What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…

Here’s another voyage into the psyche of our writers and contributors in which we interrogate the (often) unfathomable reasons why we are all such junkies for this Americana stuff. This week self-confessed needle dropper Andrew Frolish documents his journey from the unfashionable to the deeply unfashionable (or fashionable to the uber fashionable depending on who you talk to). As a needle dropper we’re not sure if he’s a junkie, a vinyl junkie or just a rubbish seamstress (but we could probably find out). Continue reading “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…”

Here’s 10 americana songs with great lyrics

Given the way in in which people typically consume music nowadays, all too often the lyrics are sidelined, if not completely overlooked. But great lyrics are often what make the best songs truly memorable. The following is the first in an occasional series about songs with great lyrics. Mark Underwood explains what makes the following 10 tracks so special. Continue reading “Here’s 10 americana songs with great lyrics”

Listen to new Townes Van Zandt album in full

Well that’s it for this week dear readers, and what a wretched one it’s been in various ways. We leave you anyway with something decidely not-wretched. The lovely people over at NPR Music are currently streaming a new Townes Van Zandt record on their site which comes out a week today. Continue reading “Listen to new Townes Van Zandt album in full”

RS on the songwriter who saved Townes Van Zandt’s life

Really interesting piece up on RS today about an americana legend and a slightly less well known musician: “A lot of lore surrounds the brief but colorful career of Townes Van Zandt, the gifted songwriter who died in 1997 from a heart attack at age 52, with much of it dedicated to his unbridled substance abuse. His biographies invariably note the heroin overdose he survived in the early 1970s, but the untold story is how Van Zandt’s life was saved that day – by musician Daniel Antopolsky. Continue reading “RS on the songwriter who saved Townes Van Zandt’s life”

Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017

Now in its 11th year, Glasgow Americana brightened up the dark nights coming in as we prepare for winter. Over five days the festival provided a strong set of concerts which showcased some of the brightest talents from the Scottish roots scene along with the usual complement of visiting stars. Altogether over 20 acts appeared at several venues across the city with many of the shows selling out, the venues including converted churches, a brewery, tiny pub back rooms and, according to Michael Weston King of My Darling Clementine, a squash court. As often happens when such a lot of music is squeezed into such a tight time line there were clashes meaning your correspondent had to forego some shows however online comments and actual chat with those who had gone to those shows beamed back with positive smiles and thumbs up. There was a fine mix of standard gigs featuring a headliner along with a couple of portmanteau shows offering a range of acts playing shorter sets. Continue reading “Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017”

Lowlands and Friends “Play Townes Van Zandt’s Last Set” (Route 61/Harbour Song Records 2017)

Italian band Lowlands have form in the tribute album area with their homage to Woody Guthrie from a few years back a fine reimagining of the old hobo’s songs. Here they celebrate the late great Townes Van Zandt with a song by song delivery of his last ever setlist, a show at London’s Borderline on 3rd December 1996 just four weeks before his untimely death on January 1st. Edward Abbiati, the Anglo Italian lynchpin of Lowlands was at that show, an experience he describes in the extensive liner notes where he also writes about why he recorded the album and records his gratitude to the stellar friends who joined in the project. It’s an impressive line up with Sid Griffin, Chris Cacavas, Rod Picott, Antonio Gramentieri, The Lucky Strikes, Cheap Wine, Kevin Russell and Stiv Cantarelli just some of the artists involved. Continue reading “Lowlands and Friends “Play Townes Van Zandt’s Last Set” (Route 61/Harbour Song Records 2017)”