Various Artists “Pandemophenia” (Bloodshot Records, 2020)

Mention the  Chicago music scene to anyone and the Southside blues of Muddy Waters may spring to mind, others may recall a vibrant soul scene which included the Impressions and Curtis Mayfield, the Chicago folk scene gave us Roger McGuinn, John Prine and Steve Goodman, but the Chicago country scene? It may surprise some readers that  Chicago was once the centre of the country music industry. The same economic factors that drove Southern blacks north from the Mississippi Delta, also influenced Appalachian and Southern whites which lead to a vibrant local scene supported by WAL-MS’s National Barn Dance radio show. Eventually the music wound down, with The Grand Ole Opry and Nashville taking precedence, however bluegrass continued to be popular from the ‘60s to the ‘90s as part of the folk scene with The Sundowners continuing to fly the local country flag. The Sundowners were a major influence on alt country’s Robbie Fulks. Continue reading “Various Artists “Pandemophenia” (Bloodshot Records, 2020)”

Classic Americana Albums: Robbie Fulks ‘”Country Love Songs” (Bloodshot, 1996)

It’s late July 2019 and my latest Bloodshot records update drops through the electronic mailbox. My excitement is palpable. Finally, after 23 years, one of the finest records ever to pass through my CD laser beams was coming out on vinyl and I would be able to hear (and smell!) it in its full glory.  Robbie Fulks’ ‘Country Love Songs’ was about to become only the third album in my entire accumulation deemed so special as to be purchased on more than one format*. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Robbie Fulks ‘”Country Love Songs” (Bloodshot, 1996)”

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”

Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis set to go Wild! in August

Robbie Fulks, who was nominated for two 2017 Grammy Awards last year, has announced details of a new album ‘Wild! Wild! Wild!’, a collaboration with rock-and-roll royalty Linda Gail Lewis, which arrives August 10th on the Bloodshot label. The album is described as “Americana music that’s as butt-shakin’ as Beale Street, deep-rooted as the Grand Ole Opry, and hip as a trip to The Strip. Subversive as it is reverential, the album jumps the genre tracks of nitty-gritty rock-and-roll, country-and-western, rockabilly, jump swing, and gospel, landing in a strange slice of spacetime—call it 1954—when all these were One (and Linda was 7).” Continue reading “Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis set to go Wild! in August”