Greg Halpin “Notes from a Bedroom” (Independent, 2016)

Greg-Halpin-2016The debut solo album from Montreal-based Greg Halpin delivers exactly what its title suggests: slice of life observational songs recorded in a makeshift bedroom studio. The 13 tracks are arranged almost exclusively for acoustic guitar, alternating between heart-felt strumming and lively finger-picking. This instrumental austerity does get tedious at times. The odd harmonica or whistling solos aren’t enough to keep listeners engaged all the way through the longer compositions. Continue reading “Greg Halpin “Notes from a Bedroom” (Independent, 2016)”

Emma Tricca and Jason McNiff “Southern Star” (Dell’Orso Records, 2016)

Tricca-McNiff-2016This long-planned collaboration between two stalwarts of the London folk scene, Emma Tricca and Jason McNiff, delivered six songs that combine the feelings of melancholy and excitement one associates with travel. In case the imagery of trains and celestial navigation isn’t enough to send listeners on a journey, Tricca and McNiff namecheck New York, London, Paris, and Rome, letting their obvious affection for these cities shine through. Continue reading “Emma Tricca and Jason McNiff “Southern Star” (Dell’Orso Records, 2016)”

Pete Falloon “Reed in the River” (Independent, 2016)

Pete-Falloon-2016Devonian multi-instrumentalist Pete Falloon debuts as a solo artist with a satisfying album that’s all meat and no filler. ‘Reed in the River’ is an eclectic proposition that sounds folky in its acoustic warmth of mandolin and brushes on the snare drum (Paul Everest on drums) but also groovy with punchy bass lines and bongos.
Falloon’s previous collaborations include a duo with his brother, Mathew (appropriately named Brothers Falloon). Despite the new solo billing, Pete didn’t abandon him. Mathew is the bassist on the record and contributes so many other instrumentation and singing elements, that one can only imagine the brothers are musically inseparable. Continue reading “Pete Falloon “Reed in the River” (Independent, 2016)”

Derek Senn “Avuncular” (Independent, 2016)

Derek-Senn-2016“Avuncular” is one of those words that you didn’t know you needed until you learned what they meant, and then you’re just itching to use it, waiting for the right opportunity to drop it into a conversation. Derek Senn didn’t have to wait too long on his latest album of that title, introducing the figure of uncle Mike in the very first line of the very first song. It tells the story of an American coming of age that feels personal and universal at the same time. Continue reading “Derek Senn “Avuncular” (Independent, 2016)”