One of the unfortunate consequences of the current lockdown has been a dramatic rise in domestic violence and charities are struggling to keep up with the increase in calls for help.
The Blue Highways, started planning a cover of the classic Van Morrison track “Days Like This” to raise money for leading charity: Women’s Aid.
Wanting to maximise its potential to raise as much money as possible, they wondered if other UK Americana artists might like to contribute their voices and/or their instruments.
They got a fantastic response and the final list of artists reads like the line-up of a who’s who of British Americana, including vocals from the likes of Emily Barker, Robert Vincent, Pete Gow, Issy Ferris & Archie Sylvester, Lukas Drinkwater as well as Callum and Theo Lury from The Blue Highways.
The Blue Highways recorded the core track and then called upon the instrumental skills of Henry Senior (pedal steel), Lewis Fowler (guitar), Jake Stanton (drums), Rhona Carse (trumpet), Archie Sylvester (guitar) and Eddy Smith (organ). Together, they have given the song a new, distinctive sound.
“We chose the song because it somehow seemed apt. None of us have seen, or expected to see, days like this, and its message of coping with both the ups and downs of life reflects the current day-to-day reality for so many people” said Callum Lury, lead singer of The Blue Highways.
Translating the idea into a recording was the next challenge for the band. With even the four members of The Blue Highways being in three different houses and the guest stars spread right across the country, it has been down to technology and the expert mixing skills of Julien Baraness to deliver a completely new and unique interpretation of the track.
The band has put together a video of the artists performing from their respective homes alongside the track which is being pushed across social media. They are asking their audiences to donate to the #SupportSurvivors campaign to keep Women’s Aid’s Live Chat service available during this crucial period. The MP3 will also be made available to all individuals that donate.
Days like this was first released by Van Morrison in 1995 on the album of the same name.
Women’s Aid is a registered UK charity which has created a grassroots federation that works together to provide life-saving services and build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated.
556 Grassroots Music Venues in the UK are at imminent risk of being closed permanently.
The situation is dire, government support has been exhausted, and it now falls to artists, music fans, local communities and the wider industry to take action
Put bluntly, without these venues the opportunities for artists and audiences to connect in a meaningful way at a local level will simply disappear in a lot of cases.
And if they go they will never come back.
Please help us to help grassroots music venues to survive this unprecedented threat to their existence.
More information on the WEBSITE HERE
CROWDFUNDING PAGE HERE
It’s strange to think in these hard and uncertain times everyone around the world is currently in the same situation. For the greater good we are all staying inside and keeping our social distance from each other. It is easy to fall into a slump and for the first couple of weeks that is how I spent it. I then said to myself I could be using this time to be more proactive and productive and seeing all the hard work the front line NHS have been and are currently doing I thought what could I do to help.
Over Christmas we released a song to raise money for a local Swansea charity for the homeless so I decided to do the same to help raise money for the NHS. So I got to work and over the next week or so I wrote and recorded a brand new song called ‘Change. Grow. Save.’ with the message of using this time to look out for one and other and also the world in general and seeing the world healing whilst we are all locked away is something to behold.
We’ve set up a Just Giving page (link below) for people to donate what they can to the NHS and as a thank you we will send a free download of the song for every donation.
I have also recorded an interesting video to go along with the song for people to see. This video is currently viewable on our Facebook Page (link below). We would love it if you could all go and check it out.
We hope to see you all again soon!
Sons of Owen
Me: Jeb Barry
Songwriter/singer in Jeb Barry and The Pawn Shop Saints www/jebbarry.com
Based in : The Berkshires in Massachusetts, USA
Here, we've been doing social distancing for a month. All non-essentials; schools, churches, restaurants, music clubs, etc...are closed.
The plus side is that I have had more time to write and record music. When this all came down my group was just finishing up recording a six song EP as well as out new album titled "Ordinary Folks" It's the follow-up to our 2018 release "texas, etc.." which spent three months on the Euro American charts, peaking at #3
But since no one can come to my studio to finish their parts, we're stuck in idle. By now the ep should have been mastered and the vinyl pressed, but we still need to do two backing vocal parts so that will have to wait.
Also, we've had a few local gigs canceled, one a long-awaited show with Sierra Ferrell. And any plans for a summer trip to Europe (I had planned on doing some solo shows) is out the window.
The plus side is I've written a lot of songs and are recording some solo songs that I'll put out as freebies soon.
The best thing though is listening to all the streaming shows, from major artists to new discoveries, that are on Facebook and other sites. Some are great, some so-so, but all are contributing to a DIY rebirth for real 'folk' music.
