AmericanaFest, Nashville, September 10th-15th, 2019

For Americana UK, this year’s Nashville experience ended where it pretty much started – at Robert’s Western World on Lower Broadway. Hotfoot from arriving in the city around 7pm our assembled scribes headed straight downtown to see Joshua Hedley and the Hedliners. These showcases at Robert’s are something of a Nashville institution for both discerning locals and tourists – performing classic country sets from the 1950s and 1960s, Hedley’s velvet croon and stellar backing band which includes Buck Owens’ drummer and a long standing pedal steel player with Merle Haggard, demonstrate their encyclopaedic knowledge of country music and musical chops over a set spanning three and a half hours. Continue reading “AmericanaFest, Nashville, September 10th-15th, 2019”

Glasgow Americana Festival, 3rd -7th October 2018

Now in its 12th year the Glasgow Americana Festival is essentially a very concentrated dose of life affirming music delivered courtesy of local promoters, The Fallen Angels Club, who otherwise offer us locals regular spoonfuls of sugar throughout the year. Over five days and in various venues throughout the city around 25 acts converged, varying in style for sure but all rooting for roots music, that indefinable Americana we all talk about and which they all, in one way or other, delivered to their audiences. Continue reading “Glasgow Americana Festival, 3rd -7th October 2018”

Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 2nd-5th August 2018

While there are several “specialist” Americana festivals like Maverick and Ramblin’ Roots, for the Americana fan Cambridge Folk Festival has for many years always had much to offer.  It rightly prides itself on its eclecticism – both Joe Strummer and Nick Cave have played there in the past – and interpreting “folk” very broadly and this year was no different with Patti Smith, Songhoy Blues and St Paul & The Broken Bones all performing. Continue reading “Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 2nd-5th August 2018”

Southern Fried Festival, Perth, Scotland, 26-29th July 2018

Eleven years old this year Southern Fried continues to occupy its position as the best Americana and roots music festival in Scotland and perhaps the best of its kind in the UK (although there are three contenders who might challenge that assumption). The festival doesn’t rest on its laurels however and this year saw its headline shows expanded to include the Thursday night while there was the welcome return of the renovated Perth Theatre to the roster of venues as it hosted ticketed and free events. What doesn’t change however is the mixture of world famous acts, the cream of international and UK roots music and a generous helping of more local musicians all adding up to four days of joyous music concentrated within the centre of one of Scotland’s most beautiful cities. Continue reading “Southern Fried Festival, Perth, Scotland, 26-29th July 2018”

The Long Road Festival launches with Lee Ann Womack, Billy Bragg and more

We’re doing well for americana tinged festivals this year and today there’s the announcement of another one which says it’s bringing the “sounds of the country music scene to the UK” but actually has a broader line up than that makes it sound, but in a nice way. Taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire from September 7th – 9th 2018, The Long Road will present one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana and roots music featuring five stages of live performances, bespoke food “events” (egg and spoon race?) and a wide range of themed outdoor activities. Continue reading “The Long Road Festival launches with Lee Ann Womack, Billy Bragg and more”

Billboard: Americana in the UK is a thing

Oh well, this will wreck our Google search result listings – what possessed them to use the terms “americana” and “UK” in the same headline?  Billboard has an article today entitled “U.K. Americana Hits America, and Vice Versa, In New Roots Exchange” which is an incredibly interestingyou read about our symbiotic relationship with the genre over in the States, selling snow to the Eskimos as it were.  They report: “The idea of U.K. artists playing Americana, not just at home but in the U.S. itself, might once have seemed hopelessly ambitious. But as the genre, and the reception of it, has expanded into an ever-broader church, British acts are not only nudging doors ajar, but the two countries are enjoying something of a cultural Americana exchange — to the benefit of roots musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Continue reading “Billboard: Americana in the UK is a thing”

Interview: Yola Carter

Just about the coolest thing in UK Americana right now, Yola Carter, is taking it to the Yanks, Carter is electric live and her sonic boom voice is a force of nature.  You want it real, can you handle it really real? Yola is it the real deal, the fuse is lit, stand well back.

You’re on a great run,  you’ve had a moment to look back? you must be pretty chuffed?  Highlights?   Normally I’m the kind of person to look forward, so I don’t get really overexcited about things, but last year was my first year. I went from not existing as an artist, taking three years out, looking like a loser to my peers, some vocalising their lack of faith that I could work solo- just me and a hack guitar, to winning my category at the Americana music Association awards and getting rave reviews and press in NPR, The Guardian and American Songwriter. Continue reading “Interview: Yola Carter”

RS Country: “The 20 best things we saw at Americanafest 2017”

Nice little piece up on RS Country this morning which lists the 20 best things they saw at the 18th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference which took place in Nashville last week.  They say: “The highlights were as plentiful as the vintage denim, with artists from veteran Lee Ann Womack to Countrypolitan revivalist Joshua Hedley performing showcases in the backyards of record stores, inside Jack White’s Third Man Records and in clubs all over Music City.” And our own Yola gets a mention too: “It may have been close to 90 degrees outside, but Carter’s set was as cool as ice.”  Read the piece here or watch JD McPherson looking rather suave below. Continue reading “RS Country: “The 20 best things we saw at Americanafest 2017””

Yola Carter, The Borderline, London. 8th June 2017

At a recently revamped Borderline, Yola Carter took to the stage amidst an air of anticipation with Carter having recently won UK Artist of the Year at the AMA UK Awards. Carter is an immediate stage presence, both warm and welcoming and clearly the leader of the band. She immediately engages with the audience and throughout the night is both humorous and open with her  self-deprecating banter. Continue reading “Yola Carter, The Borderline, London. 8th June 2017”

Kilkenny Roots Festival, 28th April – 1st May 2017, Kilkenny, Ireland

This was the second time your intrepid reporter has attended the annual celebration of all things good in Roots and Americana music that’s held in the beautiful city of Kilkenny in Ireland and now that it’s done and dusted, I can only scratch my head and wonder why only twice? Arriving on the Friday afternoon the first stop was Cleeres bar and on entering a pint of the local ale was thrust into my hand amidst many welcoming cries. It’s that kind of weekend. Folk I’d met once before at last year’s fest instantly said hello, some were veterans who have been attending since the nineties, some fellow newbies and soon we were all perusing the festival programme and working out our itineraries. Continue reading “Kilkenny Roots Festival, 28th April – 1st May 2017, Kilkenny, Ireland”