Dori Freeman “If I Could Make You My Own” – Listen

It’s kind of a dream come true situation for Dori Freeman’s first single from her new album. When Dori was 22 she liked to kick-free from the Bluegrass music she’d grown up surrounded by and drive about singing along to her Teddy Thompson CD. Then she dropped him a line telling him how good they sounded together. Long story short, the album Letters Never Read was produced by Teddy Thompson, and yes guitar fans you do recognise the playing on If I Could Make You My Own.  Dori Freeman has kept it Thompson on the album as well, adding a cover of I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight on a collection that she says is happier sounding than her debut “I always want to put out something that’s a genuine representation of what I was going through” noting with a laugh that getting married last year to fellow musician Nick Falk made writing love songs much easier.

Dai and the Ramblers “Bon Bon” (Just Peachy Records 2017)

In 2014, debut album, the Zydeco-influenced “Duw Duw”, saw London-based Dai and the Ramblers gain widespread praise and this follow-up will be eagerly awaited.“Bon Bon” is a continuation in part of the style of their debut, but it also sees the sound evolve with elements of soul, country and even a hint of gospel in Up Above My Head. The album was recorded at a series of live sessions in Rupert Gillet’s Walthamstow studio and this definitely gives a vital edge to the sound. Song writer and front man Dai Price deals in tight and trim vignettes in a range of genres, all delivered in a rich vocal style and backed by an experienced team of musicians who have worked with the like of Van Morrison, Jeff Beck and Richard Thompson. Continue reading “Dai and the Ramblers “Bon Bon” (Just Peachy Records 2017)”

Langhorne Slim “Zombie” – Listen

Langhorne Slim’s new album “Lost at Last Vol 1” is out November on the Dualtone label and he’s released an EP previewing three tracks from it, one of which you can hear below (and it’s not a Cranberries cover, just to get that disappointment in now).  Paste writes: “The main vein of the song is unrequited love: “She drank red wine in the pouring rain / She read me books about the human brain.” The woman Slim depicts in this song isn’t emotionally available beyond intellect and friendship—true to patriarchal form, Mr. Slim puts the mysterious mistress in the body of a monster. But he also puts himself in one. As Slim sings towards the end of the song, “he wanted her heart” in the same way a zombie wants the brain.”

Mark Lavengood “We’ve Come Along” (Earthwork Music, 2017)

If americana is the world, then bluegrass is Austria, impossibly beautiful and incredibly conservative. Often I find the genre to be more about the preening and display of beautiful musical plumage and less about making music that really matters. Thankfully Lavengood is more musically dishevelled, there are loose threads that can be pulled and there’s plenty to get to grips with. He certainly has some chutzpah, opening with the title track which weighs in at 7 minutes and sets the tone for the rest of the record – there is some really excellent fluid playing and there’s also space for digression, for pause and for the imperfect. It varies in pace and texture and is happy at times to use jazz or rock influences. He shows off his genre chops on the standard Ol’ Slew Foot and Ralph Stanley’s Bound to Ride but in many ways they are the least interesting pieces on the record. Continue reading “Mark Lavengood “We’ve Come Along” (Earthwork Music, 2017)”

Blitzen Trapper are back with “Wild and Reckless”

Would you be disappointed if we told you it’s not a double cover album of Erasure and Bryan Adams? Earlier this year, the Portland, Oregon based band staged a musical titled “Wild & Reckless” that ran for 28 performances at Portland Center Stage. Today, the band has announced a new album of the same title that was born from that stage production. Continue reading “Blitzen Trapper are back with “Wild and Reckless””

Kenny Foster, The Bedford, Balham, 4th September 2017

What a great space the Bedford is for a singer songwriter to perform in, shaped as it is “in the round” like the Shakespearean Globe. Despite a sparsely attended London showcase, Kenny Foster treated a quietly enthusiastic audience to an acoustic selection of eight of his songs, seven of them drawn from his recently released debut album ‘Deep Cuts.’ Continue reading “Kenny Foster, The Bedford, Balham, 4th September 2017”

David Ramirez “Stone Age” – Listen

David Ramirez has shared a new single Stone Age which is taken from his  album “We’re Not Going Anywhere” which comes out today on Thirty Tigers Records. The songs focuses on Trump’s wall as Ramirez ruminates about the state of the country from the perspective of Mexican heritage on his father’s side. Discussing it, Ramirez says: “I was visiting my girlfriend in London during July 4th week last year, and waking up every morning there was a lot of stuff going on here in the States. I was reading the news as far as police vs. Black Lives, violence and things like that, marches and rallies and the gay club in Orlando getting shot up. It was just strange. I found myself in a state of mourning for the country, so I started writing that song over there, thinking, ‘Maybe I should stay here.’” Honestly David, between X Factor, Brexit and the royal baby, you’re better off for now picking France. Always welcome though.

Lydia Ramsey “Bandita” (Independent, 2017)

Recently seen in the UK as a solo performer touring with Joe Purdy, Lydia Ramsey’s debut album Bandita is an enticing combination of folk and country that sparkles as modern Americana. Here backed by a full band Ramsey presents a collection of songs of crystal clarity, sung with such warmth and, more often than not, a vocal that conveys a half smile and a knowing wink – as on Springtime where she makes an offer that can’t be refused Continue reading “Lydia Ramsey “Bandita” (Independent, 2017)”