Video: Arlo McKinley “Die Midwestern”

The title track from Arlo McKinley’s upcoming album is a beautifully crafted piece of work that feels warmly familiar and yet entirely new.  McKinley explains: “This song is similar to ‘Walking Shoes’ but putting all the blame on geography. The Midwest is full of drugs that end up controlling people. It’s about my love/hate relationship with Ohio. I love it because it’s everything that I am but I hate it because I’ve seen it take my loved ones lives, I’ve seen it make hopeful people hopeless. Temptations run all along the Ohio river, but it’s so hard to watch the Ohio fade in the rearview mirror.”  Look out for the album, due to be released on John Prine’s Oh Boy Records on 14th August.

Lorraine Nash “Wildflowers” (Independent, 2020)

21-year-old Kerry resident Lorraine Nash has released her debut EP ‘Wildflower’ and it is an assured and accomplished collection. Nash’s music is influenced by her love of traditional Irish music but the five original songs on the EP use this as a starting point, blending the sound with country and folk music. She is able to draw upon her multi-instrumental talents (piano, guitar, harp, flute and violin) which she developed since she started to perform from the time she was 7 years old. Continue reading “Lorraine Nash “Wildflowers” (Independent, 2020)”

Kate Rusby to release lockdown album

Kate Rusby is, occasionally, allowed out of the realm of folk ballads, and has even been known to listen to music created in her own lifetime.  There’s a preconception burst.  During an appearance on Jo Whiley’s show the Barnsley nightingale recorded a cover of ‘Don’t Go Away‘, originally  by Oasis which was later to appear on the album ‘Philosophers, Poets and Kings.‘  Roll forward a few years, throw in a pandemic lockdown, and an album of cover versions was conceived.  Continue reading “Kate Rusby to release lockdown album”

Robert Jon and the Wreck “Last Light on The Highway” (Independent, 2020)

Album opener ‘Oh Miss Carolina’ sets out Robert Jon Burrison’s manifesto. A Rolling Stones guitar riff to kick it off, a bit of Grateful Dead piano, a Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar solo and southern soul harmonies. Robert Jon and the Wreck are five albums into their career and are very much in the southern rock tradition that pulls influences from Memphis, Nashville, and Muscle Shoals. ‘Work It Out’ is country-soul with a sax solo that channels Clarence Clemons. A slightly weaker song ‘Can’t Stand It’ pulls it back with an Allmans style twin guitar break. Continue reading “Robert Jon and the Wreck “Last Light on The Highway” (Independent, 2020)”

Bonny Light Horseman “Green Rocky Road” – Listen

Without a doubt one of the most exciting bands to emerge in 2019 – we loved the album, we loved them live.  If you need the reminder, Bonny Light Horseman are Anais Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson and Josh Kaufman and their sound can be summed up as a modern spin on traditional song.  Mostly. Continue reading “Bonny Light Horseman “Green Rocky Road” – Listen”

Video: The Americans “No Fun”

The Americans certainly look like they’re having plenty of fun here while performing their version of ‘No Fun’ by The Stooges.  It’s up-tempo, foot-tapping, headbanging stuff and the Los Angeles rock and rollers bring the song right up-to-date.  The Americans were putting the finishing touches to their first new album since 2017’s acclaimed ‘I’ll Be Yours’ and preparing for a summer tour when the lock-down changed everyone’s plans.  Great band.  Great energy.  Enjoy.

Classic Americana Albums: Mary Chapin Carpenter “Stones In The Road” (Columbia, 1994)

Mary Chapin Carpenter can be credited with bringing this reviewer out of the musical wilderness that was his post teenage decade; the 1980s. Struggling to identify with anything remotely described as popular at the time it was through the USA leaning Bob Harris and Paul Gambaccini that my ears were alerted to the what was going on that side of the pond and I realised that my early leanings towards Eagles and Jackson Browne were pointers I should have paid more attention to. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Mary Chapin Carpenter “Stones In The Road” (Columbia, 1994)”

Sunny Ozell “Live at the Village” EP (Chitin Records, 2020)

Ozell’s album, ‘Overnight Lows’ witnessed the first airing for four of the tracks on this EP , to which has been added a cover of the Los Lobos track, ‘The Valley’. These tracks, recorded at  The Village recording studios in Santa Monica  are given an acoustic sparsity that whilst creating a feeling of space also generate particular atmospheres; what Ozell herself describes as a “Coffee House Take”. Continue reading “Sunny Ozell “Live at the Village” EP (Chitin Records, 2020)”

Video: Native Harrow “Shake”

Native Harrow have just announced that their new album, ‘Closeness’, will be released on 4th September.  While you wait, check out this single from the album. ‘Shake’ is a foot-tapping, rhythmic, catchy song. In the video, which was made by the band during quarantine, Devin Tuel is waiting for dinner guests who never arrive. It’s an exploration of loneliness, anxiety and the absence of those who should be close to us.  A timely song and an absorbing glimpse of the new record.

Forgotten Artists – The Delevantes

Bob and Mike Delevante arrived on the scene in the early ‘90s and immediately set ears buzzing. Combining Everly Brothers-style harmonies with Springsteen-esque songs of working-class lives, they attracted the support of industry luminaries such as Garry Talent and Benmont Tench and seemed destined for seats at the top table. Their first album, ‘Long About That Time’, released in 1995 and produced by Talent, received a three star review from Rolling Stone magazine and went straight to number six in the Gavin Americana Charts. The album was nominated for a Nashville Music Award and named Pop Album of the Year by the National Association of Independent Records and Distributors (NAIRD); but it was all over before the end of the decade – the brothers went their separate ways and it seemed to be the end for one of Alt-Country’s most promising new acts. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – The Delevantes”