Thursday, 17 June 2010

Jason McNiff, Alan Tyler and Ange Boxall at the 12 Bar Club tonight

Jason McNiff (interviewed back in BoB#70) is at the 12 Bar Club tonight. There seems at last to be a new album on the horizon and recently he's debuted two impressive new songs 'April Cruel' and 'Students Of Love' both of which I imagine he'll play tonight. The gig also features Alan Tyler and Ange Boxall and apparently won't kick off till the football's over around 9.30.

Jason McNiff has made four albums, three for little London indie label, Snowstorm and one for Grand Drive's home label, Wonky Atlas. He is part of the country/folk music scene here in London, and name-checks John Hiatt, Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler, & italian songwriter, Fabrizio De Andre as favourite artists. Sometimes Jason plays in Italy with the Modena City Ramblers, and plays in a spin off group called The Narrow Men, with Dudu, Fry, & Daniele.

Tasmanian born and raised songstress, Ange Boxall resides in London, UK, and regularly visits Nashville, TN, USA. On recent visits, she has worked with legendary singer songwriter JD Souther - who famously played a key role in the formation of the Eagles and co-wrote their hits "Heartache Tonight," "Victim of Love," "New Kid In Town," and "Best of My Love". Meeting in an art gallery (as you do in Nashville!), the pair found an immediate synergy and began to collaborate. The result is the beautiful 'Lucky Day' duet and will be featured on Ange's forthcoming album. The album also includes co-writes with other immensely talented artists, Jim Lauderdale, The Wrights and The Arlenes, all of whom add a new and rich dynamic. The album, produced and engineered by Marc Lacuesta, began it's recording with Ange's 'Wagon Band' (Alan Gregg, Paul Lush and Steve Brooks), at Konk Studios (of Ray Davies fame) and was then taken to Nashville for the final overdubs, mixing and mastering. Other musicians on the album include the legendary BJ Cole on pedal steel, Eric Silver on guitars, Richard Causon and Tim Lauer on keys. Influenced by American folk and country sounds, Ange has always drawn inspiration from the singers she grew up listening to such as Carole King, Karen Carpenter, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and Dusty Springfield, as well as Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega and Sheryl Crow. Ange's own sound is often likened to her contemporaries Tift Merritt, Mindy Smith, Kathleen Edwards and a favourite, Patty Griffin. She sings songs about love, whether it's the longing for, mysteries of, forbidden or foolish. She writes about relationships between family members, lovers and running away. Her ideas come from experiences, observations and fantasies, as a means of self understanding and explanation. Whilst remaining eternally positive and optimistic, each song is crafted with careful consideration and enduring passion. Savouring the detailed web of song writing, the real craft of making music and the collaborative nature of the process itself, her direction is clear. Physical journeys have similarly taken her far and wide, from her remote homeland (home also to the famous Tasmanian Devil), from Morocco to Cambodia, New York to Istanbul. Her journey has been long. Her smile remains wide and her capacity to capture the poetry of music seemingly boundless.. The forthcoming album, Writing Letters, is due for an Autumn 2010 release.

Alan Tyler
began his pioneering English country rock adventure back in the early nineties with his band The Rockingbirds. A couple of commercially successful albums and an impressive CV of festival and TV appearances were not enough to keep that particular outfit together, but having been responsible for introducing English based Americana to many in the UK for the first time, Tyler has continued doggedly and has formed Alan Tyler & The Lost Sons of Littlefield (birthplace of Waylon Jennings) to realise more songs from the man Tim Perry of the Independent called 'one of the best writers of his generation'.

Tyler's ability to use the country medium to tell tales indigenous to England, particularly London, is no small feat; almost every other attempt at this has failed miserably. Tyler has found the perfect blend of tribute and originality.