Ten Americana songs about telephony

Where would the world of Americana be without Alexander Graham Bell’s little invention? How could anyone call their Baby to let them know they’re coming home to them? How else could they pour their heart out to someone they’ve never met or are likely to meet? When it comes to letting someone know just how you feel, whether it’s good, bad or pretty indifferent, a letter just doesn’t cut it. Letters are great for returning to sender or encouraging you to take an aeroplane instead of a fast train, but you’re not going to write to the sorting office imploring them to save your love life and a letter won’t encourage you to pull over to the side of the road, on a whim, every twenty miles or so, just to hear a loved one’s voice on the other side of the country. For instant yearning declarations of emotion you need a phone – and a good telephone system. You need lines, operators, call boxes – you need telephony! Continue reading “Ten Americana songs about telephony”

Classic Americana Albums: Ry Cooder “Into The Purple Valley” (Warner, 1972)

Ry Cooder has a unique and special place in the Americana realm, his reputation based on his consummate skills on guitar (especially slide, where many rate him among the world’s best) and mandolin, and as an arranger of roots and traditional music, from the USA and beyond. His musical legacy now spans five decades, 17 solo albums, as many collaborations again, including ‘Buena Vista Social Club’, and a similar number of movie soundtracks, most notably for Wim Wenders’ ‘Paris, Texas’. Continue reading “Classic Americana Albums: Ry Cooder “Into The Purple Valley” (Warner, 1972)”

“What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Gordon Sharpe

You lucky people: whilst we are all (hopefully) self-isolating – watch how quickly that comment dates – you will have plenty of time to read the latest instalment of “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway” in which our writers and contributors tell us what, why and where they got into Americana. This week top bloke and diamond geezer Gordon (Not A Moron) Sharpe steers into his choices via a jazz route, which is refreshingly different, and tells us of his love for the smaller venue. Continue reading ““What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Gordon Sharpe”

“What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Martin Johnson

Here we are again folks with another eagerly anticipated contribution to our semi-regular “What Is This…?” feature. This time around Martin Johnson reveals his (what we can only surmise are) hippy roots in the North East of England and the shocking fact that he is not, in fact, an ex-England rugby captain: Continue reading ““What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Martin Johnson”

Prodigal Son Ry Cooder returns – other son highly irritated

‘The Prodigal Son’ is Ry Cooder’s first new solo release in six years, due for release by Fantasy Records on May 11th, 2018 (you can listen to the lead track, ‘Shrinking Man’ below). Recorded in Hollywood and produced by Cooder and his chief collaborator, drummer Joachim Cooder, the album’s 11 tracks, includes three Cooder originals along with a collection of his favourite spirituals of the last century. Continue reading “Prodigal Son Ry Cooder returns – other son highly irritated”