Interview Archive | 2010

Interviews | 2010

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Usually we’re pretty good at coordinating interviews here at Americana UK, but every now and then some wires get crossed and we end up sending two writers out to talk to the same Americana recording star. When it does happen, we normally just post one of the interviews on the site, but what the heck do you do when the exact for this mix up is none other than one of the biggest names in…
Read more...

John Timmins

Amchitka 1970 John Timmins talks to Soren McGuire When it comes to protest concerts, few have had such a profound impact on history as the one that took place in Vancouver on an October night in 1970. Although often overshadowed by both Woodstock and Altamont, the Amchitka concert - featuring an impressive cast that included Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs – was actually responsible for launching the Greenpeace organisation. After 40 years, the…
Read more...

Eric Taylor

Though born and raised in Atlanta, Eric Taylor is one of the finest singer-songwriters ever to be associated with the Lone Star State of Texas. Throughout the past forty years, he has had the likes of Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett cover his songs, and as a good friend and drinking partner of the late Townes Van Zandt, Eric has seen the bottom of more than one whisky glass. In this exclusive interview, Eric tells…
Read more...

Ryan Bingham

Ryan Bingham
You're touring with Willie Nelson at the moment. That must be one hell of a situation to be in? Yeah man. You know, I've been listening to Willie Nelson since before I could walk, so it's amazing being out here with him. There's this old saying in the music business that you spend your entire life making your first record, but only a couple of months making the second one. But what about the third…
Read more...

The Pines

The Pines
While Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt are both from Iowa, it took the blues clubs of Tucson, Arizona to unite the two songwriters. After realizing that they were made for each other, they relocated to Minneapolis. In other words, The Pines might have Midwestern written all over them, but there is definitely more to this band and their haunting, timeless folk ballads than their background might suggest. As they prepare for their upcoming UK tour…
Read more...

Quiet Loner

Quiet Loner
For a while there, we thought we had lost Matt Hill. Despite the fact that he would pop up on the UK americana circuit every now and then, often seen in the company of luminaries such as Chris Mills and Manchester country noir gloomers Anna Kashfi, Matt Hill’s own record, Secret Ruler Of The World was a fine, but perhaps forgotten album with six years to its name. But then all of a sudden rumors…
Read more...

The Wynntown Marshals

The Wynntown Marshals
To be honest, we’re not really sure just how many Scottish country rock bands there are these days, but we do know that none can possibly be as good as The Wynntown Marshals. Earlier this year, The Edinburgh five-piece released their highly acclaimed debut, Westerner, an album that had us labelling them the UK’s answer to The Byrds/The Jayhawks/Insert other legendary country rock band with guitars and harmonies in no time. In this long overdue…
Read more...

Darrell Scott

Darrell Scott
Darrell Scott isn't your ordinary singer-songwriter. Not only does his latest record, a double album titled A Crooked Roadfeature the Kentucky-born singer playing all the instruments on all the songs – there's twenty of them to be exact – he also found the time to join Robert Plant's Band of Joy for their recent release.
Read more...

Simone Felice

Maverick’s Alan Taylor had cause to take a little road trip with Simone Felice (of Duke & The King) during his recent solo musical and literary foray to the UK. Simone (pronounced Simone) Felice was busy tucking into a hearty home made potato and vegetable soup when I arrived in Leeds to pick him up for the trip across to Liverpool. Nursing a ‘little cold’ he’d picked up on the earlier trip to Edinburgh, the…
Read more...

Sons Of Bill | James Wilson

Sons of Bill is a straight-up down-home band made up of three brothers and a couple of their mates. In the words of leadsinger James Wilson, the band just wants to "write heartfelt songs and play kick ass shows", and while there's certainly no lack of bands wanting to do that south of the Mason-Dixon Line, few have proved themselves quite as capable as Sons of Bill. Mixing the Southern grit of the Drive-By Truckers…
Read more...

Bellowhead | John Spiers

Bellowhead are a folk phenomenon. Since they were founded by Jon Boden and John Spiers in 2004 they’ve been named Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards an unprecedented four times, performed at the BBC Proms and been Artists in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre, where amongst other things they hosted a legendary New Years Eve party last year. Their third album, Hedonism, is about to be released and Jeremy Searle caught…
Read more...

Blue Rodeo | Jim Cuddy

Since 1984, Blue Rodeo have been the finest purveyors of Canadian roots and rock music. Like The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo, they were among the first to get the alt.country ball rolling, and today, more than 20 years later, Blue Rodeo and its two main songwriters, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, continue to take their sound to new places. As they prepare for their three UK dates starting September 30 in Leeds, we spoke to…
Read more...

