Interview Archive | 2011

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Interviews | 2011

Paul Burch

Paul Burch
Washington DC-born, Nashville Americana-based creative thinking singer-songwriter, producer and musician Paul Burch relocated to Music City in the early 1990s. It was an exciting time on Lower Broadway as Paul and a bunch of like-minded musicians played the city’s old honky tonks on Nashville’s East Side. Among those around then were BR5-49, Greg Garing and a bunch of players, him included that went on to play in Lambchop. Since debuting with his album Pan American…
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Joe Henry

Joe Henry
Joe Henry really doesn't need an introduction, but here's one anyway. He's among the finest songwriters of his generation with more than a handful of fantastic solo albums to his name, and he's produced more career-defining records than you or Phil Spector could possibly wave a stick at. The list of people who have sought out his distinct organic and handcrafted production sound, often created in the intimacy of his basement studio in Pasadena, reads…
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Nick 13

Nick 13
Despite the fact that the two genres can often seem and sound miles apart, the list of punkrockers crossing over to classic country music is a long one. Social Distortion's Mike Ness released a couple of great country records in the late 90's, Eddie Spaghetti and his band of Supersuckers venture into gothic country noir on a regular basis, and with California punkrockers Tiger Army's Nick 13 taking the leap into a style of country…
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Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn
It’s difficult to quantify the impact that Roger McGuinn had on popular music during his time with the Byrds over 40 years ago. What I can say, is that he not only influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the early to mid 1960’s, while spawning the embryonic Country-Rock and what was to become known as the West Coast Sound. But with the ‘Notorious Byrd Brothers’ album in 1968 it can be argued that…
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Alejandro Escovedo

Alejandro Escovedo
He was named No Depression's Artist of the Decade, he's had people like Steve Earle, John Cale, Bruce Springsteen and Tony Visconti either work with him, sing with him or cover his songs AND he has enough great song to fill a double Best of record (which happens to be out now!) So why the hell does Alejandro Escovedo still struggle with a lack of confidence, even despite the fact that he was on George…
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The Jayhawks

The Jayhawks
With a career spanning the past quarter of a century the Jayhawks are a seminal Americana band. I was able to speak with them after the conclusion of their European tour before they flew back to the States for shows, shows and more shows.
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Willy Vlautin

Richmond Fontaine
Romance, Richmond Fontaine style . . . Don’t go there alone! Alan J Taylor met up with Richmond Fontaine’s Willy Vlautin recently at the Greystones, Sheffield, UK. Just after the release of WE USED TO THINK THE HIGHWAY SOUNDED LIKE A RIVER, Richmond Fontaine’s front man and principle song writer Willy Vlautin, had insisted that he was doing his utmost best to write a ‘COLES CORNER’ as in the style of Sheffield’s own Richard Hawley.…
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Rod Picot

Rod Picot
Slaid Cleaves puts his up there with Steve Earle, Springsteen and Woody Guthrie. Mary Gauthier hopes he sells a million copies and Americana UK's own Jeremy Searle calls his new album a "Masterful downbeat set from blue-collar chronicler par excellence". But asked if he ever dreams of a little more fame and fortune, the man himself simply says that "it would be wonderful to have a day now and then when I didn't have to…
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William Tyler

William Tyler
It is of no surprise that William Tyler was born and bred in Nashville, Tennessee where he started learning his trade as a fantastic guitar player. Tyler has pimped out his talents for quite some years playing with the likes of Lambchop and Bonnie Prince Billy which has seen him tour all over Europe. Having played second fiddle to many an artist for over a decade Tyler finally released ‘Behold The Spirit’ a solo record…
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Dave Woodcock

Dave Woodcock
Despite his boyish good looks and tender age (he turned 32 the day we did this interview), Sheffield's own Dave Woodcock might actually be one of the very last blue collared poets around these days. Caught somewhere between damnation and the next round of drinks, Dave Woodcock and his loyal band of brothers, The Dead Comedians, play the sort of songs that will have you longing for the days of Strumner and late 70's Springsteen.…
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JT Nero

