Americana defies easy classification but perhaps the legendary Rodney Crowell, by way of an introduction to his outstanding new album Close Ties, has come up with as good a definition as any. “All the people who represent Americana share a common thread and that thread is poet. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the Americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favour of a singular vision. Which resonates with me.” Continue reading “Rodney Crowell “Close Ties” (New West Records, 2017)”
Talitha Rise are Jo Beth Young and Martyn Barker. Their songs are a combination of Art Pop and Progressive Folk inviting the listener into a world of ethereal landscapes and bohemia. Accomplished live performers, their chemistry together offers any audience an opportunity to step outside of their heads and witness a psychedelic, raw and tribal emotive sound-scape presence. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Talitha Rise”
And some European ones. On this provincial day for the UK, NME report: “Ryan Adams has added more dates in the UK and Europe to his upcoming 2017 ‘Prisoner’ tour. Full dates and ticket details are below. In support of his acclaimed new album ‘Prisoner‘, Adams has now added two new shows in Warrington and Leamington Spa in March, along with two more in Bournemouth and Cambridge in September. Tickets to the new shows are on sale at 9am on March 31. Continue reading “Ryan Adams announces more UK dates”
Aided and abetted by Andy Seward and Dave Luke, this is a delightfully spritely and scarily good take on the Stanley Brothers song.
This is lovely if you have four minutes to spare. Consequence of Sound report: “After political happenings Friday handed 45 the second major loss of his two-month-old presidency, it feels like a good time to be part of the #Resistance. Now is not the time to rest, however, as there will be plenty of chances to press the advantage in the near future. That’s why the Our First 100 Days series is continuing on today with a reminder that true freedom must be fought for constantly. Continue reading “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Courtney Marie Andrews cover Nina Simone – Listen”
Grammy winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien has announced a new album “Where the River Meets the Road” which will be released in the UK on 12th May. The album features songs from his native West Virginia, bluegrass and Americana covers from songwriters Hazel Dickens, Billy Edd Wheeler and Bill Withers alongside autobiographical originals with help from collaborators like Chris Stapleton, Kathy Mattea, Stuart Duncan and Noam Pikelny. He has performed or recorded in the past with Steve Earle, Mark Knopfler, Bill Frisell, and Steve Martin, and if all that’s not enough, he’s also produced records for Yonder Mountain String Band, David Bromberg, and Canada’s Old Man Luedecke. The arrogance of the man. Continue reading “Tim O’Brien announces new album, UK dates”
In 2015, after almost two years on the road touring in support of her album Travelling Alone, Tift Merritt decided to take a year off the road, just “to see what would happen to me.” What happened, as Tift enjoyed the solitude of a friend’s ranch in Texas, was the inspiration to write. This was the starting process for Tift’s latest offering Stitch of The World. Her experiences during that period were to lead to songs inspired by her surroundings of the time. Wait For Me, about leaving the disappointments of the past behind and believing that good things are up ahead, was provoked by the long straight roads that she found in Texas. Watching the ranch hands toiling with their daily routine helped provide the theme of working through times of struggle and the persistence of love in the beautiful and hopeful song, Love Soldiers On. Continue reading “Tift Merritt “Stitch of The World” (Yep Roc Records, 2017)”
Well, at last here’s an album with plenty of twang – of course in this case it’s the treble high guitar twang of a surf band, given a somewhat harder edge with a heavy dose of Garage Rock. An album like Gravediggin’ is what results when you’ve spent too much time listening to Dick Dale and the original Nuggets collection in regular rotation. Continue reading “The Buttertones “Gravedigging ” (Innovative Leisure, 2017)”
Imagine having this many friends. Rolling Stone reports: “Rodney Crowell has been Guy Clark’s buddy, Emmylou Harris’ bandmate and one of country music’s biggest hitmakers, and this week he’s Chris Shiflett’s guest on the latest episode of the Walking the Floor podcast. Crowell’s interview is sprinkled not only with anecdotes about his upcoming album, Close Ties, but of memories from Nashville’s golden years. “It had a lot more street cred back then,” he says of the Tennessee capital, where he moved in 1972. As a songwriter and sideman, Crowell spent the next decade landing hits for other artists and rubbing shoulders with up-and-comers like Steve Earle and Vince Gill. Later, he struck gold with his own Diamonds & Dirt,the late-Eighties album that spun off five Number One hits. During the years since, he’s charted his own course, becoming an Americana icon along the way. Continue reading “Rodney Crowell talks about Guy Clark in new podcast”
This is a strong first album from London songwriting duo Blair Chadwick and Charlie Bateson, operating under the nom de guerre of Steepways.
They’ve assembled a talented group of musicians around them – Drummer Jamie Shaw, pedal steel player Darren Buddell, Andy Fairclough on Hammond Organ and other keyboards (is there such a thing as a song that can’t be improved by the addition of a Hammond Organ?!) and Chris Clarke playing bass and making a major contribution as producer. They also have former Alabama 3 singer Siobhan Parr providing some outstanding backing vocals and a nice duet on penultimate track Rather Be Alone. Continue reading “Steepways “Holy Smoke” (Mansion House Records 2017)”