Static Roots Festival, Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, Germany, 12-13th July 2019

It’s festival season for sure as hordes of music fans pack both wellies and sun cream as they head off for a weekend of unbridled fun. Be it the massive set up at Glastonbury or the rootsier confines of Maverick there’s plenty to choose from but for sheer unadulterated Americana joy then one need look no further than this unassuming spot in Germany’s Ruhr district, the small, post industrial town of Oberhausen, home to Static Roots. Now in its fourth year, Static Roots has grown from an initial invite only event to being sold out for the first time with several hundred fans gathered together in a converted zinc factory to see and hear 13 acts, most of them surely familiar to readers of AUK. There’s no corporate funding, no kowtowing to fashion, the line up purely a reflection of the festival’s director’s musical tastes  which are somewhat impeccable. Continue reading “Static Roots Festival, Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, Germany, 12-13th July 2019”

The Long Ryders + The Hanging Stars, Gorilla, Manchester, 10 April 2019

It seems that nearly everyone you speak to arrived at this thing we call Americana via a different route. One area of commonality though, is that The Long Ryders were an important step on that journey, or indeed, for some, the beginning of it. For this reason, the band continue to be held in high regard and with great affection by their loyal fan base. The demographic of tonight’s audience suggests that the majority are long-standing fans. Long Ryder’s shows in recent years have been hugely enjoyable nostalgia trips. This year, there is a new dynamic; the band have released the excellent ‘Psychedelic Country Soul’ album, to critical acclaim and no little commercial success (Sid Griffin took much delight in informing the audience that it had reached number one in the official UK Americana album chart). Continue reading “The Long Ryders + The Hanging Stars, Gorilla, Manchester, 10 April 2019”

The Long Road Festival announces its 2019 line-up

Following the success of the first Long Road festival last year, the 3-day “music and lifestyle” event will return to Stanford Hall in Leicestershire this summer. Running from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th September, the festival has announced the first wave of acts confirmed to perform at this year’s event including its two headliners, country singers Kip Moore and Josh Turner. Continue reading “The Long Road Festival announces its 2019 line-up”

Americana Music Fest 30th January, Hackney, London

Previous showcases at the AMAUK conference had run for just a single night – expanding to two nights had more than doubled the excitement. And if the previous evening had offered some hard choices then this second night of the AMAUK showcase upped the ante by bringing in Moth Club as a venue, which meant that most time slots now offered a chance of three bands or artists. This cold wet evening started once again at Hackney Empire Bar with the superb sound of The Hanging Stars. Continue reading “Americana Music Fest 30th January, Hackney, London”

The Hanging Stars “For You (My Blue Eyed Son)” – Listen

Rising new stars of jangly country rock The Hanging Stars released this, their new single, as they geared up for a tour supporting GospelbeacH.  The first date was yesterday but they’re playing Manchester tonight then up to Scotland for a couple of nights, scooting to Red Rooster Festival in Suffolk, a detour to Wales and finishing up in London June 4th.  Check their website for details, whilst you sit back and revel in this mellow masterclass in harmony vocals.  And jangly guitar.

The Hanging Stars, the Victoria, Dalston, London, 22nd February 2018

The Hanging Stars brought the sound of summer to the Victoria pub in Dalston on an otherwise cold and dismal February night last Thursday. Launching their sophomore release, ‘Songs for Somewhere Else,’ The Hanging Stars were appropriately accompanied by a mindbending liquid light show from Innerstrings which acted as a perfect counterpoint to their music – described by the band as ‘cosmic psychedelic country folk soul.’ Continue reading “The Hanging Stars, the Victoria, Dalston, London, 22nd February 2018”

The Hanging Stars “Songs For Somewhere Else” (Crimson Crow, 2018)

THS are carving out a nice niche for themselves. They sit somewhere between the Broken Family Band and the Rockingbirds with a dash of psychedelic hot sauce. At their most esoteric they are able to combine traditional Country sounds with something a little less traditional: Dig A Hole starts off with steel guitar leading the way in a country shuffle then a middle section that relocates Calexico to Heckmondwike which changes the perspective before the steel guitar once again cascades over the song like a river of molten lava, for the last section the brass and steel flash against each other. Continue reading “The Hanging Stars “Songs For Somewhere Else” (Crimson Crow, 2018)”