The Mostar Diving Club “Lovely Bones” – Listen

The Mostar Diving Club is the work of writer, composer and lead singer Damian Katkhuda, who first came to prominence fronting cult indie folk band Obi in the early 2000s.  The latest single ‘Lovely Bones’ is taken from his fourth album ‘Here Comes Joy’ and features jangly guitars, cellos, choirs and mellotrons all combining to create an intimate musical landscape over which Damian Katkhuda reveals the wisdom of fatherhood.  And, if you can’t hear subtle hints of ‘Scarborough Fair‘ then you’d best listen again.

Josh Ritter “Old Black Magic” – Listen

Exciting news that Josh Ritter is returning with his tenth album, ‘Fever Breaks‘.   If the first single is a guide – and we’ve a feeling it is – then ‘Fever Breaks’ is going to be Josh Ritter’s rockiest album since ‘Historical Conquests‘.  Some of this sound could just be due to the presence of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.  Could this, already,  be a taster for the album of the year ?  You know what, it just might be.

Graham Nash “On The Line” – Listen

This, strictly speaking, is breaking all the rules.  Not only an old song, but a video.  Well, as someone once said “Rules and regulations – who needs them?  Throw ’em out the door“.  Also, it should be noted that at last night’s Americana Music Association UK Awards ceremony in downtown Hackney Graham Nash was quite rightly awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement, which was presented by old bandmate Allan Clarke, with a special recorded message as well from last year’s winner Richard Thompson.  For such special occasions we can bend the rules.  So here’s Graham from the Old Grey Whistle Test – did we mention that Whispering Bob was hosting the awards?  All these connections don’t happen by accident…

Shirley Collins “Wondrous Love” – Listen

Decisions, decisions – what to do when the Americana Music Association Awards clashes with a hen’s-teeth rare outing by Shirley Collins at The Roundhouse?  That is the dilemma before us all – the cream of the Americana scene or one of the leading lights of the folk revival and actual noted American Roots song-collector (with Alan Lomax).  While we ponder this problem here’s a track from Shirley that was re-issued last year on ‘The Ballad of Shirley Collins‘.

Track Premiere: Graham Stone Music “Fighting For”

Photo Credit Ross Wright

It’s great to have the premiere for this new song by Graham Stone – taken from his new album ‘Bad News‘ which is out on April 12th.  It’s an impassioned roots-rocker that reflects on the turmoil of the world  “when the race is run we put down our guns what we fighting for ?“, whilst also putting it into a generational context “well the first born son of a first born son had a first born son today“.  The world keeps turning, life continues even amongst the madness. Continue reading “Track Premiere: Graham Stone Music “Fighting For””

Don Brownrigg “Bad Timing” – Listen

Singer-songwriter Don Brownrigg describes this sprightly number as a straight”nope” – which is to say that yeah, he could be great – but sadly not for you.  Well, that’s refreshingly direct.   Dan Brownrigg has toured with the likes of Great Lake Swimmers, and he has a new album out called ‘Fireworks‘ .  It looks at breakups from both aspects – the initiating and receiving sides of a breakup – and is out on February 22nd.

Molly Tuttle “Take The Journey” – Listen

Molly Tuttle is a phenomenal flat-picker, and this song, co-written with Sarah Siskind , displays that prowess.  The song is inspired by the archetypal  hero’s journey – the quest to achieve something followed by the all important return to a, more often than not, changed home.  Molly Tuttle is touring the UK with The Transatlantic Sessions, and has a solo tour in April.  Her debut album ‘When you’re ready‘ is out on April the 5th. If you want to see that flat-picking up close and personal search out her video for ‘White Freightliner Blues‘.

Jennah Bell “Another Lousiana” – Listen

Another Lousiana‘ is a classically beautiful folk tinged singer-songwriter confessional from Jennah Bell.  It’s the lead single from her upcoming in February album ‘ Anchors & Elephants‘.  There’s a lot more we could say, but then there wouldn’t be room for this typically grumpy story about Paul Simon.  See, Jennah Bell won a contest to play a tune for Simon.  Wow! Dream come true! Except he spent the first twenty minutes on a lecture on how to tune her guitar.  And he hated the song.   The good part is how Bell turned this around “what I took away from that whole experience wasn’t so much of what he said, but rather what I did as a result: I kept moving. That was paralyzing at the time. I haven’t played the song since. That part of it was kind of traumatizing, but ultimately, I got better at guitar.

Lucinda Williams covers Bobbie Gentry with Mercury Rev – Listen

Lucinda Williams has recorded a cover of Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode to Billie Joe,’ as a contribution to Mercury Rev’s adventurous re-imagining of Gentry’s largely forgotten (until now) 1968 sophomore album, ‘The Delta Sweete.’  RS Country describes it as “Set within darkly atmospheric production elements, Williams’ vocal is tinged with pain and echoes with hints of anger and regret throughout, deepening the classic tune’s enigmatic nature. Continue reading “Lucinda Williams covers Bobbie Gentry with Mercury Rev – Listen”

Carson McHone “Drugs” – Listen

Ray Wylie Hubbard says of Carson McHone that she “writes songs like her life depends on it.” There’s no soft edges on this new song from Carson McHone, from the start there’s a destructive dependency  – “If I said you tasted sweet would you let me use you terribly, so terribly sweet, oh let me feed, oh feed each other.” But, as it gets darker you just can’t stop listening.  This song, by the by, is from McHone’s new album ‘Carousel‘, which is a hell of a listen.  Carson McHone will be at the Americana Music Association UK showcase on January 29th, at Oslo.