Album Review: Margo Price – All American Made

The celebrated classicist Mary Beard in her lecture The Public Voice of Women‘ outlined how and why female voices in spheres like culture and politics have been attacked and silenced across time. She traced it back to Homer’s Odysessy, through to Shakespeare where a raped woman has her tongue cut ripped out, right up to the present day and the online trolling of women. Beard goes on to explain that ‘it doesn’t much matter what line you take as a woman, if you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It’s not what you say that prompts it, it’s the fact you’re saying it.’ In the music industry this seems more tragically true than ever. Women are outnumbered in every aspect of the business, those who venture into its pit are treated like a novelty; they are sexualised, objectified and their voices ultimately sidelined.

So don’t underestimate how important it is that women like Alynda Serraga of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Juliana Hatfield and now Margo Price have released albums in 2017 that are fiercely personal and yet concern themselves with wider political ideas. Price has emerged as a true outlaw hero of country music since the release of her debut album last year and the EP ‘Weakness‘. Her follow up, ‘All American Made’ is a statement of intent: she’s here to sing about the social issues she sees in the world and she’s not ready to make nice.  Continue reading “Album Review: Margo Price – All American Made”

Album Review: Joana Serrat – Dripping Springs

Spanish singer Joana Serrat recorded her third album in Texas, near the town of Dripping Springs which gives the record its name. On this album she worked with producer Israel Nash who praised her ‘brilliant’ lyrics and the ease of the recording process where ‘her voice was our guide’. Joana has recently played AmericanaFest, as well as opening for the likes of Courtney Marie Andrews, and this album proves she is an intriguing talent whose work deserves attention.  Continue reading “Album Review: Joana Serrat – Dripping Springs”

Album Review: Whiskey Gentry – Dead Ringer

Roll up, roll up for some of the best freewheelin’ fun you’ll hear in a country album all year. Despite the fact that the cover of this album features a picture of singer Lauren Staley, The Whiskey Gentry are a full band, featuring her husband Jason Morrow and other talented musicians based in Atlanta, Georgia. Released earlier this year Dead Ringer is exactly the kind of album I needed to hear right now – bringing a little rock and roll spirit to the honky tonk.  Continue reading “Album Review: Whiskey Gentry – Dead Ringer”

Album Review: PP Arnold – The Turning Tide 

PP Arnold has been an Ikette, worked with the Small Faces and Rod Stewart, had hits in the UK and yet she has spent much of career as a back up and session singer. Perhaps the release of her long lost album The Turning Tide will go some way to help change things. This album, originally recorded in the late sixties and early seventies, was produced by Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton but has bafflingly remained unreleased ever since due to complicated personal and legal circumstances. Despite being nearly fifty years old it sounds fresh and vital, a story of female talent that’s been on the shelf far too long.  Continue reading “Album Review: PP Arnold – The Turning Tide “

Album Review: Whitney Rose – Rule 62

Whitney Rose has a vintage aesthetic which is reflected in her music and her style. To some this may seem fake, just annoying kids playing ‘dress up’. Okay so recreating the past is a little inauthentic in a way but sometimes being yourself is just so bloody boring. Rule 62 from the AA bible is don’t take yourself so damn seriously and on this excellent album Whitney is having fun with the past, inventing characters and most importantly, singing quality songs. Continue reading “Album Review: Whitney Rose – Rule 62”

EP Review: India Arie – SongVersation: Medicine

India Arie’s Acoustic Soul, released in 2001, is one of those albums I find myself going back to regularly, finding even more strength, courage and wisdom in her music as time goes by. While streaming that album recently I was excited to see she had recently released a new EP called Songversation: Medicine. India originally made this collection of songs, some new and others previously released, to send to a friend who was going through a dark night of the soul. These inspiring songs prove that music really can calm and heal us in these troubled times.  Continue reading “EP Review: India Arie – SongVersation: Medicine”

Why Kacey Musgraves is a Perfect Headliner for C2C’s Fabulous Festival of Female Talent

This weekend the lineup for the Country to Country Festival 2018 was announced and the acts playing include Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, Margo Price, Kelsea Ballerini and other fabulous females. Yes, you read that right – a music festival with actual female representation on the bill. Let’s not underplay how significant it is that all three nights of C2C will end with a woman on the stage – there is no other major three day British musical festival this year where women are represented in all the headline acts (in fact when I wrote about this earlier in the year few even had ONE female headliner). C2C has not just broken the mould for women they’ve smashed the glass ceiling right through. So you’d think the country music world and their fans would be delighted, celebrating this moment of equality and revolution. Alas, as ever, the negative online response is depressingly familiar.  Continue reading “Why Kacey Musgraves is a Perfect Headliner for C2C’s Fabulous Festival of Female Talent”

2017’s Most Unlikely Chart Battle: Shania Twain vs Wolf Alice

For this week’s UK album chart battle we had two unlikely competitors: Shania Twain and English indie band Wolf Alice, fronted by Ellie Rowsell. It seems odd to think these two could become adversaries, the divide between them is so vast as to usually make such people invisible to each other. This wasn’t David vs Goliath or Blur vs Oasis this was more like someone’s mother versus the emo kids who stand at the side of the playground smoking.  Continue reading “2017’s Most Unlikely Chart Battle: Shania Twain vs Wolf Alice”

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