home  |  upcoming  |  subscribe  |  contact us  |  venues  |  recommended  |  gig archive

Plus Support Peter Bruntnell
Thu 20 October 2016
The Maze 17.5 Adv

26th March 2004 Richmond Fontaine took to the stage for the first time at the Maze. Some 12 years later it looks like they have decided it’s time to call it a day, and a sad day indeed. One of the pioneers of ‘Alt Country’ as it was tagged back then, Richmond Fontaine will be remembered as one of the best and most pioneering bands of the genre. In addition they are a fine bunch of genuine, honest and hard working people we have had the pleasure to work with and lucky to have had the great fortune to bring them to the Maze.

Richmond Fontaine | YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO is the tenth studio album by the kings of literate rock, Richmond Fontaine, their first in five years. Richmond Fontaine’s songwriter, Willy Vlautin says of the album “This record was written for all the guys we know who have hit the wall, are about to hit the wall, or are in the middle of slamming into it, It’s a record about paying the price for the way one’s lived. All of us in RF are at the age where the bill starts coming due for the decisions we’ve made along the way.

Recorded and produced in Portland, Oregon by John Askew at Flora Studios, YOU CAN’T GO BACK features the stalwart line-up of Sean Oldham on drums, Dan Eccles on guitar, and Paul Brainard on pedal steel. Freddy Trujillo joins on bass for his first recording with RF, and long-time friend Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists) plays keyboards with former bassist Dave Harding contributing some guitar after a move to Europe. While the atmosphere is familiar the songwriting is Vlautin’s strongest to date matching his lyrics in depth.

“The idea for the record started with the song Whitey and Me. It’s the story of two cowboy brothers who get their horses sold out from under them by a wayward uncle. They run into the uncle years later, only to find a wrecked man. Even though the brothers hold a lot of animosity towards the uncle they realize there’s no point in kicking someone who’s spent his whole life kicking himself. I’d just written the tune and not much later I was driving around central Nevada, and in the middle of nowhere I came across an old, blind Mustang. As I watched and worried about the horse, I studied his scars and thought about all the hard times he must have had. And now he was left alone to die. After that trip the songs just sorta spilled out. The characters in Wake up Ray, I Got off the Bus, Don’t Skip Out on Me, and Tapped Out in Tulsa are all like that horse: beat up, with nothing but hard miles behind them.” YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO is the band at its best. From the epic A Night in the City to the pared-down, acoustic Three Brothers Roll into Town, to Dan Eccle’s inspired guitar work on Don’t Skip Out on Me, RF again has produced a wealth of beautifully executed story songs, the ilk of which is rarely matched in today’s musical landscape.

Richmond Fontaine rose to fame in 2004 off the back of their 5th album Post To Wire which went on to sell over 20,000 copies and earned them Album of the Month in UNCUT again happening the following year with The Fitzgerald. The press snowballed with those and the following three albums which saw the band playing Green Man, Primavera, End of the Road Festivals while building a loyal following over the last 11 years.


An Evening with SIMONE FELICE (USA) Glee Club Birmingham
Plus Support
Thu 27 October 2016
0 Adv

This show is at: THE GLEE CLUB The Arcadian, Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TD https://www.glee.co.uk/music/ . Doors open at 7.45pm

Please note Simone will perform 2 sets starting at 8.30pm.

"These are songs of memory and regret, of reminiscence and desire, songs that reflect on love and childhood and Americanness and, more than anything, on time passing…each song somehow sounds like a classic, each live performance suggesting we are in the presence of a rare, fiery brilliance." The Guardian.

Simone Felice is a founding member of internationally acclaimed Catskill Mountain based artists The Felice Brothers, whose early seminal albums remain some of the most influential works of this century's indie-folk revival.

Simone has been widely hailed as one of the most gifted songwriter poets of his generation and has recently co-written and produced Bat For Lashes critically acclaimed concept album The Bride, as well as the #1 worldwide hit Cleopatra album by The Lumineers.

Join him for his One Man Show, premiering new songs as well as classics, in a select handful of intimate setting this Autumn.


Plus Support
Wed 2 November 2016
The Maze 13 Adv

“Southern rock for the thinking man”

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Uncle Lucius are a band whose rootsy blend of classic rock, blues, soul, and country flavors has won them a loyal fan following. From there first beginning the band was soon playing for packed houses at Austin venues like the Saxon Pub, Threadgill's, and Antone's.

In 2006, Uncle Lucius unveiled their first album, a self-released effort titled ‘Something They Ain't’, and the group supported the release with steady regional touring. The second album, 2009's ‘Pick Your Head Up’ marked the start of a three-year run of tour dates that took Uncle Lucius across the continent. A self released album hailed for bringing rock and roll back to its heyday sound. Their third studio album, 2012's And You Are Me, now signed to a major label found them stretching their musicianship and reeling in eleven songs that punch with a fullness reminiscent of The Doors to early Black Crowes to the current new blues sound of The Black Keys.

