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”

Here are the results of 2019’s Americana UK readers poll!

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!”

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”