Josh Ritter “Thunderbolt’s Goodnight” – Listen

Paste are carrying the new single by Josh Ritter today, the second track to be released from his new album “Showboat” which is out on September 22nd. He told them: “Ever notice how on postcards you can’t tell if the sun is coming up or going down? This was in my head for several years as I rolled the idea around, tried to make it fit and then gave up… Finally, one day, between walking the dog and putting the kid to bed, I sat down and played a few chords at random and the idea rose to the surface like a hungry fish. The song itself took about ten minutes to write—proof that most of the time even when I’m feeling lazy and useless, there’s a song going round and round in the back of my mind, forming and waiting for its chance to hit the stage.”

Hard Working Americans “We’re All In This Together” (Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers 2017)

Hard Working Americans are what might be called a “supergroup” in some circles, with members being drawn from Widespread Panic and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. The band’s musical credentials are impressive and they have a good sound, based fairly firmly in the southern rock genre. Formed in 2013 they’ve put out three albums prior to this new release without ever really making much impact outside the U.S. and it’s hard to see this latest release being the one to change that. “We’re All in This Together” is a live album (as was 2014’s The First Waltz) and it’s really one for the established fan. Continue reading “Hard Working Americans “We’re All In This Together” (Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers 2017)”

Nicole Atkins “A Little Crazy” – Listen

Nicole Atkins has had some turbulent times in recent years, but more recently found herself in a better place and able to record a new album – the rather excellent Goodnight Rhonda Lee. One old friend who encouraged her was Chris Isaak, who in the midst of all her soul-searching and soul-baring suggested that she write songs that emphasised the one trait that most sets her apart from the mere mortals of the industry, telling her, “Atkins, you have a very special thing in your voice that a lot of people can’t or don’t do. You need to stop shying away from that thing and let people hear it.” He was right – and the result was the instant classic A Little Crazy.

Seth Lakeman re-releases album with bonus tracks

Seth Lakeman will re-release his album ‘Ballads of the Broken Few’ (pictured left) with five added bonus tracks on September 15th via Cooking Vinyl. Recorded during the original album sessions, with producer Ethan Johns, the previously unreleased bonus tracks are: Gambling Man, Everything, Days Are Longer, Wake Up and Bury Me Deep. Everything, featuring Wildwood Kin – sisters Emillie and Beth Key and their cousin Meghann Loney, who were a part of the album recordings – will be Seth’s new single, out on September 22. This coincides with his performance at BBC Radio 2 Festival In A Day at Hyde Park on September 10.  In the meantime, listen to his track “Morning Song” below (not off the last album) because, er, it’s the morning. Continue reading “Seth Lakeman re-releases album with bonus tracks”

Listen to John Prine’s rare live album from 1978

Not here sorry, over at RS Country. To embed or not to embed, that’s the question. They report: “John Prine was cleaning his basement when he stumbled upon an old concert recording. But it wasn’t just any concert recording: It was Prine, in his late Seventies prime, playing full-on rock & roll with an electric band. Now the show, a rarity in the Grammy winner’s catalog, is getting wider release this week: September ’78 will be issued digitally for the first time on August 25th. Continue reading “Listen to John Prine’s rare live album from 1978”

Mark Olson “Spokeswoman of The Bright Sun” (Glitterhouse Records, 2017)

If the marvellously vague and broad church that is Americana incorporates a wealth of musical genres then the latest offering by the critically acclaimed songwriter and ex Jayhawk Mark Olson undoubtedly has its roots firmly in the world of American folk. Spokeswoman of The Bright Sun was recorded in the summer of 2016 at the Joshua Tree home of Mark Olson and his wife and musical partner Ingunn Ringvold and it is that desert environment that has provided the driving narrative behind this new album. Continue reading “Mark Olson “Spokeswoman of The Bright Sun” (Glitterhouse Records, 2017)”

RS: “Country music stars are reluctant to speak up about Charlottesville”

There’s a great piece in RS Country at the moment about mainstream country music’s deafening silence since the events in Charlottesville a couple of weeks back which has echoes of a piece they wrote earlier in the year about its silence on Trump. Winona Dimeo-Ediger writes: “On August 12th, a group of white nationalists carrying torches marched in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting, “Jews will not replace us” and “white lives matter.” Continue reading “RS: “Country music stars are reluctant to speak up about Charlottesville””

Mid-Sussex americana beer festival this weekend

If there are two things that go well together in life, it’s listening to americana and drinking copious amounts of alcohol to drown your americana-related sorrows in, and you can do both at the same time this weekend if you live in or around the south coast where the first Mid Sussex Americana & Ale Festival on 26th August from Midday until Midnight at The Hassocks Hotel.  The lineup includes Danny & the Champs, Robert Vincent (playing a full band set), StevieRay Latham and other americana-y acts, and early bird tickets are just £15 which you can buy here. In the meantime, here’s Danny and his champs with a track from their latest record. Continue reading “Mid-Sussex americana beer festival this weekend”

The Last Dinosaur “The Nothing” (Naim Records, 2017)

“The Nothing” is the long-awaited follow-up to The Last Dinosaurs’ debut album and it is evident from the outset that, that time has been well spent. The record opens with the short, gentle acoustic track Atoms accompanied solely by the whispered vocals of the front man and brainchild, Jamie Cameron, and a beautiful string arrangement to add some depth to an otherwise sparse track. The opener is a good indication of the overall sound of the record in terms of the musicianship and the themes explored throughout and second track Grow takes that formula and builds on it adding drums and another whispered vocal. Continue reading “The Last Dinosaur “The Nothing” (Naim Records, 2017)”