PETER BRUNTNELL, & JEFF FINLIN (USA) + CLIVE BARNES Plus Support Wed 10 February 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, the grandson of Irish railroad workers (who seemed to be in the habit of leaping from trains), Jeff Finlin is a fascinating, unique artist. His career has taken many twists and turns.
He began with wanderlust, traveling America using every form of transportation, with the exception of rickshaw (still on the bucket list). Having played in bands in Boston, Ohio and L.A, he finally wound up in Nashville with long-time mate and Academy Award nominee Gwil Owen ("A Softer Place to Fall") to form the rock band ‚Äúthe Thieves‚ÄĚ, which released the acclaimed "Seduced by Money", produced by Marshall Crenshaw on Capitol Records. In 1993, he went on to produce the self-released "Lonely Light" before going on to produce the Little Dog/ Mercury release, "Highway Diaries". The Chicago Sun Times said: "FINLIN writes with the minimalist grit of Sam Shepard and Raymond Carver - tune in and you will hear an elusive magic."
Next it was on to New York, where Jeff incorporated the likes of Mark Ribot (Tom Waits and Elvis Costello) and Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan), to produce ‚ÄúOriginal Fin‚ÄĚ Music Row called the record: "A do it yourself piece of musical brilliance - Simply manna to the literate songwriter‚Äôs soul."
It started back in 1995 when Peter signed to Almo Sounds, where his label-mates included Gillian Welch and Garbage. He made two albums for the label: Cannibal and Camelot in Smithereens. Grammy-winner Peter Smith (Sting/Squeeze), who produced Pete‚Äôs debut Cannibal, still cites it as ‚Äúone of the top 3 records I‚Äôve worked on‚ÄĚ.
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.
Rather than reproduce the Americana feel of Normal For Bridgwater, Peter‚Äôs restless musical spirit has seen him strike out in new direction with almost every subsequent album. Four albums for Loose continued to win him admirers - by 2005, The Independent were calling him ‚Äúone of the finest songwriters in Britain‚ÄĚ and Richmond Fontaine‚Äôs front man Willy Vlautin named Peter as his favourite singer.
His 2009 Loose album Peter And The Murder Of Crows is filled with psychedelic drones and mellifluous tunes; the album found reviewers and fans alike comparing him with Nick Drake and John Martyn. It was one of Q magazine's ‚ÄėAlbums Of The Year‚Äô and was an ‚ÄėAmericana Album Of The Month‚Äô in MOJO Magazine. Ever inventive, with 2011‚Äôs Black Mountain UFO Peter mixed West Coast harmonies with the requisite dab of psychedelia.
2013‚Äôs Retrospective featured tracks from all of Peter‚Äôs albums to date and was crowned with a re-recorded version and video of ‚ÄėPlayed Out‚Äô featuring platinum-selling Rumer.
Clive Barnes is a guitarist, singer and songwriter of rare quality. Clive has released four studio albums to date the latest of which The Ghost Country garnered rave four and five star reviews with previous album Welcome To Farewell winning Album of the Year in US publication Acoustic Guitar. Clive toured consistently throughout the US and Europe as a solo act and also as lap steel guitarist with the likes of Eric Bibb, Joe Cocker and Taj Mahal. He has toured as opening act with Jeff Beck, Alison Krauss, Gary Clark Jr, David Crosby, Dr. John, Greg Allman, Solomon Burke, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Seasick Steve, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and many many more. RTE's Harry Guiren noted in a review of Clive Barnes performing at Vicar Street, Dublin, "Clive is a guitarist who can make one acoustic sound like six. Barnes transported the entire, hushed venue across the Atlantic to where the paths taken by the Delta Blues, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen all led to his own special territory."
AUSTIN LUCAS (USA) and ADAM FAUCETT (USA) Plus Support Adan Faucett Mon 29 February 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
"Bluegrass, folk, and classic country meet bar - band rock & roll." - American Songwriter
No one ever said country music had to be simple, and when Austin Lucas began thinking about the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2013 album Stay Reckless he had a lot on his mind. The Indiana troubadour wanted to do something not only different from his own work, but unlike anything else being done in the realm of country music and Americana. Between The Moon And The Midwest marries traditional & cosmic country sounds with sharp, vivid storytelling in a fully realized album concept.
The songs began to emerge during the 2011 Stay Reckless sessions and tour cycle; a tumultuous time masked by non-stop life on the road. With his marriage dissolving, Lucas began pouring his pain into fictionalized characters. Stay Reckless captured the experience of his divorce, and Lucas put those first few songs on the backburner while he toured heavily behind the album and avoided reflecting on the state of his personal life.
