Neil Young “Peace Trail” (Reprise, 2016)

Peace Trail is one of those Neil Young albums that it’d be easy to dismiss as a failure of Neil’s quality control process.  However, like those who dismiss Greendale, Fork in the Road or Chrome Dreams II, that’d be a mistake – Peace Trail on first listen may sound overly casual and unfocused but repeated … Continue reading “Neil Young “Peace Trail” (Reprise, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: Joanna Weston

Joanna Weston writes from the heart and will have you hung on every word. Her finely woven melodies wrap around the lyrics perfectly, taking you on a journey through beautifully crafted life experiences we can all identify with. But it’s the voice that is most remarkable. Clear and unmistakable, Joanna’s unique sound is at times … Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Joanna Weston”

The Great Western Tears “Tales From Tallows” (Independent, 2016)

Back in May of 2015 I reviewed the debut EP from Oxford’s The Great Western Tears giving it a big thumbs up and noting them as a band to watch out for. Well here’s the album and thankfully they haven’t let me down as it’s a very fine listen indeed. They remain a band who … Continue reading “The Great Western Tears “Tales From Tallows” (Independent, 2016)”

Amanda Richards ‘’Tough Ones To Love’’ (Independent, 2016)

Sometimes a record comes along and completely blows you away. Amanda Richards won’t be unfamiliar with this concept having been Grammy-nominated as an independent artist, but ‘’Tough Ones To Love’’ is very much in this category, with the songwriting and vocals being absolutely in-sync, alongside the musicality of Amanda’s long-time band ‘The Good Long While’. 

Radical Face, The Scala, London – Tuesday 22nd November 2016

The Scala’s stage had been transformed into a magical winter forest – with bare skeletal trees adorned with tiny lights and a drifting mist from the smoke machine making for a Narnian backdrop for both Radical Face and their opener Austin Basham. In a checked shirt and bearded, of course, and sporting a wholly unnecessary … Continue reading “Radical Face, The Scala, London – Tuesday 22nd November 2016”

Joe Purdy “Who Will Be Next?” (Bread and Butter Music, 2016)

Neil Young, around the time of his Living With War, bemoaned the absence of other, and younger, protest singers. This was never really true, the difference was the level of media attention such artists could attract – and to be fair to Ol’ Neil he recognised this by showcasing songs on his web site. This is … Continue reading “Joe Purdy “Who Will Be Next?” (Bread and Butter Music, 2016)”

Felice Brothers to release 7 inch Christmas single – plus UK dates

The Felice Brothers will release a limited edition 7-inch vinyl recording of “Country Ham” on 9th December  via Yep Roc Records. The holiday-themed single features a live version of  “Murder By Mistletoe” – recorded for Rolling Stone last year in NYC – on the B-side. Both tracks have never before been pressed on vinyl and … Continue reading “Felice Brothers to release 7 inch Christmas single – plus UK dates”

The Lumineers: Hammersmith Apollo, London – 4th November 2016

The Lumineers burst onto the scene with a huge breakthrough hit Ho, Hey, and quickly found themselves pigeonholed alongside the likes of Mumford & Sons. Whereas that band had shot religious imagery right through their lyrics and clung to a “every song builds to a crescendo” formula, The Lumineers were more interested in girls and … Continue reading “The Lumineers: Hammersmith Apollo, London – 4th November 2016”

Modern Studies “Swell To Great” (Song, By Toad Records, 2016)

The sea surges and froths throughout these songs. They have all of the delicate beauty of an early morning coastal mist, they drift and coalesce or coalesce then drift. Like tidal surges, the asthmatic wheeze of the bellows haunts them like a ghost ship at sea. Above the drones as the mist burns away it … Continue reading “Modern Studies “Swell To Great” (Song, By Toad Records, 2016)”

The Shins Return with New Album and Video

The album’s set for a 2017 release before you get too excited.  Pitchfork peppily reports: “The Shins are getting in the Halloween spirit. This morning (Oct. 26), the James Mercer-led band dropped a music video for a new song called “Dead Alive,” featuring the rickety production quality and campy macabre of an old horror B-movie. The … Continue reading “The Shins Return with New Album and Video”