Nick Lowe brings new Americana band Los Straitjackets to headline Red Rooster Festival 2019
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk’s Red Rooster Festival continues to attract the best in roots and Americana music from both sides of the Atlantic. We spoke to headliner Nick Lowe about his new roots band Los Straitjackets
Music legend and former Woodbridge School student Nick Lowe is looking forward to renewing his acquaintance with Suffolk when he returns to East Anglia to play The Red Rooster Festival at Euston Hall at the end of the month.
Lowe was the studio powerhouse behind early hits by Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The Pretenders, Dr Feelgood and Dave Edmunds as well as having hits in his own name: including top ten singles Cruel to be Kind and I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass.
Although, song-writing and studio work has always been his first love, Dave Edmunds' I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'n' Roll) is one of his, as well as (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding by Elvis Costello and Dr Feelgood's Milk and Alcohol, Nick is back performing again having teamed up with a new band Los Straitjackets, who have once again fired his artistic imagination with their distinctive approach to music.
Their faces hidden by Mexican wrestling masks, Los Straitjackets play a unique mix of what Lowe calls: "surf-and-spy guitar instrumentals". It's a match made in heaven and Lowe has not only been inspired to hit the road again with this new band, he has penned some new songs and they gone into the studio to create a new single and an accompanying EP which features an additional three Lowe originals and a cover of the obscure Phil Spector-produced gem "Raincoat In The River."
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He says: "The Straitjackets definitely influenced these new songs. The new single, Love Starvation, was written very specifically with them in mind.
"It has a kind of Ritchie Valens feel to it that I thought might suit Los Straitjackets. It's funny, that song could've been a Rockpile song. But in a way, I don't think I was good enough to write a song like that back then. It sounds like old stuff, but I'm just better at doing it now."
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This is Lowe's second record with Los Straitjackets, who continue to pursue a stand-alone career away from Nick Lowe, having recorded Tokyo Bay last year which prompted Rolling Stone magazine to dedicate their December 2018 issue to the man they dubbed "The Jesus of Cool".
Speaking on the phone from his London home, Nick says that he is looking forward to being back in Suffolk, and looking forward to playing in this country again. "I don't think I have toured in the UK for about 25 years. Mostly we have been touring in Germany and the States.... and festivals in Europe. So, it will be good to get in front of a British crowd again."
Nick, it turns out is a huge fan of festivals because it offers music fans the opportunity to encounter music that perhaps they won't hear on the radio or get to see bands that don't have the profile they deserve. "There's a lot of talent out there and the really great bands take flight when you put them in front of an audience and that creates memories you don't quickly forget."
He says that as festivals have become increasingly specialised, they can target audiences and showcase both well known artists as well as up-and-coming new talent. "Festivals like Red Rooster, which specilaise in roots music, target a knowledgable audience but have a wide-enough brief to still throw-in something unusual or unexpected which is what keeps things interesting.
"You can see the popularity of these events by the rise in attendances over the years."
Located in the beautiful park and secluded woodlands of Euston Hall, near Thetford, Red Rooster is hosted by Harry, Duke of Grafton, a huge fan of roots music in all its myriad forms. This year's festival was expertly curated by the Red Rooster programming team, travelling to Nashville, Memphis, Mississippi and New York. Red Rooster attracts a mix of cross-generational music devotees, from grizzled old blues guys to new, young country-loving tenderfoots.
It evokes an authentic, laid back, free and easy atmosphere, where children can freely run around the wide-open spaces, where families can enjoy lip-smacking authentic ribs and soul food by a campfire whilst being serenaded under the stars.
Everyone then gets down and dirty to the raucous and heartfelt music radiating from the woodland's main stage. The party crowd continues to dance the night away to a hot dj selection at the Howlin' Woods venue and bar down by the lake.
The Red Rooster Festival at Euston Hall is on from May 30 - June 1
Red Rooster Line-Up
Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets will grace the main stage on the Friday night in their first-ever UK festival appearance.
Straight out of Philadelphia, rock n' rollers Low Cut Connie will be tearing up the main stage, bringing their ferocious live show straight to Euston Hall.
Also on the Red Rooster rosta is Dale Watson, the honky tonk hero and country music maverick and a true outlaw continuing the tradition started by Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.
