Purple Mountains “Purple Mountains” (Drag City, 2019)

After ten years on the sidelines, David Berman has decided to chime in with a new album under a new name. If we take him at his word, ten years ago his biggest fear was that he might accidentally write the answer song to ‘Shiny Happy People’. Depending on what you think that answer is, you might find yourself wondering if this album is the product of Berman facing that fear. After all, who’s to say what the answer is… Continue reading “Purple Mountains “Purple Mountains” (Drag City, 2019)”

Interview: Sam Morrow

Since he first came to the UK Sam Morrow has been winning increasing numbers of fans for the quality of his live performances, with our recent review hailing Morrow and his band as “an outstanding live turn. Combining the best elements of the Allman Brothers, Little Feat and Rusty Weir… they manage to channel all that’s good about their predecessors, while still retaining a sound uniquely their own.” Over in the UK for a brief series of dates – and to help promote his third album, ‘Concrete and Mud’ which we felt was deserving of a hefty 9/10 score – Mark Underwood and Barry Warren sat down with Sam for a chat.
Continue reading “Interview: Sam Morrow”

Various Artists “The Rough Guide To Country Blues (Reborn and Remastered)” (World Music Network, 2019)

This is an album that does exactly what it says on the tin. The exquisite notes that accompany this comprehensive study of country blues do much to set its place within the history of popular music of the 20th Century.  This is not an album for the dilettante. It is a measured exploration of a number of artists that not only defined a loosely coined collective term but some had a reach far beyond their wildest dreams when they set out as entertainers. Continue reading “Various Artists “The Rough Guide To Country Blues (Reborn and Remastered)” (World Music Network, 2019)”

Norman Salant “Always All Around You” (Northcove, 2019)

Norman Salant, the saxophonist and composer, has re-invented himself as a singer-songwriter, finding a fresh sense of creative freedom in the lyrical, verbal expressions on ‘Always All Around You’. Here are ten pop-folk songs that are consistently well-crafted and produced with clarity and precision by JP Bowersock, who has worked with The Strokes and Ryan Adams; that production helps to give the album a sense of coherence and identity and the listener experiences the songs best as a whole album, absorbed collectively. Continue reading “Norman Salant “Always All Around You” (Northcove, 2019)”

Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow cover Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken” – Listen

Sheryl Crow has covered Bob Dylan songs in the past such as ‘Mississippi’ and ‘Tombstone Blues’, and she keeps up that tradition on her forthcoming ‘Threads’ album, due next month, where she covers Dylan’s ‘Everything Is Broken’ but recasts the song as a duet with Jason Isbell. As RS describes it, “their rendition opens with some fierce guitar runs from Isbell, before Crow sings about “broken lines,” “broken strings” and, in a nod to her album title, “broken threads.” Isbell steps in on the second verse, lamenting “streets filled with broken hearts.” It’s a true duet, with the vocalists eventually swapping lines and harmonizing together.” Have a listen below.

M.Cambridge “The Fisherman’s Wife” – Listen

‘The Fisherman’s Wife’ is a Ewan MacColl song that captures the lonely on-shore life of those who married Herring fishers, it comes from his BBC recording ‘Singing the Fishing’, from 1960.   And why, one has to ask, aren’t the airwaves full of today’s talented singers being commissioned to document worker’s lives in song?  Talented singers like Mark McCambridge – who also records as part of the band Arborist.  Their second album is out this year, but his solo album of fishing and sea themed songs was released at the end of June under the M.Cambridge moniker.  Based on this deep, dark and rewarding song its a collection worth checking out further.

Josh Rouse “I Miss You” – Listen

We leave you this week dear reader with a surprise new single from Josh Rouse who describes this as a tune “In time for your summer playlist… a new single. I Miss You is the first collaboration between myself and singer-songwriter Tim Fagan.” Of which on the basis of this track we hope there’s more. We’ve missed you too Josh. Have a good one.

Jesse Dayton “Mix Tape Volume 1” (Blue Elan Records, 2019)

Jesse Dayton’s formative musical experience was apparently seeing The Clash supported by Joe Ely, and the spirit of both those artists is all over Dayton’s new album. Collections of covers can be tricky to manage, needing careful song selection and equally careful reworking to keep the spirit of the original while avoiding note for note recreations. Continue reading “Jesse Dayton “Mix Tape Volume 1” (Blue Elan Records, 2019)”

Track Premiere : Albi & The Wolves “I’d Go Anywhere”

New Zealand’s Albi & The Wolves –  that’s Chris Dent, Pascal Roggen and Micheal Young- show a softer side on their new single, the second from the new album ‘This is War‘ which is out today.  The soft folk duet, with the big booming upright bass, is disarmingly romantic, with a lot of the sweetness provided by guest singer Amy Maynard (of New Zealand folk duo Looking For Alaska). Continue reading “Track Premiere : Albi & The Wolves “I’d Go Anywhere””