Interviews | 2003

Interviews | 2003

Amy Allison

You might wonder why New York based singer/songwriter Amy Allison (www.amyallisonmusic.com) would choose to record her latest album “No Frills Friend” (Spit & Polish 2003)(www.shoeshine.co.uk) in Scotland. Well we did, and so Barry Jones asked her, during her pre-Christmas tour of the UK with label-mates Amy Rigby and Neil Cleary. “No Frills Friend” is an eclectic mix of songs, which take in classic country, show tunes and Brill Building soul, all delivered in Amy’s distinctive…
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Paul Burch

We finally caught up with Paul Burch (www.paulburch.com), whose latest album “Fool for Love” (Spit & Polish 2003) is, quite rightly, one of the nominations for album of the year. He talked to Barry Jones about his residency at Tootsie’s, his tour with Ralph Stanley, his growing involvement in films, his views on Gram Parsons and on the CMA awards, his relationship with Lambchop, he even told us about his nude swimming with Linda Ronstadt…
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Kim Fowley

Kim Fowley, LA Scenester, has had a musical career since the 1950’s, 102,000,000 records sold, and still counting, working with artists like Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, The Beach Boys, Jonathan Richman, Kiss, Helen Reddy, PJ Proby, Cat Stevens, Gene Vincent, Joan Jett, Warren Zevon, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito’s, and The Radio Sweethearts, amongst others. He has also been a consistent, and prolific, recording artist with a definite “alternative” feel.…
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Adam Masterson

Adam Masterson (www.adammasterson.com) released a very mature, polished and frankly, classy, debut album “One Tale Too Many”(Gravity/BMG 2003) in June 2003. The Mick Glossop-produced album featured musicians who had played with Van Morrison, and was very well received. So why, then, would 22 year-old Adam re-record one of the tracks, “Same Sad Story”, with the Charlatans’ guitarist Mark Collins in the producer’s chair, and release it as a single in November 2003? Barry Jones met…
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Brett Sparks | Handsome Family

Touring the UK and Ireland during November 2003, promoting their sixth album “Singing Bones”(Loose 2003) are the incomparable Handsome Family (www.handsomefamily.com). Their unique, thought-provoking and surreal style is captivating more and more fans, including Ringo Starr. The Handsome Family comprises husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks, and two years ago, Americana UK spoke to lyricist Rennie Sparks. This time, just before they set off on the tour, Barry Jones spoke to composer and principle…
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Caitlin Cary

Following the release of her second solo album since the demise of Whiskeytown, Caitlin Cary (www.caitlincary.com ) is touring the UK in late November 2003. It’s quite apposite, because “Late November” is a Sandy Denny work, and Caitlin has been compared favourably to Sandy. Such comparisons, however, will soon be unnecessary because Caitlin Cary is an artist who is emerging as a real force, with an individual voice and style. The latest album “I’m Staying…
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Cicero Buck

Back over in the UK for a tour right now, Cicero Buck, otherwise known as American singer/songwriter Kris Wilkinson and English bassist/songwriter Joe Hughes, have had a busy year promoting the Trailer Star Tribute for charity, recording sessions for Virgin Radio’s Captain America and more. Mark Whitfield caught up with Kris and found out a new world record for how many jobs you can do at one time...
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John Roderick

Seattle based The Long Winters (www.thelongwinters.com) have released a new album, “When I Pretend to Fall” (Munich Records 2003). It is replete with a video for the track “Blue Diamonds”, a Pop art sleeve, big production and 26 different musicians, including REM’s Peter Buck and Ken Stringfellow, and Scott McCaughey (Minus 5). John Roderick is singer, guitarist and songwriter on the album and co-produced it, along with Stringfellow. While he was on tour in California,…
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Horse Stories

“One Hundred Waves” (Loose 2003) is the new album from Horse Stories (www.horse-stories.com). Australian born mainman Toby Burke describes it as “an album that was recorded on the edge of town, about people just out of reach of something or someone.” It was, in fact, recorded at Indigo Ranch, a former hunting lodge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which has hosted the likes of Dylan and Neil Young. The result is a fitting sequel to the…
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Jeff Lewis

Having just finished a Europen tour promoting his second album on Rough Trade Records: ‘It’s the ones who have cracked that the light Shines through’. The amazing all singing all comic book writing Jeffrey Lewis took time out from his exile in a shack in Maine writing comics books to discuss life, music and of course comics with David Adair.
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Yonder Mountain String Band

The Yonder Mountain String Band (www.yondermountain.com) are a Nederland, Colorado based quartet. Jeff Austin, Adam Aijala, Dave Johnston and Ben Kaufmann have given the bluegrass world an injection of youthful vigour with their Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo, Upright Bass and harmony vocal format. But their appeal is wider than bluegrass thanks to their high energy, creatively improvisational shows. Their latest album “Old Hands”(Frog Pad Records)(www.frogpadrecords.com) features the band’s friend and collaborator Benny Galloway, but they have…
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Jay Farrar

OK, well it’s not exactly an interview, more of a question and answer thing. And some of the questions are longer than the answers. But hey, they’re YOUR questions after all. We electronically spoke to the former Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt frontman Jay Farrar about his old bands, the new album, all sorts of things. This is what he had to say.
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Pete Anderson