Two years later he found himself dealing with crippling anxiety and depression. Returning to the songs with a darker perspective while drawing on his life experience in rural Indiana, he crafted an intimate song cycle capturing the intricacies of friendship, love, betrayal, and the pain arising from the nature of those relationships. Being in a state of despair allowed Lucas to inhabit the characters in the story and he emerged from the darkness with the songs for Between The Moon And The Midwest.
Citing influences like Buck Owens and George Jones, Lucas had wanted to record a fully country album since 2011's A New Home In The Old World. Enlisting the help of Joey Kneiser - guitarist and vocalist of the Tennessee band Glossary- they crafted a sound that, while rooted in outlaw and hard country, was infused with 60s psychedelic pop like the Zombies and the Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds. The result is a finely produced sound layered with guitar, vocal harmonies and atmospheric harmonics. Between The Moon And The Midwest is unique in its mix of sounds, songwriting, and influences.
From the country-gold sound of "Unbroken Hearts", the infectious "Ain't We Free", to the plaintive truths in "Wrong Side of the Dream" and "The Flame", he delivers an album at once timeless and modern. Boosted by guest appearances from John Moreland, Lydia Loveless, and Cory Branan Between The Moon And The Midwest finds Lucas at the top of his game and taking his music into exciting new territory.
ADAM FAUCETT (USA)
"Nothing can prepare you for the sound that comes out of his mouth when he sings‚ÄĒor bellows‚ÄĒhis stellar songwriting. It is a soulful power beyond belief.‚ÄĚ
Hailing from Little Rock, Arkansas, and possessing a voice that the Onion A.V. Club warns ‚Äúknocks your brain into the back of your skull‚ÄĚ, Adam Faucett has drawn comparisons from Tim Buckley to Cat Power to Otis Redding.
Called ‚Äúone of the greatest, most thoughtful lyricists the state has to offer.‚ÄĚ (Arkansas Times) Faucett has again pushed the borders of his ‚Äúpart folk, part blues, part elemental rock stomp, part unidentifiable cosmic holler‚ÄĚ (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) with the release Blind Water Finds Blind Water, a record of his most arresting and beautiful songs to date.
Faucett began performing solo in 2006 when the demise of Russellville, AR band Taught the Rabbits pushed him toward Chicago. He returned to Arkansas in 2007 to record his first solo album The Great Basking Shark, and began touring nationally. 2008‚Äôs Show Me Magic, Show Me Out followed, featuring Faucett‚Äôs band, The Tall Grass. A relentless touring schedule has led to shows with Jason Isbell, Damien Jurado, Chuck Ragan, and Lucero.
From the opening note of the first track of Faucett‚Äôs 2014 release Blind Water Finds Blind Water it becomes clear that there is no holding back on this album. The emotionally raw ‚ÄúDay Drinker‚ÄĚ sets the tone for a tour of unearthly themes set against the workaday backdrops of rural and suburban Arkansas. Sublime melodies mix tensely with characters who live in unsavory and haunted spaces. A Staten Island killer, an abusive ex-husband, and the 20th century "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce, all make appearances. Faucett, who says he ‚Äúidentifies more with the flood than the victims‚ÄĚ, explains ‚Äúthe tunes of Blind Water take full responsibility for the irreversible damage.‚ÄĚ
FRED EAGLESMITH (Canada) + Support Plus Support Wed 16 March 2016 The Glee Club £12 Adv
The heart of rock and roll is alive and well with Fred Eaglesmith‚Äôs 20th album, Tambourine. Fusing together all of Fred‚Äôs past influences, the result is pure rock ‚Äėn ‚Äėroll reminiscent of 1966.
Eaglesmith is a veteran of the music industry and at the same time is about as far away from actually participating in today‚Äôs music industry as one could be. Never operating within anyone‚Äôs boundaries, he continues to set the standard for independent artists everywhere. While blazing his own often colourful path he has avoided most of the traps and pitfalls of his peers, his career reads like a manual on how to succeed in music today without trying to fit into the traditional business models.
Tambourine was recorded live off the floor using an eight-track analogue console capturing the entire band playing together in the same room. Created during a month long session in an old hall in the hamlet of Vittoria, Ontario, Fred consciously stayed far away from anything that is popular in the mainstream music right now. The result a combination of Eaglesmith‚Äôs craftsmanship in songwriting and a fusion of rock ‚Äėn‚Äô roll circa 1966, Motown, and even Tejano influences. Never one to shy away from taking chances with his music and career direction, Tambourine is no exception.
