|Mary Chapin Carpenter|
Mary Chapin Carpenter has been one of most intuitive singer-songwriters of the last two decades and this December, she brings a little christmas cheerenty year to the festive table in way of her new album, Come Darkness, Come Light. In this exclusive interview, Americana UK talks to the American songwriter about Christmas, changing record labels and working with the who’s-who of Nashville.
Interview by Maurice Hope. Read more... Updated Friday, December 22, 2000
Travelling Canadian troubadour Oldseed had to cancel his extensive 26-date tour of the UK when he was refused a visa to enter the country by immigration authorities. In this exclusive interview, Oldseed (it says Craig Bjerring in his passport), ruminates about, among other things his mum, dystopian society, folk beards, guitars and suddenly finding himself stuck in a George Orwell-book.
Interview by Alan Taylor Read more... Updated Thursday, December 07, 2000
Since as long as anyone remembers Chicago-based songwriter Chris Mills has been a favourite here at Americana UK. So when we found out he would be doing a few gigs in Sweden, all set up by his local mates, we once again rushed off to the Arctic Circle. Somewhere south of there we had an exclusive chat with Chris about his recent stint teaching Bob Dylan songs to Norwegian middle-schoolers, his damn fine new album ’Living In The Aftermath’ and the Obama effect. Oh yeah, there’s a question about giant killer robots as well.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Sunday, December 03, 2000
|The Hot Club Of Cowtown|
After enjoying much praise and no little success on the Americana scene, hot jazz and western swing ensemble, The Hot Club Of Cowtown, disbanded to the consternation of its many followers three years ago.
These fans – and some of them had been with the band ever since it was just fiddler Elana Fremerman and guitarist Whit Smith playing the streets of New York in the early 90s – then suddenly woke up to the news that The Hot Club Of Cowtown had reformed and would now be releasing a compilation of their finest songs.
In this exclusive interview, Americana UK’s Maurice Hope speaks to Elana Fremerman (now James) about being back on the road, being mistaken for a bluegrass band and – hold on now, y’all – being a member of Bob Dylan’s touring band.
Interview by Maurice Hope Read more... Updated Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Ever since forming Sixteen Horsepower in the early 90’s, David Eugene Edwards, the grandson of a Nazarene preacher, has delivered some of the most intense music ever to be labelled alternative country, making damn sure no one leaves one of his concerts unaffected by the sheer power of his performance.
Drawing his inspiration from both his strong Christian faith, classic old-time music and the punk-mindedness of bands such Gun Club and Joy Division, David Eugene Edwards is a genius carried forth by equal parts faith and fear. In this exclusive interview, he tells Americana UK about disbanding Sixteen Horsepower and forming Wovenhand, his stagefright and why the fans just keep comin’ back for more.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Grant Lee Phillips, G Love, Ben Harper and Thad Cockrell are among the fine guests featured on the third album by pro-surfer-turned-troubadour, Donavon Frankenreiter. In this interview, he tells Americana UK all about working with such renowned artists, his infatuation with Bob Dylan and living life by the moment. Which, apparently, is what it’s all about, dude.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Monday, October 27, 2008
Jay Brannan rose to international recognition, particularly within the gay male community, thanks to his portrayal in the controversial movie “Shortbus” of Ceth, a character the two central roles meet who becomes embroiled in a three way relationship with them. A big part of the character’s personality in the film, his talent with a guitar and self penned songs, bleeds over in to real life as they’re Brannan’s own songs, which he recently released an acclaimed album of called “Goddammed.” Not one to listen to with your mother maybe, the album still crosses styles effortlessly and proves that Brannan is much more than just a pretty face.
Mark Whitfield caught up with him in Manchester on his recent tour. Read more... Updated Thursday, October 23, 2008
Whoever had the idea that Jim Lauderdale should host the Americana Music Association’s annual Awards and Honors Show and become as a result the voice of its Festival and Conference had it spot-on. He’s the embodiment of what the americana movement stands for, with his maverick musical persona and Manuel suits.
Americana UK’s Janet Aspley went to the AMAs in Nashville and had a long chat americana’s go-to-guy about americana, country and everything in between.
