Jim Lauderdale: new album and UK tour dates, February

jim-lauderdaleOne of those iconic people in americana, songwriter Jim Lauderdale releases his new studio album London Southern on February 3rd 2017 and will take part in the hugely popular Transatlantic Sessions tour in February, starting in Glasgow at Celtic Connections and then touring the UK.  Himself recipient of the Wagonmaster Award at this year’s US Americana Honors & Awards, a special lifetime achievement honour reserved for the most valuable contributors to the course and history of the format, presented to him by George Strait, Jim has been invited to present an award at the second UK Americana Awards in London next February.  Continue reading “Jim Lauderdale: new album and UK tour dates, February”

Rachel Yamagata “Tightrope Walker” (Frankenfish Records, 2016)

rachael-yamagata-tightrope-walkerRachel Yamagata can boast a who’s who of past co-conspirators – Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes and Ray Lamontagne most notably. To consider her purely on those terms, though, would be quite the disservice. Tightrope Walker is her fourth solo record; the first after a long gap of five years. Her muse for the project was Phillipe Petit – the infamous French high-wire artist who crossed between the Twin Towers in 1974. Petit’s reasoning behind the motivation for his feats, essentially ‘just because’ informed Yamagata’s songwriting raison d’etre –why not just quit? Why keep persevering? Just because – that’s why. It’s what musicians have to do!  Continue reading “Rachel Yamagata “Tightrope Walker” (Frankenfish Records, 2016)”

Normafest festival returns for third year

normaNormafest, a weekend in celebration of all things to do with folk music legend and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Norma Waterson MBE will be taking place in early January for the third year running.  With guest performers including American folk veteran (and old friend of Norma’s) Peggy Seeger, young folk bands Stick In The Wheel and The Furrow Collective, from Ireland the much-lauded Lynched plus a rare performance by The Waterson Family, the two days will finish off with a performance by The Gift Big Band which will include Norma, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Neill MacColl & special guest Richard Hawley. Richard has long been an admirer of Norma’s having first met her whilst researching a BBC documentary and whose friendship partly inspired Richard to write the single Heart Of Oak on his 2015 top ten album Hollow Meadows.   Continue reading “Normafest festival returns for third year”

Stephen Feldman “The Ancient Art” (Independent, 2016)

Finding stephenfeldman1any information about Stephen Feldman on the internet is no easy task which is a pity as it would be good to tell more about an artist who has produced a very satisfying and thoughtful album here. It seems as though he is a Los Angeles based folk musician who is somewhat a veteran having released a number of albums before as part of a group called Poppa’s Kitchen but that is about all that is available. There are eleven songs here all of which have been written by or co written by the artist and all paint pictures of people and events. Continue reading “Stephen Feldman “The Ancient Art” (Independent, 2016)”

Radical Face, The Scala, London – Tuesday 22nd November 2016

The Scala’s stage had been transformed into a magical winter forest – with bare skeletal trees adorned with tiny lights and a drifting mist from the smoke machine making for a Narnian backdrop for both Radical Face and their opener Austin Basham. In a checked shirt and bearded, of course, and sporting a wholly unnecessary – given the rising temperature in the Scala – woolly hat Austin Basham had the appearance of a woodsman, his axe in this case being an acoustic guitar. Continue reading “Radical Face, The Scala, London – Tuesday 22nd November 2016”

Tom Paxton heads to UK for dates – January

tom-paxtonTom Paxton, that cheeky chappie with the avuncular face, is heading to the UK next month for some dates, with support from Cathy and Marcy (no surname provided). Tom has had a music career spanning more than 50 years, with thousands of live performances around the world, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2009.  “We are all born singing Tom Paxton songs” says Nancy Griffith’s, although having just spoken to my mum I can confirm I definitely wasn’t.  I couldn’t sing until I was three apparently.  The dates…  Continue reading “Tom Paxton heads to UK for dates – January”

Fred’s House “Fault Lines” (Cracking Tunes, 2016)

freds-house-2016Fault Lines is the second album by Fred’s House, following on from their well-received debut, Bonnie and Clyde. Wikipedia cites them as an award winning band based in Cambridge mixing elements of Folk, Pop, Country, Classic Rock and West Coast with a definite vintage feel to their music, echoing the 70’s but creating a fresh new sound that is very much part of now. Continue reading “Fred’s House “Fault Lines” (Cracking Tunes, 2016)”