Summerhill + Snakes Of Shake + Mick Hargan, The Griffin Glasgow, 17th September 2017

A late eighties jangly update on The Byrds with some REM thrown in, Summerhill were formed from the ashes of Snakes Of Shake, a Glasgow band who thrived locally along with peers such as Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. A favourite of the weeklies (NME, Sounds and such) Summerhill released an album on Demon Records which was well received before the band were swallowed up and then spat out by Polydor, victims of major label whims, with the band soon parting ways. Continue reading “Summerhill + Snakes Of Shake + Mick Hargan, The Griffin Glasgow, 17th September 2017”

Jim McHugh “Noise Machine” (Independent, 2017)

A native of Monaghan, Ireland, Jim McHugh is, as the name of his debut album suggests, a bit of a thrash merchant at times. The opening song, Hills Of Mullyash crashes into view with distorted guitar blasts before heading off in a power trio direction as McHugh sings of a freedom fighter gunned to death and the song thrashes around as if reflecting his death throes. Continue reading “Jim McHugh “Noise Machine” (Independent, 2017)”

Texas Troubadours: Chuck Hawthorne, Libby Koch & Rachel Laven, MacSorleys, Glasgow, 1st August 2017

These three Texan singer/songwriters played their third show of a lengthy UK and Ireland trip throughout August in a handsome Victorian bar in Glasgow. It was a freewheeling night with all three on stage for a song each before each went on to do a solo set with the night culminating in all three performing together. The set up allowed each individual’s skills to shine while the interaction throughout the night was a joy to behold. Continue reading “Texas Troubadours: Chuck Hawthorne, Libby Koch & Rachel Laven, MacSorleys, Glasgow, 1st August 2017”

Chris Murphy “Hard Bargain : Live/Solo” (Teahouse Records, 2017)

Americana UK featured Chris Murphy’s video of the title song from this album a while back and if you liked the video then you’ll love this album. Raised in Hudson Valley, New York, a place with a rich musical tradition, Murphy is an accomplished fiddler who draws inspiration from various sources – bluegrass, swing, folk and jazz along with world music. He cites musical magpies such as Ry Cooder, Richard Thompson and David Lindley as his heroes and on this album, recorded live and featuring just him, his fiddle, voice and foot stomps, he roams throughout a stirring set of raw energy and unbridled fun. Continue reading “Chris Murphy “Hard Bargain : Live/Solo” (Teahouse Records, 2017)”

Tony James Shevlin “American Odyssey” (Oh Mercy Records, 2017)

Well-respected Anglo-Irish songwriter Tony James Shevlin spent several months on the road in the US back in 2015 covering 17 States and 11,000 miles, notebook in hand. American Odyssey is his tour diary translated into song, name checking iconic cities and their associated local heroes. Think of a place and he’s been there and think of a rootsy American musical style and he probably has a go at it here. Continue reading “Tony James Shevlin “American Odyssey” (Oh Mercy Records, 2017)”

Daniel Martin Moore “Turned Over To Dreams” (Sofaburn Records, 2017)

Almost an album of lullabies, Turned Over To Dreams was recorded after Kentucky writer Moore discovered that close friends of his had used one of his previous albums to lull their child to sleep. A singer in the vein of Sufjan Stevens Moore certainly has a crepuscular quality to his voice, a breathy whisper of sorts floating gently over muted song arrangements. Continue reading “Daniel Martin Moore “Turned Over To Dreams” (Sofaburn Records, 2017)”

The Deslondes “Hurry Home” (New West Records, 2017)

Five divergent musicians who eventually found each other in New Orleans, The Deslondes follow up their impressive 2014 debut album with the equally fine Hurry Home. Less country inclined than its predecessor the album finds the band roaming through a variety of styles – swampy southern roots, 50’s rockabilly, and classic rhythm’n’blues which, with several members of the band singing lead on various songs gives the album a truly dynamic feel. Comparisons to The Band and The Felice Brothers (which surfaced in reviews of the first album) will persist and that’s no bad thing and although The Deslondes are not as rough and ready as The Felice crew they’re handy reference points. Continue reading “The Deslondes “Hurry Home” (New West Records, 2017)”