Rob Corcoran “Inverse Alchemy” (Independent 2017)

An album of delicate playing, strong emotion and beautiful harmonised playing and singing. What more could a listener ask from an album. Not much, really. For the most part this is a collection of fully realised folk songs that weave their spell in intricate and intimate ways. ‘Black Hearted Man’ is a case in point – simple plucked guitar figure, gorgeous fiddle underscoring a deft lyric delivered in broad Dublinese and a feather light harmony. Lovely. Continue reading “Rob Corcoran “Inverse Alchemy” (Independent 2017)”

Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro to tour the UK

The combination of slide-guitar and bass that Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro present is musicianship of the highest quality.  The much-praised duo will be returning to the UK as part of Celtic Connections, and will then spin out an extensive tour over the subsequent weeks.  The tour follows on from their well received album Static in the Wires. Continue reading “Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro to tour the UK”

Turnpike Troubadours – “A Long Way From Your Heart” (Bossier City, 2017)

It is an immutable law of album reviewing that at the end of every year when things are winding down and there’s very little new around an album pops up that is, quite simply, immense. It’s not a question of there not being much competition either, these records are giants and future classics and this year’s entry is the fifth outing from Oklahoma’s Turnpike Troubadours.  There simply hasn’t been any set of songs released that are any better than the eleven on offer here and the six members play them brilliantly.  It’s an object lesson in how to make new, vibrant, exciting and relevant music in a genre (country) that frequently looks as if it’s running out of steam and consisting of little more than retreads and formulaic dross. Continue reading “Turnpike Troubadours – “A Long Way From Your Heart” (Bossier City, 2017)”

Barney Benthall “The Drifter and The Preacher” (True North Records 2017)

Multi platinum selling Canadian singer songwriter’s 10th album which was released in his home country in July last year but has now been released here. It is in many ways what you would expect from a seasoned artist steeped in the country rock tradition of bands such as his previous crew Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts and of his collaborator on one track the great Blue Rodeo. Continue reading “Barney Benthall “The Drifter and The Preacher” (True North Records 2017)”

Nicole Atkins tours UK late Winter

Photo: Anna Webber

As February slips into March the lingering chills of winter will be dispelled in a half dozen places by the fiery Nicole Atkins who’ll be touring her latest album, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, which garnered good reviews all round last year. It was the tangible outcome from a whole series of life changes, not the least being a relocation from New Jersey to Nashville. At the same time she reconnected with her old friend Chris Isaak who encouraged her to write songs that emphasised the one trait that most sets her apart from the mere mortals of the industry, telling her, “Atkins, you have a very special thing in your voice that a lot of people can’t or don’t do. Continue reading “Nicole Atkins tours UK late Winter”

Red River Dialect “Broken Stay Open Sky” (Paradise of Bachelors, 2018)

Red River Dialect have their roots in the depths of Cornwall. David Morris started writing songs in 2002 and, from 2006, most of these songs were performed as Red River Dialect, either solo or with a revolving configuration of local musicians. The subsequent years have seen the band grow and develop into their current guise of a six-piece delivering songs, that, in their own words, are ‘brewing a lightly carbonated folk-rock from the psycho spiritual malt of David Morris’s song writing.’ Continue reading “Red River Dialect “Broken Stay Open Sky” (Paradise of Bachelors, 2018)”

Girl from the North Country is on the move

Photo: Manuel Harlan

In fact by the time of publication Girl from the North Country – the critically acclaimed musical derived from Bob Dylan’s songs will have completed its  transfer from the Old Vic to the heart of London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre.   Want  a plot synopsis ?  Well, it’s Duluth, Minnesota. 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse. The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for.

Continue reading “Girl from the North Country is on the move”