The Mastersons “Transient Lullaby” (Red House Records, 2017)

Married couple Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore, the Texan voices and pens of The Mastersons, have spent a lot of their time in recent years as part of Steve Earle’s touring band The Dukes. They even double up as Earle’s opening act. This is their third album in five years. Clearly they’re busy people! For the most part Transient Lullaby is a gentle, introspective blend of country/pop-rock. Continue reading “The Mastersons “Transient Lullaby” (Red House Records, 2017)”

Scott Cook “Further Down The Line” (Independent, 2017)

Studious Canadian-born Americana singer-songwriter Scott Cook was influenced by Woody Guthrie among others. Further Down The Line is a unique release in that it comes complete with a 132 page book; a celebration in photographs of his ten years in the business, one that’s seen him travel the world. He doesn’t stop there because the chords for the songs are also included, and there are also notes about those mentioned in his songs. Continue reading “Scott Cook “Further Down The Line” (Independent, 2017)”

Donald Byron Wheatley “Moondogs and Mad Dogs” (Maiden Voyage Recording Co, 2017)

Rear-ended by a car which sent me and my bicycle flying through the air, the kerb-stone rose up and smashed me in the face. Paramedics diagnosed a broken nose, fractured arm, wrist and cracked ribs, and as I lay there bleeding, I pondered that the only other thing to have made such an impact on me recently is this amazing new album by Donald Byron Wheatley. Moondogs and Mad Dogs is essentially a tribute by Wheatley to his father ‘Big Don’, who came from a family of showmen who have worked on fairgrounds up and down our fair land for the past one hundred and fifty years. Continue reading “Donald Byron Wheatley “Moondogs and Mad Dogs” (Maiden Voyage Recording Co, 2017)”

Dream Machine “The Illusion” (Castle Face Records, 2017)

Having wound up his band Warm Soda, going out with an excellent final album, Matthew Melton returns with his new band Dream Machine. Gone are the power pop leanings of Warm Soda and in comes a late sixties “heavy” band, which, not unlike H.P.Lovecraft, mixes swoops of electric organ and a garage rock feel but then also adds in the not-part-of-the-summer-of-love attitude of early Black Sabbath. Continue reading “Dream Machine “The Illusion” (Castle Face Records, 2017)”

Hannah Aldridge “Gold Rush” (Rootsy Music, 2017)

Hannah Aldridge. Remember that name because, I suspect, you’ll be hearing a lot more of it. “Gold Rush” may well be the best “non-name” release of the year to date but though Hannah Aldridge herself is not that well known yet (and it really is only a matter of time) you may recognise the surname, since her father is well respected Nashville songwriter Walt Aldridge – proving yet again that old adage that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Continue reading “Hannah Aldridge “Gold Rush” (Rootsy Music, 2017)”

Almost Charlie “A Different Kind Of Here” (Words On Music, 2017)

Almost Charlie are a collaboration between Berlin based composer Dirk Homuth and New York based lyricist Charlie Mason and A Different Kind Of Here is their third album under the moniker. Recorded in Berlin the album features Homuth on various strings and things and vocals, his wispy voice couched in various settings, gentle pastoral reveries, woody string backed settings and piano based ballads with an occasional moment of briskness allowed to intrude. Continue reading “Almost Charlie “A Different Kind Of Here” (Words On Music, 2017)”

Greta Gaines “Tumbleweed EP” (Big Air Records, 2017)

Don’t Bogart That Joint will probably be one of her favourite tunes when Greta Gaines is asked to appear on Desert Island Discs; and a vaporiser most likely her luxury object. A lifetime campaigner for the legalisation of marijuana and former advocate for the National Organisation For The Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), all profits from her anthemic, proselytising and very moreish track Light It Up featured on her new seven-song EP Tumbleweed will be donated to NORML, Patients Out of Time and Tennesseans United; charities dedicated towards the legalisation of medical marijuana and treating people suffering with chronic health complaints. Continue reading “Greta Gaines “Tumbleweed EP” (Big Air Records, 2017)”