Pharis and Jason Romero, Kings Place Hall 2, London, 26th April 2019

The last time that they played London, some four years ago, it was at The Green Note, so the somewhat austere setting of Hall 2 at Kings Place is a sizeable step up in audience numbers for Pharis and Jason Romero, if something of a step down in cosiness and intimacy.  Not that this offered the duo any problem with forging audience communication – from the first bars of ‘Gambling Man‘ they pulled the room into their world of guitars, banjos and crystal clear vocals – that’s Pharis – and the timeless complementary strong baritone of her husband Jason.  Their sound is a blend of Old Timey tunes elevated by Pharis’ lyrics, some straight bluegrass and stone-cold country flecked folk. They also have a relatively new album ‘Sweet old religion‘ out, which perhaps plays up the guitar side their music a little and also forms a good portion of the two sets played on this night. Continue reading “Pharis and Jason Romero, Kings Place Hall 2, London, 26th April 2019”

Matt York “Permanent Crush” – Listen

Matt York grew up in Foxboro, Massachusetts and began playing the clubs of Boston, where he now resides, as a teenager.  ‘Permanent Crush‘ is his latest single, he already has a couple of albums under his belt, and it’s a gutsy roots-rocker that has precious little to do with soft-beverages but is strong on commitment ” ‘Permanent Crush’ is about letting the love of your life know that you’re going to be there for the duration” Matt York has explained, adding that “it doesn’t mean there won’t be rockiness, but it’s about committing to ultimately being there in the end. A lot of my songs are about bad love and heartache. This one is about the enduring love I have had with my wife through the years.

Plàsi “Mystery” – Listen

Swedish songwriter, musician, and producer Plàsi has released three singles from his EP, ‘Mystery‘ being one of them.  ‘Mystery‘ is a musing, dreamy and folky guitar based song – with twin levels of mysteriousness, a wide-eyed awe of nature and the sense of another presence close at hand but  somehow out of sight.  It was created on a misty night by the sea and captures an oft felt feeling as Plàsi expounds “The sea at night gives me a mystic feeling of always being followed by someone without knowing the reason.”  That’s just low-level paranoia, perfectly normal, nothing to worry about.

Steph Brown “Feel You Near” – Listen

Brighton based singer-songwriter Steph Brown makes no bones on where she draw a lot of her inspiration from – herself and her relationships with others.  ‘Feel You Near‘ is the lead single from her upcoming debut album, and it rummages around in the strains exerted when a love has run its course, or with a love that has become distant either literally and physically or figuratively and emotional but might be retrievable if a reconnection can be achieved.

Michael Paul Lawson “Wolf By The Tail” – Listen

Despite coming from a musical family, Michael Paul Lawson was encouraged not to pursue this path but rather look for a more lucrative career.  But after eight years of trying to do what others wanted him to, Michael Paul Lawson turned back to his original love after moving to Virginia where he was inspired to produce acoustic ballads such as “Wolf by the tail” which addresses the issues of battling inner demons and being in conflict with oneself.

Belaver “Partner” – Listen

Imagine one of the seedier crime songs by the Felice Brothers, but slowed down, like really slowed down, man.  And imagine that this song featured an almost drone-like main melody, and sketched out the needs of a would-be bank robber – a partner in crime, a car driver, a sharpshooter: “someone on my side“.  Then imagine that a female vocal half hints that these are also the things needed for a partner in life and that “they can get us to run but they can’t make us hide / but they don’t expect us to resist ’til we die“.  Well, don’t imagine that this is really some love-struck allegory “you and I were made to rampage / stockpile guns and kill ’em all the same / you and I we have a violent mind / If we didn’t try it’d be a crime.”  Nope, seems Belaver is looking for a partner in crime.

Bob Dylan announces a new, huge, box set

Leaving you this week dear readers with this – Well, it probably isn’t Dylan himself doing it, he probably has a PR person or two who sends this sort of information out to the huddled masses of Dylanphiles, Bob Cats and general Americana muso’s. Or, maybe it is Dylan, in a quiet moment between concerts on the Never Ending Tour.  That isn’t actually important right now.

Continue reading “Bob Dylan announces a new, huge, box set”

Ferris & Sylvester “Flying Visit” – Listen

The country meets folk of Ferris & Sylvester is to the fore on this their new single, originally released to coincide with Record Store Day.  It finds the duo trying to bring the directness  of youth to the complicated business of telling someone that you like them…you know, really like them…that way.  And telling someone “if you’re going to stay then you bring your suitcase  /  and you make it ten days ‘ cos I hate these flying visits” might just get the message across.  Worth a try.

Sive – “Sive” EP Premiere

We have had the chance to preview tracks by Sive – also known as Sadhbh O’Sullivan – previously but today is something of a bonus with the whole of her new eponymous EP to listen to.  It’s not just that Sive’s music is ethereal and has a distinctive vocal, it’s the power of the stories wrapped up in the songs that make them so memorable. Continue reading “Sive – “Sive” EP Premiere”

Ynys “Caneuon” – Listen

It is getting to be that time of year – when the warm zephyrs send a person’s mind in the direction of dreamlike and reverb heavy guitar based jangly-rock.  The sort of thing that Ynys delivers on ‘Caneoun‘ with its more than hints of Teenage Fanclub.  Ynys is Dylan Hughes’ (ex Race Horses and Radio Luxembourg) new project, and this debut single rolls in gentle reflective perfection,  Gadewch i ni ei wynebu, fodd bynnag, mae un peth sy’n annodweddiadol am y trac hwn –  still yn swnio’n wych.