A set of tunes from Peter Knight and John Spiers based around the traditional songs and tunes ‘The Cuckoo song / The Cuckoo’s Nest / The Cuckoo’s Nest (Longborough Morris)’. It’s a masterly medley that moves from an elegiac take on a well known song to the vigorously pagan glory of the Morris. Now, where’s our sticks and hankies ?
Keld is an old Northern English word meaning “the deep, still, smooth part of a river”. That’s an economical word, and You Are Wolf’s album is also economical, the sparse sounds drawing on traditional songs that have fresh water at their heart. Kerry Andrews – who is You Are Wolf – thinks that salt water has for too long dominated the folk scene – with songs of sea borne exploring, whale hunting and shanties filling album after album. What about lochs? What about rivers? What about streams and pools? ‘Keld’ is the fruit of her labours in in-land waterways. Continue reading “You Are Wolf “Keld” (Firecrest Records, 2018)”
Kim Richey is mixing with the right people – on the first single from her new album ‘Edgelands’ she had Chuck Prophet contributing, and elsewhere on the album there’s the likes of Robyn Hitchcock and Kim’s about to go out on tour supporting Gretchen Peters. Names have been dropped – and so has this new single which sees Richey enthusiastically rejecting a wild youth – “I’m up and running from the way I was before” she claims. And we almost believe her.
On stage Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers are Frances Luke Accord, a duo that is all about delicate finger-picked guitar and close harmony vocals. It’s a timeless sound that inevitably leads to Simon & Garfunkel comparisons, and it’s true that there’s plenty of poetry in the lyrics of new single ‘Maria’ with arresting images of a love that is strong enough to illumine a darkened world “if the sun goes dark someday / all the stars fall out from space / oh, solace me, my enlightened one / with no stars and with no sun”.
There are not so many mother and son folk duos, but if they could all sound as good as Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear then we’d be all in favour of this being the next big trend in folk. Ruth Ward had her own career going in the sixties and seventies, but took time-out for family. Well, what goes around comes around and as Madisen explains “My mom started to become a fan of the things that I was writing. She would tell me, ‘Hey, I’m gonna take a break during this show. You should go up and play a couple songs…she started playing on my original songs, and the songs just started to take shape more and more and kind of almost develop their own sound.” And it’s a great sound.
New England singer songwriter Jesse Terry will be returning to the UK to join friend and fellow songwriter Callaghan on her April tour. The pair recently completed a series of sell-out shows in the US and will open in Liverpool on Tuesday 17th April. Jesse has a new album, his fifth, which is called ‘Natural’ and will be released on 30th March and features appearances from special guests Dar Williams, Kim Richey, Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope, Liz Longley, Sarah Darling, Annie Clements and Erin Rae. Continue reading “Jesse Terry has UK tour in April”
Delafaye is the performance name of Lousianna one-man-band Andrew Shockley who home records , and plays all the instruments on his tracks including this new one. ‘Anyway’ is dreamy and melodic – it’s an anthem of non-commitment and active avoidance with a hint at deeper issues at work “I wish I was fine / I wish I really was / I hope you and me, stay together for a while”. It’s burnt out and downbeat, and it sticks in the mind.
Folk music, the gathering threads of tradition, is forever being renewed – it needs reshaping as much as reverence if it’s to be inculcated into new generations of singers and musicians. And at any one time there are two or three strong exponents of the music that set the new normal for how folk is meant to sound. Bird in the Belly came together at Cecil Sharp House through a celebration of Young Folk organised by Sam Lee’s Nest Collective. And thank goodness they did because this combination of avant-garde singer Jinwoo, traditional duo Hickory Signals (Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti), multi-instrumentalist Tom Pryor and musician Epha Roe is one of those magical combinations that might never have happened without a nudge here and there. Continue reading “Bird in the Belly “The Crowing” (GFM Records, 2018)”
The 286 are a London based musical collective brought together when Spencer Hannabuss posted an advert on the internet for classical musicians to join his band. Time Immemorial is The 286’s first single to be released this year, and the blend of finger-picked guitar is likely to bring to mind ‘Blackbird’, ‘She’s Leaving Home’, and, if out ears don’t deceive us, a little bit of ‘She’. A song, then, with influences – but pretty enough in its own right.
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice ! This November will see the long awaited return to these hallowed shores of, arguably, the greatest band in the world currently touring. A strong claim, but one which you don’t really want to disagree with – we’re more than happy to argue the point. Endlessly. And anyway, why argue ? Isn’t it enough to know that in a few mere months the streets of our fine cities will echo to the clipping blakey studded heels of Jenny Conlee, Nate Query, John Moen, Chris Funk and Colin Meloy? Continue reading “Decemberists will tour the UK in November”