sat 01/10/2022

Americana

Album: Lambchop - The Bible

Lambchop’s 1997 breakthrough album took its title from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Borrowing The Bible is a more purposefully brazen gambit, as Kurt Wagner tries to locate Americans’ spiritual hearts, in a shaken, besmirched and brutalised nation....

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Album: Mark Peters - Red Sunset Dreams

The word “immersive” has, of late, been hijacked. Now used with conspicuous abandon by everyone from estate agents offering piss-poor 3-D renderings of bang average houses to fancy-dress film screenings, its true meaning has been immolated to the...

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Fleet Foxes, Islington Assembly Hall review - exceedingly alive

Just under two weeks ago, Fleet Foxes finished their US tour at the 13,000-capacity Forest Hills Stadium. Now, here they are kicking off their European dates in an auditorium attached to a North London town hall. Capacity 890. Unsurprisingly, it’s...

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Album: Loudon Wainwright III - Lifetime Achievement

Celebrating, if that is the right word, his 75th year, Loudon Wainwright III offers us his 26th studio album in 52 rollicking years, Lifetime Achievement. Though he does have one Grammy on the shelf, for 2009’s double set, Charlie Pool Project,...

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Album: Cass McCombs - Heartmind

Cass McCombs has something of the detailed, opaque depth of his late peer Jason Molina, with more taste for pop shapes under a broader musical canvas, while still in the Americana underground. The Dead’s Bob Weir, Blake Mills, Tinariwen, Noam...

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Album: Hudson Mohawke - Cry Sugar

The journey of Ross “Hudson Mohawke” Birchard has been truly one of the most extraordinary in modern music. From teenage scratch DJ champion and happy hardcore raver in some of Glasgow’s more feral club environments, in the late Noughties he quickly...

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Album: Friendship - Love the Stranger

Over the past few years, Joe Pera Talks With You has been one of television’s joys. Each episode finds the small-town American music teacher navigating life in Upper Michigan. Unhurriedly, with good humour, he deals with the day-to-day small things...

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Album: Wilco - Cruel Country

As the pandemic receded, Wilco huddled together in Jeff Tweedy’s Chicago studio and played country songs, an easefully naturally act as the world around them shook. Though famed for the experimental, eerily timely Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001) and the...

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Album: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Dirt Does Dylan

I have to confess, it’s a long time since I’ve thought about the Nitty Gritty Dirty Band and a new album serves as a reminder of how good they were, and are. Formed in Long Beach, California in 1966 by a Bob Dylan-obsessed high school student named...

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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...

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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...

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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 –...

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