Billy Bragg & Joe Henry @ Celtic Connections. The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow: 26th January 2017

A bit fanciful I suppose to imagine that Bragg & Henry were taking their train theme a bit too literally tonight with the show arriving almost 40 minutes late, the pair taking to the stage after 10 pm. The reality was that the hall had hosted an earlier event, the upshot a steady stream of people leaving before the end, no doubt to catch their own transport. Unfortunately this included your intrepid reporter so we can’t comment on the finale or any encores. Continue reading “Billy Bragg & Joe Henry @ Celtic Connections. The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow: 26th January 2017”

Brigitte DeMeyer & Will Kimbrough “Mockingbird Soul” (BDM Music, 2017)

Despite the fact that Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough have been working together for six years and collaborated on two albums Mockingbird Soul is their first official release as a duo. There are lots of influences here; blues, gospel, early jazz, bluegrass, folk. Music that DeMeyer characterises as acoustic soul. DeMeyer has a wonderfully soulful and sultry voice that has in the past been compared to the best of Emmylou, Lucinda and Bonnie Raitt. There are certainly a couple of tracks here that bring to Bonnie to mind, not least the title track and Rainy Day, both of which typify what the album is all about; crystal clear vocals, beautifully symbiotic harmonies and sparse, minimalistic accompaniment. On Mockingbird Soul that accompaniment is restricted to Will’s favourite instrument, his vintage Gibson J-45 while Rainy Day allows Chris Wood on Upright Bass to lead the way. Continue reading “Brigitte DeMeyer & Will Kimbrough “Mockingbird Soul” (BDM Music, 2017)”

Ramblin’ Roots Revue 2017 announced

If you like the idea of watching quality americana while guzzling down some decent nosh and drinking yourself into oblivion, you’ll be delighted to hear about a celebration of roots, americana, folk and alt-country music which will be taking placed alongside fine beer, whisky and food held at Bucks Students’ Union’s award winning venue in High Wycombe, across the weekend of 7th/8th/9th of April 2017. Clubhouse Records and local micro-brewery the Rebellion Beer Company are launching the event which features over 20 acts from the USA and the UK, playing on two stages, starting on Friday evening and running throughout the day and late into the night on Saturday before rounding off with the “Ramblin’ Roots Sunday Brunch”.  Continue reading “Ramblin’ Roots Revue 2017 announced”

Cup ‘O Joe ‘’Bluebirds’’ (Independent, 2016)

You can be forgiven for not having heard of Cup ‘O Joe before. A gypsy-folk and bluegrass trio from Northern Ireland are as far from mainstream consciousness as you’d expect, but that isn’t such a bad thing, because it allows them to continue on with their gorgeous blend of gentle bluegrass picking, beautiful folk melodies and mellow harmonies throughout Bluebirds, this fantastic EP.
Continue reading “Cup ‘O Joe ‘’Bluebirds’’ (Independent, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: The Nightjar

Drawing influence from the surreal atmospherics of Grouper, the stark and poignant balladry of Diane Cluck and the deft compositions of Colleen, The Nightjar use close-harmonies, tight-interlocking guitars, deep bass and an intense lead vocal to paint fragile, haunting landscapes for their dream-like, ethereal songs of hope, loss and disaster. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Nightjar”

Dirty Dozen: Cassady Southern

Cassady Southern’s new single “Breakdown” is a paean to broken love and showcases the ability of Cassady’s writing to uncover the vulnerable truths within all of us. Cassady’s poetic lyrics and unique delivery are enhanced by the signature sound of guitarist extraordinaire Wolf Mail, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Reuben J Alexander and bassist Brad Fitter. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Cassady Southern”