Years of Dust – Float With Grace

Float With Grace

Float With Grace is a new EP from Danish band four-piece Years of Dust, the Scandinavian band draw inspiration from Cave, Calexico and Waits and deliver their own brand of Americana noir on the five-track release which includes a cover of The Stones ‘Play With Fire’ and lead-track All So Wrong which features guest vocals from Cathy Richardson on the English Language version and Marta Iron on an alternate Spanish version – it’s an intriguing release and one I hope is a platform for a long player.

Buy at iTunes

From a Halcyon Records release Painted Black

Fragile single on iTunes

Session Americana – UK Tour

portraits__session_americana

Featured a great album from Laura Cortese on Beat Surrender a little while back and I’m very pleased to see that she’s touring the UK as part of the Session Americana collective, check out the dates below – here’s a taster for you.

For those of you who saw Jeffrey Foucault earlier this year you will have remembered the wonderful Ry Cavanaugh who accompanied him on those shows. Ry’s charm and wit, not to mention endless supply of great songs (both his and other people’s) was there for everyone to see and provided a real different approach to the standard singer-songwriter live show. We are therefore delighted to announce that Cavanaugh is back in the UK and Ireland at the end of September with his truly special musical collective, Session Americana, who also feature the incredible talents on Jefferson Hamer, Laura Cortese, Billy Beard, Dinty Child and Kimon Kirk amongst a revolving cast.

Session Americana are a band/collective from Boston (USA) that thrive on spontaneity and relish the live arena. The format of the show is roughly based on the traditional Irish Session and the band carries its own microphone adapted table, a suitcase drum kit and an assortment of quirky instruments. The repertoire is primarily based around original material by all the band’s writers and singers, but the group blends in songs from across the spectrum of pop music from American Country to Irish Folk to straight Pop – It is not a “hay-bale and suspenders” group and the sound, though rooted very deeply in Americana, is artful and contemporary. Session Americana’s latest album, “Love and Dirt” is being released by Continental Records Services on October 1st after already garnering amazing reviews in the US where the band have developed both a loyal and hugely supportive fan base. The Boston Globe says “(Love and Dirt is) a contemplative soul searcher boasting a contemporary edge cut with rustic twang; Session Americana comes up with some gems, full of folk’s honesty and rock’s urgency.” Boston Business Journal named “Love and Dirt” one of Boston’s top 40 pop/rock albums ever.”

October 1st – The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham, England
2 October – Press Day, London, England
3 October – The Green Note, London, England
4 October – Band on the Wall, Manchester, England
5 October – The Guitar Bar, Nottingham, England
6 October – Royal Mackintosh Hotel, Dunbar, Scotland (Afternoon show)
6 October – Candlelit Concert, Peebles, Scotland (Evening)
8 October – Douglas Studio, Edinburgh, Scotland
9 October – Red Room, Cookstown, Northern Ireland
10 October – Whelans, Dublin, Ireland
11 October – Wexford Arts Center, Wexford, Ireland
12 October – Monroe’s, Galway, Ireland
13 October – Dolans, Limerick, Ireland

The Lucky Strikes – The Exile & The Sea

The Lucky Strikes - The Exile & The Sea

The Lucky Strikes are back with their fourth album The Exile & The Sea, cementing their place as one of the UK’s best bands, in contrast to the their previous two albums The Chronicles Of Solomon Quick and Gabriel Forgive My 22 Sins which were concept albums based on stories of the Southern US this time the band have drawn inspiration from the history of their origins in Southend and The Thames Delta to create a songbook based on the stories they have uncovered and re-imagined from fragments in the archives of the local media and tales told in working mens clubs and pubs of their hometown, tales of events from the recent past and those veiled in local folklore, with the change of focus on the material from US to the UK the band have adopted a sound built on the roots music of their homeland blending it with elements of Celtic folk though the albums doesn’t settle into one genre or another with the bands wider influences evident throughout the eleven track collection.

The album opens with a stormer of a song To Be King which kicks things off with a Celtic swagger driven by fiddle and accordion, track two is one of the albums highlights a story based the near destruction, by fire of a prominent local landmark Southend Pier in 2005 The Beast Burnt Down, the Celtic elements also pervade through several other tracks on the album but cede on the albums title track a dark foreboding folk track and on the lamentation to a tarnished childhood Ballet Shoes another highlight from the album.

The Lucky Strikes – Ballet Shoes

The band are fronted by a Beat Surrender favourite MG Boulter (who’s recent solo album I praised on Beat Surrender in June) with Paul Ambrose (bass), William Bray (drums) and David Giles (piano & accordion), additional studio guest appearances come from Wild Jim Wilson (fiddle & banjo) and Rees Broomfield (percussion) who also mixed the album for the band at The Broom Cupboard studio in Raleigh, the album is released on their own Harbour Song label and available from 30th September on CD from the label website or to download at Bandcamp.

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