Tag Archives: Loose Records

Justin Townes Earle signs to Loose



With his new album set for release next month Justin Townes Earle has signed to one of my very favourite labels Loose in the UK and the album Single Mothers is now up for pre-order here.

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Once compared to a man who wears many suits, in thirty-two short years Justin Townes Earle has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally. Between releasing four full-length-critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, a new found sobriety, being born Steve Earle’s son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell. His fifth album serves as the perfect platform for such narrations.

Entitled Single Mothers, the album is comprised of ten tracks that showcase exactly why Justin Townes Earle is considered a forefather of Contemporary Americana. As a recently married, sober man JTE writes from a point of maturity and content we’ve not seen before on past records. “One day I just realised it’s not cool to die young, and it’s even less cool to die after 30,” Justin states as he reflects on a life past and his newly found clarity. What he’s created is an album that’s raw, honest and personal in a way he hasn’t touched upon since his debut EP, Yuma.

Co-produced along side longtime engineer Adam Bednarik, Single Mothers shines in a world of pop-culture driven Ameri- cana records. “I don’t really know what Americana means anymore,” Justin laughs. “That’s not a slant on Americana, it’s just become a very unclassifiable genre. It’s gone seemingly pop. There are good parts to that, but it’s getting to a point where it won’t be able to redeem itself if it doesn’t slow down. Just like everything that gets popular.” With his heart and soul still rooted in Nashville, Single Mothers shows Justin’s continued combination of catchy songs and authenticity.

The album was recorded live with his four-piece touring band with only days of rehearsal leading up to recording to keep the ideas fresh. No overdubs, no other singers, no additional players – just a real, heartfelt performance capturing the moment. In fact, his songs “Picture in a Drawer’ and ‘It’s Cold in This House’ are only Justin, his guitar and his pedal steel player Paul Niehaus.

Earle’s new perspective is clear on Single Mothers as it opens with the track ‘Worried Bout The Weather,’ where we see the intimate, sensitive side of JTE. Here Justin rehashes feelings of trouble on the horizon singing “it don’t take a twister to wreck a home, don’t take a night to feel like you’re in the dark and all alone” – a theme that has surfaced before in his lyrics, but this time with a personal honesty and openness. Justin’s mood switches gears on the upbeat track ‘My Baby Drives.’ “My baby drives me to church on Sundays, take me to see my Momma on every other Monday. Some might say I’m the luckiest man alive,” Justin croons light heartedly. On the title track ‘Single Mothers’ we hear feelings of resentment as JTE growls, “absent father, never offer even a dollar, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that he’s forfeited his rights to his own. Absent father is long gone.”

“As I’ve gotten older my anger comes from a very different place. It’s more rational and mature. I guess that comes along with clarity,” JTE reflects. Single Mothers finds Justin dealing with past struggles and anger with more ease than ever before. Creating a nostalgic feeling with the return to his signature sound, JTE takes listeners on a journey through some of his most personal stories yet on what can only be described as an authentic country record.

DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD TO PLAY JACK WHITE’S THIRD MAN RECORDS + NEW LIVE ALBUM DETAILS ANNOUNCED

DATCOTW_by_Peter_Millson

Soulful folk-rockers Danny & The Champions Of The World have been invited to Nashville, Tennessee to play an official showcase at the 2014 Americana Music Festival, with their key appearance set to be at the wonderfully weird music spot that is Jack White’s Third Man Records (Fri 19th Sep, 11pm).

The news coincides with the announcement that the band will be releasing their long-awaited, first ever live album, “Live Champs!” through Loose Records on 29th September, with an extensive UK tour to follow throughout October (see below).

“In a way it’s the ultimate Champs album” enthuses Danny & The Champions Of The World front man Danny George Wilson on new record “Live Champs!”, and he’s not wrong. The double album runs from 2008’s These Days taken from their self titled debut, to a selection of favourites from last year’s critically acclaimed album, Stay True (“their finest set yet” ★★★★ MOJO”), via the likes of Henry The Van from 2010’s Streets Of Our Time and Colonel & The King from 2011’s Hearts & Arrows. It’s almost like a greatest hits of Danny & The Champions The World.

However, this particular hits package captures what the studio recordings can’t quite convey – the raw passion and energy of a Danny & The Champs live show. As Danny explains “ever since I was a kid I’ve absolutely loved live recordings, ever since we played those bootleg cassettes in our dad’s car again and again… its something that a studio album cannot capture. This is what we sound like right now and I’m thrilled we were able to capture that”.

