What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?

Our occasional feature on the whys and wherefores of Americana is back – this time featuring prolific writer and former metal fiend turned Gram Parson aficionado Mark Underwood. He once upon a time used to write for Music Week don’t you know (we didn’t). Continue reading “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?”

Songs for the apocalypse: Whiskeytown “Houses on the Hill”

It’s sobering to think that North Carolina band Whiskeytown formed 25 years ago now, and while they’re best known for being Ryan Adams’ first project, they were more than the sum of their parts and very much a group effort, with Caitlin Cary and Mike Daly in particular being a key part of what made their sound so appealing (notably the Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha was a member of the band at one point too). ‘Houses on the Hill’ was the highlight of the elegiac ‘Strangers Almanac’ album and not just Whiskeytown’s canon but Adams’ whole output for me. The lyrics and melody are still unbearably moving, and regardless of anything that’s gone on personally for Adams, I will always love this song dearly.

House Above The Sun “Five Hours North” (HATS Music, 2017)

HATS are a celebratory kind of a band; their music rings with the joy of making music, not the artistic struggle. The songs don’t sound like they were wrung from a tormented soul, more like they escaped like blissful bursts of inspiration. They’re an Americana band, blending most of the touchstones, corralling folk, blues, country and rock. Footsteps relies on acoustic guitar and harmonies to gain a foothold, gradually introducing the piano, electric guitars and drums with a relaxed easy charm that is infectious. Continue reading “House Above The Sun “Five Hours North” (HATS Music, 2017)”