Markus Rill SONGLAND

Markus Rill & The Troublemakers
Songland
Blue Rose Records

Heartfelt, Intimate and Gutsy Americana Drenched Country Songs.

Mrs Magpie and I are huge fans of German singer-songwriter Markus Rill; not least because he has a very individual and distinctive voice; but his very personal stories and songs take Americana/Country Music into a our hearts with just about every song; and with Sarah Stein he created one of my very favourite songs of all time; and one you should research before reading any further.
Go on…… I can wait.
Back again? It’s beyond ‘good’ isn’t it?
So, onto 2019 it is then
Possibly just from the title Saddle Up and Ride, but certainly within 30 seconds of the opening track you know you are onto a winner, with Rill and the Troublemakers dropping a game changer of a Country Rocker with a catchy chorus and a hummable melody on us without any warning, whatsoever.
Some, many songs are very personal here and many are from Rill’s clever imagination and some combine the two; and I can’t tell which is which.
As a man of ‘a certain age’ Rill sings about ‘love’ in a way younger writers can’t; making the reflective The Thing With Love or the captivating A Love So Strong very accessible and resonant to grown up all around the musical world.
Now I’ve listened a couple of times, there’s a ‘big sound’ here which belies the short time they spent in the studio; but that’s what comes of keeping the same band around you and constantly touring for a lot of years ……. it brings out the very best in songs like Words of Apology and the Southern Soul of Fearless, a co-write with Swede Eva Hillerd and and features Texan Elizabeth Lee on honeyed harmonies too.
Even as a fan I’ve found a few great surprises tucked away that need your attention; they release their inner Rolling Stones on A Girl That’s Gone and the claustrophobic Words of Apology utilises an accordion and skillful slide-guitar in a way that could be described as ‘Dylan covering Springsteen’ ….. but probably won’t be.
I’ve never asked my wife for her thoughts on the subject; but I love and empathise with Rill’s trademark ‘unrequited love songs’ and here he gives us another couple of gems in the hauntingly acoustic Emily and the brokenhearted Mistake Like Me; which may or may not have touched my heart in a way others can’t.
With so much going on here, and the way the songs swing seamlessly from the gentle Americana of songs like Length of Rope, through the gutsy Inside The Wheel and coming full circle with Conscience County Jail, choosing a Favourite Song is nigh on impossible; but try I will.
My first choice should probably be the insightful and clever Swampland of Your Mind, which really does conjure up some amazing imagery; and the other is another regular theme on Markus Rill’s albums; Old Man Now about the singers Father; and could easily be about my own Dad or possibly be how my sons see me. Whatever; it’s the type of song most songwriters fantasise about writing but 99.9% of the time fail miserably …….. but Rill describes this familial and very masculine love quite delightfully and very intimately too.
Apparently our friend and his band only booked the studio for ten days, hopefully coming out the other end with 10 songs; but in only five days created all 15 that make up this album; and I agree ……. there’s no filler here at all; I can’t think of anything that could or should be left off.
Every one’s a winner! .
Like many of us outside the US of A Rill grew up with a romantic image of this fascinating country and, just like me, the music, TV and Films have taken him on a fantastic journey, with SONGLAND only being the most recent staging point; and one I can’t recommend highly enough.

Released May 3rd 2019
http://www.markusrill.net/

Will Kimbrough I LIKE IT DOWN HERE

Will Kimbrough
I Like It Down Here
Daphne Records/Soundly Music

Songs of The South in All It’s Poetic and Ragged Glory.

Regardless of the content, I’m always going to like a Will Kimbrough album, that’s just how I roll.
As per usual I’d played this disc three times before I got around to reading the Press Release, and I’m glad I did…….. as it got to join some very oblique dots for me.
First and foremost I never knew Kimbrough was from Alabama, and Lower Alabama at that; but you actually need to know that detail to ‘buy into’ this ‘Love Letter and Prayer to The South’ as he quaintly describes his beautifully motley collection of heartfelt songs.
The shimmering opening track Hey Trouble is a good ole fashioned ‘bad luck’ Blues song wrapped up in an Americana melody and chock full of Kimbrough’s trademark guitar licks. What’s not to like?
But….. put your emotional seat-belt on for what is to follow.
The title track I Like It Down Here follows with the opening stanza confirming the theme of what this album is generally about,
She asked me when’s the bad luck stop
When do we rise to the top?
It’s awful hard work pulling up the rear.”

