If the Scots slang – which gives Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire’s “Swithering” its name – suggests any sort of indecisiveness at play, then it’s one that the band whole-heartedly embraced to help push the boundaries of what it felt capable of creating. From the very beginning, this was a group of players eager to change how they approached making a record. Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, the band (Scott Clark, Roddy Hart, Andy Lucas, Scott Mackay, John Martin, Geoff Martyn, and Gordon Turner) formed naturally over a number of years as Hart’s own evolution as an artist and songwriter progressed.
Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire”
Here it is folks: the annual review of the best music of the last year as decided by your favourite music writers. Or at least the ones who write for Americana UK (we don’t yet have a Tony Parsons Julie Burchill dynamic going on between any two writers but give us time). The dust has settled on the pints of crème de menthe, the scars are healing and we are all friends again. Here is our definitive list. Continue reading “Americana UK staff pick their best of 2016”
Here is true international Americana collaboration of the highest order. Playing together are Ben Riddle, established singer songwriter from Australia, and Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes also well established musicians, from Southern California where they called themselves The Fallen Stars. They all met while touring in Germany. This is their second album and with them on drums is Tom Bremer. Continue reading “Riddle & The Stars “New Coastline” (Songs and Whispers 2016)”
Opening with a joyful and instantly memorable piano motif on the track Riverside, ‘Tales from the Drought’ announces its intentions from the get go. Bjarke Bendtsen performing as Rainbrother has produced an album of delightful melodies, sparkling song writing and affecting sounds. The aforementioned Riverside is a complex yearning narrative build around the ebb and flow of the repeated piano motif – worthy of some serious airplay. East African Dream follows, an instrumental filled with yelps and whoops over a Midlakeish harmony again memorable and insistent with its driving rhythm. Continue reading “Rainbrother “Tales From The Drought” (General Bird, 2017)”
Aaron Watson, the maker of Country Music history is coming to the UK for a string of dates in January. With the release of ‘The Underdog’ in February 2015, Watson was the first ever independent artist to debut an album at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart. Since the release, he has taken his tour around the world performing sold out headline shows from Boise to Boston; San Diego to Chicago; and across the pond in Italy, France, Sweden, and the UK. Press continues to praise his music, with rave reviews describing Watson as “a proud country traditionalist” – Rolling Stone, “winning in country music” – NPR, “one of the few real cowboys left in country music” -iTunes, “puts the bite back into traditional country music” – Rolling Stone. Continue reading “News: Aaron Watson heads to the UK”
The truly wonderful Tift Merritt returns in 2017 with a new album – Stitch of the World – and glories of glories she’s bringing it to the UK for a short tour. Kicking off with an admirably intimate gig at The Lexington (and unbelievably there are tickets still available) at the end of January, there’s then a series of larger halls across the country including appearances at Celtic Connections in Glasgow. Continue reading “Tift Merritt – new album, new tour”
So the votes are in and it’s all change this year as a new roster of artists take over the pole positions in our survey of what’s rocked your boat over the last 12 months – the site has always been proud to support independent music and it’s great to see so many artists who aren’t household names, some of whom have been around for some time, take the honours. Thank you for all your kind comments regarding the site and particularly those about the monthly CD which some of you are generous enough to still donate for. We’re taking our annual break for the holidays and will return the first week of January. In the meantime, a very happy Christmas to all our readers and wishing you all the best for 2017. And now, here’s those results. Continue reading “Americana UK’s Readers Poll 2016 – the results!”
Lundberg’s past as frontman for Soundtrack Of Our Lives (and the much missed Union Carbide Productions) gives us some clues as to what to expect from this solo effort. UCP were heavily indebted to the Stooges and MC5 but it’s another 60’s icon that this set sidles up to; there are definite vapour trails of Love throughout these songs, the strong melodies and the meandering freewheeling flights of fancy straight out of Arthur Lee’s playbook. ‘Beneath the Winding Waterway‘ is a gentle semi-psychedelic trip which is instantly memorable with enough complexity to reward repeated listens. The chief attraction of this record is letting the songs worm their way into your mind – it’s the kind of record that inserts little shards in your memory so you go back to complete the mirror and go through it. Continue reading “Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Children “For The Ages To Come” (Haldern Pop Recordings, 2016)”
They wear white shirts and black suspenders, black pants and travellers’ hats. They sing about murderous, estranged spouses and runaway lover cousins in a boot-stomping acoustic configuration that includes banjo, mandolin, cello and guitar, some whistles, hoots and hollerin’, and finger snappin’. Sometimes their fans dress up like them too and dance and sing the night away – but that’s not mandatory. The Dead South — Nate Hilt (lead vocals, guitar), Scott Pringle (mandolin, vocals), Colton Crawford (banjo) and Danny Kenyon (cello) — are fun, modern hillbillies from Regina, Saskatchewan (that’s in Canada btw), who can make you forget your troubles and even what century you’re in. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Death South”
More videos from Monday 9 January but for now a Merry Christmas to all our viewers.