Canadiana: the album’s title says it all, really. On his latest album in a career lasting nearly half a century, Philip Rambow puts his own Canadian spin on a set of original songs that sit neatly in the catch-all ballpark of Americana. That means country, roots, blues, ragtime, ballads and more – as seen through the eyes and written with the pen of a Montreal native, albeit one who’s been holed up in the UK for many years. This is, after all, the man who co-wrote Kirsty MacColl’s Top 20 hit ‘There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis’. Get the picture?

Canadiana follows on from 2015’s Whatever Happened To Phil Rambow? and is his debut for Fretsore Records, the label behind releases by My Darling Clementine and Lily Garland. For this release, Philip called on friends from across his career: produced by Paul Cuddeford (Prefab Sprout, Energy Orchard), who also played guitar, the album features cameos from guitarist Martin Belmont (Graham Parker, Nick Lowe), Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ drummer Pete Thomas, bassist Davey Faragher (Costello, Cracker), vocalist Sharlene Hector (Basement Jaxx), pianist Geraint Watkins and fiddler Bob Loveday (Penguin Café Orchestra). The album also features two tracks, ‘Angel Everyday’ and ‘Devoted To You’, recorded with Scottish songwriter and producer – and fellow Fretsore artist – Jack Henderson, whose own impressive CV includes stints with the likes of Marc Ribot and Joan As Police Woman.

Arriving in London in the early 70s, Philip Rambow found himself hitting the then thriving pub rock circuit with The Winkies. Having unexpectedly been recruited to back Brian Eno on recordings and his one and only solo tour, the band signed to Chrysalis for one notoriously packaged album before splitting. After a spell in New York, immersed in the fledgling New Wave scene, Philip returned to London to form a band with Mick Ronson, before delivering two solo albums for EMI, racking up Radio 1 airplay for the singles ‘Dem Eyes’ and ‘Fallen’ in the process. A songwriter of some repute, apart from his work with Kirsty, he’s also authored hits for Canadian star Nick Gilder and Jim Steinman protégé Ellen Foley among others, while fronting semi-regular pub-rockers The Tex Pistols alongside Belmont, Watkins, Thomas and Loveday.

The tracks ‘American Buffalo’ and ‘Things Are Not Looking Good’ have already found airplay on specialist country radio, with a new single ‘Oceans Apart’ set to accompany the album release. A career-spanning 3-CD anthology The Rebel Kind is set for release through Cherry Red this Spring.

‘Oceans Apart’ is set for release as a single on 17 April.

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