Josh Rouse “Love In The Modern Age” – Listen

The title track of the new album from Josh Rouse sees him heading off in a somewhat different direction to hitherto.  Somewhat gone are the mumbled vocals and in comes hints of The Blue Nile, The Style Council, Prefab Sprout and later Roxy Music.  The acclaimed Nebraskan folk/roots pop singer’s new album is out on April 13th – and there’s a UK tour to come later in the month.

P.D. Liddle “You Shouldn’t Have Called” – Listen

Previously Peter Liddle was the frontman of East London folk-rock band Dry the River.  After almost a decade of making music, including a pair of album releases, the band decided to call it a day in 2015.   P.D. Liddle has since signed to Xtra Mile Recordings, and ‘You shouldn’t have called’ marks the first fruits of his new solo recordings.  It’s chamber-folk coupled to a delicate and painfully introverted vocal.  He’ll be playing this, and more, at Omeara on April the 13th.

Erin Rae “Can’t Cut Loose” – Listen

‘Can’t Cut Loose’ is Erin Rae’s new single from her forthcoming album ‘Putting on Airs’ on Single Lock Records.  That’s John Paul White’s label – and he signed her on first hearing because, as he says, “I was instantly transfixed”.  With a soothing sound, and an ethereal vocal, it’s a song about getting things straight – sorting out the confusion of romantic love, or shaking some other reliance.  Fighting demons.  But really quietly, and determinedly.

 

Mickelson “No Such Luck” – Listen

Scott Mickelson has paid some dues – his band Fat Opie were heralded as folk-rock-punks,  they played CBGB’s, the Bitter End, and Madame Wong’s West in LA.  They had the same management company as Neil Young and Tom Petty.  And then everything fell apart – the deals never went anywhere, Mickelson got sick, the band broke up.  Which makes it all the more surprising that ‘No Such Luck’ should be such a fun listen with wry laughs at life’s constant blindsiding and unexpected turns.  It’s the second single from his album ‘A Wondrous Life’, and there’s just a touch of Future Islands in the rocking singer-songwriter mix.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers “New Ways To Fail” – Listen

Remember when the Americana scene was full of ex-punks who’d brought a kick-ass sensibility to a moribund music? Well, Sarah Shook has the right credentials – her inspirations are the Pistols,  Elliott Smith and Hank Williams.  ‘New Ways to Fail’ is the second single off her band’s second album ‘Years’ and it blends in pedal steel with rumbling guitar and a “get lost, and do it now” vocal.  The lyrics might be Hank Williams rhyming clever – but they’re also unashamedly direct and to the point.  But enough chat – Hit It !

 

Tom Paxton “If The Poor Don’t Matter” – Listen

We make no secret of the fact that we’re big fans of Tom Paxton, so you can imagine our excitement that his next UK tour will start just a week from now.  You can find the dates here.  And sure, this song comes from 2015’s ‘Redemption Road’ but it’s looking as if it’s going to be topical for a long time yet.

Bruce Springsteen Box Set Bonanza due next month

It is a limited edition…there is not an unlimited supply.  We believe it.  The next massive release in the ongoing Bruce Springsteen Archival LP releases is Volume 2: 1987-1996.  Thus there are vinyl pressings of ‘Tunnel of Love’, ‘Human Touch’, ‘Lucky Town’, ‘In concert / MTV Plugged’ and ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’.  To sweeten the deal Columbia are throwing in the EPs ‘Chimes of Freedom’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ – and that last has never been on vinyl.  Never.  Continue reading “Bruce Springsteen Box Set Bonanza due next month”

Jesse Terry “Natural” (Jackson Beach Records, 2018)

On his fifth album Jesse Terry has moved away from his usual roots-rock arrangements for a stripped down and mostly acoustic take on songs familiar from his previous albums – with a cover thrown in for good measure. An additional twist is that Terry has teamed up with a number of his favourite female singers – amongst them Dar Williams and Kim Richey – to make this also an album of duetting voices, although on a few tracks it’s predominantly Jesse Terry with guest-star backing vocals. Continue reading “Jesse Terry “Natural” (Jackson Beach Records, 2018)”

Maria Kelly “Small Talk” – Listen

A faltering, introverted, vocal carries this delicate song of social anxiety and an inability to connect with others.  Alienation and anxiety and a tense swell of fear building within her “there’s a storm in my chest / I can’t catch my breath/…/ I can’t spit it out – don’t mind me”.  The only downside is that Maria Kelley drew on her own experiences on ‘Small Talk’.

Jonathan Wilson, Omeara, London, 19th March 2018

Omeara is a fairly new venue south of the river, not very far south, and in quite a hip area with a sizeable presence of pubs and cafes close by. Inside the performance space is bijou, with a capacity of around 350, and it’s well laid out with several slightly different levels ensuring pretty good sightlines. The decor is tastefully distressed – with the fresh paint work carefully replicating paintwork that has been scuffed up by the years of punters that have yet to pass through the doors. Continue reading “Jonathan Wilson, Omeara, London, 19th March 2018”