To Keep Him here

The whole album ” to Keep Him Here ” focuses on an event in 2017 that landed my father in the hospital for nine days, without any memory to explain why. This is about first hearing the news.

I remember that I got a call from Mom at work on a Wednesday. In a little office with a little window that looked out at the parking lot. And she didn’t really have any information. Just that she was on the highway driving up to the University of Michigan hospital. She called me to let me know, and to prepare me for when she called back later – either to tell me to stay home or to drive up.

Part of the difficulty of everything is that the event that led to his injury was a random accident while he was doing a random act of kindness. There’s nothing that anyone could do to prevent it. There’s no one to blame. We can do everything we can to avoid carcinogens, keep ourselves healthy, work out, eat well, and it is worth doing. But it also means nothing at the same time, because that’s just how the world works.

I hope you listen, reflect, and maybe share it with someone who’s been in a similar situation.

Be well,

Sam & Hello Emerson

Limited US Import Vinyl. LP contains an inner sleeve with all lyrics. CD digipak with booklet and all lyrics too. Order this record straight from us and get it for the best price and with a downloadcode. SHOP

Forest Tapes


„Forest Tapes“ is a new album by Heated Land. It was recorded directly to tape through just one microphone in a living room in Southern Germany and it is – we are not kidding – one of the best sounding and most soulful pieces of music we have heard in a long time.

Live performance has always been at the heart of Heated Land’s music. These recording sessions with their long-time collaborator Torsten Lang – despite being carefully engineered and rehearsed – capture the band’s essence: Andi Mayrock’s rugged, feral songwriting and lyricism at the core of timeless, ever-changing, free-flowing songs about eternity, nature, capitalism, self-knowledge, and community. 

The record’s track list is comprised of new, unreleased material and new versions of songs from their two previous albums. It has a bluegrassy mood to it, but not one of wild improvisation. The minimalism of Wilhelmine Schwabs violin suggests she carefully chose only the most devastatingly beautiful notes. Raja Ghraizi’s lead guitar playing is otherworldly. Time and again, a small choir weighs in. No drums, no overdubs, no editing. 

They are being joined by Simon Preuss double bass on the b-side of the album. Their landlord, the stone sculptor and musician Milan Lipsky, contributes saxophone to an epic version of “Off The Trees”. He wound up playing his part out on the snowy terrace through a half-open door to not disrupt the carefully balanced sound image. It was ok. The music on “Forest Tapes” turned into a cozy fireplace.

Until The Rivers Run Dry

Until The Rivers Run Dry is the eighth studio album from the ever prolific John Blek. It is clear he is an artist uneasy with rest who is eternally developing his impressive style with his fierce independent spirit at the heart of everything he does.

The 10 track album was recorded over 10 days in early 2022. Though the process was quick it was not rushed. Blek entered the studio with an inspired clarity and a vivid picture of what he wanted to create. This is by far his most substantial and sophisticated sounding record to date, filled with McCartney moments and Scott Walker swagger. The soaring strings often evoke a Spektor-esque sound, chamber pop backing vocals full of indie spirit paired with a blend of electronic and acoustic drums lead us into a new sonic realm but the heart of the record is Blek’s profound and poetic alt-folk songwriting.

In an age when it would be easy to become disillusioned with the music industry John has remained steadfastly positive and unyieldingly creative. Known for being one of Ireland’s hardest touring musicians the Cork based musician tours relentlessly in Europe and the UK as well as his native Ireland. His live show is thoughtful and entertaining, littered with stories and showcasing his arresting vocals and intricate guitar playing.

The new record was produced by John and long time collaborator Brian Casey at Wavefield Recordings, Clonakilty, Ireland. The record features vocals by Cathy Davey and strings by Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames) as well as Kit Downes on piano, Davey Ryan on drums and Chris McCarthy playing double bass.


