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.
After moving to Nashville in the early 2000s, Miko Marks found breaking into country music an impossible struggle. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone she explained, ‘I was young and I was bright-eyed and I was thinking ‘You have this skill set, there’s no way you can’t make it in this town.’ Her naive optimism would soon be crushed by the reality of an industry, and an audience, unwilling or unable to go beyond their own narrow idea of what a country singer could be.
After moving back to the west coast Miko kept performing but only recently returned to recording, inspired by recent efforts to change the conversation in the industry. Interesting, but not surprising, then that she has chosen to go beyond the genre with the scope of this great new album Our Country. Continue reading “Album Review: Miko Marks & The Resurrectors – Our Country”
‘Safe Distance’ is Janet Simpson’s first solo release since the nineties, although she’s kept busy with bands and projects in the interim period. Fittingly enough the sound of this new record doesn’t veer too far from that decade, creating a loose and live style of Americana and indie rock throughout. Continue reading “Album Review: Janet Simpson – Safe Distance”
Vivian Leva’s last album ‘Time is Everything’ was an underrated folk country gem and on this new self-titled album she promotes her previous collaborator Riley Calcagno to equal billing. You sense the deep musical and songwriting connection between the duo, who together have created an authentic, effortless country sound. Continue reading “Album Review: Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno”
Some voices are instantly calming, transporting you to the heavens, letting you drift away from the worry of the world below. On her new album ‘The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers’, Valerie June invites us to take a trip on her cloud, singing us healing messages of hope and positivity. Continue reading “Album Review: Valerie June – The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers”
Last year Senora May decided to record an album of love songs in response to the pandemic and an increasingly divided world. “I was sick of all the hate I saw people spewing,’ she said in a recent interview, perfectly summing up how many of us feel about the overwhelmingly toxic online (and offline) spaces we have found ourselves existing in. All of My Love is a welcome antidote to the chaos and a reminder that love and music are all we really need to get by. Continue reading “Album Review: Senora May – All of My Love”
After her brilliant 2018 album America’s Child, blues singer Shemekia Copeland continues her blistering take on the state of her country with her new album Uncivil War. Working again with Will Kimbrough and her longtime collaborator John Hahn has resulted in a timely collection of protest songs about the way we live now. Continue reading “Album Review: Shemekia Copeland – Uncivil War”