AMA-UK announce nominations and honours for 2021 awards

It seems a lifetime ago since the revelries of the 2020 AMAUK awards back in January, but it’s that time of year again – The UK Americana Music Association has revealed the nominations for the seven member-voted categories of the UK Americana Awards 2021, and also the winners of the special awards presented by the AMA-UK board, which this year includes Elvis Costello for the AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, Mavis Staples for the International Lifetime Achievement Award, Christine McVie for the Trailblazer Award, Steve Earle for the International Trailblazer Award and the Songwriter Legacy Award, specially created this year for the late John Prine, in celebration of the legendary US singer-songwriter’s life and work. Continue reading “AMA-UK announce nominations and honours for 2021 awards”

Interview: AMAUK CEO Stevie Smith teases AmericanaFest 2021 artists

We are fast approaching the highlight of the UK americana community’s year when the Americana Music Association UK (AMA-UK) hosts AmericanaFest UK 2021 from 26-28 January 2021. While the UK has been struggling under COVID constraints, AMA-UK have been working hard to develop a virtual version of AmericanaFest 2021 and another eagerly anticipated event, the release of the  details of the showcase artists for AmericanaFest, is scheduled for Tuesday 17th November, 2020. Anyone who doubts the importance of AmericanaFest just needs to look at the list of previous award winners, which includes artists of the calibre of Robert Plant, Nick Lowe, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Van Morrison, Billy Bragg, Yola, Mumford and Sons, Brandi Carlile, Jade Bird and Joe Boyd, and it becomes immediately clear just how significant the event is for all members of the UK americana community.  Continue reading “Interview: AMAUK CEO Stevie Smith teases AmericanaFest 2021 artists”

Thirty Tigers announces “Sounds of the Storytellers”

Inspired by the ‘new normal’ artists face, in particular with touring by and large on hold for now, our friends over at Thirty Tigers have announced “a destination playlist for fans to stream their favourite UK artists in the UK Americana world, along with an online campaign to promote the great storytelling artists in our community, hosted exclusively on Spotify.” Continue reading “Thirty Tigers announces “Sounds of the Storytellers””

Video: Emily Barker “Where Have the Sparrows Gone?”

Emily Barker’s brand new album, ‘A Dark Murmuration of Words’, is released today 4th September on Thirty Tigers.  It’s the highly anticipated follow-up to the successful ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’, which helped her to land the UK Artist of the Year at the 2018 UK Americana Awards.  To coincide with the record’s release, here is her recent single, ‘Where Have the Sparrows Gone?’, which is accompanied by an excellent, thought-provoking video.  The song, a powerful piece of song-writing, places us in a post-apocalyptic, birdless version of London. Continue reading “Video: Emily Barker “Where Have the Sparrows Gone?””

Emily Barker “A Dark Murmuration Of Words” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)

For her sixth full-length album release Emily Barker is taking on the world. Addressing climate change, racism, sexism and the myths of economic progress, Barker has, in her own softly spoken and articulate way, delivered her own damning indictment of the 21st century. Barker’s self-declared aim with ‘A Dark Murmuration Of Words’ was to veer away from the folk, soul and blues territory of previous albums, leaning instead towards a more modern sound inspired by the likes of Laura Marling. Whether Barker has succeeded in this ambition is a moot point. Continue reading “Emily Barker “A Dark Murmuration Of Words” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)”

Interview: Emily Barker on her new album and working 16 hour days

Emily Barker is an Australian singer-songwriter who has developed her career in the UK. She was given the impetus to make music her full-time career when her song ‘Nostalgia’ became the theme song for the BBC series ‘Wallander’. Her music is a blend of folk, blues and soul which is a perfect definition of americana. Confirmation of this was given in 20128 when she won The Americana Music Association UK’s Artist of the Year Award. Continue reading “Interview: Emily Barker on her new album and working 16 hour days”

Video: The Blue Highways and Friends “Days Like This” Charity Single

In these strange times, we must ensure that we look out for the vulnerable, the marginalised and the lonely more than ever.  Today, 28th April, The blue Highways release a cover of Van Morrison’s beautiful ‘Days Like This’ with the help from some great artists, including Ferris and Sylvester, Pete Gow, Emily Barker, Robert Vincent and more.  This is a fundraiser in support of Women’s Aid, a charity that works with the victims of domestic abuse in the UK.  Continue reading “Video: The Blue Highways and Friends “Days Like This” Charity Single”

Frank Turner + Emily Barker, Alexandra Palace, London, 30th November 2019

Frank Turner’s sold out show at the wonderful Ally Pally was his 2,431st gig since setting out as a solo artist in 2004. This is, in itself, a phenomenal achievement and is a sign of his fans’ passion and of his incredible endurance. Turner has re-invented himself on this tour, delivering a very different show from his usual high-energy performances. This was a reflective affair with many fascinating or humorous stories used to introduce each song; these insights undoubtedly helped give a greater appreciation of the songs and was pitched perfectly. Continue reading “Frank Turner + Emily Barker, Alexandra Palace, London, 30th November 2019”

AmericanaFest UK is back in January – here are all the details

British Americana fans – that includes us dear reader – will be flocking to Hackney, East London for 3 days of their annual conference in January as AmericanaFest UK returns for its 4th year. The event consists of two days of conferences and showcases which are then topped off by a third day of events and the coveted UK Americana Awards 2019. Continue reading “AmericanaFest UK is back in January – here are all the details”

Storm alert! Emily Barker’s Hurricane hits the UK this week

The always lovely antipodean americana singer-songwriter Emily Barker whose latest album ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’ received a glowing review from us last year, is touring around the UK this week. The AMA-UK artist of the year for 2018 played Winchester on Saturday if you are Dr Who or have a time machine – and is playing other dates which you can peruse below. She’s also released a new video for the song ‘No. 5 Hurricane’ which you can watch below. Continue reading “Storm alert! Emily Barker’s Hurricane hits the UK this week”