Wayne Graham has gained a reputation as one of the best bands shaping the New Appalachian Sound that includes acts such as Tyler Childers, John R. Miller, The Local Honeys, and others who are making music that is shaped by tradition but intentionally set on also forging a new sonic landscape. Wayne Graham has long been at the forefront of the movement. Their innovative new album, Ish, is bound to broaden their audience and firmly establish them as one of the architects of this vibrant movement in new music coming out of the hills.

Wayne Graham is a four-piece band named for the grandfathers of the core members, brothers Kenny and Hayden Miles,who have been together as an official group for a dozen years and have been playing together since they were children.  They’re joined by Lee Owen on lead guitar and auxiliary synth parts, and Jose Oreta playing bass. Wayne Graham is well known for their exhilarating live shows, which have created a devoted following. The band centers on the collaboration between the brothers, whose onstage chemistry and familial instinct is matched only by their vocal harmonies. The key to their success is a mutual desire to boost each other’s best. “I genuinely want to assist in bringing Hayden’s vision forth, and I think he feels the same way,” Kenny says.

The Miles brothers grew up in a musical family and community that made playing accessible to them from a young age.  “I was never intimidated to pick up an instrument and try because so many relative dabbled in everything,” Kenny says. “It was a passion and hobby long before it was a profession.” They also found church to be a formative part of their music.  Hayden got his first drum set when he was nine and started playing at church a couple years later.  Kenny was around the same age when he started to play bass guitar with the main intention of backing up his father during church services.  “We would play with friends from time to time, but church felt more professional and put together,” Hayden says. “Our dad was also our band leader, so we wanted to make him happy with what we played. It was a large education, as far as listening to know what to play and how to stay out of the way on your instrument.”

Hayden believes being raised in Appalachia is also foundational for their sound, mostly because of family bonds, but also because it is a more sonically eclectic place that most people think. “People try to sum up Appalachia with one word or one idea all the time, but it’s a complex region full of different people. We never wanted to be an old time band. We didn’t want the music we made to be defined by our region or the kind of music people might think comes out of Appalachia.” Growing up near Whitesburg, Kentucky, which has cultivated a vivid hardcore and punk scene over the past couple decades, also helped them to think more complexly about their own sound. “I think part of that comes from a need to express ourselves as something different or more out of the typical box people might have in mind about the region,” Hayden says.

Ish is their eighth studio album.  The record first grew out of a series of drum beats that Hayden recorded, to which Kenny wrote chord progressions.  They fleshed out the songs together with the lyrics coming late in the process.  The result is eleven songs that are mostly joint compositions exploring the concept of a fall from grace, whether that be ideas of sin or obscure theories about the concept. The brothers think of the album as mostly exploring how we define good and bad in our culture and for ourselves. “Good for one being can mean terror for another,” Kenny says. Another inspiration is the story of Lilith, Adam’s first partner who left the Garden of Eden after refusing to obey his commands. The title of the record, Ish, is the alternate name they gave to Lilith. It’s an experimental theme and the music matches, taking the band in new directions while staying true to the signature sound of catchy guitar-and-drum-driven melodies.  That’s all anchored by Kenny’s smooth, lead vocals that can amble about low and knowing or reach high and full of longing.

They always knew they wanted the sound of this album to be bigger than previous ones. “We wanted it to feel deeper and more expansive,” Kenny says.  The resulting sound is “folks songs with an experimental rock and roll treatment,” according to Kenny. Influences on the album range from Talk Talk, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, David Bowie, Warren Zevon, and the Grateful Dead.

Like all of their albums, Ish provides a mediative, foot-tapping groove that can simultaneously put the listener at ease while also making them completely aware of the combination of precise lyrics and skilled instrumentation. Danceable even while they’re existential. Ish is a true album in that a narrative unfolds when listened to from beginning to end, yet each song stands completely on its own, providing multiple earworms in melodies that are almost instantly knowable. Ish is the kind of album that is perfect to put on while going for a long drive through the countryside or on the record player at home for chilling out.  But it’s also a careful exploration full of profound longing, a recording that is rife with great beats and riffs yet also satisfying to someone looking at the world more philosophically.  That’s Wayne Graham: fun to listen to, but also reflective, always providing songs that are easy to sing along with even as they are thoughtful and thought-provoking. Ish is an important new album from one of our best and most reliable bands.

