Tom Baxendale “In The City A Short Time Ago” (Backwater Collective, 2016)

Aunknownnother slice of new American Americana drifts into town on the back of half written melodies and unsympathetic production that buries the vocals behind a sheen of dulled instrumentation. Surprising really as Tom Baxendale has self produced this ‘not brilliant’ advert for his songsmithery. There are snatches of decent ideas and some lovely guitar passages but the overall feeling is of a smidgen of self indulgence overriding a sense of quality control.  Continue reading “Tom Baxendale “In The City A Short Time Ago” (Backwater Collective, 2016)”

Pele to Release 25th Anniversary Edition of “Fireworks”

The “silver” version if you will.  2017 will be 25 years since Ian Prowse’s first ever album with his Liverpool based band Pele, one of the pioneers of the “folk rock” genre of the time, a well received debut album which gained Prowse’s songwriting its first ever set of fans when the band toured the UK constantly in the early 90’s. Fireworks was released on Polydor/M&G and produced four singles, three of which were playlisted on BBC Radio.  To celebrate the anniversary the album will be re-issued & re-mastered with a souvenir booklet and free extras CD.  Continue reading “Pele to Release 25th Anniversary Edition of “Fireworks””

Chip Taylor: Glasgow Americana Festival The Classic Grand – 7th October 2016

You know you’re in the presence of greatness when the artist onstage is recounting his recent meetings with Tom Petty and Elvis Costello and you just know that they were in awe of the artist as opposed to the other way around. But then not everyone is Chip Taylor, a man whose story is so entwined with the history of rock music that they’re virtually inseparable. Of course he’s the man who famously penned Wild Thing and Angel Of The Morning, really just the tips of his musical iceberg. Able to draw together county, pop, rock and rythym’n’blues he penned hits for a host of names in the sixties before releasing his own prototype of outlaw country on several seventies albums. In the eighties he turned his hand to professional gambling and apparently excelled at this, reputedly banned from every casino in Atlantic City as they couldn’t keep up with his winnings. The late nineties saw him return to music with his own solo albums abetted by several acclaimed collaborations with Texan violinist Carrie Rodriguez. On his albums Taylor comes across as a sage, the songs ruminations on life and in particular, the absurdities and injustices that life throws up enveloped by his dry wit, comforting voice and occasional scabrous lyric. Continue reading “Chip Taylor: Glasgow Americana Festival The Classic Grand – 7th October 2016”

Ben Glover “The Emigrant” (Proper Records, 2016)

ben-gloverGlover was born and raised in Ireland and is domiciled in the US. He uses these experiences to power the sense of belonging or not, the rootlessness, the mixture of feelings that surround the transplanted. He does this via six traditional and four original songs, again posing another type of schism, the two sets of halves reconciled in mid-Atlantic. The songs are trying to balance the traditions of Irish folk music with the idioms of Nashville Country. ‘Heart in My Hand’ written with Mary Gauthier uses the reeling fiddle to give it that wind-blown Irish sheen, whereas at the heart of the song beats Nashville. Continue reading “Ben Glover “The Emigrant” (Proper Records, 2016)”

Reverieme “Straw Woman” (Absolute, 2016)

reveriemeThere are so many occasions where this record comes close to being beguiling that it’s a pity that there are only a few moments where the promise is completely fulfilled. Louise Connell has a lithe voice that wraps itself around words in a seductive manner whilst inhabiting the personality of the songs. I’m perfectly happy to get drawn in and lost in songs like ‘Plankton’ where her voice is matched against dark electronic tones and the flightier mandolin. When her voice is front and centre it dominates the song, the tremolo strums adding in some Twin Peaks atmosphere without detracting from the impact. Continue reading “Reverieme “Straw Woman” (Absolute, 2016)”

TD Lind Premieres Video for New Single “Bow Down”

Acclaimed singer-songwriter TD Lind has debuted a new song and politically charged music video for the first single “Bow Down” (Surfdog Records) from his upcoming new studio album, to be released later this year. Featuring animation by award-winning artist and cartoonist Walt Taylor, wittily illustrating Lind’s lyrics, “Bow Down” weaves a story capturing today’s current socio-political climate and the often-uncontested process of the powers that be, taking aim at everyone from Trump to the Clinton’s and everything from pharmaceuticals to housing. Continue reading “TD Lind Premieres Video for New Single “Bow Down””

Trucking All Over the UK – Dale Watson Rolls in to Town

Austin, TX honky-tonker Dale Watson is coming to the UK for select November dates on the heels of his new live album, Live at the Big T Roadhouse, Chicken S#!+ Bingo Sunday. The album is out now is the followup to his Lloyd Maines-produced studio album, Call Me Insane. Live at the Big T … is a perfect snapshot of Watson and his ace band, His Lonestars, live in concert at the peak of their performing prowess, all while hosting a Chicken S#!+ Bingo show at Dale’s own bar, the Big T Roadhouse in St. Hedwig, Texas. The ‘bingo” game involves a caged hen strutting across a plywood board divided into numbered squares while betting customers gather ’round the cage, hoping the bird will drop its mark on their chosen numeral. Continue reading “Trucking All Over the UK – Dale Watson Rolls in to Town”

Erynn Marshall “Greasy Creek” (DittyVille, 2016)

erynn-marshall-2016Erynn Marshall is probably best known for playing in the Haints Old-time String Band alongside fellow Canadians Pharis and Jason Romero.  Having relocated to Virginia, Greasy Creek sees her forging a solo path for her highly respected fiddle playing, alongside many other collaborators, but still staying firmly in that Old Timey vein. This is pre-bluegrass music, so when there’s banjo accompaniment it’s claw hammer or three-finger, but not Scruggs, style. It’s music redolent of the turn of the century – the late nineteenth century into the early twentieth century that is – and mostly reflects a range of dance styles. Continue reading “Erynn Marshall “Greasy Creek” (DittyVille, 2016)”

Session Americana with Jefferson Hamer “Great Shakes” (Independent, 2016)

This collaboration between decade veterans Session Americana and Jefferson Hamer, perhaps best known this side of the pond for his “Child session-americana-2016Ballads” album with Anais Mitchell, opens up with the little gem that is “One Skinner”, a languid, gorgeously melodic song that slides into your consciousness and never leaves.  It’s followed up with “Helena”, which sounds exactly like UK cult heroes Diesel Park West with its West coast jangle and Hamer’s vocal being a dead ringer for John Butler’s and is none the worse for it.

Continue reading “Session Americana with Jefferson Hamer “Great Shakes” (Independent, 2016)”