Rod Picott “Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil” (Broken Jukebox Media, 2019)

This is Rod Picott’s third album in almost as many years, but this one is a little different to his previous recent efforts. Songs on ‘Tell The Truth and Shame The Devil’ were written after a serious health scare that Picott experienced during the winter of 2018 and reflect on some of his life experiences and regrets – stuffed full of metaphors – and, as he himself says, has resulted in a “raw, honest and uncontrived” finished product.
Continue reading “Rod Picott “Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil” (Broken Jukebox Media, 2019)”

David Picco “Out of the Past” (Independent, 2019)

David Picco’s new album ‘Out of the Past’ draws on influences from Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen – with an added rockabilly edge to the alt-country sound: what some listeners might describe as heartland soul. The ten tracks of his fifth, self-produced record cover more intimate areas than his 2015 album ‘Start Again’, but with a rootsy and harder vibe. Continue reading “David Picco “Out of the Past” (Independent, 2019)”

Bob Dylan “The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings” (Columbia Records, 2019)

In many ways it was not the best of times for Dylan – having bared his soul on ‘Blood on the Tracks‘ he’d found a release in a whole new musical direction – a direction which would eventually lead to the album ‘Desire‘. Having helped out Roger McGuinn on his abortive ‘Gene Tryp‘ project – which delivered such landmark songs as ‘Chestnut Mare‘ – Jacques Levy had now upgraded to being Dylan’s songwriting buddy. Dylan had further found in Scarlet Rivera his new sound – wild gypsy violin that added drama to the new songs. So, this is Dylan emotionally drained, with sufficient writer’s block to require a songwriting collaborator, and scrabbling around for a new direction to immerse himself in. Continue reading “Bob Dylan “The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings” (Columbia Records, 2019)”

Buford Pope “The Waiting Game” (Unchained Records, 2019)

Buford Pope is a name that immediately conjures up images of the Deep South, and there are a dozen small cities called Buford scattered around those states. Bufords fought for the American Revolution, and on both sides in the Civil War – including a general named Napoleon Bonaparte Buford – and a maverick Tennessee sheriff called Buford Posser was immortalised in the Hollywood movie Walking Tall. So when Swedish native Mikael Liljeborg became immersed in the music of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Neil Young etc and realised he wanted to make that kind of sound, he adopted a very deep-fried nom de plume. Continue reading “Buford Pope “The Waiting Game” (Unchained Records, 2019)”

Mt. Joy, Bush Hall, London, 25th June 2019

It was a sweaty night outside and in as London enjoyed raised temperatures and the threat of rain. The ever elegant Bush hall was a good way towards full for Mt. Joy, making a stopover appearance in London before heading to the Lollapalooza festival in Sweden. Mt. Joy are label mates with both the Felice Brothers and The Lumineers, and that’s fully appropriate as their music fits neatly into that American-Indie-Folk sub-division of Americana. But what can you do when you’re an internet sensation – less than a handful of songs attracting millions of listens before you, as a band, even have an album out and then when the album emerges it’s a big hit and straight away you’re a headlining band ? Well, if you’re Mt.Joy then you just take it in your stride. Welcomed to the stage with a great cheer – Matt Quinn’s suggestion that we should all “have some fun” – was not going to be met with any disapproval. Continue reading “Mt. Joy, Bush Hall, London, 25th June 2019”

Her Crooked Heart, Green Note, London, 23rd June 2019

No stranger to London’s Green Note, having played several solo shows there in the past, Rachel Ries was back on the stage for this London show by her recently configured band, Her Crooked Heart. Their tour is showcasing their current album, ‘To Love To Leave To Live’ and indeed a theme based on just that cycle of life’s experience works across the set as a whole and within many individual tracks. Ries is a lively and candid raconteur and comes across as quite the Bohemian thinker. Media coverage has been very positive and the full band set up comprises the talented array of Siri Undlin, Adelyn Strei, and Hillary James across guitars, piano, synths, cellos, woodwinds, chopping and changing instruments across the set, with all providing harmonised backing vocals along the way. Continue reading “Her Crooked Heart, Green Note, London, 23rd June 2019”

House And Land “Across The Field” (Thrill Jockey Records, 2019)

This is hard core American Folk Music – definitely not for the faint hearted! House and Land are Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Sarah Louise and fiddler/banjoist Sally Anne Morgan and they draw their rich and fascinating material from Appalachia, the Ozarks and, interestingly, from the UK. Continue reading “House And Land “Across The Field” (Thrill Jockey Records, 2019)”

Kris Kelly “Runaways” (Independent, 2019)

Kris Kelly Runaways album coverKris Kelly’s self-released album ‘Runaways’ is packed full of evocative lyrics and otherworldly vocals set to a backdrop of chamber pop and folky guitars. Kelly wrote the album following a stint travelling in South America. It was during this time that he met his now husband. The album vocalises themes of journey, home, love and loss. Continue reading “Kris Kelly “Runaways” (Independent, 2019)”

Ryan Bingham + Joana Serrat, The Garage, Islington, 21st June 2019

Having previously stirred the European waters with a handful of intimate spring acoustic appearances, tonight’s Ryan Bingham show was to be the full powered, full band, showcase of his new ‘American Love Song’ LP. Backed by a mighty fine rhythm section, two wonderful singers and an excellent wing man guitarist, Bingham was in great form and the band were in full force right from the off with a straight out rockin’ ‘Nothing Holds Me Down’. This was followed by the roadhouse blues and country shuffle of ‘Jingle & Go’. “His boots may be crocodile,” he declares in his Texan gruff, but“this ain’t some of yer f’kin tractor kinda shit.” Continue reading “Ryan Bingham + Joana Serrat, The Garage, Islington, 21st June 2019”

Alias Patrick Kelly “An Unclaimed Inheritance” (Independent, 2019)

If your thing is grunge-flavoured, rock-powered  Americana with a steely-eyed take on modern US  working-class life, then Alias Patrick Kelly’s ‘An Unclaimed Inheritance’ EP is almost certainly going to be right up your street. On the plus side, it’s a workmanlike six-track production which combines a heady mixture of social anger in its lyrics with solidly crafted, cohesive alt country and rocky sounds. On the downside, a couple of songs seem to get stuck in the musical equivalent of a low gear, and come perilously close to running out of steam altogether. Continue reading “Alias Patrick Kelly “An Unclaimed Inheritance” (Independent, 2019)”