Something for the weekend: Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell play in support of Mighty Writers

Well that’s a wrap from us this week everyone. Enjoy the blistering weather, hopefully while listening to the wonderful new Charley Crockett album (but spare a thought for the poor folks in Abadan, Iran Climate change is “fake news” of course…) We leave you anyway this week dear reader with a clip of Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell playing three songs from the former’s album to kick off Literary Hub’s new video performance series in support of Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that teaches reading and writing to thousands of low-income and marginalized students every year. “One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was when I was studying at Sewanee University in the south,” Shires said. “My professor, Andrew Hudgins — who is a fantastic and wonderful poet — told me that a lot of times when you’re writing, the actual start of where you think the start is isn’t at the start.” Find out more in the clip. Have a good one.

Amanda Shires: “I’m just going to play music every day”

RS Country has a nice feature up at the moment on Amanda Shires’ fundraising ‘I So Lounging’ shows which have been broadcast live each evening over the last month and which feature her other half Jason Isbell, and Seth Plemmons among others. Continue reading “Amanda Shires: “I’m just going to play music every day””

Jason Isbell performs “Something More Than Free” from home – Watch

Earlier in the week we gave you Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s remote rendition of their classic ’24 Frames’ and now just in time for the weekend they’ve released a version of ‘Something More Than Free’, the title track of Isbell’s 2015 solo album. Isbell is joined for the recording by bandmate and wife Amanda Shires surrounded by 400 Unit members Jimbo Hart, Sadler Vaden, Chad Gamble, and Derry deBorja. As RS notes, the song “about the grind of blue-collar existence and the hope for an afterlife that doesn’t require back-breaking labor” has a special resonance while so many employed via the gig economy are currently out of work because of the pandemic.

Josh Ritter plays NPR Tiny Desk Concert with Amanda Shires And Jason Isbell: Watch

Apologies for completely missing this last week – Josh Ritter played one of NPR’s magical little Tiny Desk concerts last week, as they described it “with the enthusiasm of a young child and the wisdom of an old soul”. Accompanying him was Amanda Shires on fiddle and Jason Isbell on acoustic guitar, both of who played on Ritter’s recent album ‘Fever Breaks’ which indeed Isbell produced. You can watch it below. Continue reading “Josh Ritter plays NPR Tiny Desk Concert with Amanda Shires And Jason Isbell: Watch”

AMA announces its line-up for 2019 awards ceremony

The 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards is happening next month over in Nashville and they have announced the performing lineup for their big ceremony which takes place on the 11th. The list includes (deep breath…) Continue reading “AMA announces its line-up for 2019 awards ceremony”

The Highwomen perform with Dolly and Isbell – Watch

The Highwomen, if you haven’t heard, are a like a new up to date female version of the Highway Men (geddit?), the country supergroup from the 80s which included Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. The Highwomen are Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby, and they performed the song ‘Eagle When She Flies’ at the Newport Folk Festival Saturday night, with backing from Mr Shires, Jason Isbell.  Their self-titled debut album is coming out in September.

2019 Americana Honor and Awards Nominees are announced

So this happened last night although they didn’t send us a press release so we’re reporting this via Rolling Stone. We do by the way love the Milk Carton Kids – don’t forget to catch them in the UK in a couple of weeks’ time: “Nominees for the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards were announced Tuesday afternoon, with multiple women being recognized in the top categories. The Milk Carton Kids (and, later, Mavis Staples) read the names of the nominees during a rehearsal for the “Mavis & Friends: Celebrating 80 Years of Mavis Staples” concert set for Wednesday in Nashville. Continue reading “2019 Americana Honor and Awards Nominees are announced”

RS Country interview Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

RS Country are running a nice little (not so little actually) interview today with Americana royalty (in a Republican way) (that’s Republican in the UK sense) (why did I start this?) Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires who talk to them about their new albums, how they both met and speaking out in the era of Trump. Continue reading “RS Country interview Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires”

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires cover John Prine – Watch

Well this from RS will cheer up your dreary Tuesday morning: “The sight of Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires sharing the mic together became a familiar one throughout 2017, as the husband-and-wife Americana power couple solidified their musical bond while touring behind Isbell and the 400 Unit’s chart-topping The Nashville Sound. This weekend’s episode of Austin City Limits catches them in peak form for a double-billed performance that includes an online exclusive of a John Prine cover. Continue reading “Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires cover John Prine – Watch”

RS Country: “The 20 best things we saw at Americanafest 2017”

Nice little piece up on RS Country this morning which lists the 20 best things they saw at the 18th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference which took place in Nashville last week.  They say: “The highlights were as plentiful as the vintage denim, with artists from veteran Lee Ann Womack to Countrypolitan revivalist Joshua Hedley performing showcases in the backyards of record stores, inside Jack White’s Third Man Records and in clubs all over Music City.” And our own Yola gets a mention too: “It may have been close to 90 degrees outside, but Carter’s set was as cool as ice.”  Read the piece here or watch JD McPherson looking rather suave below. Continue reading “RS Country: “The 20 best things we saw at Americanafest 2017””