Anna Coogan “The Lonely Cry Of Space & Time” (Independent, 2017)

Boston-raised singer-songwriter Anna Coogan began her performing career in Seattle (Washington) before moving to her present home of Ithaca, New York. Her diverse musical background, which includes both classical opera and alt-country, shines through on her new album. The Lonely Cry Of Space & Time, Coogan’s fourth solo album (including her album with J.D Foster, The Birth Of Stars), follows on from her collaboration with Pacific Northwest-based alt-country band 19. Continue reading “Anna Coogan “The Lonely Cry Of Space & Time” (Independent, 2017)”

Decemberists team up with Olivia Chaney for new album – Watch

This is quite exciting, what a sound (and what cover-art!) Paste report: “When The Decemberists were heading out on tour in 2015 behind their last record, “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World”, Colin Meloy invited British folkie Olivia Chaney out to open some of their shows after hearing her album The Longest River. A noted fan of traditional British folk music and the ‘50s and ‘60s revival that paralleled and inspired the folk revival in the U.S., birthing artists like Fairport Convention and Martin Carthy, Meloy had a hope of Chaney joining him on stage to sing the tune “Willie O Winsbury,” a hope that never came to fruition. Continue reading “Decemberists team up with Olivia Chaney for new album – Watch”

Tune into AMA 2017 Honours & Awards Nominations tonight

The Americana Music Association (their version, not ours with the “UK” bit tagged on) are having their Honours & Awards Nomination Announcement Ceremony tonight at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford Theater, hosted by the Milk Carton Kids with special guests to be announced.  Fortunately for us and the environment, you don’t have to be there in person to hear them since there’s a live stream being broadcast from 8pm UK time which you can catch here.  And in the meantime why not watch the Mikybar Kids’ harmony rich NPR tiny desk concert below.  Continue reading “Tune into AMA 2017 Honours & Awards Nominations tonight”

Scott H. Biram “The Bad Testament” (Bloodshot, 2017)

Biram peddles a scuzzy version of the blues, and on Set Me Free he sounds like someone who has lost their teeth the hard way and still comes up swinging. To his credit, he covers a lot of ground across these 13 tracks and, although the blues is at the heart of what he does, it certainly isn’t everything – he’s just as adept at more delicate forms. If Set Me Free is akin to cleaning your teeth with a wire brush, then Righteous Ways is a cleaner wrasse delicately flitting through the water, and Still Around contains signs of dexterity you might think beyond the reach of someone who can be so gut-wrenchingly amped-up punk as Train Wrecker. Continue reading “Scott H. Biram “The Bad Testament” (Bloodshot, 2017)”

The Blinding Lights, The Battersea Barge, Vauxhall London 5th May 2017

There is a legend among Thames boatmen of a ghost ship, a vessel shrouded in darkness plying the grey river in the night. On board a band plays, guests revel and the music drifts out across the river. The Blinding Lights are not that band but I could understand what they were trying to create here. Continue reading “The Blinding Lights, The Battersea Barge, Vauxhall London 5th May 2017”

Skram “Head Held High” (Independent, 2017)

Oh dear. I’m sure I’m not the only reviewer who sighed when catching sight of the PR sheet accompanying this album which describes Skram as “an Americana style Hypno Folk Rock family band.” The hypno bit is due no doubt to guitarist and singer Darren Marks’ day job as a hypnotherapist and sure enough it is a family band with dad Darren accompanied by his sons Adam (on banjo) and Ben (on drums). Ben is 13, Adam a bit older I think. A commendable idea to showcase the family talents no doubt but the problem here is that both boys are still beginners and really don’t get into any kind of groove at all throughout the album. The banjo just plinks at times and the drums (a full kit that is definitely out of step with the folk rock theme) are more suitable for a pub covers band. Continue reading “Skram “Head Held High” (Independent, 2017)”

Acoustic artists needed for Galaxies Collide Stage

Are you an aspiring Americana / folk / singer-songwriter type acoustic artist? Potentially great news then : the PKD Festival is currently canvassing for artists to appear on the Galaxies Collide Stage at this year’s fFestival taking place near Fife in Scotland. Previous years have seen 8,000 attendees and it is expected that the acoustic tent will be packed to the rafters as the festival continues to grow in 2017. Continue reading “Acoustic artists needed for Galaxies Collide Stage”

Fleet Foxes share new song (or a bit of one) – Listen

News from Pitchfork this morning on our favourite mammals the Tories are proposing to rip limb from limb once again because hey, if you can’t hunt the proletariat down a fox will have to do. They report (Pitchfork, not the Tories): “Fleet Foxes are gearing up to release their next studio album, Crack-Up, which arrives June 16 via Nonesuch. Now, frontman Robin Pecknold has revealed a snippet of a new song in a video taken from a recent listening party for select fans in Los Angeles. Take a listen to “I Am All That I Need/Arroyo Seco/Thumbprint Scar” below. Continue reading “Fleet Foxes share new song (or a bit of one) – Listen”

Malcolm Holcombe “Pretty Little Troubles” (Gypsy Eyes Music, 2017)

For those not familiar with Malcolm Holcombe, he is somewhat of an institution. There aren’t many artists that can say they’ve had a career quite like him and after 20 years and 15 studio recordings, he’s still going as strong as ever and continuing to expand on the vast body of work he has built. The production on the record is crisp and clean and allows room for the impressive guitar skills of Holcombe to shine through along with some subtle and perfectly placed harmonica to compliment the gravelly, whiskey-drenched and rough-around-the-edges vocals we’ve come to expect from him. Continue reading “Malcolm Holcombe “Pretty Little Troubles” (Gypsy Eyes Music, 2017)”