Virtually famous: The Americans
The latest in a long line of hard-to-google bands, The Americans (not the popular TV show, the influential Robert Frank photographic series or the race of people) are an LA group who are currently moving in the kind of circles that should increase their brand recognition.
In 2015 they were the backing band for the likes of Nick Cave and Courtney Love at a tribute concert to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. This month they’ll be seen on the BBC playing in American Epic, a multi-stranded project masterminded by Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford that tells the story of the earliest recorded music in the US.
The Americans were involved in the reconstruction of 1920s recording equipment and worked as the house band to participants including Elton John, Beck and Willie Nelson.
The show will be broadcast in three parts, and there’s also a book and two compilation albums. The first is a 100-song collection of those original dusty compositions, such as Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand by Williamson Brothers & Curry and I Wish I Was a Mole In the Ground by Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The second features recordings by today’s artists, including The Americans, using the ancient kit.
Then there’s their own debut album, due in July, which features comparatively forward-thinking roots rock in the vein of Bruce Springsteen. They’re working hard, like good Americans should.