Americana 1

(ahab to Robert McEntee) See Americana 2

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ahab February 2011

Mix the tight harmonies of the Eagles and the energy of Old Crow Medcine Show and you're on the way to experiencing Ahab. Better still go and give them a listen!

ahab May 2013

Bob Harris described ahab as “blistering” while Simon Mayo has called them “the real deal - top-notch UK Americana featuring tight four-piece harmonies” all I can say is that they just get better and better. They are seen here at Wath Festival where their tight sound and wonderful harmonies on mainly their own compositions, coupled with their obvious love of performing had the audience cheering for more.

 

Matt Andersen

Seen here as part of the Canadian Frost tour in November 2007, Matt is a stunning live performer with an amazing voice and must be one of the best guitar players that I've ever seen. If you enjoy blues root out his "Second Time Around" cd, visit his site and look out for his next visit to your area.

Sam Baker

I'd like to thank Bob Harris for my introduction to Sam and his music and to Steve Henderson (Mr Kite) for seeing him 'live' as support to Lucy Kaplansky. Described as "the missing link between Townes Van Zandt and John Prine" Sam went down a storm at The Bury Met on his first, but hopefully not his last, vist in 2007. One to look out for!

Sam Baker September 2013

In 1986 Sam was traveling by train in Peru when a bomb from a terrorist group exploded right next to him. The little girl he'd been talking to was killed along with half a dozen others, and his own injuries required 18 operations. His mangled left hand was rebuilt, work on his ears left him with a loud ringing that never stops, though he says he's made his peace with it.

His shows are a joy to behold, he is seen here accompanied by Carrie Elkin and Chip Dolan at shaw Playhouse.

 

Sam Baker November 2014

Just some of Sam's reviews

"An artist worth waiting for" - NPR All Things Considered; "The Bard of the Workaday World" - Wall Street Journal;
"Every composition has the inescapable ring of life and death" - New Yorker;
"One of the finest of the modern-day veteran Texas troubadours" - American Songwriter;
"He takes fragments of poems and hymns and discarded memories and weaves 'em together." - NPR Here and Now

Sam Baker and Carrie Elkin

In November 2015 Sam Baker was joined by good friend, Carrie Elkin, on his tour, 'Love Songs and Duets' which included covers of songs they love and, of course, a selection of everyone's favourite originals.

Del Barber

An independent folk, Americana, and alt-country singer-songwriter and musician. So far, Del has won two Western Canadian Music Awards (for Independent Album of the Year and Roots Solo Recording of the Year). He's pictured here on his first trip ot the UK but I'm sure it won't be his last. Another to look out for!

Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo

Australian Emily Barker is a compelling songwriter with a gift for weaving melody and words. Together with her band The Red Clay Halo, she has recorded three albums, dazzled audiences at music festivals and seen her song 'Nostalgia' become the Bafta-winning theme tune to BBC One drama Wallander.

Thad Beckman

Seen here on his 2010 UK tour accompanying Tom Russell, Thad demonstated some wonderful accompaniment on both guitar and vocals as well as some great blues numbers.

Berkley Hart

The combination of Kerrville 'New Folk Songwriter Award' winner, Jeff Berkley, and stand-out wordsmith, Calman Hart, creates a pairing that has become one of the premier acoustic duos. Every Berkley Hart show is packed with entertainment as the duo combines their natural down-home humor with poignant, delicate, masterfully crafted lyrics delivered with stunning harmony and musicianship

Berkley, Hart, Selis and Twang.

In July 2014 Eve Selis and Marc Twang were joined by their friends Jeff Berkley and Calman Hart for a night of acoustic music at Bury Met. Each duo sang separately and then joined each other on songs they’d written together.
All in all, a special night!

The Bills

Once hailed as “the best live act I have ever seen” in a Maverick magazine review, The Bills have blown away concert-goers and festival crowds around the globe with their instrumental virtuosity, tight vocal arrangements and exuberant live shows. Their music draws on influences from a combination of European traditions, Latin American rhythms and Romany melodies to produce evocative new material and innovative interpretations of traditional tunes.

