ROBYN HITCHCOCK, Twyford Parish Hall, 25 July 2019

“Maybe there’s no one there at all, maybe there’s no one there but Paul, living in Shawford after all these years”. The ultimate home-coming gig.

Robyn Hitchcock is one of England’s most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. A surrealist poet, talented guitarist, cult artist and musician’s musician, Hitchcock is among alternative rock’s father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest musical inspiration).

Since founding the art-rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, Robyn has recorded more than 20 albums as well as starred in ‘Storefront Hitchcock’ an in concert film recorded in New York and directed by Jonathan Demme.

Blending folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’. His most recent album is self-titled and marks his 21st release as a solo artist. Out on April 21 2017, the album is produced by Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). Hitchcock describes it as a “ecstatic work of negativity with nary a dreary groove.”

It has received rave reviews from UNCUT, Rolling Stone, Paste, Tidal and more.

“A gifted melodist, Hitchcock nests engaging lyrics in some of the most bracing, rainbow-hued pop this side of Revolver. He wrests inspiration not from ordinary life but from extraordinary imaginings…” – Rolling Stone

“These 10 gems slither, rock, roll, glide and shapeshift, coalescing around Hitchcock’s typically anxious, strained but striking and immediately identifiable vocals.” – American Songwriter

“Beloved of everyone from Led Zeppelin to REM, Hitchcock has only enhanced his status with this wonderful outing.” – Hot Press

“Witty, moving and seriously catchy, Robyn Hitchcock is a glorious return for a man who wasn’t really gone in the first place.” – Paste Magazine

Tickets on sale soon.

KACY AND CLAYTON plus guests, The Attic at the Railway, 27 February

Very happy to welcome back our favourite Canadians. From the Deep Dark Woods …

KACY AND CLAYTON

Kacy & Clayton are second cousins who hail from the Wood Mountain uplands of Southern Saskatchewan, Canada. Their 2015 New West Records debut Strange Country was met with critical acclaim by Q Magazine stating, “Linthicum’s acoustic playing and vocals dovetail perfectly with Anderson’s crystal voice like prime Richard and Linda Thompson.” They also stated, “You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a lost late-’60s Brit-Folk gem,” continuing with “A beautiful album that nudges a classic past into a brave future.” NPR Music also offered, “Ambient textures like cursive strings, washy steel guitar, glistening vibraphone and enveloping reverb frame Kacy & Clayton’s performances…one more way that these two ground their traditional inclinations in the here and now.”

Speaking to Rolling Stone about their new Jeff Tweedy-produced album The Siren’s Song, Kacy offered “Jeff knows so much about recording, music and gear that it’s overwhelming, but we have a lot in common with him in regards to our tastes of production and albums from the Sixties and Seventies,” says Anderson. “It’s pretty inspirational to think that he wakes up every morning and works to advance the folk-country-rock medium constantly, considering he’s already released dozens of great albums. This was very motivating for us recording this album, seeing his dedication in motion.”

Tickets: www.railwayinn.pub

AMY SPEACE plus special guests in the Swiss Cottage, February 1

Nashville-based, Amy Speace is a folk singer, timeless and classic, and a bit out of her own era. “She has one of the richest and loveliest voices in the genre and her songs are luxuriously smart,” writes journalist Craig Havighurst (host of Nashville’s “Music City Roots). “She’s profoundly personal yet also a bit mythic.” Since her discovery in 2006 by folk-pop icon Judy Collins, who signed her to her own imprint Wildflower Records, Speace has been heralded as one of the leading voices of the new generation of American folk singers. Her song “The Weight of the World” was named as the #4 Best Folk Song of the last decade by NYC’s premiere AAA radio station, WFUV and was recorded by Judy Collins. From her beginnings in New York City as a classically-trained actress with The National Shakespeare Company to the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village where she began playing her original songs to her move to East Nashville in 2009 to her most recent release, “That Kind Of Girl”, what ties all of her work together is a palpable empathy for the small struggles of the human condition. Rock critic Dave Marsh, long a fan, wrote “Amy Speace’s songs hang together like a short story collection, united by a common vantage point and common predicaments…it’s a gift to hear a heart so modest even when it’s wide open.” Amy has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace” and has appeared 4 times on “Mountain Stage”, as well as many folk festivals around the world. A prolific writer of prose as well, she has also written articles for The New York Times, American Songwriter Magazine, Pop Matters and other journals and magazines. While pregnant with her first baby, she began recording her next solo album, “Me & The Ghost of Charlemagne,” produced by Neilson Hubbard, which will be released later in 2019 by Proper Records. Amy is also 1/3 of the acclaimed Americana trio, Applewood Road (Emily Barker and Amber Rubarth).

Tickets here: http://sc4m.co.uk/swiss-cottage-sessions/

Andrew Combs in The Attic, January 31

plus special guest Charlie Whitten

A Dallas native now living near the same Nashville airport immortalised in the opening sequence of Robert Altman’s country music odyssey, Andrew Combs is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and heir to that 1975 film’s idea of the Nashville troubadour as a kind of musical monk. As a songwriter, Combs relies on meditative restraint rather than showy insistence to paint his canvases, a technique commensurate with his idea of nature as an overflowing spiritual wellspring. Combs refines the vulnerable vagabond persona he mastered on All These Dreamswhile pushing it beyond those boundaries, into a more pastoral realm aligned with artists like Nick Drake and Tim Buckley. The idea of the artist’s creative life as an ecosystem – one just as in need of cultivation and care as our own imperiled world – informs much of Canyons Of My Mind.

