Dave Stewart “Nashville Sessions – The Duets” (DSE/Membran, 2017)

Dave Stewart is most likely to be best known for his work alongside Annie Lennox – however, he is more than just the co-founder of The Eurythmics. With a career spanning over 40 years, millions of records sold, a number of high-profile collaborations and various forays into other channels of media,  Stewart is one of the most renowned and respected musicians in the business and his newest release, is a collection of songs made up of the best duets recorded during the album sessions for three different records ‘The Blackbird Diaries’, ‘The Ringmaster General’ and ‘Lucky Numbers’ recorded and released over a three year period. Alongside Stewart on the record, are some very talented and very famous friends including Stevie Nicks, Alison Krauss Colbie Caillat, Joss Stone and many more, who, without exception, deliver brilliant vocal performances and perfectly justify why they themselves, are all household names in their own right. Continue reading “Dave Stewart “Nashville Sessions – The Duets” (DSE/Membran, 2017)”

Jasper Sloan Yip “Post Meridiem” (Afterlife Music/Membran, 2017)

‘Post Meridiem’ is the third full length release from Canadian-based Jasper Sloan Yip and finds the singer-songwriter expand on and further refine the sound he found on his two previous releases ‘Every Day And All At Once’ and the follow-up, 2013’s ‘Foxtrot’. The record begins with a slow, brooding cello intro which gradually builds into the first real track The Day Passed and the Sun Went Down which successfully explores, and experiments with, different dynamics throughout the track and is an early indication of what is to follow. Journeying through quiet verses and a more upbeat, louder chorus eventually climaxing in a brilliant guitar solo, the track is an early highlight on a solid record. Immediately following, is Strangers, an ethereal, piano-led ballad, again, utilising the versatility in his voice to create an impressive falsetto chorus and it is clear that Yip’s talents are most prominent within the realms of these mid-tempo ballads. Continue reading “Jasper Sloan Yip “Post Meridiem” (Afterlife Music/Membran, 2017)”

The Yawpers “Boy In A Well” (Bloodshot Records, 2017)

The Yawpers are a three-piece band hailing from Denver, Colorado and their third release ‘Boy In A Well’ see’s them attempt to tackle the story of a new mother abandoning her unwanted child in World War I through the medium of song however, melancholy subject matter aside, this record isn’t quite the gloomy trip you might expect. Continue reading “The Yawpers “Boy In A Well” (Bloodshot Records, 2017)”

Richard Thompson “Acoustic Rarities” (Beewsing Records, 2017)

Coming a mere 2 months after his other 2017 release ‘Acoustic Classics Vol II’, Richard Thompson has released his collection of Acoustic Rarities made up of some unreleased acoustic recordings, songs that have only previously been released by other artists, tracks taken from both his vast body of solo work and some acoustic re-imaginations from his Fairport Convention days. Fans of Thompson know that he is no stranger to both hard work and producing consistent, quality content having been in the business some 40 years and Acoustic Rarities, of course, is of no exception. Continue reading “Richard Thompson “Acoustic Rarities” (Beewsing Records, 2017)”

Jon C Butler “Universal Stranger” (Strataville, 2017)

Jon C Butler has had a lengthy career with his band Diesel Park West most noted for their critically acclaimed debut ‘Shakespeare Alabama’ released some 25 years ago. His newest output and debut solo album ‘Universal Stranger’, puts a modern spin on a retro sound – using lyrics and themes from 2017 against a backdrop of 70’s or 80’s sounding production and as a whole, that sound works. First track When The Walls Went Down is reminiscent of Dylan’s work with the band, kicking out with a purposeful almost spoken-word vocal and slides into the more melodic Each Other a steady paced song that is lyrically, highlighting the importance of realising we are all in this together which seems to be a message threaded throughout the record as a whole. Continue reading “Jon C Butler “Universal Stranger” (Strataville, 2017)”

The Wynntown Marshals “After All These Years” (Independent, 2017)

After almost ten years since their formation and three full length albums as well as countless EP’s into their career, The Wynntown Marshals have decided to stop and celebrate their output in the form of half-retrospective, half-greatest hits ‘After All These Years’ whilst treating us to two new tracks and a re-recorded version of an older track with the groups most current line-up. Continue reading “The Wynntown Marshals “After All These Years” (Independent, 2017)”

Chris Tye “Stronger In Numbers” (Independent, 2017)

The singer-songwriter genre is heavily over saturated and sometimes it can seem a bit like anyone with a guitar and half a voice can record an album (whether it is of any quality or not) and get it out there but every once in a while you stumble across someone with a little spark about them, something that sets them apart from the rest. Chris Tye has that spark and ‘Stronger In Numbers’ is on fire. The album begins slowly with Feature Fight which is a brooding, building track with a brilliant falsetto chorus. However, it doesn’t stand out as a huge opening track and just as you think you can expect what is to come, the album steps up a gear and from that point the album is all killer, no filler. Continue reading “Chris Tye “Stronger In Numbers” (Independent, 2017)”

Jesse Dayton “The Revealer” (Blue Elan Records, 2016)

Jesse Dayton has had quite the career, playing alongside true legends like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell, time spent making soundtracks for horror movies and even venturing into punk for a spell in the LA band ‘X’, it seems that he can turn his hand to almost anything and ‘The Revealer’, his ninth studio album, serves as a melting pot which sees him take something from each of these influences an blend them into his own sound. Continue reading “Jesse Dayton “The Revealer” (Blue Elan Records, 2016)”

The Last Dinosaur “The Nothing” (Naim Records, 2017)

“The Nothing” is the long-awaited follow-up to The Last Dinosaurs’ debut album and it is evident from the outset that, that time has been well spent. The record opens with the short, gentle acoustic track Atoms accompanied solely by the whispered vocals of the front man and brainchild, Jamie Cameron, and a beautiful string arrangement to add some depth to an otherwise sparse track. The opener is a good indication of the overall sound of the record in terms of the musicianship and the themes explored throughout and second track Grow takes that formula and builds on it adding drums and another whispered vocal. Continue reading “The Last Dinosaur “The Nothing” (Naim Records, 2017)”

Gian Luca & the Oak “The Flowers Never Grown” (Independent 2017)

Gianluca Gentile is an Italian-born, London-based singer-songwriter who self released his debut EP ‘The Flowers Never Grown’ earlier this year and is backed up on the record by his talented band, The Oak. The record kicks off with an upbeat folk number Let You Be that sits somewhere between Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons in terms of its energy and the utilising of the talents of his backing group and the variety of instruments on offer, particularly the drummer Emanuela Monni who puts in a great performance and Gianluca himself who plays a plethora of instruments on the recording. Continue reading “Gian Luca & the Oak “The Flowers Never Grown” (Independent 2017)”