Erin Costelo “Down Below the Status Quo” (Seayou Records, 2016)

Despite the protestations of countless wanabees across the world who all want their MTV, (or whatever the kids say now) being a musician is tough work. It’s difficult to tell if it’s harder in one genre than another but James Brown certainly had an opinion. The hardest working man in show business no doubt sweated his way through a pretty terrific career so maybe we can agree that soul is fairly tough – especially when it’s in competition with faux-soul pop music back by big bucks and gyrating bottoms. Enter Erin Costelo and her new album Down Below the Status Quo; a soul treat that smacks of toil without the pesky PR machine or MTV veneer.  Continue reading “Erin Costelo “Down Below the Status Quo” (Seayou Records, 2016)”

My Darling Clementine “Still Testifying” (Continental Song City, 2017)

The thought of working with our sweet and loving partner may be enough to send many of us quivering into the corner (or perhaps the pub) but that’s exactly what husband & wife team Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish did when they formed My Darling Clementine. Is it a marriage made in music heaven? Or do I hear the sound of divorce bells and a guitar being inserted unceremoniously into a tetchy spouse’s rear end?  By this stage – 3 albums and over 400 live shows since their inception in 2011 – we have to presume that something about it works for them and, with a good dynamic between the two singers, a complimentary vocal style and well-pitched harmonies, there is enough to choose from that does. Continue reading “My Darling Clementine “Still Testifying” (Continental Song City, 2017)”

Daudi Matsiko “An Introduction to Failure” (Naim Records, 2017)

It’s clear from the moment the steely opening arpeggios breath life into Daudi Matsiko’s first full release, that this is going to be an up-close and personal journey. It’s one that starts like a rainstorm with opening track Home’s gentle bursts of fingerpicked melody giving way to a more substantial flow of strummed heartbreak. Before too long a bass drum brings the promise that it’s going to hammer it down and as the song builds, it briefly does, before giving way to the gentle drip of the storm’s end. Continue reading “Daudi Matsiko “An Introduction to Failure” (Naim Records, 2017)”