Interview by Janet Aspley. Read more... Updated Friday, October 20, 2000
Winter hail out of Sweden and prove that the country has a lot more to offer than just ABBA, IKEA and Volvo. Providing rock, pop and country, Winter recently played the Maverick music festival where Americana UK caught up with Anna-Lena, lead vocalist and songwriter, and from who’s surname the band get their name.
Interview by Phil Edwards Read more... Updated Monday, October 16, 2000
For every Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Joe Ely, there’s a young struggling songwriter trying to wander the enourmous footsteps of his idols. Meet Hayes Carll. He’s written and toured with legendary Texan songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard (Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother, kids) and Guy Clark, but on his highly recommended third album ‘Trouble In Mind’, his first for Lost Highway, Hayes Carll is nobody’s protegé. Americana UK had an exclusive chat with Hayes about the state of Texas, turning down record deals and eating pancakes with John Prine.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Monday, September 29, 2008
|Jason & The Scorchers|
At one of the recent Jason & The Scorchers re-union shows sweeping across the British isles, we had a chat with Jason Ringenberg, leadsinger with the legendary Nashville country-punk outfit. Unfortunately the interview was cut somewhat short by the roaring sound of guitars being tuned and tested for the show, but for a good ten minutes, Jason Ringenberg told Americana about touring, hating his own voice and being called the Godfather of country punk. Short and to the point.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Friday, September 29, 2000
Austin-based Americana girl, Eliza Gilkyson defies trends, nature and music’s business hierarchy —as her career blossoms at a time when most acts her age are looking to take it easy. Daughter of folk singer, Terry Gilkyson who wrote such songs as Memories Are Made Of This, The Cry Of The Wild Goose and the Disney favourite, Bare Necessities and sister of Texas guitarist Tony Gilkyson, Eliza is a rare talent. Although she has been around since the late 1960s, it has only been the last decade - her Red House debut Hard Times In Babylon in 2000 featuring the acclaimed Beauty Way started the great resurgence - that Gilkyson’s music has developed, and come to the fruition it had for so long promised.
Interview by Maurice Hope Read more... Updated Saturday, September 16, 2000
Meet The Whybirds. Four guys from Bedford who really look the part of your classic 70’s country rock outfit. With their long hair, beards, flannel shirts and classic Cosmic American guitar licks, they sound like Pearl Jam having a fist fight with The Allman Brothers in Don Henley’s back yard. But what’s more important is that The Whybirds might just be the most hardest working and hardest rocking band in Britain right now – a band destined for greatness.
Americana UK had a long yet very interesting chat with the band about the 70’s, country rock and guys in flannel shirts. Turns out we shouldn’t have mentioned Don Henley though…
Interview by Soren McGuire
Band photo by Brett Clark Read more... Updated Saturday, September 16, 2000
For some reason, the further Josh Rouse moved away from the hard drivin’, home grown and good ol’ fashioned alternative country rock of his debut album Dressed Up Like Nebraska, the more fans he seemed to gain along the way. A new collection of his best songs, outtakes and rarities showcases the astonishing Nebraska-born troubadour’s journey from being the Next New Springsteen to being the King of Mellow Country Soul – all in just a decade.
In this exclusive interview we speak to Josh about the first ten years of his career, annoying concert crowds and the fact that he might now be moving on to Afro-Brazillian jazz…
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Friday, September 08, 2000
For ten years, Ben Weaver sounded like he was trapped in the mind of Tom Waits. Barely into his twenties, the Oregon native had more grit and grease in his voice than even the most road weary of his elders, and with lyrics that often dealt with loneliness, despair, love gone horribly wrong and being singled out by the Lord himself for a good beating, you’d might suspect that Ben Weaver perhaps wasn’t aiming for the international breakthrough pop hit of the summer.
