Jason Haywood “Folklore” (Independent, 2017)

In something of a departure for the Canadian singer-songwriter, the latest album by Jason Haywood is a dark, ambitious and as big in scope as the land it came from. The opening (The Ballad of Clara Leigh) is vast and atmospheric with the narrator asking if the howl he can hear across the frozen wastes is the wind or the ghost of his murdered love and things don’t much fluffier from here. The music itself, a creative blend of folk styles that moves away from his previous leanings towards a more Country-based sound, is much of what you’d expect from an record entitled Folklore and there is more than one reference to the British folk music by which it’s influenced. Continue reading “Jason Haywood “Folklore” (Independent, 2017)”

Karla Kane “King’s Daughters Home For Incurables” – Listen

Californian Karla Kane unleashes a veritable storm of melodic whimsy on this ukulele led new folk-song that celebrates a mythical world of English folk whilst admitting that “I wanted to be an English folk singer / A new Shirley Collins, the next Cecil Sharp”.  Quick as a fox, though, she turns the song in a different direction “A terrible troll lived up in his tower / Surrounded by minions who couldn’t say no” before reflecting that “I don’t know if this machine can kill fascists / but maybe annoying them’s alright for now”.

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Dingwall’s, London, 5th December 2017

A random conversation with a total stranger at this summer’s Ramblin’ Man Fair, who insisted I head directly to the Blues tent to see an amazing guitar slinger from Nashville, is what brought me to this pass on a Tuesday evening in Camden. That afternoon’s set in Maidstone back in July had other complete strangers turning to each other in the tent, with a look of excitement borne of witnessing a future star in the making. Continue reading “Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Dingwall’s, London, 5th December 2017”

Sheryl Crow: Country artists are beholden to the NRA

It’s the bit about money that’s the killer in this claim which also happens to be bang on it (the money that is).  The Guardian reports: “Money and fear have kept country music artists from speaking out about gun laws, the nine-time Grammy Award-winner Sheryl Crow said, even after thousands of country fans were targeted in October in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. “You would think after Vegas we would see some leadership from our country community,” Crow told the Guardian. “But all I can say about that is if there’s money involved, and fear, these conversations come to a screeching halt.
Continue reading “Sheryl Crow: Country artists are beholden to the NRA”

Broken Witt Rebels, Boston Music Room, London, 29 November 2017

The Broken Witt Rebels brought their unique blend of heavy blues, high energy rock, southern soul and Americana to north London last Tuesday, during a tour for their debut album which they’ve just released. Continue reading “Broken Witt Rebels, Boston Music Room, London, 29 November 2017”

VanWyck “Listen to you Breathe” – Listen

Just to show that it’s never too late to hear a contender for the song of the year, VanWyck’s Listen to you Breathe is, ironically, a breath taking piece of music.  An artist that has tried her hand at a variety of musical genres, here her singer-songwriter chops are unassailable, and the dramatic tension of this song – from her album An Average Woman due out in January – is undeniable.

Daisy Chapman “Good Luck Songs” (Songs & Whispers 2017)

Good Luck Songs is the third album from Bristol based Daisy Chapman who presents here an album of eight original songs and one remake of an old standard. With a distinctive soaring vocal she is able to set herself apart from other singer-songwriters with the opening title track being a perfect example. Effectively saying good luck in many languages the overall refrain is Kila la Kheri,  which appears to be that sentiment in Swahili, delivered over lush strings and choir. This really is a mesmerising and enchanting track. Continue reading “Daisy Chapman “Good Luck Songs” (Songs & Whispers 2017)”

Graham Nash: CSNY might reunite to fight Trump

FAKE NEWS!  Actually it’s not although don’t get your hopes up too much – the Independent is reporting this morning: “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fans: there’s a chance the band is getting back together. Well, at least according to one of the four members.  It’s no secret that band member Graham Nash has held some resentment toward musician David Crosby during the past two years. It’s gotten so heated that the possibility of a band reunion seemed like it was off the table. But now, Nash has spoken out and given us some hope. They’d have to be talking to each other first, however.  Continue reading “Graham Nash: CSNY might reunite to fight Trump”