London Underground Music Scene Brings Bluepint Blue to SXSW; New Releases From Phil Odgers and DocFell & Co (Links)

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Following recent airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music along with extensive online coverage, Blueprint Blue release another slice of their Americana inspired songwriting in the form of their stunning new single 'Bad Dreams'.

The band are currently in Texas to play four shows at SXSW, a trip that was entirely fan funded, a huge testament to the strength of their growing support.

Seminal Folk Punk band The Men They Couldn't Hang play Shepherds Bush Empire in London on Saturday April 15th, and it looks to be a busy month for vocalist Phil Odgers who releases his solo album 'Roll to the Left' just a week before the show.

The album which has received international airplay and coverage, was recorded in the studio built for Kirsty MacColl by Steve Lillywhite in their family home in Ealing. The recording process saw Odgers' looking to another musical icon for inspiration through his use of Johnny Cash's Martin guitar on lead track 'The Train'.

March 31st sees DocFell & Co release 'Tumbling Dice' taken from their critically acclaimed new album 'Dust Bowl Heart'. When asked about inspiration behind his writing, Doc revealed he was captivated by books about the lives of legendary artists like Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, and of course Johnny Cash. 

Phil Odgers
Roll to the Left 
Vinyl Star Records 
7 April 2017

Lead Tracks: 'The Train', 'Mist on the Water', 'Tomorrow Will Be Fine', 'Half Past 3'

Best known as one half of the legendary joint vocal strike force of The Men They Couldn't Hang, Phil Odgers strikes out on his own once more with 'Roll To The Left', his latest solo offering. With this brilliantly fresh new album Phil brings his songwriting into sharp, bright, focus. Lyrically this is a collection of unique tales steeped in cinematic imagery - a journey through kitchen sink realism and social commentary bursting with technicolour splendour.

Phil's warm melodic voice and rhythmic strumming acoustic guitar take centre stage throughout, aided and abetted by fiddle, double bass and lead guitar in all the right places. It's never crowded. Pedal steel and baritone guitar make an appearance when called for and numbers such as 'The Train' have a genuine Johnny Cash feel, Phil playing the actual Martin guitar that Johnny Cash owned on that number. 

The album, in the main, was recorded in the studio built for Kirsty MacColl by Steve Lillywhite in their family home in Ealing. The studio resonates with musical history and Phil was also lucky enough to be able to use guitars previously owned by Kirsty.

Horns also make a welcome appearance. 'Blue Skies And A Saturday Job' showcases the combination of acoustic guitar with baritone and tenor sax, unusually bringing the groove, whilst the only cover version, 'Long Stem Rose', is lovingly embraced by a traditional brass band.

For 'Mist On The Water' Phil is joined by a fabulous string orchestra bringing the cinematic element of the song into the fore.

The nature of the album means we are treated to some fantastic rhythmic playing without needing drums. Happily they do make an appearance on a couple of tracks where the sound of whole band playing together was all captured in just one take. 

Phil and producer James Knight made a point of only using real instruments and chasing the perfect live performance – no auto-tune, no click tracks, no headphones. Just great songs played by great players, as real as it gets!

These organic and passionate sessions have resulted in a deeply accomplished album by the UK's most underrated singer.

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Live Dates:
15th April: The Men They Couldn't Hang, Shepherds Bush Empire, London

DocFell & Co
Dust Bowl Heart 
31 March 2017

Lead Tracks: 'Tumbling Dice', 'Dust Bowl Heart'

On any given Wednesday, in a Tahlequah back alley that smells of fryer steam and hash browns, you can walk up a rickety flight of stairs and find yourself amongst the padded walls sound boards of the studio belonging Doctor John Eddie, or DocFell as he's known to most.

Fell has spent months watching his own stories bounce between the corners of this building, evolving from words into melodies and from sound bites into millions of moments tossed into veteran producer Aaron Pack's infamous audio cauldron, otherwise known as Monotone Studios. Tahlequah has adopted DocFell & Co as some of its favourite sons; their first album titled Scissor Tail rang between the walls and halls of nearly every pub and restaurant from North End Tahlequah to downtown Tulsa. It has been praised by all sides of the country, folk, red dirt, and even the gospel-funk corners of the Oklahoma music scene.

Now Fell and friends have stepped back into Monotone Studios to record their sophomore album titled Dust Bowl Heart and they've brought back a slew of all-stars (and even a few wind instruments) to help bring their compositions to life. DocFell's classic country and strict Baptist influences lay a vintage-esque framework to this new body of work. Each song has a story, and as each song unfolds the stories begin to coral together to build the spine of this journey: a tale of heart break, delinquency, empathy, and hope. 

This is a composition delicately sown together by endowed musicians, veteran producers, guest vocals, and raw prose. The music reads like the perfect pairing of complimentary opposites - an instrumental equivalent to Robin Hood and Little John. It's the musical monologue of a daydreaming farm boy holding his hymnal, while humming through Hank Williams' greatest hits. When asked what else may have influenced the album, Fell talked about being captivated by books about the lives of legendary artists like Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash. "I wanted to channel their spirits," he said. 

"Dust Bowl Heart seems to have the earmarks of a composition touched by something magical, and Fell has unveiled a new voice of clashing musical genres and collaborative ventures. Dust Bowl Heart will be available online at your favorite digital retailers as well as, and wherever finer music is sold." Carden Crow

"Dust Bowl Heart, an amazing and creative journey through classic country songs in the vein of Jennings and Haggard." David Percefull, Yellow Dog Studios

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Blueprint Blue
Bad Dreams 
Luv Luv Luv Records 
28 April 2017

Following an incredibly positive start to the year which has seen support for Blueprint Blue coming from regional and national media outlets across the UK and beyond, the band release their Americana inspired new single 'Bad Dreams' taken from their forthcoming EP 'Flying Machine' on London's Luv Luv Luv Records.

Blueprint Blue are ex SCUM members Huw Webb (bass) and and Melissa Rigby (drums) who are joined by Elliot Hayward on vocals and guitar. The band formed in 2013, when Webb and Rigby found a likeminded music fan in Hayward, the trio became bonded by a love of The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, and Jackson Browne. 

2017 has seen their video for 'Good Dreams' premiered by Clash and featured by the likes of i-D and Huh Magazine. Latest single 'You and Me', a cover of a long forgotten 1970's Soul song by Penny and the Quarters, gained airplay from Jonathan Ross and Craig Charles on BBC Radio 2, Lauren Laverne and Chris Hawkins on BBC Radio 2 and Georgie Rodgers on Virgin Radio UK, along with support an extensive range of media outlets around the world.

Having already been championed by Tim Burgess of The Charlatans and James Hoare of Ultimate Painting, as well as receiving UK and international airplay and coverage, the band played four shows at this year's SXSW music festival. A Pledge campaign to support their appearance at SXSW smashed its target, a testament to the rapid growth of the band's fan base.

 "The slow, chugging tempo nods towards Americana, yet this is a low-rent, 21st century version. The production is sparse yet warm, allowing Blueprint Blue's songwriting plenty of space to grow, merge, and coalesce." Clash Music

"Excellent guitaring here from London-based Americana act Blueprint Blue. Rumor has it that the last time they performed at London's Moth Club, the singer played a ten-minute-long guitar solo: something that is, on the one hand, obviously completely objectionable, but at the same time the coolest thing we've heard all year. Well done, that man." i-D

 "...marvellous concoctions; ranging from folk influences, to electric guitar harmonies and a looping blues rhythm that will set your heart alight." Snog Magazine

"Blueprint Blue's steady beat flows with a chilled sense. An ability to make the noise around you dissipate." Moshville

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