Findlay Napier + Boo Hewerdine + Eddi Reader, @Celtic Connections, The Mackintosh Church, Glasgow, 20th January 2018

It’s fitting really that the first Celtic Connections show Americana UK attends this year is a celebration of Glasgow. Glasgow of course is home to Celtic Connections which, in its 25th year, has put the city firmly on the musical map with over 300 shows in 20 venues spread over three weeks. Tonight it’s Findlay Napier presenting his latest album, Glasgow, a celebration of his 20 years of living and working in the city and the venue is a listed church built by the renowned architect, Charles Rennie MacIntosh. Continue reading “Findlay Napier + Boo Hewerdine + Eddi Reader, @Celtic Connections, The Mackintosh Church, Glasgow, 20th January 2018”

Beth Nielsen Chapman “Hearts Of Glass” (Proper Records, 2018)

Singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is one of those naturals when it comes to singing. She makes it seem effortless to perform finely written pieces, and the fact she writes some extremely good songs does her no harm when it comes to finding suitable material. For her new album BNC has handed the producer role to Sam Ashworth. Son of noted producer Charlie Peacock, the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter fits the bill perfectly. It allows Chapman to concentrate on her vocals, and with most tracks entirely her own work (the only co-write Come To Mine was written with Graham Gouldman and Kevin Montgomery at Chris Difford’s Songwriting Retreat in Somerset) the record is a truly cohesive album. Continue reading “Beth Nielsen Chapman “Hearts Of Glass” (Proper Records, 2018)”

Van Life – Justin Osborne (SUSTO)

East Carolina’s SUSTO have been making giant strides these last couple of years, generating huge acclaim for their live shows and acquiring a number of big-time fans including Band Of Horses’ Ben Bridwell. “I got an e-mail from him, telling me he loved the record and wanted to meet with me and Johnny. That was actually the day I wrote my professor and said, ‘I’m not coming in,’” recalls lead singer and songwriter, Justin Osborne.  Americana-UK fires the questions as he packs the cases and gets those all-important tunes ready for the trip, their ever first UK dates on the back of & I’m Fine Today, their new album.  Continue reading “Van Life – Justin Osborne (SUSTO)”

Almond&Olive “Standing at the Precipice” – Listen

Almond&Olive are a kick-ass duo comprised of singer-songwriters Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson who create inspiring songs that span folk and Americana. The music on their recently released debut album, Standing at the Precipice, features Alms mostly on banjo and Davidson mostly on acoustic guitar, and both on take no prisoners attitude.  Almond&Olive are truly the new band you must hear.

Anti records to re-release Tom Waits’ entire 1970s Elektra Asylum catalogue

Tom Waits’ first seven albums, originally released through Elektra Asylum Records in the 1970’s, have been re-mastered and will be re-released via Anti-Records. All titles, many of which have been long out of print, will be re-issued on hi-quality 180 gram vinyl throughout 2018. CD versions will be available on 23 March with the first record, Waits’ debut album “Closing Time” available on 180 gram vinyl, digital platforms and streaming services from 9th March.  The record foreshadows the distinctly lyrical storytelling and original blending of jazz, blues and folk styles that would come to be associated with Waits.  You can order it in its various formats here, or you can listen to the whole thing below. Nice blue lamp Tom! Continue reading “Anti records to re-release Tom Waits’ entire 1970s Elektra Asylum catalogue”

David Ramirez, St Pancras Old Church, London, 12th January 2018

“I may as well get in his good graces before I start getting blasphemous”, says David Ramirez as he pauses to reflect on the intimate surroundings of St Pancras Old Church towards the beginning of his set tonight. Ramirez is playing completely solo on his current tour although he pauses to reflect at one point on how playing with the compatriots in his regular band has meant his music is tending to evolve in a more rock ‘n’ roll direction. As for the evening, the environment is perfectly suited to his more intimately personal style of song writing, with Ramirez on acoustic guitar throughout. Continue reading “David Ramirez, St Pancras Old Church, London, 12th January 2018”

Buffy Sainte Marie “Medicine Songs” (True North Records 2017)

With an identity and profile assured of a life beyond the vagaries of the next release, Buffy Sainte Marie continues to strengthen her over 50-year reputation as a fearless songwriter who challenges prejudice and injustice at every turn. ‘Medicine Songs’ reinforces this image as it contains not only new songs but reworkings of her classics that quietly display the length and strength of her career. And it ain’t over yet as evidenced by her 2016 Polaris prize-winning album ‘Power in the Blood’. Continue reading “Buffy Sainte Marie “Medicine Songs” (True North Records 2017)”

Kashena Sampson “Away from Here” – Listen

Taken from her album Wild Heart, Kashena Sampson is the archetypal late starter who it is hard to believe has been previously overlooked.  No more – Rolling Stone have given her a nod as someone in the Ronstadt/Nicks class.  Hard to argue with that.  Kashena Sampson will be participating in the Americana Music Association UK’s evening “festival” on the 31st January in the heart of Hackney.