Albums Of The Month – November 2021

Our Top Six Releases Nov 21

Eleanor Buckland – Photo: Listening Through The Lens

Top Six Releases

November 2021

Our Top Six Releases Nov 21

By Rob Dickens

Eleanor Buckland

You Don’t Have To Know

Soundly Music

29 October 2021

I first saw Eleanor Buckland perform at an intimate house gig during Americanafest in 2019, as singer/guitarist of the Boston-based folk trio Lula Wiles. The group has released three albums but Buckland had been working on another musical project – her first solo release.

In 2017, Buckland met up with Adam Iredale-Gray in Toronto, a home base for the Juno nominated producer/multi-instrumentalist with three songs that she had finished. The collaboration proved successfully creative and a full album of material was born.

The pair assembled an impressive group of players to back Buckland at the three separate Toronto recording sessions that took place – keyboardist Màiri Chaimbeul, guitarist Sam Gleason and a Toronto-based rhythm section (drummer Justin Ruppel and bassist Charles James).

You Don’t Have To Know is full of driving rhythms, deft riffs and lyrics forged by personal insecurities, yet fearlessness inspired by others – a potent mix.

Born and raised in Maine, Buckland comes from a family full of musicians. Her grandmother was prominent in the New England bluegrass scene, while her father played electric guitar in Boston area bands.


Via Sideways Media

Georgia State Line

In Colour

Cheatin’ Heart Records

24 September 2021

It captures melancholy succinctly, yet is upliftingly hopeful.

Despite my initial guess, Georgia State Line is a reflection of name, not US State – in fact the moniker of George Delves. Born and raised in the regional Victorian town of Bendigo, Delves sang in Catholic school choirs by day and local pub music scene by night (presumably with different set lists!). Her grandparents introduced Delves to classic American country music which she embraced, ultimately moving to Melbourne and starting a band.

Recorded by James Cecil at his studio Super Melody in the Macedon Ranges,her debut album is a worthy testament to her journey to date, particularly infused with her earthy experiences touring and trying to make a living.

“When the possibility of releasing an album began to seep into my mind, I’d just moved out of home, sold all my belongings, and said yes to six months of touring the East coast in a van.”

Georgia Delves

As well as the colourful narratives contained here, Delves’s beautifully measured vocal delivery is a standout.


Via Stuart Coupe Publicity and Red Rebel Music

Jason Boland & The Stragglers

The Light Saw Me

Thirty Tigers

3 December 2021

Time travel, aliens, abducted cowboys?

Yes folks, all that and more in The Light Saw Me, Jason Boland’s new concept album, inspired by his belief in the possibility of alien life and apparent evidence of their contact with Earth.

Produced by Grammy award-winner, Shooter Jennings, the album is a unique and tasty rocking country joy. Powerful licks, searing pedal steel and fiddles galore, Boland’s classic outlaw country vocals surround some fascinating and truly different lyrics. A case in point, the overarching tale of a cowboy living in Texas in the late 1890’s who is abducted by aliens, returning in the 1990’s with no perception that any time has passed, searching for his wife who is no longer of this world.

The album has eleven songs sequestered into a three-section, interlocking narrative. The title draws influence from Hank Williams’s song “I Saw the Light,” inspired by Ken Layne’s book Desert Oracle about when “Hank Williams saw the light”.

Jason Boland has been performing for over twenty years and has become a welcome staple in the Oklahoma and Texas ‘Red Dirt’ music scenes and why he has not become more known, is frankly beyond me. The Light Saw Me is a whirlwind crunching country rock record.


Via Big Feat PR

Natalie Jane Hill


Dear Life Records

29 October 2021

From Austin, Texas Natalie Jane Hill‘s second full release (her debut Azalea was released last year) is a beautifully layered sonic folk delight. Hill’s finger picking guitar combines ethereally with cello (Tony Rogers and Sadie Wolfe) and pedal steel (Mat Davidson and Bob Hoffnar) as the mainstay signature theme and her voice has a sustained Nick Drake/Sandy Denny unearthly aura.

Following a move back to the Austin area in 2019, just months ahead of the pandemic breaking out, Hill plunged into a creative and reflective period, from which emerged a more mature outlook and themes of self-discovery and the natural environment. Recorded late 2020 and early 2021 to an eight-track machine in the Lockhart, Texas home of producer Jason Chronis, the arrangements and vibe will transport you.

Solely leaves a lasting expression and Natalie Jane Hill is an imposing, bright presence.


Via Clandestine PR

Paula Punch

Song To The Trees


3 September 2021

Paula Punch‘s new record Song To The Trees is a masterful, genre-blending collection about which I gushed very recently.



Via Stuart Coupe Publicity

Strand Of Oaks

In Heaven

Thirty Tigers/Cooking Vinyl Australia

1 October 2021

Strand of Oaks is Tim Showalter and In Heaven is a rich and visceral experience.

In late 2018, Showalter’s wife’s mother was killed in a car accident and soon after the couple’s much-loved cat was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Showalter quit drinking so he could take better care of his partner and they then moved across the country from Philadelphia to Austin, Texas. These events shaped so much of what the album is about (including the title).

In Heaven was recorded in October 2020 with Kevin Ratterman in Los Angeles and features guitarist Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), vocals and guitars from James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins) and other indie rock luminaries pitch in to make a grand and sweeping collection.

The absorbing opening track “Galacticana” is a perfect example of what you can expect (clip below).

In Heaven is the follow up to 2019’s Eraserland, which was very well received and Showalter will perform select dates soon supporting Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit before embarking on an extensive headline tour next year.


Via Jo Corbett Publicity



More Music Adventures Await!


Our Top Six Releases Nov 21

Our Top Six Releases Nov 21

Our Top Six Releases Nov 21

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Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. If you haven’t heard them yet, I’d recommend the Peter bruntnell, Lilly hiatt and Dori freeman albums. Also psalms from Nathan salsburg et al. It’s a grower!
    best to you and Jenny. x

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    • Thanks (I’m guessing Geoff?). Dori’s album great although haven’t been able to fit it in. Lilly – not across the line yet. Nathan and Peter – just added to my playlist – love the suggestions. Good to hear from you!

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      • Yep it is me. Hi! Right now I do seem to be listening to many female artists – not just dori and Lilly but also Joan Shelley, courtney Marie andrews, frazey Ford, Alison Russell, Tamara lindeman (weather station), Amy helm, suzie ungerleider, hc mcentire, Rhiannon giddens and Esther rose. I’ve also ‘discovered’ lucero. Kind of drive by truckers ish, but from Memphis.

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        • Me too re the female artists, more than the males. For a while I’ve felt that the group representation is even lower as well. There’s a good crop of duo partnered artists fashioned after Gillian and David and some duo-led groups but full bands are definitely under represented under the Americana/roots banner. The Americana Awards seems to have fewer band options than the other categories. Not the case in bluegrass or world. Interesting. Aah Lucero, I’m a late convert and have their last two albums. When You Found Me I have played so many times – irresistible!! Haven’t seen the band live but witnessed Ben Nichols doing a solo on Brian Wise’s radio show in Nashville during AmericanaFest. I would put them in the same basket as DBT or Bottle Rockets. Great riffs, tight band, striking vocals what a recipe!

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