Banditos “Visionland” (Bloodshot Records, 2017)

Bursting forth from the grooves with the dynamic opener ‘Fine, Fine Day’ this album announces its presence with brio and verve. A fantastic piece of Stooges like driving rock so breathless that the vocals appear to be struggling to keep up. Second track ‘Strange Heart’ is completely different; a gothic noirish delight with some keening vocals set over an insistent sharp backing with some delightful swirling guitar flourishes. A Southern delight that would not have been out of place soundtracking the first True Detective series. And then it’s gone Continue reading “Banditos “Visionland” (Bloodshot Records, 2017)”

Paddy Nash “Gate Fever” (Mad Molly Records 2017)

Paddy Nash is a Derry-born singer-songwriter, more often seen kicking out with his seven-piece band The Happy Enchiladas, here releases his new solo album which sees him largely return to his folk roots. Nash who started out with the Derry Band Whole Tribe Sings, often described as “the greatest Northern Irish band who never made it big”, but who came very close after signing a US album deal and having their song “Happy” feature in Harp Lager’s US advertising campaign. However, “Gate Fever” finds Nash in a more reflective mode and this has enabled him to construct a fine body of work. Continue reading “Paddy Nash “Gate Fever” (Mad Molly Records 2017)”

Jinder “Kingsize Blackfoot” (Din of Ecstasy 2017)

This is Phil Dewhurst (Jinder)’s 10th album. He lives and works in Dorset, and by his own words has played, sung, recorded, engineered, produced and mastered this album himself at a studio in that county. The name of the album “Kingsize Blackfoot” has been adopted for this project to honour Jinder’s / Phil’s direct connection to Native American Blackfoot Sioux Roots, and also as a comment on his stature (6’7’’). Note also the classic album cover: a buffalo on the plains, with the sun rising.  Continue reading “Jinder “Kingsize Blackfoot” (Din of Ecstasy 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)”

Harbottle & Jonas “Anna is a Dancer” (Independent, 2017)

A descending, modal chord progression plucked out on what sounds like a 12 string guitar, the twang of a string bent here and there – with the first few bars, any listener with a penchant for bluesy American roots music will be frothing at the mouth with excitement.  Surely, this must be one of those songs about Dust Bowl wanders from the ’20s or backwoods murderers living beyond the law. Continue reading “Harbottle & Jonas “Anna is a Dancer” (Independent, 2017)”

The Americans “I’ll Be Yours” (Loose, 2017)

With a CV as long as your auntie Susan’s shopping list, The Americans certainly win the prize for putting in the effort: previously serving as the backing band for Luncinda Williams, Nick Cave and Courtney Love at the David Lynch Foundation’s 60th Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, they have also recently made friends with Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford to land a spot in the forthcoming PBS documentary series American Epic (airing on the BBC from 16 May 2017).  Continue reading “The Americans “I’ll Be Yours” (Loose, 2017)”

Alan & The Big Hand “Yellow Car No Return” (Lost Wasp Records, 2017)

Alan & The Big Hand are described as a folk collective headed by Alan McClure. McClure is a writer and musician based in Galloway, south-west Scotland.  His creative output encompasses oral storytelling, poetry, songs, novels, short stories, audio sketches, singer and chief songwriter with The Razorbills, occasional member of The Wee Folk Storytellers. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough he is also a primary school teacher.

Continue reading “Alan & The Big Hand “Yellow Car No Return” (Lost Wasp Records, 2017)”