Mention the Chicago music scene to anyone and the Southside blues of Muddy Waters may spring to mind, others may recall a vibrant soul scene which included the Impressions and Curtis Mayfield, the Chicago folk scene gave us Roger McGuinn, John Prine and Steve Goodman, but the Chicago country scene? It may surprise some readers that Chicago was once the centre of the country music industry. The same economic factors that drove Southern blacks north from the Mississippi Delta, also influenced Appalachian and Southern whites which lead to a vibrant local scene supported by WAL-MS’s National Barn Dance radio show. Eventually the music wound down, with The Grand Ole Opry and Nashville taking precedence, however bluegrass continued to be popular from the ‘60s to the ‘90s as part of the folk scene with The Sundowners continuing to fly the local country flag. The Sundowners were a major influence on alt country’s Robbie Fulks. Continue reading “Various Artists “Pandemophenia” (Bloodshot Records, 2020)”
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. With 10 writers now having had their say we are a quarter of the way through and we hope you agree that it’s been a fascinating series. Straight on to number 11 then. This week’s selections come from Bristol’s very own Tim Martin. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Tim Martin”
It was with a long and rolling anecdote that we finally approached the issue that was bugging Tom Petty – the thing that was the very crux of the matter. Seems that this time around the big music tour had got bigger, the ticket prices were through the roof, and although Johnny gave it his all he was failing to connect. It wasn’t just that the almighty dollar had won the argument but more the existential angst of the once relevant music idol being reduced to the question:”Could that man on stage with everything somehow need some more ?“. Continue reading “What should I do, Americana UK?”
The Tom Petty estate has released an unearthed 1993 demo of ‘You Don’t Know How it Feels’ which is the first track to be taken from the long-awaited ‘Wildflowers’ archival project. The song was the lead single from the album and eventually reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Petty recorded the much more fragile, acoustic take at his home studio, providing a more intimate feel than the original, and it contains a verse that would later show up on the penultimate track on the album, ‘Crawling Back to You.’ The album reflects Petty’s failing 20 years plus marriage to his wife Jane Benyo. “I’m so tired of being tired,” he sings. “Sure as night will follow day/Most things I worry about/Never happen anyway.”
And so another week comes to its inevitable conclusion dear reader as we go into what may or may not be the penultimate bank holiday weekend of the year – there are plenty of live streams happening if you fancy bedding yourself in with a beer but in the meantime, we leave you this week with two pieces of new music. Below you can find the latest song by Mike Rosenberg aka Passenger – ‘Queenstown’ is about a road trip around New Zealand’s South Island a few years ago “… it was one of the most magical times of my life . This song I think encapsulates that feeling of travel and freedom – something that we are all probably missing greatly at the moment.” But before that here’s Jesse Malin covering Tom Petty’s ‘Crawling Back to You’ a from Petty’s 1994 album ‘Wildflowers’. Malin saw Petty perform the song at the Hollywood Bowl in 2017 — at what would turn out to be Petty’s final show. Stay safe and have a good one.
Mike Campell aka one of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers has released a new song online ‘Lockdown’ – odd title, we’re not sure what it’s about? He’s releasing it to raise money for the charity Feeding America which runs much needed at the moment food banks across the US. Continue reading “Buy Heartbreaker Mike Campbell’s new song and help feed America”
Tom Petty is one of the strongest and most resonant of all the artists connecting the 1970s to current Americana. In a desperately shortened career that still spanned over 41 years he wrote songs that appealed to the plaid wearing beer-drinking hell raisers, the shiny popsters with their beatboxes and hip shoes, the blue-collar workers heading out to their dead-end jobs singing to their dashboards about freedom and every other social grouping besides. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z – Tom Petty”
This week in our occasional series in which we ask the Americana UK staff writers and contributors to give us a handle on the what, whys and wherefores that got them into the genre, Tim Martin goes up before the beak to explain himself to the gathered hoard. Apparently he’s not a punk or a heavy metal drummer (at least not anymore if ever he was). Read on to find out exactly where he does stand… Continue reading “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?”
Daniel Meade is many things but never dull. He’s been around in one form or another it seems forever, so prolific and varied is his work. Generally, that work would consist of rootsy music set to country beats but he has been known to deviate. It’s fair to say that’s the case with his latest release and this time he’s foregone that western flavour in favour of a more ballsy approach. Continue reading “Daniel Meade “When Was The Last Last Time” (Button Up Records, 2018)”
Rounder Records have posted a nice clip this morning of Chris Hillman performing what seems to be the go to song now for Tom Petty tributes. The performance is taken from his October 2017 concert at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, and Hillman‘s version of “Wildflowers” also appeared on his 2017 album “Bidin’ My Time” which was produced by Tom Petty.