Clever Square “Clever Square” (Bronson Recordings, 2019)

Described as the Italian golden boys of American indie rock by their totally unbiased record label, Clever Square main man Giacomo D’Attore has pulled together a new band following the original version’s split in 2015. D’Attore is unambiguous in citing US indie rock as his inspiration and this eponymously titled new album certainly does take a nod in that direction. And all without a hint of an Italian accent. Continue reading “Clever Square “Clever Square” (Bronson Recordings, 2019)”

Ellis Paul “The Storyteller’s Suitcase” (Rosella Records, 2019)

I felt compelled to write about it. Three people dead – over what? A fucking statue.” Ellis Paul outlines in words that brook little ambiguity the drive behind his song ‘The Battle of Charlottesville’. The song is prompted by the tragic events of August 12th 2017 in his adopted home city, a white supremacist rally that left one protester dead, scores injured and a police helicopter crash that took the lives of two state troopers.  And herein lies something of the drive behind Ellis Paul’s life as a storytelling songwriter. Continue reading “Ellis Paul “The Storyteller’s Suitcase” (Rosella Records, 2019)”

Erisy Watt “Paints In The Sky” (Independent, 2019)

Although raised in Nashville, Erisy Watt has a voice and musical style that is a million miles away from much of what is churned out of Music City these days. Watt instead veers more toward the soulful, jazzy, folk sound of the likes of Norah Jones and, on ‘Paints in the Sky’, her debut album, she has created a thing of beauty, a veritable treat for the ears. Continue reading “Erisy Watt “Paints In The Sky” (Independent, 2019)”

Erin Durant “Islands” (Keeled Scales, 2019)

Erin Durant takes her craft seriously. On the road, if a venue doesn’t have her instrument of choice, then she brings her 232-pound piano with her. With this revelation in mind, would this be the first ever 21st century music review to reference Laurel & Hardy if this brought the ultimate in piano removals to mind? The Music Box, 1932, for those too young to have a clue where this review is going.
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Joe Kaplow “Time Spent In Between” (Independent, 2019)

Joe Kaplow is unlikely to be a name familiar to many. Living in what he fondly refers to as “the rich Santa Cruz music community” Kaplow has found himself a base from which he can devote himself to his songwriting craft. Recording his music within the very walls where he resides, Kaplow has now released his debut album. Continue reading “Joe Kaplow “Time Spent In Between” (Independent, 2019)”

Joshua Burnside “Live At The Elmwood Hall” (Quiet Arch Records, 2019)

Releasing a live album can be a risky business. Capturing the essence of a show in a recording isn’t always easy. Credit then to Northern Irish singer-songwriter Joshua Burnside who, with ‘Live at The Elmwood Hall’ has produced an album that showcases his talents to the absolute max. Recorded in December 2018, Burnside is credited with responsibility for the mixing and he has delivered a lovely sounding album.
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Markus Rill and the Troublemakers “Songland” (Blue Rose Records, 2019)

Hailing originally from Germany, Markus Rill owes his Americana roots to his formative years spent in Austin, Texas. Playing with the likes of Townes van Zandt, and praised for his songwriting skills by highly respected artists such as Gretchen Peters, Rosanne Cash and Ray Wylie Hubbard, Mr Rill clearly has something to offer.
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The Fireflys “Only Us, Northern Lights” (Strawberry Moon Records, 2019)

The Fireflys have many things to commend them to music lovers of a certain vintage. To start with there is the declaration of intent by vocalist, lead guitarist and songwriter Lee Wylding “to promote listening to albums in full as it seems the warmth of a full album has been sidelined for a more cherry pick your faves- approach.” Good start Lee. Continue reading “The Fireflys “Only Us, Northern Lights” (Strawberry Moon Records, 2019)”

Jamie Freeman “Dreams About Falling” (Union Music, 2019)

There is a reward for those of us still in thrall to the concept of an album rather than a download. It comes in the form of the good old-fashioned sleeve notes and the added value it gives to the music. If by looking at the list of collaborators on an album we are given an impression of the high regard in which a musician is held by their peers, then Jamie Freeman clearly has an enviable reputation. If supporting evidence was required then the co-writers on Freeman’s latest album ‘Dreams About Falling’ include Angaleena Presley, Ben Glover and Amy Speace while he has employed the recent Grammy winner Neilson Hubbard as producer. Continue reading “Jamie Freeman “Dreams About Falling” (Union Music, 2019)”

Nathan Seeckts “The Heart Of The City” (Independent, 2019)

The definition of what constitutes Americana has been a long-debated subject in these circles and, while that conversation is destined to run and run, what cannot be disputed is the global reach of this wonderful musical genre. Nathan Seeckts is doing his bit in this regard in his native Australia by hosting a weekly Americana based programme on community radio that supports and promotes the work of his peers within the Australian alt-country community. Continue reading “Nathan Seeckts “The Heart Of The City” (Independent, 2019)”