Unlike Eaglesmith‚Äôs previous recordings the songs on Tambourine are more based on the music rather that the lyrics, often building upon a main guitar riff or bass line. On the other hand, like a lot of Eaglesmith‚Äôs albums, Tambourine mixes rock ‚Äėn‚Äô roll and R&B with richly drawn characters, meaty themes and stunning turns of phrase.
Eaglesmith‚Äôs songwriting has also earned him multiple International awards and his songs have been covered by some of the biggest names in Nashville including Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert. His music has been featured in films and television scores including those of True Blood and Grimm. Fred and his band have also performed as the musical guest on Late Show With David Letterman. This past year has also seen the launch of a highly successful musical theatre production Dear Johnny Deere inspired by and based on Fred‚Äôs songs.
Tambourine reaffirms Fred Eaglesmith‚Äôs rock ‚Äėn‚Äô roll odyssey and is some of his most comprehensive work yet. The band‚Äôs musical cohesion shows how tried and true his Travelling Steam Show really is and the level of production and engineering brings it all together to set a new bar of originality and creativity.
An Evening With HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN Plus Support Sun 10 April 2016 The Glee Club £17.5 Adv
Since its beginnings in the late 1990s, Hot Club of Cowtown‚Äôs star has continued to rise as its reputation for jaw-dropping virtuosity and unforgettable live shows has become the band‚Äôs global brand. Lauded for its ‚Äúdown-home melodies and exuberant improvisation‚ÄĚ (The Times, London), the Hot Club has always woven a combination of seemingly disparate styles together to its own magical effect, setting up camp ‚Äúat that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away‚ÄĚ (The Independent), and ‚Äúconscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time‚ÄĚ (New York Times). The band‚Äôs musical alchemy has been described as ‚Äúanother breathless journey in the Texas tardis‚ÄĚ (The Times, London), while American Songwriter observed that ‚ÄúThe excellent three players of this band could be doing anything but have chosen to honor the greats of jazz and swing with their sound.‚ÄĚ The Belfast Telegraph calls them ‚Äúa pretty much perfect country trio at the very top of their game,‚ÄĚ while the New York Times, reviewing a live performance in New York City in 2011, describes the trio as armed with ‚Äúan arsenal full of technique and joy.‚ÄĚ
Along with the Hot Club‚Äôs dedicated cult following worldwide ‚ÄĒ they have toured for the U.S. State Department as musical ambassadors to Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Republic of Georgia and the Sultanate of Oman ‚ÄĒ certain titans of the industry have also taken notice. Bob Dylan, with whom the band toured and with whom James has toured and recorded, is a continuing inspiration. The Hot Club has opened several shows for Willie Nelson, toured with Nelson and Dylan during a summer-long stadium tour, and recently opened seven nights of Roxy Music‚Äôs sold-out ‚ÄúFor Your Pleasure‚ÄĚ U.K. stadium tour in early 2011. In the U.K. the Hot Club of Cowtown continues to tour extensively and has been featured at the Glastonbury Festival and has also been a returning guest on Later With Jools Holland, the Cambridge Folk Festival, and BBC Radio 2‚Äôs Radcliffe and Maconie and Bob Harris Country shows.
SAM OUTLAW (USA) Plus Support Plus Support Wed 13 April 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
Sam Outlaw is a southern Californian singer-songwriter steeped in the music and mythos of west coast country, absorbing the classic vibes of everything from '60s Bakersfield honky-tonk to '70s Laurel Canyon troubadour pop and refashioning them into a sound that's pleasurably past, present and future tense.
Sam‚Äôs debut album Angeleno was produced by the legendary Ry Cooder & features members of My Morning Jacket, Dawes, & Punch Bros.
"Outlaw combines Glen Campbell‚Äôs ‚Äė70s crossover-country, James Taylor‚Äôs breeze-borne melodicism, and George Strait‚Äôs neotraditional ranch-hand aesthetics into a laid-back blend."THE BEST COUNTRY MUSIC OF 2015
"For anyone who feels similarly disenchanted about country music, Outlaw‚Äôs songs ‚Äď closely bound to tradition, endlessly romantic ‚Äď are the perfect remedy." AMERICAN SONGWRITER
"For folks who like country music animated with the romance of Marty Robbins, the gloss of Glen Campbell and the slickness of ‚Äė70s Nashville, it doesn‚Äôt get any better than this new set of a dozen tunes from SoCal songwriter Sam Outlaw." RELIX
Recorded and produced in Portland, Oregon by John Askew at Flora Studios, YOU CAN‚ÄôT GO BACK features the stalwart lineup 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 longtime 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.
