Nathan Bowles “Plainly Mistaken” – Listen

Nathan Bowles’ upcoming new album Plainly Mistaken, out 5 October on Paradise of Bachelors, extends his acclaimed solo banjo and percussion practice into the full-band realm for the first time. The album’s newest single ‘Now If You Remember’ is a cover of a 1976 Julie Tippetts song that “welcomes you into Bowles’ exploration of a new world of unfamiliar melodies spun from familiar folk sounds.” Bowles’ ethereal rendering represents a rather radical departure from his previous recordings; his placidly plaintive singing has been stripped of its otherwise genial, ursine gruffness, and the brief song floats by on the sedative ebb tide of banjo and pianos both acoustic and electric.

Amy Helm “Michigan” – Listen

Amy Helm has shared her new single, ‘Michigan‘, taken from her new album ‘This too shall light‘, which Helm recorded with Joe Henry some 3,000 miles from the family studio in Woodstock at the legendary United Recording Studios in Los Angeles.  ‘Michigan’ is, of course, a cover of the Milk Carton Kids, which Amy Helm brings her own dramatic vocal to.  It’s a song that she finds multiple layers in, saying of it “The song is so devastatingly heavy and sad that at first I was kind of taken aback.  Continue reading “Amy Helm “Michigan” – Listen”

Remember this Burt Reynolds country song?

Well it’s the end of the week dear readers and we leave you with a story courtesy of Spin who marked the sad passing of Burt Reynolds (whose best film ever was Boogie Nights imho but horses for courses)  by remembering a country hit that he had in the 1980s. As they describe it: “After an early-career dalliance as an easy-listening country recording artist he returned to the music world in 1980 with “Let’s Do Something Cheap And Superficial,” for the soundtrack to 1980’s Smokey And The Bandit II… It was frivolous, it was fun, it was a hit to some degree, and it didn’t ask that you take it any more seriously than it took itself. You could do a whole lot worse on a Saturday night.” Amen to that. RIP Burt. Have a good weekend.

Colter Wall “Plain to see Plainsman” – Listen

Colter Wall has a new album – ‘Songs Of The Plains’ – coming out on  October 12th, and in advance has let a few taster tracks “drop“.  The deep baritoned Canadian’s album was produced by the legendary Dave Cobb, and this song reflects on a kind of homesick feeling for the lost province of Saskatchewan, home of Eldorado and Uranium City.  And Corb Lund.  Corb Lund’s on the album too.
Continue reading “Colter Wall “Plain to see Plainsman” – Listen”

Copper Viper “Hung up alone” – Listen

Now, we don’t routinely take it into our heads to argue with the press releases that drift our way on the ether. But.  It says here that Copper Viper make music with a “truly traditional British folk feel“.  ‘Hung Up Alone‘, though, couldn’t sound more like music transported to the New World, and played out on some wild prairie, if it had come wrapped up in an actual slice of mom’s apple pie.  That said Robin Joel Sangster (vocals /acoustic guitar) and Duncan Menzies(vocals / mandolin / fiddle)  make a foot-stompin’ racket that’s a joy to listen to.

James J Turner “Hey Brother” – Listen

This powerful slice of folk-rock is taken from James J Turner’s new album ‘Future Meets the Past”’ it stands pretty tall as an anthemic take on the life of a wandering, working man – exchanging the sweat of the brow for mistrust and finding that hard work only buys being ostracised.  On the album, though, it’ll fit in with a larger concept of a Bardic Druid who tries to reconnect people both to the natural world and the cultural and historical roots of the past.  ‘Hey Brother’ is out as a single on the 14th of September, and James J Turner will take the album out on tour later in the year thanks to the support of Arts Council England.

Eoin Glackin “High King Falls” – Listen

It may have a traditional sound to it, but this rocking offering from Eoin Glackin rails against a creeping conformity brought by the endless screeching of bullies, on-line trolls and disinformation.  ‘High King Falls‘ is the lead single from Eoin Glackin’s  upcoming album ‘Fires of Innocence‘ which is out on the 28th of September.  On it he covers subjects such as going off-grid, and, on ‘Wear It While You Can’, the story of Kathryn Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon who endured officials trying to tear her number off mid-race as it was a ‘men only’ event.  It may contain the line “jeez, what is wrong with us?  Really, what is it with us?” – you’ll have to listen to the album to find out.

Glorietta “Losers Lament” – Listen

Glorietta is a coming together of a group of friends – Noah Gundersen,  Kelsey Wilson(Wild Child),  David Ramirez, Grammy award winner  Adrian Quesada (Brownout, Black Pumas),  Jason Robert Blum and Matthew Logan Vasquez.  Over the course of nine-day recording session in a rented house in Glorieta – just outside of Santa Fe – they kept the tape running constantly as the players brought ideas for songs in various stages of completion.  Mid way through the sessions the group was joined by a guest appearance from  Nathaniel Rateliff who drove straight through the night to join the party.  The result is their self-titled debut record; a beautiful mix of voices from six band leaders that fit perfectly together like a low-fidelity puzzle.  The album was released on August 24th, and here’s a taster.

Ian Fisher “Icarus” – Listen

And so we go into the weekend with this laid back track, that starts quiet and builds up to a cool-seventies country influenced rock feel.  It’s all the fault of the older generation – this self-taught indie musician claims his biggest lessons came from his dad’s record collection featuring the songwriting of the 1970s.  Ian Fisher was further inspired by his love for country and folk music.  Raised in rural Missouri and living in Europe for the last 10 years, singer-songwriter Ian Fisher has written over a thousand songs and played almost as many concerts – this song comes from his latest release, ‘Idle Hands‘, which is out today.

Laura C Brown “Hummingbird” – Listen

Laura C Brown’s new single ‘Hummingbird‘ represents a poignant moment – after singing in bands and musical theatre she was struck in 2013 with a life changing illness – losing the ability to speak and affected by an extreme sound sensitivity.   As things improved somewhat she learnt the guitar, and built up her singing voice.  Which brings us to today, and ‘Hummingbird‘ which is country and folk tinged song about breaking free from constraints.