On Ether and Air

Mit “Of Ether & Air” erscheint im September Teil 4 von 4 des Blek‘schen Album-Zyklus über die Elemente. Vier Alben in vier Jahren (genauer gesagt hat er corona-bedingt sogar noch eine fünfte Eigenveröffentlichung im Februar 2021 eingeschoben) auf gleichbleibend hohem Niveau, wobei seine Veröffentlichungen insbesondere in Irland und UK mittlerweile regelrechte Begeisterungsstürme hervorrufen. Das RnR Magazine hat ihn kürzlich als “Hot Tip for 2021” ausgerufen: “a singer-songwiter of rare power and insight […] starting to make serious waves in the U.K.” Gäste auf dem neuen Album sind u.a. Kris Drever (Lau) Cheyenne Mize (Bonnie „Prince“ Billy, Maiden Radio) und der Pianist Kit Downes.

John selbst beschreibt die neue Single folgendermaßen:

„Though the song name checks a scenic beach on the south coast of west county Cork it is more about finding the beauty in the simple and slower aspects of life. A moment away from the rush, wrapped up in the sanctuary of the elegant and natural beauty of our surroundings.“ 

1 % Juice

Wayne Graham – 1% Juice

Launched in 2010 by brothers Kenny and Hayden Miles, Wayne Graham make articulate, wide-ranging Americana that nods to — and also reaches far beyond — the band’s southern roots. Raised in Central Appalachia, the siblings grew up amongst the rugged hills and soon-to-be-shuttered coal mines of Whitesburg, Kentucky. It was an area caught halfway between old-school tradition and a new way of life. From the start, Kenny and Hayden’s songs reflected that unique balance, mixing folk, rock & roll, and other sounds into sharply-written songs about family, faith, life, love, and all points in between. “It was all about using music to express what we couldn’t express otherwise,” says Kenny, the band’s guitar-playing frontman.

Named after the siblings’ larger-than-life grandfathers, Wayne Graham have transformed themselves from East Kentuckian heroes into something far more global over the course of six albums and one EP, earning acclaim as far away as Germany — whose branch of Rolling Stone praised the band’s “full-bodied, catchy songs with dry and poetic lyrics” — along the way. 

Wayne Graham’s latest album, the self-produced 1% Juice, is another collection of explorative, earthy rock songs that blur the borders between multiple genres. After releasing an album of B-sides, Songs Only a Mother Could Love, in 2019, the brothers reconvened in their parents’ East Kentucky basement, where they’d recorded most of their past work — as well as projects by Senora May, Laid Back Country Picker, Sean Whiting, and others — in their own Fat Baby Studios. Their last album of new material,  Joy!, had been Wayne Graham’s most successful album to date, released on both sides of the Atlantic and supported not only by an American tour, but a string of shows across Europe, too. Kenny and Hayden decided to keep that transatlantic spirit alive with 1% Juice, reaching out to German collaborators like Ludwig Bauer to add horns, strings, and other sonic touches to the songs. At its core, though, 1% Juice is a family affair — a diverse album created by two brothers who’ve developed distinct approaches to songwriting, as well as unique outlooks on modern life. 

“Hayden and I think about similar things in very different ways,” says Kenny, who shares the album’s songwriting credits with his drummer brother. “Our minds go side-by-side for a while, then veer off in opposite directions. This record is a little bit of a push-and-pull — or a vibration back and forth — between two different outlooks that ultimately lead to the same place.”

