Mary Chapin Carpenter, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 5th February 2017

This gig was the last of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s UK tour, and was also a first weekend highlight for the inaugural City Roots festival running across many venues in Cambridge as a week-long winter spin-off from the annual Cambridge Folk Festival. All the big gigs for this festival are at the centrally situated Corn Exchange which – unlike the Junction (the only other large venue in town) – is well set up for large seated audiences. Continue reading “Mary Chapin Carpenter, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 5th February 2017”

The Grahams announce new album, UK dates

Nashville-based Americana duo The Grahams have announced the release of The Grahams and Friends (Live in Studio), a combined collection of songs from Rattle the Hocks (the soundtrack from the film), and the deluxe edition of their 2015 album Glory Bound, none of which have previously been released in the UK or Ireland. Those “friends” include Cody & Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), Sara & Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Watkins Family), John C. Stubblefield & Rick Steff(Lucero), Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids), John Fullbright, Davíd Garza and Alvin Youngblood Hart. Beats my 5 friends on Facebook, one of whom is my mum.  They also hit the UK next month for a series of dates which you can find below along with a clip from the Rattle the Hocks documentary.  Continue reading “The Grahams announce new album, UK dates”

Surprise! New Dawes live album out now – Listen

Kind of a better surprise too than some of the nastier ones we’ve had in recent months. Paste report: “Dawes are a band that have largely built their reputation as road warriors, with shows that give a stronger sense of immediacy and power to Taylor Goldsmith’s songwriting than can be found on their studio releases, filled with full-crowd sing-alongs and stretched-out jams that give all of the members their chance to shine. Yet it somehow took until now for them to release their first live album. “We’re All Gonna Live”, a play on their latest album “We’re All Gonna Die”, was surprise-released yesterday and features recordings from the first four shows of their current tour, which were just a month ago.  Continue reading “Surprise! New Dawes live album out now – Listen”

New Robyn Hitchcock album due April – Listen

The legendary (and we use that word frugally) Robyn Hitchcock will release his new record on the Yep Roc label on 21st April. The 21st studio recording (spookily) and first-ever eponymous release of the British artist’s four-decade career, Robyn Hitchcock is available for pre-order now at the official Yep Roc Store. Described by its creator as “an ecstatic work of negativity,” it’s heralded by the metamorphic new single, “I Want To Tell You About What I Want” which premiered at NPR Music last week but which you can listen to below. The album was recorded in Nashville, TN, with producer Brendan Benson and backing by players that includes guitarist Annie McCue, bassist Jon Estes, and drummer Jon Radford. Harmony vocal contributions come courtesy of Emma Swift, Grant Lee Phillips, Gillian Welch, and Wilco’s Pat Sansone.  Those will be some harmonies! Continue reading “New Robyn Hitchcock album due April – Listen”

Cary Morin “Cradle To The Grave” (Independent, 2017)

Cary Morin possesses finger-picking skills that many guitarists would sell their soul for. A Montana native and member of the Crow tribe, Morin’s music rolls together blues, folk, jazz and a host of other flavours into his own style of Native Americana. Plying his musical trade across the USA and wider world for nigh on thirty years, he’s won a host of blues and Aboriginal music awards to boot. Continue reading “Cary Morin “Cradle To The Grave” (Independent, 2017)”

Hurray for the Riff Raff announce UK dates, new album

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s new album “The Navigator” comes out on March 1oth on ATO Records, with Alynda Segarra “telling an interwoven, cinematic story of a wandering soul at a crossroads of identity and ancestral weight.  It finds a street kid named Navita traversing a perpetually burning city in search of herself. ‘The Navigator’ is a thrilling call to arms that could not come at a more crucial time.” You can watch the video to lead track “Rican Beach” below, which addresses the gentrification of the South Bronx and the co-opting of Puerto Rican culture in NYC and beyond.  And here are the UK dates they’ve got lined up for March.  Continue reading “Hurray for the Riff Raff announce UK dates, new album”

The Nightjar “Objects” (Independent, 2017)

A few years ago Americana-UK commissioned the renowned musicologist Dr Fred Dineage at Goldsmith’s University to construct a continuum of ethereality – known as the Bush Scale – in order for us to more easily classify records like this one. Towards the top end of the scale sits Julianna Barwick and just below is Grouper. The Unthanks sit somewhere in the middle and at the other end of the scale sits Lucinda Williams (at one point the scale was posited as the Williams scale with Lucinda to Victoria being the breadth, but then events overtook). The scale runs from 0 to 9 and this sits somewhere around a 6. Continue reading “The Nightjar “Objects” (Independent, 2017)”

Hear entire new Ryan Adams album “Prisoner” courtesy of NPR

Ryan Adams has a new album out later this week (which he believes will be better than his Whiskeytown output which he now describes as “pretty terrible”) and if you can’t wait until Friday, you can hear the whole thing now streaming online courtesy of NPR.  They report: “Musicians face many barriers to long careers, from shifting commercial whims to a cruel industry. One obstacle that doesn’t get discussed often enough is the simple aging process: If you get famous for songs you wrote as a 20-year-old, then you often have to either remain in a state of arrested development or find a way to get the public to grow — and grow up — with you.  Continue reading “Hear entire new Ryan Adams album “Prisoner” courtesy of NPR”