wed 18/05/2022

Americana

Album: Willie Nelson - A Beautiful Time

All power to Willie Nelson – marking his 89th birthday this week with a new album, A Beautiful Time. He and Trigger have been making music together for more than half a century, Nelson releasing his first album in 1962. From his pen have come some...

Read more...

Album: Kurt Vile - (Watch My Moves)

Although the term “hipster” has become degraded to well beyond cliché, Kurt Vile is one of those artists whose fans may indeed have that in-the-know smugness. With Vile, though, this is not a bad thing. Given the increasingly confidence-shedding...

Read more...

Album: Cowboy Junkies - Songs of The Recollection

The 19th album from Canadian alt-country rockers, and very beguiling it is too. As its title suggests, Songs of the Recollection is a covers album, but such a description is reductive. Good songs live on, discovered anew by successive generations –...

Read more...

Cabell, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - transatlantic traffic

Had he never written a note of his own, George Walker would still have left a record of trailblazing achievements. Born in Washington DC in 1922, he studied piano at Oberlin College and the Curtis Institute (the conservatoire that notoriously...

Read more...

Album: The Shires - 10 Year Plan

Seems odd now, but there was a time when many Brits found country music laughable. It was a common thing. For instance, when Keith Richards embraced country, Jagger initially thought it a joke. By the time I was coming up in the Eighties, post-punk...

Read more...

Blu-ray: The Sun Shines Bright

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the John Ford scholar Tag Gallagher quietly observes in the penetrating – and deeply moving – video essay he contributes to Masters of Cinema’s Blu-ray disc of Ford’s 1953 masterpiece The Sun Shines Bright. It’s...

Read more...

Album: Basia Bulat - The Garden

On her sixth album, Basia Bulat re-records 16 of her own songs with specially created string arrangements. The Garden isn’t a best-of, more a recalibration of how the Canadian singer-songwriter sees herself through her music and how the meanings of...

Read more...

Album: John Mellencamp - Strictly A One-Eyed Jack

“I didn’t even know what I was writing about. It was just sent to me”, John Mellencamp has said of Strictly A One-Eyed Jack, his first album in five years.Lauded by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Nora Guthrie, who sees in his work echoes of her father...

Read more...

Album: Kiefer Sutherland - Bloor Street

Disclaimer: it’s a little unfair I’m reviewing Kiefer Sutherland’s third album. He seems alright, left-ish for an American, done his time in the bad boy lane, sense of humour, tried his hand at this and that, even as a rodeo-rider, and has...

Read more...

Albums of the Year 2021: Chrissie Hynde - Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan

So, it’s been another world-beating year. Known unknowns and unknown unknowns – at least two people have set Donald Rumsfeld’s 2002 Pentagon musings to music, and I’m sure I’m not alone in finding his words rather useful. Indeed, it’s not hard to...

Read more...

Album: Pistol Annies - Hell of a Holiday

“It was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was sober, especially my spouse.” So runs the giggly spoken word opening line of “Harlan County Coal”, the third song on Hell of a Holiday by American country trio Pistol...

Read more...

Album: Hiss Golden Messenger - O Come All Ye Faithful

Irrespective of its seasonal nature, the thread running throughout O Come All Ye Faithful is a mood of contemplation which could colour any of Hiss Golden Messenger main-man M. C. Taylor’s albums. The opening cut is “Hung Fire,” a Band-esque,...

Read more...
Subscribe to Americana