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”
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”
So the autumn leaves are beginning to fall, it’s getting dark earlier, and the world is about to end any day now. Enter Dolly Parton and her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, on a mission to spread love, light and colour in these end times. Miley’s new album Younger Now and Dolly’s children’s album I Believe in You are lollipops of sweetness and joy enough to make even the worst cynic smile. Continue reading “Dolly & Miley’s New Albums Are A Double Rainbow of Delight “
Brandy Clark has just released Live From Los Angeles, a new album of her 2016 show at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood and it’s one of the most joyful things I’ve heard this year. All I could think about when listening to this was: life would be better for everyone if they just quit what they were doing right now and booked a ticket for Brandy’s upcoming UK tour dates. Here are the reasons why buying a ticket for these shows is the best gift you could give yourself in 2017… Continue reading “Why You Have To See Brandy Clark Live On Her UK Tour”
One of my favourite ways to find new music is to see who some of my favourite artists are working or touring with. So when I reviewed Lizzie No’s album earlier this year I also discovered her friend and fellow musician Caroline Reese, who writes the kind of gorgeous indie alt-country songs they call Americana nowadays. Caroline has opened for artists like Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton and Ray Wylie Hubbard. Her new E.P. Two Horses consists of four stripped back new songs which tell the story of her recent move to Montana and her life as a struggling musician. Continue reading “E.P. Review: Caroline Reese – Two Horses “
The Supremes Sing Country, Western & Pop, released in 1965, is a fascinating glimpse into the musical history of America and the business ambition of Motown records itself. This album mixes country covers with original songs and shows that no matter the genre the harmonies of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard reigned supreme (sorry I had to) over all the other girl groups of the era. Continue reading “When Motown Went Country: The Supremes Sing Country, Western & Pop”
My blog is six months old today! I wrote about my first three months of blogging so I thought I’d update you on my experiences since then. Continue reading “Six Thoughts On Six Months of Music Blogging”
Unlike most things in today’s fast moving world the written word remains resolutely still, existing always at the same silent volume. Many find reading relaxing because they can switch off and head into the silence of their mind. With the advent of the Internet reading a traditional book really is going off the grid, with no hyperlinks or flashing videos to distract from the narrative. Such comfort is why reading real books will never die. Our brains understand that total escape into an unreal world makes the real one bearable. Continue reading “Are Stories with Soundtracks the Future of Reading? “
Navigating the infinite shows on offer during Edinburgh festival season can be an overwhelming task. Look past the ubiquitous comedy on offer and you will find an array of interesting music-themed events. So here are some suggestions for you, with our usual focus on female performers. All of these shows have tickets available at time of writing.
The book festival can be an oasis of calm in the city during August (especially in the evenings). Novelist David Mitchell is curating a series of music themed events at this year’s festival, including an event with the wonderful English folk duo The Unthanks who will be discussing and performing work from their recent album of music inspired by the poems and songs of Molly Drake (which I reviewed earlier this year).
In the wave of shows available local performers can sometimes be forgotten but there is a wide variety of Scottish folk and traditional music on offer. Appearing at the Queen’s Hall is Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, most famous now for singing the songs from Brave (also if you missed Karine Polwart’s show at the same venue she is reprising Wind Resistance later in the year). Iona Fyfe, a folk ballad singer from Aberdeenshire, who has been a finalist in BBC Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year is also appearing at the festival.
If you are looking for something a little more alternative then Summerhall continues to deliver a cutting edge program of music events under the banner Nothing Ever Happens Here. Appearing across the month include Spanish indie girls Hinds, plus singer songwriters Julie Byrne and Jenny Hval.
In terms of theatre and comedy there are always shows themed around specific musicians, such as the Joni Mitchell Story or the excellent Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas. And the Fringe wouldn’t be the Fringe if you didn’t go and see something a little bit different and Dollywould appears to fit the bill nicely.
And since we love country music on this blog I feel it’s only right to finish by recommending Reformed Whores: Grand Ole C*ntry for the title and outfits alone.