Alice Howe “You’ve Been Away So Long” (Fish Records, 2017)

Alice Howe’s journey as a musician takes in all points of the compass. Hailing from Boston, she recorded her new EP on the opposite coast of the US in Seattle. And while the record traces her time in the Pacific Northwest the influences she cites look hundreds of miles to the south to the Californian Laurel Canyon of Joni Mitchell. To her name could easily be added another – and with it a move back east to Nashville – Gillian Welch. In which case, the Dave Rawlings to Howe’s Welch is multi-instrumentalist Jeff Fielder whose plaintive guitar augments her songs’ emotions or articulates what the words cannot or dare not say.  Continue reading “Alice Howe “You’ve Been Away So Long” (Fish Records, 2017)”

The Vine Brothers “No Candy” (Independent, 2017)

Some clarification to begin: they’re not brothers and none of them is called Vine. That should not in any way undermine the authenticity that the Arkansas trio bring to their rootsy folk/bluesgrass sound, a genre noted of course for its long history of familial connections, real and otherwise. No, what Garrett Jones, Joe Credit (you’ve got to hope that name is genuine) and Greg Bucking lack in sibling bonds they make up for in utter commitment, albeit delivered with an appealingly light touch on their third album. Continue reading “The Vine Brothers “No Candy” (Independent, 2017)”