Hegsy and The Elements “My Truths” (Independent, 2019)

This is the debut Hegsy and The Elements album, a record where Mark Hegarty and his band tell and share movingly, with their audiences, stories that make you think and react. All the tracks were recorded at Shabbey Road Studios Cardiff and produced there by Al Steele. So, be prepared, to be taken down many … Continue reading “Hegsy and The Elements “My Truths” (Independent, 2019)”

John Jenkins and the James Street Band “Looking for That American Dream” (Independent 2019)

Here is a notable and established band from Liverpool. The reliability of John Jenkins’ work is demonstrated in the title track ‘Looking for That American Dream’ which begins the record and captures the listener’s attention immediately with its references to ‘The American Song Book, John Denver and Dolly.’ You are in safe hands. Look out … Continue reading “John Jenkins and the James Street Band “Looking for That American Dream” (Independent 2019)”

Martin Simpson has a new album and a big tour

The new Martin Simpson album ‘Rooted‘ emerges on Topic Records on August 30th (the deluxe 2CD version of the album will include a companion disc ‘Seeded‘).  And if that title conjures up images of zipping up boots and such, well the singer-songwriter does have a theme in mind for this album, as he explains “The … Continue reading “Martin Simpson has a new album and a big tour”

Interview: Norrie McCulloch on picking up his 12-string guitar and pledging his time

Scottish songwriter Norrie McCulloch comes from stout Ayrshire stock, the same soil that nurtured the likes of Bill Shankly and two of Scotland’s finest writers, the brothers William and Hugh McIlvanney. And just as this trio left Ayrshire to achieve acclaim in their respective fields while never letting anyone forget about their roots, McCulloch, despite … Continue reading “Interview: Norrie McCulloch on picking up his 12-string guitar and pledging his time”

Big Jim Brown and the Speedkings “Devil On The Other Shoulder” (Independent, 2019)

The Speedkings are whomever Jim Brown is playing with, so this latest release doesn’t have much of a common line-up with 2016’s ‘After All, it’s Been Forever‘ and on any given night his live band is likely to be different again. On his latest release Jim Brown has taken more of a hand in the … Continue reading “Big Jim Brown and the Speedkings “Devil On The Other Shoulder” (Independent, 2019)”

Anna Tivel “The Question” (Fluff and Gravy Records, 2019)

Of all the wonderful things rightfully said about Portland’s Anna Tivel, there is one that resonates perhaps more than many others, about how “you lean in to listen how she has put the words together.” It’s quite astonishing how her voice draws you in to really listen to the story she is telling. She creates … Continue reading “Anna Tivel “The Question” (Fluff and Gravy Records, 2019)”

Lucille Furs “Another Land” (Requiem Pour Un Twister, 2019)

Lucille Furs, a five piece from Chicago, have an abiding admiration for psych-influenced rock, and on the showing of ‘Another Land‘ there’s a strong Anglophile side to that admiration. It’s something that singer Trevor Newton Pritchett willingly admits to when he reels off their influences, saying “You might hear the Zombies for their kind of … Continue reading “Lucille Furs “Another Land” (Requiem Pour Un Twister, 2019)”

Amber Cross announces Ireland and UK tour for next month

We leave you this weekend dear reader with news that ascendant California-based Americana singer-songwriter Amber Cross has announced her debut Ireland & UK tour dates in April, in support of her widely praised third album ‘Savage on the Downhill’. It is a brave person that chooses to cross that channel next month too.

Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, and Thomm Jutz “Riverland” (Red Beet Records, 2018)

In ‘Riverland’ Mississippi serves as both a proper noun and a metaphor: there’s plenty waiting to be discovered beneath the current and along the muddy banks. Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, and Thomm Jutz are each, in their own right, accomplished singers, songwriters, musicians, and performers. There are long lists of awards, nominations, and chart-topping tunes … Continue reading “Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, and Thomm Jutz “Riverland” (Red Beet Records, 2018)”

Various Artists “The Social Power Of Music” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2019)

This characteristically vast collection from Smithsonian Folkways tackles a multitude of musical forms and interpretations of the term “social power” over four jam-packed CDs. The four discs are, more or less, themed – CD1 is ‘Songs of Struggle‘, CD2 is ‘Sacred Sounds‘, CD3 is ‘Social Songs & Gatherings‘ whilst the final CD closes the circle … Continue reading “Various Artists “The Social Power Of Music” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2019)”