Dino Valente “Dino Valente” (Floating World Records, 2017)

In February 1968 Dino Valente entered the CBS studios in Los Angeles to record what would be his only solo album. Although he was known at the time as the underground Bob Dylan, Valente probably had more in common with Leonard Cohen circa Songs from a Room. The common denominator here was CBS Records producer Bob Johnston who was assigned to Valente post working with Dylan on Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde and who would go on to work with Cohen on the aforementioned Songs album.  Continue reading “Dino Valente “Dino Valente” (Floating World Records, 2017)”

The Hellfire Club, The Troubadour London, 20th July 2017

Full credit to sound guy Stacey, the venue owners and the staff for their enthusiastic running of this basement bar of a music venue in London’s West Brompton, the easy option to have the premises solely as a bohemian cafe/bar in the increasingly by the day gentrified area. First of the acoustic support acts is Elliot Pritchard with a very fine vocal and mix of earnest songwriter with British indie melodies. He was followed by Anglo Aussie duo Hux whose dual guitar upbeat riffing combined with fine harmonies was received well by the sold out crowd. The Headliners, the Glasgow based Hellfire Club can only yearn for a wide stage but tonight the eight piece (vocals/guitars/bass/drum/keys/fiddle/saxophone) daren’t move too much due to the small stage limitations. Continue reading “The Hellfire Club, The Troubadour London, 20th July 2017”

The Mountain Goats “Goths” (Merge, 2017)

Whatever concept inspires John Darnielle is almost incidental to the progress that he has made as a writer and performer. The last record was predicated on the sad tawdry circus of wrestling and this one on Goths. Both continue his development into one of the great contemporary songwriters. The sonic palette continues to expand – you might expect a record about Goth to subculture to in some way ape the genre but Darnielle sidesteps this smartly. There are a few musical Goth references but mostly the songs eschew guitars and synths and rely on the subtle shading of woodwinds. Continue reading “The Mountain Goats “Goths” (Merge, 2017)”

Jon Langford announces new album

Jon Langford has announced details of his new record which comes out on September 22nd on the Bloodshot label.  The record was recorded on November 8th, the day after the 2016 election where the Welsh-bred, Chicago-based musician and a crew of “merry-makers and alchemists” filed into the NuttHouse studio, a one-story former bank building in Sheffield, Alabama and recorded it over the course of 4 days.  The album is described as “pure Americana, not just because of where it was recorded or who played on what track, but because it is beyond the news of the day. Continue reading “Jon Langford announces new album”

Offa Rex “The Queen of Hearts” (Nonesuch, 2017)

This is a really fascinating album. A collaboration between classic English Folk Singer and instrumentalist, Olivia Chaney and American Indie Rockers, The Decemberists, this is a recording filled with fine musicianship and vocal work that seems to celebrate the heyday of British Folk/Rock – if you think back to the early recordings of Steeleye Span, Sandy Denny era Fairport Convention and the likes of The Albion Band, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from Offa Rex. Continue reading “Offa Rex “The Queen of Hearts” (Nonesuch, 2017)”

Hiss Golden Messenger announces new album

Some nice news this morning from Consequence of Sound on an AUK favourite. Awesome cover art too.  They report: “Last October, North Carolina folk artist M.C. Taylor released his latest album as Hiss Golden Messenger, Heart Like a Levee. Now, less than 12 months later, the indie folk songwriter is back with the follow-up. It’s titled Hallelujah Anyhow and due out September 22nd through Merge Records. Continue reading “Hiss Golden Messenger announces new album”