The Last Dinosaur “The Nothing” (Naim Records, 2017)

“The Nothing” is the long-awaited follow-up to The Last Dinosaurs’ debut album and it is evident from the outset that, that time has been well spent. The record opens with the short, gentle acoustic track Atoms accompanied solely by the whispered vocals of the front man and brainchild, Jamie Cameron, and a beautiful string arrangement to add some depth to an otherwise sparse track. The opener is a good indication of the overall sound of the record in terms of the musicianship and the themes explored throughout and second track Grow takes that formula and builds on it adding drums and another whispered vocal. Continue reading “The Last Dinosaur “The Nothing” (Naim Records, 2017)”

Track premiere: Paul Tabachneck “New America” – Listen

Brooklyn singer songwriter Paul Tabachneck has been writing in his own words “relationshippy” music for a while now, but world events have turned his head to another subject.  He told us: “One reason I always gave short shrift to political songs is that I always found them to have an incredibly short shelf-life — if I wrote a song one day about how Bill Clinton was being raked through the mud, it would turn out the next day that the blow-job stuff was true.  If I wrote about how it was time to move on from Bush to Kerry, Kerry would lose and the song would expire.  This is the first political song I’ve written whose lines keep gaining relevance as the term serves out – he keeps making the same missteps, the same ways, on larger and larger scales – so I decided to put this one out on orange vinyl, sell it at a premium, and give the profits to the ACLU.” You can pre-order the vinyl here today if you’re feeling flush.

William The Conqueror “Proud Disturber Of The Peace” (Loose, 2017)

William The Conqueror, a three-piece band from Cornwall, is the creation of former folkie, Ruarri Joseph. For those of us fortunate enough to have caught Mr Joseph in his former guise playing small, intimate venues, often with just an acoustic guitar for company, there was always the feeling that there was another rockier, harder edged version waiting to cut loose. Continue reading “William The Conqueror “Proud Disturber Of The Peace” (Loose, 2017)”

Joan Osborne “Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”

Joan Osborne has just released an album of Bob Dylan covers, review coming up on AUK soon, and from that record she’s releasing a single.  Speaking about her version of ‘Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)’, Osborne says: “We went back and listened to a few other versions of ‘The Mighty Quinn,’ and I was struck by the gospel flavour of Manford Mann’s 1960s cover. My co-producer, Jack Petruzzelli, had been listening to the Edwin Hawkins track ‘Oh Happy Day,’ and suggested changing just one chord in the song to accentuate that gospel flavour. When we did that, it really lifted my vocal performance and brought it to a very joyful, celebratory place. Whoever ‘Quinn the Eskimo’ is, we eagerly anticipate his arrival!” We think it might be Ian Duncan Smith in disguise.

The Travelling Band + Elle Mary & The Bad Men, Water Rats, London, 10th August 2017

An otherwise quiet Thursday night in King’s Cross for the Travelling Band’s album launch. First up though is Elle Mary and the Bad Men. Elle was born in Wales but is  now based in Manchester, something she shares with the headline act as well as being label mates. Their music is a bit hard to categorise although they’ve been described as ‘folk noir’ and Elle herself calls her songs ‘weapons grade lullabies.’ Continue reading “The Travelling Band + Elle Mary & The Bad Men, Water Rats, London, 10th August 2017”

Interview: Mark Olson

Mark Olson is a pathfinder, one of the true leaders of a movement, a genuine seminal artist, a musician and performer who changed music, who helped it cut a new path. The founder of The Jayhawks, one of the pioneering bands that took punk rock and smashed it into country music, creating Alt-Country or what we now call Americana.  He’s a cool guy who now writes and plays with his wife Ingunn Ringvold, and his new album, ‘Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun’, is almost upon us. Continue reading “Interview: Mark Olson”

Wilson “Old School, New Rules” (Independent, 2017)

This is a slice of well-crafted, Seventies-leaning pop that’s light on the power but heavy on the catchy melodies. West Country troubadour Steve Wilson is the writing hub of this four piece. Admittedly, they’re quite hard to define musically, but there are places to start. The harmonies (contributed by the band to most of the tracks) are unswervingly excellent, with echoes of the Beach Boys, the Beatles and 10cc. Whilst the music isn’t too heavy on guitar, Tom Petty is brought to mind on the opening two tracks, Long Road and Pretty Girl In A Small Town. Continue reading “Wilson “Old School, New Rules” (Independent, 2017)”

Interview: Southern Companion

Southern Companion are that shaded area, the bit in the middle, of the Venn diagram that is country music and Americana, the switch point between the two genres.  He/they are multiple winners at the latest BCMAs and their album, ‘1000 Days of Rain’ is one of the best UK country records of the last 10 years.  We caught their hirsute main man, Darren after ripping up the crowd at Maverick Festival. Continue reading “Interview: Southern Companion”