Marty Stuart

We’ll be the first to admit that Marty Stuart may be a bit too country for some of our readers’ tastes, but look at it this way – Marty Stuart was alt.country before that term was even coined. Having been born a bluegrass whizkid – he began playing mandolin for in bluegrass legend Lester Flatt’s band at the tender age of 14 – the Mississipi native moved on to become one of the most important…
Read more...

Paul Burch

It is an every lasting learning curve for Paul Burch who was first introduced in the UK via Scots drummer, Francis MacDonald (Teenage fan Club) and label boss of Shoeshine records. Burch, who lives in Nashville and spent a couple of years playing with Americana visionaries Lambchop, has won himself a host of admirers through his work. He has worked with Mark Knopfler, Dr. Ralph Stanley and loads of other of his East Nashville contemporaries…
Read more...

Frazey Ford

Back before Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? brought old time folk music and bluegrass to the masses and made just about every American singer with a banjo and a twang to her voice a superstar, there were The Be Good Tanyas. The Canadian trio, sounding like The Ronettes hanging out with The Carter Family, became a huge succes, and managed to put out three excellent albums of covers and originals before deciding to call it…
Read more...

Ann Scott

Over the course of 3 stunning and original albums, Ireland’s Ann Scott has been steadily establishing herself as one of the most courageous singer-songwriters on the scene. Her new album "Flo" is Scott's bravest sonic venture to date; filled to bursting with mesmerising ambience and enticing, affecting songs. Ann took some time out from playing live and promoting the new album to talk to Ian Fildes about her creative processes, being praised as one of…
Read more...

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson is a UK folk legend and all round guitar God. Starting with Fairport Convention, through a series of classic albums with his then wife Linda and onto more recent work including his 1000 years of popular music show he has consistently impressed. He has just completed his stint as the Artistic Director of the Meltdown Festival at the Southbank complex which took place over eleven nights during June and featured a record 36…
Read more...

Mark Olson

As the founding father of one of the greatest alt.country bands ever to have walked the earth, Mark Olson really doesn't need much of an introduction. He is Americana royalty, as further proved by his latest solo album, Many Colored Kite, and the future indeeds looks bright for the 48-year old gentle-voiced singer. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have his battles to fight, as he tells Americana UK in this interview, in which he…
Read more...

Dawn Landes

With her cowboy boots, Kentuckian background and an album titled Sweet Heart Rodeo, Dawn Landes looks like the rising queen of country music. Except, she isn’t very country at all, and after having lived in both Brooklyn and Paris for longer periods of times, she doesn’t really know what she is. Saddle up as we speak to Dawn Landes about cowboys, horses and, of course, French hair saloons…
Read more...

Dierks Bentley

He might be based in the capitol of country music and he might have sold a ton of records, but don't let all the Nashville glitz fool you. Dierks Bentley may know his way around Music Row, but like a modern day outlaw, the 34-year old Arizona native has been building bridges between country music and Americana for years. In this exclusive interview, Dierks tells all about his amazing new album, Up On The Ridge,…
Read more...

Rey Sabatin | The John Henrys

The Canadians gave us The Band, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. But as you know, that was 40 years ago, so the question is – what's going on on the classic country rock scene in Canada in 2010? Well, meet The John Henrys, a band that takes the best from the Byrds, the Band and other Canyon Cowboys and mix it up with the sharp edged sound of modern day Americana and alternative country. We…
Read more...

Mary Chapin Carpenter

The last time we spoke to Mary Chapin Carpenter, everything was good. Then suddenly the 52-year old singer behind some of the most beautiful records ever made, suffered a so-called pulmonary embolism, forcing her to put not only her music, but also her life on stand-by for two years. However, she fought her way back, and in this exclusive interview, she tells Americana UK all about her struggles, her fears and how the life-affirming new…
Read more...

Ilse DeLange

Holland. A country known mostly for its funny smelling tobacco, kung fu fighting football players and the Euro Americana Chart. But as Dutch country sensation Ilse DeLange sets to release her latest album, Incredible, in the UK, our neighbour to the south east might just become the other Nashville. In this interview, we have the great fortune of talking to the 33-year old talented singer and songwriter about country vs. Americana, Ilse vs. the country…
Read more...

Chris Cook

Born and raised in Belmont, North Carolina, Chris Cook is fast showing his worth as a fine crafts man, so excellent are his compositions and prowess on acoustic guitar. Doing it the hard way, Cook has in recent times shown a love for the European audience as he has successfully transported songs influenced by a small town upbringing. From a young age music became a major factor in his life. Thanks in no small part…
Read more...

