Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires exit CMA after John Prine snub

The Country Music Association is something of a walking disaster zone at the moment. Some stalwarts who died this year were honoured during the 2020 CMA awards show last night, including Kenny Rogers, Charlie Daniels, and Mac Davis, but three other recently deceased icons went completely unmentioned during the broadcast: John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver. And this has not gone unnoticed – Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires have announced that they’re returning their lifetime membership cards to the Country Music Association. In a tweet Isbell wrote: “I doubt anybody will care, but we cared a lot about our heroes.” Continue reading “Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires exit CMA after John Prine snub”

Sturgill Simpson “Cuttin’ Grass, Vol 1 : The Butcher Shoppe Sessions” (High Top Mountain Records, 2020)

Sturgill Simpson is a man in a hurry. Having established a reputation as a distinctive voice tackling those Cosmic issues in his own way, with albums such as ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music‘ and ‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth‘, he took a quick ‘Trans‘ shaped excursion with his last album ‘Sound & Fury‘ which brought in a rockier sound – and many synthesizers – and an accompanying anime film. Clearly not one to sit on his laurels, or to do the predictable thing, the new album ‘Cuttin; Grass Vol 1‘ is a double LP sized serving of his native Kentucky’s traditional bluegrass.  It’s not an obvious move, but one that is likely to cause less furore than accompanied the appearance of ‘Sound & Fury‘. Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson “Cuttin’ Grass, Vol 1 : The Butcher Shoppe Sessions” (High Top Mountain Records, 2020)”

Sturgill to release first bluegrass album

Sturgill Simpson has announced the release of his first solo bluegrass album, ‘Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1: The Butcher Shoppe Sessions’ which comes out today. Or tomorrow, whichever way you look at his Instagram post on it. The album, a follow up to 2019’s ‘Sound and Fury’ was meant to be a surprise release but those pesky fans spotted its early listing on an online streaming site. Continue reading “Sturgill to release first bluegrass album”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Ewan Lury

At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘top 10 americana albums ever’. Over the last few weeks our writers have been going through the mental anguish of trying to narrow the whole history of americana down to just ten albums. When every writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. Having last week featured one our most senior writers, this week we turn to our youngest. I must admit I’ve been looking forward to this one and a younger perspective. Ewan Lury, of course, has not disappointed. A fascinating list. Enjoy. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Ewan Lury”

Pick of the Political Pops: Sturgill Simpson “The Promise”

We had a quick straw poll amongst the residents of Americana-UK Towers and pretty much to a man and woman we decided that this was the crappiest zombie apocalypse that we have ever lived through. We didn’t get to break out the AK-47s and go on a zombie slaughterfest. We didn’t get to loot the local Cooperative Stores mini-market for its plentiful stock of artisan gin and Green Shield stamps. We didn’t even get to strike up unlikely relationships with the same/opposite sex, bound together by a desperate need for survival, companionship and consensual (if desperate) sex. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Sturgill Simpson “The Promise””

Ten Americana artists from Kentucky

If you were to find yourself cruising down Interstate-75 in the Renfro Valley area of Kentucky you may feel inclined to take a detour at exit 62 and head on down to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. A caveat at the current time would be that you may find some time to kill upon your arrival, as the said attraction will not reopen until September. That aside, within its hallowed walls are inductees aplenty including the likes of The Everly Brothers, Loretta Lynne, Bill Monroe, Merle Travis and Ricky Skaggs. Continue reading “Ten Americana artists from Kentucky”

Sturgill Simpson announces live stream show from the Ryman

Sturgill Simpson released his latest album ‘Sound & Fury’ (along with its accompanying animated film) last year, and was scheduled to shortly go on tour with Tyler Childers to support of it, but that like everything else was cancelled due to the pandemic. Still in a win for the environment, Simpson has announced a livestream performance from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium which will take place tomorrow (June 5th) at 8 PM USA ET. Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson announces live stream show from the Ryman”

Margo Price releases new live album featuring Emmylou and Sturgill

Margo Price has announced the surprise release of a new live album, ‘Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman’. Out today exclusively on Bandcamp, all proceeds benefit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, and while Margo has been working on putting the energy of those gigs back out into the world ever since they happened, she couldn’t wait any longer. Continue reading “Margo Price releases new live album featuring Emmylou and Sturgill”

Sturgill Simpson tests positive for Covid-19

Sturgill Simpson has announced in a lengthy Instagram post that he has tested positive for COVID-19, writing that he received the diagnosis on Friday after almost a month of not exhibiting symptoms. Simpson describes his frustration at not being tested in mid-March after his tour of the US was cut short, but appears to be doing OK at the moment, although clearly exasperated at the baby-king’s response nationally. Here’s the post: Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson tests positive for Covid-19”

Video: Sturgill Simpson “A Good Look”

One of last year’s standout albums was ‘Sound & Fury’ by the great, Grammy-winning Sturgill Simpson.  Here’s the latest video from the album, featuring blistering guitars, disco rhythms and animated footage from the Netflix anime movie that accompanied the album’s release.  Here’s how we described ‘Sound & Fury’: “…an adventurous, genre-smashing album. It’s an exhilarating ride from start to finish, reinforcing Simpson’s reputation as one of the most exciting musicians around.”  Read the full review here.