It’s actually a love song of sorts; and one of those songs that will stick in the memory bank for years; coming back to haunt you when you least expect it.
There’s so much going on in Will Kimbrough’s professional life, that he didn’t need to write and record a solo album; but with so much happening politically and socially in his beloved South and especially his home State of Alabama he appears to have got the itch to write about things in his very own and deeply personal manner, going back to his Roots basically.
Oddly enough this gives him the opportunity to drop musical surprises, with the jaunty I’m Not Running Away, the Soulful – When I Get To Memphis, the thoughtful – Star, and indeed the wistful in Saltwater & Sand which I’d never have really expected in advance.
On any other album his two Southern Blues Deluxe tracks, Buddha Blues and It’s a Sin would truly be deemed exceptional, with the latter starting with the gut-wrenching lines:
“Innocent babies come into this world
Singing their little hearts out
Daddy says it’s a sin …… to kill Mockingbirds
I have no reason to doubt”

Attach those stinging words to a a pleading singer and funereal paced N’Orleans melody and you have a song that will break every heart that hears it.
But…….takes a deep breath….. there’s also a song here that is probably the cornerstone to this very record, with everything else depending on it’s unyielding power to allow them to breathe on their own.
I feel guilty calling Alabama (For *Michael Donald) my Favourite Song here; because it’s much, much more than that.
As you do when you first play an album the songs drift in and out of your consciousness but not this one…… phew, Kimbrough’s words and this horrible true story knocked me sideways immediatly. I don’t intend spoiling anything for you, but you simply MUST LISTEN to this song; it just might change your life a little bit.
If Will Kimbrough had only ever written and created this one song, he could still die a happy and proud man indeed.
When you check out the credits you will see a myriad of Guest Vocalists that are household names; but ignore that……. this is very much Will Kimbrough’s career defining album and his alone.
I come from a mining village in NW Durham whose ‘reputation precedes it’ in our region; but it’s my homeland and I’m therefore allowed to openly criticise it….. but God Help anyone else who does; and that’s how this special songwriter and storyteller shows his love for his own Homeland ….. he’s allowed to tell it how it is, warts and all.

Released 19th April 2019
https://www.willkimbrough.com/






DL Rossi A SWEET THING

DL Rossi
A Sweet Thing
Self-Release

Heartfelt, Raw and Passionate Alt. Country.

Las night I planned to review something completely different than this latest release by DL Rossi, but after not playing it for a couple of weeks, something drew me to the artwork on the cover and here I am, about to start gushing about this guy, his voice and his wonderful songs.
I’ve said before ‘music effects you in many ways depending on your emotional state at a particular time’ and so it has been with this EP/Album this morning.
I knew the songs from a couple of weeks ago; but this morning …… woah…. they have taken me not just by surprise but as a musical hostage!
At first sight opening track This Road is a staple of the Americana/Roots scene; but there’s something quite magical about the way Nolan Rossi’s delicate production brings out the sadness; no…. the tragedy in DL’s voice as he pulls us through an emotional ringer, on a story of being in the middle of a real-life shoot-em-up and the mixed emotions such a trauma leaves someone with.
For a young man, DL has had his fair share of troubles, from testicular cancer through a failed marriage that followed a nervous breakdown and not forgetting his dalliance with Punk Rock getting him ostracised from the Christian community he had belonged to growing up.
But being a songwriter; those tattered emotions just make for damn fine songs; listen to the mournful Love Song A Sweet Thing to understand where I’m coming from!
There’a blue-collar Alt. Country essence to Good Woman; you know the type that Steve Earle used to create and Rossi grabs that tarnished mantle with a new found fervour on this heart-crushing love song.
On the deep, dark and soulful More Seconds Rossi takes to the acoustic guitar, and with the assistance of Mollie Parden and Corrie Bechler on backing vocals they combine to create a song worthy of Gram Parsons at his most eloquent.
A drummer by profession, it’s no surprise that DL has a wonderful way with timing on these songs, especially so on Something Back which just sweeps you along like a leaf in the wind.
With only 7 songs here; and each one has effected me in some way, selecting a Favourite has certainly not been easy; with Be Your Man and it’s inherent passion oozing from every single line being a contender; but I’m going for the song that should be a Radio Hit if it weren’t for the judicial use of the word ‘shit’ in every other stanza!
Better is one of those songs that a writer only manages to write once in a lifetime; as many people listening to it will think ‘that is about me!’
In Better Rossi really encapsulates the raw emotions you feel when things are spiralling out of control;

“I lost a lot
But I also lost myself
Doing things I never thought I’d do
And I’m broken up
But that isn’t an excuse
To be an asshole after a few.”

