I’m Kingfisher “Transit” (Fading Trails Recordings, 2018)

  • Hailing from Sweden, I’m Kingfisher is the moniker of folk singer-songwriter Thomas Jonsson who returns with his sixth solo recording and third under the name I’m Kingfisher entitled ‘Transit’. With over 600 shows under his belt and having achieved significant recognition from the likes of Uncut magazine for his prior releases ‘Arctic’ and ‘Avian’, Jonsson is no stranger to his craft and has returned to stake a claim for the hole left by Bon Iver after the latter’s recent, and experimental change in direction. Lazy comparisons aside, ‘Transit’ is the sound of an accomplished songwriter deserving of the recognition already bestowed upon him and much more.

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers “Years” (Bloodshot Records, 2018)

Following on from their great success and widely-acclaimed debut ‘Sidelong’ released in 2015 which led to the band being signed to Chicago-based Bloodshot Records, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers have returned with their own sophomore effort ‘Years’. The record wastes no time in getting started with opening track ‘Good As Gold’ which is an upbeat number driven by acoustic guitar, rumbling drums and front-woman Sarah Shook’s unique, southern voice and with a true ear worm of a chorus, the right song was chosen to open up the record and set the tone for what is to follow. Continue reading “Sarah Shook & The Disarmers “Years” (Bloodshot Records, 2018)”

Sir Canyon “Ventura Skies” (Independent, 2018)

For those not familiar with Sir Canyon, they are a collective of musicians fronted by former Hank Floyd member, Noah Lamberth. After his previous venture decided to call it quits after a series of high-profile support slots, Lamberth didn’t think he would continue with his music and pursued a brief career making documentaries and television shows however, after the loss of his father and a romantic breakup he began writing songs in his downtime, as a catharsis of sorts, and his friend and producer, Andy Davis encouraged him to record an album which (with the help of some former bandmates from his time in Katy Perry’s band) would eventually come to life as the mexican/surf/country record ‘Ventura Skies’. Continue reading “Sir Canyon “Ventura Skies” (Independent, 2018)”

Southern Tenant Folk Union “Southern Tenant Folk Union (10th Anniversary Re-Issue)” (Johnny Rock, 2018)

If you haven’t heard of them before, Southern Tenant Folk Union have been around for a while, ten years to be precise, and to celebrate this achievement the Edinburgh based 6- piece have decided to reissue and remaster their debut album which saw them garner a lot of attention in terms of radio airplay and live opportunities.
The songwriting present on the record is of an incredibly high standard leaning further towards the more folk and bluegrass side of the ever-undefinable Americana bracket but channels that roots sound very well, combining it with modern songwriting sensibilities and naturally, the lyrical content to match the time it was recorded, as opposed to the time the sound reflects. Continue reading “Southern Tenant Folk Union “Southern Tenant Folk Union (10th Anniversary Re-Issue)” (Johnny Rock, 2018)”

Dave Stewart “Nashville Sessions – The Duets” (DSE/Membran, 2017)

Dave Stewart is most likely to be best known for his work alongside Annie Lennox – however, he is more than just the co-founder of The Eurythmics. With a career spanning over 40 years, millions of records sold, a number of high-profile collaborations and various forays into other channels of media,  Stewart is one of the most renowned and respected musicians in the business and his newest release, is a collection of songs made up of the best duets recorded during the album sessions for three different records ‘The Blackbird Diaries’, ‘The Ringmaster General’ and ‘Lucky Numbers’ recorded and released over a three year period. Alongside Stewart on the record, are some very talented and very famous friends including Stevie Nicks, Alison Krauss Colbie Caillat, Joss Stone and many more, who, without exception, deliver brilliant vocal performances and perfectly justify why they themselves, are all household names in their own right. Continue reading “Dave Stewart “Nashville Sessions – The Duets” (DSE/Membran, 2017)”

Jasper Sloan Yip “Post Meridiem” (Afterlife Music/Membran, 2017)

‘Post Meridiem’ is the third full length release from Canadian-based Jasper Sloan Yip and finds the singer-songwriter expand on and further refine the sound he found on his two previous releases ‘Every Day And All At Once’ and the follow-up, 2013’s ‘Foxtrot’. The record begins with a slow, brooding cello intro which gradually builds into the first real track The Day Passed and the Sun Went Down which successfully explores, and experiments with, different dynamics throughout the track and is an early indication of what is to follow. Journeying through quiet verses and a more upbeat, louder chorus eventually climaxing in a brilliant guitar solo, the track is an early highlight on a solid record. Immediately following, is Strangers, an ethereal, piano-led ballad, again, utilising the versatility in his voice to create an impressive falsetto chorus and it is clear that Yip’s talents are most prominent within the realms of these mid-tempo ballads. Continue reading “Jasper Sloan Yip “Post Meridiem” (Afterlife Music/Membran, 2017)”

The Yawpers “Boy In A Well” (Bloodshot Records, 2017)

The Yawpers are a three-piece band hailing from Denver, Colorado and their third release ‘Boy In A Well’ see’s them attempt to tackle the story of a new mother abandoning her unwanted child in World War I through the medium of song however, melancholy subject matter aside, this record isn’t quite the gloomy trip you might expect. Continue reading “The Yawpers “Boy In A Well” (Bloodshot Records, 2017)”

Richard Thompson “Acoustic Rarities” (Beewsing Records, 2017)

Coming a mere 2 months after his other 2017 release ‘Acoustic Classics Vol II’, Richard Thompson has released his collection of Acoustic Rarities made up of some unreleased acoustic recordings, songs that have only previously been released by other artists, tracks taken from both his vast body of solo work and some acoustic re-imaginations from his Fairport Convention days. Fans of Thompson know that he is no stranger to both hard work and producing consistent, quality content having been in the business some 40 years and Acoustic Rarities, of course, is of no exception. Continue reading “Richard Thompson “Acoustic Rarities” (Beewsing Records, 2017)”

Jon C Butler “Universal Stranger” (Strataville, 2017)

Jon C Butler has had a lengthy career with his band Diesel Park West most noted for their critically acclaimed debut ‘Shakespeare Alabama’ released some 25 years ago. His newest output and debut solo album ‘Universal Stranger’, puts a modern spin on a retro sound – using lyrics and themes from 2017 against a backdrop of 70’s or 80’s sounding production and as a whole, that sound works. First track When The Walls Went Down is reminiscent of Dylan’s work with the band, kicking out with a purposeful almost spoken-word vocal and slides into the more melodic Each Other a steady paced song that is lyrically, highlighting the importance of realising we are all in this together which seems to be a message threaded throughout the record as a whole. Continue reading “Jon C Butler “Universal Stranger” (Strataville, 2017)”

The Wynntown Marshals “After All These Years” (Independent, 2017)

After almost ten years since their formation and three full length albums as well as countless EP’s into their career, The Wynntown Marshals have decided to stop and celebrate their output in the form of half-retrospective, half-greatest hits ‘After All These Years’ whilst treating us to two new tracks and a re-recorded version of an older track with the groups most current line-up. Continue reading “The Wynntown Marshals “After All These Years” (Independent, 2017)”