Recorded live at a sold out hometown show at Jazz Cafe, Camden on the 6th March this year, featuring co-conspirators Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou, you can either take this as a welcome reminder of a shit-hot show, or a harsh lesson on how you should never pass up an opportunity to catch this band live.

“Live Champs!” – Danny & The Champions Of The World, live at Camden Jazz Café, is out 29th September via Loose Records.

Pre-order

SUMMER SHOWS & FESTIVALS
22 Aug OPEN HOUSE FESTIVAL, Bangor
23 Aug DUNDALK, Spirit Store
07 Sep SCFM FESTIVAL, Winchester
19-20 Sep AMERICANA MUSIC FESTIVAL, NASHVILLE, TN (US)

UK TOUR – OCTOBER 2014
01 Oct ALDERSHOT, West End Centre
02 Oct CARDIFF, The Moon Club
04 Oct BRIDGWATER, Arts Centre
05 Oct EXETER, Phoenix
07 Oct HULL, Fruit
08 Oct BARNARD CASTLE, The Witham
09 Oct DUNDEE, Buskers
10 Oct ABERDEEN, The Tunnels
11 Oct EDINBURGH, Sneaky Pete’s
12 Oct GLASGOW, Broadcast
13 Oct LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club
15 Oct SHEFFIELD, The Greystones
16 Oct MANCHESTER, Ruby Lounge
17 Oct LEICESTER, The Donkey
18 Oct BIRMINGHAM, O2 Academy3
20 Oct NORTHAMPTON, Playhouse Theatre
21 Oct HERTFORD, Corn Exchange
22 Oct PORTSMOUTH, The Cellars
23 Oct NEWBURY, Arlington Arts Centre
24 Oct LONDON, Dingwalls
25 Oct BRIGHTON, Bleach

Danny & The Champions of the World Live

Danny & The Champions of the World – Live Champs!

Danny & The Champions of the World Live

Loose Records have announced details of the upcoming live album from Danny & The Champions of the World, the album will be available on double CD and as a digital download from 29th September 2014 – pre-order now.

Track listing:
01. (Never Stop Building) That Old Space Rocket
02. Cold Cold World
03. Let’s Grab This With Both Hands
04. Colonel And The King
05. Darlin’ Won’t You Come In From The Cold
06. Stop Thief!
07. Henry The Van
08. Other Days
09. Every Beat Of My Heart
10. You Don’t Know (My Heart Is In The Right Place)
11. Restless Feet
12. Been There Before
13. These Days



Tickets for the bands October tour are now on sale.

01 Oct ALDERSHOT, West End Centre
02 Oct CARDIFF, The Moon Club
04 Oct BRIDGWATER, Arts Centre
05 Oct EXETER, Phoenix
07 Oct HULL, Fruit
08 Oct BARNARD CASTLE, The Witham
09 Oct DUNDEE, Buskers
10 Oct ABERDEEN, The Tunnels
11 Oct EDINBURGH, Sneaky Pete’s
12 Oct GLASGOW, Broadcast
13 Oct LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club
15 Oct SHEFFIELD, The Greystones
16 Oct MANCHESTER, Ruby Lounge
17 Oct LEICESTER, The Donkey
18 Oct BIRMINGHAM, O2 Academy3
20 Oct NORTHAMPTON, Playhouse Theatre
21 Oct HERTFORD, Corn Exchange
22 Oct PORTSMOUTH, The Cellars
23 Oct NEWBURY, Arlington Arts Centre
24 Oct LONDON, Dingwalls
25 Oct HOVE, The Palmeira

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Danny And The Champions Of The World Announce UK & Scandinavian Tour Dates

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SCANDINAVIAN / SPANISH TOUR – MAY 2014
08 May HALMSTAD, Immanuelskyrkan
09 May FALKENBERG, Grand
10 May AVESTA, Blue Monkey
11 May ÖREBRO, Scandic
12 May GÖTEBORG Pustervik
13 May UDDEVALLA, Bastionen
14 May OSLO, Buckleys
15 May TRONDHEIM, Garden
16 May ÖSTERSUND, Storsjöteatern
17 May SUNDSVALL, Aveny
18 May STOCKHOLM, Akkurat
20 May NORRTÄLJE, Stället
21 May UPPSALA, Katalin
24 May KRISTIANSTAD, Biljardkompaniet
28 May BARCELONA, Rocksound
29 May MADRID, Boite Live
31 May BILBAO, Azkena



