Jerry Joseph “The Beautiful Madness” (Décor Records, 2020)

When Patterson Hood of The Drive-By Truckers describes you as “long one of my favourite songwriters, one of the absolute best of our generation” people are going to sit up and take notice and so it is that this album has already attracted a great deal of interest, even prior to its release. Hood produced the album and the Truckers provide the backing to Joseph’s songs further adding to the anticipation. So, who is Jerry Joseph, and does the album live up to expectations? Continue reading “Jerry Joseph “The Beautiful Madness” (Décor Records, 2020)”

Something for the weekend: Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell play in support of Mighty Writers

Well that’s a wrap from us this week everyone. Enjoy the blistering weather, hopefully while listening to the wonderful new Charley Crockett album (but spare a thought for the poor folks in Abadan, Iran Climate change is “fake news” of course…) We leave you anyway this week dear reader with a clip of Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell playing three songs from the former’s album to kick off Literary Hub’s new video performance series in support of Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that teaches reading and writing to thousands of low-income and marginalized students every year. “One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was when I was studying at Sewanee University in the south,” Shires said. “My professor, Andrew Hudgins — who is a fantastic and wonderful poet — told me that a lot of times when you’re writing, the actual start of where you think the start is isn’t at the start.” Find out more in the clip. Have a good one.

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Helen Jones

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. AUK doesn’t have enough female writers and we would love more. However, what we lack in numbers, is at least partly compensated by the quality of those women that we do have on the team. This week we turn to the first of them. Step forward Helen Jones. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Helen Jones”

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”

AmericanA to Z: Jason Isbell

In Nik Cohn’s history of pop and rock Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom, his chapter on The Beatles opens  “Next come the Fab Four, the Moptop Mersey Marvels, and this is the bit I’ve been dreading. I mean what is there possibly left to say about them?” And in Americana, these days, it’s easy to feel the same way when writing about Jason Isbell. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Jason Isbell”

Something for the weekend: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit “Overseas”

So here we are again as Cher said in 1989. If you really do want to be distracted from the absolute state of things for 5 minutes (and who could blame you now we have the homegrown toe-curling embarrassment of Dominic Raab’s ‘Game of Thrones’ comments yesterday) can we suggest taking some time out dear reader to watch this clip which we leave you with this week of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Isbell and his band performed an impassioned version of ‘Overseas’ earlier this week as part of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’s ongoing #PlayAtHomeSeries. The song appears on Isbell’s most recent album, ‘Reunions’ which was released last month. Have a good one.

AUK’s Top 10 Americana albums ever: Peter Churchill

Mary Chapin Carpenter Tragically Loses A Loved One | Country Rebel

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. So whilst we put ourselves through this hell, you get to sit back and admire or despair as suits your own tastes. This week’s tortured soul is Peter Churchill. Continue reading “AUK’s Top 10 Americana albums ever: Peter Churchill”

Isbell: “Getting sober made me more aware”

Looking through Billboard’s Country chart at the moment is like perusing a “greatest drinking songs” feature. In the top 30 right now are the songs: ‘After a Few, Beer Can’t Fix, One Margarita, Drinking Alone, Why We Drink, One Beer, Champagne Night’ and ‘No I in Beer’ – and that’s just one week, so it’s fair to say it’s a genre well versed with the art of inebriation which our recent feature looked at too. Continue reading “Isbell: “Getting sober made me more aware””

Jason Isbell & 400 Unit to stream live Rough Trade show tonight

Following on from the release of his new album ‘Reunions’ last week which we described as having “sharp songwriting and excellent production which make this a great addition to his stellar catalogue”, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit have announced they will play an exclusive Instagram TV Transmission to fans on the @roughtrade & @roughtradenyc Instagram TV feeds tonight (Wednesday 20th May) at 18.00 UK time.  And if you are otherwise engaged, here’s a superb stream of Isbell with wife Amanda Shires last week at the as yet unopened Brooklyn Bowl Nashville.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit “Reunions” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)

Jason Isbell is the kind of artist who can always be relied on to draw from experience and speak the truth exactly as he sees it, so it’s good to see he’s sticking to what makes him stand out from his contemporaries on ‘Reunions’. But there is a different kind of introspection too, one that meditates on his current relationships – be it as a husband, father, or friend – and looks back fondly on childhood memories. Continue reading “Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit “Reunions” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)”