History shows that Rossi does come out the other side; with a fabulous song in tow too. Not everyone is so lucky.

I have a Gretchen Peter’s T-Shirt that says ‘Sad Songs Make Me Happy’ and that phrase neatly encapsulates my feelings about DL Rossi’s songs here; they are as sad as sad can be; but they are as intrinsically beautiful and tragic as can be but hopeful and eloquent too, and the world is a better place that they are available for the likes of me and you to wallow in his prose.

Released April 12th 2019
https://dlrossi.bandcamp.com/
https://www.dlrossi.com/

The Delines JHC at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle.

The Delines
Gosforth Civic Theatre
Newcastle
Monday 28th January 2019

In all of 2018 I only managed to get to six gigs; and this week I plan on going to three; of which seeing the Delines on the back of their second album THE IMPERIAL, was always going to be a highlight of not just January, but my year.
The night got off to a bad start when I arrived to find the venue’s car park decimated and only about 1/6 the size it was in November meaning I had a panicky 10 minutes finding a space in a side street; then desperately trying to memorise the route for later in the evening.
Then I found the lobby packed beyond belief making a much need trip to the toilet something of a battlefield experience, as them pensioners ain’t giving up their private space for nothing or nobody!
Enough of my entry………..
The support act was something of a surprise to me (and the promoter!); as Willy Vlautin had met an old friend, Scottish Folk singer Alisdair Roberts the previous night in Glasgow for the first time in ten years and said, “Hey! Do you know what would be cool? Join us on tour!”
Well; what was a great idea for Willy wasn’t so good for me. I’m sure what Alisdair does is truly excellent in Ye Olde Folk Worlde, but his dour and ‘worthy,’ ‘finger in the ear’ ministrations were anathema to my delicate ears, and after being shushed and tsked from some very reverential music lovers as I whispered to my mate John, I left him and them to go to the bar for a coffee and a bag of crisps.
It appears that there was only a tiny gap between acts; as I missed the Delines first song because I was waiting for a rush to the bar that never materialised!
When I did venture back into the main hall, Amy Boone was just about to go into I Won’t Slip Up; and within seconds I was mesmerised by her presence and majestic voice as she purred the words while she clenched her fists to suppress the dark emotions she was singing about.
My notes say they performed 15 songs in about 90 minutes; with a careful balance between both COLFAX and the latest release The Imperial; and ‘performance’ is the perfect way to describe how each individual song and story is delivered.
While the Cult of Vlautin devotees were salivating at seeing their leader in the flesh; Willy, like me; knows that The Delines is really Amy Boone’s band, which is why the be-suited genius prefers to remain hunched over his Gibson SG in the shadows allowing the singer to shine like a flawed diamond in the spotlight.
While there wasn’t a single thing wrong with the ‘older songs’ like Wichita Ain’t So Far Away or indeed the magical The Oil Rigs at Night, the newer songs seem more fully formed, designed and created specifically for Amy Boone to bring to life like Spring flowers.
Vlautin’s songwriting talent shines through in the imagery he creates in Eddie & Polly and the wonderfully melancholic song about ‘our times’ Holly The Hustle; and I can’t think of anyone this side of Tom Waits or Randy Newman who could take the subject matter of Cheer Up Charlie and turn it into such a darkly beautiful song, as he does and Amy Boone brings to life.
While the songs are often dark and seedy; there are still laughs a’plenty in the intros; with Amy saying they were considering making their first video for ‘Cheer Up Charlie’ but none of them wanted to appear on screen, which led to a chucklesome couple of minutes with Willy deciding Harry Dean Stanton would play him and drummer Sean bagged the Karate Kid!
I don’t remember who Amy wanted; but surely it would have to be Susan Sarandon? No?
Thankfully we have the generic terms ‘Roots and Americana’ because I’m damned if I can think of a category to easily put The Delines into. There’s definitely Country sensibilities of the Gothic persuasion to Don’t Mess Around With Me; but when Amy Boone crooned He Don’t Burn For Me she criss-crossed Jazz, Blues and Soul with effortless grace and when the evening ended with Colfax Avenue followed by the tenderness of Let’s Be Us Again this modern theatre was turned into a late night Gin Joint full of sad-eyed lovers and losers sitting amid over flowing ashtrays and empty glasses as Vlautin and Boone’s words stung their hearts and souls.
Phew!
What a night…….. try as I might I will never understand why bands this talented are playing venues (albeit Sold Out) that hold 4-500 people and patently less talent acts are filling Arenas and Festivals.
But, The Delines can be our special secret!

