Getting intimate with some homegrown Americana

The Black Feathers.
The Black Feathers.
The Stranglers live

REVIEW: The Stranglers at Portsmouth Guildhall

If you're a fan of Americana and you like to see the acts up-close and personal, there is a short series of gigs this month just for you.

Square Roots Promotions continue their annual Americana Series of shows this January featuring some of the best UK acts in the genre in the intimate setting of street-art cafe The Tea Tray.

Award-winning duo, The Black Feathers, will be playing two consecutive nights on January 13 and 14, while country-rocking duo The Rosellys will be appearing on January 20.

The Black Feathers, Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler, count BBC Radio 2 presenter 'whispering' Bob Harris among their fans – he described them as 'absolutely wonderful'. Americana, folk and acoustic sensibilities co-exist comfortably in their musical world, with Hughes’ guitar work buoying the kind of harmonies often only heard in family bands.

The last two years have been incredible for the duo. Their debut album was met with critical acclaim and broke into the Top 10 iTunes Country chart, and the official UK Americana chart too. They have also been on lengthy tours of the USA, and are now in the process of writing and recording their follow up to the debut Soaked To The Bone.

The Rosellys, Rebecca and Simon Roselly, are following up their sold out band show at the Square Tower early last year, and are a good example of that crossover where Britain meets America, and it makes a very special sound indeed.

Influenced by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Alison Krauss and Chris Stapleton, it’s clear that The Rosellys have an absolute love for Americana music. With Rebecca’s beautiful voice allied to Simon’s top notch fiddle playing, The Rosellys are proving that the British country music scene is most definitely alive and kicking.

Promoter Ken Brown came up with the idea after being inspired during holidays in Nashville and New Orleans.

'You'd walk past all of these bars with a drink in your hand and in almost every single one there'd be these incredible bands playing. I know we can't replicate that here, but I thought it would be nice to do something similar.

'We put on most of our shows at The Square Tower, but last year wile they were doing some building work, we thought it would be fun to do a couple of smaller shows. They all sold out, so we're doing it again this year.

'It's up-close and personal, and the atmosphere in there is great – we can get 43 people in, so you're within spitting distance of these incredible acts.'

Tickets for all shows are £10 in advance.