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”

Wilco perform new song “Tell Your Friends” – Watch

We’re slightly late to the party with this one but at the end of last week Wilco premiered new song ‘Tell Your Friends’ as a lockdown performance for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Each member of the band performed the song via live stream surrounded by family and pets. The song focussing on reuniting with friends at the end of this pandemic contained the refrain: “Don’t forget to tell your friends/This is going to end/Oh, and I needed you.” It’s available for purchase on Bandcamp, and all proceeds from the single will go toward José Andrés’ organization World Central Kitchen, which provides meals and other relief to those affected by the pandemic.

AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Clint West

Welcome to a brand new feature. At AUK we are on a 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. So whilst we all have sleepless nights whittling the whole history of Americana down to just 10 albums, you can sit back and cast a critical eye. Both nods of approval and sighs of incredulity are fully expected. We welcome your comments and observations in the box provided at the bottom of the page. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Clint West”

“What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Paul Villers

Well we haven’t had a piece for a while (lots of things going on but people are staying safe, thankfully) so the ‘developer’ of this feature is going to put his own ten pence worth in. We hope you, dear reader, enjoy this latest instalment of “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…” Continue reading ““What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Paul Villers”

AUK’s Chain Gang: Wilco “Passenger Side”

So we begin our first full week back with a new feature here on AUK whereby we are starting our own kind of version of Radcliffe and Maconie’s The Chain, a never-ending list of americana songs with some connection between each new track to the last. What better way to start with this track from Wilco’s ‘AM’ album, one of the first and indeed finest records in the 90s new wave of americana which contains the classic line “You’re gonna make me spill my beer, If you don’t learn how to steer”.  Which weirdly enough is exactly what I said to my Uber driver last Friday.

The best gigs of 2019: a personal reflection

“I think that live music is something that the internet can never kill”  – Jim James (My Morning Jacket).  In an age when we can access our favourite music in so many ways and so many forms, for me the best way remains – live. I’m not talking massive stadium or arena gigs, but small and medium-sized venues with character and intimacy. With only a handful of exceptions, these are the places where most Americana artists will ply their trade in the UK. Luckily for me, there are a number of such venues in Manchester providing the opportunity to see top acts for relatively small amounts of money. Continue reading “The best gigs of 2019: a personal reflection”

Wilco “Ode to Joy” (dBpm Records, 2019)

Approaching an album by Wilco is an interesting proposition for a committed Wilco fan. Is it going to be a magnum opus – ‘A Ghost Is Born‘ or ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot‘; a slight but fuzzy affair ‘Star Wars‘ or ‘Schmilco‘, or something different again – and there’s the rub. Wilco fans like different but not too different  – they are cut from the same cloth as Old Shakey.  They like it that he sticks the middle finger up to doing what’s expected but… but they’d really like to hear a new ‘On the Beach‘.
Continue reading “Wilco “Ode to Joy” (dBpm Records, 2019)”

Jeff Tweedy’s house gets shot at

The Guardian are reporting today that numerous gunshots have been fired at the Chicago home of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, with his wife, Susan Miller Tweedy, reporting hearing “seven to 10 shots fired at what sounded like right at our house … A bullet went through the storm door to our balcony and lodged in the wooden door.” She went on to say that Tweedy found seven bullet casings outside their home. Continue reading “Jeff Tweedy’s house gets shot at”

Black Deer 2020 announces Wilco as headliner

Black Deer Festival have announced their first names for next year’s festival and the line-up is already something of a mic drop moment, including as it does The Waterboys, Canadian folk and bluegrass ensemble The Dead South, Grammy-nominated folk duo The Milk Carton Kids, Arizona’s Courtney Marie Andrews, New York natives The Felice Brothers and the headline act of none other than Wilco, an exclusive for the South of England. Here’s the line-up poster so far: Continue reading “Black Deer 2020 announces Wilco as headliner”

Wilco, Albert Hall, Manchester, 27th September 2019

To say that Jeff Tweedy’s band have, over the years, become something of an Americana institution is to put the ‘under’ well and truly into ‘understatement’. Such is the band’s stature that their gigs nowadays might equally and legitimately be labelled as ‘events’. So, to the majestic surroundings of Manchester’s Albert Hall,  devotees travelled from across the north of England and beyond to witness one of only three UK dates on the current Wilco tour. Despite a hefty £38 ticket price, the show was sold out weeks in advance. Continue reading “Wilco, Albert Hall, Manchester, 27th September 2019”