Son of the Velvet Rat “Dorado” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)

It would be the understatement of the year to describe the torn and ragged instrument that is Georg Altziebler’s throat as “cracked” or “whisky scarred”. It’s a hollow rattling thing that speaks of dry deserts and lonesome travellers. Dark as the shadows in a Sergio Leone movie, dust covered, careworn and heartbroken. And just as it took an Italian film maker to reinvent and renew the Western as a genre, Son of the velvet rat (Georg and wife Helke) have so far made their music in their homeland of Austria whilst still sounding as if they have recorded in a small studio behind a shack somewhere out in the Californian desert. Continue reading “Son of the Velvet Rat “Dorado” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)”

Rebecca Pronsky announces UK dates

Brooklynite singer-songwriter Rebecca Pronsky has announced an April UK tour in support of her most recent album “Known Objects” and new non-album single Where Are You Now? The latest album was apparently “originally conceived as a duo album, but once the recording studio was up and running, the environment proved too tempting to stop at just voice and guitars. Surrounded by an ever-growing flock of talented special guests, and no strict schedule or deadlines, they were able to take their time, Pronsky’s songwriting and vocal agility shining as never before while Bennett’s production and arranging skills flourish.” Oh and the Mirror said nice things about her, describing her as “part Stevie Nicks, part confessional troubadour”  And we all like a good troubadour.  Here’s those dates.  Continue reading “Rebecca Pronsky announces UK dates”

Aimee Mann releases new video from “Mental Illness” album – Watch

Aimee Mann’s new album “Mental Illness” (with a fantastic cover) is out next week, the follow up to 2012’s “Charmer” where she returns to a more musically soft-spoken but still lyrically barbed approach, exemplified by her current single, Patient Zero.  She’s released a video today for the first track on the record Goose Snow Cone which is rather lovely and features a cat called Goose (and her vet).   Continue reading “Aimee Mann releases new video from “Mental Illness” album – Watch”

Nick Ellis “Daylight Ghosts” (Mellowtone Records, 2017)

Throughout this record Ellis’ guitar playing is excellent and the sound is clear and resonant (it was recorded in Liverpool St George’s Hall Crown Court Room) and it’s clear the further that Ellis gets from standard acoustic singer-songwriter fare, the better he sounds. The opener The Grand Illusion survives only on its guitar playing and the following Hanging Around with its poppier melody weaves a far more interesting pattern. Ellis has the voice for rock and the fingers to play pretty much whatever he pleases; the beautiful cascading phrases of Carillon are brought back to earth by the vocal. Where the pieces are unencumbered by the vocals they really stretch out as Dance of the Cat and Good Morning Mr Hirons show. Continue reading “Nick Ellis “Daylight Ghosts” (Mellowtone Records, 2017)”

Emmylou Harris to play anniversary show at the Ryman

News from Rolling Stone Country this morning: “Emmylou Harris is set to kick off a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium with a special show there on May 2nd. The Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member will reunite with the members of the Nash Ramblers, the acoustic/bluegrass band she formed in the early Nineties, with whom she recorded At the Ryman, a live album recorded on the hallowed stage in 1991. Among the members of that group were guitarist Jon Randall and mandolin player Sam Bush ­– bass player Roy Huskey Jr., passed away in 1997. Continue reading “Emmylou Harris to play anniversary show at the Ryman”

Dweezil Zappa tours 50 Years Of Frank

Frank Zappa certainly out did other fathers – nothing as simple as a Boy named Sue for Frank. Moon Unit, Dweezil, these are names of distinction. Well, they’re distinctive. So Dweezil got an interesting start – he also got to hang around with a lot of guitar players and got to be a master of the guitar himself, releasing his first single at the age of 12. Eddie Van Halen produced that. As a tribute to his father who died in 1993, Dweezil has been touring Zappa senior’s music for a decade
– and this has led to another strange family moment. He is no longer allowed to use his touring name – Zappa plays Zappa – despite this being unarguably true. Continue reading “Dweezil Zappa tours 50 Years Of Frank”

Tom Snow “Uptown Hopeful” (Slipstream Records 2016)

Tom Snow has enjoyed a 50 year career in the music industry and is best known as a songwriter penning Linda Ronstadt’s hit “Don’t Know Much” and Leo Sayer’s “Thunder In My Heart” plus many more. However, he was a pioneer of the late 60’s and early 70’s country rock scene working with a young and already eccentric Gram Parsons before starting his own band named Country. Whilst he released a number of albums in his own name, the songs on this CD have never been released before and it is thus a treasure trove for fans of music from that era which defined much of what we know and love today as Americana. Continue reading “Tom Snow “Uptown Hopeful” (Slipstream Records 2016)”

New Fleet Foxes album picks up where previous ended

Like exactly where it left off.  Pitchfork reports: “On June 16, Fleet Foxes release Crack-Up, their first new album in six years. According to frontman Robin Pecknold, they pick up literally where they left off on Helplessness Blues. On the Fleet Foxes subreddit, a fan suggested that Helplessness Blues’ closer “Grown Ocean” seemed “slightly incomplete,” and that the lyrics “feel like they end too soon, that a final chord or line is missing that would tie things up.” For those reasons, the fan theorized that the new record will begin on an F note “so that Helplessness Blues blends seamlessly into it” and “bridges two albums made six years apart.” Pecknold has confirmed the theory: “First note on new album is F for exactly this reason, first main song chord is Bb / F for this reason too, never thought anyone would think about it besides me but you nailed it!”  Continue reading “New Fleet Foxes album picks up where previous ended”