Terry Emm “Sophia” – Listen

Whether it’s the craft of the songwriting or the skill in the playing that eventually evolves into the love of wisdom – philosophy – that Terry Emm celebrates on this cut from his most recent release ‘Ornate‘ it is, in his mind an unrequited love.  Sophia, it seems, “wins the mind games that I play“.  Isn’t it always that way?

Tim Carr “Long Enough Along for the Ride” – Listen

Taken from his latest EP released towards the end of last year,  Los Angeles based singer, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Carr offers this delicate song.   ‘Long Enough Along For The Ride’ is influenced by French chamber music – combined with 60’s minimalistic pop – to give it something of a whispery Belle and Sebastian feel.

Tom Paxton will tour the UK in 2019

Greenwich Village troubadour Tom Paxton is returning to the UK yet again in 2019, marking his 53rd year of visiting these shores.  Still producing new material – his last album was 2017’s ‘Boat in the Water‘, which was Paxton’s 62nd release of new material (not counting his multiple dozens of compilations).  That gives a lot to pick from – but likely the format will be a mixture of the hits, a few more pointed songs, plenty of anecdotes and a few new tunes. Continue reading “Tom Paxton will tour the UK in 2019”

Victor Krummenacher “Blue Pacific” – Listen

Victor Krummenacher, co-founder of Camper Van Beethoven, has a new solo album out on March 1st, and this is the title track.  The album draws on a lot of Krummenacher’s early influences, and especially, he says, “there’s actually a lot of reference to Townshend on this album. He was the big hero when I was very young and first getting into music, and I think his expository writing affected me a lot more than I realized growing up.” So, let’s rock!

Gregory Alan Isakov “Dark, Dark, Dark” – Listen

This is the last Tracks feature of the year, so we wanted to go out with something which captured the mood of the year and this last month or so in particular.  So, Gregory Alan Isakov has shared a track from his album ‘Evening Machines‘ and ‘Dark, dark, dark‘ has a gently melancholic tone that captures a mood of transition from a state of luminosity through the dying embers of the day and into a stoic Stygian  gloom.  Or, as Isakov has it, “It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me.

Luke Sital-Singh “Love is Hard Enough Without the Winter” – Listen

There’s nothing saccharine about the sentiment in this song from Luke Sital-Singh, which is as cold and bleak as the winter he’s proposing to reject.  It touches directly on the rough edges in any relationship, the rubbing up the wrong way, the small slights that sting like the frost or the big blow-up like icy hail in the face.  Not that he resorts to such obvious similes, ‘Love is Hard Enough Without the Winter‘ is too classy for that.

A Review of the Year : Tell me where it hurts, and I’ll tell you what to feel

It may have been another turbulent year with no sign of the punishment letting up, but it has also been another great year for music. And, in a sense, that’s what really matters. And if nothing else the real world has offered some amusement on the live scene as visiting bands from the USA make clear who did, and who didn’t, support the incumbent of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The latter by noting the madness in their country and typically saying something like “don’t blame me“, the former by withholding any comment on the subject at all, as if it’s just business as usual. Continue reading “A Review of the Year : Tell me where it hurts, and I’ll tell you what to feel”

Ludlow “The Country” – Listen

Ludlow are a five piece band from Chicago who have just released their new EP  ‘Sunset Blues’, which this track is taken from.  It’s a song that reflects on how different people see the USA in different ways and that there actually are many Americas encompassed within those national borders.  As song writer Mark Schoek reflected “some folks would think “the country” is America, and some would think “the country” is the sticks, farmland, outside of town….I was thinking about the type of folks who are hesitant to leave their small towns – let alone the U.S. itself – but still develop and harbour intense nationalist views with pride for a country they’ve barely seen.

Belle of the Fall “Scarborough Fair” – Listen

Belle of the Fall have had a good year, with their album ‘Rise‘ having been nominated for the 2018 New England Music Awards Album of The Year.  Their version  of ‘Scarborough Fair‘ (not from ‘Rise‘ by the by) is quite clearly influenced by the Simon and Garfunkel take on the song –  but that doesn’t stop it having a distinctiveness of its own.  The interplay of Tracy Walton and Julia Ford’s vocals is just perfect, and it’s an ideal sonic addition for those who are already enjoying the likes of Darlingside and The Milk Carton Kids.  People like us.

Trapper Schoep “On Wisconsin” – Listen

Trapper Schoep has earned himself a co-write credit on this track with none other than Nobel laureate Bob Dylan.  Seems that back in ’61 Bob produced what we might fairly call a minor work, but never completed or recorded it .  Eventually the handwritten lyrics were sold at auction, Schoep saw a photo’ and  decided to complete the song that celebrated his home state.  With permission to co-credit eventually given he, naturally enough, recorded it and produced this slightly Sufjan Stevens-esque track.