Erin Rae + HerTiltedMoons, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, 9th November 2019

Growing up in Jackson, Tennessee, Erin Rae McKaskie was playing music from the age of five. Her parents were both musicians. Now based in Nashville, Erin Rae has dropped her surname, but the music still flows through her veins. Her sophomore album ‘Putting on Airs’ was released to widespread acclaim last year and she has gathered a growing reputation as a live performer. Tonight, she was accompanied by a three-piece band piece band who augmented and embellished her songs perfectly. Continue reading “Erin Rae + HerTiltedMoons, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, 9th November 2019”

Carter Sampson Trio + Sean Duggan, St Pancras Old Church, 30th October 2019

A Thursday night in the capital and there’s an embarrassment of riches on offer for the fan of Americana music. Slightly to the north of us, Ana Egge is playing at the Green Note in Camden, Caroline Spence is just up the road in Islington and Tyler Ramsey, former lead guitar player for Band of Horses, is out west at the Bush Hall. Perhaps this accounts for the somewhat scant number of people in attendance at St Pancras Old Church for Carter Sampson. It’s a venue she’s familiar with having played here last spring, and as with her last outing, Carter Sampson perform tonight as a trio, albeit this time out she’s accompanied by Jason Scott (producer of last year’s ‘Lucky’ album) and Kyle Reid. And what a terrific venue the church is, its intimate surrounds, atmosphere and perfect acoustics making it a highlight for any music lover. Continue reading “Carter Sampson Trio + Sean Duggan, St Pancras Old Church, 30th October 2019”

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore and The Guilty Ones + Roseanne Reid, Band on the Wall, Manchester, 30th October 2019

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore have been good friends for many years, so when they got together to make 2018’s ‘Downey to Lubbock’ album it was something which they both agreed was long overdue. They had played together previously but making the album persuaded them to put a full band tour together. Only four UK dates were scheduled as part of their European tour, so those present tonight at Manchester’s iconic Band on the Wall venue were entitled to feel truly privileged. Continue reading “Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore and The Guilty Ones + Roseanne Reid, Band on the Wall, Manchester, 30th October 2019”

The Rails + Danny Wilson, Oslo, Hackney, London, 29th October 2019

This was the last UK tour date for The Rails – Kami Thompson and James Walbourne – who had hit the road in support of their album, ‘Cancel The Sun’, released back in August. The support tonight was from Danny Wilson, of Danny & The Champions Of The World, Bennett, Wilson, Poole and Grand Drive. His six-song set was a nice introduction to him, simple with a good acoustic guitar accompaniment.  Playing songs from his back catalogue for the most part, he ended his set with a cover of Ronnie Lanes’ ‘Debris’, for which he was joined on stage by James Walbourne and Sean Read. Continue reading “The Rails + Danny Wilson, Oslo, Hackney, London, 29th October 2019”

Tyler Ramsey + Alexander Carson, Bush Hall, London, 30th October 2019

Slightly bedraggled in appearance, holes and scuffs in the plaid shirt, Tyler Ramsey takes to the stage with minimal fuss. Seats himself, taking a while to tune his acoustic before intricately picking harmonics for the instrumental ‘Train‘. A suitably Halloween timed ‘1000 Black Birds‘ follows with vocals before guitarist Brian Landrum joins on pedal steel, teasing it with an e-bow to create a whirring wall on ‘Cheap Summer Dress‘. “The weight of old regret hangs heaviest on my frame” sings Ramsey. He appears in not regretful sprits tonight, this being far from his first venture as a solo artist, but his first fully dedicated new album tour since departing as guitarist from Band Of Horses in 2017. Continue reading “Tyler Ramsey + Alexander Carson, Bush Hall, London, 30th October 2019”

Birds of Chicago, Sounds In The Suburbs, The Doublet, Glasgow, 28th October 2019

The packed crowd who squeezed into the upstairs bar of this well kent Glasgow pub could hardly believe their luck at having the opportunity to see the mighty Birds of Chicago at such close quarters. With all seats taken, several souls sat on the floor while the band, tonight a trio, were packed close into an alcove beside the bar, a handy set up as proclaimed by  JT Nero when he asked the barman for a whiskey mid set and it was poured and handed to him. “It’s like a hootenanny,” he said just before a conversation was struck up with the audience regarding which particular brand he was drinking. Continue reading “Birds of Chicago, Sounds In The Suburbs, The Doublet, Glasgow, 28th October 2019”

Robert Vincent + The Curse Of Lono + Foreign Affairs, Under The Apple Tree Sessions, Bush Hall, London, 26th October 2019

The hosts for this particular night of what was Country Music Week at Bush Hall were none other than Bob Harris’s Under The Apple Tree, the digital platform for Harris, his son Miles and various family members. No surprise then that Harris elected to showcase two acts he has selected for his AMAUK Emerging Artist award over the past years, namely, Robert Vincent and Curse Of Lono. Endless gratitude should always head Whispering Bob’s way, who even after another recent brush of health issues shows no sign of easing his ever-enthusiastic musical passions. Keep well Bob. Continue reading “Robert Vincent + The Curse Of Lono + Foreign Affairs, Under The Apple Tree Sessions, Bush Hall, London, 26th October 2019”

The Blue Highways + James Hodder + Jamie Freeman + Howard Rose, The Betsey Trotwood, London, 18th & 19th October 2019

Unusually for what is essentially a brand new band, The Blue Highways played two shows back to back at the Betsey Trotwood in London’s Clerkenwell to celebrate their debut EP which was released back in August. The band (Callum Lury – lead vocals, guitar and songwriter; Jack Lury – lead guitar; Peter Dixon – bass guitar; and Theo Lury – drums and vocals) were joined on both nights by a horn section and kept the same playlist for both events. Continue reading “The Blue Highways + James Hodder + Jamie Freeman + Howard Rose, The Betsey Trotwood, London, 18th & 19th October 2019”

Caroline Spence + Roseanne Reid, Night & Day Café, Manchester, 24th October 2019

Reviewing Caroline Spence’s recentMint Condition album for AUK, fellow writer Rick Bayles awarded it that rare accolade a 10/10 score, describing it as “flawless” and “an early contender for album of the year.” A glowing testimony – but could she deliver the same quality live? The short answer on the evidence of this performance is an emphatic yes…and then some. Accompanied by her long time UK touring guitarist, CJ Hillman, Spence kept an appreciative audience spellbound for the evening with her striking voice, engaging stage presence and above all, a set crammed with songs of the highest quality. Those songs, drawn mainly from ‘Mint Condition’ and its predecessor ‘Spades and Roses’ were the platform for a performance that was, to borrow a word, “flawless”. Continue reading “Caroline Spence + Roseanne Reid, Night & Day Café, Manchester, 24th October 2019”

Robert Ellis, Phase One, Liverpool, 22nd October 2019

Before Robert Ellis took to the stage tonight, a bunch of yellow roses were carefully spread out over the portable piano and the edge of the stage; this act would help set the tone for an evening from the man whose latest album is titled, unironically, ‘Texas Piano Man’. Continue reading “Robert Ellis, Phase One, Liverpool, 22nd October 2019”