At AUK we are now well into our quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the coming weeks and months each AUK writer will in turn, present their own personal selections. When each writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. This week AUK stalwart and institution Paul Kerr steps up to the podium.
“Well you took your own sweet time with this” we can hear our regular readers shout given that this record has been released for a good week or so now and the world and her husband have been picking over the bones of the thing (also the heart, soul, kidneys and temporal lobe). Indeed lovers of the Euterpian muse have been positively beside themselves in their excitement and, indeed, willingness to chip in with an opinion or three regarding this new release coming, as it does, some eight years after the last issue of ‘fresh’ material. But, y’know, we’re all about the music here at AUK and care not a fig for other people’s opinions/reputations/pre-eminence. So we think that we should look at the album in terms of how good (or not) the music is on its own terms. Look – Bob Dylan is “Bob Dylan” and no one is going to dispute that. Better folk than us have had much to say about his contribution to the canon of popular music. But, similarly to the man himself, we are fiercely independent and will simply let our words speak for themselves. Continue reading “Bob Dylan “Rough and Rowdy Ways” (Columbia, 2020)”
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Margo Price was set to release her latest album ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started’ when the coronavirus pandemic hit. The Nashville artist, whose last album garnered all kinds of acclaim, has postponed the release until July 10th, but in the meantime she joined “CBS This Morning: Saturday” on the weekend just gone to perform a new unreleased song called ‘Drifter’, her latest single ‘Letting Me Down’ from the new album (which is tremendous), and a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Things Have Changed’ from the 2000 movie ‘Wonder Boys’ which you can watch below.
One of the things I’m missing most during lockdown is a decent cup of coffee – I have a local café that makes a great latte – so when I read last week’s Chain Gang article, which was written about ‘Instant Coffee Blues’ by Guy Clark, it really hit the spot, so much so that I wanted to get another fix of caffeine-themed Americana. Continue reading “AUK’s Chain Gang: Bob Dylan “One More Cup of Coffee””
The pejorative term ‘Fascist’ has been bandied about a lot recently particularly in the direction of certain people and their governments. This week we thought we’d take a little look at what the word means. Historically the word is derived from the Latin ‘fasces’ which was a bundle of sticks around an axe and was a symbol of authority in Ancient Rome. The symbol was co-opted by Mussolini who formed the Fascio Di Combattimento group in the early 20th century and it is from here that we derive the word as we know it now. Other notable fascist regimes include Hitler’s Germany, Franco’s Spain and Peron’s Argentina. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Bob Dylan “Only a Pawn In Their Game””
Our popular feature in which the your humble writers spill the beans on their influences, musical roots and record buying habits is back. This week Deputy Editor and man who is averse to foppish hair and synthesisers Jonathan Aird tells us what he does like instead: Continue reading ““What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Jonathan Aird”
Mark Underwood continues with the fourth in his irregular features on music by great songwriters with great lyrics, this time taking you through classics from the likes of Gretchen Peters, Kathleen Edwards, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. Continue reading “10 Americana songs with great lyrics”
Will I be listening to this top ten in ten years? For the most part, probably. Most of the selections have stood my test of time for a good twenty or thirty years and I don’t think the newer additions are going anyplace soon. How do I know these are my top ten? I wouldn’t begin to defend them through any other reason than that they are my choice of listening when seeking connection to something deeper or more profound than is offered in our quotidian existence. Judge for yourself whether they are worthy of your time: Continue reading “A top ten of classic Americana albums”
As our Deputy Editor Jonathan Aird prophesied recently, two new Dylan tracks in as many weeks must mean that an album is on the way. And now we have three tracks and the announcement that the said long-player is indeed ready to be released (17th June to be exact). Our information is that it will be a double with the mammoth ‘Murder Most Foul’ taking up one side. Obviously we will fill you in with the exact details when we have them. In the meantime there is this new song to deliberate over and, as always with Dylan, deliberate we must. Continue reading “Dirty, dark, desolate Dylan pays his dues to the delta blues”
The original track ‘To Ramona’ is taken from Dylan’s fourth album ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’, released in 1964. This release saw Dylan shift away from the previously politically orientated, ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’’ to a more personal perspective. ‘To Ramona’ is played in waltz time and may have been adapted from a 1930s folk tune, though claims have also been made that the melody is Mexican in origin. Continue reading “Ten covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘To Ramona’”