If Americana is an umbrella term for all roots-based American music – bluegrass, blues, country, folk, jazz, rock, and soul (which is how I define it, anyway) – then you’d be hard-pressed to find another group more worthy of the Americana label than New Grass Revival. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – New Grass Revival”
Gretchen Peters has composed hits for Etta James, George Strait, Neil Diamond and Shania Twain to name just a few, she has been nominated for Grammy Awards and was inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014. Brandy Clark has said of her, “Gretchen Peters is a songwriter’s writer – the kind of inspiring artist and writer we strive to be like and one we use as a measuring stick for our own work.” She’s also an inspiring performer and all of the above was in evidence tonight with a career spanning collection of songs whose captivating quality could not be denied. Aside from appearing with her band the show also featured a string quartet, a concept originally devised for Peters’ performance at last year’s Southern Fried Festival in Scotland’s Perth, hence the quartet’s name and the banner – “The Strings Attached Tour.” Continue reading “Gretchen Peters with The Southern Fried String Quartet, Cadogan Hall, London, 20th April 2019”
For his tenth studio album Josh Ritter has teamed up with the currently red hot Jason Isbell and his 400 Unit on production and playing duties and delivered an album that will only do all of them a lot of good. This is an Americana wet dream become real! All the cards are on the table from the opening groove of ‘Ground Don’t Want Me’, Ritter’s spoken-sung poetic lyricism, muscular Isbell guitars, stentorian piano shapes, chiming solo, chorus laced with harmonies and all of this wrapped in one of those tunes you are sure you’ve heard before but know you haven’t.
Continue reading “Josh Ritter “Fever Breaks” (Pytheas Recordings/Thirty Tigers, 2019)”
Great American Trainwreck are a five piece band operating out of Seattle who have been playing for a couple of years, time enough to get their eponymous debut album together – it’s out on May 23rd. The band formed when Stephanie Ward and Chuck Dunklin decided to take a new approach to the music they loved – southern rock, bluegrass, and classic country. ‘Hell on the Rise‘, a best of times/worst of times anthem dealing with feelings of divisiveness and desperation in uncertain times, shows how (with keyboard player Andy Basinger, Dan Rogers on bass and drummer Dave Bush) they’ve succeeded on that score.
Another track from the great Ordinary Elephant, taken from their forthcoming album “Honest”, out on May 3rd. It’s an ultimately triumphant love story about interracial love and is quite beautiful.
We’re taking a break until Tuesday next week to celebrate the ascension of the Easter bunny into heaven. Don’t forget ‘Three Chords and the Truth’ the Woody Guthrie documentary which shows on BBC4 tomorrow night at 9pm. We leave you with this cheery little number to ponder on. It’s presumably a rhetorical question for most of us, Kirk Douglas aside. Have a good one.
Now this is rather good from Glasgow’s Anton & The Colts. It’s the new single from their album “No End Of The Line”, out now and has real heart and soul. Nice video too. Anton is on a solo tour of the US starting today – dates on his Facebook page – and our friends are highly recommended to check him out.
Austin, Texas-based folk-Americana singer-songwriter Danny Schmidt has announced details of a UK tour next month in support of his new album ‘Standard Deviation’ which we described as a collection of “songs of the troubadour, the worldly-wise minstrel, sung with strength, intelligence and insightfulness” and a “lyrical work of art.” Continue reading “Danny Schmidt announces UK dates for May”
Well this is a treat for the Easter weekend – NPR are previewing today the new Josh Ritter album ‘Fever Breaks’ which is due out on Friday next week and which, of course, is produced by Jason Isbell, whose 400 Unit serve as the backing band for the record. NPR comment: Continue reading “NPR previews new Josh Ritter album in full”
Molly Tuttle has been creating quite a lot of noise recently and on tonight’s evidence she’s no empty vessel. Twenty-six year old Tuttle grew up in San Francisco and started to play the guitar when she was eight years old. Four years ago, she moved to Nashville, releasing a seven track mini- album ‘Rise’ in 2017. Her debut full album ‘When You’re Ready’ was released earlier this month to huge critical acclaim. No surprise really then to find a packed crowd in Manchester wanting to check out the live experience and they were not disappointed as they were treated to an enthralling evening of Tuttle’s songs along with some carefully selected covers and a display of folk guitar playing that stands up alongside the very best. Continue reading “Molly Tuttle + Ole Kirkeng, Night & Day, Manchester, 11th April 2019”