Bruce Springsteen “Letter to You” (Columbia, 2020)

The arrival of a new Springsteen album is always a much-anticipated event. However, the news that this particular release was to feature the full E-Street Band and that it had been recorded live in the studio with minimal overdubs – not since ‘Born in the USA’ in 1984 had that happened, has seen interest in ‘Letter to You’ reach even higher levels of expectation than usual. Even a single listen to the record quickly establishes that despite a remarkably consistent level of output over twenty studio albums, Springsteen has produced something very special here, something that deserves to be filed up there besides ‘Born to Run’, ‘The River’, ‘Nebraska’ and ‘The Rising’ as amongst his finest achievements. Continue reading “Bruce Springsteen “Letter to You” (Columbia, 2020)”

The Unsung Heroes of Americana – Gibson J-45

Here’s our second article in the new Unsung Heroes of Americana series. This time out, Richard Phillips takes a look at a truly iconic instrument; one that has been at the heart of American roots music since it made its debut almost eight decades ago – the Gibson J45. Continue reading “The Unsung Heroes of Americana – Gibson J-45”

Video: Bruce Springsteen “Ghosts”

The latest single from Bruce Springsteen launches immediately into a forceful drum pattern, laying the foundations for a powerful song about a life of love and loss, surrounded by music.  Springsteen explains: “‘Ghosts’ is about the beauty and joy of being in a band and the pain of losing one another to illness and time.  ‘Ghosts’ tries to speak to the spirit of the music itself, something none of us owns but can only discover and share together. In the E Street Band it resides in our collective soul, powered by the heart.” Continue reading “Video: Bruce Springsteen “Ghosts””

Bruce Springsteen “New York City Serenade” – Listen

This, as you’ll have noticed, is not a new song.  It is though that rare thing, something we can all agree on as a perfect masterpiece, perhaps the very pinnacle of the output by the man we call The Boss.  Well…in support of full honesty we have to warn those who might actually be new to the song and have particular aversions that it contains saxophone, strings and rock poetry.  Majestically overblown it was the closer to the second album from Springsteen, ‘The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.Continue reading “Bruce Springsteen “New York City Serenade” – Listen”

New Bruce Springsteen album “Letter To You” out next month – Listen

Bruce Springsteen’s new studio album with the E Street Band, ‘Letter To You’, will be released by Columbia Records in the UK on 23rd October, his 20th studio album which was recorded at his home studio in New Jersey. You can watch the video for the title track below.
Continue reading “New Bruce Springsteen album “Letter To You” out next month – Listen”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Viv Fish

Our quest to find the best americana album ever continues with another compelling list, this time from AUK writer Viv Fish. It’s been a fascinating journey so far and if nothing else, has demonstrated the wide range of musical tastes that our writers possess. Just a reminder that when all the writers have chipped in with their selections, a shortlist will be drawn up and they will vote from that list for the prestigious accolade (it says here) of AUK’s best americana album ever. Over to you Viv… Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Viv Fish”

10 Americana songs with a boxing theme

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”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Andrew Frolish

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”

Ten americana songs of protest

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”

10 songs showing how the human spirit deals with illness

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”