Book Review: Doug Hoekstra “Unopened” (Five-Minute Books, 2019)

“In the unfinished basement past stainless steel filing cabinets, humming humidifiers and stacks of yellow magazines I reach two racks of records promised to us both; My heart can only take a few, including “Memories of a Middle-Aged Movies by the other Ray Charles, unopened, never played…. purchased at Rose Records for 77 cents, my father killing time on a 60-minute lunch hour … Continue reading “Book Review: Doug Hoekstra “Unopened” (Five-Minute Books, 2019)”

AmericanA to Z – Lone Justice

Back in 1985 ‘The Elite’ to me was anyone with access to MTV or a video cassette recorder, or both. Exploring new music was not easy, you could read about new bands in the weekly inkies, but getting to hear them was another matter. So thank heavens for Whistle Test. By ’85 it had dropped … Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Lone Justice”

The 2018’s Americana UK readers’ poll results are here!

So here we go again – the last day of term and it’s prize day at Americana UK Towers. It was a classic year for americana in the UK, a year in which you actually had a choice of festivals to go to rather than a niche tent at the back of a field, and … Continue reading “The 2018’s Americana UK readers’ poll results are here!”

Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 2nd-5th August 2018

While there are several “specialist” Americana festivals like Maverick and Ramblin’ Roots, for the Americana fan Cambridge Folk Festival has for many years always had much to offer.  It rightly prides itself on its eclecticism – both Joe Strummer and Nick Cave have played there in the past – and interpreting “folk” very broadly and … Continue reading “Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 2nd-5th August 2018”

Hannah Read “Way Out I’ll Wander” (Hudson, 2018)

This is a beautiful album. Beautifully written, beautifully played and sung, beautifully crafted. Hannah Read is one of those musicians who seem too gifted not to turn out perfection each time she records. This, her second album, is the follow up to her acclaimed 2012 debut ‘Wrapped In Lace’. Hannah Read was born and grew … Continue reading “Hannah Read “Way Out I’ll Wander” (Hudson, 2018)”

Interview: Ray Wylie Hubbard

Oklahoma-born but now based in Texas, Ray Wylie Hubbard continues to set the standard for the new boys while continually adding to his already well-stocked legacy of music. His latest album, Tell The Devil I’m Getting There As Fast As I Can (out now on Bordello Records via Thirty Tigers), still clearly ticks all the … Continue reading “Interview: Ray Wylie Hubbard”

Interview: Jim Miller (Western Centuries)

Americana musician of long standing Jim Miller is breaking new ground with fellow creative minds Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton and other members of Western Centuries as they bring a new and exciting, and slightly experimental sound to the table. “Weight of the World”, the band’s debut has been met with much praise, so much so … Continue reading “Interview: Jim Miller (Western Centuries)”

Shirley Collins, The Barbican, London, 18th February 2017

Shirley Collins holds a unique place in the pantheon of English folk music – her 1959 song collecting journey in the USA, assisting Alan Lomax, is legendary enough but she also shook up the folk scene with collaborations with Davey Graham and her recordings with her sister Dolly which brought new arrangements to old songs … Continue reading “Shirley Collins, The Barbican, London, 18th February 2017”

Interview: John Paul White

Producer, songwriter and recording artist Alabama-born and breed, John Paul White returns to a solo career after the break-up of the four-time Grammy winning duo Civil Wars. Enjoying a pace of life befitting the history of the American south, family man White has been doing things at his own pace. Working on other projects prior … Continue reading “Interview: John Paul White”