Harrisonaphotos's Blog (394)

Danny Bryant - Temperature Rising (Album Review)

British Guitar Slinger comes of age

I tried very hard to like Danny Bryant’s previous album Hurricane but somehow never quite warmed to that particular version of the Blues; perhaps it was too Heavy for me.

Temperature Rising isn’t a whole lot different but I like it a lot. There’s something different to the production and sound; even though I can’t quite put my finger on what; but this album could be a game-changer for the young man from the Deep South (of…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 15, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Ian McLagan at the Jumping Hot Club (Newcastle, U.K. - July 10, 2014)

As a lifelong Faces fan, I can’t tell you how excited I was in anticipation of this gig. After thoroughly enjoying seeing Mac play his greatest hits at the Gateshead SummerTyne Americana Festival a couple of years ago, I easily persuaded a few friends to come along with me to the den of iniquity known as the Jumping Hot Club, to see one of their heroes.

When we arrived, it was no surprise to see the…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 15, 2014 at 10:30am — 8 Comments

Del Barber - Prairieography (Album Review)

Another country gem from the Canadian heartland

Whenever I’ve been driving in the car with the iPhone set to random, "Farewell, God Bless You, Goodbye" from this album has haunted me, coming on between the most bizarre combination of songs. But, regardless of what came before it, this pure country track, with its shimmering steel guitar and lazy vocals, caught my attention and has had even me drawling the chorus along with Barber on…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 14, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

SummerTyne #9 Festival Preview – Sage Gateshead (July 18-20, 2014)

Well, it’s nearly here and I for one can hardly wait for the SummerTyne Americana Festival at and outside Sage Gateshead next weekend.

If you’ve not been before (shame on you!), Sage Gateshead brings an array of past, present, and future stars of Americana, alt-country, country, cajun and folk music to the region, and there’s always at least one show that has people talking years later. The stage on the concourse is curated by the Jumping Hot Club and is absolutely free to…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 11, 2014 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Melissa Payne - High and Dry (Album Review)

Sultry Canadian songstress delivers a wonderful second album

Much like yourself I’d not heard of Melissa Payne before receiving this album; and as is often the case it was the soft focus, well lit photograph on the cover which caught my attention; so on a damp grey day I slid the disc into the player. The joyful slightly husky voice that came out the speakers immediately let me know I’d made the right decision.…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 8, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Richard Thompson - Acoustic Classics (Album Review)

Back to the basics for legendary British folksinger

I like to think of myself as a fan of Richard Thompson, but when push comes to shove I probably only like (nee love) three albums and another four or five songs from his 30 or so albums spread over 42 years. Why’s that, you may ask. Well, Richard Thompson has constantly reinvented himself during his career, going backwards and forwards inside and outside the British folk scene.…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 8, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Buford Pope - Sticks in the Throat (Album Review)

Rock music for the Toyota Prius driver

Buford Pope, a.k.a. Mikael Liljeborg, hails from a Swedish island called Gotland and has been an avid lover of all things Americana since discovering Bob Dylan in his teens. That passion comes across from start to finish on Sticks in the Throat.

The album gets off to a good start with "Don’t Take It Out on Me", which is a pretty standard rock groove with some sparky guitar playing…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 8, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

Billy Joe Shaver - Long in the Tooth (Album Review)

A genuine legend looks at his life in song

I have to hold my hands up and admit I’m not that familiar with Billy Joe Shaver’s back catalogue. I own more of his songs by other artists rather than the man himself, but that means I can approach this latest disc with an open mind.

Just like the new album by Sturgill Simpson, Shaver has taken the traditional country format shook it by the roots. He's given it a shot of adrenaline straight into the heart. Opening…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 7, 2014 at 12:30pm — 10 Comments

Berkley, Hart, Selis, Twang - BHST (Album Review)

Four friends kick back and recreate the Summer of Love

I’m a big fan of Eve Selis and quite like Berkley-Hart too, but after being led to believe that this was a new album from Eve herself, and not a collaboration, I was initially disappointed even before hearing a note.

So, I was relieved listening to the first track "This is Home", which is trademark Eve Selis. It not only features a duet with Calman Hart but their harmonies are terrifically…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 4, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Malcolm Holcombe - Pitiful Blues (Album Review)

Fragile and even curmudgeonly songs that will make you feel better about life.

