2018 Americana Music Association Awards nominees revealed

News in from the AMA overnight (the US version) of their list of nominees for their honours and awards for 2018, and there’s good news for Mr Isbell, Margo Price and Brandi Carlile among others – in fact the lists are dominated by the 3 artists, although they are also joined by Mary Gauthier for her excellent “Rifles & Rosary Beads” record, nominated for album of the Year), John Prine (nominated for Artist of the Year), and Lee Ann Womack (nominated for Song of the Year). Continue reading “2018 Americana Music Association Awards nominees revealed”

Jason Isbell chats to Sam Jones about “corporate crap”

Rolling Stone are reporting a nice little interview this morning with Jason Isbell who talks to Sam Jones in the latest episode of the online Off Camera interview series about various things including bad music which he describes as “a means to, or more precisely a hindrance to, understanding other peoples’ experiences of the world.” They go on to report: “Jones brings up the idea of empathetic songwriting and its importance in the context of the pop format, which leads Isbell to argue for the moral significance of “good” music. Continue reading “Jason Isbell chats to Sam Jones about “corporate crap””

Interview: Black Deer Festival’s Gill Tee and Debs Shilling

Deborah Shilling and Gill Tee photographed by Alun Callender

One of the most exciting events this year for the world of Americana in the UK takes place towards the end of next month. Black Deer is basically everything you want from a festival – frighteningly good artists such as Jason Isbell and Iron & Wine that fall just the right side of cool (i.e. they’re probably not going to do moody sets), multiple stages, good food and a part of the country that’s as good a guarantee of decent weather as you’re going to get from somewhere in the UK in June (if the presumptiveness of that angers fate and it now does rain, apologies in advance). Oh and motorbikes too. Mark Whitfield spoke to the co-founders of Black Deer, Gill and Debs, about how the festival came about, who they’re most looking forward to see play and what americana music means to them. Continue reading “Interview: Black Deer Festival’s Gill Tee and Debs Shilling”

Jason Isbell talks to RS: “We ate chicken fingers from the concession stand at the Grammys”

RS has published a nice piece on Jason Isbell which includes some snippets from an interview they recently had with him. They report: “At this year’s Grammys, where he was up for several awards, Jason Isbell didn’t exactly tear the place up. “We weren’t on the televised part of the show, so we didn’t get the good seats,” he says with a good-natured laugh. “We wound up eating chicken fingers from the concession stand.”  Continue reading “Jason Isbell talks to RS: “We ate chicken fingers from the concession stand at the Grammys””

Black Deer Festival announces more acts including (wait for it..) Kiefer Sutherland!

After the first line-up announcement for the UK’s newest Americana & Country shindig, Black Deer Festival which takes place in Kent at the end of June, more acts have been added to the bill. Joining Iron & Wine, Passenger, Ward Thomas and AMA UK award winner Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit in a UK festival exclusive, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Campbell, Sam Palladio, The Webb Sisters and Bob Harris’ Emerging Artist winners Wandering Hearts have now been added to the line-up.  Here in the further reaches of Scouseville we’re wondering “why is Kent so far from Liverpool?” but then we’re still making plans. Fickle essentially. Head to the festival’s official website for more details and while you do that listen to the sweet strains of Iron and Wine. Both will be available on site (well maybe not an iron) Continue reading “Black Deer Festival announces more acts including (wait for it..) Kiefer Sutherland!”

Tommy Emmanuel discusses new collaboration with Jason Isbell

News this morning from our sticky friends over at Paste who hosted  Tommy Emmanuel in their midtown Manhattan studio last week.  They report: “Emmanuel performed three songs and discussed his new duets album, Accomplice One. The album features collaborations with artists such as Ricky Scaggs, Amanda Shires, Mark Knopfler and Jason Isbell, among many others. During his Paste session interview, Emmanuel specifically opened up about what it was like to work with Isbell. Continue reading “Tommy Emmanuel discusses new collaboration with Jason Isbell”

Isbell and Aimee Mann win best americana/folk album at Grammys

Lovely news overnight from the Grammys with some so well deserved wins for Jason Isbell and Aimee Mann amongst others.  RS reports: “Jason Isbell, Alabama Shakes and Reba McEntire were early winners at the 60th annual Grammy Awards when the Americana and roots music categories were announced during the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony, streamed live online. Isbell triumphed in both the Best Americana Roots Song and Best Americana Album categories, for “If We Were Vampires” and The Nashville Sound, respectively. Emerging from the back of the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Isbell ambled to the podium. Continue reading “Isbell and Aimee Mann win best americana/folk album at Grammys”

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires cover John Prine – Watch

Well this from RS will cheer up your dreary Tuesday morning: “The sight of Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires sharing the mic together became a familiar one throughout 2017, as the husband-and-wife Americana power couple solidified their musical bond while touring behind Isbell and the 400 Unit’s chart-topping The Nashville Sound. This weekend’s episode of Austin City Limits catches them in peak form for a double-billed performance that includes an online exclusive of a John Prine cover. Continue reading “Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires cover John Prine – Watch”

Jason Isbell song appears in new Gaga film

A musical you might actually want to watch, like the silver lining in a big dark cloud. Rolling Stone reports: “Eighty years after it was first put on film, and 41 years after a turbulent but hugely successful remake starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, the latest version of A Star Is Born is headed to movie theaters once again. Also a starring vehicle for Judy Garland in 1954, the oft-told tale of a show-business couple at opposite ends of their fame, returns to the big screen with a wide-ranging soundtrack featuring song on which the film’s star, first-time director Bradley Cooper collaborated with Jason Isbell, Lukas Nelson, Mark Ronson and Lady Gaga, who co-stars with Cooper. Continue reading “Jason Isbell song appears in new Gaga film”