http://thedelines.com/
http://www.jumpinhot.com/





Hymn For Her POP-N-DOWNERS

h4h ax

Hymn For Her
POP-N-DOWNERS
Self-Release

Roots-Rock and Folky Americana At It’s Finest.

It might be a bit of an exaggeration to say that regular visitors to the area, Hymn For Her were the the Stars of the Jumpin’ Hot Club stage at SummerTyne Festival 2018, as their raw Rootsy Rocking n Rolling Folky Americana isn’t always ‘commercial’ nor ‘easy on the ear’; but they certainly won hundreds of new admirers, and when I passed the Merch stand Lucy and Wayne were always very busy autographing numerous CDs for a long line of music fans.
After seeing Hymn For Her four times now and owning their last release DRIVE TIL U DIE, I never know what to expect as this wonderful duo constantly reinvent themselves after immersing themselves in some new rich and exotic culture; which is sort of theme, if there is one here.
For only two people with an array of banjos, cigar box guitars, kazoos, fiddle and a mini drum kit they sure do make a big sound here; none more so than the sub-psychedelic Blue Balloons which opens the record with a lush arrangement and honeyed harmonies that you could almost bathe in.
While at home on a Festival stage, what can sometimes be lost in those performances is the subtly of their stories and the intricacy of their playing as they battle the elements.
Here Scoop becomes a delicious slice of Americana Pie, with Lucy hardly ever sounding finer and later on Shallow Graves you find yourself puzzled at first, then as the dark tale unravels you end up listening open mouthed. Powerful stuff indeed.
The couple’s charming daughter Diver makes a couple appearances here, adding some spacious and sorrowful violin to the sadder than sad Yard Sale on which Wayne seamlessly goes into Ryan Adams mode.
AHA! There it is……First Clown On The Moon; a rip roaring, raucous and fanciful ‘love song’ originally inspired by Diver’s dream of growing up to be the ‘first ballerina on the moon’; and a song that had them dancing in the aisles as the sun shone over the river at SummerTyne; and if one song actually defined Hymn For Her I guess it would be this one.
Or, it could also be the feisty and frantic Human Condition which comes straight out punching well above it’s weight and leaving the listener on the ropes as Wayne regales us with “You’re born crying/you live complaining/you die disappointed!” as we are beaten into submission.
Ain’t that the truth brothers and sisters?
On another day that would and should have been my Favourite Track; but I’m going to be contrary by selecting the Spanish flavoured Rose for no other reason than it’s simply delightful and a little bit epic.
There’s a little bit of everything here and it all gels magnificently; and that’s the beauty of Hymn For Her.

Released October 5th 2018
https://hymnforher.com/band/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/hymnforher6

 

Mean Mary Blazing (Hell is Naked – soundtrack)

mean mary 1a

Mean Mary
Blazing (Hell is Naked – soundtrack)
Woodrock Records

A Charmingly Tough Soundtrack

“Mean” Mary James is one tough cookie. When she very young, Mary’s parents lived frontier style, building their own log cabin in the Minnesota woods, where Mary’s mother was forced to shoot a seven-foot tall black bear that attacked their camp. Mary wrote her first song at the age of six (“Mean Mary from Alabam,” which gave her the nickname,) played banjo and sang on a television show until she was nine years old, and later survived a car accident which nearly destroyed her vocal cords. After overcoming that, she began touring and playing music full time, both in the states and overseas, and has now won enough awards to easily overfill a mantlepiece. But Mary James is not even close to slowing down.

