Antenna Man “Elaine Jr” (Independent, 2016)

Modest indie-rock with a speckling of Americana used to be a staple of the records that we reviewed, but lately there’s been a recalibration towards authenticity, the kind that comes from beards it seems. Well Antenna Man are a welcome throwback to the days of Birddog or Earlimart, a lo-fi sound augmented with fills of piano that are like echoes of the honky-tonk and pedal steel that flickers through the songs like sunlight reflected off a CD. They use Country Music signifiers with affection and respect and with fun, so songs like I’m Your Man bounce and crackle with bonhomie. Continue reading “Antenna Man “Elaine Jr” (Independent, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: Beth Bombara

Beth Bombara has built her career on an evolving sound that blurs the lines between genres. To those who make their living onstage, she’s a musician’s musician — a road warrior who writes her own exemplary material, plays multiple instruments, and fronts her own band, often a duo with her husband.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years? I’ve called St. Louis my home for the past 10 years. You may have heard about Ferguson, which is just 24 km from my house. Growing up in the Midwestern US, moving from Michigan (where I grew up) to Missouri exposed me to many different types of music from Detroit Rock to Ozark folk & the American roots music in between. Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and even St. Louis blues music were things I absorbed from moving throughout the Midwest. Ever since I was old enough to drive, I’ve been loading up the car and hitting the road with other bands. I’ve played with at least 8 bands over the years, but in the past few years put more focus on writing and performing my own songs. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Beth Bombara”

More names added to Maverick 2017 line-up

Arguably the UK’s most americana-y festival Maverick has added some more artists to its tenth anniversary line-up.  Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve, will be joining proceedings, alongside Juno Award winning East Coast songwriter Amelia Curran, and Canadian roots rocker Terra Lightfoot. Also added to the line-up are lively New Orleans jazz street music from The Roamin’ Jasmine, old-time bluegrass from Hot Rock Pilgrims, and UK Americana favourites Case Hardin. Continue reading “More names added to Maverick 2017 line-up”

John Smith announces new album, kicks off UK tour – Listen

Guitarist and singer-songwriter John Smith has announced the release of his new album “Headlong” which is due out May 19th through BARP Records. Produced by Sam Lakeman, mixed by Ruadhri Cushnan and featuring Cara Dillon on BVs, Headlong – dedicated to the memory of John Renbourn – is the follow up to Great Lakes, John’s well received and Radio 2-supported release of 2013. Smith is trailing the announcement with the first new track to emerge from Headlong, Far Too Good – streaming below. A 24-date UK & European tour began yesterday (sorry Brighton).  Speaking about the new single Smith says; “This is one of my favourites from the new batch, I’ve opened all my live shows with this lately. It’s one of those songs that wrote itself, a rare occurrence – I’d just got off the phone with a friend who was having a hard time, so this one is for him”. Continue reading “John Smith announces new album, kicks off UK tour – Listen”

Dirty Dozen: Levi Cuss

The raw honesty typical in Levi Cuss’ roots/blues music speaks to a life of redemption; from troubles with the law, addiction, incredible sadness and loss, to love, strength and perseverance. After the release of his debut album, “It’s War” in 2013, Cuss has been touring throughout Western Canada and has had the privilege to attend two artist residencies at Banff Centre where his exposure to talented musicians from various genres have helped Cuss hone his craft. Upon completion of his first residency, Cuss headed south to Nashville Tennessee to record his second album, “Night Thief”, which quickly garnered attention in the roots/blue scene. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Levi Cuss”

Coco Hames “Coco Hames” (Merge, 2017)

When a new name passes in front of us, we like to be able to say, oh yes she’s that kind of performer. Listening to this first record from Coco Hames I’m left with a good feeling and no real idea where her future lies. She certainly showcases a broad range of styles across these ten songs; the closest thing I can think of is Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s She & Him project, where they explored across the genres and the decades. Hames starts with When You Said Goodbye, something that resembles both sixties pop in the vein of Hermanns Hermits and also wonderfully the Go-Betweens – the plangent guitars are a dead-ringer for Robert Forster – then she moves onto to classic girl-group territory with I Do Love You before wonderfully diverting into pop-punk with the Ramonesy I Don’t Wanna Go. Continue reading “Coco Hames “Coco Hames” (Merge, 2017)”

The Waterboys announce UK dates for autumn 2017

Mike Scott’s Scottish folk legends (and we don’t use that word lightly) The Waterboys have signed to BMG Records and will release a brand-new studio album later in the year. Further details will be announced soon, but in the meantime the band have announced a series of dates for October across the UK (plus one date in Ireland).  Presale tickets are available from today (head to their website for more information), while they go on general sale tomorrow.  And if you cannae wait then you can catch them on various tour dates over the summer including Beautiful Days (although you would have to endure Frank Turner in doing so).  Here are the dates, along with their entire performance from Glasto 2015.  Continue reading “The Waterboys announce UK dates for autumn 2017”

Hiss Golden Messenger to release series of live recordings

We’re big fans of HGM here at AUK so this is a nice little treat to see the month out. Paste report: “Taking a cue from the Grateful Dead’s legendary Dick’s Picks series, Hiss Golden Messenger are launching their own collection of live recordings. Affectionately dubbed “Parker’s Picks” after Warren Parker who joined the band on their fall tour of the U.S. to record the shows, the series kicked off today with the release of the band’s performance at The Parish in Austin on Oct. 18.  Continue reading “Hiss Golden Messenger to release series of live recordings”