C2C Country To Country, 02, London, 10th March 2019

The passion for some forms of modern country music is well and truly alive in the UK. This touring festival of Country/Americana acts which travels to the UK and around the world once per year is a much bigger affair than I had imagined it to be. It is the perfect PR machine for the brand. The 02 is an impressive venue and the atmosphere was friendly and positive. These fans, many in checked shirts and hats, clearly love their music and in some respects this is a perfect opportunity to see some of the biggest names in Country playing in one of the UK’s largest venues. For those that attend C2C, country music takes many forms. The large majority of the acts are not country in the traditional form. What is on display is the genre in its more modern form – a sound that is both commercialised and tinged with pop Americana. The stories of the songs haven’t changed, however. The themes of the songs are still of the road, lost love, whiskey and women. Continue reading “C2C Country To Country, 02, London, 10th March 2019”

The Long Road announces additions to line-up

The new country, Americana and roots festival The Long Road has announced a second wave of artists today for its inaugural event which takes place in Leicestershire from 7th-9th September. Joining the likes of Lee Ann Womack, Billy Bragg, Angaleena Presley, The Shires, Catherine McGrath, The Wandering Hearts, Una Healy and Danielle Bradbery will be a string of US country acts including Joshua Hedley (whose new album we were preening over last week), Charlie Worsham, Elizabeth Cook, Caroline Spence, Zack Logan, Dori Freeman and American Young, chart-topping British duo Ward Thomas, slide guitarist and singer Luke Winslow-King, Texas-born singer-songwriter Jarrod Dickenson, as well as Swedish guitar duo Dimpker Brothers and Liverpool-born former lead singer of pop band Lawson, Andy Brown. Continue reading “The Long Road announces additions to line-up”

Interview: Black Deer Festival’s Gill Tee and Debs Shilling

Deborah Shilling and Gill Tee photographed by Alun Callender

One of the most exciting events this year for the world of Americana in the UK takes place towards the end of next month. Black Deer is basically everything you want from a festival – frighteningly good artists such as Jason Isbell and Iron & Wine that fall just the right side of cool (i.e. they’re probably not going to do moody sets), multiple stages, good food and a part of the country that’s as good a guarantee of decent weather as you’re going to get from somewhere in the UK in June (if the presumptiveness of that angers fate and it now does rain, apologies in advance). Oh and motorbikes too. Mark Whitfield spoke to the co-founders of Black Deer, Gill and Debs, about how the festival came about, who they’re most looking forward to see play and what americana music means to them. Continue reading “Interview: Black Deer Festival’s Gill Tee and Debs Shilling”

The Wandering Hearts announce UK autumn tour

Following the success of their debut album ‘Wild Silence’ and an all important appearance on the Andrew Marr show without sneakily changing any lyrics, Americana’s answer to the New Main Street Singers, The Wandering Hearts, have announced a UK headline tour in November/December, including a London show at Islington Assembly Hall on Wednesday 28 November. Having already sold out three London headline dates, most recently Bush Hall, the show is being hailed as the band’s biggest performance yet. Continue reading “The Wandering Hearts announce UK autumn tour”