Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)

Gordon Barry, an award-winning Irish singer-songwriter from charming Wexford, has remarkably handsome vocal talent and refined musical skills. ‘All the Live Long Year‘, the follow up to Barry’s debut album ‘The Best Way To Kill A Monster‘, is graced with some delicate melodies and alluring harmonies together with the superb skills of established Irish musicians Christian Best (Drums), Conor Brady (Guitar) & Cian Boylan (Piano, keys). Continue reading “Gordon Barry “All The Live Long Year” (Froggy Bug Music, 2020)”

Book Review: Todd Westbrook “Americanaville” (Independent, 2020)

Americanaville is a project created by Todd Westbrook that saw its inception as an essay but which has now burgeoned into a series of chapters that are currently available for free at http://tswestbrook.com. Westbrook describes a personal journey through Country, Americana, Bluegrass and Roots music that takes many detours but never loses its central thread of a series of recordings that, for Westbrook, have been seminal in shaping his experience of the music described. Continue reading “Book Review: Todd Westbrook “Americanaville” (Independent, 2020)”

10 songs about truckers and trucking – Part 2

So many good things were left out of the recent first offering that here’s a second helping of songs about truckers and trucking, including two very different takes on the same track, some thoughts about female drivers and a final track that needs, and has, no introduction or commentary (you may be relieved to hear). Update: Thanks to reader Pat Chappelle we have been able to sort our, ‘Mother Truckers‘, from our, ‘Bad Mother Truckers‘, and our Eric Church from our Billy Joe Shaver.  So here is Eric Church with ‘Bad Mother Trucker’, with the appropriate lyrics.  Cheers, Pat.  Continue reading “10 songs about truckers and trucking – Part 2”

Ten Americana songs about telephony

Where would the world of Americana be without Alexander Graham Bell’s little invention? How could anyone call their Baby to let them know they’re coming home to them? How else could they pour their heart out to someone they’ve never met or are likely to meet? When it comes to letting someone know just how you feel, whether it’s good, bad or pretty indifferent, a letter just doesn’t cut it. Letters are great for returning to sender or encouraging you to take an aeroplane instead of a fast train, but you’re not going to write to the sorting office imploring them to save your love life and a letter won’t encourage you to pull over to the side of the road, on a whim, every twenty miles or so, just to hear a loved one’s voice on the other side of the country. For instant yearning declarations of emotion you need a phone – and a good telephone system. You need lines, operators, call boxes – you need telephony! Continue reading “Ten Americana songs about telephony”

Songs for the Rehearsal

As AUK’s resident miserabilist (self-appointed, though there is clearly plenty of competition) I feel it is incumbent on me to offer some kind of alternative background music for the approaching doomsday scenario. Now I’m not saying that we are heading for the end of days, just that sometimes when you wake up and your day slowly blurs into focus, as you re-calibrate your circumstances it can certainly feel like it. Continue reading “Songs for the Rehearsal”

“What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Gordon Sharpe

You lucky people: whilst we are all (hopefully) self-isolating – watch how quickly that comment dates – you will have plenty of time to read the latest instalment of “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway” in which our writers and contributors tell us what, why and where they got into Americana. This week top bloke and diamond geezer Gordon (Not A Moron) Sharpe steers into his choices via a jazz route, which is refreshingly different, and tells us of his love for the smaller venue. Continue reading ““What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Gordon Sharpe”

Tom Waits releases for Record Store Day, but not on Gold vinyl

Gold would surely have been the obvious choice, not because Waits’ voice reminds one of the Spandau Ballet dirge, but because that’s what his 2006 triple album ‘Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards’ achieved in terms of sales.   What the first ever vinyl release will be though is red, grey and blue – it’s a triple album after all.  So that’s yet another reason to be camping outside the Friendly Local Record Store (FLRS) on the evening of the 20th of April. Continue reading “Tom Waits releases for Record Store Day, but not on Gold vinyl”

Ady Johnson “London Songs” (Independent, 2018)

It isn’t often that a record reminds the listener of Ray Davies, Mark Linkous and Tom Waits, as this one does. It has the lyrical sensibility of Davies, the clatter and oomph of Waits at his most extravagant and it has the shifts in tone, the juxtaposition of the abrasive and the beautiful as mastered by Sparklehorse. This eclecticism raises it above the usual level, enabling him to use bold swipes like the way the brass slashes across ‘Problems of Your Own’, changing the arc of the song. And how many are brave enough to use the bullfrog rumble of the tuba as Johnson does on ‘Put the World on Standby.’ Continue reading “Ady Johnson “London Songs” (Independent, 2018)”

Anti records to re-release Tom Waits’ entire 1970s Elektra Asylum catalogue

Tom Waits’ first seven albums, originally released through Elektra Asylum Records in the 1970’s, have been re-mastered and will be re-released via Anti-Records. All titles, many of which have been long out of print, will be re-issued on hi-quality 180 gram vinyl throughout 2018. CD versions will be available on 23 March with the first record, Waits’ debut album “Closing Time” available on 180 gram vinyl, digital platforms and streaming services from 9th March.  The record foreshadows the distinctly lyrical storytelling and original blending of jazz, blues and folk styles that would come to be associated with Waits.  You can order it in its various formats here, or you can listen to the whole thing below. Nice blue lamp Tom! Continue reading “Anti records to re-release Tom Waits’ entire 1970s Elektra Asylum catalogue”

Tom Waits’ remastered “Anti” albums out next month

If you’re stuck for stocking fillers for 6 different people this Christmas, Tom Waits is set to release newly remastered versions of each of his acclaimed albums in the Anti-catalogue next month. In addition, the album ‘Real Gone’ has been fully remixed and individual releases of each of the 3 discs of ‘Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards’ will be available early 2018.  Continue reading “Tom Waits’ remastered “Anti” albums out next month”