I really try to be fair when writing these reviews. I try not to get too caught up in my own taste, try to be a little bit objective at least, measure the records against what we collectively agree is our scoring system. I try to find the positives; it gives me no pleasure to disagree fervently with some of my fellow writers. I really fight hard not to give in to urges to grandly dismiss a record in a hail of sarcasm and self-serving vitriol wrapped up as criticism (for this see my work from 2005). Then I get records like this to review that I dislike on first listen and every time I listen (again and again – I like to discern and understand the roots of my dislike) I really fail to see the good or understand the attraction of a record like this. Continue reading “Sean Rowe “New Lore” (Anti, 2017)”
We get a fair amount of offers to cover gigs by americana artists here at AUK but particularly with showcases and album launches, they are often London based which is awkward since precisely one of our writers lives in London and his whole life would be spent going to see live music if he attended them all. Which doesn’t sound like such a bad thing when you come to think about it. Anyway, as is common knowledge it’s grim up north where we’re based, so if you are one of those new-fangled London people, can write well, produce copy quickly and fancy seeing some Americana for free from time to time (normally on week nights) then please get in touch with us. A lot of the artists are “up and coming” as they say, but today’s fresh faces are tomorrow’s Ryan Adams. Or Ryan Adams-es. And you could be the person to tell the world about them.
Lucy Rose has announced details of a new album and a “global cinema tour” taking her to rather exciting places to showcase the record and its companion documentary film. ‘Something’s Changing’ will be released on the 14th July through Communion Records. The album will be accompanied by a short documentary, acting as a fly-on-the-wall account of Lucy’s debut tour of Latin America last year. The trip, organised independently by Lucy with the help of her Latin American fans, became an inspiration for the record and the film is an intimate account of how it all came together. Here are those dates along with her new single recorded with The Staves. Continue reading “Lucy Rose announces UK/European dates, new album”
Tonight The Handsome Family arrive in town to play to a near capacity crowd at Folkestone’s Quarterhouse. Most it seems, are committed fans of the band although some like me have come along because the venue is on their doorstep and they have been lured by the penning of the darkly enthralling Far from any Road, from the equally darkly enthralling series ‘True Detective’. Continue reading “The Handsome Family, Folkestone Quarterhouse: 4th March 2017”
Alison Krauss is phenomenal. Whether you look at figures like her record 27 Grammy Awards, millions of records sold, career longevity or simply judge her from the purity of her vocals, Krauss really is one of the stand-out performers in modern music. Windy City is her first solo record in 18 years, after she took a hiatus to record music with her Union Station band. The album is a tribute to older classics, with tracks such as those originally performed by artists like Glen Campbell, Bill Monroe, Willie Nelson and The Osborne Brothers. With a sensitive touch provided by producer Buddy Cannon, it’s a masterpiece of music re-interpretation and a fitting ode to the giants on whose shoulders present artists stand on. Continue reading “Alison Krauss ”Windy City” (Decca/Capitol, 2017)”
Laura James is an award-winning London-based, Cumbrian-born songstress. Laura’s music leans heavily on the poetic side of folk and her ‘haunting’ vocal coupled with her sensitivity for lyrics and melody is a captivating combination.
Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years? I grew up just outside Carlisle, in Cumbria. I moved to Liverpool when I was 18 to study music at university where I met a lot of the people that formed my band ‘The Lyres’. We released our debut EP in 2011. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Laura James”
Years ago when I was a teenage boy (many years ago..) I discovered Bob Harris on the Radio 1 shows he used to present from midnight until 2 in the morning, and would often go into school bleary-eyed and glowered at by the teachers but thrilled from the ongoing discovery of new music which UK daytime radio studiously ignored. The schedule then changed so the shows went on even later (till 4am) and I consequently developed (for fear of being expelled) a system of studiously taping them just in case I missed the next best band of the rest of my life. Anyway, many years later and 3 different radio stations on, Bob is finally calling it a day with the spiritual continuation of those original Radio 1 shows, the Sunday morning (once Saturday evening) Radio 2 show. Continue reading “Bob Harris records his final Sunday morning show – Listen”
The fourth, and apparently last, album from Matthew Melton’s power-pop band Warm Soda is in an incandescent hurry – a dozen songs each clocking-in at well under three minutes, the whole album over in half an hour. The pace is relentless, barely a heart beat between songs – making for a comet tail shedding material in perfect single sized portions as it plunges towards the sun. Continue reading “Warm Soda “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” (Castle Face Records, 2017)”
From his newly released album Outside My Mind, this is a fine late night tale of love and loss from Ned Roberts.
Thomas Wynn & The Believers have announced that their third album – Wade Waist Deep – will be appearing on Mascot Records this May. Having been named the #1 Rock Band and #1 Country/Folk Band in the city for seven consecutive years by the Orlando Weekly, the band’s combination of Rock and Southern Soul, supported by Thomas’ self-styled “blood harmonies” with his sister Olivia are hauntingly beautiful and forge an uplifting “soul rock”, mixing the best of Classic Rock, R&B and Gospel. Continue reading “Thomas Wynn & The Believers – new album coming in May”