Chris Stapleton wins CMA album of the year

The crossover man who puts the “meh” into amehricana, Chris Staplegun has done it again. Oh and people should be prosecuted for beating Jerry Douglas in any category. Rolling Stone reports: “The 51st CMA Awards were held in Nashville on Wednesday, with Garth Brooks taking home the night’s top honor of Entertainer of the Year … Continue reading “Chris Stapleton wins CMA album of the year”

The Strange Blue Dreams “The Strange Blue Dreams” (Holy Smokes Records, 2017)

Amongst the many strands of American inspired revivalist music – whether it be Appalachian folk or pre-war Blues, the sounds of the sixties folk boom or the reclaiming of minstrelsy and old-time music one musical thread that has not been so heavily championed is – with the possible exception of Rockabilly and hep-cat music – … Continue reading “The Strange Blue Dreams “The Strange Blue Dreams” (Holy Smokes Records, 2017)”

Flagship Romance “Tales from the Self-Help Section” (Gatorbone Records 2017)

Great band name; awesome title for a record, pregnant with wholesome introspection and whimsy; cool artwork… Knowing nothing about a band at all, one is too often tempted to judge a book (or in this case, CD) by its cover. This was, of course, an approach to music shopping that had some credence back in … Continue reading “Flagship Romance “Tales from the Self-Help Section” (Gatorbone Records 2017)”

Heather Lynne Horton “Don’t Mess with Mrs Murphy” (At The Helm, 2017)

“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch!” so Bette Davis remarked some years ago. Thankfully things have improved since then. Not so much third wave feminism, perhaps nearer to a new wave of alt-country, Heather Lynne Horton has championed the maxim – Women are … Continue reading “Heather Lynne Horton “Don’t Mess with Mrs Murphy” (At The Helm, 2017)”

Summertyne Americana Festival, The Sage, Gateshead,July 21-23, 2017

That’s summer over and  our roving reporters have been out and about at various festivals in search of the sun and fine music. A few got lost on the way back so it’s only now that we can offer another report on Summertyne which we had already looked at here. There’s more from the indoor … Continue reading “Summertyne Americana Festival, The Sage, Gateshead,July 21-23, 2017”

RS: “Country music stars are reluctant to speak up about Charlottesville”

There’s a great piece in RS Country at the moment about mainstream country music’s deafening silence since the events in Charlottesville a couple of weeks back which has echoes of a piece they wrote earlier in the year about its silence on Trump. Winona Dimeo-Ediger writes: “On August 12th, a group of white nationalists carrying torches … Continue reading “RS: “Country music stars are reluctant to speak up about Charlottesville””

Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits “Summer” (Independent, 2017)

I know that this is grown-up Americana music, I know that it is well-crafted, slyly funny and expertly put together. I know it sounds like an Americana record should sound and I know that I should be listening to it now but I’m not. I’m cheating. I’ve listened to half the record (I’ve had it … Continue reading “Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits “Summer” (Independent, 2017)”

Summertyne Americana Festival – Sunday, Free Stages, The Sage – Gateshead, 23rd July 2017

On the banks of the Tyne stands the silver bauble that is the Sage, its otherworldly structure home this weekend to some world class performers, surely covered elsewhere on these pages. The bit that always interests me is the free stuff, not just because I’ve been living in Yorkshire a long time, but because it’s … Continue reading “Summertyne Americana Festival – Sunday, Free Stages, The Sage – Gateshead, 23rd July 2017”

Jason Isbell: most Nashville country is “real bad music”

Jason Isbell has given an interesting interview to Rolling Stone Country over the weekend – there’s a few gem quotes in it.  They report: “A few years ago, Jason Isbell was an ex-member of Drive-By Truckers, playing clubs and drinking way too much whiskey. Now, the Alabama native is headlining venues like Baltimore’s 19,000-seat Merriweather … Continue reading “Jason Isbell: most Nashville country is “real bad music””

Harbottle & Jonas “Anna is a Dancer” (Independent, 2017)

A descending, modal chord progression plucked out on what sounds like a 12 string guitar, the twang of a string bent here and there – with the first few bars, any listener with a penchant for bluesy American roots music will be frothing at the mouth with excitement.  Surely, this must be one of those … Continue reading “Harbottle & Jonas “Anna is a Dancer” (Independent, 2017)”