Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 1st-4th August 2019

Now in its 55th year, an impressive achievement in itself, Cambridge Folk Festival continues to go from strength to strength and this year’s event was one of the best. At the top of the bill there were a lot of heavy hitters and they all delivered. Lucinda Williams wiped away memories of her dreadful appearance a few years ago with an outstanding set that, while it wasn’t the complete airing of ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ that she’s been touring was nevertheless full-on, committed, and contained a lot of fan-pleasers.  Her backing trio Buick 6 was also outstanding, particularly Stuart Mathis on guitar.  Continue reading “Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 1st-4th August 2019”

Lucinda Williams, the Barbican, London, 27th July 2019

From today’s perspective it’s hard to underestimate the importance of Lucinda Williams’ ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ to the Americana genre. While its impact on release in 1998 wasn’t particularly apparent (it only reached 65 on the Billboard 200 chart), it was given a major boost through countless positive reviews which culminated in it winning a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Since then, it’s been understandably referred to as a seminal work, kickstarting the Americana movement, and is rightly considered as one of the best albums of the 1990s. On the 20th anniversary of its release Williams has been playing the album in its entirety and tonight it was London’s turn. Continue reading “Lucinda Williams, the Barbican, London, 27th July 2019”

Jesse Malin announces UK dates for 2020

Jesse Malin has announced a headline UK tour to follow the release of his Lucinda Williams-produced new album ‘Sunset Kids’, which is out August 30 via Wicked Cool Records/Velvet Elk. The New York singer-songwriter will follow his previously announced show at London’s 100 Club on September 17th with an extensive UK tour in March 2020. Continue reading “Jesse Malin announces UK dates for 2020”

Jesse Malin shares new video from forthcoming album – Watch

Jesse Malin has shared the video for ‘Room 13’, the lead track from his Lucinda Williams-produced new album ‘Sunset Kids’, which is due out August 30th via Wicked Cool Records/Velvet Elk. Continue reading “Jesse Malin shares new video from forthcoming album – Watch”

Here’s 10 americana songs with great lyrics

Given the way in in which people typically consume music nowadays, all too often the lyrics are sidelined, if not completely overlooked. But great lyrics are often what make the best songs truly memorable. The following is the first in an occasional series about songs with great lyrics. Mark Underwood explains what makes the following 10 tracks so special. Continue reading “Here’s 10 americana songs with great lyrics”

What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…

It’s that time again when the great and the good of Americana-UK ‘fess up and tell it like it is in their individual journeys into the genre we all know and love. This week Ben Roberts – a man who survived being a metalhead and a drummer to make it to the promised land of musical goodness (quite why he doesn’t have the mighty Wilco’s “Heavy Metal Drummer on his list we don’t know – but could probably find out…) Continue reading “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…”

Lucinda Williams covers Bobbie Gentry with Mercury Rev – Listen

Lucinda Williams has recorded a cover of Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode to Billie Joe,’ as a contribution to Mercury Rev’s adventurous re-imagining of Gentry’s largely forgotten (until now) 1968 sophomore album, ‘The Delta Sweete.’  RS Country describes it as “Set within darkly atmospheric production elements, Williams’ vocal is tinged with pain and echoes with hints of anger and regret throughout, deepening the classic tune’s enigmatic nature. Continue reading “Lucinda Williams covers Bobbie Gentry with Mercury Rev – Listen”

Lucinda Williams and Richard Thompson are first Cambridge 2019 headliners to be announced

The organisers of Cambridge Folk Festival have announced the first 15 names confirmed for 2019’s line-up, with legendary artists joining relative newcomers to take to the stages of Cherry Hinton Hall. The biggest names is probably our very own americana icon Lucinda Williams, but there’s also some other ace stuff on the list including Swedish-Argentinian singer songwriter José González, Richard Thompson playing a solo acoustic set, Ralph McTell, Tunng, Fisherman’s Friends, Karine Polwart, Lisa O’Neill, Lil’ Jimmy Reed & The A Team, Talisk, Nancy Kerr, James Fagan & Friends, Sam Sweeney, Rura and finally Texan native Jarrod Dickenson.  Continue reading “Lucinda Williams and Richard Thompson are first Cambridge 2019 headliners to be announced”

Go cruising with Drive By Truckers and Lucinda!

In the nice “sail on a boat” sense.  Rolling Stone reports, for all of you moneybags out there: “Nothing says “outlaw” like a Caribbean cruise, and for the fourth year running the Outlaw Country Cruise will set sail in January 2019. When it does, it will have a stacked lineup including Drive-By Truckers, Margo Price and Lucinda Williams all onboard. Run in conjunction by Steve Van Zandt’s Renegade Circus and Sixthman – organizers of the Americana- and country-heavy Cayamo Cruise – the Outlaw Country Cruise sails from Tampa, Florida, to Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas. Also leading the bill are Bobby Bare, Steve Earle & the Dukes, the Flatlanders, Nikki Lane, Old 97’s, Shooter Jennings and Elizabeth Cook. Continue reading “Go cruising with Drive By Truckers and Lucinda!”

Lucinda Williams working on autobiography

She’ll probably never reach the heights or depth of Anthea Turner’s “Fools Rush In” (the “forthright, emotive and inspiring account of the life of a great survivor on planet fame” – that’s Anthea!) but Rolling Stone reports on a new autobiography Lucinda Williams has just announced: “Due out in 2020 via publishers Henry Holt and Company, [it] will chart the singer’s life and career from her Louisiana childhood to her Grammy-winning success of 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road to “her experience navigating the unfriendly record industry,” the New York Times reports. Continue reading “Lucinda Williams working on autobiography”