Tift Merritt Announces New Album for 2017 – UK Dates

tiftAnd you don’t have to wait until then as you can hear a new song from it “Love Soldiers On” below.  Grammy Award-nominated artist Tift Merritt’s new album Stitch of the World will be released January 27 on Yep Roc Records. Her sixth studio album, it was written on a friend’s farm in Marfa, Texas, at Merritt’s California cabin and in New York City in the wake of several major changes in her life. Merritt workshopped the songs with longtime friend Sam Beam of Iron & Wine after bumping in to him in an airport, and it was then recorded in Los Angeles while Merritt was six months pregnant, after which she relocated to her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Continue reading “Tift Merritt Announces New Album for 2017 – UK Dates”

Americana Legend Bap Kennedy Dies

bap-kennedyA couple of days late with this sorry – such sad news.  Bap played Americana One back in 2002 in Liverpool, Americana UK’s first festival, and gave a memorably awesome performance.  BBC News reports: “The well-known Belfast singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy has died. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year and passed away on Tuesday evening. He was 54. His death was announced on a post on his Facebook page which said: “Bap was extremely brave until the end. “We would like to thank everybody for their kind messages of support over the past few months, these meant a lot to Bap and Brenda and helped Bap stay positive throughout his illness.  Continue reading “Americana Legend Bap Kennedy Dies”

Sarah MacDougall and Ben Kunder Announce UK Tour Dates

Canada-based, Swedish-born singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall arrives in the UK in a couple of weeks with part-time carpenter and sometime actor, Canadian singer-songwriter Ben Kunder for a series of dates. Garnering increasingly international acclaim, MacDougall, a Western Canadian Music Award winning artist (Roots Solo Recording of the Year 2012 for The Greatest Ones Alive), was described by Rootstime in Belgium as “one of the greatest talents of this era”, and by Swedish magazine Nöjesguiden as “One of Sweden’s best singer/songwriters”.  Kunder has spent years honing his craft to become a full time musician, venturing closer to making this a reality with the release of his debut solo LP GoldenContinue reading “Sarah MacDougall and Ben Kunder Announce UK Tour Dates”

Dixie Chick Natalie Maines Responds to CMA Performance Criticism

And they will be hating the pages and pages of publicity from this.  Billboard reports: “The Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines is responding to the online controversy surrounding the band’s performance with Beyonce at the CMA Awards on Wednesday night. While the collaboration was by far one of the award show’s most talked about moments, it stirred a backlash on social media due to the Dixie Chicks’ past criticisms of Republican politics and Beyonce’s participation in the Black Lives Matter movement. The singer and guitarist made jokes on Twitter saying that her band and Beyonce had been invited back to co-host the show next year, but she had to decline. She then went on to say she had “used” the CMA Awards to fulfill her dream of singing with Beyonce.  Continue reading “Dixie Chick Natalie Maines Responds to CMA Performance Criticism”

Winter Mountain Announce New Record, Dates

Cornish singer-songwriter Joe Francis aka Winter Mountain is releasing his new record I Swear I Flew on November 18th, the first since his critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2013 which the Sunday Express described as “an utterly fabulous record” (probably before laying into some more migrants for doing something).  Written between Ireland, the north coast of Cornwall, and across a stark winter spent in the French Alps, the album features contributions from Seth Lakeman on several tracks.   If you want to find out what all the fuss is about for yourself, you can catch him at headline shows which kick off in Worthing next Friday.  Continue reading “Winter Mountain Announce New Record, Dates”

Here’s the Shortlist for Tonight’s CMA Awards (Updated with Winners)

Some decent americana-y musicians in here including Jerry Douglas.  Good luck Jerry!  Rolling Stone reports: “The 50th annual CMA Awards are set to award country’s top artists later this evening, but two trophies have already been presented this morning: Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year. After performing on Good Morning America in downtown Nashville, Dierks Bentley was announced as the winner of Musical Event of the Year along with Elle King in recognition of their duet Different for Girls.”  Continue reading “Here’s the Shortlist for Tonight’s CMA Awards (Updated with Winners)”

Kyle Carey launches Kickstarter for new album

Kyle Carey, purveyor of Gaelic Americana, has launched a Kickstarter for her new album, The Art Of Forgetting.  Her previous two have been very well received both on this site and elsewhere so should you feel inclined (and you should) click on the link below and donate a few pounds.  Some fine rewards available too.

Watch NPR Music ‘Americana Alphabet’ Peformances

Some amazing clips here if you have time to watch.  NPR.org reports: “During AmericanaFest last month, NPR Music’s Ann Powers and contributor Jewly Hight got together with musicians at Nashville’s historic Union Station Hotel for a series of intimate “Americana Alphabet” performances. Throughout the week, they hosted Dawes and Lydia Loveless, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, The Lumineers, Lori McKenna, Shovels & Rope and Bobby Rush, all of whom set up in the ornate hotel in various stripped-down configurations. Each of these performances celebrates Americana music by challenging artists to engage with some of the genre’s most treasured keywords. Watch the sessions [here].”

Grandaddy Announce New Album, UK Dates

If you’ve never heard “Nature Anthem”, watch in awe below and prepare to not sleep for the next 3 weeks.  Uncut reports: “Grandaddy have announced details of their new studio album, Last Place. It’s their first album since 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat. Last Place will be released on March 3 on Danger Mouse’s Century Records. Produced by the band’s Jason Lytle, it also features Jim Fairchild (guitar), Kevin Garcia (bass), Tim Dryden (keys) and Aaron Burtch (drums).”  Continue reading “Grandaddy Announce New Album, UK Dates”

Celtic Connections Launch 2017 Programme

Celtic Connections, one of the highlights of the americana year (indeed the first highlight of each year) has announced its line-up for 2017 which is cracking as always – 2,100 artists (!) in 20 venues across Glasgow.  The festival opens with a special performance from Laura Marling & the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, and a host of events follow, including performances from Calexico, Tom Russell, the Felice Brothers, Seth Lakeman, Tom Paxton, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry and Eliza Carthy.  There are also performances from our friends at Brookfield Knights including Ozere, 3Hattrio and Nathan Bell.  Head over to the Celtic Connections website for full details and tickets.