Felix Hatfield “False God” (Fangbite Records, 2020)

Felix Hatfield is the type of artistic polymath that you don’t meet every day. His creative works of madcap art and surrealist music over the last 25 years are unconstrained by genre and comprise of silent films, cardboard characters, junk robots and music that has ranged from jug bands to punk bands. His latest work ‘False God’ has been recorded in “The Batfield Library”, his basement studio in Portland with the help of some passing friends. Continue reading “Felix Hatfield “False God” (Fangbite Records, 2020)”

Jack Henderson “Where’s The Revolution” (Fretsore Records , 2020)

Making a high-quality record is an expensive business at the best of times and in these challenging days, it seems that more and more artists are having to dig deep into their musical bag of tricks and do much of the heavy lifting on their own and Jack Henderson, with his newest album, ‘Where’s the Revolution’ has certainly done that. Self-recorded outside Henderson’s hometown of Glasgow, the ten-track release sees the UK singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist on inspired creative form to deliver a solo album in its truest sense. Of making the record, Henderson says: Continue reading “Jack Henderson “Where’s The Revolution” (Fretsore Records , 2020)”

Reg Meuross “Raw” (Hatsongs, 2020)

Normally AUK doesn’t review releases sent to us more than six months after their release. This album, the third in a trilogy of stripped back folk songs from Reg Meuross, was originally released back in October 2019 but a brand new vinyl version has just hit the shelves, joining its two trilogy siblings on wax and it was this we were asked to peruse. Continue reading “Reg Meuross “Raw” (Hatsongs, 2020)”

Sam Morrow “Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down'” (Forty Below Records, 2020)

Sam Morrow’s fourth record, ‘Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down’, is hiss most guitar and groove-driven album to date. Wanting to create an album that is rooted in grease, grit, and groove, Morrow focused on making his LP full of hip-shaking rock & roll, and he does so with great success. The album starts with ‘Rosarita’, a song which sets the tone for the whole album. As soon as you hear the first riff on the guitar, you know that it is going to get you feeling both chilled out with the groovy vibes it creates, but also on your feet dancing along. Ultimately, it’s a song about a woman who Morrow can’t get enough of, but actually ‘only brings him rain’. You feel like this song is very real with the detail of the lyrics and Morrow has experienced all of this himself. Continue reading “Sam Morrow “Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down’” (Forty Below Records, 2020)”

Loudon Wainwright III “I’d Rather Lead A Band” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)

There can’t be many albums reviewed on these pages that have name-checked Irving Berlin, Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, so this may well be a first. ‘I’d Rather Lead a Band’, the latest offering from six-stringed diarist Loudon Wainwright III, renowned as one of the most original songwriters of our times, is a collection of 1920s and 30s big band songs, including numbers written and/or recorded by the famous names above, as well as many others. Created with the backing of outstanding New York nightclub band, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, this album, at first sight, may seem to be an unusual choice for Wainwright, but is in fact an almost perfect fit. Continue reading “Loudon Wainwright III “I’d Rather Lead A Band” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)”

Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)

Gordon Barry, an award-winning Irish singer-songwriter from charming Wexford, has remarkably handsome vocal talent and refined musical skills. ‘All the Live Long Year‘, the follow up to Barry’s debut album ‘The Best Way To Kill A Monster‘, is graced with some delicate melodies and alluring harmonies together with the superb skills of established Irish musicians Christian Best (Drums), Conor Brady (Guitar) & Cian Boylan (Piano, keys). Continue reading “Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)”

John Murry “Tilting At Windmills” (Submarine Cat Records, 2020)

John Murry’s debut, 2013’s ‘The Graceless Age’, made many of that year’s Best Of lists. While it was his debut, Murry was already 34 and had recorded two albums with legendary Memphis singer-songwriter Bob Frank and an album of Waylon Jennings covers with Chuck Prophet, and it was clear that he was no ordinary artist. He was adopted into the family of author William Faulkner and was brought up in Tupelo, Mississippi, which helps explain his exploration of southern gothic and his absolute understanding of the various roots of rock’n’roll. The critical acclaim did not translate into commercial sales and the same was true of his second album, ‘A Short History Of Decay’, written following the break-up of his marriage and a move to Ireland.  The ‘Tilting At Windmills’  EP is John Murry’s debut release on Submarine Cat Records, a new UK independent label. It collects various cover versions recorded at various times over the last 10 years. It is a short memo, pending the release of a full album in 2021. Continue reading “John Murry “Tilting At Windmills” (Submarine Cat Records, 2020)”

The Little Lord Street Band “A Minute of Another Day” (Independent, 2020)

After six years of touring, a handful of well-received EP’s, and three West Australian Music Industry Awards for Best Country Act, Perth’s The Little Lord Street Band have finally released their debut album ‘A Minute of Another Day.’ The alt-country folk four-piece, along with West Australian songwriter and collaborator Bri Clark, have created a stylistically diverse scattershot group of songs that run the gamut of moods and emotions. The project began in 2017 and 2018 at the APRA Songhubs workshops. ‘Frankies Back in Town’ sets the bar rather high for the rest of the album: a vibrant, elated track about a woman’s long-anticipated return to her hometown. It’s easy to wonder what happens next in the story. Continue reading “The Little Lord Street Band “A Minute of Another Day” (Independent, 2020)”

Joshua Burnside “Depths of Hell” (Independent, 2020)

The moment that an almost industrial clatter opens ‘I Saw The Light,’ the opening track on Joshua Burnside’s second effort ‘Depths of Hell,’ you immediately realize that you are in a bit of a left-field musical ride. Some who like to stick to their personal, strict definitions of a genre, would even question if the Belfast singer/songwriter has come up with an Americana album after all. But the answer to that question is much more simple and complicated at the same time. Continue reading “Joshua Burnside “Depths of Hell” (Independent, 2020)”

Elvis Perkins “Creation Myths” (MIR/Petulama Records,2020)

Full disclosure. This reviewer was quite enamoured of Elvis Perkins’ first two albums, ‘Ash Wednesday’ and the more emphatic ‘Elvis Perkins In Dearland’, at the tail end of the aughties, finding him to be a literate and sensitive purveyor of well written and delicately performed modern folk songs, not too far removed from the likes of Eef Barzelay. He fell off the radar somewhat afterwards, working with his brother, Osgood, on soundtracks, and ‘Creation Myths’ is his first fully fledged recording in some time. In a somewhat contradictory fashion, the album consists of songs composed around the time of his first album but here recorded in a lush, and at times intoxicating, blend of cosmic country and sixties pyschedelic pop. Continue reading “Elvis Perkins “Creation Myths” (MIR/Petulama Records,2020)”