Lisa Bastoni ”The Wishing Hour” (Independent, 2017)

lisa-bastoni-2017Lisa Bastoni has been around a while, performing with acclaimed artists such as Little Big Town, Lori McKenna and Regina Spektor. After taking an extended break to have a family, she is back with this amazing record, due to be released early in 2017. With every song penned by her, and a few co-writes, this is a record with the Bastoni stamp all over it, and with much of the recordings being done at home as well as in studios in Nashville and New York, there is a very intimate feel to this record, helped by the excellent production by Felix McTeigue. Continue reading “Lisa Bastoni ”The Wishing Hour” (Independent, 2017)”

David Simard “The Heavy Wait” (Independent, 2016)

david-simard-2016The second full length alum by Vancouverian David Simard is a dark toned thing.  Mordant meditations on love to a funereal accompaniment are the grist that fills David Simard’s mill. So much so that when he deviates from the template – as he does whilst rapping BP on the knuckles for their polluting ways in his native Canada on Good Clean Water – it’s something of a jarring shock that he can be so jovial. For the rest of the album he adopts a sombre and serious facade – with a deep baritone pouring the words out like a treacle river falling over a grit stone waterfall. Continue reading “David Simard “The Heavy Wait” (Independent, 2016)”

Old 97’s record duet with Brandi Carlile – Listen

old-97sNews from Rolling Stone Country this morning and a good excuse to put a picture of Rhett Miller up: “”I’m good with God. I wonder how she feels about me?” So ends the chorus of the Old 97’s’ “Good With God,” the lead single from the band’s 11th album, Graveyard Whistling. Due February 24th, the album offers up another boozy blast of Texas twang, train-beat percussion and guitar grit from Rhett Miller and company, who recorded its 11 songs in the same border-town studio that spawned the group’s major-label debut, Too Far to Care, two decades earlier.  Continue reading “Old 97’s record duet with Brandi Carlile – Listen”

Derek Senn “Avuncular” (Independent, 2016)

Derek-Senn-2016“Avuncular” is one of those words that you didn’t know you needed until you learned what they meant, and then you’re just itching to use it, waiting for the right opportunity to drop it into a conversation. Derek Senn didn’t have to wait too long on his latest album of that title, introducing the figure of uncle Mike in the very first line of the very first song. It tells the story of an American coming of age that feels personal and universal at the same time. Continue reading “Derek Senn “Avuncular” (Independent, 2016)”

2016 : we’re lost in music – caught in a trap.

graham-nash-2016You could point at almost any year this century and it would be a vintage year for music – there’s so much out there that, once one has struggled through the ever expanding amount that is mediocre or just straight dross there’s always a fine collection of musical gems to pluck out and hold high overhead to amaze and dazzle. And this last year has been no exception to this rule. It’s impossible to listen to everything – even if one casts one’s net no further than just the content covered by Americana-UK – so this short summary is very much a personal view: it’s certainly not the official Americana-UK statement on what was good and what was not good in 2016. Continue reading “2016 : we’re lost in music – caught in a trap.”

Red Moon Road “Sorrows and Glories” (Independent 2016)

red-moon-roadRed Moon Road are a Winnipeg based three piece, two guys, one girl, with a wide range of styles. “Sorrows and Glories” appears to be their third CD release and a very worthy and quality piece of work it is. All songs are written by the trio either in tandem or on their own and they cover a refreshing range of style and subject matter. The album opener “Beauty In These Broken Bones” is a spiritual piece full of power in the mould of “Po Lazarus” from the Oh Brother soundtrack with a rousing choir backing. Continue reading “Red Moon Road “Sorrows and Glories” (Independent 2016)”

Sturgill Simpson and Avett Brothers nominated for Grammys

sturgill-simpsonRolling Stone Country reports: “Maren Morris, Sturgill Simpson and Kelsea Ballerini each scored an all-genre nomination when the categories for the 59th Grammy Awards were revealed this morning. Simpson’s latest record A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is nominated in Album of the Year, opposite efforts from Beyoncé, Drake, Justin Bieber and Adele, while Morris and Ballerini represent country music in the Best New Artist category. They’ll compete against the Chainsmokers, Chance the Rapper and Anderson Paak.  Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson and Avett Brothers nominated for Grammys”

Silas Lowe ‘’Wandering Father, Forgotten Son’’ (Independent, 2016)

silas-lowe-2016Written as an ode to an absent father, ‘’Wandering Father, Forgotten Son’’ is an album of many textures, with the stylistic differences between Roy Michaels, the father, and Silas himself being mixed throughout the record, as well as the conflict between the missing father, and the man who is mourned following his recent death. What comes from this emotional turbulence is a very raw and gutsy album, leaning as much into Appalachian folk as it does Texan dance-hall and Americana. Continue reading “Silas Lowe ‘’Wandering Father, Forgotten Son’’ (Independent, 2016)”