Tyne Darling “These Ghosts” (Hope Parade, 2017)

Tyne Darling is not a real person but the musical and stage moniker for Tommy Vollman, a writer and artist and it appears the subject matter of a forthcoming book. The songs apparently are a companion to various short stories that Vollman has written and cover a range of ambitious but somewhat ambiguous subjects. For example the promotional material provided suggests that Red-Letter Holiday and Come All You Ghosts offer “a no holds barred examination of the nature of rebellion and its polemic resistance.” Quite.
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Carrie Elkin “The Penny Collector” (Independent, 2017)

This is a highly personal and emotional album from Texan Carrie Elkin. Named in honour of her father who passed away over a year ago and who was a lifelong collector of pennies it is one of those pieces of work that is a slow grower that demands attention but one which leaves the listener richly rewarded. Elkin has pedigree, learning her craft from many years of touring and working with a number of musicians including the great Sam Baker. Whilst Baker does not appear on this album he is credited with helping to get the songs together. Continue reading “Carrie Elkin “The Penny Collector” (Independent, 2017)”

Screen Door Porch “Play It Forward” (Yella Dog Records 2017)

This five track EP from Jackson based Screen Door Porch is their fourth such CD offering. They have been touring since 2010 and are clearly a tight band. The Parade opens the CD and is a rock orientated number with heavy organ and slide guitar to the fore. There is diversity in the vocals with transition between male and female which adds an extra dimension to the work. Continue reading “Screen Door Porch “Play It Forward” (Yella Dog Records 2017)”

Imelda May “Life Love Flesh Blood” (Decca, 2017)

This is the first album from Imelda May since 2014 and it is impecably produced by none other than the legendary T Bone Burnett. The style represents a change of direction from the Dublin born singer who has emerged from the break up of her 18 year marriage with an album concentrating on matters of the heart. However, this is not introspective soul searching work but rather well thought out and intelligent songs about the human condition. Continue reading “Imelda May “Life Love Flesh Blood” (Decca, 2017)”

Tom Snow “Uptown Hopeful” (Slipstream Records 2016)

Tom Snow has enjoyed a 50 year career in the music industry and is best known as a songwriter penning Linda Ronstadt’s hit “Don’t Know Much” and Leo Sayer’s “Thunder In My Heart” plus many more. However, he was a pioneer of the late 60’s and early 70’s country rock scene working with a young and already eccentric Gram Parsons before starting his own band named Country. Whilst he released a number of albums in his own name, the songs on this CD have never been released before and it is thus a treasure trove for fans of music from that era which defined much of what we know and love today as Americana. Continue reading “Tom Snow “Uptown Hopeful” (Slipstream Records 2016)”

Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors “Souvenir” (Magnolia Music 2017)

The definition of country music or indeed Americana varies immensely with conflicting views everywhere. However, if your view is that such music should be about real subjects, unpolished and delivered with passion and sincerity then you will fall in love with this album. Recorded in East Nashville there is no trace of trucks, drinking or other such subjects that appear so much in vogue amongst the country establishment.

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Rami and the Whale “Rami and the Whale” (Wooded Shrine Recordings, 2016)

This is a solo album from Swedish singer songwriter Rasmus Blomqvist. It is a mainly acoustic offering which is dark, introspective, melancholy and brooding perhaps reflecting those dark Swedish winter nights. The songs were written over a period of ten years and recorded in what is referred to as a “poor people’s home”. Continue reading “Rami and the Whale “Rami and the Whale” (Wooded Shrine Recordings, 2016)”