Girl from the North Country is on the move

Photo: Manuel Harlan

In fact by the time of publication Girl from the North Country – the critically acclaimed musical derived from Bob Dylan’s songs will have completed its  transfer from the Old Vic to the heart of London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre.   Want  a plot synopsis ?  Well, it’s Duluth, Minnesota. 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse. The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for.

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Video : Judy Collins “Who knows where the time goes ?”

It should, of course, be Sandy Denny – but in the absence of a suitable video this lovely version by Judy Collins will have to fill those aching, sobering, moments of the New Year.  Make all the resolutions you want – time is inexorable and can’t be taken back.  Happy 2018 everyone!

Dan Michaelson “First Light” (The state51 Conspiracy, 2017)

First Light is an album of elegant music which serves as a frame for Dan Michaelson’s distinctive cracked and battered vocals – like a canvas sail hauled out for another use in the face of an oncoming storm. A concept album of sorts, based on the thoughts that fill the mind as consciousness returns as somnolence is reluctantly thrown off, and on the evidence presented here Dan Michaelson’s dreams are often troubled with uneasy sleep. Continue reading “Dan Michaelson “First Light” (The state51 Conspiracy, 2017)”

Details of new album from Joan Baez

Some details have come through on Joan Baez’s upcoming new album.  To be released on March 2nd 2018 via Proper Records Whistle Down the Wind will feature a selection of songs by Baez’s favourite songwriters. Whistle Down the Wind  was produced by Joe Henry, and was recorded over ten days in Los Angeles.  It’s been a long time coming – her  last studio album was 2008’s Day After Tomorrow, which was produced by Steve Earle. Continue reading “Details of new album from Joan Baez”

Do you like Good Music ? A year in review

There’s an inevitability that December brings some reflection on what has gone before, there’s this midwinter pause that offers an opportunity for this stocktaking. And this is a personal reflection – there’s some “best ofs”” down below, which in their own way are as inevitable as socks as Christmas presents, but they are in no-way the official best ofs for Americana-UK. I take all the blame for them, although there’s a fair chance I’ll have disowned them – or at least in part – by the time New Year comes around. Continue reading “Do you like Good Music ? A year in review”

Judy Collins & Stephen Stills “Girl from the North Country” – Listen

A track taken from the duo’s recent album Everybody Knows –  which sees them dragging in another contemporary in the form of Bob Dylan to provide words and music.  It’s a song Stills has recorded previously, but here it is with both artists.

 

Feral Conservatives “Better Lives” (Egghunt Records, 2017)

When your album has been produced by Jon Auer (Posies, second incarnation Big Star) then you’ve pretty much been anointed as a credible new entry into the legion of Power Pop bands. If you also have a female lead singer and a distinctive quirk – in the case of Feral Conservatives it’s that the mandolin is right there at the front of the band driving the tunes forward – then that’s a lot of flags flying in your favour. If, like Feral Conservatives, you also have a clutch of excellent songs then you’re flying. Continue reading “Feral Conservatives “Better Lives” (Egghunt Records, 2017)”

Folk By The Oak Announce Headliners

Over the last decade Folk by the Oak has established itself as the essential “only just outside London close to a railway station one day folk music showcase” and this year looks to be no different. The one-day festival is held in the grounds of Hatfield House and has just announced the first three Main Stage Headliners.  These are Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Young’uns, and promoted from the festival’s Acorn Stage a return visit by Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys.   Continue reading “Folk By The Oak Announce Headliners”

Karla Kane “King’s Daughters Home For Incurables” – Listen

Californian Karla Kane unleashes a veritable storm of melodic whimsy on this ukulele led new folk-song that celebrates a mythical world of English folk whilst admitting that “I wanted to be an English folk singer / A new Shirley Collins, the next Cecil Sharp”.  Quick as a fox, though, she turns the song in a different direction “A terrible troll lived up in his tower / Surrounded by minions who couldn’t say no” before reflecting that “I don’t know if this machine can kill fascists / but maybe annoying them’s alright for now”.