P.D. Liddle “You Shouldn’t Have Called” – Listen

Previously Peter Liddle was the frontman of East London folk-rock band Dry the River.  After almost a decade of making music, including a pair of album releases, the band decided to call it a day in 2015.   P.D. Liddle has since signed to Xtra Mile Recordings, and ‘You shouldn’t have called’ marks the first fruits of his new solo recordings.  It’s chamber-folk coupled to a delicate and painfully introverted vocal.  He’ll be playing this, and more, at Omeara on April the 13th.

Old Crow Medicine Show “Whirlwind” – Listen

OCMS, as we call them using the vernacular, are back. ‘Whirlwind’ is the latest song to be premiered from the group’s new album ‘Volunteer’ which is due out April 20th in the UK. It’s the closing track to the album and lead singer Ketch Sector told RS that he found inspiration for it when he remembered a story he heard on one of the band’s long road trips. “When I sat down to write ‘Whirlwind,’ I thought of my friend Gill Landry’s paternal grandparents,” he said. “They had just had some kind of major wedding anniversary, like 60 or 70 years. They got married when they were teenagers in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. There’s a great power in the story of a marriage taking place amidst the great uncertainty of massive social upheaval that was happening all around with that generation, particularly in the rural south. And that kind of story becomes a universal one in the context of country music, because no matter what your twist or your hurricane is, you’ve gotta ride it out.”

Erin Rae “Can’t Cut Loose” – Listen

‘Can’t Cut Loose’ is Erin Rae’s new single from her forthcoming album ‘Putting on Airs’ on Single Lock Records.  That’s John Paul White’s label – and he signed her on first hearing because, as he says, “I was instantly transfixed”.  With a soothing sound, and an ethereal vocal, it’s a song about getting things straight – sorting out the confusion of romantic love, or shaking some other reliance.  Fighting demons.  But really quietly, and determinedly.

 

Mickelson “No Such Luck” – Listen

Scott Mickelson has paid some dues – his band Fat Opie were heralded as folk-rock-punks,  they played CBGB’s, the Bitter End, and Madame Wong’s West in LA.  They had the same management company as Neil Young and Tom Petty.  And then everything fell apart – the deals never went anywhere, Mickelson got sick, the band broke up.  Which makes it all the more surprising that ‘No Such Luck’ should be such a fun listen with wry laughs at life’s constant blindsiding and unexpected turns.  It’s the second single from his album ‘A Wondrous Life’, and there’s just a touch of Future Islands in the rocking singer-songwriter mix.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers “New Ways To Fail” – Listen

Remember when the Americana scene was full of ex-punks who’d brought a kick-ass sensibility to a moribund music? Well, Sarah Shook has the right credentials – her inspirations are the Pistols,  Elliott Smith and Hank Williams.  ‘New Ways to Fail’ is the second single off her band’s second album ‘Years’ and it blends in pedal steel with rumbling guitar and a “get lost, and do it now” vocal.  The lyrics might be Hank Williams rhyming clever – but they’re also unashamedly direct and to the point.  But enough chat – Hit It !

 

Tom Paxton “If The Poor Don’t Matter” – Listen

We make no secret of the fact that we’re big fans of Tom Paxton, so you can imagine our excitement that his next UK tour will start just a week from now.  You can find the dates here.  And sure, this song comes from 2015’s ‘Redemption Road’ but it’s looking as if it’s going to be topical for a long time yet.

Maria Kelly “Small Talk” – Listen

A faltering, introverted, vocal carries this delicate song of social anxiety and an inability to connect with others.  Alienation and anxiety and a tense swell of fear building within her “there’s a storm in my chest / I can’t catch my breath/…/ I can’t spit it out – don’t mind me”.  The only downside is that Maria Kelley drew on her own experiences on ‘Small Talk’.

Album premiere: Great Peacock “Gran Pavo Real”

‘Gran Pavo Real’ is the forthcoming LP from Nashville-based Americana outfit Great Peacock, The follow up to their 2015 debut ‘Making Ghosts’, it was recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium by industry stalwart Dexter Green (Jason Isbell, Elizabeth Cooke, Derek Hoke) and RS Country rated them as one of the bands you need to know last month. God they are bossy at RS. Lead singer Andrew Nelson told AUK: “The music for ‘Gran Pavo Real’, Great Peacock in Spanish, came together really fast. When it was time to record we didn’t have a full-time bass player, so we invited Tom Blankenship from My Morning Jacket to come in and record one song with us. He liked it so much, he stayed on and played on all the other songs too. After that, everything just kept falling into place and we landed a record deal with Rope-A-Dope. The feedback we have gotten so far has been amazing and such a thrill.”

Khari Wendell McClelland “Song Of The Agitators” – Listen

Taken from Khari Wendell McClelland’s new album ‘Freedom Singer’ which has re-arranged and re-invigorated a set of songs that were contemporary with his great-great-great-grandmother’s escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad.  Some are quite well know – like ‘No More Auction Block’ – but others are being dragged from historical obscurity and given a shining new coat of paint and presented once more as a reminder of just how hard life could be in the Land of the Free only 150 or so years ago.

Track Premier: The Lied To’s “Buffalo”

Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler are The Lied To’s – and the lies they both got told have to do with love and romance as they each weathered bitter divorces and were left to pick up the physical, financial, and emotional pieces.  Fortunately they put this emotion into their shared music to come up with a debut album in 2015, with the next one,  ‘The Lesser of Two Evils’ due out on May 11th featuring this perfect travelling with no real destination song.