New Johnny Cash book released compiles his poems

johnny-cashNews from Pitchfork on one for your Christmas stockings! They report: “A new Johnny Cash book, Forever Words: The Unknown Poems gathers 41 never-before-published poems by the singer-songwriter that were found after he passed away in 2003. The poems date back as early as 1944 (written when Cash was 12), and the book features reproductions of his handwritten pages as well. In a quote given to the New York Times, Cash’s son John Carter Cash said, “I want people to have a deeper understanding of my father than just the iconic, cool man in black. I think this book will help provide that.” Forever Words is available now.”

Jason Isbell performs four-song set on ‘Prairie Home Companion’

Some great clips here if you click through.  Rolling Stone Country reports: “Over the weekend, Jason Isbell became the latest Americana heavyweight to appear on the newly reincarnated Prairie Home Companion, now hosted by roots musician Chris Thile. Isbell’s chilling rendition of “Speed Trap Town,” one of the highlights from his 2015 album Something More Than Free, was one of four songs the singer-songwriter played during the historic radio show’s live taping in Philadelphia. In addition to “Speed Trap Town,” Isbell delivered flawless, solo acoustic renditions of favorites from his last two records, including “Something More Than Free,” “24 Frames” and his signature “Cover Me Up” from Southeastern. Watch them below.  Continue reading “Jason Isbell performs four-song set on ‘Prairie Home Companion’”

Owls of the Swamp “Meteorite” (Labelship, 2016)

owls-of-the-swampWith the gentle burble of synths and hushed vocals, OoTS sound like they are floating in space. Listening to this leads me to imagine a scenario where they’ve prematurely awoken from suspended animation on a 100 year voyage to a distant galaxy and are contemplating their plight, knowing they will die before their companions awake and feeling nostalgic for a world they’ve left behind. ‘Meteorite’ is a bumpier ride, though it still sounds like a neutered version of The XX. Continue reading “Owls of the Swamp “Meteorite” (Labelship, 2016)”

UK Americana Awards 2017 nominations shortlist announced

richard-thompson-770The AMA-UK, our confusingly acronymed brethren here at AUK, have announced their shortlist for the nominations for next year’s UK Americana Awards ceremony which will be held in St John at Hackney, London on Tuesday 2nd February, part of AmericanaFest UK, a two-day event which will also include an evening of showcases on the Wednesday featuring 20 bands playing in various venues around Hackney, plus daytime conferences on both days.   Richard Thompson has been chosen for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to the Americana genre over the span of his career and life in music.  Thompson commented: “I’m deeply honoured to receive this award. My heartfelt thanks to AMA-UK.”  Continue reading “UK Americana Awards 2017 nominations shortlist announced”

Dirty Dozen: Sam Brockington

Sam Brockington, 2016Growing up in a sleepy town in Devon, Brockington took his music through a range of cities and has now found his feet in the ever-growing Bristol music scene. Sam Brockington’s Folk influenced songwriting and powerful vocal performances have been gaining him much critical acclaim from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Songwriting Magazine and more! Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Sam Brockington”

Neil Young performs for pipeline protesters on his birthday

neil-youngAnd they’ll need all the help they can get now.  JamBase reports: “Legendary musician and noted environmental activist Neil Young spent his 71st birthday on Saturday joining the Standing Rock Reservation protest. Young brought along an acoustic guitar and harmonica and performed for the people opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Earlier this year Young released the song “Indian Giver” with a video featuring footage from the protests. The song is on Young’s upcoming new album Peace Trail which comes out on December 2.  Continue reading “Neil Young performs for pipeline protesters on his birthday”

Thisell “II” (Jelly Fant Records, 2016)

If you are into art leaning Thisell-2016mystical, sometimes dark and out there music chances are you will enjoy this. Such are the innovative arrangements and beauty of the work performed by Swedish singer-songwriter Peter Thisell , who is supported in style by a bunch of friends playing piano, violin, acoustic, lap steel, electric bass, lead guitar, upright bass, diatonic accordion, drums and harmony vocals. Continue reading “Thisell “II” (Jelly Fant Records, 2016)”

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”