Blazing, her latest album, is a “soundtrack” of sorts to Hell is Naked, a mystery novel co-written by Mary and her mother, Jean. Now, I have yet to read the novel, but can attest most assuredly to some fine music on this album. Mary’s voice is in fine form on these songs, and she picks a mean banjo and plays some wonderful gypsy fiddle on several tracks. The instrumentals are some of my favorite tracks on this album. From the gypsy-like “Lights, Gun, Action,” the charming “Rainy,” and the foot-stomping downhill race of “Blazing,” itself, Mary knows how to create a mood with sparse instrumentation. The stirring take of the classic folk song “Rock of Ages” gives Mary a choice to showcase her emotive voice as well as more exemplary banjo playing. Mary covers quite a range of styles on this album, ending it with the song “I Face Somewhere,” where Mary plays heavily reverbed electric guitar and gets a little bit of help from her band, the Contrarys.

Hearing these songs, and the varied emotions and situations they deal with, definitely makes me want to read the book. Looking forward to it. Oh, and if you ever get the chance to see Mean Mary live, please do so, she puts on a solid rockin’ show.

Review courtesy Roy Peak

Released July 6th 2018

http://www.meanmary.com

 

John Hiatt CRY TO ME (Single)

 

john hiatt 01

John Hiatt
CRY TO ME (Single)

WAHAY! I’ve come home from a few days in the North Yorkshire hills with no internet access and just when I thought life couldn’t get any better, I found a new single from the legendary John Hiatt waiting for me……and I can’t wait to share it with you guys (and gals).

“John Hiatt is set to return with ‘The Eclipse Sessions’ on 12th October 2018 via New West Records. The 11-track set is the Grammy nominated legend’s first new album in four years. It was produced by Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton) and features Hiatt’s longtime drummer Kenneth Blevins and bassist Patrick O’Hearn, as well as Yates McKendree (Kevin’s 17-year old wunderkind son, who also engineered).”
“Hiatt places ‘The Eclipse Sessions’ in a lineage alongside two of his greatest works — 1987’s mainstream breakthrough ‘Bring the Family’, which sprung from an impulsive four-day session with an all-star combo led by Ry Cooder, and 2000’s ‘Crossing Muddy Waters’, an unplanned and largely unplugged effort that garnered a Grammy Award nomination and also set Hiatt on the rootsier path he’s still pursuing today. “The three albums are very connected in my mind,” Hiatt says. “They all have a vibe to them that was unexpected. I didn’t know where I was going when I started out on any of them. And each one wound up being a pleasant surprise.”
There’s a grit to these songs — a craggy, perfectly-imperfect quality that colors every aspect of the performances, right down to Hiatt’s vocals, which are quite possibly his most raw and expressive to date.

The Eclipse Sessions will be available across digital platforms, compact disc, vinyl, as well as a limited split metallic & white vinyl edition available at Independent Retailers. John Hiatt’s The Eclipse Sessions is available for pre-order now via NEW WEST RECORDS http://geni.us/jhtes?track=pr

John Hiatt’s songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Iggy Pop, Rosanne Cash, Eric Clapton & B.B. King, and countless others. He has received his own star on Nashville’s Walk of Fame, the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, and has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.”

John Hiatt The Eclipse Sessions Track Listing:

1. Cry To Me
2. All The Way To The River
3. Aces Up Your Sleeve
4. Poor Imitation Of God
5. Nothing In My Heart
6. Over The Hill
7. Outrunning My Soul
8. Hide Your Tears
9. The Odds Of Loving You
10. One Stiff Breeze
11. Robber’s Highway

http://www.johnhiatt.com

Sons of Bill OH GOD! MA’AM.

sons of bill c

Sons of Bill
OH GOD! MA’AM.
Loose Records

A Cerebral Musical Journey From Virginia to Seattle Via The West Coast.

This is another band who seem to have passed me by; even though I have three disparate tracks in my collection which I must have downloaded for my old radio show.
So it was with a completely open mind that I pressed ‘play’ two weeks ago.
Phew.

