Tuesday 15 June 2021

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

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REVIEWS

Gate To Southwell 2015

Gate To Southwell 2015

Solo onstage for ninety minutes with only guitars and a not-very-rock & roll mug of medical tea (“for people who think they can sing”), this is the start of Billy Bragg’s 2015 troubadour trek to help the nation shake off those post-election blues. The old harsh...

The New Part – April Verch

The New Part – April Verch

Touring here through both the Spring and Autumn, Canadian April was raised in a family shot through the with music and folkore, ending up a fiddling protégé at the time most of us were playing tick round the school yard. Native to the Ottowa valley, besides fiddle,...

Preab Meadar – Daire Bracken & Lorcan Mac Mathuna

Preab Meadar – Daire Bracken & Lorcan Mac Mathuna

Somewhat different… I was expecting samples and loops, replays and all kinds of high tech gadgetry when I read the publicity but what emerges is distinct even individual. Based on ages old Irish poetry which has buried within it rhythmic possibilities and hints at...

A Wanderer I’ll Stay – Pharis & Jason Romero

A Wanderer I’ll Stay – Pharis & Jason Romero

Similar to Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, the key to A Wanderer is the simplicity of delivery, Pharis & Jason – in reality Mr. & Mrs. Romero – know their old timey roots and produce authentic mountain sounds as if it were 1930 and they were on the front...

Manannan’s Cloak – Barrule

Manannan’s Cloak – Barrule

The debut album from this Manx trio deservedly won the 'best debut' category in the 2014 Spiral Awards. That was great album, but Manannan's Cloak is even better in almost every respect, the one thing that carries over is the jaw dropping musicianship. For this album...

Steer By The Stars – Telling The Bees

Steer By The Stars – Telling The Bees

Steer By The Stars is Telling The Bees’ third album, following their ground-breaking debut Untie The Wind in 2008 and subsequent Spiral Earth Award-nominated An English Arcanum in 2009. So, it has been a while - and during that time the Bees have established their...

Layers of Ages – Gigspanner

Layers of Ages – Gigspanner

Layer of Ages is Gigspanner’s third album and it is a glorious musical tour de force from the opening glissando of Bows of London to the final pizzicato in Hard Times of Old England. Titled in full Peter Knight’s Gigspanner, this trio is the creation of Peter who,...

The Ghost In Our House and Other Stories – Merry Hell

The Ghost In Our House and Other Stories – Merry Hell

Of the many aphorisms that used to appear on England’s Glory matchboxes one was the definition of a diplomat, it being ‘someone who told you go to Hell in such a way that you would look forward to the trip.’ Well you certainly don’t need a diplomatic invitation to...

The Garden – Robin Adams

The Garden – Robin Adams

The Garden – which is almost exclusively Robin with guitar – takes cues from the kind of singer writer record that inhabited the racks of the late 60s/early 70s, when the likes of Keith Christmas made albums which contained an acoustic innocence and optimism yet got...

The Vicar Street Sessions Volume 1 – Paul Brady & His Band

The Vicar Street Sessions Volume 1 – Paul Brady & His Band

In October 2001, Paul Brady packed out an amazing 23 night run at Dublin’s Vicar Street rock venue, in support were his regular band – tight enough – and what can only be described as a stellar guest list. The names roll so casually off the tongue that it’s all too...

Costa Del Folk March 2015 Festival Review

Costa Del Folk March 2015 Festival Review

Steeleye Span’s 1975 hit ‘All Around my Hat’ opens with the line ‘Fare thee well cold winter and fare thee well cold frost’ and they were my thoughts exactly as I got on a plane this March bound for the second annual Costa Del Folk Festival in Benalmadena Spain. The...

Tomorrow Will Follow Today – Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman

Tomorrow Will Follow Today – Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman

As a follow up to 2012s 'Hidden People' this album confirms that the Devon duo are on a creative roll. The eight original songs have their trademark combination of quirkiness with emotional depth that really tugs at the heart strings. How about a sad tale of...

A Day Like Tomorrow – Fabian Holland

A Day Like Tomorrow – Fabian Holland

The second album from singer songwriter Holland sees the artist expanding his sound through a collaboration with percussionist Fred Claridge. Add to that some electric guitar and bass and you end up with the next rung on Hollands upwards trajectory. Where his first...

Something To Someone – Run Boy Run

Something To Someone – Run Boy Run

So runs the strap line, ‘existing in the tension between tradition and frontier.’ Wish I’d thought of that, it’s quite a neat summation. It’s not one I’m sure fully applies though to Run Boy Run, who aren’t quite as edgy and revolutionary as their local reputation...

Until The Water Runs Clear – Pete Webber

Until The Water Runs Clear – Pete Webber

Debuts are often tricky pieces of work, so it proves here from West country singer songwriter Webber, who’s left a lot of questions hanging in the air after listening to his. What we’ve got is a recording which shows where he’s from but doesn’t really indicate where...

The Toerag Sessions – Emily Barker

The Toerag Sessions – Emily Barker

Emily Barker's career has gone through many incarnations, and as a performer she is as happy performing solo to a small audience as she is fronting a band to thousands. Her songwriting alone has a depth that few attain, her most recent album with the Red Clay Halo...

Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane

Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane

Danni Nicholls is a classic songwriter, her feet so firmly rooted in Americana you can almost her the creak of cowboy boots on the studio floor. Her sophomore record Mockingbird Lane, so new that it hasn’t even got cover art yet, sees her on fine form surrounded by...

Various Artists – The F Spot Femmes Fatales

Various Artists – The F Spot Femmes Fatales

There’s been a lot of talk in the press recently about the lack of ‘female acts’ at some of this year’s biggest festivals. What has been discussed far less is that this seems to be part of a wider problem - the amount of songs written by women registered to PRS is...

The Changing Room – A River Runs Between

The Changing Room – A River Runs Between

Already lauded Sam Kelly and Tanya Brittain pool their talents to focus on Cornwall in an arts project with legs, The Changing Room are already knee deep in sessions for an album. Here’s the taster. A not inconsiderable amount of Brit roots experience has been...

Miriam Jones – Between Green & Gone

Miriam Jones – Between Green & Gone

Life on the hoof seems to suit Miriam Jones, born in Canada, lived in Papua New Guinea, Nashville and now resident of Oxford, you’d expect the girl to be able to offer something beyond what’s standard. She doesn’t disappoint. Such globe-trotting informs her vision but...