At a time when the great and good of mainstream Nashville can be found in the UK playing the country fest that is C2C Stephen Simmons’ latest offering acts as an antidote to much of the current anodyne output of that great song writing town. As is befitting a native of Tennessee, his 10th album offers up a collection of self-penned songs that, although having a definite taste of country running through them, have an intelligence and musical nuance that sets them apart. Continue reading “Stephen Simmons “A World Without” (Blue Rose Records, 2016)”
RS Country have a really interesting piece up about the forthcoming new Jason Isbell album which talks about its politics, the label it’ll be out on and its overall sound: “New songs. Rock & roll influences. Danceable tempos. A collaborative dynamic that shines a spotlight not only on the frontman, but on the band behind him, too. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s upcoming album The Nashville Sound will unveil all of the above on June 16th, hitting stores two years after the songwriter’s Grammy-winning Something More Than Free. Continue reading “RS Country discusses Jason Isbell’s new album”
Taken from his new album New Lore, out on April 7th, this has a great groove, great vocals and something to say. What more could you want.
News from Stereogum on the best product placement since Half Man Half Biscuit sang in National Shite Day: “There’s a man with a mullet going mad with a mallet in Millets”: “Ryan Adams is currently on tour in support of his most recent album, Prisoner, and last night at his show in Charleston, SC, he improvised a song about the odor eliminator Febreze. According to tipster Douglas Thompson, the song came about after someone in the audience yelled out a suggestion to play a song that sounded like “Febreze.” “What the fuck song is ‘Febreze? Sometimes people yell out songs and I’ll be like what the fuck because I can’t hear shit up here,” Adams apparently said. “They could be calling out ‘Free Bird’ and I’d be like ‘ok ‘Too Legit To Quit,’ here we go.” He incorporates some of that intro into the song itself. Watch below.” Continue reading “Ryan Adams improvises a song about long-lasting freshness – Watch”
The Sadies are enjoying a fantastic run of form. Their last two records have both been brilliant autumnal works and this one begins in pretty much the same vein – the opening chords of Riverview Fog are a quite specific swirl of acoustic country psychedelia; it’s like they’ve captured the sound of light dappling the delicate fire of autumn leaves. It’s not far from the kind of sound that tyros like Ryley Walker have reached. Then again Another Season Again reaches back into their more raucous like past, the guitar sounding like a huge pick is strumming a chain link fence, the guitar solo like a string of barbed wire placed atop, while inside there’s a more tender heart with harmonies buried well down in the mix. Suddenly the trees are all bare and the light hurts your eyes. It’s a return to their spiky roots and something you might find in The Noise Museum but instead this is an instrumental that sifts through the surf, twang and jangle that they’ve been trading for the past couple of decades. Continue reading “The Sadies “Northern Passages” (Yep Roc Records, 2017)”
Oklahoma’s Carter Sampson returns to the UK in April and May for a short run of dates that include two shows at the Kilkenny Roots Festival. She’s not long been out of the UK so she must quite like us. Sampson’s latest album ‘Wilder Side’ has been picking up some rather nice reviews in the press and picking up plays on Bob Harris at Radio 2 who described the album as ‘impeccable’. She will be touring alongside BJ Baartmans – here’s those dates. Continue reading “Carter Sampson announces UK dates”
Forming the latest in their series of album projects, the Tyneside band The Unthanks will release Diversions Vol. 4: “How Wild The Wind Blows: Performing The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake” at the end of May, and are touring around the UK extensively to promote it. The album is based on poems by the mother of Nick Drake, and poet and songwriter in her own right, she made recordings at home during the 1950s with the help of her husband, and though never released at the time, share plenty of common ground with her celebrated son’s – charming and bittersweet, dark and pensive. Continue reading “The Unthanks announce new album and UK dates”
New London five-piece Curse Of Lono who we’ve become big fans of here at UK will release their debut album Severed on Submarine Cat Records on April 7th. Described as a “sumptuously cinematic record that combines harmony-laden Americana with driving, gothic alt-rock”, the album was produced at Gun Factory studio by Oli Bayston. Curse Of Lono’s debut EP, released last October, forms the soundtrack to ‘Saturday Night’, a short film of inter-connected music videos directed by Alex Walker which we recently highlighted. Continue reading “Curse of Lono release debut album next month, new video – Watch”
Sam’s new album Tenderheart is out on April 14th and this beautiful subtle song is a fine taster for it. If you’re in London on March 30th you can catch him at Oslo in Hackney.
Well the masses of BBC4 viewers that is. You may have noticed there’s a country thing going on at the moment at the BBC, partly because of the C2C music festival taking place in London this weekend (which is slightly beyond the remit of this site, it’s all a bit big hat). Anyway next Friday comedian Rich Hall is doing a programme about the roots of country music. He journeys from Tennessee to Texas to look at the movements and artists that don’t get as much notoriety but have helped shape the genre over the years. Continue reading “Rich Hall brings country music to the masses on BBC next week”