forum on 6th June. Continue reading “Drive By Truckers announce new album, single, UK dates for 2020”

Yola nominated for GRAMMYs including best americana album

The full list of the nominations for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards have been announced and queen of country-soul Yola has received four nominations including Best New Artist and three nominations in the Roots category including Best American Roots Song, Best American Roots Performance (for ‘Faraway Look’) and Best Americana Album for her debut Dan Auerbach-produced album ‘Walk Through Fire’. Auerbach also received a nomination for Producer Of The Year. Continue reading “Yola nominated for GRAMMYs including best americana album”

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn to play UK dates

There are special gigs, there are rare gigs, there are gigs that are musical premieres.  Few upcoming gigs offer that combination in quite the same way as the 23rd January and 25th January 2020 appearances of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn at London’s Barbican and Essex’s Saffron Hall respectively.  What makes these such special events?  Well, it’s those five special letters that spell out musical bliss – banjo.  To say that Béla Fleck is a talented banjo player is akin to saying Jimi Hendrix was a bit of a guitar player.  Only that’s still something of an understatement as Béla Fleck has taken the banjo into all sorts of music – bluegrass, of course, but wider folk, jazz, rock, jam bands, classical, jazz-funk, and beyond.  His wife, Abigail Washburn is also no slouch on God’s preferred instrument and brings her exquisite vocals to the musical pairing. Continue reading “Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn to play UK dates”

Songs for the apocalypse: Grand Drive “No Doubt About It”

One of the first people I came into any kind of regular contact with when I first began this AUK lark was Danny George Wilson who to anyone vaguely connected with the UK americana community is something of a John the Baptist figure to the genre (assigning biblical characters to key americana figures should probably be a dissertation for someone one day). Not only was he incredibly kind to me when I was flailing about trying to do things, I was starstruck because he was in the band Grand Drive who I adored from before AUK was so much as a twinkle in my eye. I asked Captain America to play this particular song on Virgin one Sunday night and I still remember feeling the hairs go up on the back of my neck as it came on in the car. The record it’s taken from ‘See the Morning In’ sounds as fantastic as it always has done today.

Nashville’s Sam Lewis heads to the UK next February

Nashville-based country blues and soul singer, Sam Lewis, begins a lengthy tour of the UK in February next year. Renowned for his rich soulful vocals, well-crafted songs, roots country sound and blue-eyed soul, Sam Lewis has collaborated with such musical luminaries as John Prine and Kacey Musgraves, while Chris Stapleton described him as “a modern Townes Van Zandt”. Sam Lewis’ debut album ‘Waiting On You’ received widespread critical acclaim, and featured support from legendary country guitarist, Kenny Vaughan, along with Darrell Scott, the McCrary Sisters, Gabe Dixon and Willie Nelson’s harmonica player, Mickey Raphael. Although the record was very well received, Lewis’ booking agency got bought out at the time of its release, leaving him with limited opportunities to tour to promote it. Continue reading “Nashville’s Sam Lewis heads to the UK next February”

Er… Alison Krauss to receive arts award from POTUS

Well this beats finding out that George Bush Jr. had the Thrills on his iPod.  Alison Krauss has been chosen to receive the National Medal of Arts which will be presented by President Trump on Thursday at a special ceremony. Other artists to receive the award include actor Jon Voight (who’s a known Trump supporter) and the bands of the United States military, and marks the first recipients of arts and humanities medals of Trump’s presidency, because let’s face it, arts are for the weak -and as for humanity! Continue reading “Er… Alison Krauss to receive arts award from POTUS”

Andrew Combs ventures out of Nashville for UK tour dates this December

Andrew Combs has looked to explore new territory since venturing out of his hometown of Nashville, not just in a literal sense, but also with the release of his latest album ‘Ideal Man’ whose recording technique is more experimental than previous releases. Continue reading “Andrew Combs ventures out of Nashville for UK tour dates this December”

Pick of the Political Pops: Badly Drawn Boy “Year Of The Rat”

Our regular reader is up to speed but in case you missed it we here at Americana-UK Towers are holding our decennial election and it is all going swimmingly. We are fully convinced that the incumbent is going to win and everybody is down with that. Indeed Sven and Abdullah, the minimum waged Estonian and Eritrean émigrés who attend to the dying autumn flower beds in the grounds, were so impressed with our glorious leader’s hustings that even they were convinced that he was going to win. And they don’t even know his name. Now that’s impressive. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Badly Drawn Boy “Year Of The Rat””

Watch YouTube’s new Johnny Cash documentary

YouTube Originals have begun to stream the new documentary  ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’, which is a 90-minute film directed by Emmy- and Grammy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny and which includes commentary from Emmylou Harris and Bruce Springsteen along with members of the Cash family, including his daughter Rosanne Cash and son John Carter Cash. RS Country have a nice piece up on it here, or you can jump straight to the film below if you have an hour and a half to spare.