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Americana Music Blog

America has been serving up slices of Americana since the mid-19th-century. The genre is an all-encompassing term for a variety of music styles that found their roots in America, including blues, bluegrass, country, and roots-rock. More often than not, Americana is a fusion of one or more forms of roots music, and it is commonly synonymous with folk-based country and singer-songwriter music.

Some of the most iconic Americana artists include Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams and Steve Earl. Steve Earl remains popular to this day; his 2021 album, J.T., was listed as one of the best Americana albums of the year. Other artists that featured alongside Earl on the albums of the year list included Brandi Carlile, John Hiatt, Jack Ingram and Strand of Oaks.

Prior to 2010, Americana was considered a niche genre, yet in a transition that no one anticipated, Americana moved into the mainstream. The artists responsible for pulling the genre into the limelight included The Lumineers, the Avett Brothers, and of course, Mumford & Sons. Despite being a British band, Mumford & Sons became one of the best-selling Americana artists in recent years. They made history when they became the first British band since Coldplay to make it big in the US and sell more than a million albums. Yet, Mumford & Sons held their hands up to admit that without The Lumineers, their success wouldn’t have been possible.

In the late 90s, the Americana Music Association was established in Nashville; and they still have their finger on the pulse to this day. In 2021, they named Black Pumas as the group of the year, Brandi Carlile as the artist of the year and Charley Crockett as the emerging artist of the year. It’s not surprising to see Black Pumas named as one of the Americana artists of the year; the Austin-based act has amassed over 100 million streams with their most popular soul psych song, Colors. They also picked up three Grammy nominations in 2020.

Americana received another uptick in interest with the release of the blockbuster film, A Star is Born, which followed a roots music raconteur (Bradley Cooper) on his quest for fame. Bradley Cooper’s character may have been fictional, but plenty of Americana history and culture was poured into the critically acclaimed film that became an overnight sensation; both Lukas Nelson and Brandi Carlile appeared in the film. It seems that as long as there are artists committed to planting roots of Americana into their music, it will never go out of trend.

Pat Burgess wonders if the two connected souls found the love map again on ‘A Borrowed Mandolin’

Taken off his first ever 12-track solo release called ‘The Song Box‘, Pat Burgess shows us the hard road that will be followed all the way to that ultimate love on ‘A Borrowed Mandolin‘.

Pat Burgess is a highly experienced Dublin-born, Leixlip, Ireland-based indie singer-songwriter who has been in the music scene for the past 45 years.

As the lead singer and founder member of the Irish Americana group, The Rye River Band, we find an artist who sounds in reinvigorated form with a classic single that will fill you up with a hope that is furnished with so much honesty.

In the 70s Pat performed on the live Dublin music circuit doing solo gigs and guest appearances and around this time he started writing songs.” ~ Pat Burgess

Sung with so much true introspection, Pat Burgess presents us with a real insight into life and performs with a smooth vocal ability that will have you listening so intently, like you are hearing a lesson from an underground legend.

A Borrowed Mandolin‘ from Leixlip, Ireland-based indie singer-songwriter Pat Burgess is a trip down memory lane and a guiding light into what is needed to truly find that light again if you have lost it.

This is a storyteller’s delight and if you love music with a genuine message from someone who has truly lived, this will be a song you shall have on repeat for ages.

Listen up to this timeless sounding single on YouTube and see more news on his website.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Romance is a form of fatalism in The County Affair’s latest slice of Americana, Beach

Following their 2021 debut album, which was recorded at Abbey Road and sold 100,000 digital copies, the UK-residing Americana duo, The County Affair, unveiled their latest single, Beach (Summer Mix).

In their own words, Beach is about love and a car crash, some may say they’re two of the same, but there is nothing quite like the old-school crooning country melodies entwining with the lyrical fatalism in the subversively blissful single.

With the bends of the bluesy guitar notes carrying as much poise as Swan Lake, the sepia-tinged single went beyond paying ode to the roots of Americana. The duo created a romantic reminiscence of nostalgia before driving it through their cinematically choral sonic signature. It leaves no room to wonder why The County Affair has been lauded on both sides of the pond.

