Ryan Adams “Won’t Cover Album Again”

ryan-adamsSo bad luck on that version of the Babylon Zoo debut.  Pitchfork reports: “In September 2015, Ryan Adams released 1989, an album in which he covered every song from Taylor Swift’s Grammy-winning 2014 blockbuster. Taylor herself was thrilled by the idea, and surrounding the album’s release, the two artists discussed their mutual admiration in joint interviews. Now it seems as though Ryan does not look fondly upon the release. Today on Twitter, he responded to a fan suggesting a new album he could cover (it was Oasis’ Be Here Now): “Thanks but not gonna cover an album again.” He continued, suggesting that 1989’s polarized reception had given him a new outlook on releasing these types of projects. “1000 jabs later, what we made for fun has been made to be something else,” he wrote. “Learning to share less.”  Continue reading “Ryan Adams “Won’t Cover Album Again””

Dirty Dozen: Tommy Hale

Tommy Hale, 2016Recorded in Wiltshire, England, with his friends from acclaimed alt-country outfits The Snakes and The Redlands Palomino Company,  Tommy’s third record as a solo artist – draws on a wealth of musical styles, from gospel-tinged soul and country duetting to delicate pop balladry and driving rock ’n’ roll, while at its centre sits its author’s unmistakable voice a multi-faceted solo performer and respected face on the Dallas music scene. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Tommy Hale”

Americana Outsells Country in the US for First Time

“If you can taste the dirt through your ears, that’s Americana.” Slightly late to the party with this one, and you can read some further analysis here courtesy of the Houston Press, but Billboard reported last week: “On the Billboard charts dated Oct. 22, four full-length releases that qualify for the Americana/Folk Albums chart — BonIver’s 22, A Million, Bob Weir’s Blue Mountain, Van Morrison’s Keep Me Singing and Drive-By Truckers’ American Band — landed among the top 10 highest-selling albums overall (in the tracking week ending Oct. 6, according to Nielsen Music). That’s an outsize performance for Americana, and represents more in sales than any other genre outside of rock (for which all four also qualify) among the top 10. In other words, Americana albums outsold R&B/hip-hop, dance and, most notably, country among the Top Album Sales chart’s top 10. It’s the first time the genre has bested country sales among weekly top 10-sellers since Billboard rebranded the Folk Albums chart as Americana/Folk Albums beginning with the chart dated June 4.  Continue reading “Americana Outsells Country in the US for First Time”

Loudon Wainwright III Announces “Surviving Twin” Dates

If you’ve caught him on his current UK tour (or indeed the Andrew Marr Show yesterday) you’ll know that “Surviving Twin” is a posthumous collaboration in which Grammy Award winner Loudon Wainwright III connects some of his best songs with the writing of his late father Loudon Wainwright Jr, the long-standing LIFE Magazine columnist. The performance, never previously put on in the UK, is pitched as “a game of creative catch between son and father, exploring issues like birth, loss, parenthood, fashion, pet ownership, and mortality.”  Continue reading “Loudon Wainwright III Announces “Surviving Twin” Dates”

Albert Af Ekenstam “Ashes” (Kning Disk, 2016)

"Ekenstam-Albert-2016"Ashes is the debut album from Albert Af Ekenstam, a Swede who seems to have been in various bands prior to this including “post rock” instrumental band Tempel and who cites as influences Bon Iver and Mogwai. One can see the influence of both here, haunting soundscapes as heard on soundtracks such Les Revenants are evident on the two instrumental tracks while Iver’s early hushed rusticana breathes on (almost literally) several of the songs. Continue reading “Albert Af Ekenstam “Ashes” (Kning Disk, 2016)”

Video: Crooked Brothers “Windsor Beer”

Some fine down and dirty stuff here from the Crooked Brothers, on tour in the UK next month as below:

Thurs Nov 3: Green Note, Camden , London
Fri 4: Sun 6: The Canteen, Bristol
Sat 5: Square and Compass, Worth Matravers,
Mon 7: Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Tues 8: Performing Arts Centre, Kilbarchan
Thurs 10: Acoustic Music Club, Kirkcaldy
Fri 11: Glenbuchat Hall, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire
Sat 12: Birnam Arts Centre, Dunkeld
Sun 13: Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Dirty Dozen: Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef

Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef, Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef enjoy a musical partnership that stretches back over 20 years. Equally at home in theatres, clubs, at house concerts or on large festival stages, the duo manage to create the intimate, jovial atmosphere of a front porch picking session wherever they go. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef”

Robert Pollard Announces Yet Another Record

If you’re one of those people who slavishly follow Robert Pollard (GBV, Boston Spaceships and a host of others) you’ll be heartened by this news and if you’re one of those people who pick up the odd release when he churns out something close to classic, then you’ll also be pleased by this news because, the new one is a cracker. There’s a whole host of nuggets squirrelled away in Pollard’s back catalogue which are easily overlooked due to his productivity. Earlier this year I binged and I got hold of Cosmos, a collaboration with Eric Matthews (from the Moles) and Mars Classroom with Gary Waleik from Big Dipper. There both as great as they could be and the latter in particular has some songs that make my life less dull. Continue reading “Robert Pollard Announces Yet Another Record”

Northcote and Jon Snodgrass Hit the UK for Dates – November

Canadian Northcote (Matt Goud), who we’re big fans of here at AUK, and Colorado songwriter Jon Snodgrass (from self-described “country and mid-Western” band Drag the River) are joining forces for a whistle stop four-date tour of the UK in Bristol, Southampton, Manchester and London next month. Northcote will return to the UK for the first time since September last year, having invested over a year of touring in support of latest album Hope Is Made of Steel, building his solid fanbase with gospel-tinged, soulful songs – and Jon Snodgrass’ CV, which includes collaborations with Descendents, Cory Branan, Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Tim McIllirath (Rise Against), Vinnie Fiorella (Less Than Jake) is equally as impressive.  What could go wrong?

Continue reading “Northcote and Jon Snodgrass Hit the UK for Dates – November”