Gretchen Peters

Gretchen Peters has seen such top country acts as Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Pam Tillis and George Strait reap great reward through her songs. A product of the 1970s Colorado singer-songwriter scene, Peters has a natural ability of connecting with an audience. To the degree it is like she is playing for friends in her living at home when she walks on stage solo or as she has as in recent times, fellow Nashville singer-songwriter…
Read more...

Johnny Dowd

Maverick’s Alan Taylor bumped literally into Johnny Dowd, smoking a pre gig cigarette right outside the Boardwalk in Sheffield, just as the early fans were drifting in. Dowd cut a slim, dapper figure with his full quiff of silver hair, looking cool in sun shades, he was keen to chat and we pretty much started the interview right there and then. Puffing on his roll up, he laughed first about the cold rainy English evening…
Read more...

Delta Spirit

California countryblues-rockers Delta Spirit set out to do things the old fashioned way when they released their critically acclaimed debut album, Ode to Sunshine: Win the world over, one gig at a time, no matter how long it takes. But as it turned out, three years of constant touring damn near killed the band, as bandmember Jon Jameson tells Americana UK. But with a new album out, will Delta Spirit be able to keep off…
Read more...

Seth Lakeman

Like a one-man Mumford & Sons – only better dressed – Seth Lakeman has managed to bring folk music to a younger, hipper audience, who wouldn’t otherwise know their John Martyns from their Chris Martins. With his fourth album, Hearts & Minds, the Mercury Music Prize nominated Dartmoor native is once again stretching the boundaries of folk music, and in this interview, we speak to Seth about why his mission is to make folk music…
Read more...

Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier is a walking, talking, breathing Americana song. She ran away from home when she was just a teenager, ended up on the wrong side of the law, did the drugs, walked the streets and lived the life so many so-called troubadours can only imagine living. In other words, Mary Gauthier is the real deal, and on her stunning sixth studio album, The Foundling, she deals with the most painful part of her life…
Read more...

Band Of Horses

It only took Benjamin Bridwell and his Band of Horses three albums to go from being the latest bearded rock band on Sub Pop to being the greatest band in America. These days they play stadiums, their latest album Infinite Arms has already sold thousands of copies, and if their leadsinger wasn’t happily married, he’d probably be dating supermodels. But when Americana UK spoke to him after their recent gig at the Roundhouse in London,…
Read more...

Otis Gibbs

With a talent that is as undisputed as his beard is long, Otis Gibbs sounds like Woody Guthrie after an all-night bender with Tom Waits and Steve Earle. As the American folk singer prepares for yet another tour of his home-away-from-home, we spoke to him about his new and compelling album, Joe Hill’s Ashes, the comfort of recording in your own living room and why he loves it when you offer him a bed, but…
Read more...

Kim Richey

As is the case with artists such as Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Mary Gauthier, Kim Richey writes songs that just sort of transcends all talk of gender, age and whether or not you’re from Nashville. Her new album Wreck Your Wheels features help from Matthew Ryan and Neilson Hubbard along side a team of great players, and as she prepares for her UK tour starting this Monday, we caught up with…
Read more...

Blitzen Trapper

Stuck somewhere between The Byrds, The Beatles and Band of Horses, Portland’s own Blitzen Trapper is constantly on a mission to explore the boundaries of what can be called modern Cosmic American Music. Following the succes of their Furr album, Blitzen Trapper now return with Destroyer of the Void, taking them further into alt.country space. We sent over a bunch of questions to their ever busy singer, songwriter and founder Eric Early, eager to know…
Read more...

Mark Bandola

Mark Bandola has an enviable CV. During the ‘80s he lead The Lucy Show to cult success; taking in tours with REM, the patronage of John Peel and also conquering US college Radio. The big time somehow eluded them, but when The Lucy Show called it a day at the beginning of the 90s, Bandola retreated into the studio, unhurried, and returned under his current guise, as the more experimental Typewriter. The third Typewriter album…
Read more...

Sarah MacDougall

The Swedes make good music. Just think of the Willy Clay Band, The Cardigans and, erm, ABBA. So do the Canadians, who gave us Neil Young, The Band and Joni Mitchell. Throw all that into the mix and you might end up with Sarah MacDougall, a gentle-voiced troubadour currently on tour here in the UK. Her new album Across The Atlantic has already been released to excellent reviews, and in this interview she tells us…
Read more...

