For five years running, our dear beloved Steve Earle has been gathering a group of world-class friends and performers for a one-night-only concert which raises money for The Keswell School, an educational program for children and young adults with autism. This year on December 13th, Earle’s 6th annual John Henry’s Friends benefit concert is going virtual, meaning that you have the opportunity to watch it from the UK for the first time, and crikey just look at this dream americana lineup – Steve Earle & The Dukes, Emmylou Harris, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires and Josh Ritter to name but a few artists. Continue reading “Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris to play autism benefit next month”
AUK’s stellar mission to find the ‘top 10 americana albums of all time’ presses boldly on. We have witnessed many recognised stars in our firmament, with the occasional little known asteroid also hurtling by. Once or twice sight has been made of alien life forms previously not thought to exist in this galaxy. Nevertheless, it has been a fascinating journey throughout. Many able astronauts, a good many cosmonauts and definitely a few space cadets, have taken their turn on the bridge to steer us in a variety of directions. If ever there was someone to don the captain’s hat and steer us on a straight course though, then that person is Mark Underwood. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Mark Underwood”
2021 really can’t come soon enough. Our favourite music festival bar none Black Deer has just announced some new additions to an already fairly impressive line-up, including Lucinda Williams, Drive-By Truckers and Canadian cowboy Colter Wall. They’ve also released their day splits which you can see below. Continue reading “Lucinda Williams and Drive By Truckers join Black Deer 2021 bill”
The search continues folks. Yes, its time to put yet another AUK writer into the hot seat. All each one has to do is to cast their eye across the whole history of americana and pick out just 10 albums that represent their personal top 10 ever. Simple really, only it’s not, as most have testified. In fact, if it wasn’t for this wretched pandemic, then the country’s hospitals would almost certainly be packed to the rafters with AUK writers suffering from nervous exhaustion, anxiety, palpitations and flashbacks to the ones they forgot to include. This week Dave Jarman steps nervously forward to join in with this act of collective masochism:
Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Dave Jarman”
Here’s our second article in the new Unsung Heroes of Americana series. This time out, Richard Phillips takes a look at a truly iconic instrument; one that has been at the heart of American roots music since it made its debut almost eight decades ago – the Gibson J45. Continue reading “The Unsung Heroes of Americana – Gibson J-45”
Welcome to our weekly feature in which AUK writers in turn make their selections for the ‘top 10 americana albums ever’. When all have contributed we will then draw up a shortlist and ask them to vote to decide the overall AUK writers top 10. This week Netherlands based writer Ljubinko Zivkovic takes up the baton and guides us down the back straight with a scintillating run of albums, a number of which are definite podium contenders when this particular race is finally run. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Ljubinko Zivkovic”
This Friday will be Joe Strummer’s birthday, and at 8pm UK time the music and arts community is coming together for a global event to celebrate Joe Strummer’s legacy as a solo musician and singer of The Clash. Produced by Jesse Malin, Jeff Raspe and Joe Strummer estate manager, David Zonshine, A Song for Joe: Celebrating the Life of Joe Strummer will be a two-hour event that will stream for free at JoeStrummer.com, with all donations benefiting the Save Our Stages campaign which is currently making a final push to Congress to pass the Save Our Stages Act and the Restart Act in order to keep independent venues across the US from closing permanently. Continue reading “Jesse Malin and Lucinda to play Joe Strummer birthday benefit”
Rolling Stone Country have posted a really interesting interview with Lucinda Williams who despite having a new album out has barely left her new home in East Nashville since the advent of the pandemic. RS calls it nonetheless “an alt-country soundtrack to our modern times, filled with social commentary and pissed-off political jabs that, while written in 2019, remain eerily topical.” She says to presenter Chris Shiflett in his latest podcast: “Someone told me, “This must be a weird time to put your album out.” But I guess I was fortunate, because of the subject matter of the album. The timing was… I don’t want to say it was perfect… but there seems to be a need for it.” You can hear the whole interview below.
There’s a really interesting feature courtesy of the New Yorker when journalist Amanda Petrusich speaks to Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams together but remotely, chatting to them about “songwriting, the legacy of Bob Dylan, the cruelty of online comments, protest music, poetry, compassion, and their decades-long friendship.” They also perform some new songs. You can watch the clip (because we can’t embed it here sorry) over at the New Yorker’s website here.
Lucinda Williams is the latest artist over in the US to contribute a song to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’s #PlayAtHome series, performing last week ‘A Man Without a Soul’ which is taken from her latest album ‘Good Souls Better Angels’, her 14th, which has been receiving rave reviews from everyone including ourselves. Lucinda Williams will be touring the US with Jason Isbell next year, all being well. (Perhaps given the state of the US at the moment that’s a big caveat.)