The results range from Kenny’s “Tapestry of Time” — a mellow meditation on the passing years, shot through with drums that evoke a ticking clock and a swampy, soulful outro — to Hayden’s “Some Days,” a lush, countrified album-closer inspired by the Byrds’ twangy jangle and the Bible’s exchanges between Jesus and Saint Peter. Between those two bookends, the guys personify a lonely public phone on the Wilco-worthy “Pay Phone,” get funky with the challengingly complex “Never Die,” and turn the album’s title track into a groove-driven instrumental. No two songs are the same — and for Wayne Graham, that’s the whole point. 

“The songs sound different,” says Kenny, “but they all point in the same direction.” And while Wayne Graham usually play shows as a full-bodied four-piece band, 1% Juice shines a light on the instrumental and creative abilities of the band’s two co-founders, who layer these songs with colorful streaks of guitar, percussion, keyboard, vocal harmonies, brass, and whatever else the canvas demands.

“When you’re recording, you’re making a painting,” Kenny adds. “You add layers until you’re really taken by the image you see — or the thing you hear.”

Wayne Graham’s early releases may have focused on the sounds and stories of modern-day Appalachia, but the band has expanded, evolved, and electrified since then, with 1% Juice showcasing the full range not only of their influences, but their abilities, too. This is an album that’s every bit as diverse as the countless communities and cultures that lay between the band’s Kentucky home and the German headquarters of their European label. With 1% Juice, Wayne Graham proudly operate at 100%. 


Jon Snodgrass was born and raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, and later settled in Fort Collins, Colorado, before forming Armchair Martian in the early ‘90s. In 1996, he started recording songs with ALL singer Chad Price under the moniker Drag The River. Since then, he has continued putting out music with both bands, as a solo artist, and as a member of Scorpios. Snodgrass has toured North America and Europe endlessly and has provided support from everyone from Frank Turner to Flogging Molly to Descendents to Chuck Ragan to Cory Branan.

FOCUS TRACKS: Renaissance Man (feat. Joey Cape), Don’t Break Her Heart (feat. Stephen Egerton), Footage, BoyzIIMen (feat. John Moreland), The Sequel (feat. Tim McIlrath), Bad Newlands (feat. Stacey Dee)

POINTS OF NOTE: Special guests include Stephen Egerton (Descendents, ALL), Karl Alvarez (Descendents, ALL), Marko DeSantis (Sugarcult), Zach lair (Rise Against, GWAR, The Drakulas) Neil Hennessy (The Lawrence Arms, The Falcon), Joey Cape (Lagwagon, Bad Astronaut), Stacey Dee (Bad Cop/Bad Cop), Mikey Erg (The Ergs, The Chris Gethard Show), Mark Bronzino (Iron Reagan), Jason Livermore (Wretch Like Me, Drag The River, Bill The Welder), and Derek Zanetti (The Homeless Gospel Choir) among others.

Less Than Familiar

Wayne Graham caught an early train from Dresden to Nuremberg, Stefan from the The Green Apple Sea picked us up at the train station and whisked us to Lonestar Studios where Wuschi and Frieder were waiting. Stefan had a few covers in mind to put everyone at ease and to get used to the space. He had also written a beautiful song that he was kind enough to let me sing on, Dark Kid. This song set the tone for what would be recorded in a quick 24 hour period. Arrangements were quickly worked out and rehearsed, and then recorded with very little second guessing going on. It was a wonderful experience in musical shorthand, ebbing and flowing between two bands from different continents. Everything felt intuitive and stress free. Both parties were there to make something pure and representative of all the things that other mediums can’t quite represent, but also just something that felt decent and pleasant to the ears. What you have here is a collision of processes and trade tricks along with careful songwriting captured in a short period of time. A snapshot of one day in Nuremberg that points to the long history in each bands’ rear view mirror.

Digressions #1 Live at Studiowz

Recorded live on the 4th April 2019 at a gig in Studiowz in rural South Wales. This album is John Blek at his live best.

10 songs performed solo with acoustic guitar and voice in a beautiful recording studio in front of an audience. 

