Thursday 2 December 2021

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

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REVIEWS

Last Mile Home – Jon Boden

Last Mile Home – Jon Boden

In amongst the various musical adventures of Jon Boden, there have been a few common strings. One of the most obvious is the solo albums that form the promised trilogy that began with 'Songs From The Floodplain' back in 2010. Starting with a post apocalyptic view of...

Dancing Tunes – Edward II

Dancing Tunes – Edward II

The very thing for these difficult times, a new Edward II recording,  brimming with sunshine, good time intentions, infectious melodies and a definite party intention. But this is different: I suppose it was only a matter of time before E II turned their attention to...

C.O.W. – Headsticks

C.O.W. – Headsticks

There aren’t too many bands that get asked to play punk and folk festivals, but Headsticks are one. Latest release ‘C.O.W.’ is their fourth and first on Chapter 22 records and it’s a mind and body-provoking collection of songs of “Folk, Punk, Roots, Revolution”. First...

The Parlor – Alabama Slim

The Parlor – Alabama Slim

Recorded in a four hour session in New Orleans in 2019, that brevity is both the strength and weakness of this release. There’s a freshness about the recordings, especially Alabama Slim’s world-worn and gritty vocals but at times the players embrace what might be most...

From the Reels 2012-2020 – Ned Roberts

From the Reels 2012-2020 – Ned Roberts

This release is a collection of out takes from London Ned Roberts’ first three albums and acts as a primer to those unfamiliar with his work. Vocally, Roberts evokes shades of James Taylor in his gentle melodic style. Opener “Ring Of Stones” is an autumnal love song...

The Silver Sun – Eamon O’Leary

The Silver Sun – Eamon O’Leary

Following up on the release of 'All Souls' in 2018 (reviewed here on Spiral Earth), Eamon O'Leary has delivered 'The Silver Sun' for our enjoyment in 2021. Whilst much has changed in the world over that period, O'Leary's approach to the new record has shifted little...

This Heart Will Self-Destruct – Bob Collum and the Welfare Mothers

This Heart Will Self-Destruct – Bob Collum and the Welfare Mothers

Born in Oklahoma, but now resident in Essex, Bob Collum’s American and British influences are displayed for all to hear on this album, which has a lot in common with cult Springfield, Missouri’s The Skeletons and the UK’s Rockpile. The Buddy Holly “Midnight Shift”...

Seth Lakeman live session, celebrating 15 years of Freedom Fields

Seth Lakeman live session, celebrating 15 years of Freedom Fields

On Saturday 27 February, Seth Lakeman performed an online session celebrating the 15th anniversary of the release of his seminal album Freedom Fields. The session was wonderfully filmed and the audio was superb, all of which makes you miss live music even more. It is...

Devonshire Roses –  Jim Causley

Devonshire Roses –  Jim Causley

jim Causley is a fine singer and box player from Devon who will be well known to those who like their folk music at the traditional end of the spectrum. He has been nominated no less than six times for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award and won the Spiral Earth Singer of the...

Just Beyond The Shine –  Peach and Quiet

Just Beyond The Shine –  Peach and Quiet

This is a quality CD that comfortably straddles the line between country and Americana. Peach and Quiet are Heather Read and Jonny Miller. They have an established reputation on the Canadian roots scene and judging by this it’s well deserved. They offer up songs with...

Temperature’s Rising – Milton Hide

Temperature’s Rising – Milton Hide

This should be called Country and Wilmington music. Let me explain. Milton Hide are Jim and Josie Tipler from Wilmington, Sussex and they take their name from a patch of woodland near their home. They are a folk duo that do what good folksingers do. They wander...

Beeswing by Richard Thompson

Beeswing by Richard Thompson

One of the benefits of career longevity is the amassed treasure of past recordings that can be compiled, reworked or repackaged. Inevitably, there is plenty to write about too. That's how we end up with Richard Thompson's first autobiography, 'Beeswing'. It...

Sounds Like Knockengorroch – Various Artists

Sounds Like Knockengorroch – Various Artists

Double CD  as diverse as the Knockengorroch gathering itself – hopefully Covid clear, held this coming September – which was laid over due to circumstances and replaced by a digital event. Most of this eclectic roster have become firm festival favourites, whilst...

Also/Abbey Cottage – Eddie Baird

Also/Abbey Cottage – Eddie Baird

From the archives of Lincolnshire guitarist Eddie Baird comes a two fer reissue on Manchester's worthy Epona label. You may know his name from The Amazing Blondel, if you've the original Island LPs where they dressed as dandies, revealing a music rooted in centuries...

Still Time – Karen Matheson

Still Time – Karen Matheson

Begun a decade ago ‘Still Time,’ sat on the shelf as Matheson’s life unfolded personal loss, brought back during the difficult days of lock down, reflection meant focus updated the tracks and completion. Over seen by husband Donald Shaw who handles multiple...

Todd Rundgren’s Clearly Human Virtual Concert

Todd Rundgren’s Clearly Human Virtual Concert

So, Todd Rundgren, the Nutty Professor of rock’n’roll returns, but this time to your living room via his 2021 Clearly Human virtual tour, featuring 25 performances, each tailored to a different US city but all emanating each night from Chicago. The 8pm start time may...

Songs Of Old Govan  – Norrie MacIver & The Glasgow Barons

Songs Of Old Govan  – Norrie MacIver & The Glasgow Barons

So there I was the other night flicking lazily through the channels in a frustrating search for something worth viewing, when I chanced upon the BBC’s Scots Gaelic channel Alba. What this worthy station was broadcasting meant I stopped channel hopping and viewed with ...

We Will Meet Again – Merry Hell

We Will Meet Again – Merry Hell

Another shot of bouncy positivity clothed in a glorious melody, with singalong refrain and a huge, voluminous guitar solo from the north-west’s eternal optimists. No other band has strived harder to foster communal spirit and shared sympathies in these difficult...

Intarsia – Sistere

Intarsia – Sistere

Sistere is a duo comprising percussionist Jo May and singer and multi- instrumentalist Sarah Matthews. Jo was orchestrally trained but since 1996 she has plied her trade all the way from Sidmouth to Senegal and has focussed a lot of her attention on the balafon (a...