The Lonesome Ace Stringband “When The Sun Comes Up” (Independent, 2018)

There is something life affirming when Americana music is stripped back to the basics and this Canadian trio (Chris Coole – banjo, John Showman – fiddle and Max Heineman- double bass) head to the hills with this excellent string driven selection of songs old and new.  They might hail from north of the 49th parallel but their roots are in the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie and John Hartford, a century’s worth of picking and singing to which they add their own fine compositions. Continue reading “The Lonesome Ace Stringband “When The Sun Comes Up” (Independent, 2018)”

Viper Central “The Spirit of God & Madness” (Independent, 2017)

Viper Central have been known as a first-rate Bluegrass band since their debut album The Devil sure is hard to please appeared in 2008, but this latest release – Viper Central’s third album – sees them heading off in some new directions. The Canadian quintet have taken the bold step to incorporate a more modern folk band feel onto several new tunes, as well as some western swing (the Mariachi trumpet infected Losing My Mind) and country-folk, it certainly makes for an eclectic mix and something quite different from their previous offerings. Continue reading “Viper Central “The Spirit of God & Madness” (Independent, 2017)”

The Andrew Collins Trio “And It Was Good” (Independent, 2017)

This is a difficult album to review simply because I’ve never heard anything quite like it before. For a start, it’s totally instrumental; unusual in the Americana genre, though the music does have its roots quite firmly in Bluegrass.  It’s also a concept album, something else that’s quite rare in this genre. And not just any old concept – this album takes the rather grand biblical story of creation as its theme. You certainly can’t accuse Andrew Collins and his band mates, Mike Mezzatesta and James McEleney of lacking ambition. Continue reading “The Andrew Collins Trio “And It Was Good” (Independent, 2017)”