Yet now, with his sixth album, The Ax In The Oak, Ben Weaver is taking what looks like a brighter look at life. In this interview, we try to figure out why he has left the Good Ole God-fearin’ behind.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Monday, August 25, 2008
It’s basically the moment the world has been holding its breath for – the Second Coming of the Lennon/McCartneys of alternative country. On September 16 Gary Louris and Mark Olson will release their first album together since 1995, the year Mark Olson left the Jayhawks, the band he had formed with Gary Louris in Minneapolis ten years earlier. Titled ‘Ready For The Flood’, their upcoming album marks the reunion of, not the Jayhawks, but two of America’s most gifted songwriters. Americana UK went to Sweden and met up with Gary Louris, on tour promoting his own solo record, the magnificent ‘Vagabonds’.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Saturday, August 05, 2000
With his 2003 debut, No Never Alone, Justin Rutledge proved himself one of Canada’s most talented and promising songwriters. With ‘Man Descending’, his third album of country-sounding songs that can break even the toughest heart of stone, Justin Rutledge might be well on his way to becoming the next Gram Parsons, minus the destructive lifestyle (Rutledge likes his cigarettes and that’s about it). Americana UK spoke to him about his lost album, Canadian songwriters and being stuck on the M1. (Sadly, we forgot to ask him about meeting Dolly Parton…)
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Wednesday, July 16, 2008
How the hell does a teenager end up becoming the biggest Hank Williams fan in Kent, when he should’ve been out with his mates listening to Oasis, Blur and other more or less forgotten bands from the Brit pop heyday? Good question and certainly one that Pete Molinari might not be able to answer. When you grow up on old country and even older blues, you don’t ask questions, as Pete Molinary says – you just listen to the music. Americana UK had a chat with the extremely talented UK songwriter about has magnificent new album, A Virtual Landslide, an album that might sound an awfully lot like Bob Dylan to some critics. But as Pete Molinari puts it – why search for originality when you can search for authenticity.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Friday, July 14, 2000
I caught up with Austin based singer / songwriter Bob Cheevers as he finalised preparations for his now legendary annual mega tour of the UK.
Interview by John Hinshelwood Read more... Updated Saturday, July 01, 2000
With a distinct, soulful voice, Will Hoge has always been more Memphis than Nashville, even though he grew up in the shadows of Music Row. With his magnificent new album, ‘Draw The Curtains’, Will Hoge (his surname rhymes with Rogue, as the kind lady from the record company informed me before the interview) places himself somewhere between Sam Cooke and Joe Henry, but draws most of his inspiration from his father’s record collection. Americana UK met up with Will at a small club in Copenhagen (of all places), drank his backstage beers and had a nice conversation with what seems to be the nicest guy in Nashville.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Sunday, June 25, 2000
|Justin Townes Earle|
With a name like Justin Townes Earle, you’re either destined for greatness or trouble. Or in his case, both. Having pretty much learned from the best, 25-year old Justin Townes Earle spent most of his teenage years getting drunk, stoned and into trouble. But now, Justin Earle – you can probably guess who he gets his middle name from – is as clean, sober and focused as his father, and with his debut album ‘The Good Life’ out now on Bloodshot Records, Steve might just see himself outmatched by his own son. In this exclusive interview, Americana UK talks to Justin Townes Earle about his old, dated songs, growing up on Townes Van Zandt and Nirvana, “fuckin Toby Keith” and of course, his Old Man.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sam Baker sings with the wit and irony of John Prine, the beauty of Townes Van Zandt and the hushed, smokefilled voice of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Yet at age 53, the Texas native has managed to stay below the radar for half a century, not by a lack of recording contracts or audiences, but simply because he, as he puts it himself, “had a life to live and things to do.”