There's a good chance that if you don't live in Portland, Oregon you have never heard of Fernando Viciconte and that's too bad, because he stands in his own class as a singer and songwriter. This new collection of songs, Leave the Radio On, just might be the best thing he has ever done. Expect Americana, expect Psychedelia, expect to be surprised.
DIANA JONES (USA) Plus Support Plus Support Sun 24 April 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
Award-Winning Singer Songwriter Releases New CD of Concert Recordings
In the last decade, singer-songwriter Diana Jones has brought her unique and original style of Appalachian singing and songwriting to devoted audiences on concert stages from Nashville to Amsterdam.
Following four critically acclaimed recordings, DIANA JONES LIVE IN CONCERT will be released in February 2016. This career retrospective features 18 songs and reveals what many have known all along ‚Äď Diana Jones is one of the most mesmerizing live performers on stage today.
Jones‚Äô story, which is well known to her fans, is as full of intricate connections as her narratives: the almost mystical connection she felt to rural Southern music while growing up in suburban New York, which led to the reunion at twenty-three with her birth family in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Her grandfather, Robert Lee Maranvville, a singer in the old time tradition, helped Jones make sense of her own distinctive voice and love of the storytelling genre. A lone pilgrimage to a cabin after her grandfather‚Äôs death produced the songs that became her debut release, My Remembrance of You, which launched Jones‚Äôs career.
My Remembrance of You (2006), earned Diana two International Folk Alliance Award nominations, folk festival, radio and television appearances and covers by Gretchen Peters and Joan Baez. Bob Harris introduced Jones to UK audiences on BBC Radio 2, which led to her first UK and European tours and a support slot for Richard Thompson. Her next recordings, Better Times Will Come (2009) and High Atmosphere (2011), led to appearances on Later with Jools Holland, Folk America on BBC Four with Seasick Steve, and Songwriter‚Äôs Circle on BBC Four with Steve Earle and Tom Morello, firmly establishing her reputation as a respected artist in the Folk/Americana music world.
Diana‚Äôs last release, Museum of Appalachia Recordings (2013) brought the music back to the family roots. Recorded in a cabin at the Smithsonian sanctioned museum, the record received wide acclaim and led to an International Radio Award for her interview with ABC Australia‚Äôs Robyn Ravlich, tours of Europe, the U.K., Ireland and the United States.
‚Äú..the one truly impressive American was Diana Jones, the only artist to pay the main stage completely solo all weekend.‚ÄĚ MOJO review of Cambridge Folk Festival
HAYES CARLL TRIO (USA) + Support Plus Support Thu 28 April 2016 The Glee Club £14 Adv
Failure has always been a favorite topic of Texas troubadour Hayes Carll. Much of the songwriting catalog he's built up over the last dozen-plus years revolves around dashed dreams, doomed romance and drunken predicaments. Very often, though, he's leavened the losing with cleverly deployed gallows humor, self-deprecation and yarn spinning, linking his work to his native state's tradition of wryly winning musical wit, a writing trait he shares with Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett and even Miranda Lambert. Some of Carll's most beloved hits ‚ÄĒ to the extent that there is such a thing in the singer-songwriter and Americana scenes that he straddles ‚ÄĒ features situational humor and hooky punch lines delivered over shambling, down-home grooves in a fractured twang that plays up a badly sprained ego.
There was the honky-tonk lament of a newly minted Jesus freak's jealous husband ("She Left Me For Jesus"), the fumbling flirtation of bar flies with diametrically opposed political convictions ("Another Like You"), and the talking-blues ballad of a hapless young soldier recruited by the Pentagon for a special mission ("KMAG YOYO"), among many other droll crowd-pleasers. While Carll has delved into unchecked melancholy on occasion ‚ÄĒ his eloquently self-pitying weeper "Chances Are" inspired a Lee Ann Womack cover ‚ÄĒ he's been fairly quiet about his pensive side, until now. Carll's first album in half a decade, the Joe Henry-produced Lovers and Leavers, strikes a heavier tone. The press release accompanying the new music includes his preemptive warning that it "isn't funny or raucous," that "[t]here are very few hoots and almost no hollers."