Beach will officially release on June 17th via X&Y Records. Hear it for yourselves here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

 

Ariana Molkara showed us the epitome of country-pop class in her coming of age debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By

With all of the class and arcane beguile of a Parisian Chanteuse, the alt-country pop singer-songwriter Ariana Molkara has made a theatrical yet intimately captivating entrance with her debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By.

Cinematic scarcely covers the luminous production, which comes complete with pianos that would leave Ben Folds weak at the knees paired with infectiously upbeat percussion and orchestral strings to amplify the bitter-sweet coming of age sentiments expressed in the profoundly flawless single.

If this is her coming of age single, Ariana Molkara has a seriously bright future ahead of her.

Birdies Gotta Fly By was officially released on June 3rd. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alexander Joseph put us on the right path with his sun-bleached indie-folk serenade, Summertime Compass

The same uniquely captivating feeling that confounded in the raw and confessional sound of Frightened Rabbit and Neutral Milk Hotel can be found in the latest release from the UK singer-songwriter Alexander Joseph.

The acoustic version of Summertime Compass starts with a bluegrassy Americana sun-bleached timbre from the acoustic strings before the summertime serenade builds into an upbeat indie earworm with lyrics that can lighten any perspective on the forthcoming months.

The start of Summer is usually when I roll my eyes with all the trite singles that bubble at the surface of the airwaves but Alexander Joseph definitively proved that there’s some room for endearing originality left in that market after all.

The acoustic version of Summertime Compass will officially release on June 3rd. You can hear it for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Imbibe with Dr Todd’s latest scuzzed up blues-rock hit, Give Me a Shot

Austin’s scuzz rock troubadours Dr Todd got intoxicatingly punch drunk in their latest off-kilter hit, Give Me a Shot. The riotously clever cocktail of no wave and blues-rock is potent enough to rival the frenetic fever of the Cramps and the Legendary Shack Shakers, but all reminiscences are extremely fleeting in the hedonistic anthem, which unravels to the tune of heavy distortion, resonator guitars, rock n roll attitude and whiskey fumes.

Based on Give Me a Shot alone, if you have the chance to see Dr Todd live; take it. Or at the very least, imbibe in the high energy catharsis.

Give Me a Shot hit the airwaves in May 2022 through Romgod Records. It is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Rochester roots-rock renegade Brian Lindsay has delivered the ultimate riff-licked ‘Revival’

Ahead of his fourth album, Revival, the NYC roots-rocker, Brian Lindsay, teased the modernity-weary, whiskey-soaked soul within it by giving us a sneak peek of the title single, which throws you right back to the time when lighters were held in the air instead of iPhones.

His virtuosic yet humble approach to songwriting is one of the best escapes from the 21st-century that you could possibly ask for. Between the deep yearning romanticism and the swoon-worthy soaring guitar licks, you get the affirmation that Brian Lindsay is the real revival deal. As much as he taps into Springsteen and Ryan Adams-Esque high energy melodicism, he leans into his signature rugged yet smooth intoxicating aural juxtaposition style.

Revival was officially released on May 20th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or via his official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Building Rockets Band knows that the phone calls should be more regularly dialled on, ‘Dear Friend’

Fueled from their debut 11-track album called ‘How to Bridge the Gap‘, Building Rockets Band remind us that friendships can fade away sometimes as life occasionally takes over unexpectedly on, ‘Dear Friend‘.

Building Rockets Band is an Ironton, Ohio-based indie alternative 4-piece band who have made a name for themselves on their local circuit with a genuine mixture of soul-healing gems.

From backgrounds in rock, Americana, classical, bluegrass, big band, indie, and country the musicians of Building Rockets each bring their own unique flavor. Telling their stories of family, love, life, and loss through edgy, genre-crossing musicality.” ~ Building Rockets Band

Bringing us a memorable single that encapsulates so many humans who have just reached their 30s, Building Rockets Band sends us into a former world of joy and sadness, that is rather hard to explain if you have lost touch without explanation. Sung with sincere emotion and conveying forth a marvellous melody, this is a track to close your eyes with and recall those special memories that are stuck in your mind forever.