Laura Veirs – two shows at the Railway on February 10

The VERY SPECIAL GUEST is SAM AMIDON and you can buy tickets for the afternoon show (4pm), the evening show (8pm) or both shows for a bargain price.
A prolific songwriter for nearly twenty years, Laura Veirs proves the depth of her musical skill on her tenth solo album, The Lookout. Here is a batch of inimitable, churning, exquisite folk-pop songs; a concept album about the fragility of precious things. Produced by Grammy-nominated Tucker Martine, Veirs’ longtime collaborator, The Lookout is a soundtrack for turbulent times, full of allusions to protectors: the camper stoking a watch fire, a mother tending her children, a sailor in a crows nest and a lightning rod channeling energy.
“The Lookout is about the need to pay attention to the fleeting beauty of life and to not be complacent; it’s about the importance of looking out for each other,” says Veirs. “I’m addressing what’s happening around me with the chaos of post-election America, the racial divides in our country, and a personal reckoning with the realities of midlife: I have friends who’ve died; I struggle with how to balance life as an artist with parenting young children.”
Written and produced on the heels of Veirs’ acclaimed album with Neko Case and kd Lang (case/lang/veirs), The Lookout integrates the fluency of collaboration with Veirs’ notorious work ethic. The twelve songs on the album are the result of a years’ worth of daily writing in her attic studio in Portland, Ore.
“Twenty years ago when I was just starting out with my punk band, it never occurred to me to write five versions of a song,” says Veirs. “I’ve learned to see how malleable lyrics and melodies can be. I have more tools as a musician so I write many versions of songs until I find the right fit.” Such range is demonstrated on the operatic vocals of “The Meadow” and the intricate finger picking on “Watch Fire.” “The Lookout,” the album’s title track, is an ecstatic anthem to trusted relationships.
The Lookout draws on the talents of a time-tested crew of musicians: Karl Blau, Steve Moore, Eli Moore, Eyvind Kang and Martine. Says Veirs, “These guys are a good hang, ego-free and wonderful players who just want to serve the songs.” Sufjan Stevens and Jim James provide guest vocals.
For Martine, who fell, almost two decades ago, for Veirs’ unique sound after listening to a tape cassette she’d sent him in the mail, this album reflects a bar that keeps getting raised. Both familiar and strange, The Lookout gets better with repeated listens, warming to the skin like a cherished saddlebag, critical for the journey ahead.
Tickets from www.railwayinn.pub

John Blek plus guests in the Swiss Cottage, April 13, 2019

Ever prolific, Blek has released 5 albums in the last 5 years. Currently he is preparing to release number 6, his new album Thistle & Thorn due on 1st Feb 2019. ‘Salt in the Water’ from Blek’s current album Catharsis Vol.1, was nominated for Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards 2018 at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City. It’s been a busy few yearsand it shows no sign of letting up. Endless tours and recording in Ireland, Europe, UK and USAkeep the Irish troubadour busy.

He is a master storyteller and an inspiring live performer. His beautiful finger style guitar and joyous vocal weave a tapestry that is as poignant as it is skilful.

Tickets here: http://sc4m.co.uk/swiss-cottage-sessions/

THE DELINES – 2 shows at the Railway – February 3 SOLD OUT

SOLD OUT
You can buy tickets for the afternoon show, the evening show, or both (at a bargain price). Go to the Railway website at www.railwayinn.pub and click through.
The Delines’ debut album Colfax surprised fans and critics alike. The band had only been together a week when they went into the studio and cut the record. Uncut gave it 9/10 stars and praised its “widescreen romanticism”, calling it “the richest collection of songs Vlautin has written.” Evoking the feel of a beat-up Dusty Springfield or a weary Rickie Lee Jones, Colfax made a dozen top ten records of the year lists and the Delines sold out venues in the UK, Ireland, and had successful tours in the Europe and Australia. The Guardian declared them the surprise hit of the End of the Road festival and then it all came to a stop. Lead singer Amy Boone was hit by a car in Austin, Texas, and put into hospital and recovery for many months, finally putting the band on hold for over three years.
Amy is finally on the mend and The Delines are back with their sophomore effort released next January ahead of their UK tour.
The Delines are led by vocalist Amy Boone (The Damnations, TX), the keyboard and horn work of Cory Gray, Tucker Jackson (The Minus 5) on pedal steel, as well as Richmond Fontaine members: Sean Oldham, Freddie Trujillo, and Willy Vlautin. Vlautin, the acclaimed novelist and songwriter for Richmond Fontaine, has penned all ten tracks. Vlautin’s book Lean on Pete was recently released as a major motion picture. Richmond Fontaine broke up in 2016 after releasing over ten records.

ZANDER out now!

Oliver Gray’s day job is writing school text books and non-fiction items, but his hobby is promoting live shows by visiting roots artists from the US and Canada. When contemplating his first foray into fiction, he was advised to “write about what you know about”. It’s therefore no surprise that “Zander” is set in the world of small-time music promotion.

When American roots musician Corey Zander sets out on his first UK tour, things start badly and rapidly get worse. Not even his drug-strewn rock and roll past could prepare him for the violence of his reception in provincial England.

We hope you will enjoy it.

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON! Or download the Kindle version.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zander-Oliver-Gray/dp/1897609086

MAILING LIST and tickets

If you would like to join our mailing list, just send your email address to oliverjbgray@gmail.com

Almost all our events are at the Railway, Winchester, which has a simple new ticket selling system. Go to www.railwayinn.pub and head for the listings. Tickets for Swiss Cottage shows are available from the Swiss Cottage Sessions page of this website.

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