Roots – Underground Americana

I’m a big fan of the folk and Americana genres and wanted to check out a few more underground artists from the Americana scene. Listed below are several wonderful bands/artists that I’ve discovered recently, with a full playlist to be found at the bottom of the review.

Review by Jane Howkins

Picture by Wild Fire

Wild Fire – Like Home (feat. Honey County)

Wild Fire are a duo made up of sisters Kelli & Kayla, combining their talents together in glorious style. Like Home also features Honey County, adding another fantastic element to the song. It’s more of a pop-rock song at times, but it does have elements of Americana, folk and country within it, with some glorious acoustic guitar melodies mixing well with the vocal harmonies and clean production style.

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J. Dewveall – Slave Owner’s Gospel

Slave Owner’s Gospel is a really interesting song in terms of genre, as it also has elements of folk, country & the blues present within it. However, the song still has a distinctly American vibe to it, with the guitar melodies and rhythm having a spaghetti western quality to them at times. J. Dewveall’s lyrics also have a rather poignant message within them about the ills of slavery and its relationship with religion and manifest destiny.

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The Saylor – With You

With You sounds absolutely beautiful from the start, with The Saylor’s vocals crooning in lovely style over the acoustic guitar melody that provides most of the instrumentation for the piece. The backing vocals are used in a harmonious way, making the song sound really haunting at times. Percussion is added later on, but the song still stays fairly minimalist, which suits the genre right down to the ground.

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Down South Pepper Band – Son Of A Gun

I featured Down South Pepper Band in a similar review based around country music, but their music also fits well into the Americana genre, as latest release Son Of A Gun shows. The song kicks off with a tolling bell, before the fast country rhythm kicks in, sounding almost folk-punky at times. The guitar melodies and strings give the music an occasional eerie quality, with the lyrics telling a fantastic story over the course of the tune.

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Juna N Joey – ‘Til Your Heart Breaks

‘Til Your Heart Breaks is a country ballad created by brother and sister duo Juna N Joey, sounding beautiful from the off. Their vocals combine in a stunning way, harmonising perfectly throughout the song. The piano and strings sound wonderful throughout, with some lovely little guitar solos appearing towards the end of the piece.

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L’Resorts – The People You Meet

The People You Meet is quite a slow number, also having a 60s pop/chamber pop vibe to it, as well as the country/folk/Americana qualities. L’Resorts utilise both male and female vocals here on different verses, with the little piano and guitar motifs that combine to create the main melody accompanying the vocal lines well. It’s quite different to most of the other songs here, but still worth a listen.

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Brick Blair – Two Dollar Coat

Brick Blair is another artist that I featured in my previous round-up review of country music, with that genre having a lot of overlaps with the Americana genre. Two Dollar Coat features a slow acoustic guitar melody that, despite being simple, is full of beauty. Brick’s vocals are full of emotion, making this simple song sound even more heartfelt, especially when combined with his well written lyrics.

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LÓN Hold On

Surprisingly for a genre called Americana, LÓN are an Icelandic group. Hold On firmly belongs within the folk/Americana genre though, featuring some heartfelt guitar melodies and vocals that push the song along in style from the very beginning. The trio are another minimalist folk band, but this really helps to set their music aside from the crowd – those into their folk music will love this.

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Dominic Romano – Red Moon Night

Red Moon Night is a folk/Americana song from Dominic Romano, also featuring Harley Eblen. The vocals are quite unique sounding, having a soft quality to them which sparsely harmonises in a beautiful way. The guitar melodies provide most of the music, with some strings being added at times to make it sound even more pretty.

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The Blue And Gold – Honey In The Rock

Bluesy guitar licks kick off Honey In The Rock, with a slow percussive melody arriving shortly after to add to the eerie Spotify, atmosphere of the piece. The down-tempo rhythm aligns The Blue And Gold’s latest more with the blues rock genre, but it still has a lot of Americana/country moments to it, partly due to the twang the female vocals have. It’s also rather catchy, making you want to tap your feet along in time.

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Hotel California – This World Wants Peace

This World Wants Peace is a rather special song, as Hotel California have decided to donate all profits from the tune to the refugees of Ukraine, a very noble cause. As you might have guessed, the lyrics deal with the concept of the Russian war in Ukraine, making them sound very poignant. In terms of music, it’s a stripped-down folk/Americana ditty that also contains some pretty acoustic guitar melodies.

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Ludlow Creek – What About Love

Ludlow Creek are a band of seasoned musicians who originally started out as a cover band, before starting to write their own music over the past couple of years. What About Love is the culmination of their efforts, combining classic rock with elements of folk and Americana. The track is really upbeat, containing lyrics in the anthemic chorus that are perfect for singing along to – the organ was a welcome surprise too.

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Tess Liautaud – Breezy As

Tess Liautaud is a fairly new addition to the Americana scene, but her music sounds fantastic already, showing a lot of promise for the future! Breezy As is the title of this track, describing the feel of the song well. Tess has an amazing voice, with a depth to it that sounds truly soulful at times, especially when mixed with her electric guitar melodies and vocal harmonies.

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Joe Pope – Scenery

Scenery is a fantastic addition to the Americana genre, created by independent American singer-songwriter and musician Joe Pope. Joe has the perfect voice for this genre (just listen to the song and you’ll see what I mean), with the slow guitar and piano licks sounding as pretty as a picture. It’s a very mellow track, almost to the point of sounding dreamy, but it really works!

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49 Burning Condors – Noonday

The interestingly titled 49 Burning Condors have produced a real doozy of a track with Noonday, which sounds beautiful from the off. On this track, haunting guitar melodies mix with the female vocals to make an ethereal sounding song. It’s one of the heaviest songs on this list – whilst the verses are quite quiet in nature, the chorus lifts the tension up, showing a great wealth of emotion along the way.

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Spotify – Roots