To some degree Malcolm Holcombe, from North Carolina, defies description. He looks like a penniless hobo and sings poetic songs, in a slurred voice, of a life well-lived, but these songs make his contemporaries sound barely literate. Apart from possibly Guy Clark, the nearest singer-songwriter that bares comparison would be Townes Van Zandt, and I don’t use those two names…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on July 3, 2014 at 12:00pm — 8 Comments

Vintage Trouble - Sage Gateshead (Gateshead, U.K., June 22, 2014)

It was only because there was nothing else on TV that fateful Friday evening in 2011 that I was first introduced to Vintage Trouble. Their name meant absolutely nothing to me as Jools Holland introduced them. Within 20 seconds, my jaw dropped and my tongue lolled out. Three and a half minutes later it was still touching the carpet after witnessing the finest crash, bang, wallop classic rhythm and blues, rock and roll band, fronted by a soul-man with ants in his pants, in the…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 26, 2014 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Peter Frampton - Hummingbird in a Box (Album Review)

Guitar legend leaves the herd

Here’s a name that brings back memories of my teenage years, stuck in a box bedroom, trying to find the meaning of life from vinyl revolving at 33 1/3 RPM.

I vaguely knew Peter Frampton was in a pop group called the Herd before joining forces with Stevie Marriott to form Humble Pie when he was18. The latter were a decidedly average rock band, who hardly troubled the chart compilers with their studio albums but had a massive hit…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 20, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

The Ree-Vahs! - Geordieland (Album Review)

England’s coal mining County unearths a diamond

The Ree-Vahs sing in the dialect of North West Durham in North East England, where Andy Loan who everything revolves around, comes from; as do I. This accent is slightly softer than the Geordie twang the region is noted for and also contains words and phrases not used even 10 miles from Stanley so I salute Loan for having the courage to sing how he talks, and write about the things in his day to day life exposing his…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 20, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

The Most Ugly Child - A Wicked Wind Blows (Album Review)

The British Folkgrass Revolution starts here

This is a spectacularly odd album as at face value it looks and sounds like a traditional British Folk album; but with a Bluegrass or even Hillbilly sound at its heart.

Opening track 'Lover O’er Mine' wouldn’t be out of place in a Galway pub, Scottish Folk Festival or a Kentucky Saloon because it has more than its fair share of all three Regional components making for a very heady musical brew that will stand the…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 19, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The Secret Sisters - Put Your Needle Down (Album Review)

 A journey into the past for the Secret Sisters' second album

This has been the most difficult album to review in a very long time, as I loved the Secret Sisters self-titled debut. It was sparky and refreshing in its own delightful way, but Put Your Needle Down had me on the back foot from the bleak monotone cover and opening track "Rattle My Bones" -- both the antithesis of that previous album.

For a long time, I even thought I may have a faulty…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 17, 2014 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

Helen McCookerybook - Anarchy Skiffle (Album Review)

The spirit of Punk and Skiffle combine for a joyous hoedown

The title track Anarchy Skiffle opens the album and any preconceptions of this being a noisy album (Heaven forbid if you know Helen) as a gently pair of acoustic guitars and a slap bass accompany the delightful Ms. McCookerybook sweetly sings about the many things in life that confuse us, the older we get.

The Bachelor Boys is the longest track here; coming in at 3 minutes and 14…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 17, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Skylark Song - Relent (Album Review)

Sweet folk music to soothe the soul

Just like three years ago, I’m suddenly being inundated with attention-grabbing music from the Northeast of England. Among them, Alex McRae and Emma Davis -- a.k.a. Skylark Song -- have made an absolutely beautiful debut album.

On the first track, "Take Your Place", Emma actually uses her sweet, expressive voice like an instrument in its own rite. It soars like a swallow on a summer thermal while she accompanies herself on…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 16, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

Dolly Parton - Newcastle Metro Arena (Newcastle, U.K. - June 13, 2014)

Since her debut in 1967, Dolly Parton has released nearly 50 albums in total, appeared in hit movies, hosted numerous TV series and -- as sure as God makes little green apples -- wouldn’t be embarking on yet another epic world tour that brings her to Newcastle, Eng., on a Saturday night if she didn’t still love making music and appearing in front of her fans.

This was the first time my wife had been to a Dolly Parton concert and her eyes were out on stalks during the short…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 16, 2014 at 7:30am — 10 Comments

Interview with Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier’s story is well-documented in her songs and the stories that punctuate them in concert. But, I’ll take a few moments to paraphrase it anyway, as it will help to have some background before reading the fascinating interview I did with the singer-songwriter shortly before the release of her eighth album Trouble & Love.

Mary Veronica Gauthier was left in a New Orleans Asylum shortly after her birth in 1962 and was eventually adopted by a Louisiana…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 15, 2014 at 5:00am — No Comments

Shipcote and Friends - Perambulating (Album Review)

The happiest album you’ll hear this year

Take a man who loves country music, especially the Swing variety, a hometown that he loves without waver, and a roomful of musicians who love making music, and you get Shipcote & Friends' latest offering, Perambulating.

Graham Anderson, a.k.a. Shipcote, has been involved in the music scene for a lot more years than you’d expect from seeing his youthful…


Added by Harrisonaphotos on June 13, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.