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January 2020: Country Music Kicking Off

Written by Laura Klonowski

On January 31, 2020

Twinnie | The British Country Music Festival 2019 | Photo Credit Dave Nelson

2020 Kicked Off In Style

The ever-growing UK country and Americana music scene has never looked healthier – 2020 kicked-off in style with a string of single releases from the likes of rising and established talent such as Helena Mace, The Shires, Laura Oakes, Clara Bond, Scott Nicholls and Andy Brown. The tracks showcased the incredible depth of talent that the British country scene has at its disposal and welcomed new listeners into the family as they discovered new and exciting artists for the first time. 

Lightning Strikes

A major stand-out of the single releases was The Shires’ ‘Lightning Strikes’. ‘The song is an anthemic new taste of The Shires’ forthcoming LP ‘Good Years’ and will no doubt become a major festival favourite – the track was co-written by the one-and-only Cam and showcases the incredible strength of the UK market as major US writers are now jumping on board to work with our talent. 

Radio 2 Playlist

And Laura Oakes,who played the main stage last last year at TBCMF, saw her 2019 hit ‘Welcome to the Family’ being C-Listed on the BBC Radio 2 playlist, meaning she will have the track played on rotation throughout the coming months and will hopefully see it rising to the B and A lists in time.

Laura Oakes | The British Country Music Festival 2019 | Photo Credit Dave Nelson

Power of Three

Meanwhile Scottish artist Kevin McGuire continued to grow his listening numbers thanks to his break-out release ‘Threes’ – the track reached 30K streams on Spotify alone in the month of January and he also shared the official lyric video for the song which is garnering huge radio support across the UK’s leading dedicated country platforms. 

New EP’s

January also saw Jess and the Bandits, and Callaghan share brand new EP’s – ‘Riding Shotgun’ and ‘Acoustic Coffee Shop Volume 2’. Both records set alight the genre and gained them both a huge range of new fans across the global market.

Adore You

Another TBCMF favourite, the month furthermore saw The Adelaides confirming they are working on their much anticipated debut album. The exciting news was supported by the stunning release of their cover of Harry Styles’ worldwide hit ‘Adore You. Whilst last year’s TBCMF headliners, British country superstars Ward Thomas announced they will be supporting pop sensation James Blunt during his February UK tour, before they head out on their own headlining run of dates later this year.  

Americana UK

The Americana scene also grew once again in stature as the Americana Music Association UK awards were held in London with huge acts such as The Wandering Hearts and Yola representing the Brits – legendary broadcaster Bob Harris was also awarded the Outstanding Contribution honour to celebrate his hugely impressive work across the country and Americana genres. Joan Armatrading gave the Keynote Address and she was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 Without doubt the panel everyone was talking about was AMA-UK’s CEO Stevie Freeman’s idea to invite six songwriters (Dave Giles, Kris Wilkinson Hughes, Dewi Bowen, Lady Nade, Kairen Caine and Callum Lury) to work with the Hackney Elders, the older residents of the area. Each singer-songwriter was allocated one elder and they spent two days listening to their fascinating life stories and then interpreting their lives through specially composed songs. The audience was visibly moved and it was an amazing idea that can be rolled out to areas across the country with benefits to both the elderly being given a voice and the song-writers working with inspiring people.

Type Of Girl

However despite all this incredible music and news being shared, the month of January undoubtedly belonged to Twinnie – the legend in the making kicked-off the new decade with the release of her empowering new single ‘Type Of Girl’ which was accompanied by the powerful music video which saw her celebrating a number of inspirational women such as Shania Twain, Greta Thunberg and Rosalind Franklin. 

Twinnie also confirmed that her eagerly-anticipated debut album ‘Hollywood Gypsy’ will be dropping on April 17th and will be supported by her first headlining tour across the UK in March. The year 2020 has been dubbed the year of Twinnie and she certainly set that marker with an incredible January.

With the New Year just starting we can already see that the UK Country and Americana  music scene is set to grow even further this year – get ready for a huge twelve months!

Laura Klonowski

Laura Klonowski

Author

I am a music journalist based in Wales, focusing on country music and I have been a part of the industry for several years. I have a deep love of promoting talent across the genre and enjoy seeing good music succeeding. My writing style is focused on news features, reviews and interviews and always looks to promote and shine a light on the incredible artists we are lucky enough to have across the country scene. 

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