UK TOUR – OCTOBER 2014
01 Oct ALDERSHOT, West End Centre
02 Oct CARDIFF, The Moon Club
04 Oct BRIDGWATER, Arts Centre
05 Oct EXETER, Phoenix
07 Oct HULL, Fruit
08 Oct BARNARD CASTLE, The Witham
09 Oct DUNDEE, Buskers
10 Oct ABERDEEN, The Tunnels
11 Oct EDINBURGH, Sneaky Pete’s
12 Oct GLASGOW, Broadcast
13 Oct LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club
15 Oct SHEFFIELD, The Greystones
16 Oct MANCHESTER, Ruby Lounge
17 Oct LEICESTER, The Donkey
18 Oct BIRMINGHAM, O2 Academy3
20 Oct NORTHAMPTON, Playhouse Theatre
22 Oct PORTSMOUTH, The Cellars
23 Oct NEWBURY, Arlington Arts Centre
24 Oct LONDON, Dingwalls
25 Oct HOVE, The Palmeira

Sturgill Simpson – UK / Ireland Tour 2014

Photo: Melissa Madison Fuller
Photo: Melissa Madison Fuller

Kentucky raised, classic country star-to-be, Sturgill Simpson a Beat Surrender best of pick for 2013 has confirmed that he will play his first ever British shows through January and February – what’s even better is he’s playing with Laura Cantrell.

Sturgill’s killer album High Top Mountain is set for it’s UK release on the wonderful Loose Feb 17th on CD and vinyl.

18 Jan GLASGOW, Tron Theatre
20 Jan LONDON, The Slaughtered Lamb
13 Feb LONDON, Kings Place*
14 Feb BRIGHTON, The Palmeira
15 Feb BRISTOL, St. Bonaventure’s*
16 Feb NOTTINGHAM, The Maze
17 Feb MILTON KEYNES, The Stables*
18 Feb DUBLIN, Whelan’s*
19 Feb BELFAST, Errigle Inn*
21 Feb LONDON, St Pancras Old Church

*with Laura Cantrell


The Handsome Family – Wilderness

The Handsome Family Wilderness

It is of course only my humble opinion but if Americana had to crown a genre King and Queen then surely it would be Brett & Rennie Sparks, my first encounter with their regal music was on the 1998 Uncut compilation CD Sounds of the New West – The Best of Alternative Country – they left an indelible musical imprint with their track Weightless Again along with a number of other contributors to that CD including Hazeldine, Calexico and the late great Vic Chesnutt,

The Handsome Family have built a formidable back catalogue over the last twenty years and on this their fourteenth release Wilderness they continue to create music that challenges, provokes thought and rewards in equal measure and carries the listener on an journey into their otherworldliness – their music has an almost hypnotic quality that deftly takes a hold and draws the listener into the meticulously created songs they’ve crafted.

On this album all of the tracks titles are drawn from the animal kingdom and the musical expedition takes us on a alternate trip into natural world personified by the first track Flies which opens the door into an world deformed by humans and exploited by animals into which The Handsome Family weave threads of Custer’s last stand, Grizzlies, Wal-Mart, Hairspray, Cowboy Shirts, Guns and Finches.

As for my favourite track from the album then it’s the wonderful Frogs, I’ll let Rennie tell the story.

Further zoological vignettes include Eels,through which I’ve learnt that it was once thought ,bizarrely that Swallows wintered underwater, and the fact that the subject of the track Octopi have, apparently three hearts. There are further sojourns into the human world too, on Wildebeest the man known as the “father of American music” Stephen Foster is name-checked alongside dreaming crocodiles and on another album highlight Woodpecker the tale of Mary Sweeney is told by Rennie & Brett over a simple folk melody – it all works wonderfully well.

The album was recorded partly in their favoured home-studio, a converted garage in Albuquerque and at the Wilco Loft in Chicago and is available on CD and Vinyl from the Loose Music shop in the UK (who were kind enough to provide the album to me) and from Carrot Top Records in the US who also have a deluxe box-set version available that includes a vinyl copy of Wilderness a 72-page, 12”x12” full-color edition of the book along with an 11”x17” color poster and a six-postcard set, all with original art by Rennie, a black and white edition of the book will be available separately and you can pre-order the album now by clicking on the embedded record label links.

Catch them live in the UK during May.

