wed 28/02/2024

Americana

Lorrie Moore: I am Homeless If This is Not My Home review - between this world and the next

Lorrie Moore’s brief but haunting I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home is a bizarre, unsettling read. At times it’s a road trip, at others a romance, then supernatural horror, Greek tragedy, or an epistolary short story nestled within the larger...

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Album: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway - City of Gold

Some country music cosies up as close as possible to pop, in hopes of dragging more listeners in, smoothing away the raw backwoods feel. The most famed exemplar of this route is, of course, Taylor Swift, at least in her early career. Other country...

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Album: Lucinda Williams - Stories from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart

2020 was a cruel year for everybody but in addition to the horrors of Covid which included the loss of her compadre John Prine to the virus, Lucinda Williams endured damage to her Nashville home in a tornado and then, in November 2020, she suffered...

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Album: Rufus Wainwright - Folkocracy

"This album is almost like a recorded birthday party and birthday present to myself. I just invited all the singers that I greatly admire and always wanted to sing with." So says Rufus Wainwright, a brilliant and compelling performer – and one, you...

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Gretchen Peters, Cadogan Hall review - writer and performer of exquisite gems

It’s 27 years since Gretchen Peters released her debut album, The Secret of Life, championed by Bob Harris and the late Terry Wogan, whose morning-tide enthusiasms also helped propel Eva Cassidy and Beth Neilsen Chapman to success - the term “...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 76: Elton John, Pharoah Sanders, Hellripper, Jah Wobble, T-Rex and more

There will be two theartsdesk on Vinyls this week. The first is here, an epic 11,000 words on a multitude of new releases in every genre, from reissues of classics to spanking new strangeness. There’s something for everyone. On Thursday we’ll have a...

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Album: boygenius - The Record

Maybe you’ve heard the Native American parable about the two wolves. An old Cherokee’s grandson is grappling with internal tensions; self-hatred and self-aggrandising. For Phoebe Bridgers, one-third of indie supergroup boygenius (usually styled with...

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Suzanne Vega, Royal Festival Hall review - the years melt away

It’s almost 40 years, but I still vividly remember the excitement of hearing Suzanne Vega for the first time. Singer-songwriters had always mattered to me, even though I grew up in the vacuous era of glamrock and insipid teen idols such as David and...

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Transatlantic Sessions, Southbank Centre - an evening of stellar music-making

It all ended in great style, the 20th edition of The Transatlantic Sessions which closed out its tour at London’s Southbank Centre on Saturday. The line-up of musicians is, of course, an embarras de richesse: a house band led by Aly Bain, master...

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'Time Out of Mind' Revisited - a deep focus take on classic Dylan

The 1997 release of Time Out of Mind was the resurrection of an artist who appeared to have wandered off the reservation some years before, lost in transit on his Never Ending Tour, trailed by an army of "Bobcats" who followed him for show after...

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Albums of the Year 2022: Janis Ian - The Light at the End of the Line

One of popular music’s greatest songwriting talents released her final album back in January. The Light at the End of the Line was Janis Ian’s first album of all-new material in 15 years, and it was planned as a stage-setter for her swan-song tour,...

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Mary Gauthier, Union Chapel review - a living room concert in all but name

Mary Gauthier’s first tour in more than three years landed at London’s Union Chapel on Saturday, concluding with another sold-out gig. The venue is perfect for unplugged acts – intimate, architecturally pleasing and acoustically spot on. But cold,...

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