CHUCK HAWTHORNE (USA) Plus Support Plus Support Sun 24 July 2016 The Maze £10 Adv
"Chuck really deserves to sit at the same table with Townes, Guy, Butch and all the other great Texan songwriters..."
If 21 years in the U.S marines is what is necessary to gain the ability to write songs of this quality then everyone should sign up. This is Chuck's debut album and came about due to a chance airport meeting with Ray Bonneville to whom we should be eternally grateful!
The eleven songs on this album are quite stunning in subject matter, as well as being built on hugely appealing melodies, with the sound being sparse and Chuck's warm vocals quite distinctive. Overall we can fit him comfortably into whatever genre we choose to put artists such as John Prine and Kris Kristofferson into, without, on the evidence of this album, Chuck being overshadowed.
Ray Bonneville produced the album and they had help from artists of the quality of Eliza Gilkyson and Gurf Morlix; that pair alone being sufficient to pique anyone's interest. This is a terrific recording that drags the emotions all over the place, always gaining sympathy for the songs subject and there will be few, if any, better debut albums released this year.
Named one of the "Best Country Albums of 2015"
The Telegraph, U.K.
PETER BRUNTNELL BAND +Sophia Marshall Plus Support Sophia Marshall Thu 1 September 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
"Bruntnell has a remarkable knack for turning out big, dreamy, melodic, memorable songs" - MOJO
If you ask the likes of Peter Buck, Scott Mccaughey, Willy Vlautin, Jay Farrar, John Murry or Kathleen Edwards they‚Äôll all agree that Peter Bruntnell is a writer with rare and mysterious qualities. It‚Äôs interesting that American musicians are so seduced by such a uniquely British artist, and Peter has toured extensively with Son Volt, Kathleen Edwards and Richmond Fontaine at the request of the artists.
In 1999 Peter signed to Slowriver/ Rykodisc and released Normal For Bridgwater, a record that was to be his biggest commercial success to date which won him wider acclaim in North America. Upon hearing the album, Kathleen Edwards told her producer when recording her debut Failer, ‚ÄúI want to make an album like this‚ÄĚ. Peter struck up a friendship with Son Volt, which resulted in them touring together. It also saw the introduction to Peter‚Äôs band of 17 year-old James Walbourne. As well as playing with Peter, James is now half of the duo Rails with his wife Kami Thompson.
Around this time NME claimed that ‚ÄúPeter Bruntnell‚Äôs records should be taught in schools‚ÄĚ, they were referring to the particular appeal of the quiet Devonian‚Äôs songwriting craft. This new record returns emphatically to the earliest days of Bruntnell‚Äôs career, a full-on electric psych-rock experience.
Recorded between February and June 2015 and self-produced by Peter, Nos Da Comrade (which means ‚ÄúGood Night Comrade‚ÄĚ in Welsh) was recorded in Bruntnell‚Äôs home studio in deepest Devon, and in the village hall in the idyllic village of Mortehoe, where the band simply set up and blasted out the tunes. Peter Bruntnell has a unique ‚Äėway with a tune‚Äô like no other contemporary artists. The most interesting thing about his music, and part of the reason for his devoted following, is the indefinable knack the songs have of locking into one‚Äôs emotions in an elusive, intangible but deeply affecting way.
"One of the finest songwriters in Britain" The Independent.
The basics will tell you that Sophia is from Leicester, 30 years old and sings, writes songs and plays the guitar. So where did it all come from? Sophia spent the past few years as one-half of acclaimed band The Havenots (Cooking Vinyl Records). Sophia has played hundred‚Äôs of gigs across three continents from the tiniest dives to the grandest theatres.
