Album Review: Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels

Lucinda Williams comes from a long line of rebels with passionate causes. Her family were liberals, feminists, pacifists, integrationists, union organisers, civil rights protestors willing to stand up in the face of inequality and injustice. As a teenager she herself was thrown out of high school for refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag, as part of her opposition to the Vietnam war.

To be a punk is to have a spirit of rebellion – being willing to stand apart and defy the way that society wants us to live. Musically the movement was about simplicity, directness, anger: three chords and the screaming truth. On this new album Good Souls Better Angels Lucinda Williams lets her punk rock spirit loose with staggeringly brilliant results. Continue reading “Album Review: Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels”

Album Review: Ashley McBryde – Never Will

Having had an amazing run through to the Grammys earlier this year with Girl Goin Nowhere, Ashley McBryde had some really strong momentum to build on heading into this new album Never Will. Sure there has been limited success at country radio (which is insane considering how good her singles are) but she hasn’t let that stop her. In the end it is the live show where an artist can build an audience of fans who buy records, merch and make careers. And live is where this artist shines. Most of these country chart toppers will soon be forgotten and Ashley will still be out there playing to big crowds in the decades to come. Talent, grit and songs will always win out. Continue reading “Album Review: Ashley McBryde – Never Will”

Live Review: Jenny Lewis @ The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Earlier this year Jenny Lewis released one of the best albums of 2019 and of her career. ‘On The Line’ told the story of her recent life, including bereavement and the end of her long term relationship. The music was unexpectedly uplifting, glorious even in the darkest moments. And so the sold out Saturday night crowd here in Edinburgh had come to celebrate and commiserate with her, and maybe even dance a little. Continue reading “Live Review: Jenny Lewis @ The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh”

Album Review: Jade Jackson – Wilderness

In a recent article for The Bluegrass Situation, Jade Jackson spoke about the central theme of her new album: ‘Loneliness is something I’ve experienced as long as I can remember…I naturally gravitated toward music that evoked that feeling and when I started writing and creating art, it was my biggest inspiration.Wilderness take us to some lonely places, exploring her inner turmoil and channeling her influences to create an emotionally cathartic collection of songs. Continue reading “Album Review: Jade Jackson – Wilderness”

Live Review: Lucy Dacus with Liz Lawrence @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

As I stand among the sold out crowd awaiting the arrival of Lucy Dacus, I hear a polite voice behind me saying ‘excuse me’. I apologise, move out of the way and see Lucy herself cradling a cup of tea as she walks past me onto the stage. She steps up to the mic and says ‘Shall we’, her quietly unassuming stage presence only adding to the appeal of this very special young artist. Continue reading “Live Review: Lucy Dacus with Liz Lawrence @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh”

Album Review: Shovels & Rope – By Blood

Shovels & Rope launched their new album By Blood during the week of their triumphant High Water Festival homecoming. The band have recently had a second child so it’s no surprise really that at times on this album they sound run ragged, desperate and depressed, other times as exhilarated and euphoric as they ever have. The musical chemistry between Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent appears closer than ever – bonded by their family and the blood of these songs that pulsate through their veins. Continue reading “Album Review: Shovels & Rope – By Blood”

Album Review: Jenny Lewis – On The Line

A few weeks back I listened to Zane Lowe interview Jenny Lewis about her new album On The Line – an interview in which he spent most of the time discussing the men featured on this record, rather than Jenny herself. Even after everything Jenny Lewis had achieved she was still being considered in terms of who she was working with, rather than on her own merits. The recent revelations about one of the producers of this record have threatened to further overshadow this release. So it is pretty wonderful to report that most of the reviews and features written about On The Line have focused on Jenny’s music, life and legacy (unsurprisingly most of these have been written by women).

The fact that Jenny’s music has been so universally celebrated is important. Not every women artist gets that recognition and attention. What then can the humble blogger really contribute to this discussion you might wonder, when there are so many incisive and illuminating discussions of this album already out there? To be honest I have spent the last week wondering the same thing myself. I recently reviewed the new album by The Wild Reeds (whose music owes a debt to Jenny for sure) and I felt confident that it was important I wrote about an album that had received few other online reviews. In contrast there doesn’t seem much more I can add to the already determined facts about On The Line: this is indeed a brilliant album and some of the best work of Jenny’s career. But then I heard Jenny’s voice singing to me ‘do something, while your heart is thumping’ so I decided just to write anyway. Continue reading “Album Review: Jenny Lewis – On The Line”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