The Way Down Wanderers “The Way Down Wanderers” (Independent, 2016)

'The Way Down Wanderers-2016"The Way Down Wanderers hail from Chicago and, although only playing, performing and writing together for 2 years, have steadily built a reputation as a band to watch. The opening track here ‘Dead Birds’ was an International Song Writing Competition finalist and gets the album off to a cracking start and sets a tempo that rarely lets up.  Continue reading “The Way Down Wanderers “The Way Down Wanderers” (Independent, 2016)”

Jon Boden: The Stables, Wavendon – Wednesday 9th October 2016

On his first solo tour the erstwhile voice and frontman of Bellowhead, Jon Boden, has not lost his flair for the dramatic.  There’s a variety of stage lighting, and props: ragged looking speakers and decorative battered loud speakers as well as the tour image -Jon Boden as Icarus lifted on wings made from violins. This last is present as a larger than life silhouette suspended over the back of the stage, to be lit to match the moods of the songs. Continue reading “Jon Boden: The Stables, Wavendon – Wednesday 9th October 2016”

Oriental Sunshine “Dedicated to the bird we love” (Round 2 Records, 2016)

orientalsunshineDedicated to the bird we love is the debut, and only, album by Norwegian psychedelic folk band Oriental Sunshine. They got together in the heady year of 1968 – a trio consisting of singer Nina Johansen, tabla and flute player Satnam Singh and proud owner of possibly the only sitar in Norway Rune Walle. Fleshed out with keyboards and drums they were what could be called the Scandinavian Incredible String Band. Across eleven tracks on this vinyl only re-issue Oriental Sunshine lived the hippy dream to its full, painting guileless pictures of a beautiful world that was just coming into reach. Continue reading “Oriental Sunshine “Dedicated to the bird we love” (Round 2 Records, 2016)”

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)”