She‚Äôs played prestigious festivals like Summer Sundae in the UK and South by South West (SXSW) in the USA. She sang Emmylou‚Äôs parts on a Gram Parson‚Äôs tribute gig sharing a stage with Evan Dando and earning the praise of Gram‚Äôs daughter Polly. She‚Äôs toured the land sharing stages with class acts like the Be Good Tanya‚Äôs, The Sadies and Tift Merrit and more recently with Frazey Ford on her UK tour as both the opening act and as part of Frazey‚Äôs band on backing vocals.
And now Sophia‚Äôs ready to do it all again as she launches herself into a solo career. She has handful of beautiful songs from the heartbreaking to the hopeful. She has a voice that can make you cry and she intends to get out there and play her music to whoever will listen.
ANDREW COMBS (USA) + Secial Guest Barna Howard (USA) Plus Support Barna Howard (USA) Mon 5 September 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
Nashville songwriter Andrew Combs will return to the UK this fall for an intimate acoustic tour, after appearing with his band at The O2 Arena in London earlier this year as part of the Country To Country Festival. Combs made a strong impression at the C2C festival, which also featured Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton, and aired on BBC Radio 2 with Bob Harris. ‚ÄúEasing in to the mid-afternoon set with the breezy, Foolin‚Äô And, Please, Please, Please, Combs heart-on-sleeve brand of country was met with total admiration‚ÄĚ wrote The Line of Best Fit in their concert review.
Combs previously appeared twice at Dorset‚Äôs End of the Road Festival, and has toured the UK with his band and in support of fellow Nashville songwriter Caitlin Rose. He recently joined Eric Church and Justin Townes Earle for extensive European tours.
Combs released his sophomore album, All These Dreams, on Loose Music in 2015. The critically acclaimed album landed on numerous best-of lists, including The Guardians 10 Best Country Albums, Rough Trades Albums of the Year and Rolling Stone‚Äôs 40 Best Country Albums, among others.
Combs recently hinted to The Tennessean about beginning work on his next album. ‚ÄúThe idea is that I want to make a late‚Äô 60s folk record,‚ÄĚ Combs said, ‚Äúnot a lot of drums and still some strings. But I want us to limit ourselves with what we put on top of a track. I don‚Äôt want any song to have like four electric guitars. If there‚Äôs electric guitar, there‚Äôs an electric guitar, and that‚Äôs it. I want to strip it down a bit.
‚ÄúI wanted a big, full-sounding record for ‚ÄėAll These Dreams ‚Äô and that‚Äôs what I got. Now I wanna do something different. I don‚Äôt ever want to make the same record twice‚ÄĚ. The follow-up to All These Dreams is due out via Loose Music in 2017.
BARNA HOWARD (USA)
Barna‚Äôs self-titled debut chronicled these moves as he struggled with the contrast between his small town upbringing and these big city wanderings. The album was met with critical acclaim and underground success, partly thanks to an opportunely placed song in the hit indie film, Drinking Buddies. One critic even likened him to some ‚Äúlost genius of the 60‚Äôs.‚ÄĚ
The songs on Barna Howard‚Äôs second album, Quite A Feelin‚Äô, ruminate on his relationship with home. Now entrenched in Portland, Oregon, many of the album‚Äôs tracks immortalize and reflect on the Eureka he once knew, while others folk music, but Barna‚Äôs knack for capturing his own deeply personal nostalgia resonates in a rarely universal way.
MADISON VIOLET (CANADA) + Support. (Birmingham Show) Plus Support Thu 15 September 2016 £14 Adv
THIS SHOW IS AT THE GEE CLUB BIRMINGHAM, The Arcadian, Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TD. Doors open 7.45pm. Tickets from www.glee.co.uk/music/birmingham/
Madison Violet are an award winning, multi-instrumentalist duo from Toronto, Canada. Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac have recently released their newest album ‚ÄėYear Of The Horse‚Äô, which is a slight departure from their rootsy/Americana sound. Influenced by pop, dance and folk, the duo have managed to blur the lines of musical genres seamlessly with their new batch of infectious songs and win over crowds from North America to Australia with their song-writing prowess and stunning harmonies.