The Avery Set

A few weeks ago this band from Nashville started roaming around the Americana UK discussion forum, spreading the word about their new album, Returning To Steam, inviting us to go to their homepage and listen to it. So we all did, and it pretty much only took a few spins to fall in love with these four young musicians who go by the name of The Avery Set. Sounding like the Uncle Tupelo for a…
Read more...

Cam Penner

In a world of lonesome, troubled troubadours, Cam Penner should be king. With a heart full of regret, a voice full of despair and songs full of proof that that "the best Americana comes from Canada" as our reviewer said it, Cam Penner is what labels like to refer to as “the real deal”. In this interview, we speak to Cam about his upcoming tour of the UK, his beautiful third album, Trouble & Despair…
Read more...

Chuck Prophet

If anyone could pull off recording an album in Mexico City in the middle of a swine flu epidemic, with daily power cuts and earthquakes thrown in the mix, and actually have it be his finest solo album to date, it would be Chuck Prophet. Ever since joining the seminal Paisley Underground rockers Green On Red 25 years ago, the 46-year old singer and guitarist has been rigorous in his quest to fuse country with…
Read more...

John Hiatt

To John Hiatt, playing, performing and touring is like a drug. A never-ending love affair with music has seen him progress from teenage school band days to becoming one of the most respected musicians, songwriters and band leaders in Americana music. Everyone from Suzy Bogguss, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson by way of Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Jeff Healey and Bonnie Raitt have all covered his work, and with his acclaimed new…
Read more...

Mumford & Sons

Despite the fact that posting an interview with a band only a few weeks after they graced the cover of the NME sort of goes against the Americana UK policy, we’re still extremely proud to present to you the biggest, loudest and most likely best country-folk band in the UK right now. Having sold thousands of copies of their debut album Sigh No More since its release late last year, and being the hottest four…
Read more...

RM Hubbert

Although there's not a dirt road in sight, Scottish guitarist RM Hubbert still caught our attention here at the Americana UK Towers. The former El Hombre Trajeado frontman plays folk music much in the same way as other great UK players such as James Blackshaw and the late great Jack Rose, and with his new Latin-influenced solo album, First & Last, marking an end to a year long break, things are looking bright for the…
Read more...

Jace Everett

How does a five year old country rock song end up becoming the biggest - well, only – country rock hit of the decade? Simple answer – an HBO show about vampires. Sexy, half naked vampires to be precise. But the success of the tv-series True Blood and the subsequent success of its title song, Bad Things, has also made Jace Everett a rising star, both in and outside of Nashville. With his fantastic, hard…
Read more...

Cracker

They were alternative country before anyone knew what the hell alternative country was. They’re just about the nicest rock stars on the planet. Uncle Tupelo and the Counting Crows used to open for them, and with classic songs such as Low, Eurotrash Girl and Teen Angst, well, you just don’t really find them bigger and better than Cracker. In this exclusive interview, Americana UK caught up with legendary founders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman for…
Read more...

Chris Wood

Strolling up to the Centre For Early Music inside St Margaret’s Church in York I found 2009 Folk Singer of the year Chris Wood and his band mid sound check. Quite delightful it was too, the notes seeming to echo off the stone and slate, high into rafters. Strolling up to the Centre For Early Music inside St Margaret’s Church in York I found 2009 Folk Singer of the year Chris Wood and his band…
Read more...

Caitlin Rose

In a town filled with glitter, glitz and guys and girls in big, stupid hats, there’s this new singer named Caitlin Rose. She’s 22, grew up in Nashville and once saw Brenda Lee in a supermarket, yet still she has managed to keep herself at a safe distance from “the meatmarket on Music Row.” In this interview, Caitlin Rose tells Americana UK about her debut ep, Dead Flowers, Minnie Pearl, John Prine and the curse…
Read more...

Old Californio

“We plug in, play and hope for the best,” says Justin Smith, drummer with Old Californio. And that’s basically all it took for the five Californians to make one of last year’s most entertaining rock records. By adding an old love for bands such as The Grateful Dead, Moby Grape and The Byrds to a contemporary country rock sound, Westering Again was the top-tapping hit no one saw coming. We sent over a bunch of…
Read more...

I See Hawks In L.A

The fact that they don’t really have any hits didn’t stop L.A’s famous countryrockers I See Hawks In L.A from putting out the album Shoulda Been Gold 2001 – 2009. And why the hell should it? Even though these guys may not be regulars on any charts, they still play hard rockin’ and fun lovin’ country music like it should be played if you have the privilege of being from the same city as country…
Read more...

