Album Reviews

Reviews of recent albums

The Hot Seats - Grandad's Favourite

Country and bluegrass meet ragtime at a dance party It’s well documented that bluegrass and old-time country aren’t my favourite styles of music. But, after seeing the Hot Seats ripping up the joint at the recent SummerTyne Festival I graciously accepted a copy of their latest CD. Like so many others, it has sat in my review box for a few weeks, but it finally got taken out on a recent business trip around the highways and by-ways of Yorkshire. The sun shone and, with Grandad's Favourite on the car stereo, I was soon pretending that I was driving a jalopy around the hills of...

Matt Harlan: Raven Hotel

Texas singer-songwriter is a poet and storyteller Matt Harlan is a singer-songwriter whose original folk tunes are leavened with country twang and dusted with Texas soul. He's tramped the blue highways of the U.S. and Europe (and written this album's "Raven Hotel" about the ravages of touring), played intimate stages, house concerts and festivals, was lauded as last year's Texas Music Award singer-songwriter of the year, and was featured alongside Guy Clark and Lyle Lovett in the documentary For the Sake of the Song. After a sophomore effort recorded with a Danish backing band, he's...

The Long-Awaited Return of Mike Farris

It’s been awhile since “The Experience” has made a fulllength record, so I was very excited to receive an email from Compass Records that not only did they sign a new artist, but that a new album was in the works. If you were lucky enough to get inside Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley back in October of 2008, you would know where this is going. I was there for a showcase that featured Peter Bradley Adams and local favorites The Coal Men. But, between the two acts I came to see, the place became packed to the rafters as Mike Farris took...

Red Molly - The Red Album

Radio Friendly Folk meets Country A couple of years ago I read an interview with Red Molly in a glossy magazine and their words (and photos it has to be said) intrigued me as they sounded like they would play the type of music I like; but I never followed up my interest so was pleasantly surprised when this release arrived a few months ago. I’ve now played The Red Album numerous times and feel underwhelmed every time; yet my wife absolutely loves it! The thing is, my displeasure and her pleasure are both because every song here is so highly polished you can nearly see your reflection...