AmericanaFest 2021 UK goes virtual!

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.

Continue reading “AmericanaFest 2021 UK goes virtual!”

Concert Review: James Riley’s full band rooftop show

June 27, 2020

With news emerging about the possibility of ticketed outdoor live concerts, there’s one artist who has certainly had plenty of relevant experience!

While most touring musicians suffered from enforced inactivity during lockdown, James Riley took the ‘let’s put on a show’ impulse to new heights – quite literally! He climbed on to his garage roof to play music for his neighbours, and in the process helped raise over £40,000 for food banks in collaboration with #LIVEFORLOVE. Check out BBC Radio London’s feature about Riley’s rooftop performances.

After ten weeks of solo shows, he invited a brass band to join him. The following week saw a supergroup featuring Americana Association UK (AMA-UK) Instrumentalist of The Year winners C.J. Hillman on pedal steel and bassist Thomas Collison, plus Greg Sheffield on drums. Here’s the lowdown on that high rise show.

Continue reading “Concert Review: James Riley’s full band rooftop show”

Interview: Liv Austen talks pop and Popsicle

Norwegian singer-songwriter Liv Austen rose to prominence in the UK country scene but if you expected her first covers EP to be all Dolly, Garth and Shania, you’ve not been paying enough attention to her artistic development. She’s long been known to slay a Sigrid or Dua Lipa track in her live set, and her debut album, A Moment of Your Time, was a masterclass in pop perfection.

Continue reading “Interview: Liv Austen talks pop and Popsicle”