Fred’s House “Fault Lines” (Cracking Tunes, 2016)

freds-house-2016Fault Lines is the second album by Fred’s House, following on from their well-received debut, Bonnie and Clyde. Wikipedia cites them as an award winning band based in Cambridge mixing elements of Folk, Pop, Country, Classic Rock and West Coast with a definite vintage feel to their music, echoing the 70’s but creating a fresh new sound that is very much part of now. Continue reading “Fred’s House “Fault Lines” (Cracking Tunes, 2016)”

Ceri James and the Three Fifths “St Augustine’s Heart” (Heed Records, 2016)

ceri-james-and-the-three-fifths-2016Sometimes the charm of a record can be in its deficiencies. Some rough edges, occasional serendipitous errors or just plain bum notes can give life to a piece, especially in an age where the four-to-the-floor, autotuned product can seem the norm. Listening to an album warts and all can bring us closer to the artist and the live experience. It’s why some bands like to go for the ‘live in one take’ style in the studio. Too forensic an approach to getting all the parts exactly right, perfect if you like, can suck the lifeblood out of a record.  Continue reading “Ceri James and the Three Fifths “St Augustine’s Heart” (Heed Records, 2016)”

Keegan McInroe “Uncouth Pilgrims” (Independent, 2016)

keegan-mcinroe-2016‘Uncouth Pilgrims’ is Texas-based singer-songwriter Keegan McInroe’s fourth studio album. The fourteen songs on show deliver some great storytelling and musicianship. At first listen, some of the songs maybe don’t appear that original, with relatively familiar chords structures and feel. It might also be said that Keegan’s vocals aren’t necessarily the strongest. However, whilst his pitching might not always be musically perfect, it is offset by the gruff charm and style of his delivery. That and some great lyrics carry the day and repeated listens highlight more depth to the songs than is first apparent. Continue reading “Keegan McInroe “Uncouth Pilgrims” (Independent, 2016)”

Lizanne Knott “Excellent Day” (Proper Music Distribution, 2016)

lizanne-knott-2016‘Excellent Day’ is Lizanne Knott’s fourth album, dedicated to long-time friend and guitarist Jef Lee Johnson who passed away unexpectedly. It is also the title of the last song on the album, written by Johnson, and covered by Knott to honour her friend. It isn’t the only cover on the album, with tracks by George and Ira Gershwin, Bruce Springsteen and most notably Janis Ian, who gifts Knott the wonderful track ‘Sometimes’. Continue reading “Lizanne Knott “Excellent Day” (Proper Music Distribution, 2016)”

Mackenzie Shivers “Living in My Head” (Independent, 2016)

mackenzie-shivers-2016“Living in My Head” is the six track EP follow up to Mackenzie Shivers’ debut album “Neverland”. Citing her influences as, amongst others, The Chieftains, Elton John and Joni Mitchell, the songs on the EP have a richness and maturity to them. The opening track “This River” is minimal, built around an emphatic and hypnotic beat, with a distinctly Celtic feel. Shivers’ voice carries the song, with some interesting and unexpected harmonies which raise it above the ordinary and take a side road from the mainstream that you might otherwise expect. Continue reading “Mackenzie Shivers “Living in My Head” (Independent, 2016)”