Winter Mountain “I Swear I Flew” (Astral Fox records, 2016)

Winter-Mountain-2016I Swear I Flew is Winter Mountain’s first full album since his acclaimed self-titled, debut album in 2013. With a keen rhythm section in support, Cornish singer-songwriter Joe Francis (Winter Mountain) leads the listener through a set of songs perfectly suited for the genre aimed. Francis is not only carrying on a tradition ventured by such legends as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Neil Young but developing certain aspects as he ventures along the road, marrying his fine songwriting to his ability to seamlessly harness his energy. Continue reading “Winter Mountain “I Swear I Flew” (Astral Fox records, 2016)”

Thisell “II” (Jelly Fant Records, 2016)

If you are into art leaning Thisell-2016mystical, sometimes dark and out there music chances are you will enjoy this. Such are the innovative arrangements and beauty of the work performed by Swedish singer-songwriter Peter Thisell , who is supported in style by a bunch of friends playing piano, violin, acoustic, lap steel, electric bass, lead guitar, upright bass, diatonic accordion, drums and harmony vocals. Continue reading “Thisell “II” (Jelly Fant Records, 2016)”

Select Captain “Strings & Feathers” (Mini Me Records, 2016)

SELECT CAPTAIN-2016Kristian Gaarskjaer’s latest album under his musical alter ego pseudonym, Select Captain has him come through with an intelligent, Americana focussed singer-songwriter record. Recorded at Homeless Studios in Copenhagen he also utilises hints of late 1980s early 1990s indie pop rock. On the back of his debut release The Fear And The Lights he once again impresses with his honest heart and soul style of music. Gaarskjaer’s songs deal with joy, despair, arrogance, loneliness, greed and optimism as he allows his thoughts and fears, plus general everyday emotions spill forth in artistic fashion. Supported by guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, mandolin, lap steel, organ and piano the record is ever busy, instrumentally. Continue reading “Select Captain “Strings & Feathers” (Mini Me Records, 2016)”

The Slow Show “Dream Darling” (Haldern Pop Recordings, 2016)

The Slow Show-2016Quirky and eclectic the music and vocals of Rob Goodwin are undeniable. In many ways The Slow Show breathe fresh air into the scene as the five-man unit take the listener away from the predictable and sometimes mundane work of all too many bands. The band’s debut album of last year, White Water was a more aggressive and urgent album in comparison, but such is the compelling manner of Goodwin’s story-telling, and spare instrumental arrangements provided by band members Fred Kindt (keyboards), Joel Byrne-McCullough (guitar), James Longden (bass) and Chris Hough (drums) the listener becomes trapped the instant the needle drops into the groove. Added to the above as a bonus Goodwin is joined on vocals on “Hurt” and “Last Man Standing” by Manchester vocalist Kesha Ellis. On the latter he speaks with no little passion of a man jilted-at-the-altar and of ‘the tears in his eye’.

Continue reading “The Slow Show “Dream Darling” (Haldern Pop Recordings, 2016)”

Jeff Crosby “Waking Days” (At the Helm Records, 2015)

a0963400895_16Jeff Crosby though still young has just enough living under his belt to qualify as a seasoned performer, and a voice dripping in character with the songs to match. His worth as a songwriter if weighed in gold would take more than one man to carry. “Carved In Sandstone” speaks of how Tennessee got the best of him. Restlessly, he breezes through a succession of vividly painted scenes likened to those from the silver screen, or an independent cross-country road movie.  Continue reading “Jeff Crosby “Waking Days” (At the Helm Records, 2015)”

Wire & Wool “Wire & Wool” (Independent, 2016)

cover170x170-1Wire & Wool are a lively 7-piece from Dundee, Scotland. Formed in 2014 they combine elements of bluegrass, folk and country with energy akin to punk. As with their American counterparts, North Carolina band Chatham County Line , the well-structured unit may push back boundaries, but at the same time they respect the old values. Recorded up in Perth, members Mark Hand (mandolin, vocals), Alex Riach (fiddle, vocals), Jimmy Buchan Wright (banjo, vocals), Hazel Martin fiddle, vocals), Theo Barnard (guitar, vocals), James Hall (double bass, vocals) and Barry Nisbet (fiddle, vocals) are a fiddle-driven unit, and a handy clean set of players at that. Continue reading “Wire & Wool “Wire & Wool” (Independent, 2016)”

Sera “Little Girl” (Folkal Records, 2016)

a2998093216_16While I am unsure why Caernarfon, North Wales based Sera feels the need to have an out of focus cover photo adorn the front of the CD cover, there is no shortage of focus regards the direction of her music. Due to the diverse, clever constant changing of musical arrangements and the varied tone of Sera vocals it ensures the listener is kept entertained. Continue reading “Sera “Little Girl” (Folkal Records, 2016)”