We leave you this week dear reader with a clip of Yola (who is EVERYWHERE these days), who performed her single ‘I Don’t Wanna Lie’ on The Late Late Show With James Corden earlier in the week – incidentally you can now watch this show in the UK courtesy of the new Sky Comedy channel, comedy and James Corden of course being a subjective thing. The queen of country soul was recently announced to play legendary singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, in Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama ‘Elvis’. Baz Luhrmann, urgh… but still, it’s Yola. It’s Spring on Sunday by the meteorological calendar, although maybe don’t get out your gardening gloves just yet. Have a good one.
Here’s AUK favourite, Yola’s excellent recent live performance on The Tonight Show, celebrating her four Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. The 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on January 26th – fingers crossed for her. Here, also, is her brilliant Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music, which showcases that incredible, soaring voice.
We are collectively big fans of Yola here at AUK as she swept the board for our readers poll in 2019 on the back of her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Walk Through Fire’ which is brimming with elegant country soul. Yola received four GRAMMY award nominations including Best New Artist as well as Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance for her song ‘Faraway Look’. You can hear it below along with some other cuts from her appearance in NPR’s wonderful Tiny Desk Concert series. Something to cheer you up on apparently the most miserable day of the year (although be warned, there’s a long way to go).
Rolling Stone Country published a really interesting piece just before we had our Christmas break which described how americana was once a niche genre (rude), before finding a wider audience in the last decade citing artists like the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and the Avett Brothers. Cue the heated debate over what constitutes americana but hey, if a band causes a banjo to be played on Radio 1, who are we to cast the first stone. Continue reading “RS Country: “How Americana Went Mainstream in the 2010s””
Our video offering today is celebrating the recent winner of the AUK readers’ poll for best UK artist and best solo artist. Her debut album, ‘Walk Through Fire’ was a huge critical success in 2019, leading to four Grammy nominations. The video for ‘Ride Out in the Country’ is delightfully and unexpectedly dark. Watch closely while you absorb that gorgeous voice.
I can quite vividly remember New Year’s Eve last year, with family members clustered around the TV set for Jools Holland’s Hootenanny and the satisfaction I had in being able to point to a rising star in the Americana genre, a musical form for whom most of those assembled had either little interest or understanding. Not surprisingly, the person in question was Yola, winner of this year’s AUK’s readers poll best UK artist and best solo artist – and 2019 has proven to be more successful for her than she could possibly have imagined. Continue reading “2019 has been Yola’s year”
So here we are again. If the word “poll” is still making you break out in cold sweats, this will hopefully be cathartic before the year is out. We should have actually started counting the number of years we’ve done this – From recollection, in our first readers poll, the winner of best new act was Thomas Edison and Alfonso XIII of Spain was our hero of the year, although it has moved on from the days when Ryan Adams won every other category (and not the one he almost came runner-up in this year). Let’s just say that two artists in particular have done very well this year. Congratulations to Gary Walker who wins some promos which will be winging their way to you soon! So without further ado, here are the results from this year’s AUK readers poll. Continue reading “Here are the results of 2019’s Americana UK readers poll!”
“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”
The first time Americana-UK caught a live performance from William Prince was at the Indo Nashville venue as part of the Canadian Blast event at AmericanaFest in September three months ago, his warm, enveloping baritone feeling like a great big hug – while the honesty and emotional power at the heart of his songs captivated the small audience who were lucky enough to be in attendance that day. If you’ve yet to hear of William Prince, but you’re a Vodafone customer, then you may be more familiar with him than you realise seeing as his song ‘Breathless’ featured as the “hold” music for the telecoms provider earlier this year. More importantly, this multi-talented singer-songwriter and musician gained wider recognition when he received the JUNO award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in 2017 for his debut release, ‘Earthly Days’. Continue reading “Interview: William Prince”
It’s been a big year for Yola. Her Dan Auerbach produced debut album ‘Walk Through Fire’ was released in February to wide critical acclaim. It has since gone on to be nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best Americana Album’ whilst Yola herself has also been nominated for ‘Best New Artist’. Given the current upward trajectory of her career, most of those arriving for tonight’s show probably realised that this may well be their last chance to see her perform in a small to mid-sized venue. Continue reading “Yola, Gorilla, Manchester, 3rd December 2019”