Matt McGinn “Lessons of War” (Binlid Records)

If there were an award given for the most earnest album of the year, then ‘Lessons of War’ by Matt McGinn would be a shoo-in. For his fourth record, the Irish singer-songwriter has collaborated with musicians from war-affected areas around the world on a 10-track collection of protest songs. The project, which took three years … Continue reading “Matt McGinn “Lessons of War” (Binlid Records)”

Simone Felice + Diana DeMuth, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 15th January 2020

The Slaughtered Lamb is a tiny space for a headliner as big as Simone Felice – it’s a basement room below a pub with maybe a capacity of a hundred, or a hundred and fifty at a push, set up with tables, stools, side benches and a standing area behind all of these. No surprise … Continue reading “Simone Felice + Diana DeMuth, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 15th January 2020”

Interview: Shovels & Rope on making records, touring and obsessing over Sharon Van Etten

Husband and wife duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, Shovels & Rope, based in Charleston, South Carolina released their new album, ‘By Blood’ on Dualtone last year to great critical acclaim.  They even feature in their own film, Shovels & Rope, The Movie’ written and produced by Curtis Wayne Millard the NY based filmmaker and … Continue reading “Interview: Shovels & Rope on making records, touring and obsessing over Sharon Van Etten”

AmericanaFest UK 2020 Conference Showcase preview – part four

The AMAUK conference is now into its fifth year and one of the highlights of the conference is the two nights of showcases which take place before the awards ceremony on 28th/29th January featuring the best of americana talent, both homegrown and from around the world. It takes place at six venues across Hackney, all … Continue reading “AmericanaFest UK 2020 Conference Showcase preview – part four”

Jack Marion and the Pearl Snap Prophets “When the Well Runs Dry” (Independent, 2020)

‘When the Well Runs dry’ is the debut album by Jack Marion and the Pearl Snap Prophets. They’re probably new to you (and me) but before we go into detail about them and the record let’s get three things clear: 1. This is a damn fine record. 2. It is not a concept record. 3. … Continue reading “Jack Marion and the Pearl Snap Prophets “When the Well Runs Dry” (Independent, 2020)”

Interview: Andrew Combs on new album, politics and how fatherhood is shaping his future

Tennessean Andrew Combs, an artist who has managed to make big strides  both in the indie and Americana worlds over four beautifully crafted albums, is an increasingly regular visitor to these shores over the last few years. His excellent live shows are perfectly accompanied by albums that resonate soulfully, emotionally and politically. With ‘Ideal Man’  just … Continue reading “Interview: Andrew Combs on new album, politics and how fatherhood is shaping his future”

Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald & Friends “Return to Y’Hup: The World of Ivor Cutler” (Chemikal Underground, 2020)

Ivor Cutler was a unique Scottish artist, poet, songwriter, teacher, humourist and mainstay of British Radio who died in 2006 aged 83 and was very probably a genius. The depression of the ‘30s, his Jewish background and experience of anti-Semitism and a challenging home life all had a major impact on his work. The word … Continue reading “Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald & Friends “Return to Y’Hup: The World of Ivor Cutler” (Chemikal Underground, 2020)”

Static Roots Festival announces first acts for 2020

Fast becoming pretty much an essential date in any Americana fan’s festival diary these days, the Static Roots Festival in Oberhausen, Germany this coming July announced its first performers just before Christmas. Dietmar Leibecke, festival organiser and promoter, appears to have got his line up pretty spot on so far, with two of the acts … Continue reading “Static Roots Festival announces first acts for 2020”

The Hanging Stars launch new album next month with UK tour

London-based folk-psych-country band The Hanging Stars return with their third studio album, ‘A New Kind Of Sky’, due out on 21 February 2020. They celebrate the launch of the new record with a great double bill featuring Americana-UK faves, GospelbeacH, at London’s Moth Club on 26th February.

Track Premiere : The Hanging Stars “Heavy Blue”

The great The Hanging Stars will be releasing a new album early in 2020 – it’s their third full album and it’ll be called ‘A New Kind Of Sky’ and it will be out on 21st February.  The second single from the album, ‘Heavy Blue‘, is out tomorrow – and we’re happy to say that … Continue reading “Track Premiere : The Hanging Stars “Heavy Blue””