Uncle Lucius: Fat Lils, Witney. 1st November 2016

Fat Lil’s is a small club in Witney. Here were a hundred or so people prepared to sit, listen and applaud appropriately, knowingly and loudly. The supporting band Curse of Lono got the gig off to a perfect start. Here were an up and coming London band who had accompanied Uncle Lucius on a short tour of Europe beforehand and, according to them, had learned a great deal from the experience. Watch out for their EP and make all attempts to see them. I certainly will.

Anyway, Uncle Lucius are named, apparently after an old friend of the band, an eccentric old man named Lucius from down in the Louisiana swamps. The band members, all outstanding as part of a team, are Kevin Galloway, powerful vocalist, (though they all sing); Michael Carpenter, important role as lead guitar; Josh Greco on drums; Jon Brossman, keys, and Nigel Frye on bass. They are all involved in the song writing process and singing and their music making is co-ordinated and very effective. Relaxing before the gig, next door in the small restaurant, there was already something impressive about them. Continue reading “Uncle Lucius: Fat Lils, Witney. 1st November 2016”

Select Captain “Strings & Feathers” (Mini Me Records, 2016)

SELECT CAPTAIN-2016Kristian Gaarskjaer’s latest album under his musical alter ego pseudonym, Select Captain has him come through with an intelligent, Americana focussed singer-songwriter record. Recorded at Homeless Studios in Copenhagen he also utilises hints of late 1980s early 1990s indie pop rock. On the back of his debut release The Fear And The Lights he once again impresses with his honest heart and soul style of music. Gaarskjaer’s songs deal with joy, despair, arrogance, loneliness, greed and optimism as he allows his thoughts and fears, plus general everyday emotions spill forth in artistic fashion. Supported by guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, mandolin, lap steel, organ and piano the record is ever busy, instrumentally. Continue reading “Select Captain “Strings & Feathers” (Mini Me Records, 2016)”

Leon Russell RIP

leonrussell1The idea that God moves in mysterious ways is being pushed to its logical limits this year.  The Guardian of many reports:  “Leon Russell, who emerged in the 1970s as one of rock’n’roll’s most dynamic performers after playing anonymously on dozens of pop hits as a much in-demand studio pianist in the 1960s, died on Sunday at the age of 74, according to his website. Russell, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, died in his sleep in Nashville, Tennessee, his wife said in a statement on the website.  Continue reading “Leon Russell RIP”

The Lucky Strikes “The Motion and The Moving On” (Harbour Song Records 2016)

the-motion-and-the-moving-on_resizedThe Lucky Strikes, from Southend, have been together for ten years now and this is their fifth album. Without doubt they are one of our best Americana bands. Lead singer is Matthew Boulter, long time member of the Simone Felice group and an accomplished solo artist in his own right with four albums.  With him here are Will Bray on drums, Paul Ambrose on bass and Dave Giles on piano and accordion. Continue reading “The Lucky Strikes “The Motion and The Moving On” (Harbour Song Records 2016)”

John Paul White: Bush Hall, London – 8th November 2016

John Paul White, along with Joy Williams, was The Civil Wars – the all-conquering duo who filled the void when Plant and Krauss stopped gigging their Raising Sand album. The Civil Wars lasted for a similar timespan, coming to a crashing halt after a gig at the Roundhouse in 2012. No longer talking to each other, all future gigs were cancelled and a band hiatus called. During this a hugely successful second album managed to be released, but White declined to help promote it and soon after their parting of the musical ways was announced with the cryptic comment that it was due to “differences of ambition”. In subsequent interviews neither party has really clarified what that meant, and the general consensus that they’d had an affair that had ended badly remains neither confirmed or denied. John Paul White set up a studio and record label and seemed happy to promote the likes of Dylan LeBlanc – at least until now. Continue reading “John Paul White: Bush Hall, London – 8th November 2016”

Grateful Dead – 30 days of November

30-days-of-dead-2016-cover-artIn an act of typical generosity The Grateful Dead are giving away a song a day all through the month of November.  Covering all periods of the Dead these range from a few minutes long to the epics that one has come to expect from The Grateful Dead.  There’s also a prize quiz, but you don’t need to enter this to get access to the tracks.  Even better, the tracks already posted will remain available all month.  So, if you’d like to have a free Grateful Dead album – then your wish has been granted.  Just head over to www.dead.net.  Thanks guys – we needed a lift this month.

The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society “Turn it Golden” (Greywood Records, 2016)

tselliotappreciation-2016Tom Gerritsen (a.k.a. The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society) proffers a back story which invites disbelief – born into a travelling carnival he abandoned the carny life to write songs whilst working in a bookshop before taking said songs on an extended two year long busking tour of North America. Well, I’ll buy the bookshop – many of Gerritsen’s fantastical songs are undeniably literary in style, with The Grand Tour also showing the hallmark of a man who has had to read Where the Wild Things Are to a fidgety bunch of toddlers, restlessly sitting in the children’s corner, just one too many times. Continue reading “The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society “Turn it Golden” (Greywood Records, 2016)”

Ady Johnson to tour with Scott Matthews

adyAdy Johnson has announced an upcoming UK tour supporting Scott Matthews and his band.  His 2015 EP ‘Thank You For The Good Things’  was his second solo release since he fronted Colchester rock ‘n’ roll band FuzzFace; with his debut album ‘Tell The Worry Dolls’ receiving critical praise from UK media, as well as a recommendation for album of the year from Press Association. And the title track of the last EP ‘Thank You For The Good Things’ was chosen for Tom Robinson’s BBC Introducing Mixtape and aired on his BBC 6 Music Show, so you know, all good things. Continue reading “Ady Johnson to tour with Scott Matthews”