Daddy Long Legs, Rough Trade East, London, 16th May 2019

When a well-respected music fan informs you that the best band at last year’s Red Rooster Festival are performing an in-store at London’s Rough Trade East you know it’s got to be worth checking out. Over for an 8 leg(ged) tour of the UK to promote their new album, ‘Lowdown Ways’, Brooklyn-based trio Daddy Long Legs, played a mightily impressive 45 minute set of stompin’ and hollerin’ blues and R&B influenced music that at the end left the audience breathless and calling out for more. Continue reading “Daddy Long Legs, Rough Trade East, London, 16th May 2019”

Tyler Ramsey “For The Morning” (Fantasy Records/Virgin EMI, 2019)

For those unfamiliar with Tyler Ramsey, he was the lead guitarist and one of the core songwriters in Band of Horses throughout their astronomical rise to the top of their game and, having left the group in May of 2017, has returned with his first work since 2011 and it was more than worth the wait. Continue reading “Tyler Ramsey “For The Morning” (Fantasy Records/Virgin EMI, 2019)”

Songs for the apocalypse: Tim Rogers & the Twin Set “I Left My Heart All Over the Place”

‘What Rhymes with Cars and Girls’ was the first solo album by You Am I frontman Tim Rogers, and the only release featuring the backing band The Twin Set. I grew to love the album with every bone in my body from the time when I first heard it in Australia back in 1999, and so it seems did a theatre company in Melbourne, the city where the album originated, who turned the whole thing into a musical in 2015. As the Director of that musical said, the record is “somehow a conversation between lovers about the tricky business of love” and few do it as well as Tim Rogers. Just lovely.

David Quinn “Wanderin’ Fool” (Independent, 2019)

“Chicago cosmic country!” thus David Quinn is introduced via the gimmick weary world of the media press release. The resulting introduction into the life of this travelling proponent of country rock tells a different story. From the northern woods of Wisconsin to the California pop-rock scene, right up to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and on down to Texas on what he calls his “quarter-life crisis”, there’s more to the man than the label. Continue reading “David Quinn “Wanderin’ Fool” (Independent, 2019)”

Hayes Carll + Travis Linville, Deaf Institute, Manchester, 15th May 2019

Hayes Carll is in a pretty good place right now. His new album ‘What It Is’ is a triumphant return to form following two releases which some considered somewhat flat. In addition,  at the start of an eight date tour of the UK in Manchester, he had some news to impart as he  announced that just three days earlier  he had married his partner, Alison Moorer.  This news was greeted with cheering and applause, something that was to be repeated regularly as the evening unfolded. Continue reading “Hayes Carll + Travis Linville, Deaf Institute, Manchester, 15th May 2019”

Book Review: David Berman “Actual Air” (Drag City, 2019)

It seems poetry books are a bit like buses – you wait ages for one and then two come along at once! Following on from our recent review of Doug Hoekstra’s ‘Unopened’ we now have David Berman’s acclaimed ‘Actual Air’ to evaluate – and this is quite a different beast! To start with, Berman’s book is a re-issue; originally released in 1999, this collection of modernist poems saw Berman hailed as a natural successor to Wallace Stevens and drew major critical acclaim from the likes of The New Yorker and G2. Twenty years on the impact of these poems has not diminished in the slightest. Now it is being re-issued, initially as a limited edition (one thousand copies) hardback, with a paperback run scheduled to follow. Continue reading “Book Review: David Berman “Actual Air” (Drag City, 2019)”

Ben Hemming “Dead Man Blues” – Listen

Dead Man Blues‘ leads off Ben Hemming’s new album ‘The Devil Beside Me‘ which is released on May 31st. The song has a pulsing beat which adds an additional edge to Hemming’s unsettling growl of a vocal. Of the song Ben Hemming has said :”‘Dead Man Blues’ is really a metaphor for feeling ignored in a world that no longer shares your beliefs and actually it’s the first track on the new album because that sense of isolation and detachment is a central theme that runs throughout the record.”  Ben has some upcoming London dates, at The Luna on 18th May and on the 21st July at The Gladstone Arms.

Video: Southbound Fred “Ballad of Grateful Fred”

Here in Merseyside we have americana coming out of our ears, and part of its illustrious history is down to Barry Jones who fronts the Southbound Attic Band, one of Liverpool’s musical institutions. This cracking tune is a tribute to the long-running folk/americana evening Grateful Fred’s founded by Colin Maddocks.

Nick Lowe “Love Starvation/ Trombone” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)

He may be on the wrong side of 70 but Nick Lowe isn’t one for letting the grass grow underneath his feet and his latest EP is a case in point.  It may only be four songs long but his sharp lyrics and consistent ability to wrap the words around a catchy melody seems undiminished over time.  Supported admirably by the quirkily named (and even more quirkily masked and attired) Los Straitjackets, Lowe has penned three original tracks in the shape of  ‘Love Starvation’ ‘Trombone’ and the tender ‘Blue on Blue’ while the fourth song is a highly modernised cover version of the somewhat obscure Ricky Nelson track ‘Raincoat in the River’. Continue reading “Nick Lowe “Love Starvation/ Trombone” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)”