What should I do, Americana UK?

It was hardly a normal start to a musical enquiry such as we are accustomed (now) to address in this feature.  It was a very worried looking Willie Nelson who burst through the door to the consultation room and – not bothering to take a seat – spilled out his concern.  With his hands firmly planted he leaned across the desk and gave us the full life and death – quite literally for once – nature of his problem.  “See,” he drawled, “there’s a pistol packin’ mama hot on my trail.  She could be here any moment.”  He flopped into the chair “all I was doin’ was drinkin’ beer in a cabaret” he confessed.  “Well, maybe I was dancin’ with a blonde as well”.  Now though, it seems that all his appeals to “lay that pistol down” have had no beneficial effect. Continue reading “What should I do, Americana UK?”

Amy LaVere “Painting Blue” (Archer Records, 2020)

‘No Battle Hymn’, the striking first single from ‘Painting Blue’, the fifth album by Memphis-based Amy LaVere, is a timely anthem for a world in crisis. “No one’s ready to admit we may be out of time,” she sings, over a slick, yet moody, blues-pop groove, with some chunky organ riffs and mean electric guitar licks, coming across like an edgier Sheryl Crow. Although its lyrics tackle defeatism, it’s ultimately a hopeful song, which calls for unification: “We need a victory march in our hearts.”

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Amy LaVere ft. Will Sexton + Between The Vines, The Rose and Monkey, Manchester, 11th February 2020

Amy LaVere and Will Sexton travelled down to Manchester from their previous night’s show in Glasgow, via Newcastle. The reason for this lengthy detour, they informed us, was to retrieve Will’s jacket which he had left behind following their gig in that city. This “what the hell – let’s do it” attitude was also symptomatic of their approach to the final night of their UK tour which had begun with an appearance at AmericanaFest UK in London. Drawing upon a wide repertoire of songs but with no formal set list, the pair delivered a hugely entertaining night of music and chat that captivated all that had turned out on an indubitably wet and windy Manchester evening. Continue reading “Amy LaVere ft. Will Sexton + Between The Vines, The Rose and Monkey, Manchester, 11th February 2020”