Songs for the apocalypse: Grand Drive “No Doubt About It”

One of the first people I came into any kind of regular contact with when I first began this AUK lark was Danny George Wilson who to anyone vaguely connected with the UK americana community is something of a John the Baptist figure to the genre (assigning biblical characters to key americana figures should probably be a dissertation for someone one day). Not only was he incredibly kind to me when I was flailing about trying to do things, I was starstruck because he was in the band Grand Drive who I adored from before AUK was so much as a twinkle in my eye. I asked Captain America to play this particular song on Virgin one Sunday night and I still remember feeling the hairs go up on the back of my neck as it came on in the car. The record it’s taken from ‘See the Morning In’ sounds as fantastic as it always has done today.

Nashville’s Sam Lewis heads to the UK next February

Nashville-based country blues and soul singer, Sam Lewis, begins a lengthy tour of the UK in February next year. Renowned for his rich soulful vocals, well-crafted songs, roots country sound and blue-eyed soul, Sam Lewis has collaborated with such musical luminaries as John Prine and Kacey Musgraves, while Chris Stapleton described him as “a modern Townes Van Zandt”. Sam Lewis’ debut album ‘Waiting On You’ received widespread critical acclaim, and featured support from legendary country guitarist, Kenny Vaughan, along with Darrell Scott, the McCrary Sisters, Gabe Dixon and Willie Nelson’s harmonica player, Mickey Raphael. Although the record was very well received, Lewis’ booking agency got bought out at the time of its release, leaving him with limited opportunities to tour to promote it. Continue reading “Nashville’s Sam Lewis heads to the UK next February”

Er… Alison Krauss to receive arts award from POTUS

Well this beats finding out that George Bush Jr. had the Thrills on his iPod.  Alison Krauss has been chosen to receive the National Medal of Arts which will be presented by President Trump on Thursday at a special ceremony. Other artists to receive the award include actor Jon Voight (who’s a known Trump supporter) and the bands of the United States military, and marks the first recipients of arts and humanities medals of Trump’s presidency, because let’s face it, arts are for the weak -and as for humanity! Continue reading “Er… Alison Krauss to receive arts award from POTUS”

Andy Shauf “Things I Do” – Listen

Andy Shauf’s 2016 album ‘The Party‘ was a really interesting singer-songwriter release featuring interconnecting songs and characters at the titular gathering.  He returns with his new album ‘The Neon Skyline’ which will be released on January 24th via ANTI- with a European tour following in March and April 2020.   Again it will feature interconnected songs, with ‘The Neon Skyline’ following a simple plot: the narrator goes to his neighbourhood dive, finds out his ex is back in town, and she eventually shows up. Continue reading “Andy Shauf “Things I Do” – Listen”

The Earl Of Grey “Prince Charming” (Independent, 2019)

There’s nothing out of the ordinary to see here if you’re reading this from a north London watering hole. Chances are there’ll be a talented Australian singer-songwriter strutting his or her stuff as you sip your Fosters. For a rough around the edges, self-styled proponent of outlaw country you’d be forgiven for seeing the irony of the label, considering Earl Grey is a blend of tea normally associated with the English ‘upper classes’. Continue reading “The Earl Of Grey “Prince Charming” (Independent, 2019)”

AmericanA to Z – Buffalo Springfield

B is for… Could it be The Byrds, Bardo Pond, The Band, Bill Mallonee, The Bible, Bill Fay, Bennett Wilson Poole, Ben Howard, Ben Folds, Beck, Band of Heathens, Band of Horses, Barzin or any of the countless others in my collection beginning with B that could be considered Americana? Well it could but for this article it’s the Buffalo Springfield!  Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Buffalo Springfield”

Video Premiere: Leeroy Stagger “Mother”

This is the new single from AUK favourite Leeroy Stagger, taken from his latest, excellent, album “Strange Path“, out now.  It’s a powerful song about, as you’ve probably already worked out, mothers and matriarchy and has a great video to go with it too.  He’s also in the UK for three dates this month: Wednesday 27th @ Broadcast, Glasgow, Thursday 28th @ The Castle Hotel, Manchester and Friday 29th @ The Slaughtered Lamb in London.

The Hooten Hallers + The Dee Vees + Jim Adama, Gulliver’s, Manchester, 12th November 2019

On the first night of their European tour the Hooten Hallers were in good spirits, mixing and chatting with their fans both before and after the gig. It was noticeable that a few the audience were wearing The Dead South t-shirts, the Hallers having supported the Canadian band on a previous tour and having clearly made an impression. As the gig got under way it was not hard to see why. The Hooten Hallers are not an easy band to handily pigeonhole. Their staple diet of high-octane rhythm & blues is supplemented variously with dashes of rock & roll, soul, blues, surf and garage rock; ingredients just perfect for a live banquet. Continue reading “The Hooten Hallers + The Dee Vees + Jim Adama, Gulliver’s, Manchester, 12th November 2019”

The Brother Brothers “Summer Rain” – Listen

If The Brother Brothers called somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere home then all would be well – but the twin brothers Adam and David Moss hail out of Illinois, and live in Brooklyn.  So we are required – by law – to mock them mercilessly for releasing a song called ‘Summer Rain‘ in what is increasingly looking like Winter, even if it is still late Autumn (or Fall, if you prefer).  It’s a gentle enough song that it could have borne the title ‘Winter Snow‘ and all would have been well.  See how easy that was?  Consider yourselves mocked without mercy.  Harsh, us?  Well – maybe, but the law is the law. Continue reading “The Brother Brothers “Summer Rain” – Listen”