John Murray on the influence of Americana on Scottish singers
In recent years many American singer songwriters have found good audiences touring Scotland, with many stopping at The Inn At Lathones, Green Hotel Kinross, PJs in Dunfermline, Greenside in Leslie and of course the Acoustic Music Club in Kirkcaldy.
This has seen a rise in home-grown Americana acts too, and with a network of venues around the country, we now have a second volume of CaledoniaVille (Medicine Show Records), with 12 more fine tracks.
The new compilation, put together by Flying Shoes Review, features Roberto Cassani & The Tickety-two with a delta swamp skiffle called Jake sung in a Scottish accent, a Gallpaygos gentle rocker in Squeeze style called The Conversation, and The Holy Ghosts (Scottish Alternative Music Awards ‘Best Newcomer’) have a superb Band organ-infused style rocker with We Three Kings.
Norrie McCulloch, from Ayrshire, draws from Neil Young’s After The Goldrush era to produce Still Looking For You, featuring Dave McGowan from Teenage Fanclub, Jump Start from Dropkick has harmonies which would not be out of place on an Eagles release, and Nicky Murray’s Plenty More Weeping is a stripped back blues.
Fife writer Stevie Agnew is no stranger to local venues and he comes here with Wrecking Yard, a rocking blues with tasty slide guitar.
With lots of Scottish musician guests, the new album from acoustic duo Wingin’ It, For The Many (San Remo), is an instrumental album of styles and contrasts from the simplistic tranquillity of Sidhean Mor to the busy New York jazz landscape and effects of State Of Mind showing the full diversity of their talent.
Some new Scottish shows have been announced for later this month including Edinburgh The Soundhouse on the 23rd.
As we approach Remembrance Day with 100 years since WW1, singer Emma Stevens has recorded a special version of Keep The Home Fires Burning.
Written by Ivor Novello, it became an anthem in both of the 20th century’s world wars.