Jeffrey Martin “One Go Around” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)

What saves Jeffrey Martin from the pile of identikit singer-songwriters, the troubled troubadours, are his lyrics and his storytelling. He doesn’t stretch too far; he tells of the dreams and the frustrations of working-class life, in a downbeat way, with flickers of melody and instrumentation to add some depth and colour to his songs. He’s a craftsman and he honed these songs working alone in a cabin. The songs are subtle where others might use a sledgehammer; he’s worked out exactly what is needed to make the song work and ditched any extraneous words or musical notes. Continue reading “Jeffrey Martin “One Go Around” (Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017)”

Don Antonio “Don Antonio” Santeria/Audioglobe 2017

Antonio Gramentieri has worked with a host of Americana favourites from Howe Gelb, Richard Buckner and the Friends of Dean Martinez. If you blend those together, add in an Italian view of life (I like to think of Inspector Montalbano) and a dose of noir, you get a sound that is at once Mediterranean and universal. There’s a mix of louche instrumentals like Il Turco that’s like an ill-advised drug fuelled tour of a souk, sardonic stories like ‘Sera’ narrated by Hugo Race and then strange little twisted slices of seedy europop like Baballo. A complete stew of styles all slightly skewed into Gramentieri’s worldview. Continue reading “Don Antonio “Don Antonio” Santeria/Audioglobe 2017”