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)”

Interview: Jeff Finlin

Jeff Finlin, 2016Esteemed Cleveland Ohio-born singer-songwriter poet Jeff Finlin peels back the outer layers to reveal the truth. Such is his honesty and high standard he has been compared to many of the great past writers of songs and prose. One of his best known compositions is ‘Sugar Blue’ through it been selected by Cameron Crowe for the soundtrack of his feature film, Elizabethtown (2005). Life after death a twenty-track compilation sees release this month on the West London Man in the Moon label. Continue reading “Interview: Jeff Finlin”

Trevor Alguire “Perish The Light” (Independent, 2016)

album-cover-2Canadian singer-songwriter Trevor Alguire has in Perish The Light his sixth album, and with a wealth of travelling behind him back home and across Europe, he is a seasoned performer. No sooner does the needle drop onto the vinyl and Alguire establishes a groove as he shares stories of his worldly travels, speaks of love and of having to stand strong. “My Sweet Rosetta” produces an eerie piece of music for fellow Canadian, award winner Catherine MacLellan to perform a duet. Gritty, dark and foreboding through fine use of fiddle, Miranda Mulholland (Great Lake Swimmers, Belle Star) a moody and captivating canvas is painted. Continue reading “Trevor Alguire “Perish The Light” (Independent, 2016)”

Adam Torres “Pearls To Swine” (Fat Possum, 2016)

 

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American singer-songwriter Adam Torres’ pathway to become a fully committed recording artist has taken longer than it might. I can’t help but think his teaching and voluntary work, in rural villages in the Ecuadorian Andes (and other projects) since his 2006 debut has made the 30 year-old act a more rounded human being and instructed songwriter. Continue reading “Adam Torres “Pearls To Swine” (Fat Possum, 2016)”

Ben Bedford “The Pilot And The Flying Machine” (Waterbug Records, 2016)

a3621921761_10American singer-songwriter Ben Bedford’s fourth album is one of a plaintive, pure open sounding recording. The sound was obtained through utilising the acoustics of Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church in Springfield, Illinois. The Pilot And The Flying Machine was recorded over five days in January of this year, Bedford (acoustic guitar, vocals) and his touring partner of the past two years, Diederik van Wassenaer (violin, viola) and Ethan Jodziewicz (double bass) plus his wife, Kari Bedford who performs graceful harmony vocals. Jodziewicz studied under the legendary Edgar Meyer; and in turn is linked with him when engineer David Sinko (Punch Brothers, Meyer, Yo Yo Ma) does the honours in the department. Continue reading “Ben Bedford “The Pilot And The Flying Machine” (Waterbug Records, 2016)”