With his only second album in four years, the achingly beautiful and heartwarming ‘Pretty World’, Sam Baker sounds like the saviour of good ol’ fashioned Austin-bred americana. In this exclusive interview Americana UK talks to the biggest Texan songwriting legend you’ve never heard of. Why did it take him so long to get here? Well, turns out he was busy building apartments.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Thursday, June 01, 2000
Does being dead automatically make your music good? Does Bruce Springsteen make bodily noises like the rest of us? What the hell is rock n’roll radio? So many questions, so little time. Americana UK caught up with Jesse Malin for a quick word on his new album of covers, On Your Sleeve.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Friday, May 19, 2000
|THOMAS DENVER JONSSON|
He’s the best thing to come out of Sweden since Lee Hazlewood, and his newly released third album, ‘The Lake Acts Like An Ocean’ has pretty much made every Swedish critic between here and Vittula go ‘jävla bra, Thomas!’. Americana UK caught up with the boy wonder of sulky “Scandi-cana” for a chat about PR stunts, becoming famous and Damien Jurado. Who, as it seems, is not as mean as he looks.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Sunday, April 30, 2000
On his new album Soul Speak, ex-Doobie Brother and self-professed blue-eyed soul singer, Michael McDonald once again finds him digging down deep in the history of American Soul. In this interview, he tells Americana UK about perfect soul songs, illegal downloading and the prospect of him recording a blue eyed country album. Which might just happen.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Thursday, April 13, 2000
It’s been a good couple of years for Canadian singer Kathleen Edwards. After her second album raked in all the good reviews, she got married, got to see the world and shake hands with the who’s who of rock’s living legends. With her third – and by far her best album, ‘Asking For Flowers’, she’s teamed up with legendary producer Jim Scott, who has previously worked with Whiskeytown, Tom Petty and – yep, you guessed it, Kevin Bacon. In this exclusive interview Americana UK talks to Kathleen Edwards about cooking her own breakfast, getting caught in freak blizzards and, erm, bad body odor. And not to mention, what it’s like to sleep on Bryan Adams’ couch. And yes, that’s Bryan with a B.
Interview by Soren McGuire. Read more... Updated Saturday, April 01, 2000
Steve Earle once called him the best songwriter to come to Nashville for years, and after releasing eleven albums in eleven years, Matthew Ryan has yet to lose his way. Even when he experimentated with electronica in Strays Don’t Sleep or went relatively drum-loop crazy on 2006’s ‘From A Late Night Highrise, the Pennsylvania native kept his eyes on the road. Although he might not sell albums by the truckload like some of his peers, Matthew Ryan has gained a strong following through a close and personal relationship with his listeners (yup, he even maintains his own Myspace) and while ‘Matthew Ryan Versus The Silver State’ sees him spitting out Springsteen-like alt.country anthems destined for a larger audience, he’ll still get back to you right away. Americana UK caught up with the unsung hero of blue-collared Americana for a quick word on his music, his mates and how he suddenly ended up going to the postoffice every day.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Sunday, March 26, 2000
|DANIEL WYLIE - POP GENIUS|
The story of Daniel Wylie can be as inspiring and terrifying to any young musician struggling to make it in the music buisness. In the late ‘90’s, the Glasgow-singer, not keen on recording under his own name, began releasing his trademark Byrds-inspired jangle-pop as The Cosmic Rough Riders. Two albums and a few years later, it seemed like The Cosmic Rough Riders had pretty much turned into a full band, and suddenly everyone began noticing the songwriting gifts of Daniel Wylie. The Cosmic Rough Riders was signed to Alan McGee’s Poptones-label and in 2000, ‘Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine’ was released, not only to great critical acclaim (one critic named CRR ‘the best band on earth right now’), but also to an audience who quickly took to the band’s melodic and classic West Coast influenced rock. ‘Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine’ sold more than a 100.000 copies, but on the height of his succes, Daniel chose to leave his own band, citing creative differences as one of the reasons. While the rest of CCR carried on without the band’s founder – and, when it comes down to it, only member, Daniel began to write and record under his own name, and now, half a decade and three soloalbums later, Daniel draws a line in the sand with his first career-spanning collection. Meet a man one critic dubbed “a pop genius”, but also a man who, to put it lightly, got fucked over when he should’ve been fought over. Read more... Updated Monday, March 06, 2000
Interview by Soren McGuire.
Though he might bear a vague resemblance to Jay Farrar (it could be the eyes) or a young Steve Earle (heard in his soft yet distinctive southern twang), Stephen Simmons doesn’t look like a man who has actually lived the part of his own songs. You’d expect this Tennessee-native art major-turned-songwriter, who sounds and writes like a man of constant sorrow, to look at least a little worn, a little red-eyed and hungover from a lifetime of searching for answers between the bars, churches and open roads. In this exclusive interview, Americana UK talks to the rising star of Nashville’s americana-scene about Jesus, Nashville and ‘Something In Between’, his stunning third album which features guest appearances from, among other, Gram Parsons’s sideman, the lapsteel-legend Al Perkins.
Interview by Soren McGuire Read more... Updated Friday, February 04, 2000