There are still plenty of live-streams happening at the moment – Steve Earle is live later on today (7pm UK time) via his Instagram account, and Josh Ritter has announced the last (for now) in the line of his lockdown Silo Sessions which have raised a phenomenal amount of money for communities affected by the pandemic. Here are the details via his Twitter account – sadly it’s midnight UK time but hey what else are you doing tomorrow morning?
Well it’s been a funny old week of course and there may be many more funny old weeks to come but we do intend to keep our content overflowing with things for you to read, watch or listen to. We leave you this week with an hour-long recording by Josh Ritter – as one of many artists self-isolating, he’s recorded one of those increasingly common “gig in my house” things, and creatively called it the Silo Sessions which we wish we’d thought of first. You can tip him for the performance here – all proceeds go to Win NYC to help support and shelter women and children in need. Here’s the full Instagram post on the session: Continue reading “Something for the weekend: Josh Ritter records the Silo Sessions – Watch”
We leave you this week dear reader with a song that actually came out a few months ago but has been re-released today in an acoustic format on Spotify, and since Spotify is uber-irritating to embed into posts, you can have the original version instead (which also gives you a chance to visualise the wonder of Kenneth and Joey’s playing). The song was originally included in Ritter’s ‘Fever Breaks’ album from last year. Have a good one whatever you’re up to.
Magazine cover discs come and cover discs go, sometimes there’s a track or two that sparks an interest – I first encountered The Decemberists via a disc from Word magazine, that was a good find. Just a few, though, are quite literally life-changing. That may sound like terrible hyperbole but in the case of Uncut’s ‘Americana 2004‘ disc it is quite true. Mainstream popular music in the Nineties had pretty much been a washout for me and I was doing little more than keeping up with the likes of Dylan and Neil Young with the occasional other breakthrough album or artist, but mostly I was back exploring the richer world of folk which was generally finding far more imaginative paths. And this was ok, but I needed some new directions, some new bands, some new voices. And then on a long journey North I picked up at a motorway service station, almost on a whim, the latest issue of Uncut – I can’t really say why, certainly the front cover of The Cure’s Robert Smith was not a big selling point. As the journey went on and the traffic got slower I decided to switch from the radio to the ‘Americana 2004‘ cover disc. And everything changed. Continue reading “Classic Americana Compilations “UNCUT Presents: Americana 2004””
Continuing the New Year theme, here is ‘Empty Hearts’ by Josh Ritter from his fifth album, ‘The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter’. This song is a beautifully poetic prayer for the year to come. Amidst all of the drinking with friends, the narrator is longing for something more meaningful: “And she’ll know me by the sound of my hoping.” Continue reading “Video: Josh Ritter “Empty Hearts””
Well that’s a wrap from us for this year dear readers. Thanks so much for all your support for the site which we still manage to scrape along on a shoestring budget, but it happens firstly because of the generosity of all our writers across the UK and beyond who give their time freely to make this happen each day, and secondly because you keep logging on as it were. Continue reading “Happy Christmas to all our readers from Americana UK”
2019 – what a f-king year (and that word is being censored for you daily digest readers). Sometimes music was the only respite there was from the sheer abject misery and terror of the outside world. Sometimes nestling down with a mug of cocoa and some good americana was the only thing that blotted it all out (spiced up with about 5 shots of vodka). These are the ten songs that kept my sanity intact throughout the last 12 months. Continue reading “AUK’s editor chooses his favourite 10 tracks from 2019”
Which is quite lucky for her really – everyone else has probably noticed that 2019 has been one of those years destined to go down in history as interesting – and we all know the value of interesting times. Obviously 2019 will go down as the year of almost continual elections, it’s also the year that proves that we can’t laugh at the USA for Trump anymore. I could make a list of every error, missed opportunity and decision to shoot ourselves in the foot – but really there’s no point is there? Continue reading “A Review of the Year: My friend lives in an Ivory Tower, she’s Protected from Misery.”
Apologies for completely missing this last week – Josh Ritter played one of NPR’s magical little Tiny Desk concerts last week, as they described it “with the enthusiasm of a young child and the wisdom of an old soul”. Accompanying him was Amanda Shires on fiddle and Jason Isbell on acoustic guitar, both of who played on Ritter’s recent album ‘Fever Breaks’ which indeed Isbell produced. You can watch it below. Continue reading “Josh Ritter plays NPR Tiny Desk Concert with Amanda Shires And Jason Isbell: Watch”
It was another warm evening for this second night of a two-night stand at London’s famed Union Chapel – the record-breaking temperatures of the day trailing off with a long tail. Under the stage lights, Josh Ritter, with his full band backing him, was showing the effect of the heat but held nothing back on a set which revisited some of his back catalogue but was also a great opportunity to hear the really strong new songs from his latest album ‘Fever Breaks’ live. It was a setlist with two themes – respecting the venue, there seemed to be many of Ritter’s songs which make use of religious, and specifically Christian, imagery with a second strand of concern for American democracy. Continue reading “Josh Ritter + Ida Mae, Union Chapel, London, 23rd July 2019”