Listening to the excellent new Matt Hill album ‘Savage Pilgrims’ I was particularly struck by the track ‘Bendigo’ which tells the story of a 19th century Nottinghamshire prizefighter. It set me thinking about boxing-themed songs and how I’d not really heard such a good one in some while. So here I present to you ten more boxing-themed songs. Continue reading “10 Americana songs with a boxing theme”
At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the last few weeks our writers have been going through the mental anguish of trying to narrow the whole history of Americana down to just ten albums. When every 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’s tortured soul is Andrew Frolish. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Andrew Frolish”
An infamous Mancunian once thought that if you played the acoustic guitar, it meant you were a protest singer. Whilst the playing of that instrument may not earn you the right to musical protestation, the artists featured below would in most part be likely to agree that the six-stringed instrument helps with the cause. Protest songs with an Americana flavour throughout the 20th & 21st Century have used as their topic matter such issues as civil rights, women’s rights, economic injustice, politics and war; though prior these many negro spirituals from the 19th century are seen as protests against slavery and oppression. Continue reading “Ten americana songs of protest”
Before free and easy access to doctors and medical care, many people struggled to understand disease. This is where folk and popular songs of the day played an important role in public awareness. The birth of the recording industry in the ’20s meant that the reliance on song for medical information was captured for posterity. Below are 10 songs about illness and they give an insight into how the human spirit can respond to Continue reading “10 songs showing how the human spirit deals with illness”
There are, in fact, five albums by Springsteen on their way that have never been re-issued on vinyl since their original release. It’s a situation that had to be rectified! Not today, but on the 21st of February when glorious reissues of albums from the period 1999-2007 will once more be available. Yeah, we know, “titles – tell us the goddamn titles!” Nothing easier. Continue reading “Vintage Springsteen set vinyl for re-release”
It’s part two of our writers picks from 2019 where we collectively list the albums that made the biggest impact on us over the last 12 months. There’s one album repeated from yesterday’s list which I guess by default makes it our album of the year but we’ll leave you eagled-eyed beavers to work that out for yourself. So once again, here we go! Continue reading “Americana UK writers choose their albums of 2019 – part two”
Bruce Springsteen’s 19th studio album, ‘Western Stars’, which came out this summer, has found its way on to many critics’ ‘best of the year’ lists, and quite rightly so – it’s one of his finest records. Influenced by the Southern California pop music of the late ’60s and ’70s – namely Glen Campbell and Burt Bacharach – the songs are lush and cinematic epics, with sweeping strings and Easy Listening horns, and are inhabited by a cast of lost and lonely characters, such as a faded cowboy movie star and a veteran stuntman.
The lone traveler sticks out his thumb and his journey begins. Across the country he hitch-hikes, catching rides from family men, truck drivers, muscle car owners and the like, listening to their stories and situations as he moves from town to town. So begins ‘Western Stars,’ the most densely cinematic Bruce Springsteen album since ‘The Rising.’ Continue reading “Bruce Springsteen “Western Stars” (Columbia, 2019)”
Bruce Springsteen has released the song ‘Tucson Train’ globally today, along with a performance video by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning director Thom Zimny. The black-and-white video features many of the musicians who appear on his new album ‘Western Stars’ which is due out on Columbia Records on June 14th. Zimny is a longtime chronicler of Springsteen’s career whose recent film credits include the “Springsteen on Broadway” Netflix special and “The Ties That Bind” documentary on the making of ‘The River’ album.
We leave you this weekend dear readers with a new track out today from the forthcoming Springsteen album ‘Western Stars’ which will be out via Columbia Records on 14th June. As we’ve previously noted, the 13 tracks of the new album were recorded primarily at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York, and encompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope. All the things we like most. Have a good one.