Really enjoyed the single release from this album that I posted about earlier in the year, I’ve had the album in my inbox for a while now should have posted something sooner, but better late then never I guess and the good news is the rest of the album is every bit as good as the single Chris Bell that caught my ear back in March. The album takes a meandering path through roots rock, drawing inspiration from country to blue-collar and much of the in-between hitting plenty of the sweet spots on it’s journey.
The Flood & The Fire is the debut album from singer-songwriter and fiddle player Jen Starsinic originally from Pennsylvania but now settled in Nashville. The album takes traditional roots music instrumentation and arrangements then puts a contemporary twist into the songs to create an engaging album of original material that seamlessly blends the old and new. Jen’s career in music started as a fourteen old with her busking street corners playing fiddle, she later trained at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston and has toured the US with Americana band David Mayfield Parade and played numerous roots festivals in the US – on the strength of this debut album I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from her in the future.
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Corb Lund releases his new album, Counterfeit Blues, on June 17 in Canada and on Canada Day (July 1) in the U.S. via New West Records. The spirited set of rockabilly, rock n’ roll and honky tonk country was recorded live, off the floor, at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn. in much the same way Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash did 60 years before in that same room.
For the rousing collection, Lund and his band the Hurtin’ Albertans chose fan favourites from some of their early albums – 2002′s breakthrough Five Dollar Bill, their first gold record in Canada, and 2006′s Canadian Country Music Association’s Album of the Year, Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer – and re-cut them in a breakneck two-day recording process resulting in an album that, as Lund says, is “raw, organic and dirty.”
“It turned out really well. Partly because we know the songs inside out and have played them live a thousand times and partly because recording at Sun is a very old fashioned, low-tech process that ends up sounding really great if you can pull it off. My band has been playing behind me for ten years or more, with all the same members so it was a great way to capture the live chemistry we’ve developed over many, many tours. You can’t fake that.”
Armed with just a couple guitars, some mics, a pedal steel guitar, stand-up bass, drums and the amps they plugged into, the foursome eschewed studio trickery for the lightning in a bottle approach and blasted through 12 songs with a confidence and swagger that can only come from years of playing together. The end result serves as both an exciting introduction to the acclaimed band’s early material and as fun must-have reinterpretation of the classics for the fans.
Counterfeit Blues will be available on CD, vinyl and digital download as well as a special two-disc CD/DVD set comprised of the documentary “Memphis Sun,” which originally aired this past December on CMT Canada. The film documents the band’s journey from the north of Alberta to the south of Memphis for the two-day recording session in the hallowed ground where rock and roll was born. The DVD will feature three bonus tracks – “Bucking Horse Rider,” “Good Copenhagen,” and “Shine Up My Boots” – that were not on the original hour-long broadcast.
Xtra Mile-signed Plymouth based punk-roots band Crazy Arm are out on the road during May including a series of UK dates with Oregon Punks Larry And His Flask.
The band will be doing combo shows, combining the acoustic-roots songs from their latest album, ‘The Southern Wild’, with their trademark Bad-Religion-meets-Baroness-meets-Wovenhand-meets-Jethro-Tull rock onslaught.
7th May – Borderline, London
8th May – Unit, Southampton
9th May – Le Pub, Newport
10th May – The Square, Harlow
11th May – Cluny 2, Newcastle
12th May – Star & Garter, Manchester
13th May – Prince Albert, Brighton
18th May – TBA, Europe (without LAHF)
19th May – TBA, Germany (without LAHF)
20th May – Auster Club, Berlin, Germany
21st May – Schaubude, Kiel, Germany
22nd May – Freiraum Petersburg, Osnabrück, Germany (without LAHF)
23rd May – Burgerweeshuis, Deventer, Netherlands
30th May – The Exchange, Bristol (w/Joe Tilston + Jake & The Jellyfish)
31st May – Camden Rocks, Black Heart, London (w/Apologies I Have None + more)
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Canadian roots band The Bills are touring in Scotland and England promoting their fourth album, Yes Please, kicking off on May 23rd in Morecambe the band’s schedule includes appearances at Ireby, Swaledale and Southwell festivals.
Fri May 23: Hothouse, Morecambe
Sat 24: Ireby Festival, Cumbria
Sun 25: Playhouse 2 Theatre, Shaw, Oldham,
Mon 26: The Gulbenkian, Canterbury
Tues 27: All Saints Church, Hereford
Wed 28: The Met, Bury
Thurs 29: Swaledale Festival, St Andrew’s Church, Grinton
Fri 30: The Ropery Hall, Barton upon Humber
Sat 31: Selby Town Hall
Sun June 1: Brookfield Hall, Renfrewshire
Tues 3: The Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline
Wed 4: Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
Thurs 5: The Sage, Gateshead
Fri 6: The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Sat 7: Gate to Southwell Festival, Notts
Canada has an impressive track record when it comes to female roots bands and the Vancouver Island based trio Sweet Lowdown continue that tradition admirably, with a solid touring background in their homeland and the US over the past couple of years they are now bringing their talents to the UK with a tour running from mid-April to, appropriately, May which is the title of the bands second studio release behind which they are touring, the twelve track release features ten original compositions and two traditional songs and follow on from their eponymous release in 2011.
The Sweet Lowdown – Please Take Me Home
All three band members contribute vocally and when they put their voices together the harmonies have a seamless purity that’s captivating and when combined with the trios adept playing the whole package is executed very nicely indeed, personally the fiddle playing was the stand-out for me though all the contributions are impressive, the The Sweet Lowdown are Amanda Blied (guitar), Shanti Bremer (banjo) and Miriam Sonstenes (fiddle) and you can catch them in the UK at one of these fine venues.
The Sweet Lowdown – Big Wave
Wednesday 16 Sarratt, Herts. The Cock Inn
Thursday 17 London Green Note, Camden
Friday 18 Chagford, Devon Ring O’ Bells
Saturday 19 Calstock, Cornwall The Old Chapel
Sunday 20 Bath The Bell NB. Lunchtime Show
Sunday 20 Bristol Kingsdown Wine Vaults
Monday 21 Worth Matravers, nr. Swanage The Square & Compass
Tuesday 22 Birmingham Kitchen Garden Café
Wednesday 23 Towersey, Oxfordshire The Three Horseshoes
Thursday 24 Winchester The Railway
Friday 25 Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire SpArC Theatre
Saturday 26 Langholm, Dumfries & Galloway The Buccleuch Centre
Sunday 27 Stranraer The Grapes
Monday 28 Liverpool The Caledonia
Tuesday 29 Nottingham Malt Cross
Wednesday 30 Menai Bridge, Anglesey The Victoria Hotel
Thursday 1 Newcastle The Cluny 2
Friday 2 Wath-Upon-Dearne, South Yorks. Wath Festival