M.Lockwood Porter “How To Dream Again” (Hidden Trail Records, 2016)

Smashing thunknownrough what sounds like a cult singing on the side of a mountain, the album bursts into life on ‘American Dreams Denied’ with a powerful guitar lick that squeals and rocks. It reminds this reviewer of The Pursuit of Happiness. Quickly moving on to ‘Burn Away’ with its steel guitar and hint of Hammond B3 very much a 70s vibe with a lazy Younglike drum beat. Clearly a ‘Time Fades Away’ going on and the strong vocals don’t dispel the feeling as they power the song through the bridge with its lingering guitar. This is classic songwriting beyond verse chorus verse chorus etc. Continue reading “M.Lockwood Porter “How To Dream Again” (Hidden Trail Records, 2016)”

Thomas Charlie Pederson “Second Hand War” (Karmanian Records, 2016)

tp2It’s a family affair as Thomas Pederson is joined and produced by Daniel Pederson. This is a sparse album recorded by someone who has obviously listened to his Dylan and many other confessional singers and there is a spark of something wonderful here. It is only a spark at present, but there is sufficient evidence of a potential major talent at work buried deep in the grooves. This is not however an album for the casual listener. The songs are presented in a very austere way with minmal instrumentation – a guitar or a piano perhaps a ukulele and this lack of colour gives the whole a very monochrome feel and throws the songs into stark relief, and they are not yet good enough for that.  Continue reading “Thomas Charlie Pederson “Second Hand War” (Karmanian Records, 2016)”

Tom Baxendale “In The City A Short Time Ago” (Backwater Collective, 2016)

Aunknownnother slice of new American Americana drifts into town on the back of half written melodies and unsympathetic production that buries the vocals behind a sheen of dulled instrumentation. Surprising really as Tom Baxendale has self produced this ‘not brilliant’ advert for his songsmithery. There are snatches of decent ideas and some lovely guitar passages but the overall feeling is of a smidgen of self indulgence overriding a sense of quality control.  Continue reading “Tom Baxendale “In The City A Short Time Ago” (Backwater Collective, 2016)”