Enchanting Folk music for the masses
When I was a lad there was Pop Music, Country & Western, The Blues, Jazz and Folk as it was a much simpler time. Last week I was in a conversation with a guy who described his band as Math-Punk. I’ll go to my grave not knowing what they sound like.
This brings me to singer-songwriter Jenny Ritter who will probably be pigeon-holed in the Folk bracket, but much like Nanci Griffith she is much,…Continue
I’ve always been attracted to album covers; it’s always been an important part of the package, but recently it’s become something of an obsession; mostly because of the amount of half-hearted and amateurish designs that I come across. Even in this download age; most music fans will still scan websites looking for new music; so the album cover is just as important as ever; which brings me to the artwork for Greta Gaines’s LIGHTHOUSE &…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on May 22, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments
SHININ’ LIVE is the DVD and the ass-kickin', hip-grinding and smile making soundtrack CD of the concert at Bootleggers Bar in Kendal, England is included as a free Extra.
I can remember the night, as if it was yesterday, when I was standing in front of a packed crowd who had come from all over the UK to see this special gig in a Bar that appeared to have been tele-ported direct from Nashville.
The album opens with Bar Owner Jonty…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on May 22, 2013 at 10:30am — No Comments
Cinematic and atmospheric Alt-Country
After nearly 50 years as a music fan and 15 as a reviewer I still get excited about discovering new bands and having my breath taken away by songs and tunes that I’ve not heard before.
I was aware of I See Hawks in L.A. but only owned 3 tracks on VA compilations when this album arrived, so was only mildly interested at the prospect of listening to it.
Well; it only took 15 seconds of a…Continue
What can I tell you? I’ve been a fan of Emmylou Harris since I first saw The Last Waltz at the cinema in 1979 and Rodney Crowell ever since a friend gave me a copy of Diamonds and Dirt on cassette as a birthday present. So, finally seeing not only one of them in concert, but both together had made me nervously excited for weeks in advance.
If you don’t know it, the Sage Music Centre on the Gateshead side of the banks of the River Tyne is an amazing building that…Continue
There are very few singers or bands that have a 100% distinctive Trademark sound; but The Mavericks achieved that very early in their career and in the UK you still can’t go to a Wedding without being corralled onto the dance-floor as soon as you hear the opening bars to Dance The Night Away.
After breaking up in 2004 lead singer and songwriter, Raul pursued a successful solo career visiting the UK several times…Continue
For what it’s worth; long may they run.
Crosby, Still, Nash and Young have been a part of my musical life since my early teenage years with my brother wearing out his first copy of DÉJÀ VU on the family radiogram. Subsequently I’ve become a tireless fan of Mr. Young and adding tracks from the others to VA recordings for sunny days in the garden. So; it was with some trepidation when I agreed to review this tribute album; as I know CSN&Y…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on May 16, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
As part of my job I go to see a lot of concerts featuring established artists and bands; and occasionally I get a little when I see two or three gigs a week. But, every so often I go to young, local bands and get my love of Rock and Roll music restored simply by the energy and passion I see and hear on stage. Tonight was such a night.
I’d seen the first band, Lilliput, just before Christmas and thought they had potential, especially as that venue had terrible acoustics.…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on May 12, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments
Harmonious British Americana
ahab are a four piece band from London who are currently being championed by some pretty influential people in the UK media; and I can now see what all the fuss is about with this re-mastered amalgam of their two EP’s which qualifies as their debut as a four piece for the majority of their fans.
I especially love the way ahab combine the very best of British Folk music with the sweet harmonies and jangly guitars that have littered…Continue
5th May 2013
I only discovered the Toy Hearts in 2010 when they had a mid-afternoon slot at the Gateshead SummerTyne Festival and it was immediately obvious that not only were the two young sisters who fronted the band easy on the eye; they were excellent musicians too. Subsequently I’ve seen them a further twice and each time the band have been better than the previous visit.
Added by Alan Harrison on May 8, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments
The Commander finally finds his Planet and it’s Planet Cool
I’m too young to remember Bill Kirchen’s first incarnation in Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen; but I can tell you that he has gently matured into his current position as the Elder Statesman of Americana very easily as this newly recorded 'Greatest Hits recording will show.
Most of Bill’s peers are now either dead or retired and I can’t think of a single one who…Continue
Wandering Minstrel brings together all the strands of Roots music on one magical album
Woody Pines is/are a singer/band that has criss-crossed my musical path a few times in the last few years yet I’m still lost as how to describe them; even more so on this, his/their fourth album, RABBITS MOTEL.
In theory Woody Pines is a troubadour, in the spirit of Woody Guthrie, travelling across America with just a Resonator guitar as company;…Continue
The Blues Band was originally formed in 1979 and consists of five musicians who were all integral parts of the 1960’s British Blues Boom; with guitarist Tom McGuiness and singer, raconteur and BBC Radio 2 Blues Show presenter Paul Jones on vocals and harmonica both from Manfred Mann, singer-guitarist Dave Kelly who toured extensively with Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker, bass player Gary Fletcher from Sam Apple Pie, and drummer Rob Townsend from…Continue
Canada unearths another diamond
Although several friends were, and indeed are, still huge fans of The Wailin’ Jennys, the band has somehow managed to pass me by. The first time Ruth Moody came across my radar was when she played a concert at the Jumping Hot Club in Newcastle and, even then I’d only gone to see the support act, Ruth really, really impressed me that night. I subsequently bought her album, THE GARDEN which I played to death for…Continue
The old Growler is back on form
Eric Burdon has been a part of my life for as long as I remember as there were three Animal’s EP’s in a box of records that I was given when I was about 9 yrs old; coupled with the fact he comes from about 10 miles North of my home we were practically related.
It’s fair to say that he will always be judged by a handful of songs he recorded in the early 1960’s but he’s never stopped recording or touring…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on May 3, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments
A new Queen is crowned by the Guitar King of the Blues
I’d not heard of Beth Hart until I was invited to see her early this year but I was mightily impressed by her performance and her recent recorded work; including her DON’T EXPLAIN collaboration with Joe Bonamassa; who I’ve ever really been enamoured by.
After being publicly…Continue
Refreshing; atmospheric ballads from young Welsh duo
Apart from knowing their name from listing magazines, I knew next to nothing about Paper Aeroplanes when this album arrived through the post; so was intrigued to find that they weren’t an Indie Band as I’d first presumed. They are in fact, a Welsh boy/girl duo – Richard Llewellyn and Sarah Howells who have been treading the boards since 2009.
When the Windows Shook opens…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on May 1, 2013 at 1:30am — No Comments
Classy Country-Soul with a hefty dash of the Blues to send a shiver down your spine
A year ago I missed a Chastity Brown performance by five minutes; and some of my friends are still tormenting me with tales of how great her performance was that night; but I have a copy of her debut album months before its’ release and now it’s my turn to be smug.
I know that this will upset some of my ‘right-on’ readers but, Chastity is a heady…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on April 29, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments
The lights dimmed on a half full/empty room and the dulcet tones of Tammy Wynette and George Jones singing the Ceremony filtered out of the speakers. Soon a mysterious couple made their way, arm in arm across the stage; shrouded in shadows. As the song ended the…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on April 27, 2013 at 2:30am — No Comments
19th April 2013
It’s been quite awhile since the Governor of the Heart of Texas made an appearance at the Jumping Hot Club, meaning tonight’s show was a complete sell-out weeks in advance. The Kinkster looked the epitome of ‘Cool’ dressed head to toe in black, wearing his trademark huge Stetson and sporting a King-size cigar, which he didn’t get to smoke but used as a prop during several…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on April 25, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments