Shakin’ Stevens + Danni Nicholls, York Barbican, York, 19th May, 2017

It’s a big room for the ‘bard from Bedford’, resplendent in a suitably showbiz spangling top. Danni Nichol is comfortable in a room that houses both the UK snooker championships and Amy MacDonald in a few weeks.  Bluesy, Gospelly, there is a wonderful grace to her voice and her tales of Nashville, along with Beautifully Broken from Mockingbird Lane, and some spontaneous sing-a-longs proves her to be the perfect warm-up and it can’t be long before she plays places like this in her own right. Continue reading “Shakin’ Stevens + Danni Nicholls, York Barbican, York, 19th May, 2017”

Alan & The Big Hand “Yellow Car No Return” (Lost Wasp Records, 2017)

Alan & The Big Hand are described as a folk collective headed by Alan McClure. McClure is a writer and musician based in Galloway, south-west Scotland.  His creative output encompasses oral storytelling, poetry, songs, novels, short stories, audio sketches, singer and chief songwriter with The Razorbills, occasional member of The Wee Folk Storytellers. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough he is also a primary school teacher.

Continue reading “Alan & The Big Hand “Yellow Car No Return” (Lost Wasp Records, 2017)”

The Allman Brothers Band “Hell & High Water : The best of the Arista years” (Retroworld ,2017)

The Arista Years were 1980 and 1981. This was a battered and bruised Allman Brothers Band which had taken casualties along the way – quite literally – and had seen frequent changes of personnel. And the drugs had also taken their toll. The band released just two albums for Arista – Reach for the sky and Brothers of the road – which totalled nineteen tracks between them. This current compilation, issued by Retroworld which is a wing of Floating World Records, includes eleven of these.   Continue reading “The Allman Brothers Band “Hell & High Water : The best of the Arista years” (Retroworld ,2017)”

Red Rooster Festival, Euston Hall, Suffolk, 1-3 June 2017

Suffolk is such a green place when you live in treeless Yorkshire, every time I stray there I feel the inner workings of my soul refreshed.  Normally I wander that way once a year for Maverick, but this year it’s two journeys in a month, for the three day Red Rooster Festival is on the cards.  The first thing I notice is the amount of camper vans and caravans vs tents, a 50:50 split suggests this is an older, more affluent crowd. Continue reading “Red Rooster Festival, Euston Hall, Suffolk, 1-3 June 2017”

Kansas Smitty’s House Band “Movin On'” – Listen

Here’s a new track from the people who run ‘Kansas Smitty’s’ venue in London fields which hosts ucutting-edge bands from just about every genre you can think of emerging out of the jazz world as well as their regular ‘jazz raves’. Imagine such a thing. New single ‘Movin’ On’ featuring Lewis Durham of Kitty, Daisy and Lewis on vocals has a twangy upbeat bluesy indie vibe, and various 6 Music shows have picked it up which is nearly always a good thing. The band play Love Supreme Festival, Cornbury Festival and Boomtown Fair festivals this summer

Josh Ritter “Showboat” – Listen

The lovely Josh Ritter is back with his ninth full-length album ‘Gathering’ which comes out September 22nd on Pytheas Recordings/Thirty Tigers. Ritter will be heading out with his “Royal City” band over the course of this winter, including a date at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire on 5th December. Speaking of the album he said “I have been writing records for almost twenty years now. Each one has been different from the last in subject and form, but with Gathering I feel I’ve found a new electric dissatisfaction, a new way to rejoice as the storm rolls in”. Quite apt for today.  You can hear the first track Showboat below in the form of one of those nice singalonga lyric videos.