Here is an announcement from the Black Deer team, please read in full, join us in supporting them and if you can hold onto your tickets for next year :
BLACK DEER FESTIVAL 2020
We are beyond disappointed.
It is of course the choice we had hoped we wouldn’t have to make; we really did try to hang on in there to make this happen. Our thanks must go to you for your patience, especially amid all of the uncertainty, in allowing us to take the time to do so.
We also took some time exploring the option of postponing to later in 2020, but the most important thing for us other than your obvious safety, is to give our
community certainty and so we have therefore made the decision to move this year’s planned festival to June 2021. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to our Americana playground on the weekend of 18th-20th June 2021, to what will be the best weekend celebration of Americana & Country the UK will have ever seen.
How do we know this? Well, thanks to some incredibly hard work behind the scenes and some overwhelmingly supportive artists and agents, we are delighted to bring you a line-up for 2021 equally as amazing as 2020. Added to this we have some previously unannounced brilliant artists to add to the line-up which, it’s fair to say, we’re extremely proud of.
We put on a festival, you built Black Deer.
Thanks to the journey we’ve all been on together, you’ve made Black Deer what it is and, what we always wanted it to be – a passionate community with a shared love of Americana. But more than that, a community accessible to all. A community providing opportunities to all. And a community inspiring to all.
In times of difficulty, communities tend to come together. And so we must now please ask for you all to come together and show your support as we move to protect the future of Black Deer and ensure that it continues to not only be a much-loved Independent festival, but also an influential platform at the heart and forefront of the growth of Americana & Country in the UK and beyond.
We would also like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to another incredible group of people. A special community of NHS staff, key workers, volunteers and everyone else out there on the frontline protecting us and helping to keep the UK functioning through these tough times. Some members of our team have been personally affected by the pandemic and have seen first-hand the incredible work and sacrifices made by so many.
Once normality returns (and it will) we will be proudly inviting many hundreds of these modern-day-superheroes as our guests to Black Deer 2021 to show them our appreciation and gratitude.
You are currently in possession of our highly sought after best priced
tickets, so please rest assured that we will not be selling Super Early Bird, Early Bird or Tier 1 tickets for 2021.
Keep hold of your current best-priced ticket and any add-on’s for Black Deer 2020 which will be valid in exactly the same way for 2021. By choosing this option, you’re doing all we could ever ask from you. So, as a thank you for transferring your ticket, you will have the opportunity to obtain a free of charge one-off, exclusive limited-edition Black Deer T-shirt.
Perhaps someone you love is a keyworker and you want to reward them by transferring your ticket to them.
You will be contacted directly by our ticket agency partners via email within the next three days to confirm how to activate your preferred option. Whilst we’d love for you to keep your ticket as something to look forward to during these testing times, if you need to claim a refund on your ticket, that option is available to you.
Here’s to 2021...
Stay safe, stay positive.
Gill, Debs and the Black Deer Festival team x
Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee here of Sugarcane Jane from Loxley, Alabama. We’ve been live streaming shows from our home studio (Admiral Bean Studio) every night of the quarantine for free on our Facebook page. (www.facebook.com/sugarcanejanemusic)
Tonight will be Episode 34 in a row! We stream every night at 9:30pm CST but all the shows remain on our Facebook page for later viewing. We chose this time because we have three children to take care of at home (Loretta-9, Levon Cash-7, and Dusty Lee-4). We get them to bed and then go out to the studio. We are tired but grateful we have this outlet. And for those of you who don’t know us, we are also in the band Willie Sugarcapps with Will Kimbrough, Grayson Capps, and Corky Hughes. Anthony has also had a huge career as a sideman playing in Neil Young’s bands (The Shocking Pinks, the International Harvesters, the Electric Band) as well as with Steve Winwood and Dwight Yoakam.
MORE ABOUT SUGARCANE JANE HERE
This Storm by Catherine MacLellan and Tara MacLean Premiers at 2pm 15th April
Catherine MacLellan and Tara MacLean, both award winning singer/songwriters from Prince Edward Island, Canada, have come together for their first musical collaboration THIS STORM. Their fathers, Gene MacLellan and Marty Reno, wrote and toured together for decades. It is only natural that Catherine and Tara have now joined forces.
THIS STORM, though born from self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis, is truly a medicine song for the ages. It is about being there for one another even when we can’t be in the same physical space. It speaks to the struggle, the reservoir of strength and the light that we find during uncertain times. THIS STORM is a hopeful anthem to get through difficult moments.
