It’s that time of year again when Christmas is round the corner and the creaking signs of post-capitalism eating itself are evident in every snow filled shop window dressed by George Osborne’s (RIP) living wage. Let’s face it, there might not be a world around to celebrate Christmas next year, so on that cheery note, why not turn your attention to better things, such as who have been your saviors over the last eleven months and made the year feel worth living. Read more here.
“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)”
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)”
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)”
The 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)”
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”
Opening with a poem by the band’s late guitarist George Bedford Russell read by Will Self this is gloriously strange.