Ross Cooper “I Rode The Wild Horses” (Independent 2018)

Ross Cooper’s new album is a true cry to cowboy country. Many of the songs echo his career as a bareback rider, with the lyrics reflecting the rodeo lifestyle. ‘I Rode The  Wild Horses’ combines both folk and alt-rock to create a “new Nashville sound” as Cooper calls it. The title track takes an authentic Texas Western feel on a cowboy song, which tells the tale of a weary cowboy traveller. With lyrics like “I’m a spitfire son of the road” it shows Cooper’s impressive songwriting talent and highlights his experience of being on the road with the rodeo.
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The 502s “What To Do” – Listen

Americana sometimes has a reputation for dwelling on the bleak, of wilfully embracing the darker side of life.  Like most generalisations it isn’t completely true.  Take the Orlando-based The 502s’ new release ‘What to do’ which sounds almost exactly like your Americana  summer  party record 2018.  There’s a bit of The Felice Brothers in it, some Avett Brothers too – lots of brothers (although The 502s’ core is built around cousins) making for a big, boisterous sound.  Oh, and it’s about trying to figure out whether a relationship has run its course or not.  That’s Americana for you – wilfully bleak.

Graham Nash heads to UK for July shows

The “I think we can call him legendary” Graham Nash has announced a series of dates over the summer in the UK, promising “performances of his many well-known songs along with anecdotes and tales from throughout his storied career”. He will be joined on stage by guitarist and vocalist Shane Fontayne, longtime collaborator and producer of his most recent album, ‘This Path Tonight’ and former CSN keyboardist and vocalist Todd Caldwell, and together, the trio will perform songs from his days in the Hollies, his years with Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young) and from his solo recordings. Continue reading “Graham Nash heads to UK for July shows”

Oka Vanga, Green Note, London, 26th March 2018

The Green Note in Camden Town is always a pleasure to step inside. It’s one of those venues where the acts are chosen on the grounds of their pedigree and the atmosphere is always friendly. Tonight was no exception and while the audience settled in with bottled porter and locally made carrot cake, up stepped Oka Vanga to the stage. They were returning to familiar territory in a venue which helped launch their career and to where they find themselves drawn back like moths to the flame. Continue reading “Oka Vanga, Green Note, London, 26th March 2018”

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats + Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 12th April 2018

Nathaniel Rateliff managed a remarkable feat for an artist whose name is not part of the musical mainstream. He sold out 3 nights at Shepherd’s Bush, which means 6000 people turned up to watch what surely must have been one of the best run of gigs held there for a long time. Rateliff was supported by long term Gospel Americana band Slim Cessna’s Auto Club who enthusiastically warmed up the crowd with a lively set which featured seven band members including pedal steel guitar, saxophone, bass and drums as well as three guitarists.  Slim himself was a tall and rangy figure sporting a full 10 gallon hat and was very comfortable on stage.  He knew just what to do to get everyone into a party mood and it was lovely to see Rateliff himself join them for their invigorating finale. Continue reading “Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats + Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 12th April 2018”

Juanita Stein “Forgiver” – Listen

Juanita Stein doesn’t need any introduction, but in case you’ve been living under a rock for a few years (rent’s low, comfort is too) – having been the lead singer for Howling Bells Stein released a debut solo album ‘America’ last year to much acclaim and has now polished off the follow up ‘Until the lights fade’ which is out at the end of August.  It has a rockier edge than the previous release, as showcased perfectly on ‘Forgiver’, a cynical tale of a male ingénue, which is the lead single.

Shane Joyce “The Sadness of King Joyce” (Independent, 2018)

The Sadness of King Joyce is the debut solo album from Shane Joyce, front man for Ireland’s Midnight Union Band, a freewheeling bunch of folk rockers who recently whipped up a storm at the Ramblin’ Roots weekend. It’s a sight removed from the band’s usual fare with Joyce offering here nine songs which sound as if they were drawn from a well of desperation. He cites the Beat writers along with Dylan and Cohen as his mentors and the Cohen influence is evident on several of the songs here but elsewhere he summons up the sometimes sordid world of Jacques Brel while Gavin Friday and Tom Waits hover around also. Continue reading “Shane Joyce “The Sadness of King Joyce” (Independent, 2018)”

John Prine and Sturgill perform on Colbert – Watch

We’re full to the rafters with horses, women and rain in Liverpool today (which sounds like the title of a country compilation) and so we leave you for the weekend with this lovely clip of 3 americana legends in the one set and coinciding with the release today of the first new album of original songs in over 13 years from John Prine. ‘The Tree Of Forgiveness’ features collaborations with the Pat McLaughlin, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires among others and last night, Prine performed the song ‘Summer’s End’ from the album on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, alongside Sturgill and Brandi Carlile. Watch it below, and have a good one!