JT Nero
Hop-scotching across the pond from Chicago at least once a year is becoming a very regular occurrence for Mr. Nero & co and is making his face extremely familiar with the Americana circuit in the U.K. Whether it’s JT Nero solo or with The Clouds (the superb collection of musicians which formulate JT’s band) he’s becoming a national fixture. 2010’s Americana-UK Writers Top 10 saw JT’s album ‘Caledonia’ sneak into the number nine slot, some…
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The Pierces

The Pierces
The Pierces are the closest thing to a music fairy tale story as you’ll get. The sisters were born in Alabama, the perfect setting for laying the foundations of a folk/alt. country female duo. Typically, the girls were raised by their hippie, nomadic parents constantly being whisked away and home schooled, dad playing in all kinds of bands and mum painting was always going to encourage the creativity within Catherine and Allison. What an idyllic…
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Israel Nash Gripka

Israel Nash Gripka
Part Woody Guthrie, part William Faulkner, Israel Nash Gripka is one of this year's biggest Americana sensations, thanks in particular to the fact that he doesn't really look or sound like everyone else out there. As he prepares for his upcoming tour of the UK in support of his highly recommendable new album, Barn Doors And Concrete Floors, starting on the 29th, we spoke to the New York-songwriter about Euro-friendly haircuts, abominable snowmen and the…
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Tom Russell

Tom Russell
EL PASO, NEW MEXICO BASED AMERICANA SINGER-SONGWRITER, PAINTER, NOVELIST AND SOUNDTRACK WRITER WORKAHOLIC TOM RUSSELL KEEPS A- ROLLING. Like tumbleweed across the barren desert near his Borderland home. Tom Russell has come a long way since, as a kid he used to idolise the likes of his departed old friend, Dave Van Ronk and Bob Dylan whom he met when still a teenager. Steeped in rich nostalgic stories Russell, through his great hunger of the…
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Slaid Cleaves

Slaid Cleaves
The live album. So many artists have tried, yet so few have succeeded, and for every Live At Leeds and Live At The Old Quarters there are ten "you probably should have been there"'s. So when one of the most-loved live performers in Americana suddenly decided to record and release a live concert on a double cd titled Sorrow & Smoke, the question on our minds was: would the magic from his famous shows survive…
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Trent Miller

Trent Miller
Perhaps it’s not surprising that Italy should emerge as a force on the international Americana scene. It is after all shaped like a cowboy boot! But joking aside, there have been some great bands surfacing over there for a number of years. Hailing from the rural east-coast town of Forli, Satellite Inn were briefly labelmates of Whiskeytown on the North Carolina-based MoodFood label. More recently Rusties and the excellent Chris Cacavas-produced Lowlands continue to raise…
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Eliza Gilkyson

Eliza Gilkyson
RED HOUSE RECORDING ARTIST, SINGER-SONGWRITER AND MORE; AUSTIN, TEXAS BASED, ELIZA GILKYSON Raised in Los Angeles, Eliza Gilkyson was born into a musical family, her father, Terry Gilkyson wrote among other songs ‘Memories Are Made Of This’ (Dean Martin, Johnny Cash), ‘The Bare Necessities’ (from the Disney film, Jungle Book), ‘Look Me Over Closely’ (White Stripes). Now, after much travelling Eliza now resides in Austin, Texas and has for the last eleven years made a…
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Mat Gibson

Mat Gibson
You would think that seeing yourself compared to the likes of Neil Young and Leonard Cohen on a regular basis would bring you to your knees from the weight of expectations. But when it comes to Mat Gibson, he went and did the only thing, he really could do; he made an EP that, in its finest moments, easily matches both legends mentioned in beauty as well as insight into the nature of man. Shortly…
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The Milk Carton Kids

