The Danberrys “The Mountain” – Listen

Husband and wife duo, Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry go back a long way – they were high school sweethearts,  but split and followed their own paths for five years.  Dorothy Daniel wrote her own music, Ben DeBerry played in a number of local bands.  When their paths crossed again they picked up some stitches and, well the rest is history.  Continue reading “The Danberrys “The Mountain” – Listen”

Nathaniel Rateliff “All Or Nothing” – Listen

Is it just our imagination or does this latest song from Nathaniel Rateliff’s new album ‘And It’s Still Alright‘ (newly out on Stax Records) have something of a Harry Nilsson vibe to it ?  There’s a laid back, smooth feel to the vocal, and a whole pile of the sweetest strings.  Take a listen, see what you think. Continue reading “Nathaniel Rateliff “All Or Nothing” – Listen”

Track Premiere: Sara Rachele “Terry Richardson”

Sara Rachele’s last album ‘Scorpio Moon’ had a richly layered augmented band sound, but the follow up ‘Scorpio Sun’ which is due out this year has ripped up that design and started afresh with the emphasis on the raw, the personal and the stripped back.  It means that there’s nothing between the listener and the song, just the rawness laid out in full view. Continue reading “Track Premiere: Sara Rachele “Terry Richardson””

Nicole Atkins records with “weirdest, craziest band ever”

Nicole Atkins returns with a new album ‘Italian Ice‘ to be released on the 17th of April via Single Lock Records.  The title references her Asbury Park days, where the titular treat was available on the boardwalks,  it’s also her alter-ego when shooting craps.  Nicole Atkins describes the new album as “an acid trip through my record collection“, and as such it encompasses a range of sounds. Continue reading “Nicole Atkins records with “weirdest, craziest band ever””

June Tabor and the Oyster Band “Valentine’s Day Is Over” – Listen

Not, we admit, a new song but on special days, such as today’s worship of romantic love, exceptions can be made.  Can it really be thirty years since this interpretation of Billy Bragg’s classic song was released?  Yes it can. Continue reading “June Tabor and the Oyster Band “Valentine’s Day Is Over” – Listen”

Katy Rose Bennett “The Meantine” (Independent, 2019)

The Meantine‘ is the fifth album from Birmingham based, rural Oxfordshire raised, Katy Rose Bennett. The nine songs that make it up are firmly in a modern folk vein, given an immediacy by Bennett’s decision to record ‘The Meantime’ live – just her singing and playing either guitar or piano with no additional backing or overdubs. It’s a move that gives the album a certain sonic consistency. There’s a lyrical consistency as well over the songs which split into adult emotions and struggles and a series of songs expressing parental love. Opening with ‘I have a Song‘ Katy Rose Bennett sings of troubles that lead her to sink into depths of despair only to find a fiery core “feel my way, feel the heat, of the magma underneath” which allows her to overcome – but not forget – what came before “I was lost and undermined / and now the melodies are haunting me“. It’s passionately sung with the emotion breaking clearly through. ‘Did You See‘ is a wistful piano ballad with Bennett’s vocal conveying the sadness of parting. Continue reading “Katy Rose Bennett “The Meantine” (Independent, 2019)”

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, The Barbican, London, 25th January 2020

A rare visit to these shores for Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn saw the pair on stage at The Barbican – it was the simplest of stage setups, a couple of chairs, a few microphones and a couple of banjo stands for each player. Bela Fleck is, of course, the master of all things three fingered Scruggs style, and so much more. Having exhausted what Bluegrass offered by way of a challenge he expanded into jazz – for example his collaborations with Chick Corea – and with the Flecktones into the world of experimental electric jazz-funk. Abigail Washburn’s own banjo prowess is in the realm of clawhammer – and of course she also sings. Bela does not sing. Their combined talents have been exhibited on a series of duo albums which take a more traditional folk tack, albeit traditional folk embellished by the finest of banjo playing. Material from their recent album ‘Echo in the Valley’ has been played in the UK for the first time on their brief tour, and made up a good part of the concert. Continue reading “Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, The Barbican, London, 25th January 2020”

Kim Richey “Come Around” – Listen

Rather than just re-issue ‘Glimmer’ for its 20th anniversary Kim Richey decided to re-imagine the songs and come up with a whole new album.  Entitled ‘A Long Way Back: The Songs of Glimmer‘ it’ll be released on Yep Roc Records on March 27th.  Kim Richey says that “all of the original 14 songs from this new album were recorded in producer Doug Lancio’s basement studio and given a more intimate treatment.  It was great to revisit these old friends and be able to make them available again to fans.” Continue reading “Kim Richey “Come Around” – Listen”

James Taylor announces that he loves to cuddle

There are lots of other things he loves to do as well – rolling cigarettes for example, or falling off logs.  Now, he knows that sounds crazy – and who are we to disagree – but there’s a reason behind all these confessions of strange behaviour.  They are all things that he believes are as easy “as falling in love with you“, as James Taylor recounts on his new recording of the song ‘As Easy as Rolling Off a Log‘. Continue reading “James Taylor announces that he loves to cuddle”

Pond Diver “Look Around” – Listen

Pond Diver add another taste of their ‘Flashbacks‘ EP, today’s track a slower and more meditative song than the previously featured ‘Over the Hill‘.  It’s a sad reflection on a relationship that has come to an end with a final sad parting.  Continue reading “Pond Diver “Look Around” – Listen”