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)”

Andy Irvine: Baldock and Letchworth Blues, Folk and Roots Club, Baldock – 19th October 2016

Perched precariously on a collapsible stage barely large enough for his four bouzoukis, bag of harmonicas and himself – Andy Irvine looks surprisingly comfortable. This in spite of the perils experienced by those sat in the front row of the unusually full side room of The Orange Tree pub where the Baldock and Letchworth Blues, Folk and Roots Club meets. Continue reading “Andy Irvine: Baldock and Letchworth Blues, Folk and Roots Club, Baldock – 19th October 2016”

Joe Purdy “Who Will Be Next?” (Bread and Butter Music, 2016)

joe-purdy-2016Neil Young, around the time of his Living With War, bemoaned the absence of other, and younger, protest singers. This was never really true, the difference was the level of media attention such artists could attract – and to be fair to Ol’ Neil he recognised this by showcasing songs on his web site. This is all by way of saying that Who Will Be Next? sees Joe Purdy more than fill this gap. Continue reading “Joe Purdy “Who Will Be Next?” (Bread and Butter Music, 2016)”

Justin Wells “Dawn in the Distance” (August Music, 2016)

justin-wells-jpegLiving in these ‘post-truth’ times, after the disaster of the Brexit result and the uncertainty following The Donald’s recent election victory and imminent move into the White House, we have to take cold comfort where we can find it. Just in time, Justin Wells, has shown up with his new solo album Dawn in The Distance. Wells used to be a member of Kentucky based-band Fifth on the Floor until they split late in 2014. Continue reading “Justin Wells “Dawn in the Distance” (August Music, 2016)”