Friday 19 August 2022

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

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REVIEWS

Roses – Jadea Kelly.

Roses – Jadea Kelly.

 If you are a fan of contemporary folk music with a country tinge then this may be for you. Jadea (pronounced ‘Jay-Da’) is a Canadian former winner of the ‘Contemporary Singer Of The Year’ at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and it’s easy to see why. She splits her time...

Resilience – Songs of Uganda-  Rachel Magoola.

Resilience – Songs of Uganda-  Rachel Magoola.

Rachel Magoola released this album in a return to solo work after success with the legendary band Afrigo. Her music is inspired by Uganda's culture and history and this album is a delightful mix of Rachel’s versions of traditional Ugandan songs and her own...

To Have You Near – Hannah Rarity.

To Have You Near – Hannah Rarity.

When you've been listening to music that though worthy fails to push your buttons, there's always a silver lining just round the corner and in this case she's called Hannah Rarity. Appropriate name there, indeed she is a rarity. I first came found her when Niteworks...

Rosewood – Ben Robertson.

Rosewood – Ben Robertson.

Does exactly what it says on the can or in this case in the press release. Ben Robertson is a first class guitarist with hints of classical stylings about his efforts. His grounding is listening to the likes of John Renbourn and Davy Graham and there's nothing better...

Our Blood Is Red – Luke James Williams.

Our Blood Is Red – Luke James Williams.

It's great to get an album which is eclectic in both  influence and execution. With  'Our Blood Is Red,' Luke James Williams has delivered one very attractive effort. To label him as a singer songwriter is way off the mark, you get images of guys with delicate songs...

Echo. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita.

Echo. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita.

It's summer, the weather's getting warmer, warm enough perhaps for a spot of al fresco dining. Of course you'll want some music the kind that'll remind you about times like these when matters turn colder, yet will make the perfect soundtrack for long, lazy afternoons....

Andy Irvine, Paul Brady. Special Edition.

Andy Irvine, Paul Brady. Special Edition.

Certain albums come to define and represent a genre of music with a reputation and impact which never fades. Here's one, recorded back at the back end of the long hot summer of 1976 at Rockfield studios in rural Wales by a cast of characters who reset the sound and...

Love Songs – Bella Hardy.

Love Songs – Bella Hardy.

Bella Hardy's been looking inward and backward a lot recently, the results of all her deliberations are presented here on 'Love Songs,' a simple, gentle yet telling recording which reminds you just how effective she is as a straight down the line folk singer....

Tell ’Em You Were Gold – Pharis and Jason Romero

Tell ’Em You Were Gold – Pharis and Jason Romero

The duo, Pharis and Jason Romero, are multiple winners of Canada's Juno and Folk Music Awards. Their last album, 'Bet On Love', was described by American Songwriter as "masterful". A word that captures their work well and could easily be applied to the newly released...

I Can’t Fade Away : The Rockburgh Years. – Iain Matthews.

I Can’t Fade Away : The Rockburgh Years. – Iain Matthews.

Fade away? He never has done yet and it'll be a very sad day if he does. It's a fact that Iain Matthews is prolific, just as much as many of his fellow Fairport luminaries, still despite a stack of recordings as high as Everest ( okay maybe a slight exaggeration...

Sing It For A Lifetime – Heidi Talbot

Sing It For A Lifetime – Heidi Talbot

Irish born Heidi Talbot's career has already taken in a couple of transatlantic twists beginning with five years in America as a member of Cherish The Ladies. Later, spending over ten years married to Scottish folk musician, John McCusker, who was heavily involved in...

Fine Feathers.

Fine Feathers.

Magpie Arc. Up In Arms. Biddulph Town Hall. 10/6/22.  Delayed by that nasty Covid 19 malarkey Magpie Arc's presence has so far been cleverly managed online and through a series of EPs available from their website. Yet here they are on only the second date of their...

Twice As Nice & Half The Price – Heron.

Twice As Nice & Half The Price – Heron.

So there I was a couple of months back at a Record Fair in Crewe and really not a lot was standing out, when from the corner of my eye I thought I spied a copy of 'Twice as Nice & Half The Price,' across the room in a box at what looked like £29.00. Now for the...

Hark! The Village Wait. Live. –  Steeleye Span.

Hark! The Village Wait. Live. – Steeleye Span.

The original 'Hark! The Village Wait.' was the product of a time when the mix of electricity and traditional music offered a bright new dawn. Five individuals and a couple of drummers decamped to Sound Techniques in Chelsea to cut an album they'd thought and fought...

Katie Doherty & The Navigators Official Music Video Released Today

Katie Doherty & The Navigators Official Music Video Released Today

Katie Doherty formed the Navigators to explore the depth and strength that three players could bring to her award winning songs. What was unexpected in this combination was the power and dynamic which is often described as much bigger than its component parts. Katie’s...

Early Home Recordings – Sandy Denny.

Early Home Recordings – Sandy Denny.

If you're anything like me, whenever there's news of another Sandy Denny release you'll raise a quizzical eyebrow and perhaps a sigh as the possibility of over use of her archive once more looms large. Maddy Prior told me a while back, about how early Steeleye/ Hart...

Part Machine – Yoko Pwno.

Part Machine – Yoko Pwno.

It's been noted before in these pages that Scottish acts appear far more proactive and successful than any other part of Britain at the moment in marrying traditional music to modern intentions creating a truly progressive fusion with folk hues and endemic character....

The Sea Drift – The Delines

The Sea Drift – The Delines

Willy Vlautin's creative spirit broadly captures everyday people in America today who are trying to make the best of the hardships in their lives. Having started Richmond Fontaine as an outlet for his songs, several novels have appeared that cover similar territory....

Anaïs Mitchell – Anaïs Mitchell

Anaïs Mitchell – Anaïs Mitchell

Anaïs Mitchell has been a busy bee over the last few years. When the ball got rolling with her Hadestown project, few could imagine its transformation into a theatrical juggernaut winning a fistful of awards with productions popping up around the world. She's been...

Two Piece Puzzle – Rosalie Cunningham.

Two Piece Puzzle – Rosalie Cunningham.

There was a time when you could have hung the prog banner over Rosalie Cunningham's repertoire and no one could accuse you of pigeon holing and whilst the influence is still obvious on this second solo effort begun pre pandemic and completed with partner Rosco Wilson,...