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)”

Yola Carter, The Borderline, London. 8th June 2017

At a recently revamped Borderline, Yola Carter took to the stage amidst an air of anticipation with Carter having recently won UK Artist of the Year at the AMA UK Awards. Carter is an immediate stage presence, both warm and welcoming and clearly the leader of the band. She immediately engages with the audience and throughout the night is both humorous and open with her  self-deprecating banter. Continue reading “Yola Carter, The Borderline, London. 8th June 2017”

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)”

John Alexander “Of These Lands” (Independent, 2017)

John Alexander is a Scottish singer-songwriter with a ton of influences and a load of natural talent. With people like John Martyn, Greg Brown, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on his list, as one would expect pretty and fluffy doesn’t come into the equation. His lived-in vocals and rootsy style of playing see images of the road, and everyday life ease across the skyline in authentic fashion. Alexander’s music isn’t short of takers. One track from his last album “Nowhere To Go” was used on the US TV show, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, and with his sound steeped in good old-fashioned earthy organic roots Americana,  Alexander possesses a sound more akin to the banks of the Mississippi than his native River Clyde.  Continue reading “John Alexander “Of These Lands” (Independent, 2017)”

David Starr “The Head and The Heart” (Independent, 2017)

Americana singer-songwriter David Starr, with a well-received tour of the UK and a new 6-track under his belt, finds his reputation as a performer has taken on another dimension. Such is the quality of the recording I find it hard to accept he isn’t a bigger name. Then again, that goes for a number of acts, and vice versa regards those hailed as stars, in reality nothing special on the Americana (or otherwise) scene. Depending largely on word of mouth, Starr is a most articulate singer-songwriter. Continue reading “David Starr “The Head and The Heart” (Independent, 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)”