sun 20/05/2018

Americana

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Barbican, review - a three-decade retrospective

Mary Chapin Carpenter lives these days in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she sits at the kitchen table in her farmhouse and writes songs. “I have a couple of cats and dogs and I’m the hermit who lives down the road,” she explained to a...

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CD: Laura Veirs - The Lookout

Two minutes into The Lookout, a couple of related parallels bubble up when the David Crosby of If I Could Only Remember my Name and Gene Clark at his most sparse spring to mind. It’s not that the album’s opening cut “Margaret Sands” sounds like...

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News Exclusive: R.E.M. Announce Surprise New Studio Album

R.E.M. surprised the music world this morning by announcing an imminent new studio album, Charged. It will be released on their own record label, Around The Sun, on Friday 6th April via Spotify and iTunes, as well as a vinyl version distributed...

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America's Cool Modernism, Ashmolean Museum review - faces of the new city

Hie thee to Oxford, for it is doubtful that we will see the like of this exhibition again this side of the Atlantic. American art of the 1920s and 1930s was once disregarded in its homeland in favour of Francophile superiority, and once it fell into...

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CD: Owen Broder - Heritage

An album that enchants and surprises in equal measure, Heritage sees US sax player and composer Owen Broder explore the full gamut of American roots music – from blues and Appalachian folk to bluegrass and spirituals – through the prism of modern...

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CD: Mary Chapin Carpenter - Sometimes Just the Sky

It rather surprising to note that Mary Chapin Carpenter turned 60 earlier this year, which means she’s been making records for half her life, around in ours for 30 years – but it seems like yesterday. She has wisely resisted the album-a-year...

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Beth Nielsen Chapman, Cadogan Hall review - Nashville chats

There were empty seats at Cadogan Hall on Thursday night which was a crying shame, for Beth Nielsen Chapman was in town and she played a wonderful set, full of warmth and charm and powerful singing, her voice always true and expressive. Chapman is...

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Diana Jones, The Lexington review - at the crossroads of folk and country

The delicious flame-grilled burgers and the vast array of bourbons on offer at the Lexington, hard by yet another “King's Cross Quarter”, added atmosphere to the opening night of Diana Jones’s European tour. Finger licking is (quite rightly) not...

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The Best Man, Playhouse Theatre review - Gore Vidal’s plodding presidential drama

Is it possible to get too much of American politics? With Donald Trump’s daily tweets invading our digital space, a new Kevin-Spacey-free House of Cards on the, well, cards, and new films set in Watergate times, it might be that few will have any...

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CD: The Breeders - All Nerve

For some a lack of development is failure; not for Kim Deal. Her songwriting and voice have influenced hordes of indie bands from the Eighties until now – indeed the “angular” clang and arch drawl of bands indebted to Pixies, and The Breeders, her...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Chris Hillman

In 1976, when his first solo album Slippin’ Away was released, Chris Hillman could look back on being a founder member of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, two of America’s most important bands. He had also played alongside former members...

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CD: Beth Nielsen Chapman - Hearts of Glass

In a career spanning almost 40 years, Beth Nielsen Chapman has been sparing with her album releases. She’s been twice nominated for Grammys and many may still think of her as primarily a songwriter: “This Kiss”, of which she was co-writer, was a big...

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