“A missed note, a voice breaking, a phone ringing. Live music should never be perfect. It is an effort to portray one’s humanity to an audience, not one’s precision. A moment given by an artist and taken by the people to help them acknowledge their own imperfections through the words and music of an honest and flawed performance. 

Bare guitar and voice. Melody, harmony and stories of my life as heard by the audience that beautiful night and captured by  Owain Fleetwood. “

It is the first in a series Blek is calling “Digressions”. These will be limited run releases of live shows or obscure recordings of songs that never made it on to his “Official” releases.

The Embers

After the fires of love, lust, life and revolution have burned out the embers are all that remain. “The Embers” the new album from John Blek consists of 9 visceral songs. Reflections and memories from a time after the affair.

It was the early summer of 2018, – “Thistle & Thorn” “Blek’s ode to nature […] his most accomplished work to date” (The Irish Times) – had just been completed, however, the Irish Singer/Songwriter just continued to write.

“I was excited by the prospect of working around a specific theme and the songs for The Embers were the next natural step. I enjoyed giving myself structure this time around. It was not about moments of inspiration but more about working on these songs and ideas until I felt they were great. More craft and less luck.“

Ever since this point in time he knew he was in the process of becoming entangled into a bigger picture. A four-album cycle began to take shape, circling around the four elements water (Catharsis Vol. I), Earth (Thistle & Thorn) fire and air. “The Embers”, a firebed of a glimmering coals, is now released exactly one year after “Thistle & Thorn”.

The topics are circling around transformation processes and often draw on Blek’s own biography, the emotional maturity of coming of age, but also the civilisational confusion and decomposition processes of our time: „I addressed emotional maturity within oneself and the bizarre decline of social and political civilisation in the UK and USA.“

“Flame” compares the longing and the passion of a love affair to flames which consume a building blazingly fast. Others associate the warmth of a firebed with a romantic relationship (“Ciara Waiting”). With “Revived” a wonderfully comforting duet with the great Irish songwriter colleague Mick Flannery finds its place.

Blek stays true to his musical principles, nevertheless, gets more and more refined. The focal point is extraordinary melodic fingerpicking on the acoustic guitar and a voice which gets warmer, wiser and paraphrases a little more precise from album to album. Blek gets inspired by Irish, British and American folk and establishes his own position somewhere in between.

While the last album was mainly made with the two Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy collaborators Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg, with this one the drums of Davie Ryan and the clarinets of Matthew Berrill come to the limelight. A warm breath runs through the songs: “Musically I wanted to use soft and warm sounds on this record to try and draw the heat of the fire into the songs. For this, I used a lot of clarinet and bass clarinet. The warm breath-like sound added a wonderful blanket for the songs to lie upon.“

John Blek was recently awarded Number One Award in Ireland by IMRO for an outstanding independent album release in 2019 and “Thistle and Thorn” was praised everywhere by BBC and RTÉ radio editors. Shortly before that, ‘Salt in the Water’ of Blek’s penultimate solo album “Catharsis Vol. I” was nominated as a Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards in Kansas City. It’s probably fair to say, that John Blek in his current form is not only one of the most diligent and prolific but also one of the best singer-songwriters in Europe.

Due for release on 7th February 2020 The Embers is the fifth solo long player from Cork’s John Blek. This time it was recorded in its entirety at Wavefield Recordings, Clonakilty with Brian Casey Producing/Engineering and musical contributions from Mick Flannery, Matthew Berrill (Ensemble Eriu) and Davie Ryan (Notify, Atlantic Arc Orchestra).

John Blek is much loved for his enthralling live show full of humour, pathos and his impassioned musical delivery. A master storyteller and a stunning fingerstyle guitar player. A must see act for 2020 and a true artist.

“The Embers” will see widespread release in Europe and the UK via K&F Records and Hometown Caravan and in Ireland via John’s own imprint We Are Rats Recordings (WARR). Available on digital, CD and gatefold 180gram Vinyl.