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)”

Avant Gardner “Interloper” (It’s Black Music, 2017)

‘Interloper’ is the newest release from Avant Gardner, a multi-instrumentalist from Liverpool who has clearly been around for a while as this is his tenth release and the press release states that he is currently gathering material for an eleventh which is really quite something from a relatively unknown artist. The record itself was written, performed and produced by Avant Gardner himself bar a few lead guitar parts from musicians, Stevil and Phil Dyer and what is immediately striking about the record is the quality of the playing on the record. Continue reading “Avant Gardner “Interloper” (It’s Black Music, 2017)”