The Light, released June, 2015 on Boo Clap/Thirty Tigers celebrates the bands independence from a major label with a highly-anticipated fourth album,. Most bands celebrate a long-awaited record deal. Uncle Lucius saved the champagne for when they got out of theirs. ‘The Light’ places the band in unfamiliar sonic territory, and much credit belongs to producer George Reiff (Ray Wylie Hubbard, the Band of Heathens) for testing their limits. Certainly there’s risk involved when a band decides to go its own way. Freedom carries with it the weight of responsibility after all, however the fact Uncle Lucius seems destined for a broader audience should come as no surprise, for music that comes from the heart and speaks to the soul.


Plus Support
Wed 9 November 2016
The Glee Club 14 Adv

“The most engaging, and in some ways, most original artist currently working in the field of new American ‘folk’ music” INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Anaïs Mitchell is first and foremost a storyteller. As a Vermont-based singer-songwriter, Mitchell recorded for Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are five full-length albums, including 2010’s sensationally-reviewed Hadestown– a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth– and 2012’s Young Man in America, which was described by the UK’s Independent as ‘an epic tale of American becoming’ and for which she received a BBC Radio Two Folk Award nomination for Best Original Song.

Mitchell has headlined worldwide as well as supporting tours for Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, The Low Anthem (all of whom appear as guest singers on Hadestown), Richard Thompson, Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers. Her 2013 release, Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer, is a collection of traditional Celtic and British Isles ballads. It won a 2014 BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Traditional Song, as well as finding itself on many ‘best of’ lists in international publications. In fall 2014, Mitchell releases ‘xoa'; a fifteen track solo collection including re-recorded songs spanning her ten year career, as well as a few completely new and previously unrecorded songs. If there’s a common thread in Mitchell’s work– from her earliest acoustic records, to the Hadestown opera, to this new chapter– it’s that she’s as interested in the world around her as the one inside her. She has a way of tackling big themes with the same emotional intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. “That’s why,” as one journalist put it, “even in her most intimate moments, she never sounds like a confessional songwriter.”

HADESTOWN, based on the acclaimed album, Anais and her collaborators have been working on the stage adaptation for ten years, and it will open on May 23rd 2016 at the New York Theatre orkshop.

“Beautifully original, bristling with savage melancholy” 4* THE DAILY TELEGRAPH


Plus Support
Mon 14 November 2016
10 Adv

This show is at the Bodga Social Club, Nottingham. 23 Pelham St, Nottingham NG1 2ED Tel: 0115 950 www.bodeganottingham.com/

“Texas singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe has done a lot of growing up since her debut album, Suburban Nature. She has experimented more musically ... moving beyond straight-ahead guitar folk and into new jazz and electronic-inflected directions. The raspy and hauntingly beautiful vocals her fans value haven't gone anywhere—but everything surrounding them is bolder and richer than before.” — Interview Magazine

For 30-year-old singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe, Don’t Disconnect, produced by Midlake’s McKenzie Smith, her 3rd album, is both a mission statement and a call to arms -- an album about getting to know yourself in a hyper-connected world that makes it nearly impossible to do just that.

Her debut EP Even Born Again was self-released in 2008, Jaffe’s endearingly stark narratives have gone from homespun folk-pop songs in the lineage of Lucinda Williams to decidedly cathartic blues-pop ballads that rest at the intersection of indie, folk, and electronic -- without losing any of the thoughtfulness or intimacy.

Part of Jaffe’s charm comes from that fact that she writes all of her lyrics herself: after wowing crowds at Austin City Limits in the late 2000’s, she earned local recognition through the Dallas Observer Music Awards and signed a deal with Kirtland Records in 2010. Her Kirtland debut Suburban Nature followed exposing the artist to an international audience who found solace in the album’s confessional, literary aesthetic without forsaking, as one reviewer put it, “the decidedly punky force behind the quiet façade.” The record’s hit single, “Clementine” (19 million you tube hits) captured a similarly beautiful sentiment about living, freedom, and the wonder of being young. In 2011, she released, which was touted as an EP that included a DVD of her performance at Wyly Theatre in Dallas that February. This release included a cover of a Drake song: "Shut it Down". It was with this release that she started moving away from an acoustic folk sound to a more orchestral indie rock sound, but it was only a hint at what was to come.

By the time The Body Wins arrived in 2012, the pace of Jaffe’s music had shifted but the delicacy had not: the record’s instrumentation veered more towards electro-pop, but the troubadour storytelling and heartfelt lyricism was every bit as cerebral. The follow-up to The Body Wins, Don’t Disconnect continues to showcase Jaffe’s range.


DEAN OWENS Plus Support
Plus Support
Sun 20 November 2016
The Maze 10 Adv

Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s finest singer songwriters, with fans including Bob Harris, Ricky Ross, Irvine Welsh and Russell Brand.

Armed with a searingly soulful voice and a neat line in memorable heart-twisting melodies, Dean filters his love of Americana through a gritty yet lyrical Scottish sensibility. A compelling and engaging live performer, with an innate ability to connect with any audience, with an emotional hurricane of stories and songs.

