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

There will be a VERY SPECIAL GUEST 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 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 years
and it shows no sign of letting up. Endless tours and recording in Ireland, Europe, UK and USA
keep 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.

THE DELINES – 2 shows at the Railway – February 3

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.

SHOREBOUND TO EDGELAND – An Evening with Ben Glover and Kim Richey – October 28

October 28

Kim Richey is a traveller, after all. Musically, physically, emotionally. Not merely restless or rootless, it’s who she is. Willing to follow where the music leads, she’s landed in Los Angeles, Nashville, London, working with a who’s who of producers – Richard Bennett, Hugh Padgham, Bill Bottrell, Angelo, Giles Martin. She’s attracted a coterie of top-shelf genre-definers — Jason Isbell, Trisha Yearwood, Chuck Prophet, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, Wilco’s Pat Sansone – for her critically-lauded projects. She has also sung on records for Ryan Adams, Shawn Colvin, Jason Isbell, and Rodney Crowell.

The music of Americana artists mixed with Irish music was the soundtrack for Ben Glover growing up in the sleepy seaside village of Glenarm in the north of Ireland. This musical theme is woven throughout his life – one artist influenced by two countries connected by the Atlantic Ocean. Glover’s relocation to America in 2008 has allowed him to explore his influences in depth while keeping a firm grasp on his Celtic roots.

Tickets:

An Evening with Ben Glover and Kim Richey

Allan Jones – Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down – Book reading and Q and A in the Swiss Cottage with guests Lucas and King

FRIDAY 9 NOVEMBER
Allan Jones launched Uncut magazine in 1997 and for 15 years wrote a popular monthly column called Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before, based on his experiences as a music journalist in the 70sand 80s, a gilded time for the music press.
By turns hilarious, cautionary, poignant and powerful, the Stop Me…stories collected here include encounters with some of rock’s most iconic stars, including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Smiths, R.E.M. and Pearl Jam. From backstage brawls and drug blow-outs, to riots, superstar punch-ups, hotel room confessionals and tour bus lunacy, these are stories from the madness of a music scene now long gone.
Allan Jones is an award-winning British music journalist and editor. In 1974, he applied for a job on the UK’s best-selling music paper as a junior reporter, signing off his application with “Melody Maker needs a bullet up the arse. I’m the gun, pull the trigger”. He was editor of Melody Maker from 1984 to 1997 and until 2014 editor of music and film monthly Uncut.

For tickets, please click on the Swiss Cottage Sessions page.

Dan Stuart with Tom Heyman in the Swiss Cottage, December 1 – SOLD OUT

Dan’s old band Green on Red were reluctant members of LA’s Paisley Underground (Dream Syndicate, Bangles, Long Ryders etc.) before unintentionally inspiring the Alt-Country/Americana ghetto of Wilco, Ryan Adams, Calexico et al. Hell, Stuart and tour mate Steve Earle once took on half of London in a bar fight, but why no one really remembers. His songs have been covered by a wide spectrum from the cute punky poo Vivian Girls, literary miserabilists Richmond Fontaine, to the late great Jim Dickinson, not to mention the unfortunate Travis and Manic Street Preachers. He has written songs with Memphis soul legends Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham as well as ultra-wasp Loudon Wainwright III. Producers such as Al Kooper and Glyn Johns have all tried to tame him, to no avail.
Dan’s new album and novel The Unfortunate Demise Of Marlowe Billings are released to coincide with the tour.
He’s accompanied by San Fransicans=n music legend Tom Heyman. Produced by Heyman and Chris von Sneidern, Tom’s new album, Show Business, Baby was recorded at the legendary Hyde St Studios in San Francisco and mixed in Brooklyn, NY by Heyman’s old friend Eric Ambel (Joan Jett, Steve Earle). Thematically the songs cover love (lost, found, and begged for), working, drinking, and getting old (not necessarily in that order, and occasionally all at once). The tunes are steeped in boogie and delivered with a nod, a wink, and a great big beat.

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

Ian Felice plus Nick Panken (Spirit Family Reunion), Railway, November 2

In The Kingdom Of Dreams is the debut solo album from Ian Felice of The Felice Brothers. The album was recorded in his childhood home of Palenville NY, with his brother Simone Felice on production duties. Simone produced and co-wrote recent hit albums from The Lumineers and Bat For Lashes. On the album, Ian was joined by the original Felice Brothers line-up of James Felice on keys, Simone Felice on drums and Josh Rawson on bass.

Ian has been the lead singer and songwriter for The Felice Brothers for over a decade. The band has put out nine records and toured ceaselessly throughout the world. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains he moved to New York when he was 18 to study art and soon after began writing songs and performing with his brothers Simone and James. The Felice Brothers was conceived in 2006 after the recording of Iantown, a 10 song album of Ian’s first songs recorded in one night in January of 2006. In the weeks and months that followed, The Felice Brothers began playing bars, restaurants and busking street corners and subways, joined by their friends Josh Rawson on bass and Greg Farley on the fiddle. They continue to play and work as a band after 12 years of prolific song writing and performance and the creation of some 9 albums of original material.

In The Kingdom of Dreams is a collection of songs Ian wrote in 2016 and recorded over the course of 4 days in February of 2017, with his brother Simone at the helm. As Ian explains :-

“When I began writing the songs that would become In The Kingdom Of My Dreams many were based on memories of my past but not necessarily all literal or in a logical sequence. I became interested in the pull between reality and unreality and also in how time affects memory. By the end of 2016 I was run down from touring America, riding out the storm of political mania and juggling a few personal dilemmas (including the revelation that I would soon be a father). The Kingdom Of Dreams became a place where I could escape from the numbing flood of data that permeates modern life and try to unravel pieces of my past, rearrange memories with dreams or lines from my imagination and construct something that functioned outside the limits of reality. Many of the songs deal with childhood memories of Palenville and its people, like the song “In Memoriam” which is partly about the death of my stepfather when I was 8, “Water Street” that confronts my fears of becoming a father, or “21st Century” that deals with mental illness and politics on a more universal level. It only seemed right that I should make the album there, along the green banks of the Katterskill Creek and with my brother Simone as producer. The result is a pretty reflective record that hopefully blows some cobwebs from the window of my psyche. Many of the things that I was writing at the time didn’t work as songs and so I published a companion book of poetry, Hotel Swampland.”

An evening with Robyn Hitchcock, Railway, October 26 SOLD OUT

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

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