January 27, 2021 Virtually everywhere After a near flawless night of virtual entertainment from Day 1 of the inaugural AMA-UK Americana showcase event, we’re back for Day 2 with more reviews and reactions.
January 26, 2021 Virtually everywhere As the official event photographer, we’re used to watching every AMA-UK showcase set. Every. Single. One. COVID pushed the 2021 showcases online but we decided to keep that tradition alive nonetheless. Not having to walk 12 miles over two nights and climb the stairs at Oslo countless times to do it is an unexpected benefit, even if screenshots aren’t a patch on professional photos!
The digital version of the event had another major plus point – we got to see everyone’s lovely comments as they discovered new favourites in real-time. So, we decided to combine our review with a selection of reactions.
The year usually starts out strong for Americana artists, music business professionals and fans. There is a dizzying array of genre specific conference seminars, industry opportunities, and showcases in East London, all topped off with a star-studded awards ceremony.
The tireless board members (including CEO Stevie Smith, DJ and festival impresario Baylen Leonard and artist manager Charlie Pierce) weren’t going to let a little thing like lockdown get in the way of supporting, representing and advocating for Americana in the UK. They took the whole shebang virtual.
American Songwriter called Shannon LaBrie’s new record, Building, “nothing short of breathtaking.” That’s not surprising. It combines enticing elements of Americana and soul. LaBrie’s powerful voice wraps around six songs of resilience, hope and self-discovery that she wrote or co-wrote, plus a cover of Tom Petty’s It’s Good To Be King.
Lewis’ voice seems to bounce as much as the plucked guitar strings do in What Does It Mean, but it’s silky smooth too. “Let me tell you ’bout the shape I’m in” – are you ready? The audio fidelity is so pure that there’s initially no indication that this career retrospective record was recorded in front of a live audience at Southern Ground Studios in Nashville.
In news that should surprise to no-one, Bruce Springsteen’s latest record shot straight to the top of the charts in the UK. That’s his eleventh number one, making him one of the top 5 acts with the most number ones alongside luminaries like The Rolling Stones and David Bowie.