Dean Owens & The Southerners, Sounds In The Suburbs @ The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 15th December 2019

The irony of this cross border trio appearing in Glasgow in the wake of an election which saw England and Scotland diametrically opposed was not lost on Dean Owens tonight. The prankster in him surreptitiously arranged for the sold out crowd to chant the terrace anthem of ‘Cheerio, Cheerio’ as the actual southerners, Jim Maving and Tom Collison, joined him on stage. Seasoned troupers, they took it in their stride, humbly apologising for inflicting BJ on us and asking if they could stay up north permanently. This was of course, good-natured jousting, and it set the scene for a fabulous and good humoured show with lots of banter and audience interaction amidst the tremendous music the trio performed. Continue reading “Dean Owens & The Southerners, Sounds In The Suburbs @ The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 15th December 2019”

Andrew Combs + Kirby Brown, the Lexington, London, 10th December, 2019

Andrew Combs isn’t someone who can be accused of sticking to a tried and tested formula in an attempt to court popularity. Quite the contrary. Since he burst onto the music scene in 2012 with the classic country folk of ‘Worried Man’ (recently re-issued by Loose), he’s since gravitated towards a more psychedelic and indie sounding release with this year’s ‘Ideal Man’ via the cocktail of Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, and Nilsson vibes he created on 2015 ‘All These Dreams’. But the underlying themes of his writing have still persisted – musings on personal relationships and wider societal issues – the former in his opening number tonight, ‘Firestarter’, from his latest album. Continue reading “Andrew Combs + Kirby Brown, the Lexington, London, 10th December, 2019”

Philip B. Price “Bone Almanac” (Signature Sound Recordings, 2019)

A winter release seems particularly appropriate for this solo album from Winterpills frontman Philip B. Price. ‘Bone Almanac’ is a chilling and haunting work that’s frequently bleak, given that much of it addresses very current concerns, such as our climate crisis; a fitting soundtrack for the winter. But there’s also much to celebrate as this is a fine album indeed and a real solo effort, given that Price has written all the songs and plays every instrument used on the album, his only collaborator being engineer and producer Justin Pizzoferrato. Continue reading “Philip B. Price “Bone Almanac” (Signature Sound Recordings, 2019)”

Dawn Landes + Jonah Tolchin, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, 8th December 2019

Dawn Landes is an artist that for some years now has seemed set for a breakthrough. That it hasn’t really happened for her is one of life’s mysteries. With a catalogue of fine albums to her name and a great live reputation, she has built up an enthusiastic fan base, just not in the numbers that might have been expected. However, the world’s loss was tonight Leeds’ gain as the audience filled the intimate, if somewhat dilapidated, surroundings of The Hyde Park Book Club. Continue reading “Dawn Landes + Jonah Tolchin, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, 8th December 2019”

Steep Canyon Rangers “North Carolina Songbook” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)

Live albums can often feel a pointless affair: a selection of songs you already know usually played to a lesser standard than the studio version, a crowd you weren’t part of, cheering in the background, and no way to witness the performance visually. With major label acts, the live album is often put out there as a money grab, or as a way for the artist to tick another one off the number of required albums in a recording contract. So it is a relief to see that the Steep Canyon Rangers have offered us something different in ‘North Carolina Songbook’. Continue reading “Steep Canyon Rangers “North Carolina Songbook” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)”

Eric Lindquist “A Place Called Home” (Independent, 2019)

Eric Lindquist tells us that he grew up with a dream of making a good record, but it just took him a little bit longer than expected. What Eric has created is exactly that, a good record, and we should be glad at the fact he took his time in creating it. Hailing from a small town in Western NY, we get a slightly new perspective of an American growing up in a place that isn’t in Tennessee or Texas. Continue reading “Eric Lindquist “A Place Called Home” (Independent, 2019)”

Sam Weber “Everything Comes True” (Sonic Unyon, 2019)

From North Saanich, Canada to L.A., Sam Weber is the musical ambassador for British Columbia. Touring since 2013, this talented multi-instrumentalist has written ‘Everything Will Come True’ both on the road and on his parent’s piano. Starting out at Infinity Studios in Victoria, working on Chris Ho’s ‘City of Dust‘, it is apparent that this, his third album, has been recorded by a producer’s producer. Acoustic guitar, pedal steel, slide guitar, baritone guitar, electric Spanish guitar, all blend effortlessly with flawless vocals, trombone, trumpets, drums, and mellotron. The fact that he still goes back to his first recording studio for additional production and continues to write in his parent’s living room is a testament to the importance of roots to Weber, even when the songs are about life on the road. Continue reading “Sam Weber “Everything Comes True” (Sonic Unyon, 2019)”

Adam Hill “Water In The Draw” (Independent, 2019)

So, a Canadian folk/roots songwriter finds himself in a remote cabin on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch in Wyoming. Taking with him just his upright bass and guitar he heads for the one room where he will be holed up for a month of musical solitude. Now, whether through luck or design we are not privy but, in this far away man cave, happens to reside a grand piano. Continue reading “Adam Hill “Water In The Draw” (Independent, 2019)”

Doghouse Roses “We Are Made of Light” (Yellowroom Music, 2019)

Having toured on and off for 18 months since the release of their 3rd album ‘Lost is Not Losing’, Doghouse Roses have paused long enough to release ‘We Are Made of Light’, a mix of new material and songs that have been written during the 15 years that Iona Macdonald and Paul Tasker have been together, but have never previously recorded. With Macdonald’s distinctive vocal tone, often drawing comparison with the likes of Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson, and Tasker’s skilful guitar and banjo playing, ‘We Are Made of Light’ – recorded in Glasgow, but mixed in Slovenia – is an album of varying themes and styles. Continue reading “Doghouse Roses “We Are Made of Light” (Yellowroom Music, 2019)”

Cattle and Cane “Navigator” (Independent, 2019)

Navigator’ is the third album by independent act Cattle and Cane who are siblings Helen and Joe Hammill, supported by a flexible group of musicians that includes members of their extended family. They have a strong following in their native North East of England and are hoping ‘Navigator’ will be their breakthrough album. Continue reading “Cattle and Cane “Navigator” (Independent, 2019)”