VERSIONS – “Domino”

Welcome to another of our series in which we examine a song or tune and the different ways that it has been handled by various artists. We also look at the way a song or tune has been handled in different ways by the same artist. This time Paul Villers puts the microscope over Van Morrison’s ‘Domino’. Continue reading “VERSIONS – “Domino””

AUK’s Top Ten Americana Albums Ever: Paul Villers

At AUK we are now well into our quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the coming weeks and months each AUK writer will in turn, present their own personal selections. When each 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. This week’s writer placing his head on the block is Paul Villers. Continue reading “AUK’s Top Ten Americana Albums Ever: Paul Villers”

Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Edwina Hayes

Born in Dublin, Edwina Hayes grew up in Preston, Lancashire before moving to the East coast of Yorkshire. Hayes now divides her time between the UK and Nashville, where she is a much-loved songwriter and artist.  Hayes’s beautifully written songs, charming stage presence and voice of an angel have won her a reputation as a real natural talent of gentle folk-Americana. Continue reading “Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Edwina Hayes”

10 country rock tracks by UK artists

Country rock is a genre of music that was developed in America in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s by American rock musicians adopting country flavourings and as a genre lasted until the end of the’70s. That’s a fairly standard definition of country rock but this list looks chronologically at  10 country rock tracks by UK artists just to show that it wasn’t just happening in the States. All the artists at the time were viewed as significant rock or new wave artists or at the very least acts with commercial potential so at the time were part of the then-current mainstream. Continue reading “10 country rock tracks by UK artists”

Van Morrison announces London Palladium shows for 2020

Exhibit one: Saxophones in pop are crimes against music: discuss. News today that Van Morrison has announced five London shows next year – at the London Palladium on March 20,21,22,24 & 25th. Tickets go on sale 9.00am tomorrow (Friday) morning. Continue reading “Van Morrison announces London Palladium shows for 2020”

Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary, Cadogan Hall, London, 13th July 2019

There’s no real reason why in the mid-1950s a form of music already more or less forgotten in its homeland should have got a revival in the UK. Yet the short-lived Skiffle craze – a wild blend of Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, country blues and folk – has a lot to answer for: out went the jazz bands and the piano-led ballads, the light music of a previous generation and in came a wild form of guitar-based folk music. And recycled American folk music at that. And it was Lonnie Donegan who kick-started it all with his recording of Rock Island Line on the 13th of July 1954 – exactly 65 years prior to this portmanteau concert. Continue reading “Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary, Cadogan Hall, London, 13th July 2019”

Hugh Christopher Brown “Pacem” (Wolfe Island Records, 2017)

There’s a lot about this record that reminds me of Van Morrison, the deep spirituality and the fluid jazz notes being the foremost. Brown has a range of talents and founded a program to introduce music to prisons. He’s a fearless artist. The record opens with ‘Prayer of St Ignatius’, with vocals from Sherry Zbrovsky, with minimal backing just some comforting flecks of jazz – it’s a start that flummoxed me. The record then moves on to more familiar territory, albeit again, pared back spiritual, confessional, full of atmosphere sketched from acoustic guitar and piano, a rumbling undercurrent, intimate and in a small way strident, Brown draws you in. Continue reading “Hugh Christopher Brown “Pacem” (Wolfe Island Records, 2017)”

Van Morrison joins Americana Awards 2017 line-up

If we could afford to cover this in person we would, although you do avoid Van on a bad day biting your head off (sorry, lazy journalism there). Rolling Stone Country reports: “Eclectic UK rock legends Van Morrison and Graham Nash, both of whom have been directly influenced by American music will both take the stage to perform at the Americana Honors & Awards Show on September 13th at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.  Continue reading “Van Morrison joins Americana Awards 2017 line-up”