Ardentjohn “Malin Head” (Adulation, 2019)

The album’s title is taken from the name of the most northerly tip of the island of Ireland, Donegal to be precise, the last headland before Greenland, where folks will tell you that more ocean liners and German U-boats have sunk off this coast than probably anywhere on the planet. It is a bleak but … Continue reading “Ardentjohn “Malin Head” (Adulation, 2019)”

Ari “Radikoj” (Independent, 2019)

Icelandic Americana? As the genre evolves, the label becomes a useful tag, but ‘What Even is Americana?’ as The Milk Carton Kids asked us. To be honest, it would be a stretch to call this Americana, though it does have some typical instrumentation and familiar tone. It is though a very attractive listen, beguiling, clever, … Continue reading “Ari “Radikoj” (Independent, 2019)”

AmericanA to Z – Joe Pernice

It was the ‘Sounds of the New West’ compilation CDs issued by Uncut magazine in 1998 that opened so many musical doors for me, bringing to my attention a slew of new acts, as well as forging an obsession in what we were tending to call ‘alternative country’ 20 years ago ago. One of the acts … Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Joe Pernice”

Curtis Eller brings his American Circus to the UK

Curtis Eller describes himself as a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer, and you can see that trilogy of talents come together at a show near you from the end of this month when he arrives in the UK for dates around the country with his band. A twenty-year show business veteran, Eller … Continue reading “Curtis Eller brings his American Circus to the UK”

Tom Paxton’s UK tour begins this week

Tom Paxton was always there, in Greenwich Village alongside Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk, John Hurt and Bobby Dylan, later on watching Dylan perform at the Isle of Wight Festival in ’69, alongside John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Paul Simon shared a flat with Tom Paxton when they were both in the UK in the … Continue reading “Tom Paxton’s UK tour begins this week”

Van Life – William the Conqueror

West country trio William The Conqueror have been making steady inroads on the Americana scene for a few years now with their latest album ‘Bleeding On The Soundtrack’ just released on Loose Music. Headed by singer-songwriter Ruarri Joseph, who released a number of albums ten years ago under his own name and was quite a … Continue reading “Van Life – William the Conqueror”

Ramblin’ Roots Revue returns! Here’s the full line up

Now in their third year, The Ramblin’ Roots Revue, one of the UK’s biggest weekends of Americana, roots and alt-country music (and there are a few of them now) have announced their line up which includes 40 acts from the across UK, USA, Canada, Ireland and mainland Europe. The full line up which takes place … Continue reading “Ramblin’ Roots Revue returns! Here’s the full line up”

Various Artists “The Social Power Of Music” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2019)

This characteristically vast collection from Smithsonian Folkways tackles a multitude of musical forms and interpretations of the term “social power” over four jam-packed CDs. The four discs are, more or less, themed – CD1 is ‘Songs of Struggle‘, CD2 is ‘Sacred Sounds‘, CD3 is ‘Social Songs & Gatherings‘ whilst the final CD closes the circle … Continue reading “Various Artists “The Social Power Of Music” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2019)”

Americana Music Fest 30th January, Hackney, London

Previous showcases at the AMAUK conference had run for just a single night – expanding to two nights had more than doubled the excitement. And if the previous evening had offered some hard choices then this second night of the AMAUK showcase upped the ante by bringing in Moth Club as a venue, which meant … Continue reading “Americana Music Fest 30th January, Hackney, London”

The Bills “Trail of Tales” (Borealis, 2016)

Five days before his death from typhoid fever and the final tertiary stage of syphilis in November 1828, Franz Schubert requested that a friend, Karl Holz, bring his string quartet to his deathbed and play for him Beethoven’s sublime String Quartet in C Sharp Major Op. 131. This divine sound was the last music Schubert … Continue reading “The Bills “Trail of Tales” (Borealis, 2016)”