Thursday 4 March 2021

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

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REVIEWS

Dreamers and Journeys – Elis MacFadyen

Dreamers and Journeys – Elis MacFadyen

A well-known name in his native Inverness area in Scotland - Elis MacFadyen on his second album writes a collection of songs that etch themselves on the memory with ease.  He has produced an earthy sounding singer songwriter album with strong traditional roots. Song...

Time to Fly – David Foley & Jack Smedley

Time to Fly – David Foley & Jack Smedley

This is a duo album by two members of the Scottish band Rura, the duo of David Foley and Jack Smedley which initially formed in 2008 has become the cornerstone of one of the biggest names in Scottish contemporary folk music. In between touring and recording with Rura...

Prove It On Me – Rory Block

Prove It On Me – Rory Block

I’d lost touch with Rory Block so when ‘Prove it On Me,’ came along it was like hearing from an old friend again. If that sounds a little trite consider I’d not happened across an album since she cut a run of superb, gutsy records for Rounder in the 80s. If I recall...

La Silla – Steve Rothery

La Silla – Steve Rothery

teve Rothery, guitarist with Marillion teases with a new release from his soon to be Crowdfunded album ‘Revontulet.’ The instrumental ‘La Silla’ offers a five-minute taste of lush synths and melodic rhythms, blended with Rothery’s signature ethereal and emotive...

Our Bright Night – Kirsty Merryn

Our Bright Night – Kirsty Merryn

Raised under the tutelage of no less than Steve Knightly, Kirsty Merryn’s last album concerned women neglected by history all of whom had riveting achievement as a back story. ‘Our Bright Night,’ strips away much of that previous effort’s finery, centring on Merryn’s...

Kolar’s Gold – The Rowan Tree

Kolar’s Gold – The Rowan Tree

Not what you might expect for a debut album, note I didn’t say recording, the Rowan Tree put out an EP a couple of years ago which signalled a talented bunch of Cornish driven musicians intent on putting some soul and depth back into the music of their own back yard....

Moon Bird – Kirsty Almeida

Moon Bird – Kirsty Almeida

Flavours of New Orleans run through this satisfying collection of new songs from Kirsty Almeida, her first studio album since 2014’s 'Déjàvoodu.' She returns to with vigour and aplomb following a little time away. Her confidence and skill as a songwriter is evident...

Salone – Bai Kamara Jnr.

Salone – Bai Kamara Jnr.

Although born and bred in the UK, Bai has lived in Brussels for over 25 years. He could be described loosely as a bluesman but his influences run wide encompassing soul, funk and jazz and all delivered in a relaxed intimate manner. As Kamara admits, blues is always at...

The Cutthroat Brothers – Taste For Evil

The Cutthroat Brothers – Taste For Evil

In the twilight world of the Brothers Cutthroat death, drugs and murder rule supreme. Taking their cue from the Seattle school of sleaze for this their second outing they’ve produced an incendiary mix of power and melody – a sort of grungified Ramones meets T.Rex if...

Weavings Of A Silver Magic – Judy Dyble

Weavings Of A Silver Magic – Judy Dyble

Things haven’t always gone smoothly for Judy Dyble, the resilient sort of lady who thoroughly deserved her 2004 reawakening, from which she’s spun a whole line of albums which reveal her as a writer of other worldly fantasy, songs about things just slightly out of...

Ever-Roving Eye – James Elkington

Ever-Roving Eye – James Elkington

Songwriter though, probably, best known as a guitarist, James Elkington is clearly someone who you'd like to have around in the recording studio. Born in England but having moved to the US in the 90s, he's made his base in Chicago where he's been involved in musical...

The New Mine – Matthews Southern Comfort

The New Mine – Matthews Southern Comfort

Reading Iain Matthews’ biography not so long back struck me that here was perhaps the most prodigious member of the Fairport family and that he was also the most stylistically diverse. His latter revival of the Southern Comfort name has created a tidal...

An Ounce Of Gold – The Choir Of Ghosts

An Ounce Of Gold – The Choir Of Ghosts

What’s all this about? Thick Scandinavian forests, the icy wilderness, deep snow… The Choir Of Ghosts is, as you’ve probably figured out from the name alone, an alter ego for strummer/singer James Auger who’s based in Sweden and writes songs of personal sorrows, joys...

Can’t Make You Love Me – Gena Rose Bruce

Can’t Make You Love Me – Gena Rose Bruce

Decently quirky, from her raised eyebrows on the cover you’d guess Gena Rose Bruce is a mistress of moods, attitude and experiences, from the music you wouldn’t be that far off. ‘Can’t Make You Love Me,’ is a dose of life lived and love gone off kilter, much of it’s...

A Golden Thread – Pete Morton

A Golden Thread – Pete Morton

The picture of bucolic arcadia which adorns the cover here could lead you to believe that Pete Morton sees the present as some sort of Utopia, nothing however could be further from the truth. Although he’s always told everyone he’s foremost a singer, which is...

Make Your Move – Trad Attack!

Make Your Move – Trad Attack!

New kids on the block? Not quite, three albums in Trad Attack! make their move and it’s a bold, striking one. How’d you reinvent your tradition for the here and now? If you’re Estonian then perhaps there haven’t been many reference points, sure they’ve got folk metal...

From Liberty Street – Mapache

From Liberty Street – Mapache

With a viral pandemic making for darker times; more than ever, we need some sunny music entering the 2020 frame. Coming to our rescue are Mapache with their second album, 'From Liberty Street'. It's their first for the Yep Roc label who were quick to pick up on them...

Seasons Of Change – Tom Kitching

Seasons Of Change – Tom Kitching

Most well-travelled musicians get limited time to linger as they go from gig to gig. Whilst a tour itinerary may look appealing to the casual observer, there's little time to absorb the character or characters of the locations en route. With this in mind, fiddler Tom...

Bayview – Project SMOK

Bayview – Project SMOK

Curated in Edwyn Collins studio, which for those who didn’t know is at Helmsdale way up on Scotland’s north east coast, just off the A9. The former leader of Orange Juice retreated from the hubbub and relocated there to find peace of mind. Project SMOK with avowed...

Fortyfived – The Old Swan Band – and – Framed – Moirai

Fortyfived – The Old Swan Band – and – Framed – Moirai

The common link here is the excellent Jo Freya, membership of both bands, one rather scholarly, the other downright fun. Scholarly first… Moirai, three great ladies, the afore mentioned Jo Freya, Derby fiddler Sarah Matthews and from ceilidh rockers All Blacked Up,...