Birds of Chicago

JT Nero (JT & the Clouds) and Allison Russell (Po' Girl) combine beautifully as the band 'Birds Of Chicago'. The combining of their singular voices provides organic harmonies and magical vocals and, while they sing as a duo, they write individually which gives bags of variety to their songs as each brings their own influences to bear.

The Bittersweets

Seen here on their debut tour of the UK in January 2009 The Bittersweets were a revalation. From the pop sound of 'Wreck' to the plaintive 'When The War Is Over' sang in fornt of the mics they won over the audience in no time at all. When someone shouted"You're fantastic" I could only agree and came away with copies of their ' Goodnight San Francisco' and limited edition 'Live' cds.

Blackheart

Blackheart combine the unforgettable lemon and honey voice of Chrissy Mostyn and jaw-dropping acoustic guitar playing of Rick Pilkington with highly entertaining audience interaction as they tell the stories behind their songs.

Suzy Bogguss

Suzy must be one of the most underrated vocalists of the country music scene. Singinging with a crystal clear voice that is so easy on the ear Suzy has never compromised and has mangaged to cover to blend several musical genres over the years. An artist who rarely visits the UK, when she does catch her if you can.

Alyssa Bonagura

Described as having "a voice that could melt the hardest of hearts" Alyssa is pictured here supporting Raul Malo during his autumn tour of the UK in 2010. Her performance captivated the audience and ensured further visits will be on her Calendar. Look her up!

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Peter Bruntnell

Described by Rolling Stone as "One of England's best kept musical secrets", this sums up Devon based Peter Bruntnell's career so far but for those that take the time to check out this softly spoken songwriter the rewards are plentiful. I first came him courtesy of Bob Harris and finally caught him 'live' supporting Richmond Fontaine in February 2010, I wasn't disappointed.

Richard Buckner

A critically acclaimed artist hailed by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver as a big influence and most often associated with the alternative country movement, Richard is very much in the mold of the Lubbock, Texas, school of mavericks, including Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

 

 

Kate Campbell
Kate Campbell is blessed with a pure voice which, when coupled with her own vibrant songs, demands your attention. Visit her site, listen to some of her sound bites and catch her on her next visit!
She's seen here with Will Kimbrough .

Canadian Frost Tour 2007

Discovered at the East Coast Music Awards, Dave Gunning, Jessica Rhaye and Matt Andersen, three top notch Canadian singer songwriters, completed a short tour of the UK in November 2007 where I was fortunate enough to catch up with them. Hopefully this will be the start of many great evenings in their company as both individually and together, in the second half of the show, they gave us a 'not to be forgotten' evening

Carolina Chocolate Drops

In a feature profile of the band, the Sunday Times says that, while the band's sets may feature plenty of traditional string-band music from the Piedmont of North Carolina, "this is a group determined to prove that the past is not another country." So, says writer Clive Davis, for the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the "vivacious potpourri" of music it makes, "file under quality music, rather than nostalgia."

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Writer of a number of great songs to have reached the Folk scene including "The Moon and Saint Christopher" and "Stones in the road". Seen here during her 1999 tour.

Beth Nielsen Chapman

I heard Beth first when someone played me her wonderful 'Sand and Water' album and was immediately struck by the power of her lyrics and her emotive vocals. I've since got my own copy along with her other cd's and, after seeing her in larger venues, was delighted when Pat Batty informed me that she'd booked her for a two night special at Westhoughton Folk Club in November 2006.
These photos were taken on the night

Slaid Cleaves

From winning the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival's 'New Folk' competition in the 90's Slaid continues to build up his UK following by regular touring backed up by a number of great recordings.

Cosmo’s Dream

Seen at the Hobo’s Retreat in August 2015, Cosmo’s Dream, described as an Americana/Bluegrass trio, provided an evening to remember with their top notch musicianship backed up with a great three part harmony sound and some great self-penned songs to boot. Come back soon!

Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby
American singer-songwriter Cathryn Craig and accomplished British guitarist Brian Willoughby are two of the nicest people that you could hope to meet. Cathryns sparkling voice ably accompanied by Brians intricate guitar work make this duo well worth seeing when they're in your vicinity!.

Crown Top Kings

Formed in the Summer of 2007 and featuring Swing Commanders founder members Jesse, Pat and Graham along with multi-instrumentalist Chris, their influences include Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys and Tennessee Ernie Ford amongst others. This band guarantee a great night of American 'roots' music. Give them a listen.

Gail Davies

Described as one of the most influential and important female singer-songwriters to have been involved in country music in the past 20 years Gail is seen here the Hobo's Retreat in Heywood

Jerry Donahue

Jerry first came to my attention when he joined Fotheringay and then went on to play with Fairport Convention. Described as a guitarist's guitar player he's gone on to play alongside the likes of Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty and more recently as one of the Hellecasters.
Jerry is also a member of The Gathering - Legends of Folk Rock ,alongside Rick Kemp, Clive Bunker, Ray Jackson and others.

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Tania Elizabeth

Tania is pictured here playing alongside Mary Gauthier where, at times, her stunning fiddle playing brought back echoes of the late great Oliver Schroer whom I had the pleasure of hearing on a number of occasions. Having co-founded the critically acclaimed group The Duhks in 2001, and founder of her own independent labelTania has toured Canada, the U.S., China, Australia and Europe on a full-time basis for over 10 years and is a two-time Grammy award nominee (one win) and a four-time Juno award nominee (one win). Look out for her!

Simone Felice Group

A celebrated songwriter, author, and poet, Simone Felice has emerged from his pivotal roles in The Felice Brothers and The Duke and The King to bring his literary music to the Uk with the BBC quoting "Dylan and Leonard Cohen are brought to mind, such is the depth of emotion wrought by Felice's careful approach... Shows the power of music to lift your spirits and make your heart full – absolutely fantastic." and who am I to argue?

Mary Gauthier

A live performer with a charismatic presence, Mary's songs are right up there with Bob Dylan and John Prine's. If you've not heard her before, visit her 'MySpace' site, have a listen and get along to her next show in your vicinity. You won't be disappointed.

Mary Gauthier and Tania Elizabeth

Mary is seen here teaming up with Tania Elizabeth to promote Mary's 'The Foundling' cd, on which Tania guested, and it was great to see how well they gelled both as musicians and friends

Mary Gauthier (2014)

Louisiana born singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier returned to Bury Met with songs from her album Trouble and Love. Mary Gauthier (pronounced Go-shay) has received countless accolades over the last decade for her six studio albums, with her songs praised by both Bob Dylan and Tom Waits and recorded by Jimmy Buffet, Blake Shelton, Mike Farris, Candi Staton and others.

Rhiannon Giddens and Leyla McCalla (of The Carolina Chocolate Drops)

In October 2013 after a flurry of projects with T-Bone Burnett (The Hunger Games soundtrack), producer Jac Holzman (Chimes of Freedom, Amnesty International's Bob Dylan Tribute), and The Chieftains, Leyla and Rhiannon returned to Bury Met to tantalise us with their solo material as well some Carolina Chocolate Drops' classics.

Eliza Gilkyson

Eliza has been described as "singing well-crafted tunes of defiance, hope, victory and despair"and I wouldn't argue with that. With some great cd's to her credit it's wonderful to hear 'live' the 'stripped down' versions of her songs with just her gravelly vocals and guitar a must to see!

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Eliza Gilkyson October 2012

Returning to Bury after a three year break, Eliza gave a fine show that lasted over 2 1/2 hours, performing requests from the audience for most of the second half. As her song says "Welcome Back!"

Eliza Gilkyson and Jim Henry

In May 2014 Eliza returned to Bury Met with songs about the exuberant nature of love and life with meditative tunes about the world's rich mysteries. Eliza released her latest album, The Nocturn Diaries, in January 2014.