With 5 albums under their belt, numerous awards including Vocal Group of the Year at the CFMAs and the International John Lennon Songwriting Award, Brenley and Lisa have proven once again, that they‚Äôre among Canada‚Äôs brightest songwriters.
"Madison Violet has suddenly appeared like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day." - No Depression
WILLIE NILE BAND (USA) + Support Plus Support Thu 22 September 2016 The Maze £16 Adv
A welcome return to The Maze for Willie Nile and his amazing USA band!
The New York Times called Buffalo, NY born Willie Nile "one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years." Uncut Magazine called him ‚ÄúA one-man Clash.‚ÄĚ His album Streets Of New York was hailed as ‚Äúa platter for the ages‚ÄĚ by UNCUT magazine. Rolling Stone listed The Innocent Ones as one of the ‚ÄúTop Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums of 2011‚ÄĚ and BBC Radio called it ‚ÄúTHE rock ‚Äėn‚Äô roll album of the year.‚ÄĚ His single from that album, ‚ÄúOne Guitar,‚ÄĚ was the ‚ÄúTop Pick of the Week‚ÄĚ in USA Today.
His album, American Ride, won ‚ÄúBest Rock Album of the Year‚ÄĚ at the Independent Music Awards. It appeared on dozens of year-end Top Ten lists for 2013 and was voted ‚ÄúAlbum Of The Year‚ÄĚ at Twangville Magazine. Bono called it, ‚ÄúOne of the great guides to unraveling the mystery that is the troubled beauty of America. In November 2014 he released a new album of piano-based songs, If I Was A River, to universal critical acclaim. ‚ÄúOne of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the past thirty years‚ÄĚ said The New Yorker. Uncut called him ‚Äúthe unofficial poet laureate of New York City.‚ÄĚ
Willie has toured across the U.S. with The Who and has sung with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. As the induction program from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says: ‚ÄúHis live performances are legendary.‚ÄĚ
Willie's new album, World War Willie, continues to break new ground. Released in early 2016, the new album is receiving widespread acclaim and many critics rate it Willie's best yet. The album features Willies regular touring band Johnny Pisano, Matt Hogan and Alex Alexander and together they make one of the most dynamic, passionate and hard hitting live bands in the world today.
OTIS GIBBS (USA) + Support Plus Support Wed 12 October 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
‚ÄúWith a low tolerance for bullshit and a guiding principle of maintaining his artistic integrity no matter what, Gibbs‚Äô songwriting is deeply personal and profound. It‚Äôs plain to see Otis Gibbs is a man you should give a damn about. ‚ÄĚ ‚ÄďRolling Stone
Raised in Wannamaker, Indiana, folksinger and songwriter Otis Gibbs' raspy vocals and sharp lyrics have had him compared to Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, and early Tom Waits, but his socially conscious writing style also puts him in a line that reaches back to Woody Guthrie and Peter Seeger.
His introduction to performing came when he was four years old and was being babysat by his uncle, who had recently been released from prison and had a drinking problem. The uncle would take Gibbs to a local bar with an upright piano and sit Gibbs up on it, where the child would sing Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams songs to the room. When bar patrons tipped him, Gibbs' uncle would take the money and buy more drinks, a practice that Gibbs would later wryly note was his introduction to how the music business really works.
Fiercely independent, Gibbs has self-released seven albums, beginning with 2002's 49th and Melancholy, and following it with 2003's Once I Dreamed of Christmas, 2004's One Day Our Whispers, 2008's Grandpa Walked a Picketline, 2010's Joe Hill's Ashes, 2012's Harder Than Hammered Hell, and 2014's Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth. Utterly unique, yet clearly in a delightfully stubborn American line of literate, politically and socially conscious folk artists, Gibbs deserves a much wider audience for his clear, simple, and cleverly crafted blue-collar songs.
