After going through personal and professional divorces, Lydia Loveless returns with her new album ‘Daughter’. Change becomes her, allowing for her world weary voice to echo bruised truths in the listeners ears. There will be no miracle rebirth or transformation here. Instead she knows that to move forward in life is to understand yourself for better, or worse. Continue reading “Album Review: Lydia Loveless – Daughter”
Some artists have so much energy and talent that recorded music can barely convey or contain them. This fact is true of husband and wife duo Tanya and Michael Trotter, known as The War and Treaty, whose joyful, uplifting musical spirit has to be witnessed in real life to fully comprehend. To say I’m a true believer doesn’t even cover it.
Their debut album ‘The Healing Tide’ was a delightful mix of vintage soul and Americana that brimmed with the effervescent energy and vocal star power of the duo. Hearts Town, their wonderful new album, takes us to a place where pain is understood, music heals and there’s always another chance to begin again. Continue reading “Album Review: The War & Treaty – Hearts Town”
Imagine a cool breeze across a field on a summer’s day, taking a walk that leads you straight into the past where everyone lives a simple life on the land and plays music gathered around an open, flickering fire. Welcome to the sound of Brennen Leigh’s ‘Prairie Love Letter’. Continue reading “Album Review- Brennen Leigh – Prairie Love Letter”
Ashley Ray was raised on a farm in Lawrence, Kansas before moving to Nashville to study and pursue her dream of a career in music. Her brilliant new album ‘Pauline’ is named after her grandmother, and her own middle name. Across these ten songs she delves deep into her family history, with powerful and poignant results. Continue reading “Album Review: Ashley Ray – Pauline”
In his Nobel Prize acceptance lecture Bob Dylan discussed how he first began learning old folk songs, eventually internalising them into his own songwriting. ‘You hear all the finer points, and you learn the details,’ he explained. By singing these songs he discovered ‘the devices, the techniques, the secrets, the mysteries’, concluding that ‘songs are alive in the land of the living’. Old songs are meant not just to be heard, but to be sung anew by the next generations.
Emma Swift began ‘Blonde on the Tracks‘, her project of Dylan covers, as a way to recover her artistic inspiration after experiencing depression. Mainly recorded in 2017 these versions were not even intended to be an album but when the pandemic destroyed Swift’s plans for touring she decided to release the recordings. Continue reading “Album Review: Emma Swift – Blonde on the Tracks”
Having previously worked as a cellist for Brandi Carlile, Sam Rae now releases her third solo record Ten Thousand Years. Her producer is Jacob James, another member of Carlisle’s band, and together they have recorded songs which showcase Rae’s thoughtful songwriting voice. Continue reading “Album Review: Sam Rae – Ten Thousand Years”
I started listening to this album on a cloudy summer’s day, with rain brewing in the stormy afternoon skies. As Courtney sang Some days are good, some days are bad / some days we want what we once had / some days I talk myself into a lie, I smiled in wry understanding. She might have been singing about the break up of a long term relationship which inspired this gorgeous new album Old Flowers but the words meant so much more now. On the cover she’s pensive as the sky darkens behind her; it’s almost like she knew this year would be spent in the shadows of what our lives could have been. As the songs swept their way across my living room in a sigh of sadness I admired their fragile perfection even more deeply knowing what we’ve all been through to get here. Continue reading “Album Review: Courtney Marie Andrews – Old Flowers”
In my opinion what is sometimes missing in the Americana music scene is a little bit of extra sass and swagger – too often artists will make beautiful music but they don’t really imprint themselves too much on the listener. In contrast Caitlin Cannon’s The Trashcannon Album has enough personality to make even the drunkest honky tonk angel sober up and take notice. Continue reading “Album Review: Caitlin Cannon – The Trashcannon Album”
When it comes to good Americana music it really doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from but how well you can play. On her new album British singer songwriter Hannah White has assembled a fantastic Anglo-Norwegian band and together they have captured the spirit of the genre. Continue reading “Album Review: Hannah White & the Nordic Connections”