Tift Merritt Announces New Album for 2017 – UK Dates

tiftAnd you don’t have to wait until then as you can hear a new song from it “Love Soldiers On” below.  Grammy Award-nominated artist Tift Merritt’s new album Stitch of the World will be released January 27 on Yep Roc Records. Her sixth studio album, it was written on a friend’s farm in Marfa, Texas, at Merritt’s California cabin and in New York City in the wake of several major changes in her life. Merritt workshopped the songs with longtime friend Sam Beam of Iron & Wine after bumping in to him in an airport, and it was then recorded in Los Angeles while Merritt was six months pregnant, after which she relocated to her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Continue reading “Tift Merritt Announces New Album for 2017 – UK Dates”

Jeff Crosby “Waking Days” (At the Helm Records, 2015)

a0963400895_16Jeff Crosby though still young has just enough living under his belt to qualify as a seasoned performer, and a voice dripping in character with the songs to match. His worth as a songwriter if weighed in gold would take more than one man to carry. “Carved In Sandstone” speaks of how Tennessee got the best of him. Restlessly, he breezes through a succession of vividly painted scenes likened to those from the silver screen, or an independent cross-country road movie.  Continue reading “Jeff Crosby “Waking Days” (At the Helm Records, 2015)”

Dolly Parton “Pure & Simply” (RCA, 2016)

Dolly Parton, 2016The undisputed Queen of ‘Big Hat’ country music, now deemed cool having worked with Jack White has 42 studio albums to her name, and with this record her first No.1 in 25 years.  She is so famous and well known that she has become mono nominture; like Pele or Freud, this record is no change to the Dolly formula and is no change to what she’s done the best in that 25 years. Continue reading “Dolly Parton “Pure & Simply” (RCA, 2016)”

Todd Snider “Eastside Bulldog” (Thirty Tigers, 2016)

"Snider-Todd-2016"Apparently, Todd Snider has a doppelgänger, an East Nashville musical hooligan who goes by the name of Elmo Buzz and who has three rules on playing music. 1. “Play the bones of some Fifties or Sixties-sounding thing and make it just barely original enough to start a song.”2. “Only sing about fighting, fucking, getting fucked up, kickass cars, East Nashville or Bocephus — all other songs are stupid.” 3. “When in doubt, yell, ‘baby,’ and see what happens.” Continue reading “Todd Snider “Eastside Bulldog” (Thirty Tigers, 2016)”

Americana Legend Bap Kennedy Dies

bap-kennedyA couple of days late with this sorry – such sad news.  Bap played Americana One back in 2002 in Liverpool, Americana UK’s first festival, and gave a memorably awesome performance.  BBC News reports: “The well-known Belfast singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy has died. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year and passed away on Tuesday evening. He was 54. His death was announced on a post on his Facebook page which said: “Bap was extremely brave until the end. “We would like to thank everybody for their kind messages of support over the past few months, these meant a lot to Bap and Brenda and helped Bap stay positive throughout his illness.  Continue reading “Americana Legend Bap Kennedy Dies”

Sarah MacDougall and Ben Kunder Announce UK Tour Dates

Canada-based, Swedish-born singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall arrives in the UK in a couple of weeks with part-time carpenter and sometime actor, Canadian singer-songwriter Ben Kunder for a series of dates. Garnering increasingly international acclaim, MacDougall, a Western Canadian Music Award winning artist (Roots Solo Recording of the Year 2012 for The Greatest Ones Alive), was described by Rootstime in Belgium as “one of the greatest talents of this era”, and by Swedish magazine Nöjesguiden as “One of Sweden’s best singer/songwriters”.  Kunder has spent years honing his craft to become a full time musician, venturing closer to making this a reality with the release of his debut solo LP GoldenContinue reading “Sarah MacDougall and Ben Kunder Announce UK Tour Dates”

Modern Studies “Swell To Great” (Song, By Toad Records, 2016)

modern-studiesThe sea surges and froths throughout these songs. They have all of the delicate beauty of an early morning coastal mist, they drift and coalesce or coalesce then drift. Like tidal surges, the asthmatic wheeze of the bellows haunts them like a ghost ship at sea. Above the drones as the mist burns away it reveals beautiful music that leaks out, morsels of chamber pop lovingly orchestrated, swelling like a Sufjan Stevens song on ‘Dive-Bombing’ which is typical of Emily Scott’s vocals, drifting above marshy strings and woodwinds. Then ‘Bold Fisherman’ with male vocals and repeating patterns is more akin to the avant-folk of David Thomas Broughton; with minimal backing its prow barely breaks the waves. Continue reading “Modern Studies “Swell To Great” (Song, By Toad Records, 2016)”

Dixie Chick Natalie Maines Responds to CMA Performance Criticism

And they will be hating the pages and pages of publicity from this.  Billboard reports: “The Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines is responding to the online controversy surrounding the band’s performance with Beyonce at the CMA Awards on Wednesday night. While the collaboration was by far one of the award show’s most talked about moments, it stirred a backlash on social media due to the Dixie Chicks’ past criticisms of Republican politics and Beyonce’s participation in the Black Lives Matter movement. The singer and guitarist made jokes on Twitter saying that her band and Beyonce had been invited back to co-host the show next year, but she had to decline. She then went on to say she had “used” the CMA Awards to fulfill her dream of singing with Beyonce.  Continue reading “Dixie Chick Natalie Maines Responds to CMA Performance Criticism”

Dirty Dozen: Rob Richings

Rob Richings, 2016If second chances are for the lucky, singer-songwriter Rob Richings is one of the luckiest. Diagnosed in 2009 with what proved to be a near-fatal illness, once he beat it Richings decided enough was enough and it was time to get serious about his music. So after jacking in his decorating job, and now relatively healthy, it’s time to make good on his promise to himself. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Rob Richings”