"For me, this song is about connecting. It's a reminder to have patience and to know that in time all wounds are healed. There are moments, especially now, when we can't be with those we love, but we can always reach out. We will find ways to be with one another, in person, virtually or spiritually" - Catherine MacLellan
"We can't always be together in a crisis, but it can connect us and create even closer bonds with those we love, no matter how far apart we are." - Tara MacLean
In THIS STORM, the sisterhood between Catherine and Tara can be heard in the delicacy of the poetry, the melody, the way the instruments and voices blend together. It’s as though they have been singing together forever. You would be forgiven to think they were recording in the same room. The song was produced by both Catherine and Tara with the vocals, guitar and piano, recorded in their respective studios.The lovely addition of the cello is performed by their friend Natalie Williams-Calhoun to add the finishing touch on an already emotional song. Mixing and mastering handled by Mark Westberg.
After seven years of wonderful support and service to the Americana Music Association UK, our friend Trudie Myerscough-Harris has stepped down from the AMA-UK Board to focus on the development of some exciting initiatives. Trudie has been a Board member since the Association was first established and her contribution to the genre has been outstanding; Trudie has produced five incredible Americana Music UK Awards shows, helping us to grow our community and shine a spotlight on the genre’s achievements. Anyone who has been to these shows will know what a brilliant job she had done to put the Association and UK Americana on the map. On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank Trudie for everything she done and wish her every success in her next adventure. Thankfully, it’s not goodbye forever - we know Trudie will continue to support the Americana scene with the artists she represents, the songwriting camps she produces, and the Under The Apple Tree ventures. Good luck Trudie!
• We are delighted to have Andy Shearer join the board please read his bio here and learn about all our board members
We are thrilled to announce that the BBC’s “Whispering Bob” Harris and Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett will join the organisation’s Board.
The two long-term supporters of the genre join British singer-songwriter and Americana trailblazer Billy Bragg, Grammy-nominated American folk singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier and renowned record producer and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Johns as Artist Ambassadors for the ever-growing Association.
As Artist Ambassadors, Harris and Lovett will support the Association and advocate for UK Americana both at home and internationally. Using their wealth of experience, they will help guide the Board in their respective areas of expertise. Harris, considered by many as a national treasure, brings fifty years’ worth of experience in national and international broadcasting; he has established a worldwide reputation as one of the most trusted and influential broadcasters of his generation.
Lovett has had global success with the award-winning British folk rock band, Mumford & Sons. He is also the co-founder of Communion, the independent record label, promotions and publishing company, which has supported the careers of notable artists, including Michael Kiwanuka, George Ezra, Lucy Rose and many more. Lovett is also the Chief Executive of Venue group, which he established in 2016, developing the venue Omeara to be one of London’s most popular grassroots concert spaces and with a new venue Lafayette which has just opened its doors right in the heart of London’s King’s Cross.
Founded in 2012, the Americana Music Association UK is a professional trade association representing and advocating for the voice of American Roots music in the UK. It’s 900-strong membership comprises musicians, both from the UK and overseas, and professionals from all sectors of the music industry, including as agents, promoters, venues, festivals, labels, distributors, retailers, management, touring, journalists, broadcasters and publicists.
The Association, led by Stevie Smith since its incorporation, aims to generate greater recognition of Americana music in the UK, nurture and support UK artists in the community, and build a network for the genre in the UK and overseas. In January 2020, the Association celebrated its 5th annual Americana Music Awards UK at East London’s Troxy, celebrating the genre’s success with awards going to the legendary Joan Armatrading, rising star Jade Bird, Grammy-nominated YOLA, renowned singer and producer Nick Lowe, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and member of the Highwomen Brandi Carlile, amongst others.
Commenting on his appointment as an AMA-UK Artist Ambassador, Ben Lovett said,
“It’s a pleasure to be asked to join the Americana Music Association Board as one of the Artist Ambassadors. I believe in Stevie and her Board and all the good work they do to bridge community through the Americana Music Awards UK and throughout the year, with both artists and the wider industry. I feel honoured to now be able to contribute in a small way.
Bob Harris OBE added,
“I am so happy and proud to be joining the Ambassadors board of AMA-UK and to be a representative for the warmth and creativity of the wonderful UK Americana music community”.
Responding to their comments, AMA-UK Chief Executive Stevie Smith said,
“We are thrilled to welcome Bob Harris and Ben Lovett as Artist Ambassadors to the Board of the Americana Association here in the UK. Their distinguished careers and overwhelming support for our work have helped the Association and the wider genre to go from strength to strength in the UK in the last few years.
“At these difficult times, we need strong individuals to be flying the flag for artists and the music sector and we are over the moon that they will officially be advocating for our community and working with us to promote, profile and empower the wealth of Americana talent across the UK.”
© Americana Music Association UK
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