Tom Snow “Uptown Hopeful” (Slipstream Records 2016)

Tom Snow has enjoyed a 50 year career in the music industry and is best known as a songwriter penning Linda Ronstadt’s hit “Don’t Know Much” and Leo Sayer’s “Thunder In My Heart” plus many more. However, he was a pioneer of the late 60’s and early 70’s country rock scene working with a young and already eccentric Gram Parsons before starting his own band named Country. Whilst he released a number of albums in his own name, the songs on this CD have never been released before and it is thus a treasure trove for fans of music from that era which defined much of what we know and love today as Americana. Continue reading “Tom Snow “Uptown Hopeful” (Slipstream Records 2016)”

Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors “Souvenir” (Magnolia Music 2017)

The definition of country music or indeed Americana varies immensely with conflicting views everywhere. However, if your view is that such music should be about real subjects, unpolished and delivered with passion and sincerity then you will fall in love with this album. Recorded in East Nashville there is no trace of trucks, drinking or other such subjects that appear so much in vogue amongst the country establishment.

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Rami and the Whale “Rami and the Whale” (Wooded Shrine Recordings, 2016)

This is a solo album from Swedish singer songwriter Rasmus Blomqvist. It is a mainly acoustic offering which is dark, introspective, melancholy and brooding perhaps reflecting those dark Swedish winter nights. The songs were written over a period of ten years and recorded in what is referred to as a “poor people’s home”. Continue reading “Rami and the Whale “Rami and the Whale” (Wooded Shrine Recordings, 2016)”

Red Moon Road “Sorrows and Glories” (Independent 2016)

red-moon-roadRed Moon Road are a Winnipeg based three piece, two guys, one girl, with a wide range of styles. “Sorrows and Glories” appears to be their third CD release and a very worthy and quality piece of work it is. All songs are written by the trio either in tandem or on their own and they cover a refreshing range of style and subject matter. The album opener “Beauty In These Broken Bones” is a spiritual piece full of power in the mould of “Po Lazarus” from the Oh Brother soundtrack with a rousing choir backing. Continue reading “Red Moon Road “Sorrows and Glories” (Independent 2016)”

Stephen Feldman “The Ancient Art” (Independent, 2016)

Finding stephenfeldman1any information about Stephen Feldman on the internet is no easy task which is a pity as it would be good to tell more about an artist who has produced a very satisfying and thoughtful album here. It seems as though he is a Los Angeles based folk musician who is somewhat a veteran having released a number of albums before as part of a group called Poppa’s Kitchen but that is about all that is available. There are eleven songs here all of which have been written by or co written by the artist and all paint pictures of people and events. Continue reading “Stephen Feldman “The Ancient Art” (Independent, 2016)”

The Ormewoods “The Bedroom Sessions” (Independent, 2016)

Thithe-ormewoodss is unashamedly happy music from a new Atlanta based duo Don McCollister and Claire Pearson who appear all loved up and want the world to know about it. And why not in a year full of fraction and strife? Just to add to the frisson we are told that the record was recorded in the bedroom of Claire Pearson who wrote the lyrics on the ten tracks here. There is an energy and enthusiasm to the music which is refreshing and uplifting and whilst the excellent “Hey Babe” has a rootsy feel in the main the songs are mainstream pop fare.

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The Shondes “Brighton” (Exotic Fever Records 2016)

This ithe-shondes-brightons the fifth full length album from this four piece Brooklyn based band the core of which is formed around best friends Louisa Rachel Solomon and Elijah Oberman. Having been in existence since 2006 they have become known for their energetic performances and political activism including forthright views on Jewish issues. The opening track “Everything Good” is an uplifting driving love song which introduces us to the clear and strident voice of lead singer Louisa Rachel Solomon and also the soaring violin of Elijah Oberman. Continue reading “The Shondes “Brighton” (Exotic Fever Records 2016)”

Chip Taylor “I’ll Carry For You” (Train Wreck Records, 2016)

Chip Taychip-taylor-ill-carry-for-youlor is a musician who has deservedly earned much respect over the years so it seems a litle churlish to offer criticism of such a revered artist. However, even though he has written many great songs and recorded many great albums, this is not one of them. The CD is really an EP featuring five songs with three instrumental themes and an alternative version of the title song. Continue reading “Chip Taylor “I’ll Carry For You” (Train Wreck Records, 2016)”

Little Country Giants “Dead Reckoning” (Independent, 2016)

Littllittle-country-giants-dead-reckoninge Country Giants comprise husband and wife duo Cameron Federal and Russell Cook and were formed in 2004 and are one of the best kept secrets of the traditional country genre. If you liked the “Oh Brother” soundtrack and the various offshoots from that style then chances are that you will fall in love with this too. The opening track “Party Till You Fall” is an upbeat pared back country rock number followed by “Chart To My Heart” featuring tuba and french horn mingled together artfully with mandolin and soaring harmonies. Continue reading “Little Country Giants “Dead Reckoning” (Independent, 2016)”

Eve Williams “Peregreni” (Independent, 2016)

eve-williams-peregriniEve Williams is a singer and songwriter from Northern Ireland with a distinctive voice and a wide range. She became a full time singer songwriter after developing a disability due to rheumatoid arthritis and being unable to continue in her then day job. With many plaudits she is plotting a path in the business with at least one previous album to her name. This CD comprises nine tracks and as the sleeve notes explain, the album title takes its name from a 5th century group of monks whose Latin name translates to “wanderers” a feeling with which the artist has an affinity. Continue reading “Eve Williams “Peregreni” (Independent, 2016)”