sun 26/09/2021

Americana

Album: The Felice Brothers - From Dreams To Dust

There’s a modesty to the Felice Brothers, an absenting of ego, even as they seek glimmers of transcendence in the vast American night. These working-class Americana veterans are enriched by their native upstate New York, with its economic scars and...

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Album: Willy Mason - Already Dead

Already Dead’s opening cut is titled “Youth on a Spit”. As it unfolds, Willy Mason declares “I feel no pain I’ve already bled / You can’t kill me I’m already dead.” After setting a pessimistic tone the next track is the “You’d Like to be Free”, a...

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10 Questions for Harry Grafton of Red Rooster Festival

Harry Grafton (b. 1978) is the preferred title of Henry Fitzroy, 12th Duke of Grafton, custodian of Euston Hall in Suffolk and the man behind the Red Rooster Festival. The latter, during its six pre-COVID years of existence, built a reputation for...

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Rag‘n’Bone Man, Jazz Café review – powerful first post-lockdown gig

Rory Graham’s first words as he comes on stage are: “Well this is a bit weird, isn't it? It's been a while.” After a run of cancelled gigs, the band haven’t performed live for a year and a half – which feels, says Rory, “a bit like missing a...

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Nomadland review - on the road in the American West

Fern (a luminous Frances McDormand) used to work in HR. Now, aged 62, she’s harvesting sugarbeets, hauling rocks, cleaning toilets in a trailer park and doing shifts in an Amazon warehouse. And she’s living out of her camper van, a shabby, lovingly...

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Album: Lambchop - Showtunes

Lambchop leader Kurt Wagner has suggested that the title of this album is semi literal: that he wanted to write “something akin” to classic, Great American Songbook show tunes, rather than his usual country-tinged style. If so, it’s for a rather...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 64: Chet Baker, Lava La Rue, Bob Mould, Krust, The Yardbirds, The Fratellis and more

Things got out of hand at theartsdesk on Vinyl this month and these reviews run to 10,000 words. That's around a fifth of The Great Gatsby. It's because there's so much good music that deserves the words, from jazz to metal to pure electronic...

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Album: They're Calling Me Home - Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi

Now we are at the beginning of lockdown’s end and the gradual loosening of the pandemic’s grip on pretty well every aspect of our lives, what is perhaps one of the warmest and most uplifting of albums recorded under Covid conditions comes in the...

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Album: Ted Barnes - 17 Postcards

Ted Barnes is an outsider by design. Not in the sense of being wilfully awkward or outré – the music on his first solo album in almost 13 years years is gentle, harmonically rich, extremely accessible – but in that he has sidestepped standard career...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: Albums We Got Wrong

Continuing our week of pieces celebrating the 10th birthday of theartsdesk’s album reviews section, today it’s time to ‘fess up! Seven of our regular reviewers reflect on occasions when, in retrospect, their writing did not correctly sum up the...

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