This summer he hit the road with headline shows at SummerTyne and Southern Fried festivals, opening spots for Gretchen Peters and Jason Isbell, a tour as special guest of triple Americana Music Association award winners Danny and the Champions of the World, in addition to his tribute to Hank Williams (Settin’ the Woods on Fire) at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall and tour dates with his own material that take him from north east and west of Scotland to London and south of England. He’ll also play a double header with fellow Scot Yvonne Lyon at the Famous Spiegeltent’s “Before the Fringe” season in Edinburgh.

Dean’s much acclaimed Into the Sea CD is being reissued – on 30 Sep - as a Deluxe edition which includes 4 extra tracks, all recorded in Nashville, including his recent single Cotton Snow. Into the Sea was recorded with producer Neilson Hubbard (at his Mr Lemons Studio, in Nashville, Tennessee) and a host of acclaimed US musicians, including guitarist Will Kimbrough and renowned singer songwriters Kim Richey and Suzy Bogguss. The lead single will be Virginia Street, which Bob Harris declared to be “a really great song” and his favourite from the album.

Into the Sea defies genre categorization and has had radio play on rock, indie, Americana, country and folk shows. Recent live sessions include Under the Apple Tree at “Whispering” Bob Harris’s house in Oxford for WBTV (co-ordinated by Bob’s son Miles Myerscough-Harris), BBC Radio Scotland (inc Ricky Ross Another Country, The Janice Forsyth Show and Iain Anderson Show) as well as Bob Harris Country (BBC Radio 2) in December.


Plus Support
Sun 5 February 2017
The Maze 15 Adv

James McMurtry and his fab Austin band return to The Maze!

“James writes like he's lived a lifetime.” —John Mellencamp.

Witness Complicated Game. McMurtry’s first album in six years has garnered universal acclaim. “At a stage where most veteran musicians fall into a groove or rut, McMurtry continues to surprise,” Texas Music magazine recently noted. “[Complicated Game] is a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.”

Indeed, McMurtry’s latest collection spotlights a craftsman in absolutely peak form as he turns from the political toward the personal (“These Things I’ve Come to Know,” “You Got to Me”). “The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships,” the longtime Austin resident says. “It’s also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman.” Either way, McMurtry spins his stories with a poet’s pen (“Long Island Sound”) and a painter’s precision (“She Loves Me”) throughout.

Folks notice Complicated Game delivering McMurtry’s trademark story songs time and again (“Copper Canteen,” “Deaver’s Crossing”). “[McMurtry] takes listeners on a road trip of unprecedented geographic and emotional scope,” No Depression raves. “Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry – who’s not prone to autobiographical tales – credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life.” “Fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock,” National Public Radio (NPR) echoes. “The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.”

“James McMurtry is a true Americana poet – actually he is a poet regardless of genre” —Michael Nesmith

"America's fiercest songwriter" - CNN


Plus Support
Thu 9 February 2017
The Maze 14 Adv

“Just saw them in Spain last week. Awesome concert! The best of the festival! And unique opportunity, sadly they don't come around here often”

If Turnpike Troubadours are playing in your town, you’ll know it. Get closer and you’ll start to hear the music -- rockin’ hard, lashed by burnin’ fiddle and guitar, maybe a little rough on the edges but with a deep-rooted soul that's impossible to resist. And if you make it through the door, you’ll witness one of the best shows you'll ever see.

Audiences in their home state of Oklahoma and down in Texas have known this for years. It's no longer news when they draw 5,000-plus at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, sell out three nights in a row at Gruene Hall or turn several hundred away at the Legendary Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin. They’ve drawn full houses at Joe’s Pub in New York and The Troubadour in L.A., among many other nightspots from coast to coast.

So is that the story? “The Turnpike Troubadours Tear It Up Night After Night”? Actually, no. The self-titled third album contains 12 songs featuring the quintet's signature blend of roots rock, folk and raw country played with grit, passion and conviction. Word of their fiery live performances has spread throughout the U.S. making them a must-see act. However, the true strength at the core of Turnpike Troubadours has always been their songwriting. The new album is yet another testament to that point.

"This album sounds like us at our best," Edwards says. "We weren't going for being overproduced. What we got was exactly what we wanted because we didn't have that time factor problem." And this is the paradox of the Turnpike Troubadours: Do they sound their best when they're delivering another electrifying live show or when they've crafted an artful album? Honestly, the band doesn't worry much about that. "The show is about people having fun," Felker says. "The more fun they have, the more fun we have and the better off everybody is. The record is about understanding the poetry in a real way. I figure it's like people sitting around in their house, maybe drinking a beer. That's more the place for poetry." "Our sound comes from playing country music, punk rock and anything else we liked in honky-tonks and beer joints," Edwards adds. "You've got to give the crowd something to dance to and have a good time. But songwriters are the most important thing. So I think everything we've done says that you can have it both ways."