AMA-UK announce nominations and honours for 2021 awards

It seems a lifetime ago since the revelries of the 2020 AMAUK awards back in January, but it’s that time of year again – The UK Americana Music Association has revealed the nominations for the seven member-voted categories of the UK Americana Awards 2021, and also the winners of the special awards presented by the AMA-UK board, which this year includes Elvis Costello for the AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, Mavis Staples for the International Lifetime Achievement Award, Christine McVie for the Trailblazer Award, Steve Earle for the International Trailblazer Award and the Songwriter Legacy Award, specially created this year for the late John Prine, in celebration of the legendary US singer-songwriter’s life and work. Continue reading “AMA-UK announce nominations and honours for 2021 awards”

Video: Yola “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”

Yola shows, once again, what a wonderful voice she has as she sings the civil rights anthem ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’ on Late Night with Seth Meyers.  There’s incredible emotion in the vocal and the performance.  It was filmed at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium where she’ll make her headline debut on 11th May next year.  Continue reading “Video: Yola “To Be Young, Gifted and Black””

AMA announces 2020 award nominees

It’s that time of year again folks. The Americana Music Association has revealed the nominees for its 19th annual Americana Honors & Awards which includes Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Our Native Daughters, the late John Prine, Nathaniel Rateliff, Tanya Tucker and Yola among others. Continue reading “AMA announces 2020 award nominees”

RS Country looks at the genre’s racist history

RS Country has posted a really timely piece about country music’s relationship with race entitled Rewriting Country Music’s Racist History which interviews among others Yola and Rhiannon Giddens, the latter challenging what she calls a “manufactured image of country music being white and being poor”. Continue reading “RS Country looks at the genre’s racist history”

Watch Yola perform “I Don’t Wanna Lie” on the Late Show

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.

Video: Yola “I Don’t Wanna Lie”

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.

Watch Yola’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert

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).

RS Country: “How Americana Went Mainstream in the 2010s”

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””

Video: Yola “Ride Out in the Country”

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.

2019 has been Yola’s year

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”