Sunday, 14 July 2019

Weekly Blog Post 14th July 2019: More Fortnightly Than Weekly!

The Weekly Bog Post is back after a break last weekend due to a visit to the Maverick Festival and subsequent time spent quickly posting a review of the event. Gig reviews have returned for The Bombadils and Lachlan Bryan shows so click on the respective links to read more. The Traveling Broke and Out of Gas gig was an unusual event to the degree that you do not see many touring alt-country Americana bands from Lafayette Indiana playing a venue in Stourbridge High Street. However they were excellent, the turnout was good and are band definitely worth checking out if you like your Americana a little raw, straight from the earthy soul and true to the ideals of roots music from the land.

Gigs Sunday 30th June to Saturday 13th July 

Traveling Broke & Out of Gas - Claptrap Stourbridge Thursday 4th July
Maverick Festival - Friday 5th July to Sunday 7th July
The Bombadils - Kitchen Garden, Birmingham Tuesday 9th July
Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes - Kitchen Garden, Birmingham Thursday 11th July

A couple of weeks of album releases to share, which you are welcome to check out via links to their pages. They are an eclectic bunch from Brighton to the States via Sweden, embracing a diverse soundscape and featuring artists at different stages in their career.

Album Releases Friday 5th July

Jack Cade - Bear Bones
Chip Taylor - Whiskey Salesman

Album Releases Friday 12th July

Christina LaRocca - These Are My Whiskey Dreams

3 Pairs of Boots - Gone South

Buford Pope - The Waiting Game

Curse of Lono - 4am and Counting

Albums on the way:
Lisa Bell - Back Seat due out on September 6th
Jordan Whitmore - Good Things due out on September 6th
Will Bennet and the Tells - All Your Favourite Songs due out on July 26th
The Blue Highways - The Blue Highways EP due out on August 23rd

Jesse Marchant released the album ILLUSION OF LOVE a while back and will be visiting the UK for a few dates in December


Tuesday 10th December – Servant Jazz Quarters, London 

Wednesday 11th December – Louisiana, Bristol 

Thursday 12th December – The Castle, Manchester 

Friday 13th December – The Hug & Pint, Glasgow 

The Local Honeys have already visited our shores to play some acclaimed gigs at the start of the year. This bluegrass and roots duo from the Appalachian Mountains are due to pay us two further visits before the year is out including a run of upcoming festival appearances and a series of headline dates in November. Hopefully, they will be seen at the Birmingham date.


Friday 19th July – Latitude Festival 

Saturday 20th July – SummerTyne

Sunday 21st July - Doune The Rabbit Hole

Tuesday 23rd July - An Tobar, Mull

Wednesday 24 July - Bunessan Town Hall, Mull

Saturday 27th July - Beer & Bluegrass, Bournemouth

Sunday 28th July - Square and Compass, North Devon

Friday 2nd August - Underneath The Stars

Saturday 3rd August - Belladrum, Tartan Heart festival
(both main stage and headlining the Americana tent).


Monday 4th November – Manchester - Midway Folk Club

Tuesday 5th November - Birmingham - Kitchen Garden Café

Wednesday 6th November - Liverpool Philharmonic, The Music Room

Thursday 7th November – The HUBS -Sheffield

Monday 11th November – Brighton The Greys
Wednesday 13th November – London Cecil Sharp House

Thursday 14th November – Cambridge Junction 2

Friday 15th November - Thames Ditton RAM Club

Sunday 17th November – Portsmouth The Square Tower

The next Weekly Blog Post is likely to be on Sunday 28th July (ok more a fortnightly post at the moment) with more details on new and upcoming releases, one or two planned gigs, selected tour details and a major summer festival. Expect to a see a few more reviews in the interim.

ALBUM REVIEW: Massy Ferguson - Great Divides : North & Left

Prior to this summer, Massy Ferguson had crossed my path at two Maverick festivals, one SummerTyne and reviewing their album VICTORY & RUINS back in 2014. Fast forward five years from that last event and the UK is once again on the horizon for this band leading the alt-country charge from Seattle and the wider Pacific North West. Ironically (or same may say obviously from precedence) the pattern is very similar this year with the band on my check list for the usual trip to Suffolk and a return to the north east's prestigious Americana event. You also won't be surprised to learn that a new album is out to provide some focus for the tour.

Although GREAT DIVIDES came out early last month and got a polite nod in the Weekly Blog, it was catching up with lead man Ethan Anderson at Maverick that prompted the feeling that these guys deserve a little more blog love. The missing part of my Massy Ferguson jigsaw is seeing the guys play a fully fledged gig where you can really get into the band's onstage DNA. Looking up and down the tour diary still leaves the itinerary shy of playing the West Midlands (Northamptonshire on a Sunday is a close call). However, there is one gig they are doing at SummerTyne where they team up with Rachel Harrington for a boat cruise show that really caught the eye.

After Maverick, where their radio session for Leader's American Pie and Ethan's Sunday gospel role were seen, it is left to a couple of sets in the north east to give me my main Massy Ferguson live fix this year. Between festivals has been an ideal prompt to tune back into the new album, which first came into my possession in April. In a crowded pool even the best albums have to fight hard for diminished listening time, but a return to GREAT DIVIDES has laid out firmly what a lucky community we are to get bands like this to share their music internationally and tour.

While the ten tracks are staple Massy Ferguson if you have hooked into any of their five previous albums, they roll out as prime Americana country rock showing an influence schooled in the twin confines of the rural heartbeat and the suburban ideal. All ten are credited as Massy originals with accompanying notes showering light on the songwriting partnership of Ethan Anderson and Adam Monda. Themes hark back to personal roots, diverse nostalgia and documenting recollective musings that thrive in the wide expanses of casual Americana. The power, craft, guile and sincerity that you have come to expect from a Massy Ferguson release are prevalent alongside a solitary duet feature to pump further diversity into the sound. Zoe Muth added a fine vocal part on the last album and Adro Boo does likewise this time.

From a personal perspective, returning to the album has reaffirmed the standout qualities of opener 'Can't Remember' and second half anchor 'Momma's in the Backseat'. The latter was also one of the tracks stripped down and recorded for the radio session at Maverick.

With GREAT DIVIDES out for you all to freely sample via the structure of the music consumer industry in 2019 aka streaming, all I can merely do is point you in the direction. The guys will then take the mantle to win you over.

Tracklisting 1. Can’t Remember (3:13) 2. Drop an Atom Bomb on Me (3:53) 3. Maybe the Gods (feat. Adra Boo) (3:16) 4. Rerun (3:34) 5. Saying You Were There (5:03) 6. Don’t Give up on Your Friends (4:17) 7. Momma’s in the Backseat (5:20) 8. Saddest Man (4:12) 9. Wolf Moon (4:14) 10. They Want That Sound (3:47)