Paul Brady to release new album in September.

Photos in Sandyford by Dara Munnis. @daramunnis

It’s been seven years since his last studio album, but the itch has finally struck again and Paul Brady will release a new album – Unfinished Business – on September 8th via Proper Records. It’ll be Brady’s 15th solo album, following up on 2010’s acclaimed Hooba Dooba.  There are nine new compositions and two traditional folk songs  on Unfinished Business which reflects the eclecticism of Paul’s long and varied musical journey.  Unfinished Business was recorded at Paul’s studio in Dublin, with Paul engineering the record and playing most of the instruments himself.

Continue reading “Paul Brady to release new album in September.”

Ian Felice to release debut solo album

Exciting news arrives from Loose Records that Ian Felice – of, as you may have realised, The Felice Brothers – has recorded a solo album that will released on 25th August.  Entitled In The Kingdom Of Dreams, the album was recorded in Ian’s childhood home of Palenville NY, with his brother Simone Felice on production duties. Simone has also produced (and co-written) recent hit albums from The Lumineers and Bat For Lashes. On the album, Ian was joined by the original Felice Brothers line-up of James Felice on keys, Simone Felice on drums and Josh Rawson on bass. Continue reading “Ian Felice to release debut solo album”

Viper Central will tour the UK in August

Canadian Bluegrass sensation Viper Central have a tour planned at the height of the UK summer, taking in both festival stages and small rooms across Scotland and Ireland.  They also have a new album – their third – coming out.  It’s called The Spirit of God & Madness, and is judged to be their boldest endeavour to date.   Lead songwriter, Kathleen Nisbet has taking her storytelling skills in new directions – on one track taking on the persona of her ancestor, Louis Riel, in another, that of a Saskatchewan farmer-turned-musician, in still another, that of Katherine O’Hare – a woman who crossed the Rockies on foot in the 19th century. Continue reading “Viper Central will tour the UK in August”

Darlingside, Union Chapel, London, 3rd July 2017

Darlingside are an American folk band starting to make quite a stir after a bumped higher up the bill appearance at last year’s Cambridge Folk Festival earnt them a lot of new fans this side of the pond. They’ve been back for some tour dates and brought along a friend – the woman described as their “Big Sister” – who provided the opening support set. Caitlin Canty is a Vermont girl gone Nashville, and sings modern folk songs tinged with a fairly generous helping of country. She’s enjoying being in the UK – commenting that if she lived here she’d be writing train songs instead of ones featuring cars as an escape. Get Up is her standout song, with its thrumming guitar line and insistent lyrics “Get up get up get up / no time to rest or run for cover / Get up get up get up / before the road pulls you under” which restlessly hints at a chaotic scramble away from an unbearable situation. Continue reading “Darlingside, Union Chapel, London, 3rd July 2017”

Tom Russell has a new album coming soon

Having put out one album already this year – Play One More: The Songs of Ian and Sylvia, Tom Russell isn’t letting the grass grow under him. He’ll be releasing another brand-new studio album Folk Hotel on Proper Records. Folk Hotel will be out on September 8th, in advance of his UK tour. The physical version – which is the one you’ll be wanting to buy – showcases 13 new Russell originals plus, as one of two bonus tracks, Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” a duet with Joe Ely, featuring Joel Guzman on Tex-Mex accordion. Continue reading “Tom Russell has a new album coming soon”

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band, The Stables, Wavendon, 21st June 2017

More than thirty years after departing from Mott the Hoople, Ian Hunter is still forever associated with the band which gave him his big break. That must be something of a poisoned chalice as he’s produced a significant body of solo work over those years and his current musical unit – the Rant Band – are responsible for two of his finest albums When I’m President and last year’s Fingers Crossed both of which show him to be a songwriter very much at the top of his game. And as befits this status he works as many of the new songs into his set as possible…or perhaps that should be he works as few Mott songs into the set as he feels he can get away with. Continue reading “Ian Hunter & The Rant Band, The Stables, Wavendon, 21st June 2017”

Hot Flash Heat Wave “Soaked” (OIM Records, 2017)

Sunshine filters all through Hot Flash Heat Wave’s second album Soaked, which sees this San Francisco based four piece explore the perils of early adulthood, feelings of time passing and, more specifically, the pitfalls of dating. It’s an attractive dream pop sound which occasionally bursts out with some near-grungy guitar riffing revealing something of the band’s early influences.  Bye-bye baby is one such song, which tries to salvage some shred of self-respect from being dumped with a snarling “Bye-bye baby I really hate to see you go” which tries to turn it around, but this, like the churning guitars, is just bravado. Continue reading “Hot Flash Heat Wave “Soaked” (OIM Records, 2017)”

Fleet Foxes “Crack-Up” (Nonesuch, 2017)

Fleet Foxes have not been exemplifying the work ethic – having dramatically emerged onto the music scene in 2008 with the Sun Giant EP and then their eponymous debut it was a full three years until the follow up Helplessness Blues. That was three years in which the Foxes achieved an ubiquity rarely accorded a band with so little recorded material to their name. Three years pales into nothingness compared to the six it has taken to produce album number three. Continue reading “Fleet Foxes “Crack-Up” (Nonesuch, 2017)”

Joe Purdy, support Lydia Ramsey, The Horn, St Albans, 15th June 2017

Does it get better than this – a beautifully warm evening, driving off to see Joe Purdy for the second time in a week, Bob Harris Country on the radio and Bob’s interviewing Jason Isbell. Oh and he closes the show with Waylon’s Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love). Everything’s looking – and sounding – very promising. Things take a downward trend when arriving at The Horn to find there’s no crowd – and I mean, no crowd: the venue’s deserted. Even when the stage times roll around things haven’t improved all that much – can St. Albans and the surrounding area really only scrape together thirty odd people for Joe Purdy? Continue reading “Joe Purdy, support Lydia Ramsey, The Horn, St Albans, 15th June 2017”