Opening song Sweeter, Sadder Farther Away wasn’t what I was expecting at all, as it’s something of a sensory overload… with an ethereal piano at it’s heart and a melancholic voice re-telling something of a modern Gothic love story.
Firebird ’85 which follows is nearer what I was expecting from Sons of Bill; with it’s harmonies and Lo-Fi sensibilities filling a claustrophobic Alt. Country love song.
It’s difficult, but fun trying to describe the Sons of Bill ‘sound’ as it flits around like a sparrow; one minute it’s the jangly guitars of Where We Stand; then it’s almost psychedelic Pop with Before We Fall; which is immediately followed by the transcendental Alt. Country of Green to Blue; which begets Old and Gray which could be the Jayhawks or Wilco at their finest.
Although none of the brothers sound in the slightest like Michael Stipe; it’s been REM that has sprung to mind when I found myself becoming ensconced with Easier and the album closer Signal Fade, alongside several others too; but in their defence Sons Of Bill appear to have taken a lot of musical influences and distilled them through their Virginia moonshine still and come out the other end with their very own and distinctive style of intricate Alt. Country.
It’s difficult to pin-point what I like most about the Wilson Brothers aka Sons of Bill; is it the magnificent guitar playing? The harmonies that only siblings can truly produce? Or is it the deeply thoughtful songs that they write and sing so beautifully? Or is it a combination of all three? Probably the latter as the RMHQ ‘Favourite Song’ proves with Believer_Pretender. Played LOUD in the car it almost shook the wing mirrors off; yet it also proved the perfect soundtrack when oozing out of the speakers in the garden on a hot and sunny afternoon.
Oh God Ma’am is a harshly beautiful album that slip slides seamlessly from track to track, taking the listener on a cerebral journey unlike anything else I’ve heard this year.

Released June 29th 2018
https://www.sonsofbill.com/

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore DOWNEY TO LUBBOCK

dave and jimmie

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore
DOWNEY TO LUBBOCK
Yep Roc Records.

A Gripping and Loving Look at Americana Music’s Roots and Beyond.

Oh Lordie LORD! How excited was I when this dropped through the RMHQ letter box two weeks ago?
(V.E.R.Y is the correct answer.)
Although best friends for well over thirty years their various touring and recording schedules have meant that they have never actually got to record together; until now. But my friends the long wait is well worth it.
One of only two new songs here, the title track Downey to Lubbock opens the record in a way Americana lovers have only dared dream about as the duo trade verses on an autobiographical tale of their long-standing friendship. If this had been the only song they ever recorded together, they could still be very proud men.
But no……more, and dare I say it; better is yet to come.
As you’d expect knowing both men’s history the mood seamlessly glides between the Country Rock of the opener to the more laid back Folkier end of the spectrum on Silverlake which follows with Gilmore purring the delicious lyrics.
Dave and Jimmie both have their own sparkling back catalogues to choose from for an album like this; but they have decided to delve into the last 100 years of Roots Music for this fascinating and often sensational collection of songs; with many being brand new to me, with KC Moon and Get Together managing to sound like they were written yesterday not decades ago.
I’m a big fan of Dave Alvin so the songs he takes lead vocals on stood out on the first few listens; with the jaunty take on July, You’re a Woman and the Tex-Mex waltz of The Gardens tugging at the old heart strings like he did on those early albums that I still cherish.
But the biggest pleasure I’ve had listening to Downey to Lubbock has been the rediscovery of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, especially on the rip-roaring Blues stomper Buddy Brown’s Blues and his dark re-imagining of Woody Guthrie’s Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) that have now stolen my heart and sent me back to his records after too many years at the back of the cupboard.
But it’s when the two come together that these songs really, really become memorable with Walk On Walk On becoming a real foot-stomping Honky-Tonker and who’d ever have thought a hoary Folk song like the Memphis Jug Band’s Stealin’ Stealin would get me tapping my toes and nonchalantly singing along to the chorus; but Dave and Jimmie’s marvelous duet managed to do that with ease and was an early contender for ‘Favourite Song’ status; as was the red hot re-invention of Lawdy Miss Clawdy; but that accolade goes to the second of their new songs; Billy The Kid and Geronimo. WOW! I guess Alvin had a big hand in the writing of this epic Cowboy tale; and the world is always a better place with new Dave Alvin songs in it; but as each singer takes the roles of Billy and Geronimo you just end up sitting back and wallowing in one of the finest Americana/Country/Roots/Folk songs you will ever hear……honestly, if you even vaguely like this genre listen to this song and tell me I’m wrong.
I dare you!
You really know how clever these two are when they can turn the Youngbloods Pop Classic Get Together into a sad Country sing-along which is just perfect for the crazy world we live in today; and that’s exactly what they do.
The Press Release describes this indomitable duo as ‘Seasoned Veterans’ and I guess I can’t think of anything better as both Dave and Jimmie have been on the Americana/Roots scene since before it even had a name; but what it doesn’t say is that they sound as good; if not better than ever in 2018 and their choice of songs here is absolutely sublime, with not a single one sounding out of place regardless of the decade that it was originally penned and recorded in.

