Ruby Boots “Don’t Talk About It” (Bloodshot Records, 2018)

Ruby Boots – real name Bex Chilcott – throws a handful of dust into the eyes on the opening two tracks of Don’t Talk About It, which come out of the blocks running, and punching out in a glam-rock way. It’s So Cruel stomps all over the leather clad tough talker who’s a little backward … Continue reading “Ruby Boots “Don’t Talk About It” (Bloodshot Records, 2018)”

Maverick Festival announces 2018 line-up

Maverick Festival, nothing to do with the magazine in case you’re worried about being trapped in a line dancing, er, square for 3 days (this may have been a dream…) have announced their 2018 line-up which looks like an average americana fan’s wet dry and sunny dream.  The bill includes North Carolina’s Jonathan Byrd (who without … Continue reading “Maverick Festival announces 2018 line-up”

Isbell and Aimee Mann win best americana/folk album at Grammys

Lovely news overnight from the Grammys with some so well deserved wins for Jason Isbell and Aimee Mann amongst others.  RS reports: “Jason Isbell, Alabama Shakes and Reba McEntire were early winners at the 60th annual Grammy Awards when the Americana and roots music categories were announced during the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony, streamed live online. … Continue reading “Isbell and Aimee Mann win best americana/folk album at Grammys”

The Deslondes + Underhill Rose @Celtic Connections, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 24th January 2018

Sometimes you just know when you have made the right choice and so it was that when The Deslondes struck up it was clear that the other attractions at tonight’s Celtic Connections would pale in comparison. From the very start this five piece New Orleans band transformed Oran Mor into a dusty American Roadhouse, the … Continue reading “The Deslondes + Underhill Rose @Celtic Connections, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 24th January 2018”

Here they are! AUK writers’ best albums of 2017

Here at AUK towers we used to quite often fall out over our end of year list, and even the stronger among us walked away in a sea of blood, sweat and tears (the things). It was the block vote what done it. And so, like Ed Miliband before us we moved to a one … Continue reading “Here they are! AUK writers’ best albums of 2017”

Jim White + Cicada Rhythm, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 19th November 2017

It was pleasing to see a near capacity crowd turn up on a wet and cold Sunday night in Glasgow to see Jim White. Often seen as a cult artist and with an idiosyncratic style that rarely bothers the airwaves, White is a bit of a polymath. Aside from his songs he has worked in … Continue reading “Jim White + Cicada Rhythm, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 19th November 2017”

Jeffrey Martin “One Go Around” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)

What saves Jeffrey Martin from the pile of identikit singer-songwriters, the troubled troubadours, are his lyrics and his storytelling. He doesn’t stretch too far; he tells of the dreams and the frustrations of working-class life, in a downbeat way, with flickers of melody and instrumentation to add some depth and colour to his songs. He’s … Continue reading “Jeffrey Martin “One Go Around” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)”

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Albert Hall, Manchester, 25th October 2017

The resplendent setting of a former Methodist hall in central Manchester was a suitable venue to welcome Jason Isbell back to these shores and an expectant congregation of devotees were not disappointed by an evening that showcased perfectly the strengths of one of America’s finest artists and his excellent band.

Van Life: Wild Ponies

Whenever I think of life on the road as a touring musician I inevitably think of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and those three goodie-laden coaches named after their occupants. Inside, no doubt, the fridges were full to capacity with beers and wine, the bunks were laden with goose feathered quilts, wafts of pheasant and cranberries … Continue reading “Van Life: Wild Ponies”

Interview: My Darling Clementine

Known for their sartorial elegance alongside their old school country ballads and barroom heartbreakers My Darling Clementine are one of the best bands the UK has offered the world in a good while.  Witty, charming and utterly engaging their stage show, and one hopes it is a show, as the two protagonists, Michael Weston King … Continue reading “Interview: My Darling Clementine”