Classic Americana Compilations: Various Artists “Real: The Tom T. Hall Project” (Sire, 1998)

There are musical moments in your life that are of such significance that you will remember them forever. I recall buying my first record, going to my first gig and lying in bed as a 15-year-old listening to John Peel play ‘New Rose’ by The Damned. I wish that I could similarly pinpoint the first time that I heard Tom T Hall, but alas, I can’t. He just seemed to always be there, occasionally referenced by artists or in the media whenever the conversation turned to great songwriters. Then in 1998, by which time my affection for Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible had long since waned, a tribute album was released – ‘Real: The Tom T Hall Project’. Continue reading “Classic Americana Compilations: Various Artists “Real: The Tom T. Hall Project” (Sire, 1998)”

Something for the weekend: Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold “Pipestone I Won’t Be Back”

We leave you this week dear reader with the opening track from the new record by sometime Jayhawker Mark Olson who’s collaborated with Norwegian roots singer Ingunn Ringvold for a third time on the album ‘Magdalen Accepts the Invitation’, out today on the Fiesta Red label. The record features an array of unconventional instrumentation played by Ringvold including the Armenian Qanon, the Mellotron, and djembe drums while Mark Olson plays the guitars and a dulcimer. All the tracks were completed on a Nagra field recorder, and there is something intimate and analogue about the sound – music without sharp edges feels welcome right now. See you on Monday if the world hasn’t burnt down by then. Solidarity people.

Songs for the apocalypse: Mark Olson “Meeting in Lone Pine”

One of the never-ending debates in americana centres around whether Gary Louris or Mark Olson was the true lifeblood of the Jayhawks, with most people coming down in the former camp but me, I’ve always had a soft spot for Olson and thought the understatement of some of his early albums in particular (with the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers) was just exquisite.  Hey, we even gave a 10 to an album ‘Political Manifest’ which appears to have been scrubbed from history now – hopefully they haven’t reconciled with GW. Anyhoo, ‘Meeting in Lone Pine’ with its fractured harmony vocals from Victoria Williams is spine-tinglingly lovely. Taken from 2000’s ‘My Own Jo Ellen’ which is crazily 20 years old, older indeed than this website.

AUK album premiere: Mark Olson “Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun” – Listen

We’re delighted to be able to premiere the new album today from americana legend Mark Olson. “Spokeswoman of The Bright Sun” comes out on 1st September 2017 (that’s tomorrow, date fans) and is the follow up to the critically acclaimed “Good-bye Lizelle” which we said nice things about 3 years back. Recorded during the summer of last year (remember how simple life felt then? Actually we had just had Brexit so maybe not…), Mark explains “I think that the secret to making a unique album [is] keeping the momentum of the writing and part learning of the song as you move towards the final takes”. Continue reading “AUK album premiere: Mark Olson “Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun” – Listen”