Released June 1st 2018
http://www.davealvin.net/
https://www.jimmiegilmore.com/

THE LONG ROAD Country, Americana & Roots Festival……Sept 7th – 9th

long road Fest

A major new greenfield music and lifestyle camping festival is set to bring the world-famous, inimitable sights and sounds of the country music scene to the UK in 2018. Taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire from September 7th – 9th 2018, The Long Road will present one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana and roots music featuring five stages of live performances, bespoke food events and a wide range of themed outdoor activities.

Curated by Tennessee-born country music specialist and radio presenter Baylen Leonard, The Long Road will present a broad array of artists, from iconic US stars to up-and-coming home-grown talent, and the first wave of acts to be announced for the inaugural event includes US country star Lee Ann Womack, acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley, British country duo The Shires, popstar turned country music singer Una Healy and Texan singer and winner of The Voice USA Danielle Bradbery. Reflecting the extraordinary surge in popularity that country music has enjoyed in the UK in recent years, The Long Road will also feature a strong contingent of rising star UK acts across the weekend including hotly-tipped London-based duo Ferris & Sylvester and country-soul singer songwriter Yola Carter.

Much more than just a music festival, The Long Road will embrace all aspects of the country and Americana scene and, alongside its live music offerings, will incorporate an array of themed activities including Moonshine and bourbon tasting, instrument and songwriting workshops, wild swimming, a Southern-inspired food & shopping village and much more, providing festival goers with a unique, authentic country music lifestyle experience.

Marking the first time the platform has teamed with a country music event, BBC Music Introducing will host their own stage at the festival, which will be fronted by presenter of BBC Radio 2’s weekly country show Bob Harris and will showcase some of the UK’s best unsigned talent. The festival has also partnered with a carefully selected pool of specialist country and Americana organisations including The Birthplace of Country Music, which showcases the role that Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia played in the birth and development of country music, The Bluegrass Situation (BGS), an online music magazine and curator promoting the continued growth of bluegrass, roots, progressive folk rock, Americana music and culture, The Americana Music Association UK, and independent UK label Loose Records, who celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2018. These organisations will all be involved in bringing artists to the festival to showcase a broad array of talent from across the spectrum of country, Americana and roots music.

 

The Long Road’s Creative Director Baylen Leonard:

“Being from Tennessee and having lived in the UK for close to 20years, I’m thrilled to bring the music and culture of both together in one festival. The dedication and passion of the UK country community is so amazing, we wanted to put together a festival that celebrated the music and lifestyle they love as a thank you to the fans for supporting country music. Whether you’re a country fan, an Americana fan, or a fan of great music in general, we wanted a welcoming place where everyone could come together to celebrate. This is a festival for the fans and we’re excited to share it with you.”

The full line-up to date is as follows:

Angaleena Presley
The Shires
Billy Bragg
Striking Matches
Danielle Bradbery
Una Healy
Ashley Campbell
Brent Cobb
Aaron Watson
Lee Ann Womack
Danny and The Champions of the World
Catherine McGrath
The Wandering Hearts
The Wood Brothers
Megan O’Neill
Two Ways Home
Holloway Road
Kevin McGuire
Twinnie
Laura Oakes
Ruby Boots
Jess and The Bandits
Gary Quinn
Parker Millsap
Yola Carter
Treetop Flyers
William The Conqueror
The Arlenes
Joanna Serrat
Ferris & Sylvester
Kasheena Sampson
Danni Nicholls
Midnight Skyracer
Worry Dolls
The Lone Bellow
Frontier Ruckus
Folk Soul Revival
Amythyst Kiah
Andrew Alli

The Long Road will take place at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire from September 7th – 9th 2018. Day tickets start at £40*, Weekend No Camping tickets at £85* and Weekend Camping tickets start at £99* (*plus booking fees).

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Thursday April 12th and are available from http://www.thelongroadfestival.com.