Pete Anderson, best known as guitarist and Grammy award winning producer for Dwight Yoakam for the last eighteen years, is also Head of Little Dog Records (www.littledogrecords.com). In the late 1980’s Pete worked on two critically acclaimed compilations called “A Town South Of Bakersfield, Volumes 1&2” for Enigma records. Included on those compilations were talented individuals including Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams and Jim Lauderdale. His latest projects are “A Country West of Nashville” which looks…
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Neicey Mann

English singer songwriter Neicey Mann (www.amajada.com) has released her debut album of progressive acoustic music “Decree Neicey”. Critically acclaimed by, amongst others, Clive Gregson, “Tubular Bells” producer Simon Heyworth and Americana-UK, Neicey is currently promoting the album opening some dates for Colin Vearncombe (Black), and will support Eddi Reader in August at Leicester Cathedral. She also manages label-mates Lucky Luciano, yet keeps her feet firmly on the ground. Features editor Barry Jones spoke to her…
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Jeff Finlin

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jeff Finlin (www.jefffinlin.com) started as a drummer, but became bored with the creative constraints, and began writing songs. Now a Nashville resident, Jeff’s latest album “Somewhere South of Wonder” won rave reviews in 2002. In March and April 2003, he has been touring the UK and Ireland as opening act for Steve Earle and The Dukes. Features Editor Barry Jones met Jeff at The Black Box in Galway, on the Irish…
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Phil Lee

Phil Lee, sometime truck driver to the stars (well Neil Young anyway!), fine singer songwriter, sings songs with a twang, a beat, and a wry sense of humour. His 2001 album “You Should Have Known Me Then” (Shanachie) was produced by one time Steve Earle producer, Richard Bennett, and included special guests Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Alison Moorer, members of Wilco and Billy Joe Royal. And a very fine album it is too, despite Phil’s…
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Jesse Malin

Jesse Malin is a native New Yorker. From a hard-core punk and rock’n roll background, he’s toured since he was thirteen. His solo debut album “The Fine Art of Self-Destruction”(One Little Indian Records - www.indian.co.uk)was produced by Ryan Adams, who said, “Jesse Malin’s songs are so good they hurt my feelings.” Jesse (www.jessemalin.com) has been on a short British tour following an appearance at Glastonbury, and Barry Jones caught up with him in his dressing…
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Cosmic Rough Riders

Glasgow’s Cosmic Rough Riders’ last album “Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine” was so highly praised by just about everyone that you could barely see the CD cover for the proverbial quotes sticker - four and five star reviews abounded. Now, following the departure of frontman Dan Wylie to pursue his own solo career, the band are back with a new lead vocalist, Stephen Fleming, and the same classic sound. We caught up with them during their…
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Mary Lee’s Corvette

Mary Lee’s Corvette (www.maryleescorvette.com) is the band setting for Mary Lee Kortes. After growing up in Whitefish, Montana, she moved to Manhattan to pursue a career as a book editor. She worked as a session vocalist for people like Freedy Johnston and Laura Cantrell, and scored a surprise hit in 2002 with “Blood on the Tracks”, a song for song reinterpretation of Bob Dylan’s album, recorded at a “classic album” night at the Arlene Grocery.…
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Michael Carpenter

Michael Carpenter (www.mcarp.com) is a well respected producer in Sydney, Australia who owns and runs the successful Stagefright Studios. He is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays in various bands, and for the first time he fronts his own band, Michael Carpenter & King’s Rd. Michael has been on a solo tour promoting the album “KINGSRDWORKS” (Laughing Outlaw LORCD053) (www.laughingoutlaw.com.au ) which is the first album to feature the band. Features Editor Barry Jones spoke to…
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Stephen Fearing

For almost 17 years, Canadian Stephen Fearing (www.stephenfearing.com) has been writing and performing his literate and emotionally charged songs. His current album “That’s How I Walk” is a collection which varies between up-tempo acoustic rock and gentle, jazz inflected love songs, and deserves to be heard by a wider audience. At the start of the UK leg of a tour opening for Oh Susanna, Barry Jones spoke to him about the album, and his (frankly…
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Larissa Dalle

St Louis, Missouri based Larissa Dalle stopped over in Liverpool, at the start of a short tour of the UK, opening for The Handsome Family. Features Editor Barry Jones met up with her, and her band, and chatted about her inspirations, her aspirations, her last album “that’s what we’re here for” and her new album “Get on the Boat”, which was largely inspired by her year-long bout with cancer.
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Grand Drive

They’ve been described by the Guardian as creating their own genre of music, alt-soul, but their latest album “See the Morning In” was such an americana masterpiece that we made it our editorial album of the year for 2002. We caught up with band members and brothers Danny and Julian Wilson about the success of the latest album, breaking America and meeting Gary Louris at SXSW.
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Laura Veirs

Laura Veirs (www.lauraveirs.com) has a new album released on London-based record label Bella Union, which was co-founded by Simon Raymonde from The Cocteau Twins. Produced by Tucker Martine, “Troubled by the Fire” is a blend of traditional balladry, indie–rock and alt-country, which is both sparse and complex, and different enough to mark it out as something quite special. Features Editor Barry Jones spoke to Laura during her brief tour of the UK with her touring…
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Anna Kashfi

Anna Kashfi are a Manchester based roots outfit comprising Sian Webley (vocals, percussion), James Youngjohns (guitar, keyboards, viola), Sarah Kemp and Peter Martin. We caught up with founder members James and Sian and asked them about their music, the whole genre thing and becoming a four piece band.
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