sun 03/07/2022

Americana

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...

Album: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit - Georgia Blue

Jason Isbell is a bigger noise on the other side of the Atlantic than he is in the UK but his last three albums have, nonetheless, bothered the middle-regions of the British album charts. He’s built a critically lauded career with his band The 400...

Read more...

Album: Willie Nelson - The Willie Nelson Family

The Outlaw meets Jesus, at least on CD. The Willie Nelson Family finds The Red Headed Stranger singing some of country-gospel’s most celebrated songs, including Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light”. It’s his second album of 2021 – the first, That’s Life...

Read more...

Devin Jacobsen: Breath Like the Wind at Dawn review – the disturbances of the Civil War

How do you imagine the wind at dawn? Biting, brisk, peremptory – a kind of summons as another day begins? For Les Tamplin, wife-beater, sheriff, father to three sons, it is a detective, deathly wind, "the wind that cannot be stopped" which...

Read more...

Stuart Jeffries: Everything, All the Time, Everywhere - How We Became Post-Modern review - entertaining origin-story for the world of today

In his 1985 essay “Not-Knowing”, the American writer Donald Barthelme describes a fictional situation in which an unknown “someone” is writing a story.“From the world of conventional signs,” Barthelme writes, laying out for the reader this story...

Read more...

Album: Pokey LaFarge - In the Blossom of Their Shade

Oh boy, there’s nothing like slipping on an old pair of jeans and cowboy boots. That’s the comfy feeling you get from the opening notes of Pokey’s new road trip in the company of some great musical ghosts. Hank Williams, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins –...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...
Subscribe to Americana