Paul Curreri

After suffering some serious vocal chord injuries a couple of years ago, things suddenly looked bad for Paul Curreri. But despite these injuries leaving the extremely talented songwriter without the use of his singing voice, it also helped him make his best record so far, last year’s stunning home-recorded California. In this interview, Paul Curreri tells Americana UK all about his year off from touring, taking steroids to heal his voice and how a Johnny…
Read more...

Joe Cassady and The West End Sound

Singer-songwriter Joe Cassady’s band, The West End Sound, was formed in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 2005, and have been pushing back the boundaries ever since. Rock, pop, blues and country merge when Cassady, who owes as much to Kerouac as to rock’n’roll, stirs the pot in an innovative, inimitable and exciting fashion. 2007 saw the album What’s your Sign? voted one of their favourite albums of the year by the editors of USA Today…
Read more...

Allison Moorer

She set out for the blinding lights of Nashville, but somehow ended up on the Americana cirquit, putting out records of fine, solid and deeply personal songwriting, and with this year’s new album, Crows, Allison Moorer once again shows that she’s up there with the best female songwriters of her generation, be it Lucinda Williams, Kathleen Edwards or her very own sister, Shelby Lynne. In this interview, we asked Allison Moorer about living life in…
Read more...

Jason & The Scorchers - Jason Ringenberg & Warner E. Hodges

Every time we get the opportunity to interview one of the great, big bands here at Americana UK, we always write how they were alternative country before that term even existed and how much we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. But this time, ladies and gentlemen, we can truly say that THESE GUYS are the ones who got the ball rolling in the first place. Back from a 16 year hiatus, Jason…
Read more...

Last Harbour

They named their fourth album after a children’s ouija board, they sound like a staring contest between Willard Grant Conspiracy and American Music Club, and they’re based in Manchester. Yes, the very talented members of Britain’s finest country noir rockers Last Harbour may have miserablism and bleakness written all over them, but as they prepare for their tour of the UK, starting 1st April, singer, songwriter and founder Kevin Craig tells Americana UK that it’s…
Read more...

Divided By A Common Language

Featuring great British artists such as The Redlands Palomino Company, Alan Tyler, Mat Gibson & The Falling Hearts and Roseville Grand, Divided By A Common Language – A Collection of UK Americana looks set to do for British Americana what C86 did for indiepop. In the following, Americana UK speaks to Danny Tipping from Clubhouse Records, the new label behind this highly welcomed compilation, about the songs, the sound and what the hell this Americana…
Read more...

Anna Kashfi

They named themselves after Marlon Brando’s ex-wife and their songs deal with the same sense of sorrow and tragedy that has been bestowed upon Mrs Brando all through her life. Yes, Sian Webley and James Youngjohns could easily be The Handsome Family of the Northwest, but that doesn’t mean they’re “a pair of goths who like country music.” In this interview, we speak to Americana UK’s favourites from Manchester about their truly exceptional new album,…
Read more...

Doug Paisley

One of our reviewers said it fittingly a few weeks ago: Some of the best Americana really does come from Canada, and even though this was said about another Canadian artist, it altso sits rather well with Doug Paisley. A soft voiced and gentle natured troubadour, caught somewhere between Will Oldham and James Taylor, Doug Paisley has made a self-titled album that should satisfy fans of both new and old Americana.
Read more...

Sid Griffin - The Coal Porters

Few men have defined the rise of alternative country to such an indisputable degree as Sid Griffin. From forming the seminal Long Ryders to creating what he himself calls alt.bluegrass with The Coal Porters, the native Kentuckian certainly requires a few chapters of his own when the book on music history is written. After having released an album with Western Electric and two acclaimed solo records, he is now back fronting the Coal Porters on…
Read more...

Tony Dekker - Great Lake Swimmers

Having released one of 2009’s most beautiful and unique records with Lost Channels – a reader and staff favourite at the year end polls –the Great Lake Swimmers is probably the best Canadian band around at the moment. Big words, yes, but you need big words to match the grandeur of their forth album, recorded in the Thousand Island region in Canada. In this interview, we speak to the angel voiced singer and songwriter Tony…
Read more...

Rita Hosking

L.A has its cocaine cowboys, Bakersfield has it’s Buck Owens and Merle Haggards and San Francisco has its hippies. But the buck doesn’t stop there in the state of California. Thanks to artists like Rita Hosking, the sunshine state is also making itself heard on the folk scene, and with a nomination for best country album for her new, beautiful record, Come Sunrise, at the recent Independent Music Awards, Rita is fast on her way…
Read more...

Search americanaUK