Country Music People December 2018 - Page 59

AMERICANA roundup by Michael Hingston The music mentioned in the Americana Round-up and much more can be heard on my radio show The Country and Roots Show at 10pm every Monday. Listen live or listen again at www.radioverulam.com. G renades is the second album from Canadian singer songwriter Kaia Kater and is an exploration into her identity by looking into her father’s roots in Grenada, which she recently visited for the first time as an adult. Her father, Deno, grew up in Grenada and fled to Canada in 1986 after the US invasion and her his voice can be heard on some spoken word interludes. Grenades is a thoughtful and satisfying study of identity and immigration with articulate lyrics and sympathetic playing. G raham Gouldman is a much under- appreciated artist and songwriter. He is best known for being a part of the band 10cc, but before that his greatest success came as a songwriter, penning For Your Love, Heart Full Of Soul and Evil Hearted You for The Yardbirds; Bus Stop for The Hollies and No Milk Today for Herman’s Hermits among many other songs. Gould was one of the panel at the Americana Music Association UK Conference earlier this year where he gave advice to budding songwriters along with Angaleena Presley, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Chris Difford. I recently saw him perform at Cambridge Corn Exchange as part of 10cc. It was a terrific performance with so many hits and memorable songs from the 1970s. It was a bonus to see Smith & Brewer (right) as support to 10cc. They were selected as support act after 10cc guitarist Rick Fenn saw them perform at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer performed around one microphone with their tight harmonies, attractive songs and impressive acoustic guitar- picking winning over the audience. I have rarely seen a support act be so besieged by audience members seeking CDs and merchandise as Smith and Brewer were at the interval. Smith & Brewer also supported Ralph McTell on his autumn tour and are playing a showcase set at next year’s AmericanaFest UK. T he nominations and special awards have been announced for the AMA-UK awards for 2019. I won’t go through all the nominations here, which can be viewed on the AMA-UK website theamauk.org, but the special awards show an interesting breadth. Graham Nash will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Joe Boyd the Trailblazer Award. I am particularly pleased to see Immy Doman and Risa Tabatznik of The Green Note in Camden are going to receive the Grass Roots award. It is a wonderful, intimate venue and the choice of acts they put on is superb. I am equally pleased to see that Curse Of Lono are to receive the Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award. They have released two tremendous albums (Severed and As I Fell) that have an Americana element, but have equally appealed to an Indie audience. Felix Bechtolsheimer is the main songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist and was previously with country-rock outfit Hey Negrita. Look Now is the new album from Elvis Costello and the Imposters and is the strongest Costello album for some time. It reached number two on the US Americana album chart, but is absent from the UK Americana chart (probably because the label didn’t define it as Americana). Costello has a great love for country music, so he sits more easily in the Americana field than many others that are found on the UK chart. The Freddy Mercury and Queen film Bohemian Rhapsody is better than I expected, considering it lost the original director and main actor during production. The music sequences are well-put together and this is partly due to the input of Music Consultant John Wheatley. Outside of his film production activity, he is the front man and songwriter for the band Suburban Dirts. Their latest album I Want Blood is a fascinating delve into eighteenth century American history and charts the incredibly gory, murderous career of the Harpe Brothers. It is tremendous gothic Americana from this band from Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire and the songs have a cinematic nature, which is unsurprising considering Wheatley’s other activities. Guitar and mandolin player Mike Giverin and fiddler and guitarist Jay Bradberry were finalists in the 2008 BBC Young Folk Awards as The Jaywalkers. Since then, they have grown in confidence and numbers, adding double bassist Lucille Williams. Their latest album Time To Save The World is attractive bluegrass with a sound that is far fuller than you would expect from a trio. All the tracks are original, with most from the pen of Mike Giverin plus a cover of Johnny Cash’s Big River. Jay Bradberry is a superb lead vocalist, with harmony support from the other two band members and all cmp three are talented instrumentalists. DECEMBER 2018 - cmp 59