Charles Douglas “Statecraft – Expanded Edition” (Broken Horse, 2017)

I’m not going to spend much time reviewing the original Statecraft songs, it’s a record that I’d expect any self-respecting music fan to own. I know the songs inside out and expect you to too, but it was a massive pleasure having to listen to them again. For me Douglas is a mixture of Robert Pollard, David Berman, Lou Barlow, FM Cornog and Jonathan Richman, could’ve, maybe should’ve been huge but an ornery attitude and an aversion to playing live did for him. It’s down to the good folks at Broken Horse who have been persevering with these reissues that his name is back on the radar. Here we get 19 additional tracks culled from the same sessions as the main album and featuring Joey Santiago (The Pixies) on most tracks. Continue reading “Charles Douglas “Statecraft – Expanded Edition” (Broken Horse, 2017)”

JR Green “Tiger Lilly” – Listen

JR Green are two brothers from Strontian, a remote Scottish village a few miles from the most westerly point on mainland Britain, who describe themselves as “bringing a more youthful, virile edge to folk and traditional music.” If there’s one thing there’s not enough of in folk, its virility. New single Tiger Lilly is taken from their soon to be released Flora EP, and “attempts an honest representation of what it is to be made a loser by longing and obsession, what it is to be weak and bloodthirsty, and all else better left in darkness.” Which sounds absolutely terrifying.

Jack Tempchin “Jack Tempchin” (Floating World, 2017)

As the man who wrote Peaceful Easy Feeling for The Eagles, Jack Tempchin won the composition lottery. As well as drinking champagne from ladies shoes and lighting cigars with $100 bills, he then found time to make his own long-playing record. Jack’s eponymously named solo album from 1978 was recorded at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals with a host of fabulous musicians supporting him in his endeavour. But subsequently the album got lost in one of those record company reshuffles, when executive legend Clive Davis, who’d signed him to Arista (originally as a member of the Funky Kings), left the company. Its subsequent release in 2017 prompts two burning questions. Who are the mega-stars who helped him record it? Is this album worth digging deep for and slapping your hard-earned dosh down on the counter of Our Price? (This and other record shops may not be available.) Continue reading “Jack Tempchin “Jack Tempchin” (Floating World, 2017)”

The Burning Hell “Revival Beach” (BB*ISLAND, 2017)

It’s the apocalypse, how did it happen? Well this portmanteau from the ever reliable Burning Hell approaches it (the end of the world as we know it) from multiple angles drawing out the humour, the tiny individual tragedies and the sheer banality of the world ending without announcement, life just stopping. TBH have never stood still and on this eighth full length they’re down to a trio but the musical boundaries continue to expand, from the storytelling of Nurse & Patient to the clarinet and bouzouki led Race to Revival Beach. There are reminders of their agit-folk roots with Friend Army, which somehow makes me think of Orange Juice. Continue reading “The Burning Hell “Revival Beach” (BB*ISLAND, 2017)”

Handsome Family announce 2018 tour

Everyone’s favourite spooky / weird / incredibly engaging / thoughtful lyrical producing / musical genius Americana band the Handsome Family have announced a series of UK dates for 2018.  This will see them playing a set of larger venues, in keeping with their new stature following the 2015 use of their song Far From Any Road as the theme tune to Season 1 of HBO’s hit TV drama series True Detective, which had the effect of  introducing them to a whole new audience and a whole load of new fans. Continue reading “Handsome Family announce 2018 tour”