The What’s Kickin’ series of CD’s reached number five last year and the quintet are all in my collection, they are wonderful representation of the music collectively called Americana and the eclectic compilations feature music performed by artists associated with the What’s Kickin’ club nights that have been at the forefront of the UK roots music scene in London for a number of years, the CD’s were produced to act as an companion to the live show that have now being re-established at The Crown in Leytonstone, not only are there some great tracks (often exclusives) from familiar and favorite artists but also some fantastic below-the-radar ones too which always get me digging around to find out more and invariably making a purchase or three.
The events themselves have established a reputation for hosting early gigs for a number of well-known acts including Pete Molinari, Damien Jurado, Southern . . . → Read More: What’s Kickin’ – Volume 5
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 . . . → Read More: Session Americana – UK Tour
Swedish singer-songwriter Benjamin Folke Thomas re-located from his Stockholm home to London in 2008 and quickly established himself on the live folk scene in the capital which led to the release of his debut self-titled EP on Bucket Full of Brains in 2010, having appeared at several high-profile festivals including Glastonbury, Larmer Tree, No Direction Home and Green Man he garnered the support of music charity Strummerville who aided the release of a ‘showcase’ live album Equinox – Live at the Hawley Arms the prelude to his debut full length studio release Too Close To Here which is to be released Sept 23rd on Bucket Full of Brains.
The album opens with the track Someday that has an immediate familiarity and the guitar work had me looking at the album credits for a mention of Mark Knopfler – there are tinges of post Dire Straits Knopfler elsewhere on the . . . → Read More: Benjamin Folke Thomas – Too Close to Here
Authenticity is the name of the game in roots music, there a those that seek, those that interpret, those that emulate and those that simply sit down and let it pour out of them like Charlie Parr who’s current album Barnswallow comprises eight self-penned original and a pair of traditional tracks all recorded live to tape without tracking and all using either the first or second takes – the resultant recording transports Parr and his cohorts right into the room with you in all their ragged glory.
The album takes it’s name from an instrumental banjo tune that Parr recorded with the Black Twig Pickers, for Barnswallow Parr plays his National NRP wood-body resonator, a fretless banjo and a 12-string Fraulini, Parr gives the low-down on the instruments here, support on the recording comes from Mikkel Beckmen on washboard and Dave Hundreiser on harmonica, all vocals are by . . . → Read More: Charlie Parr – Barnswallow
Having featured a number of artists from Hearth Musics’s fine catalogue on Beat Surrender I’m always quick to listen to anything that lands on the doormat from them and here’s another quality re-release from their roster courtesy of the JD Hobson Band who’s brand of music rocks and rolls the down it way along the dusty byways of American roots music, stylistically positioned at the crossroads of country-blues the album features original songs penned by the band leader JD Hobson as well a selection of carefully chosen covers including the Blues In The Bottle (trad), Carter Cain (Paul Burch), Spoonful (Willie Dixon) and Nobody’s Dirty Business (Mississippi John Hurt).
JD Hobson is joined on his journey by Dan Infecto on upright bass and Nick Auckland on drums, together they kick the album of in fine style with the excellent Last Kind Words (Geeshie Wiley) perfectly capturing the albums overall . . . → Read More: JD Hobson Band – Where The Sun Don’t Shine
Pulp Americana, Hard Acoustic Roots
With a intriguing background far removed one would immediately think from his music J. Shogren is an interesting character indeed, Shogren splits his time between Centennial, Wyoming and Stockholm Sweden where his day job is professor of Applied Philosophy were he has served as the King of Sweden’s special professor on environmental science and sat as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a group that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
On his latest musical offering God Bless These Crooked Little Songs Shogren takes us on a ragged ride through a smörgåsbord of roots music aided and abetted by his band Shanghai’d, together they pluck, pick and toe-tap their way through a wonderfully eclectic and genre twisting set of original music that keeps you guessing at what’s coming next – never a dull moment.
J. Shogren & . . . → Read More: J. Shogren & Shanghai’d – God Bless These Crooked Little Songs