John Paul White + Ciaran Lavery, Islington Assembly Hall, London, 5th September 2019

Appropriately enough, ‘Ol’ 55′ was playing on the intro’ tape as John Paul White prepared to take the the stage at a near- full Islington Assembly Hall, unusually set in an all seated configuration. ‘The Hurting Kind‘, the new album by White, is very much in the same frame as the Tom Waits classic -big … Continue reading “John Paul White + Ciaran Lavery, Islington Assembly Hall, London, 5th September 2019”

Studio Life – Peter Donegan

Peter Donegan grew up with music. Surrounded by songs and the legacy of his father, Lonnie Donegan, music was always part of his life and it’s no surprise that he grew up playing guitar and piano and with a natural flair for singing. Lonnie Donegan transformed the British music industry when he led the skiffle … Continue reading “Studio Life – Peter Donegan”

Pick of the political pops: Leon Rosselson “World Turned Upside Down”

In April 1649 about 20 men assembled at St. George’s Hill, Surrey, and began to cultivate the common land. These Diggers held that the English Civil Wars had been fought against the king and the great landowners; now that Charles I had been executed, land should be made available for the very poor to cultivate. … Continue reading “Pick of the political pops: Leon Rosselson “World Turned Upside Down””

Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary, Cadogan Hall, London, 13th July 2019

There’s no real reason why in the mid-1950s a form of music already more or less forgotten in its homeland should have got a revival in the UK. Yet the short-lived Skiffle craze – a wild blend of Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, country blues and folk – has a lot to answer for: out went … Continue reading “Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary, Cadogan Hall, London, 13th July 2019”

Review: Black Deer Festival 2019, Eridge Park, Sussex

Update: Apologies for getting the county wrong originally. That’s Northerners writing reviews on Southern events for you. It’s difficult to be interested in americana in 2019 and not feel in some way political – even with a small p. Black Deer, an americana and country festival held in the stunning setting of Eridge Park in … Continue reading “Review: Black Deer Festival 2019, Eridge Park, Sussex”

Preview: Black Deer Festival 2019

The Black Deer Festival is a passionate celebration of both the music and the culture of country and Americana. Set in the beautiful countryside of Eridge Park in Kent, The Deer Park transports festival-goers to a world away from the everyday, in which a joyful, community atmosphere permeates every aspect of the experience. Across various … Continue reading “Preview: Black Deer Festival 2019”

“The very soul of folk’s working class ideals” – Roy Bailey dies

We’re an americana site obviously but we do cover a fair bit of the best kind of folk too, and so it’s with sadness we learned of the passing of Roy Bailey who died yesterday. My own (rather late) introduction to him was seeing his superb ‘Writing on the Wall’ performances with Tony Benn who … Continue reading ““The very soul of folk’s working class ideals” – Roy Bailey dies”

Interview: BJ Barham of American Aquarium

BJ Barham is over in the UK for a short tour, with his band American Aquarium, showcasing tunes from his latest and greatest album, ‘Things Change.’ Mark Underwood of AUK sat down to talk to him before their Borderline show in London earlier this month, where they discussed – among other things – his experiences … Continue reading “Interview: BJ Barham of American Aquarium”

Frank Turner “Be More Kind” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2018)

A lot of people think of Frank Turner as ‘the new Billy Bragg’. The thing the Hampshire-born songwriter mostly has in common with the aforementioned ‘Bard of Barking’ is that his idiosyncratic style marks him out as a musical Marmite: you either love him or hate him. There’s no middle ground with Turner, it seems. ‘Be More Kind’, … Continue reading “Frank Turner “Be More Kind” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2018)”

Bread and Roses musical features songs of Joe Hill

A new musical is coming to Oldham, not that we generally run stories on musicals here at AUK, but this one is worth a mention, featuring as it does the songs of Joe Hill, more on him in a moment. ‘Bread & Roses’ is a new play by writer Ian Kershaw, based on the real-life story … Continue reading “Bread and Roses musical features songs of Joe Hill”