So what do we have today? Well, a song about love – nothing too surprising there although this one is particularly lush in its arrangement – but more than that: it’s a questioning of roles and in particular what it means to be a man. Is it OK for men to show emotion, and “embrace their feminine side“? Err…yeah, obviously. Not everyone sees that though, as Josiah Johnson explains when talking of ‘Woman in a Man’s Life.’ Continue reading “Josiah Johnson “Woman In A Man’s Life” – Listen”
Whether creating solo material or records with his band, Giant Sand, Howe Gelb has been consistently turning out engaging music for decades. The way he effortlessly blends genres and traditions is striking. In this video, Gelb wanders into a jazz bar in Pennsylvania to perform and stir up old memories. It begins with a fabulous conversation with the bar owner, Tunsie Jabbour, in which Gelb says: “I live like jazz: I’m improvising all the time.” Lovely. Then, we’re hooked before he even begins to play when he strokes his plectrum on the microphone. Sit back and enjoy.
I was privileged to see Old Crow Medicine Show as an unknown emerging band in the UK, when they stole the show at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2004. I caught them at the Mojo press tent, doing a busking set, at that time they weren’t on the festival bill, their high energy set drew an enthusiastic crowd, and they went down a storm. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Old Crow Medicine Show”
A favourite lockdown release of 2020 and an album that’s rarely off the decks at AUK Towers is Richard Davies and the Dissidents’ debut album, ‘Human Traffic’. From the rollicking “grab-life -by-the-scruff-of-the-neck” title track to the John Mellencamp / Rick Springfield-like sensibilities of ‘21st Century Man’ via the infectious melodies and note perfect guitar soloing in ‘Long Road to Your Heart’, ‘Human Traffic’ takes a road trip to a place where rock ‘n’ roll swagger meets Johnny Thunders, making a detour along the way via Ian Hunter, Paul Westerberg, Alex Chilton and the Rolling Stones, all the while never stopping to forget it’s the tunes that matter. A melodic pop/rock gem in other words.
Continue reading “Interview: Richard Davies talks about his new album and creativity under Covid”
We’re delighted to premiere this nostalgic country romp from Western Terrestrials, featuring vocals from Georgette Jones. This has the feel of a little piece of country history. The singer and guitarist for the Western Terrestrials, Nick Charyk, wrote the song after hearing Georgette Jones’s album ‘Skin’ and wondering what it must have been like to grow up in the shadow of legendary parents, like George and Tammy. Charyk was introduced to the album by Dean Miller, himself the son of the legendary Roger. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Western Terrestrials and Georgette Jones “Who’s Gonna Fill These Boots?””
Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Days’ opens with the question: “What are Days for?” Being presented with an album of instrumental tracks might prompt a similar, ostensibly ingenuous question, such as, ‘What are instrumentals for’? In the case of ‘Shakedown in Slabtown’, Bobby Lee’s debut album, these instrumentals serve a variety of purposes. Continue reading “Bobby Lee “Shakedown in Slabtown” (Natural Histories Records, 2020)”
In just one month from today Richard and Linda Thompson will release a career retrospective – ‘Hard Luck Stories (1972 to 1982)‘ – covering a decade of music making. The 8 CD collection is more than just a reissue of their six studio albums (including the hard to get hold of ‘Sunnyvista‘ and ‘First Light‘) – although these of course are included – there are also non-album singles, B-sides, Demos, Rarities and previously unreleased live material. And more. Continue reading “Richard and Linda Thompson announce vast retrospective release”
Born and bred in Dallas, Texas and following a stint on Nashville’s Music Row, Graham Bramblett has two full-band records under his belt. This time around, however, this stripped-back 6-track boasts no bass, electric guitar or drums yet the vibe Bramblett achieves with his characterful vocal, upright lyrics, and charming musicality is vividly imposing. Each song has an elegance and thoughtfulness, most oozing fun but with sobering undertones besides. Continue reading “Graham Bramblett “The Great Inbetween” (Independent, 2020)”
A collaboration between two artists who really do require no introduction – but when has that ever stopped us ? Ben Harper of rootsy blues fame, and also noted for work with legends such as Mavis Staples and Charlie Musselwhite. And Rhiannon Giddens who broke into worldwide recognition with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and has since released a clutch of solo albums and is Jason Isbell’s closest rival in the winning awards for pure excellence in Americana stakes. Continue reading “Ben Harper & Rhiannon Giddens “Black Eyed Dog” – Listen”
With excellent playing and production and a strong, pure vocal, Emma Swift has created a terrific new version of a familiar song. Covering Dylan takes courage but Swift approaches the task with confidence and makes ‘Queen Jane Approximately’ her own. The single is taken from ‘Blonde on the Tracks’, Swift’s new album due out on 14th August. The album, produced by Wilco’s Patrick Sansone, is a collection of new interpretations of Bob Dylan’s songs. Continue reading “Video: Emma Swift “Queen Jane Approximately””