16 May – LIVERPOOL, Kazimier
17 May – MANCHESTER, Ruby Lounge
18 May – GLASGOW, The Arches
19 May – GATESHEAD, Old Town Hall
21 May – SHEFFIELD, Greystones
22 May – LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club
24 May – KIRBYMOORSIDE, The Band Room
25 May – HEBDEN BRIDGE, The Trades Club
26 May – LEICESTER, The Musician
28 May – NORWICH, Arts Centre
29 May – LONDON, Islington Assembly Hall
30 May – BRISTOL, The Fleece
31 May – OXFORD, The Bullingdon

Handsome Family

Lucero – Women & Work

Lucero’s wonderful Women & Work we be available soon in the UK from Beat Surrender favourites Loose Music and the band are over this side of the pond on their  ‘Tennessee Takeover’ European tour from November 19th, the dates are below but selling out already so get in there if you want to see one of the best live bands around.

Women & Work is a love letter from Lucero to their hometown, Memphis, Tennessee. “Having a band in Memphis puts you in a tradition”, says Lucero frontman Ben Nichols. “We started at punk rock shows, not necessarily playing punk rock, but coming from the outside, from a bohemian place.”

The bohemian tradition is just as strong in Memphis as the city’s series of international hits. The popularity of Sun, Stax, Elvis, and Al Green doesn’t diminish the influence of the blues, Jim Dickinson, and Alex Chilton. The bridge between the shadows and the spotlight has become the heart of Lucero. Unafraid to mix pop with their anti-pop, they always charge into new territory. As punks, Lucero were masters of restraint, with country music beer stains dribbled down the front of their shirts. As whiskey-soaked bohemians, they didn’t shy from sweeping Americana tableaus. And then they added an accordion. “When we started, we were building on a foundation we weren’t aware of”, says guitarist Brian Venable. “Listening back to our early stuff, we hear ourselves reference the old Sun Records. We didn’t hear it or feel it then, but we hear it and feel it now.”

Women & Work, their 8th album, is such an exciting presentation of the band’s eclectic explorations that it makes their 14-year meandering path appear to be a straight line to this very record. “We’re more comfortable in our own skin as a band, more comfortable acknowledging regional influences”, says bassist John Stubblefield. “We wound up making a Memphis country soul record.” Integrating horns, pedal steel guitar, all manner of keyboards, and even a full-on gospel chorus, Women & Work is a fully realized musical extravaganza. Drawing inspiration from Delaney & Bonnie’s obscure first album, Home, on the Stax label, Lucero’s ambivalence about tradition has been replaced by an exuberant embrace.

“On My Way Downtown”, the album’s lead song, tells the story – a reserved guitar riff sets the mood, a couple of instruments quietly fall in and Ben adds the first contemplative vocals. The song seems headed firmly into the punk-rock-made-pretty territory of their roots, until the organ sustains a chord, the tempo ratchets up, and Lucero becomes a band that doesn’t ask but rather insists that you move your feet.  “Go Easy” is something new for the band: gospel music. A sing-along with a large female chorus, it’s more likely to close the bar than open the church, but when returning producer Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem) pushed the band toward a sacred sound, they realized it could significantly add to the album’s country soul feel.

The band remains a solid unit, even as it changes. Lucero began broadening its sound in 2005 when they brought in Rick Steff—man of the keys (piano, organ, and accordion). in 2007, they expanded again with the addition of pedal steel whiz Todd Beene, and then again more recently with Memphis’s funkiest horn section—Jim Spake and Scott Thompson (Al Green, Cat Power).

Lucero keeps on pushing. For most of the past decade, the band has averaged almost two out of every three nights on the road, steady-building their fan base. As different as Lucero may sound from their early days, this record also takes them full circle. “When we began,” says drummer Roy Berry, “we were known for how restrained we played. Our sound got bigger over the years, but the larger ensemble is making the core band sparse like we used to be—the songs just have more layers.”

 

Lucero – Sometimes

19/11 – COLOGNE, Underground
20/11 – BERLIN, Comet Club
21/11 – AMSTERDAM, Paradiso
22/11 – TUNBRIDGE WELLS, Forum
23/11 – MANCHESTER, Night & Day
24/11 – EDINBURGH, Bannermans
26/11 – NEWCASTLE, Cluny 2
27/11 – BRISTOL, Fleece
28/11 – LONDON, Windmill
29/11 – LONDON, Windmill
30/11 – LONDON, Windmill
01/12 – LONDON, Windmill (SOLD OUT)

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