‚ÄúSouvenirs of a Misspent Youth has been a constant companion on my headphones over the past few weeks.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄďBilly Bragg
RICHMOND FONTAINE (USA) -THE FAREWELL TOUR 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‚Äôs time to call it a day, and a sad day indeed. One of the pioneers of ‚ÄėAlt Country‚Äô 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‚ÄôT GO BACK IF THERE‚ÄôS 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‚Äôs songwriter, Willy Vlautin says of the album ‚ÄúThis 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‚Äôs a record about paying the price for the way one‚Äôs lived. All of us in RF are at the age where the bill starts coming due for the decisions we‚Äôve made along the way.
Recorded and produced in Portland, Oregon by John Askew at Flora Studios, YOU CAN‚ÄôT 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‚Äôs strongest to date matching his lyrics in depth.
‚ÄúThe idea for the record started with the song Whitey and Me. It‚Äôs 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‚Äôs no point in kicking someone who‚Äôs spent his whole life kicking himself. I‚Äôd 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‚Äôt Skip Out on Me, and Tapped Out in Tulsa are all like that horse: beat up, with nothing but hard miles behind them.‚ÄĚ
YOU CAN‚ÄôT GO BACK IF THERE‚ÄôS 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‚Äôs inspired guitar work on Don‚Äôt Skip Out on Me, RF again has produced a wealth of beautifully executed story songs, the ilk of which is rarely matched in today‚Äôs 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‚Ä¶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.
UNCLE LUCIUS (USA) + Support Plus Support Wed 2 November 2016 The Maze £13 Adv
‚ÄúSouthern rock for the thinking man‚ÄĚ
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 ‚ÄėSomething They Ain't‚Äô, and the group supported the release with steady regional touring. The second album, 2009's ‚ÄėPick Your Head Up‚Äô 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. ‚ÄėThe Light‚Äô 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‚Äôs 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.
ANAIS MITCHELL (USA) + Support Plus Support Wed 9 November 2016 The Glee Club £14 Adv
‚ÄúThe most engaging, and in some ways, most original artist currently working in the field of new American ‚Äėfolk‚Äô music‚ÄĚ INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Ana√Įs Mitchell is first and foremost a storyteller. As a Vermont-based singer-songwriter, Mitchell recorded for Ani Difranco‚Äôs 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‚Äôs sensationally-reviewed Hadestown‚Äď a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth‚Äď and 2012‚Äôs Young Man in America, which was described by the UK‚Äôs Independent as ‚Äėan epic tale of American becoming‚Äô 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 ‚Äėbest of‚Äô lists in international publications. In fall 2014, Mitchell releases ‚Äėxoa'; 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‚Äôs a common thread in Mitchell‚Äôs work‚Äď from her earliest acoustic records, to the Hadestown opera, to this new chapter‚Äď it‚Äôs that she‚Äôs 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. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs why,‚ÄĚ as one journalist put it, ‚Äúeven in her most intimate moments, she never sounds like a confessional songwriter.‚ÄĚ
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.
‚ÄúBeautifully original, bristling with savage melancholy‚ÄĚ 4* THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
SARAH JAFFE (USA) + Support 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/
‚ÄúTexas 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‚ÄĒbut everything surrounding them is bolder and richer than before.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Interview Magazine
For 30-year-old singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe, Don‚Äôt Disconnect, produced by Midlake‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs charm comes from that fact that she writes all of her lyrics herself: after wowing crowds at Austin City Limits in the late 2000‚Äôs, 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‚Äôs confessional, literary aesthetic without forsaking, as one reviewer put it, ‚Äúthe decidedly punky force behind the quiet fa√ßade.‚ÄĚ The record‚Äôs hit single, ‚ÄúClementine‚ÄĚ (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‚Äôs music had shifted but the delicacy had not: the record‚Äôs 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‚Äôt Disconnect continues to showcase Jaffe‚Äôs range.