The Milk Carton Kids
About six weeks ago, news about a new acoustic duo started spreading through various music blogs. Not only had Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan aka The Milk Carton Kids made their debut album available for free on their website; unlike most other people, they weren't even asking for your email address in return. Today, more than 20.000 people have downloaded the album, and as if that wasn't enough, Prologue has also proven to be one…
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Two Fingers Of Firewater

Two Fingers Of Firewater
If there's such a thing as a Cosmic British Music, Surrey's own Two Fingers of Firewater would be its Flying Burrito Brothers. As hard to pin down as they are not to love, Two Fingers navigate smoothly between spaced out country rock and moments of pure folk beauty, or as Americana UK's own David Cowling put it in his recent 8/10 review of the album, Songs To Listen To: …think of TFOF as a huge…
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The Felice Brothers

The Felice Brothers
So, the new record from The Felice Brothers then! Celebration, Florida seems to have some fans divided over the new approach. This hard hitting, ferocious and maybe a little Cave-esque vibe has certainly made a few stand up and listen again to the Felices. Progression or re-invention, whatever you want to call it has certainly pushed the Brothers into producing something special this time around and undoubtedly one of the most talked about records so…
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Dave Alvin

Dave Alvin
Dave Alvin…‘Music is the poor people’s therapy’ the Downey, California born and raised musician is as true an American roots act as there is walking the planet. Formerly of the west coast hard-core rock band, The Blasters where Dave was the lead guitarist and songwriter while his elder brother, Phil fronted the band on lead vocals Alvin gives not an inch with his music. His new album, Eleven Eleven (Yep Roc) is his 11th solo…
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Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn
In a world where the banjo is no steadily making its way back into both Americana and mainstream pop (looking in your direction here, Mumford), few people really know how to play the famed and infamous instrument to its fullest. Abigail Washburn is one of them, and on her latest album, the ambitious and absolutely gorgeous City Of Refuge, neother her banjo nor her musical style - bluegrass mixed with old time and folk -…
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Elliot Randall

Elliot Randall
Elliot Randall is the kind of singer who sounds like all the good stuff in your record collection, yet at the same time strangely unique and refreshingly new. With two acclaimed albums to his name, the 2007 solo debut, Take The Fall, last year's Caffeine & Gasoline and a new one on its way, the Bay Area troubadour is pretty much up there with the best of them. In this interview, Soren McGuire talks to…
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Sukie Smith | Madam

Sukie Smith, Madam
Having crept out of East London with her debut album ‘In Case Of Emergency’ Sukie Smith and her band Madam took quite an epic journey for her next installment ‘Gone Before Morning’. A much sought after song writer, not only amongst musicians but film makers too. Undoubtedly this is down to her unique ability to get down into the nitty, gritty, dark, earthy essentials which she has built Madam’s style on. Sukie gave up some…
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Danny Wilson

Danny Wilson
All set with a Strat firmly plugged in, a full rock band behind him and a burning desire to pursue something Sprinsteen-esque, Danny Wilson is back with a brand new line up and a brand new vibe for ‘Hearts & Arrows’ which is due for release any time now. Already they’ve aired the new Danny Champs with sold out shows at The Borderline and Winterlude, looks like it’s going to be a very fun year…
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Hurray For The Riff Raff

Hurray For The Riff Raff
Hurray For The Riff Raff . . . Riding the freight train of life!Photo by Alan Cook Alynda Lee Segarra is the sultry, diminutive lead singer and driving force behind Loose Music’s new signing Hurray For The Riff Raff, a raggle-taggle band of freight train riders and street hustlers. Wise beyond their years, they have written some of the most haunting yet melodic tales of life and love that you will ever hear. This is…
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Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy
Duane Eddy, an absolute legend. 28 hit records, Grammy winner, Mojo icon, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and I got to spend some time chatting with him about his new record ‘Road Trip’ which is due for release on the 20th June. It would seem he’s had a wonderful time in the company of Richard Hawley and friends putting this record together but still very fond of the ‘good old days’ as he…
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The Redlands Palomino Company