 

Ben Glover

Drawing comparisons with Ryan Adams and even a young Bruce Springsteen, Ben hails from Northern Ireland relocating to Nashville in 2009. The quality of the writing is excellent and a stunning voice to boot, Ben comes highly recommended!

Good Lovelies

I guess I'm a sucker for female three part harmonies - The Roches, The Wailin' Jennys and the Good Lovelies are up there with the best of them. Seen here on their first of hopefully many visits to the UK in May 2011 their wonderful harmonies and on stage banter won many friends.

The Groanbox Boys

Michael and Cory play a highly unique blend of what they call Old Time Mountain Gypsy World Folk Blues Music on accordion, acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica and odd pieces of percussion. They are seen here during their Spring 2008 tour when Paul Clifford guested with them on percussion which include their self made 'Freedom Boot'. Catch up with the Boys as soon as you can and Festival Orgainsers give yourselves a treat and book them.

Michael Guerra

Picured here doing for Raul Malo what Flaco Jimenez did for Ry Cooder, Michael has built quite a resume, playing with Texmaniacs, the Tex-Mex Experience, Texas Tornados, the Krayolas and Rick Trevino. Thanks to Raul for bringing this great talent to my attention!

 

Dave Gunning

Dave is a wonderful storytelling Canadian singer songwriter in the Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers mould. A gifted guitarist and a great raconteur I caught up with him on the Canadian Frost tour soon after the release of his fifth cd “House For Sale” in November 2007 and I'm already looking forward to his next visit.

Risa Hall

Growing up in New York City Risa came to the UK in 1983 touring as a professional actor. She started writing music in plays like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with William Gaunt and Joe McGann as well as musicals with Sinitta.. Her music has been described as original, energetic with an alt-pop edge and she was taken here supporting Jess Klein in January 2007. With her first cd due later this year and more performances to come visit her website for details and sound samples.

Andrew Hardin

Usually seen over here playing alongside Tom Russell, where his impressive guitar work continues to win him new fans, Andrew has also acquired a reputation as a record producer with a number of albums to his credit. He also has recorded cds of his own.

Rachel Harrington and Zak Borden

Rachel's publicity says it all, “I am absolutely enchanted with this record! A brilliant debut ... already a leading contender for Album of the Year in my opinion!” ~ Bob Harris, BBC Radio. With a captivating blend of folksy, bluegrass Americana, Oregon-born singer-songwriter Rachel is pictured here with mutli-instrumentalist Zak Borden at one of Radio Lancashire's 'live' Drift shows.

 

Headwater

Hearing Headwater is like listenening to the West Coast of Canada in song. Freewheeling, fierce, sentimental and sexy, the Vancouver, B.C., quartet has earned its reputation as one of the finest acoustic roots groups around the old-fashioned way.

Taken here at their Radio Lancashire 'Live Drift' appearance in October 2010

Hot Club of Cowtown

Are the one of the most globe-trotting, hard swinging trios on the planet. Jazz collides with country, creating an amazing sound that's half hoe-down half boogie-woogie. They have appeared at festivals, in clubs and theatres and featured on radio and TV including BBC TV's Later with Jools Holland.

Brian Houston

A popular singer/songwriter with fans including Bob Harris, Brian has worked with Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Nanci Griffith and Robert Plant amongst others. I was fortunate to catch him on a double bill with Pierce Pettis in October 2009 and can highly recommend seeking him out!

Danielle Howle

Considered by many to be South Carolina's best kept musical secret, Danielle Howle is a punk rock girl with the voice of a honkeytonk angel. Opening for such diverse acts as Bob Dylan, Ani Difranco, Fugazi, and Indigo Girls, she has garnered worldwide acclaim while somehow remaining under the radar of mainstream America. Now is the time for South Carolina to share it's secret with the rest of America and the UK!

I'm With Her

Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan crossed paths many times throughout their careers - so it comes as no surprise that, after an impromptu performance at the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, all the pieces fell into place for these three acclaimed musicians to collaborate.

Sarah De La Isla

Daughter of Eve Selis, this talented singer/actress took a break from singing with her band 'Requiem for the Rockets' to support Eve on her 2012 UK tour where therse photos were taken.

