Neal Casal Foundation and tribute album announced

A tribute album featuring Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and Beachwood Sparks among others was announced yesterday along with details of a new Neal Casal Music Foundation (NCMF) which has been created “to honour the memory of the late great, multi-dimensional artist through an ongoing series of charitable endeavors.” The initial focus of the foundation is to provide instruments and lessons to students in New Jersey and New York state schools where Casal was born and raised, as well as to make donations to mental health organizations that support musicians in need. NCMF is being spearheaded by Neal’s longtime manager Gary Waldman along with a team of Casal’s friends. Continue reading “Neal Casal Foundation and tribute album announced”

Something for the weekend: Steve Earle “Times Like These”

Another crazy week then in which even the notoriously conservative with a small ‘C’ county music industry is dealing with its complicated history – so we leave you dear reader with a new recording of a song by an artist you could use a lot of words to describe, one of them not being “conservative”. Last Friday, Steve Earle went back into the studio to give us a preview of a new song by way of a stripped-down version. The lo-fi recording, with Earle unaccompanied on acoustic guitar, was originally supposed to be part of a new full-length album before ‘The Ghosts of West Virginia’ came along in its place. As Earle comments: “This is a song I wrote for a moment at the beginning of the Trumpian nightmare that I planned on releasing closer to the election, but I reckon its time has come today.” 144 days and counting folks [fingers crossed emoji]. Have a good one.

AmericanA to Z: Steve Earle

Steve Earle was a tough choice for this slot. On the one hand, what can you write about him that has not already been well documented? On the other hand, how can you omit one of its prime movers from an A-Z of Americana? To try and get a different perspective on the man, I’ve decided to write from a  personal perspective; me and Steve Earle if you like. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Steve Earle”

Steve Earle & The Dukes “Ghosts Of West Virginia” (New West Records, 2020)

There’s nothing like a cause to get Steve Earle all fired up so when he was approached to write a set of songs for a theatre production about 29 miners killed in a coal dust explosion in Raleigh County, West Virginia in 2010, it must have seemed like grist to the mill. The play, ‘Coal Country’, written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, featured Earle on stage throughout with his songs delivered solo in a “Greek chorus” format. There were seven songs in all and Earle has reworked them with The Dukes for ‘Ghosts Of West Virginia’, adding three related songs to flesh out the running time. Continue reading “Steve Earle & The Dukes “Ghosts Of West Virginia” (New West Records, 2020)”

The top ten Americana duets

In these trying times we can think of nothing better here at AUK than knocking out Top Ten’s of this, that and the other. Indeed every man and his wife (or every wife and her husband or every wife and her wife or every husband and his husband or… let’s just say everyone and their significant other) seems to be on the case. Continue reading “The top ten Americana duets”

10 songs about other artists

Here are ten songs written about other artists. The list below is not the final word, but represents the start of a conversation. The idea is to explore some of our favourite artists singing about other artists. In most cases the songs are celebratory or pay tribute, others simply observe or comment and one here is not very complimentary. So, having set the ball rolling, I’m passing it over to you folks. I’m sure that the collective knowledge and wisdom of the AUK readership can come up with many more great additions. Please post them in the comments section at the bottom of the page. I hope that you enjoy my selections and I look forward to hearing yours. Continue reading “10 songs about other artists”

Steve Earle returns with new album “Ghosts of West Virginia”

Steve Earle & The Dukes have announced the release ‘Ghosts of West Virginia’ due out on May 22nd, 2020 via New West Records – you can hear the first track from it below.  The album was produced by Steve Earle and engineered by Ray Kennedy at Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The 10-song set is Earle’s 20th studio album and was mixed entirely in mono. Continue reading “Steve Earle returns with new album “Ghosts of West Virginia””

“What is this Americana thing anyway…?” – Clint West

Time for another in our series looking at the routes our writers have taken into Americana and just what it is that makes it our favourite genre. This week we are warmed by Clint West’s pathological dislike of country music and how the poacher turned a gamekeeper. Continue reading ““What is this Americana thing anyway…?” – Clint West”

Americana UK writers choose their albums of 2019 – part one

A week today it’ll be Christmas and you’ll open up that gift box of three different Lynx deodorants as you surreptitiously check to see what condition it’s in, in case you can regift it to someone else on Boxing Day. You could save yourself that deflated feeling by looking through our writers’ list of the albums which have meant the most to them over the last 12 months, and then just ask for them. You might be sweaty but at least you’ll have Nick Cave nestled under your arm. Without further ado, here’s part one of our top albums of 2019. Continue reading “Americana UK writers choose their albums of 2019 – part one”

Stream the John Henry’s Friends webcast benefit including Earle and Isbell tomorrow

The live music platform for concert recordings, nugs.net, will live stream The 5th Annual John Henry’s Friends Benefit tomorrow, which will be presented by Steve Earle and City Winery. The event takes place at The Town Hall in New York City, NY on Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 at 8pm ET in the US. Steve Earle & The Dukes will be headlining the event, accompanied by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, Josh Ritter, and The Mastersons. Which basically means staying up half the night if you’re in the UK but how big a Steve Earle fan are you? Continue reading “Stream the John Henry’s Friends webcast benefit including Earle and Isbell tomorrow”