Track premiere: Oberon Rose “Tell Me All About It”

Oberson Rose hail from New England, a band whose sound has been described as “…a wonderful retro-fried slice of rock and psychedelic pop”. The band have shared this new track with AUK which has some lovely Beatles echoes to it. Lead singer Tommy Oberon told us: “To me, Tell Me All About has a multi-coloured spinning or circular type of feeling. Almost like a carousel, or better yet, a roulette wheel.  Each verse is its own vignette that is called up randomly by whichever slot the ball falls into.  Although each verse may seem disconnected from the ones before, when taken in as a whole, it tells a larger story.” And there’s a lyric video if you want to singalong.

The Dad Horse Experience “I Am a Stranger Here Below” (Off Label Records 2018)

Fifty years on this Earth in 2018 and Dad Horse Ottn, the German based eccentric behind this wonderful album continues to plough a furrow that is both deep and musically satisfying as well as wonderfully idiosyncratic and original. This is banjo-based Appalachian nu rock n roll! There’s gospel, bluegrass, Blues and bawdiness as well as Southern soul and yodelling, bondage and tram shootings. Continue reading “The Dad Horse Experience “I Am a Stranger Here Below” (Off Label Records 2018)”

Loose Records to celebrate 20 years at the AMAUK conference

Way back in 2001 when I first started Americana UK on a shoestring budget (not even a shoestring to be fair, it was zero) one of the first labels to kindly start sending us through stuff for review was Loose.  The albums were not only by some of the best names in americana but always beautifully packaged too, proving that you can have style and substance – indeed many people came to the genre in the first place through their amazing compilations they would produce in the days when everyone still bought CDs. At this year’s AMAUK awards which take place in Hackney at the end of this month, Loose perhaps more than any other label will have a major presence there, with two showcasing artists, three nominees and a special conference session reflecting on their two decades at the forefront of the genre.  AUK caught up with label founder (“Le Grand Fromage”) Tom Bridgewater and discussed the conference, what’s changed over 20 years and separating the wheat from the chaff. Continue reading “Loose Records to celebrate 20 years at the AMAUK conference”

The Hanging Stars “Songs For Somewhere Else” (Crimson Crow, 2018)

THS are carving out a nice niche for themselves. They sit somewhere between the Broken Family Band and the Rockingbirds with a dash of psychedelic hot sauce. At their most esoteric they are able to combine traditional Country sounds with something a little less traditional: Dig A Hole starts off with steel guitar leading the way in a country shuffle then a middle section that relocates Calexico to Heckmondwike which changes the perspective before the steel guitar once again cascades over the song like a river of molten lava, for the last section the brass and steel flash against each other. Continue reading “The Hanging Stars “Songs For Somewhere Else” (Crimson Crow, 2018)”

Trailhead “Keep Walking” (Requa Records, 2018)

Never go walking with The Proclaimers – it’s really tiring! But if you do fancy trekking 500 miles or so, according to Lonely Planet, the sure-fire way to avoid blisters whilst walking the Camino de Santiago is to wear a pair of women’s stockings under your socks. I’m not sure if Berlin-based musician Tobias Panwitz followed their advice when he trudged along the Camino, but one thing he did do, was compose an album of songs using the rhythm of his 500 mile walk as the basis for a basic backing track, and wrote down the lyrics that flooded his noggin mid-hike, before he got back to Germany, and went into the studio with his band. Recording under the name Trailhead, ‘Keep Walking’ is his third album under this name.  Continue reading “Trailhead “Keep Walking” (Requa Records, 2018)”

Pick of the Political Pops: Bill Munroe and His Bluegrass Boys “I’m Working On A Building”

It’s a helluva time to be working on any kind of building if you happen to be employed by a corporate construction behemoth either directly or subcontractually, we’d have thought. The sprawling pile that is Americana-UK Towers was fortunate enough to be constructed in more enlightened times by a workers cooperative of brickies, navvies, chippies and sparkies – so none of that one hundred and twenty day payment window malarkey. Nope – we coughed up the readies every Friday night in those special little manila envelopes that you used to get with your name written on it in biro (tax and NI deducted at source of course). Oddly it seems that nowadays ‘value for money’ means ‘contract it out of house at all costs’ whether or not it actually makes financial sense. There’s always The Tax Payer and his/her seemingly endlessly deep pocket to bail out a poorly run private concern with a suicidal approach to procurement. We reckon the best thing we can do is build some sort of religious structure, as Bill Munroe suggests here, and pray that things will be alright…

Track premiere: Eugene Tyler Band “Training”

Eugene Tyler Band’s new album “Young Randy” is out today on Cold Folks Home Records, and they’ve shared their new single “Training” from it with us which has some nice intense guitar interplay that recalls the Milk Carton Kids or Mandolin Orange. Eugene told AUK: “With ‘Training’, we wanted to explore this idea that bodies are adaptable, and will get better at anything with repetition. The more times you do something, the easier it becomes. But what stress is harmful, and what stress is beneficial? What if you’ve just been getting better at being worse?”  Which is a feeling I know all too well…

Hannah White “Elephant Eye” (Sound Lounge Records, 2017)

London based Hannah White has gathered a fine crew around her for her latest album, Elephant Eye. Producer Nigel Stonier (Thea Gilmore, Martha Wainwright, Joan Baez) plays several instruments, Chris J Hillman adds pedal steel while Jimmy Forres handles guitar duties and Paul Beavis (Andy Fairweather Low, Sandi Thom) is the percussionist driving them on. Continue reading “Hannah White “Elephant Eye” (Sound Lounge Records, 2017)”