Dirty Dozen: Robert Vincent

Award winning Liverpool native Robert Vincent is set to release his second album “I’ll Make the Most of my Sins” on 27th January. After his performances at the AMA showcases in Nashville last September, Rolling Stone magazine named Vincent as “Best Brit” in an article entitled “AmericanaFest 2016: 20 best things we saw”. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Robert Vincent”

Nathan Bell @Celtic Connections. Oran Mor, Glasgow: 2nd February 2017

Nathan Bell , a troubadour in the tradition of Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, was sandwiched in between two rather noisy acts for this, his Scottish debut. The fans had packed Oran Mor for the headliner James McMurtry and had been warmed up by the opening act, Alice Drinks The Kool Aid. This peculiarly named act turned out to be an old style blues trio (and yes, from Chicago) who turned in a set that reeked of student unions back in the seventies when everyone and their dog covered Cream and Taste. That may be a tad unfair as the sound system wasn’t doing them any favours but it has been a long long time since I heard a bass solo in a 12 bar workout. Their USP was the fact that guitarist and singer Tony Magee runs a brewery, Lagunitas, and he had donated a keg of his IPA to the bar offering all present free beer until the keg ran dry. So more power to his elbow then and in truth the band did offer up some fine ZZ Top styled boogie. Continue reading “Nathan Bell @Celtic Connections. Oran Mor, Glasgow: 2nd February 2017”

John Paul White @Celtic Connections. The Mackintosh Church, Glasgow: 1st February 2017

It was a sold out show for John Paul White’s first visit to Glasgow since the collapse of the Grammy award winning The Civil Wars, an episode mired in some mystery as he and Joy Williams imploded. Since then he’s kept a low profile, setting up his record label and producing an excellent album by the legendary Donnie Fritts. Back in September of last year however a solo album, Beulah, was released. An album of bittersweet Southern grooves and creamy country rock Beulah was taken by some to be a veiled response to the breakup of the band. Continue reading “John Paul White @Celtic Connections. The Mackintosh Church, Glasgow: 1st February 2017”

Hear rare OCMS track from new “best of” collection – Listen

Look out for a review of the new collection very soon here on AUK.  In the meantime, “whet” your appetite as they say with this taster, courtesy of Rolling Stone who report: “Ketch Secor serenades a Canadian local in “Black Haired Québécoise,” a forgotten, decade-old Old Crow Medicine Show track that’ll see the light of day next week, when the band releases its first Best Of compilation.  Tracked during the same recording sessions that spawned 2006’s Big Iron World, “Black Haired Québécoise” is a bilingual barn burner inspired by a trip north of the border.  Continue reading “Hear rare OCMS track from new “best of” collection – Listen”

Wesley Stace and the Jayhawks release another preview track of album – Listen

This is one we’re really looking forward to – the new album by Wesley Stace “featuring the Jayhawks” is out 3 weeks today on the Yep Roc label if we’re all still here, and they’ve released another new track online which you can hear below – “Better Tell No One Your Dreams” has echoes of some of the most blisteringly optimistic new line-up Jayhawks sound (think “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”) – it’s a huge big-hearted song and well worth a listen. You can also see photos of the recording session here at the Jayhawks official Tumblr page.    Continue reading “Wesley Stace and the Jayhawks release another preview track of album – Listen”

Second UK Americana Awards – here’s the list of winners

We’ve just returned from the second UK Americana Awards which took place at London’s St John at Hackney last night, rounding off two days of activities at this year’s Americana Music Association UK conference, with performances from Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Richard Thompson and Mary Chapin Carpenter. There were performances too from UK artists Yola Carter, William the Conqueror, Peter Bruntnell, Danni Nicholls, Lewis & Leigh and Ethan Johns, and a particularly good performance from International Album of the Year Award winner Sam Outlaw. To mark the first anniversary of the launch of the Official Americana Albums Chart,  Jools Holland joined Martin Talbot, CEO of the Official Charts Company, in presenting Van Morrison with the award for Best Selling UK  Americana Album of 2016 for his album “Keep Me Singing,” which spent ten weeks at number one on the chart.  Continue reading “Second UK Americana Awards – here’s the list of winners”

Nadine Khouri “The Salted Air” (One Flash Records 2017)

With a list of influences that are as broad as they are intriguing, the debut by Nadine Khouri, promises a great deal: interesting Lebanese heritage, production by John Parish (the chap that made PJ Harvey, messed with Giant Sand and confused Sparklehorse), all recorded in a dimly-lit Georgian vaulted basement in Bristol, and rendered with the help of Adrian Crowley, Parish and Emma Smith (of James Yorkston’s band)… the record doesn’t exactly scream ‘Americana’ from the rooftops, but I guess you should never judge a book by its cover (or a CD by it’s press release?). Continue reading “Nadine Khouri “The Salted Air” (One Flash Records 2017)”

Frontier Ruckus “Enter The Kingdom” (Loose, 2017)

Frontier Ruckus are a band that I should love: they have all the ingredients to draw me in with an agreeable blend of Americana stylings with lively dashes of power pop, literate lyrics and fine melodies. What’s not to love? The lyrics, no not even that, the subject and the settings are fine. It’s the formal structures, the rhyming schema, too clever by half buried rhymes, or laboured trowelled on poetry, the kind that says I’ve paid for my education and I’m going to use it. It irks me because they are so close to something really wonderful. Gerunds is melancholic with a swooning squadron of strings – sure the vocals are a little underpowered but that doesn’t bother me, just the highlighted lyrical flourishes that grate. Continue reading “Frontier Ruckus “Enter The Kingdom” (Loose, 2017)”