Micah P Hinson, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 29th September 2017

Micah P Hinson is a bundle of contradictions – on the one hand he’s a slightly agitated and nervy stage presence, but he also happily makes if not on-stage rants then at least tirades. He’s stick thin and has a youthful demeanour which belies his thirty seven years, and  – even though one knows this in advance – still quite surprisingly from this slight frame he sings in a deep baritone. And the songs: carefully constructed yet performed solo in an almost deconstructed way. Continue reading “Micah P Hinson, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 29th September 2017”

The Penny Black Remedy “Maintaining Dignity In Awkward Situations” (Mondo Del Mundo, 2017)

This third album from the London based “folk, punk, ska and country” specialists, The Penny Black Remedy (TPBR from now on) dials down the feel good dance factor that has characterised their live shows and which featured on their two previous albums. Maintaining Dignity In Awkward Situations (MDIAS from now on although it’s doubtful I’ll have recourse to mentioning the title again) instead hones in on the vocal partnership of Keith M Thomson and Marijana Hajdarhodzic with some of the album reminding one of The Handsome Family or, more particularly, the much missed Blanche. Continue reading “The Penny Black Remedy “Maintaining Dignity In Awkward Situations” (Mondo Del Mundo, 2017)”

Jon Boden, Cecil Sharp House, London, 3rd October 2017

October was kind to us – although Cecil Sharp House has many performance sized rooms this particular gig was pitched in the garden space. With the wall and trees of the garden as a fairy-light lit backdrop in the fading Autumn light, and with a bonfire lit in a large oil-drum brazier, the scene had been set for an intimate micro-gig, with just forty or so attendees. Jon Boden accompanied himself on guitar and concertina, backed up by a string trio of Violin, Cello and Viola (Kiki Chen, Lucy Revis, Helen Bell). Without microphones the sound was augmented solely with the crack and spits from the fire as well as the rising and falling background street noise. Continue reading “Jon Boden, Cecil Sharp House, London, 3rd October 2017”

Jesse Dayton to tour first UK release in a decade

Jesse Dayton it’s fair to say is a Texan guitar legend who’s previously recorded with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings and he’s just about to release his first UK album in 10 years which we recently described as “a superb album which really does have something for everyone both lyrically and sonically”.  Dayton played the lead parts alongside his personal hero Glen Campbell, right after Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and he’s just finished performing aboard the “The Outlaw Country Cruise” with Lucinda Williams, The Mavericks and Steve Earle.  If that isn’t all enough to convince you then catch him on his UK tour later this month – dates and a slightly wobbly video of him playing are below. Continue reading “Jesse Dayton to tour first UK release in a decade”

Days Are Done “Closer” (Independent, 2017)

The debut EP from London-based Days Are Done, aka Emmy Kay and Adam Lewis, is as with most EPs a showcase for the range of their music. It will probably be classed as folk-rock by those that don’t know any better but in reality it’s slightly dreamy and intense indie-folk. Things kick off with On My Mind, an intense and powerful song with some fine violin playing and emotive vocals from the pair. The following Never Let You Go is upbeat and faster though the subject matter – the undying love of the narrator – is no less emotive and Lewis’s vocals in particular capture that perfectly. Continue reading “Days Are Done “Closer” (Independent, 2017)”

Track premiere: Amelia White “Rhythm of the Rain”

This is a nice way to start a wet Monday morning. Amelia White’s new album “Rhythm of the Rain” which we recently described as “East Nashville’s finest at the top of her game” is out in the UK on October 27th and she’s shared with us the title track from that record, telling AUK: “This song came to me in my month-long tour of the UK in July of 2016. I was based in a small attic room of a promoter and friend. By day I listened to the news from the U.S. via the BBC – the great divide in our country, the racial tensions, and the salacious ramp up to the election were all quite disturbing – playing music always turned the pain into something good, and crawling up into that room late at night and falling asleep to the peaceful sound of the rain on the skylight was a tonic to me.” Had Amelia known the way the rest of the year was going to work out she might have needed a gin with that tonic.

Johnny Cash’s Unearthed will be released as a huge vinyl boxset

And some final news from Pitchfork before you break up for the weekend.  Have a good one dear readers. They report: “Johnny Cash’s 2003 box set Unearthed, a posthumous collection of previously unreleased recordings with Rick Rubin, will receive its first vinyl release this fall, as Rolling Stone points out. The lavish new set—which includes guest appearances from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Nick Cave, Fiona Apple, Joe Strummer, and more—will span nine LPs. Continue reading “Johnny Cash’s Unearthed will be released as a huge vinyl boxset”

Pick Of The Political Pops – Merle Haggard “Oke From Muskogee”

From down here in the AUK Bunker it often seems as if the Left (like the devil?) has all the best tunes. We have identified this as a decent little ditty from a small ‘c’ conservative direction, however. There are a number of ‘ironic’ covers of this tune but the original has the ability to make us smile and we particularly like the line “And white lightning’s still the biggest thrill of all” proving that even in deep redneck country they understand the power of two litres of cheap cider…