Influenced by their country roots, rock rebellion, the blues, and everything in between every song brings something different.” ~ Building Rockets Band

Dear Friend‘ from Ironton, Ohio-based indie alternative 4-piece band Building Rockets Band is one of those nostalgic soundtracks that take you into a flashback that reminds you of the past and those happy times. Feeling guilty that you haven’t been around more as your footpath moved in a different direction, this is a song to certainly reflect on as you ponder what truly happened.

Picking up that phone to call an old friend, is one way to get those memories flooding back.

Listen to this catchy track on Soundcloud and see more on the IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Robin Lewis speaks for the malaised in his Waitsy Americana acoustic rock single, No Light

Armed with his trusty resonator guitar and Gibson 63, the BMI published folk singer-songwriter & producer, Robin Lewis, has released his Americana acoustic rock heartbreaker of a Waitsy release, No Light, taken from his moody and retrospective lockdown-born album, Everyone Has a Story.

No Light was compassionately composed for listeners all too accustomed to the days which become signified by malaise. In all sincerity, it imparts solace in the reminder that the sun sets on even the darkest of days. Lockdown releases may often get tarred with the same trite brush, but No Light will be resonant for years to come. It’s a stunning exposition of the collective state of our consciousness; now that we know the ‘new normal’ generally blows and there’s no putting the gloss back on the facade of our modern existence. We honestly couldn’t be more psyched to have Lewis on our radar. We’d advise that you reserve him space on yours.

No Light, taken from Robin Lewis’ album, Everyone Has a Story, was officially released on May 16th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Jo-Jo & The Teeth gave us the couture of glam rock n roll with their blisteringly hot pop-rock anthem, Don’t Get Too Heavy

‘Don’t Get Too Heavy’ from the London-based outfit, Jo-Jo & The Teeth is the only riff-slicked pop-hooked rock n’ roll debut you need to hear in 2022. A rebellious streak runs right through the glam rock earworm, but like every good hit, it does plenty more than just show its teeth.

If you amped up the visceral attitude in Stevie Nicks’ vocals to 11, they’d still pale in comparison to the hooky veracity of Jo-Jo O’Donoghue’s blisteringly hot pop-rock vocal lines. That’s probably blasphemy, but I’ll prepare to repent for it to do Jo-Jo & The Teeth justice. It’s the least I could do given that she has given rock n roll an Americana iteration of Peaches.

Don’t Get Too Heavy is the lead track from the forthcoming self-produced debut album, No More Good News; I already want it on my turntable.

The official music video for Don’t Get Too Heavy premiered on May 6th; watch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rising Texas Americana/country artist Rī Wolf roams freely with that extraordinary soul on, ‘Two Wild Horses’

Taken off his upcoming 14-track ‘Elemental‘ album that is due for release on the 27th of May, Rī Wolf drops the lead single from this much-awaited release with the cinematic single about that real connection that is so hard to find on, ‘Two Wild Horses‘.

Rī Wolf is a skilled Canyon, Texas-based indie Americana/country solo singer-songwriter, West Texas A&M University Alum and cabin builder.

After spending the last 14 years as a collegiate track and field coach in Texas and almost 9 years away from music, Rī Wolf is bursting back into the music scene with a Grass Roots Americana sound reminiscent of a West Texas Troubadour making his way back home.” ~ Rī Wolf

Showing us why he is so highly respected and a name to truly take notice of due to his genuine lyrics and outstanding vocals, Rī Wolf wanders freely with that amazing soul who is headed in that same direction as he is. Sung with gliding greatness that seems to inspire you to hold the hand of those who have the same mindset, this is a rather spectacular effort that should resonate with so many of us.

This song is about freedom and pursuing your passion with the one you love right beside you. That’s how I feel every day getting to play and create music.” ~ Rī Wolf

Two Wild Horses‘ from Canyon, Texas-based indie Americana/country solo singer-songwriter Rī Wolf is a rather special single about wanting to brighten that light with someone real who wants to run with you, see the sunset together, and live each day like it’s your last. That freedom feeling is something that holds true in this fantastic new track, that has you looking above, to be grateful for what you have in this world.

Being with that incredible human who gets you and wants to make you better together, is the most remarkable feeling ever after all.

Pre-save this single on Distrokid that will be released with the full album on 27th May and see more content on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen