One piece of received wisdom regarding SXSW, the sprawling music showcase held annually in Austin, is that it has become over-corporate and is no longer worth attending for an Americana fan. This I would refute strongly. It’s true that it was heading that way a few years ago, but the organisers have pulled back and taken the festival back to its roots as a showcase for new and established bands. The “big names” and overcrowding have stopped and the experience is just brilliant. I think that many AUK subscribers would be tempted to head to SXSW. I’m saying, if you can, then you should. Maybe a few details about how it all works will help you decide. Continue reading “SXSW 2019, Austin, Texas, 8th-16th March 2019”
RS Country have published a nice little interview with Steve Earle where he talks about the new Guy Clark tribute album he’s recorded with the Dukes due out the end of this week – we’ll have an AUK review any day now. He tells them: “It’s my fucking Guy Clark record, so I’ll do the ones that I was more personally connected to.” So there you go. Continue reading “Steve Earle talks to RS about new Guy Clark tribute album”
There’s no disputing the talent, energy and togetherness that this unique band bring to the table. You can argue over the genre – they call it ‘Acid Celtgrass’. What that means is open to interpretation, pigeonholing was never an AUK preference. What matters is that Luke Coffey and his gang of Irish reprobates sting the listener with razor- edged hoedowns not heard from the Emerald Isle since The Pogues last raised hell . Continue reading “Mules & Men “Thinking Sideways” (Independent, 2019)”
For the last few weeks, we’ve been covering the forthcoming Guy Clark covers album which Steve Earle and his Dukes will be releasing at the end of this month, and today we come to Clark’s 1988 album ‘Old Friends’, for which he enlisted a veritable feast of musician friends including Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. The latter two appear on Earle’s new version of the album’s title track, which RS describes as “a solemn prayer, with Harris harmonizing with Earle on the opening verse… Crowell, Jerry Jeff Walker, Terry Allen and Jo Harvey Allen also join in here, offering various spoken-word lines that underscore the timeless camaraderie of the songwriters.” ‘Guy’ is out March 29th.
We’ve mentioned the new Steve Earle tribute album to Guy Clark a fair bit on the site recently, and there’s another offering now online from it, a terrific version of one of Guy Clark’s most personal songs, ‘The Randall Knife.’‘ which described the complicated relationship between a father and son. The song was originally featured on 1995’s ‘Dublin Blues’ which includes a spoken-word delivery. Earle does the same through his version , which RS describes as “a little gruffer and more ominous than Clark’s original, which unfolded like a campfire story.” The album comes out at the end of this month.
Of course Steve Earle actually announced the new album quite some time ago – towards the end of his gigs last year Steve took time out to discuss his plans for a more obviously politically slanted album to be completed before the Presidential elections in 2020 and before that an album of Guy Clark covers, something like his ‘Townes‘ album. True to his word, Steve Earle has announced that ‘Guy‘ will appear March 29th (or Exiting the European Union Day as we try not to think of it). Continue reading “Steve Earle announces new Guy Clark covers album”
Not this side of the pond as it were, we’ve got Steps to co-ordinate our charity gigs and I know who I’d rather have (I suspect you might do too). Leaving you this weekend dear reader with news that Steve Earle has announced the lineup for his John Henry’s Friends benefit show which he hosts annually, taking place this year on December 3rd in New York. Continue reading “Steve Earle announces lineup for December benefit show”
Have you ever looked around you, conversed with your peers and concluded that you’re out of touch with society; marginalised on the fringes of a world obsessed with just about everything and everyone that you are only vaguely aware of? The great Guy Clark put it out there post-tech revolution with ‘Analog Girl‘ back in 2006 and fourteen years later Clark’s fellow country outlaws, Bottle Rockets, have taken up the theme and taken it to another, glorious level. Not that Brian Henneman, Mark Ortmann and the Rockets are new faces singing old tunes. The great thing about ‘Bit Logic‘ is that these outlaws are embracing the changing face of the music business and injecting a freshness into an ancient art form that would have Waylon raising a wry eyebrow in silent approval. Continue reading “Bottle Rockets “Bit Logic” (Bloodshot Records, 2018)”
Steve Earle has, as two of the Dukes, lead guitarist Chris Masterson and multi-instrumentalist Eleanor Whitmore. Husband and wife, they record and perform as a duo as The Mastersons and they are the opening act on this evening at The Barbican. Their music is predominantly made up of crystal clear vocals, Chris Masterson’s exemplary guitar and the achingly beautiful violin playing of Eleanor Whitmore. They also have a new album – ‘Transient Lullaby’ – out, a follow up to their debut ‘Birds Fly South‘, the title song of both make up parts of the set. Continue reading “Steve Earle and the Dukes, The Mastersons, The Barbican, London, 29th July 2018”
It was with great anticipation that I finally got to see Steve Earle and The Dukes live for the first time when they came to the O2 Academy in Bristol. As anyone who has seen the great man will agree, with 33 albums, 3 Grammies and a roller coaster 44 year career behind him this guy is Americana Royalty. Continue reading “Steve Earle and The Dukes, O2 Academy, Bristol, 17th July 2018”