Jill Jackson

Jill spent the latter part of 2006 in Nashville where she performed at the legendary Bluebird Café and was referred to by the Nashville press as the “Scottish songbird”. Having completed a currently on a 50 States in 50 Days Tour of the US in the company of Kevin Montgomery she is pictured here during her January 2009 tour of the UK.

Diana Jones

Having featured on a BBC Four "Live at the Barbican" concert , as part of the BBC documentary on Americana Music, Diana has been compared to the likes of Iris DeMent and Gillian Welch. Diana combines an awsome voice with lyrics from the heart. Give her a listen.

Lucy Kaplansky
One of my all time favourites since seeing her on her first visit to Westhoughton Folk Club in December '99. This photo was taken on her visit to Bury Met in Decemeber 2007 where a great number of the audience were members of the sadly missed Folk Club.

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Will Kimbrough
Having caught Will twice now, firstly supporting and backing Beth Nielsen Chapman and secondly seen here performing the same role with Kate Campbell, it can only be a matter of time before he's 'topping the bill' in his own right.
A first class songwriter and guitarist he's one to watch out for!

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Jess Klein

Now here's a girl that sings from the heart with a versatile voice that moves comfortably from folk to country to downright rock without any problem whatsoever. One of the most powerful performers I've seen in long while!

Julie Lee
Not having heard Julie's material, prior to her appearance at St Bede's in September 2004, I was immediately won over by her pure vocals and intricate fingerpicking. I'll certainly be looking out for her future visits to the region!

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Alana Levandoski

Yet another gem from Canada, Alana is a singer songwriter from Winnipeg who has started to build up quite a following over here with regular tours. Catch her if you can!

 

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Madison Violet

Madison Violet (aka Madviolet) are a Toronto based duo, consisting of Lisa MacIsaac (vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin) and Brenley MacEachern (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica). Together, they've been touring the globe non-stop for 9 years and are well worth catching at a venue near you!

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David Mallett
Another artist that should be far better known, Dave visits the UK annually to do a short tour and my advice is look out for his next one!.
A wonderful 'live' performer who captivates from the first song in, singing 'self penned' songs with a superb guitar and harmonica accompaniment.

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David Mallett and Michael Burd

Dave has been performing regularly at Westhoughton Folk Club since 1995, always giving an evening packed with well crafted songs and minimal chat. For the Club's final 2007 season, he brought along his long time friend Michael Burd who accompanied him on bass.
Come on you club organisers and let's see more of this wonderful singer songwriter over here. He remains an undiscovered gem in this country and deserves far better recognition!

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Raul Malo

Raul is seen here accompanied Michael Guerra by on his Autumn tour of the UK in 2010, touring in support of yet another fine batch of songs from his "Sinners & Saints." cd.
Including songs from different phases of his career, including songs from his late, great band, 'The Mavericks' Raul captivated the audience with his great voice ably supported by some wonderful accordian accompaniment.

Sarah MacDougall

Swedish/Canadian songwriter, Sarah MacDougall is a storyteller, entertainer and pop-troubadour with a haunting voice and songs to match. She is seen here supporting Po' Girl in June 2009.

Robert McEntee

A talented guitarist and vocalist who has played regularly with Dan Fogelberg, Robert is pictured here supporting Eliza Gilkyson on a 2007 tour of the Uk. He performed a great 'solo' spot featuring some tracks off his wondergful 'The Coin of the Realm' cd before joining Eliza and provided superb harmony vocals along with wonderful guitar accompaniment that featured both unobtrusive backing and stunning solo breaks. Well worth seeing.

Sarah Gayle Meech

Sarah Gayle Meech was raised under the influence of country, evergreens, and the Columbia River. She moved to Nashville in 2010 to pursue her music career further and finally arrived in the UK in July 2015. Her debut show at Heywood's Hobo's Retreat featuring the 'Meech Boys' (A great band of Brits) was a great success leaving the audience looking forward to her return!.

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