Thea Gilmore, Winchester Science Centre Planetarium, 22nd September 2017

The unique and atmospheric venue that is the Planetarium at The Winchester Science Centre was the setting for Thea Gilmore to showcase her new and critically acclaimed album, The Counterweight. If such a very different stage was always likely to provide the sell-out audience with a memorable evening then that was further guaranteed when Friday evening chaos on the M3 led to what must be the most bizarre warm up ever for a gig – a stomach churning 360-degree feature film projected onto the dome roof, We Are Stars, spanning the formation of hydrogen, nuclear fusion in stars, formation of asteroids, our own solar system and evolution of life from the very first cells. Continue reading “Thea Gilmore, Winchester Science Centre Planetarium, 22nd September 2017”

Robert Cline Jr “American Mojo” (Mockingbird Records 2017)

This is the second album from Robert Cline Jr, a musician based in the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama who has provided here an album oozing with the spirit and feel of that part of the world. Recorded in Sheffield, Alabama with  members of Muscle Shoals studio musicians known as The Swampers the whole record has a great feel. Cline has a soulful voice which lends itself to the Muscle Shoals style and this really is a quality piece of work. The album notes reference the fact that he has journeyed across the Southern US and as he puts it has found his Mojo. The various musical styles of that part of the world bleed through in all the 13 tracks written or co-written by Cline. Continue reading “Robert Cline Jr “American Mojo” (Mockingbird Records 2017)”

Brother Roy “Carolina” – Listen

Carolina is a track from the debut album, Last Man Standing, from growly voiced folk-rocker Brother Roy. It’s a superb funky groove with touches of Levon Helm and Dr John in the vocal whilst the keyboards take their lead from Al Kooper’s mid-sixties work with Dylan. It’s a truly classic sound from an artist who unashamedly confesses to influences like Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, The Band, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young – a familiar name-check list for sure but rather refreshingly Brother Roy writes and sings songs that sound like he actually has been influenced by ’em. Rolling and rollicking it’s a good time encapsulated.

“The Three Aces” land in the UK for October dates

The Three Aces are US roots rockers Webb Wilder, Warner Hodges and Eric Ambel who land in the UK next week for dates around the country, before heading off to the Netherlands and other estranged EU friends. Wilder has been described as a “riddle spewing prophet of roots rock and roll” who combines rock & roll with surf guitar twang, Hodges made his name as a founder member of legendary americana band Jason & The Scorchers and Ambel was the guitarist with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.  How’s that for a lineup? Continue reading ““The Three Aces” land in the UK for October dates”

Karen and the Sorrows “The Narrow Place” (Independent 2017)

Describing themselves as “Queer country trailblazers” tells the new listener everything they need to know about this interesting four-piece, except perhaps the most important thing which is what’s the music like beyond just ‘country’? The answer on the strength of this album is pretty good, and what’s more perhaps should not be shackled by a musical label such as country let alone one based on sexuality. Continue reading “Karen and the Sorrows “The Narrow Place” (Independent 2017)”

Track premiere: Chris J Connolly “Fight at the End”

“Fight At The End” is the first single from Chris J Connolly’s  sophomore album “Moving Maps” which comes out next month. The track draws from elements of americana, folk, and pop, interlacing guitar textures, harmonies and melody into a reflection on an earlier time in his life. In Connolly’s words: “Fight At The End is about perseverance. It’s about fighting, even if everything seems to tell you that you will lose. I guess it’s about human instinct and survival as much as it is about love. But then, maybe they are one and the same thing.” I’m a Celebrity… notwithstanding of course.

GospelbeacH “Another Summer of Love” (Alive Records, 2017)

The last time I saw Sid Vicious alive was in a supermarket just around the corner from his squat at New Court in Hampstead. He’d been on Top of The Pops with the Sex Pistols the day before, playing ‘Pretty Vacant’ and flashed a massive roll of fivers at me as he paid for his shopping. He said: “You’re still a fucking hippy then? When are you going to get your hair cut?” If Sid was still with us, he’d probably have said the very same thing to GospelbeacH. “Oi! Rademaker! Get yer hair cut!” Continue reading “GospelbeacH “Another Summer of Love” (Alive Records, 2017)”

The Barr Brothers “Queens of the Breakers” – Listen

The Barr Brothers have shared the title track from their forthcoming album which is worryingly described as “anthemic” but is actually a lovely very melodic piece of music. The album, the band’s first in three years, will be released on October 13th, and they have just announced too that they’ll be supporting The War On Drugs for a mostly sold out 17 date run of UK and European dates in November.  ‘Queens of the Breakers’ takes its name from The Breakers, a Vanderbilt mansion perched atop Newport, Rhode Island’s rocky coastline, where as teenagers, brothers Brad and Andrew Barr were part of a mischievous group of friends that would descend upon Newport dressed in their mothers’ clothing. Kind of WH Davies meets Danny La Rue.