Here is the latest single off the highly anticipated debut album from Our Man in the Field (AKA Alex Ellis), which will be released on 25th September. This stripped-back version of ‘Easy Going Smile’ was recorded live at The Rattle and showcases Ellis’s soulful vocal and intimate delivery. Due to coronavirus restrictions, there could only be two people in the room; this meant the recording was somewhat improvised but it’s possibly more intensely emotional as a result and is a fitting video for the album’s final single and the strange times we’re living in. Continue reading “Video: Our Man in the Field “Easy Going Smile””
The nostalgic home-video style footage used for ‘Knock You Down’ is perfect for a song that wishes for the simplicity of childhood and innocent memories. It also gives us the chance to Ferris & Sylvester at work, creating and recording in their home studio. This is the latest single from the upcoming EP, ‘I Should Be On a Train’, which will also feature the lockdown single ‘Everyone is Home’. Continue reading “Video: Ferris & Sylvester “Knock You Down””
A lush sound and a lovely vocal melody elevate ‘Some Days’ by the band Wayne Graham, led by brothers Kenny and Hayden Miles. The band, named after the brothers’ characterful grandfathers, has put out six albums and an EP, honing their blend of roots genres over the years. Kenny explains their process: “When you’re recording, you’re making a painting. You add layers until you’re really taken by the image you see — or the thing you hear.” Continue reading “Video: Wayne Graham “Some Days””
Excellent guitar and catchy hooks are a feature, once again, of the latest video from Delta Spirit. Like the song, the video is warm, uplifting and emotional. It’s taken from the brand new album, ‘What Is There’, the band’s first full-length release in six years. The time apart and the effective blending of various influences, such as rock, Americana and psychedelia, has led to a focused new sound on the the impressively consistent album. Continue reading “Video: Delta Spirit “Home Again””
Yola shows, once again, what a wonderful voice she has as she sings the civil rights anthem ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’ on Late Night with Seth Meyers. There’s incredible emotion in the vocal and the performance. It was filmed at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium where she’ll make her headline debut on 11th May next year. Continue reading “Video: Yola “To Be Young, Gifted and Black””
Simply, breathtakingly beautiful. Ben Harper is an incredibly talented performer and, here, he shows how the lap steel guitar can be used to create musical poetry. It needs no words. Harper has just announced the release of ‘Winter is for Lovers’, a new solo album coming soon. The record will feature 15 original compositions, just Harper and his lap steel, imagined as a symphony. He explains the album: “This is my first entirely instrumental album. It is stark, bare-bones, just me and my lap steel guitar. It is purposefully produced to sound intimate and spare as if I am playing in your living room. Continue reading “Video: Ben Harper “Inland Empire””
The latest single from Phil Hooley features his typically warm, rich vocals, which are perfectly suited to this reflective song. The timely lyrics touch on mindfulness, adapting to our challenging circumstances and developing new habits in a changing world. Visually and sonically, ‘Learning to be Still’ is suitably calming with images provided by Video with Wings. Scott Poley’s pedal steel and Mel Osten’s backing vocals blend well with Hooley’s distinctive voice, benefiting from excellent production by Justin Johnson. Forthcoming album, ‘Songs from the Back Room’, is one to look out for. In the meantime, take some time, be still and absorb this.
In a time of turbulent change, very little feels permanent anymore. The new single from Grace Pettis focuses on the importance of being able to live in the moment, grounding yourself while accepting the shifting world around you. With a catchy vocal melody and hooks, ‘Drop Another Pin’ becomes an upbeat celebration of this approach to life. Recorded on her husband’s mobile phone during the lockdown, the video has a retro feel, achieved by adding overlays of stock footage. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Grace Pettis “Drop Another Pin””
Well that’s it for another week dear reader. It’s our last weekend of freedom here in the People’s Republic of Liverpool before we go into a local lockdown, but there’s so much exciting music coming up online the idea of hibernation doesn’t seem quite so dismal. We leave you anyway with an unusual name for Americana UK but it’s unusual to see Taylor Swift playing country these days so hey, we can make an exception, particularly when the song is this good. Swift performed ‘Betty’ to a more or less empty Grand Ole Opry at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards and her voice is in as fine fettle as it’s ever been. The song (not a tribute to Frank Spencer, what a missed opportunity) is taken from her recent indie-folk album ‘Folklore’ which was produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner among others. Normal service will be resumed next week. Have a good one.
Matthew McDaid was born and raised in Northern Ireland but moved with his family to the Barcelona region in 2005. In recent years, he has been building a reputation as one of the finest musicians on Spain’s Americana and folk circuit where his work is released on Joana Serrat’s Grand Canyon Records. His debut full-length release, ‘Off the Beaten Track’, was well-received internationally and was shared at New York’s International Americana Music Show as one of the highlights of 2017. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Matthew McDaid “Look Away Sun Child””