Erin Rae’s last album ‘Putting on Airs’ was a slow burn for me, one that eventually became a warming fire which I returned to again and again. Her new album ‘Lighten Up’ with its title and imagery suggested a shift towards a more sunny disposition. As it turns out the title is more of a note to self, an encouragement, or even a plea. Looking on the bright side is not always an easy thing to do. Continue reading “Album Review: Erin Rae – Lighten Up”
Apathy is defined as a lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern. Back in the nineties such feelings of such disconnect were actively cultivated as a way to cope with the madness of the world. Yet in the modern, hyper-connected new century we are constantly bombarded with an expectation that we actually care about everything. Sometimes that in itself takes its toll. On her new album Aoife O’Donovan wonders what it might be like to live in an ‘Age of Apathy’ where life and love are simple and free from the lingering malaise. Continue reading “Album Review: Aoife O’Donovan – Age of Apathy”
After seeing Nanci Griffith in concert years ago Emily Scott Robinson wrote her first song and began dreaming of a music career. After many years of hard work she signed to John Prine’s label ‘Oh Boy Records’, releasing this new album ‘American Siren’. Continue reading “Album Review: Emily Scott Robinson – American Siren”
Morgan Wade’s album ‘Reckless’, produced by Sadler Vaden, has just been awarded Rolling Stone’s Best Country Album of the year. Such an accolade for a relative newcomer tells you that this is a breakthrough artist to pay attention to. She’s been added to next year’s C2C line up as well, suggesting that her star quality also has mainstream appeal. Continue reading “Album Review: Morgan Wade – Reckless”
Margo Cilker lives in Eastern Oregon but has travelled all over, her wanderlust reflected in her music of open skies and long, lonely roads. She’s now signed to Loose Records here in the U.K. and Pohorylle has been gained spots in many Americana albums of the year lists. Continue reading “Album Review: Margo Cilker – Pohorylle”
When Brandi Carlile won her Grammy for Best Americana album her speech was not just a moment of personal celebration, it was also a statement about the genre itself:
Americana music is the island of the misfit toys. I am such a misfit. It is this music that has shaped my life and made me who I am. I came out of the closet at 15 years old…and I can assure that you I was never invited to any parties and never got to attend a dance. To be embraced by this enduring & loving community has been the dance of a lifetime. Thank you for being my island.
To find a place where your difference makes you not an outcast but part of a kind and harmonious patchwork of people is not just what a musical genre can be, it’s an ideal that America, and the world itself, should strive for. A lifted lamp by the golden door. A welcome for all. Continue reading “Album Review: Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days”
Dori Freeman’s previous albums have established her a musician with understated charm and soft country styling. Her new record Ten Thousand Roses takes a step further into the spotlight, with more confidence and personality than before. The cover art shows an artist meeting our eye, with a self-assured stare. Continue reading “Album Review: Dori Freeman – Ten Thousand Roses”
In creating this second album Yola aimed to write classic pop songs that crossed genre, time, spaces, continents and palettes. Her excellent last album was mainly written collaboratively in the studio with producer Dan Auerbach bringing in different musicians to write with, a strategy which brought her much success in the Americana music world. Due to to the pandemic Stand For Myself began in isolation, allowing for Yola to write from a more personal perspective. Continue reading “Album Review: Yola – Stand For Myself”
A few years back I was lucky to see Amythyst Kiah play at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival where she wowed the crowd with her impressive banjo skills, distinctive voice and engaging stories. Her collaboration with Our Native Daughters was one of my favourite albums of the last few years and Kiah gained a richly deserved Grammy nomination for Black Myself, her brilliant contribution to that outstanding project. She follows that up with this powerful new album Wary + Strange, produced by Tony Berg.