wed 17/07/2019

Americana

CD: Daughter of Swords - Dawnbreaker

With shifts from the crepuscular to the distinct, Dawnbreaker is the aural equivalent of a stygian day periodically lightened when banks of cloud break to allow knife-like sunlight through.The album begins with “Fellows”, where an unadorned acoustic...

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Tony Bennett, Royal Albert Hall review - still cutting it at 92

I remember my first time in San Francisco, February 1982, crying at the sight of Golden Gate Bridge. I still shed a tear – it and the Bay are so very beautiful and the city is, like Venice, crazy-wonderful, defying all logic. It’s impossible to set...

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Billy Joel, Wembley Stadium review – The Entertainer delivers

While Elton John was picking up another bauble and tinkling the ivories in Paris, the world’s other Piano Man was heading to London and Wembley, where he last played three years ago. It was Billy Joel’s only British gig in a stadium tour that kicked...

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CD: Calexico and Iron & Wine - Years to Burn

Anyone familiar with Calexico and Iron & Wine will be unsurprised by Years to Burn. The 32-minute album (one track of which is a short instrumental) showcases lilting, mid-paced, reflective, country tinged and acoustic-bedded songs fleshed...

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theartsdesk at Red Rooster Festival 2019 - bustling Suffolk stately home hoedown

Only those who’ve just popped in from an early 20th century Tennessee cotton field will have recently observed more pairs of dungarees in one place than at Red Rooster. It’s a festival that prides itself on a rich diet of Americana alongside a...

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The Waterboys, Roundhouse review - energetic delights

Was it imagination or did The Waterboys’ audience at London’s Roundhouse, invited to sing along to “The Nearest Thing to Hip”, really sing extra-loud and lustily on the line “in this shithole”? On a momentous day that seemed to push Britain further...

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Mark Knopfler, Royal Albert Hall review - the Sultan's return

Prufrock might have measured his life in coffee spoons but for many of us it’s rock albums, the money to buy them way back when scrabbled together from Saturday jobs and student grants  –  remember them? Many in the audience at the...

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Better Oblivion Community Center, Shepherd's Bush Empire review - a winning combination

Better Oblivion Community Center may be a supergroup of sorts, but the name still draws less recognition that its members (Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes). Maybe it’s just too complicated to remember, because a packed Shepherd’s...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Terry Allen

Torso Hell tells the story of an American soldier whose limbs were blown off in Vietnam. Amazingly, he and his buddies survived, and in the ensuing medical chaos his arms and legs were re-attached to them rather than him. The narrator says “At the...

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CD: Norah Jones - Begin Again

There's a remarkable lightness to the way Norah Jones has glid through her career. She once told theartsdesk that even in her early 20s, faced with the global hyper success of Come Away With Me, “I think I was smart enough to know at the...

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CD: Steve Earle & The Dukes - Guy

Guy Clark is among the favourite songwriters of Bob Dylan, a Grammy-winning giant of the so-called outlaw country music movement who lived hard and died of lymphoma in 2016. He made guitars and wrote songs such as the classic “Desperados...

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I'm Every Woman, JW3, London - a musical celebration of International Women's Day

In one of the award-winning club’s forays from its Camden Town home, Green Note welcomed International Women’s Day with a special one-off concert exploring and celebrating the many ages and stages of being a woman. Three generations...

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