Paddy Nash “Gate Fever” (Mad Molly Records 2017)

Paddy Nash is a Derry-born singer-songwriter, more often seen kicking out with his seven-piece band The Happy Enchiladas, here releases his new solo album which sees him largely return to his folk roots. Nash who started out with the Derry Band Whole Tribe Sings, often described as “the greatest Northern Irish band who never made it big”, but who came very close after signing a US album deal and having their song “Happy” feature in Harp Lager’s US advertising campaign. However, “Gate Fever” finds Nash in a more reflective mode and this has enabled him to construct a fine body of work. Continue reading “Paddy Nash “Gate Fever” (Mad Molly Records 2017)”

Slaid Cleaves “Ghost on the Car Radio” (Proper Records 2017)

Slaid Cleaves releases his first album since 2013’s “Still Fighting the War” and it has to be said that the four-year wait has been worthwhile as “Ghost on the Car Radio” is an outstanding return. Born and raised in Maine but now a resident of Austin, Texas, Cleaves has clearly used the time wisely as this is an outstanding bunch of songs, full of insight and characters who are wrestling with the realities of modern life in small-town America such as the reflective tone of the amateur racer in Primer Gray who dwells on life’s changes as her relates his family’s connection to the sport. Or there are the changes that cause hardship to the family farm in Hickory as the narrator accepts that “you can’t stop the march of time”.  Continue reading “Slaid Cleaves “Ghost on the Car Radio” (Proper Records 2017)”

Kate Ellis “Carve Me Out” (River Rose Records, 2017)

Kate Ellis has trodden an interesting path to her debut album. Born in Louisiana, with a father who once played guitar for Hank Williams, she grew up in New York with a gift for classical piano and is now based in London and a qualified lawyer for good measure. However, the most relevant point of all is that Carve Me Out is quite simply a superb debut album and one that announces the arrival of a genuine talent.  Continue reading “Kate Ellis “Carve Me Out” (River Rose Records, 2017)”

Lil’ Lost Lou “Lil’ Lost Lou” (Bully Records 2017)

Lil’ Lost Lou may just have balanced out one of the most one sided stories in musical history. The Country/Rockabilly singer from Camden Town, aka Lou Psyche, has finally given voice to the eternal ‘other woman’, Jolene. I kIssed Your Man (Jolene) is as haunting a track as you will hear all year and one of a number of treasures on this debut album from this regular on the London Country/Punk scene. To record this album, Lou made a trip to Nashville to work with producer Billy Livsey, who has previously worked with the likes of Ronnie Lane and Kenny Rogers. Continue reading “Lil’ Lost Lou “Lil’ Lost Lou” (Bully Records 2017)”

Christopher Rees “The Nashville Songs” (Red Eye Music 2017)

Christopher Rees releases his seventh full album and his first since 2013’s Stand Fast. Rees, who alongside being a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, is also a director of the Red Eye record label. After having been twice nominated for Best Male Solo Artist at the Welsh Music Awards, he finally won the award in 2004 for debit album The Sweetest Ache. Having toured with the likes of Cherryhomes, Chuck Prophet, The Sadies and Steve Earle, Rees is also notable for being the first ever to perform at The Houses of Parliament in 2004.  Continue reading “Christopher Rees “The Nashville Songs” (Red Eye Music 2017)”

Tim Grimm and the Family Band “A Stranger In This Time” (Cavalier Recordings 2017)

One of the leading Folk and Americana exponents, Tim Grimm, delivers his latest album rich in imagery and potent of lyrics. The personal, the political and the social are all examined, alongside tunes of real beauty delivered with glorious textured vocals. Tim is supported, in writing and recording, by his sons Jackson and Connor alongside his wife Jan, who weighs in with harmonica and vocals. Continue reading “Tim Grimm and the Family Band “A Stranger In This Time” (Cavalier Recordings 2017)”

Threefifty “Gently Among The Coals” (Independent, 2017)

Threefifty founders Brett Parnell and Geremy Schulick have developed their love of, and influences from, guitar heroes such as Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler through classical guitar training, and released three previous albums. And then they drop ‘Gently Among The Coals’ on us and leave it to us to figure it out. Now grown into an eight-piece, harnessing keyboards, mandolins and violin alongside the traditional guitar-bass-drum package, their sound has evolved into something almost indefinable but also, once heard, inescapable. Continue reading “Threefifty “Gently Among The Coals” (Independent, 2017)”