Tuesday, April 01, 2014

New Music 2014 - Part 10 - Roots and Americana

I have been listening to all kinds of music lately and as you might have guessed that has included much that goes under the heading Roots and Americana. I'll start with three forthcoming albums that have come to my attention but perhaps I should add that I already have all the previous albums by these artists; to some extent I am therefore a convert already.

Jessica Lea Mayfield - 'Make My Head Sing', released on 2 June 2014 in the UK.
This is the third album by the Ohio native who first came to my attention at End Of The Road Festival 2010, playing the Tipi stage and previously quite unknown to me. Her albums thus far are 'With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt' (2008) and 'Tell Me' (2011), both released by Nonesuch Records, and were produced by Dan Auerbach. I'm not sure about the details of this one yet, as I have only recently found about it, except to say that it is released by ATO Records. This label is snapping up many artists in this broad music space including Caitlin Rose and Hurray For The Riff Raff who have peppered this blog over the last few years.
It is certainly a dramatic and very deliberate departure from the aforementioned albums. An interview in which she explains how it came about, and the history behind it, is here:

The appearance here is true of this next artist Amy LaVere too, but she is the only one of the three that I have never seen play live.
'Runaway's Dream' is released by Archer Records on 26 May 2014 in the UK.
It is a concept album but, before you click elsewhere in fear and loathing, be aware that this has been done before to some acclaim: In my book Anaïs Mitchell's 'Hadestown' (2010) is a case in point.
This one is however loosely based on the story of Seasick Steve, with whom she toured extensively as support, and also her own few days as a teenage runaway. To that list I shall add another bridge - Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray For The Riff Raff and in particular the song Ramblin' Gal from the album 'Watch Out Mama' (2012). Their new LP 'Small Town Heroes' was released in the UK, again on ATO Records, on 31 March 2014. It isn't one of the three included in this post because I have mentioned it already.

The last of the three is this and the only one by non-American artists but like its predecessor, The Lion's Roar (2012), it was made with Mike Mogis at his studio in Omaha, NE. It is all a far cry from the time I first saw First Aid Kit live in the old-style Tipi stage at End Of The Road Festival. That is no bad thing because the potential was clear for all to hear.
'Stay Gold' is released by Columbia on 9 June in the UK.
It remains to be seen if First Aid Kit can sustain the momentum that was generated by 'The Lion's Roar'. One thing that I can say with certainty, having seen them play again on the Garden Stage at EOTR 2012, is that First Aid Kit certainly does not disappoint live.
Maybe I need to buy a ticket to Green Man Festival in August - I've never been before, so that would tick another box.

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