The Redlands Palomino Company
In the ancient, forgotten days before the sudden rise of the UK Americana and country rock scene, The Redlands Palomino Company were working hard alongside The Arlenes and Grand Drive, doing their best to bring Cosmic American Music to a country still recovering from the last round of retro rock bands. And then, just as they had paved the way for those walking in their footsteps, and with two acclaimed albums to their name,The Redlands…
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Delta Maid

Delta Maid
Brand new to the blues, country scene with her debut album “Outside Looking In” Delta Maid takes a few moments to talk to Americana-UK. She proudly confesses a deep love for blues and country music which was inflicted on her from a young age. Would this have an affect on her for the rest of her life? Well, it would certainly seem so.
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Greg Readling | Chatham County Line

Greg Readling | Chatham County Line
CHATHAM COUNTY LINE’S GREG READLING SPEAKS OF WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A MEMBER OF ONE THE FINEST ACTS EVER TO COME OUT OF NORTH CAROLINA PLUS, HIS ADMIRATION FOR FELLOW STATESPERSON, SINGER-SONGWRITER TIFT MERRITT.Chatham County Line have toured mainland Europe, the UK and Ireland where they took the Carlsberg Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots Festival in 2008 by storm but performed on the Jools Holland Show. And been asked back again in most cases.
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Liam Dullaghan

Liam Dullaghan
In a not so distant past, Leicester's The Havenots were among the absolutely best we had to offer in alt.country. In the void that followed the initial demise of The Rockingbirds (and which would last until the Americana boom, we're lucky to be experiencing now), The Havenots, together with The Arlenes, were, simply put, alt.country royalty. But all good things come to and end, and so did The Havenots. Now, as Liam Dullaghan return to…
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Kasey Anderson

Kasey Anderson
Despite being somewhere in his thirties, Kasey Anderson is among the last of a dying breed of soulful, blue-collared, gravel voiced poets. Just about as true as they come, Kasey Anderson sounds like he was born with a heartache, a man doomed to spend his life in the dark corners of middle-America, yet blessed with an amazing voice and a gift for writing the kind of songs that made Steve Earle famous twenty years ago.…
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Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter

Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter
When Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter released their debut album Reckless Burning in 2002, it was the finest set of songs we'd heard this side of Patsy Cline. But that was ten years ago, and as it quickly became obvious, neither Jesse or her band (first and foremost including Phil Wandscher, famous for being the other co-founder of Whiskeytown) were intent on settling for being just the next big alt.country thing. So they began…
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Carrie Elkin

Carrie Elkin
Carrie Elkin's new album, Call It My Garden, pretty much has instant folk classic written all over it. Not only was it recorded in Americana UK favorite, Sam Baker's house in Austin, featuring the who's who of the next generation of Texas-legends (AJ Roach, Danny Schmidt, Nels Andrews and The Band of Heathens' Colin Brooks to name but a few) - it also offers some of the most beautiful songs we've heard this side of…
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Brian Wright

Brian Wright
No Depression recently called Brian Wright's new album, House On Fire, "the best album you don't own". While the fine folks over in Seattle might be our competition, they also know good songwriters when they see them, giving the L.A troubadour and close friend of our own Tom McRae a well deserved mention. So now we're intent on doing the exactly same, calling House On Fire the best record you should own by now, especially…
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Hot Club of Cowtown

Hot Club of Cowtown
Hot Club of Cowtown
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Lucky Bones

Lucky Bones
Lucky Bones
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Dust On The Breakers

Dust On The Breakers
As super groups often go, most usually tend to collapse within the first couple of years, crushed under the weight of three or four giant egos stuffed in the same room for more or less artistic reasons. But in the case of Denver's Dust On The Breakers, there really aren't any egos to be dealt with, just three men and a bunch of their friends who all happen to come from some pretty big Americana…
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