The guy's not kidding. "The Love That We Need," written with Jack Ingram and Allison Moorer, sets the tone. Accompanied by fingerpicked guitar figures, soft chord changes on piano and bass, and the muffled rustling of percussion, it feels like a glimpse into an excruciatingly intimate conversation that's been put off as long as possible, a sighing surrender to the atrophying connection between partners. Carll's deftly plainspoken verses and deflated phrasing perfectly captures the numbing effects of being swept along by the level rhythms of habit. "You say, 'I love you,'" he offers. "I say, 'Me too.' We don't think much about it. It's just a thing that we do." Depicting failure of such a private, ordinary variety, without any colorful exaggeration or comic relief, is an exacting art. Turns out Carll's excellent at it.
LAURA CANTRELL (USA) Plus Support Plus Support Wed 4 May 2016 The Glee Club £16 Adv
Laura Cantrell is a country music artist based in New York City. Born in Nashville, TN, she came to New York to attend Columbia College, and found that her abiding interest in country music helped her stay connected with her family roots. That interest was the motivation behind her long-running radio program on WFMU in Jersey City, NJ, ‚ÄúThe Radio Thrift Shop.‚ÄĚ Beginning on WFMU in 1993, the program was a Saturday afternoon staple in the New York area for 13 years, then moved to WFMU.org and ran for two seasons on BBC Radio Scotland as a summer replacement in 2005 and 2006. In her ten-year recording career, Cantrell has released three acclaimed albums: ‚ÄúNot The Tremblin‚Äô Kind,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúWhen The Roses Bloom Again,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúHumming By The Flowered Vine.‚ÄĚ She has toured extensively in the United Kingdom, Europe and Ireland, and was a favorite of pioneering British disc jockey John Peel, who called her 2000 album ‚ÄúNot The Tremblin‚Äô Kind‚ÄĚ ‚Äúmy favorite record of the last ten years, possibly my life.‚ÄĚ Cantrell recorded several Peel sessions for the BBC from 2000-2004 and appeared on the first Peel Day program on Radio One commemorating the first anniversary of Peel‚Äôs death.
Cantrell‚Äôs music has been celebrated in the press including features in The New York Times, ‚ÄúO‚ÄĚ Magazine, Elle, and the Wall Street Journal. Cantrell‚Äôs music has been featured on NPR‚Äôs ‚ÄúAll Things Considered,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúOn Point,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúWeekend Edition.‚ÄĚ She has performed on ‚ÄúA Prairie Home Companion,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúMountain Stage,‚ÄĚ and the ‚ÄúGrand Ole Opry,‚ÄĚ and appeared on the television programs ‚ÄúLate Night with Conan O‚ÄôBrien,‚ÄĚ and the Sundance Channel‚Äôs ‚ÄúSpectacle: Elvis Costello.‚ÄĚ In recent years, she has been a contributor to The New York Times and www.VanityFair.com.
Last spring, Cantrell released Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs Of The Queen of Country Music, a recording she made in honor of one of her heroines, the great Kitty Wells. A meditation on femininity in country music, the set takes its title from an original song written in tribute to Wells. At present, Cantrell is at work on her fourth album of original material.
CALE TYSON BAND (USA) + Support Plus Support Thu 12 May 2016 The Maze £12 Adv
"Old school, sad-bastard outlaw country for a new generation of excited country fans." -Rolling Stone
Cale Tyson is a singer and songwriter from Nashville, TN. Born in a small town in Texas, he was raised in Fort Worth, the home of Townes Van Zandt and the place where he first heard the classic country sounds that have inspired and enriched his gentle, melancholy, and undeniably whiskey-soaked sound.
In 2013, Tyson released High On Lonesome, his debut EP, which features Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart) on electric guitar. The release was featured on CMT.com and in American Songwriter Magazine, as well as numerous other outlets. Tyson has recently been opening shows for Dwight Yoakam on the road, in addition to wrapping up a new record which heavily features Robert Ellis on guitar and vocals.
In April 2014, Tyson was featured as one of PolicyMic‚Äôs ‚Äú9 Real Country Music Stars of Our Generation.‚ÄĚ In October 2014, Rolling Stone featured Tyson as one of the "10 New Country Artists You Need To Know."
"Tyson channels all the woe and despair you could find in his native Texas on the album, crafting meandering and warbling ballads that harken back to the heartbreak songs of old country." -American Songwriter Magazine