Born and raised on the Texas / Louisiana border and now based in Austin Texas, Jesse Dayton will be hit the main stage at Red Rooster this summer too. Best known for his guitar contributions to albums by country musicians including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, Dayton's story reads like a Who's Who of American Music.
The Brixton born and bred musician Errol Linton joins the festival with his remarkable Mississippi blues harmonica music, whilst Loose Records signing, Cornwall trio William the Conqueror head to Red Rooster for the first time, having picking up praise from far flung corners.
Ruarri Joseph's debut album, Proud Disturber of the Peace, was released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2018 UK Americana Awards "UK Album of the Year". The British women's Cajun band Joli Blon Cajun Band, will also be joining the festivities.
Saturday night's headliners will be The Budos Band. Hailing from Brooklyn, The Budos Band play what they describe as "Afro-Soul" - Imagine The JB's jamming with Black Sabbath and you're getting close.
Red Rooster is delighted to welcome the Grammy nominated Cedric Burnside to the line-up. Cedric was born to the blues, more specifically, hypnotic Mississippi Hill country blues, learning his craft as the drummer with his grandfather, the legendary RL Burnside.
The Black Eyed Dogs feature the polymath Ethan Johns. Ethan is a renowned producer (Paul McCartney, Kings Of Leon, Laura Marling, Ryan Adams) but has always been a great singer, songwriter and multi - instrumentalist.
Sunny Ozell, the New York songstress, makes her Red Rooster debut. Sunny found her voice performing in New York City clubs in front of the most discerning of audiences. There she honed her sound with elements of jazz, blues, and American roots as part of the city's tight-knit musical community.
Nashville's J.D. Wilkes from The Legendary Shack Shakers will be tearing up the Little Red Rooster stage with his one man show, bringing nothing more than a harmonica & banjo.
Blackfoot Gypsies are Nashville's best kept secret. They'll be bringing a raucous cocktail of Roadhouse Southern Boogie mixed with the feel of The Stones and The Faces.
Birds of Chicago play a sparse and ethereal mix of country and blues built around the magical chemistry of Allison Russell and JT Nero.
Texas born Jarrod Dickenson brings with him his incredible storytelling; something of a Texas tradition. Tall hats and even taller tales are woven into the fabric of The Lone Star State.
London soulful country rock outfit Treetop Flyers return with their eponymous third album, weaving blissful 60's tinged West Coast Americana with a British rock'n'roll swagger.
Cult rock n' rollers Powersolo will be exploding onto the stage for 2019, while John J Presley heads to Euston Hall with his trademark tone, valve amps and pedals.
Adding more names to bill - London's Orphan Colours, Memphis scenesters James & The Ultrasounds, Austria's Prinz Grizzley and London's Oh! Gunquit, will all be gracing the stage this summer.
Austin native, Carson McHone makes her debut Red Rooster performance in 2019. Rolling Stone magazine selected her album "Carousel" as one of the "40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2018."
The hugely popular Sam Morrow joins Red Rooster. With his career-defining third record, Morrow should cement his place as a member of Los Angeles' country elite, his music rooted in Texas twang, southern stomp, and old-school funky-tonk.
French new sensations Muddy Gurdy and rock n rollers Howlin' Jaws also feature on the main stage.
Fiona Bevan is a British-Canadian songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist from Suffolk, UK with a sweet, fiery voice and a soulful folk-pop sound
The Jambalaya Band have been making a name for themselves as the hottest honky tonk band in London. After setting up their own honky tonk at The Blues Kitchen in Camden they've got everyone shaking off their blues in true country style.
A consummate songwriter and superbly accomplished folk player and singer, Essex born Lucy Kitt's creative soul looks west across the Atlantic. Taking inspiration from the classic 70's folk rock of Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, Lucy's signature sound evokes LA's legendary Laurel Canyon at its height. One to watch.
Misty River are an Americana band from London with roots in the west coast of Ireland and the US. Their songs feature in Oscar winning film The Phone Call as well as new US film Extra Innings. They combine sweet harmony vocals intertwined with dobro, electric guitar and songwriting firmly rooted in classic alt country, roots and blues.