Duncan Stagg & the Threadbare Band
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Duncan Stagg & the Threadbare Band

Bristol, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Bristol, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"FolkWords EP Review"

UK-grown Americana still slides across the entire spectrum from 'why did they bother?' to 'indistinguishable from genuine'. Now that doesn’t mean that Americana from anywhere other than duncan stagg and the threadbare bandacross the pond isn’t genuine, it just means that ‘imitative plastic Americana’ that’s close but not close enough is still pretty easy to spot. Then you come up against the ‘real thing’, albeit with English influence ringing through it and it’s a case of ‘expectations met’. Duncan Stagg and The Threadbare Band ply their musical trade in Bristol, South West England rather than Bristol in Sullivan County, Tennessee or anywhere else in land of the free and the home of the brave. Speaking as a native of the aforementioned federal republic, I reckon these boys would be ‘at home’ there without too much effort.

Within the EP I hear a mix that includes slices of country influence, more than a few from rock, and one or two touches of folk, all gathered together to formulate a blend that unfailingly attracts. The opening track pours in with guitar washes and percussive waves across mournful vocals making ‘Tiger Cub’ an arresting track. It’s followed by the more meditative touches - ‘Joe’ a classic piece of sorrowful Americana storytelling, trumpet and guitar echoing within ‘Piece of Thread’, and the folk narrative of ‘The Captain’. While we’re working our way through the tracks, there’s the drive of ‘Sinner Blues’ and for a touch of wistful reflection and potent guitar-cuts ‘The Old Cinema’ makes its mark that’s not easy to ignore. The key to this album? Sharp guitar breaks, powerhouse percussion and vocals that pull every ounce out of the lyrics.

Now I know from countless conversations, some Americana aficionados believe that, 'the pure and the true' only comes from across the pond … that’s of course their view to which they're more than entitled, however I reckon they should listen to Duncan Stagg and The Threadbare Band. Who are: Duncan Stagg (vocals, guitar, banjo) Alex Hawker (vocals, bass, trumpet, keys) Jai Widdowson-Jones (drums, percussion). Website: www.duncanstagg.com - FolkWords

"Equal Ground EP Review"

Duncan Stagg & the Threadbare Band could rightly be considered a crossover genre of sorts. The reason for this is because Duncan Stagg, lead vocalist and songwriter hails from Bristol, England, but his brand of roots-rock Americana sounds more American than many American bands of the same sort. Stagg’s debut EP simply titled EP is a mix of straightforward staples that one would find hanging out in the Americana rock genre.

The songs on EP are collected from a number of years prior when Stagg used to play solo acoustic. When Stagg decided to record a record, he decided to assemble a backing band in order to give the songs more depth than they would have with only an acoustic guitar and vocals. The band he assembled consists of Jai Widdowson-Jones on drums and longtime friend, musical collaborator, and multi-instrumentalist Alex Hawker playing bass, keys, trumpet, as well as contributing backing vocals.

EP opens strongly and loudly with strings and horns on “Tiger Cub.” Here one notices from the beginning that Stagg’s lyrics are full of metaphors, which he uses to illustrate the tales at the heart of his songs. Take for instance the lyrics, “you could shoot an eagle down/and tear a tree from its roots/did the fall even make a sound?” and a few bars later repeating “the dirt will bring you down.” By the time “Tiger Cub” has reached its zenith, the aforementioned tiger cub has broken free of its chain amid swirls of trumpets and wild electric guitars.

“Joe” starts out as a slow and sappy acoustic melodrama of a broken relationship and Stagg is even careful to inflect a bit more twang to his voice to accompany the prominent banjo line, which runs throughout the song. By contrast “Piece of Thread” is slow and sappy and seems as though it was written for expressly that purpose, just to show a range of songwriting ability, though here it sticks out as exactly what it is.

All is forgiven by EP’s best track, the wallop of a dirge “Sinner Blues” where everything seems to come together perfectly. The drums skip about, the keys come alive and Stagg’s vocals and pacing are spot on. This style of song seems to be Stagg’s strong suit and one wishes there would be more of it on EP. - The Equal Ground


Still working on that hot first release.



Duncan, based in Bristol, has been writing and performing his americana leaning acoustic songs for a couple of years now. It was only in the summer of 2013 that he decided to bring in accompaniment in an effort to validate his songwriting.

Duncan was eventually joined by Jai Widdowson-Jones on Drums, Alex Hawker on Keys/Horns and occasionally Chris Axe on Bass.

After only a few rehearsals, the band started gigging throughout the South West. The acoustic songs now taking on a much more raucous sound to accommodate the energetic live shows.

The band has now recorded their debut EP with long time friend and producer Mike Isaacs (facebook.com/mikeisaacsmusic).

Band Members