The Good Intentions “The Long Unbroken Line” (Drumfire, 2016)

good-intentions 2016Lovers of old-time country/folksy ballads probably know about Liverpool’s ‘The Good Intentions’ by now. This latest record, as with 2013’s ‘Travelling Companion’, sits outside of the constraints of time and trends. The knowing, wistful tones of R. Peter Davies (with a hint of Gram Parsons in timbre), augmented by spouse Gabrielle Monk’s sympathetic harmony voice, retell familiar yet enduring stories.  Continue reading “The Good Intentions “The Long Unbroken Line” (Drumfire, 2016)”

Red Tail Ring “Fall Away Blues” (Independent Release, 2016)

'Red Tail Ring-2016"Red Tail Ring are Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp and ‘Fall Away Blues’ is their fourth full length album. Hailing from Kalamazoo, Michigan, this duo has produced a stripped back album with gorgeous vocals and harmonies accompanied only by fiddle, banjo and guitar. With a mix of traditional and self-penned songs this feels like a fusion of folk meets blues on a laid-back night in after a hard week at work when all you want to do is turn the lights off with a glass of malt in hand. Continue reading “Red Tail Ring “Fall Away Blues” (Independent Release, 2016)”

Lonely Avenue “Lonely Avenue” (Aum Studio Music, 2016)

lonelyHere is a winner, an unforgettable record with its American buffalo cover that takes you securely into thoughtful, rocking Americana territory. This is the band’s first full length studio album. The first, unforgettable, track, has a winning hook line “You got a heart of stone. / Where’s your mamma gone wrong?”  With strings in the back ground (courtesy of Paul Cartwright who has toured and recorded with a vast spectrum of artists), building to a crescendo and the resolution “I’ll stand free”, the band who have written all the songs themselves, are making a clear statement: Listen. We’re from Bakersfield, California. To be taken seriously! Continue reading “Lonely Avenue “Lonely Avenue” (Aum Studio Music, 2016)”

Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire “Swithering” (Middle of Nowhere Recordings, 2016)

"Roddy-Hart-2016"“Swithering” is an unusual title for and comes from a Scottish word meaning to be uncertain about things, which, according to Glasgow based Hart, summed up the album process for him. It was a different way of working as a songwriter whereby he would bring in ideas, lyrics and melodies and then collaborate with the band to form and shape the final product. Hence the album title.  It is an eclectic collection of songs and melodies, reflecting their new, experimental approach to song creation. Continue reading “Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire “Swithering” (Middle of Nowhere Recordings, 2016)”

Cris Jacobs “Dust to Gold” (American Showplace Music 2016)

"Cris-Jacobs-2016"This guy really likes the blues. And soulfully so.  And with a touch of gospel and rock and roll. He blends genres skilfully and the result is earthy and melodic. Some great guitar playing, whether alone with his vocals or joined by others, he produces a variety of songs exploring his favourite styles. This is his second solo album having fronted Baltimore based band The Bridge from 2001-2011 and what an album it is. Continue reading “Cris Jacobs “Dust to Gold” (American Showplace Music 2016)”

Gitta de Ridder “Feathers” (Little Memories Records, 2016)

"Gitta-de-Ridder"Soft and soothing  vocals, simple yet effective melody sums up”Wanderer”, the first track of Anglo Dutch singer songwriter Gitta de Ridder’s  debut album. “Feathers” seems a very apt title – feathers float, they are soft and gentle as they caress and touch you and so this album’s offerings do exactly that. These are stories of life, love and families. The main elements of the music are vocals and guitar recorded in the main at her home studio, but with the addition of cellos and children’s toy instruments. Continue reading “Gitta de Ridder “Feathers” (Little Memories Records, 2016)”

Anna Elizabeth Laube “Tree” (Ahh…..Pockets! Records, 2016)

 

Anna Elizabeth Laube, 2016The title track, an entry in a song writing competition to highlight the effects of pine beetle epidemic in Iowa City, the 4th album in AEL’s discography and an opening track with a sad weepy fiddle, set the scene.  Breathy, and at times just plain old sad, it shuffles along, asking to be loved, hopping awkwardly from foot to foot of a record – but love it you will, long time.  Her husky tones, the sunny afternoon tunes are a perfect antidote for a grey rainy autumn afternoon. Continue reading “Anna Elizabeth Laube “Tree” (Ahh…..Pockets! Records, 2016)”