The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society “Turn it Golden” (Greywood Records, 2016)

tselliotappreciation-2016Tom Gerritsen (a.k.a. The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society) proffers a back story which invites disbelief – born into a travelling carnival he abandoned the carny life to write songs whilst working in a bookshop before taking said songs on an extended two year long busking tour of North America. Well, I’ll buy the bookshop – many of Gerritsen’s fantastical songs are undeniably literary in style, with The Grand Tour also showing the hallmark of a man who has had to read Where the Wild Things Are to a fidgety bunch of toddlers, restlessly sitting in the children’s corner, just one too many times. Continue reading “The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society “Turn it Golden” (Greywood Records, 2016)”

Ady Johnson to tour with Scott Matthews

adyAdy Johnson has announced an upcoming UK tour supporting Scott Matthews and his band.  His 2015 EP ‘Thank You For The Good Things’  was his second solo release since he fronted Colchester rock ‘n’ roll band FuzzFace; with his debut album ‘Tell The Worry Dolls’ receiving critical praise from UK media, as well as a recommendation for album of the year from Press Association. And the title track of the last EP ‘Thank You For The Good Things’ was chosen for Tom Robinson’s BBC Introducing Mixtape and aired on his BBC 6 Music Show, so you know, all good things. Continue reading “Ady Johnson to tour with Scott Matthews”

Rachel Sermanni and the Lake Poets announce dates

rachel-sFollowing a sold out London double-header at St Pancras Old Church on 2nd November,  singer-songwriters Rachel Sermanni and The Lake Poets have announced a series of shows together, commencing on 23rd November.  The music of Folk-Noir balladeer Rachel Sermanni has the flesh of folk but, if you were to cut the skin, you would apparently find it pumped with contemporary, genre-blended blood.  Perhaps don’t cut it open.  The Lake Poets on the other hand is confusingly just one person singular, Sunderland based singer-songwriter Marty Longstaff, whose self-titled debut album was released in autumn 2015 to rave reviews and has spawned the singles ‘Your Face’ and ‘Edinburgh’.  Continue reading “Rachel Sermanni and the Lake Poets announce dates”

Final Bap Kennedy album to be released next month

bap-reckless-cover-500x500The final record by Bap Kennedy, who died earlier this month following a battle with cancer, will be released on December 2nd. Completed earlier this year, “Reckless Heart” is the culmination of a lifetime of defining the songwriting craft, with fans including Steve Earle describing him as one of the great songwriters of our times.  The label’s press release states: “We all wanted so much for Bap to see his latest record released, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. We are all in agreement that one of the best ways of honouring Bap’s legacy is to continue to move forward with the release of ‘Reckless Heart’ at the earliest opportunity. Therefore we can confirm that the album will now be available in the UK/Ireland on 2nd December. The US release is 27th January 2017 – this date will also see a vinyl edition available worldwide.”  Look out for a review on AUK shortly. Continue reading “Final Bap Kennedy album to be released next month”

Will Varley “Kingsdown Sundown” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2016)

will-varleyVarley’s music is likeable, decent, his sentiments are heartfelt and humane, he chips away at the status quo like a young Dylan. He doesn’t shy away from issues; these are protest songs (mostly) and in their own modest way they are uncompromising. He explores the ills of the contemporary world on songs like ‘To Build A Wall’ or ‘Something Is Breaking’ concentrating on trying to articulate the issues, rather than making them palatable. His direct honesty, his guitar playing and voice are humble instruments that help to draw the listener in. Continue reading “Will Varley “Kingsdown Sundown” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2016)”

Drive by Truckers release new video for ‘Surrender Under Protest’

dbtWhich couldn’t be more apt on today of all dark days. God help us all. Rolling Stone reports: “The Drive-By Truckers have released their powerful new music video to “Surrender Under Protest,” a track from their recent album American Band. The song, sung by co-frontman Mike Cooley, uses an old Confederate slogan to address ongoing racial violence and tension in the modern South. Directed by noted music video director Lance Bangs (Arcade Fire, the Shins), the video features the band performing the song below a highway overpass while footage of civil unrest in the United States is interspersed throughout.  Continue reading “Drive by Truckers release new video for ‘Surrender Under Protest’”

Red Sky July “Voyager” (Shadowbirds Records, 2016)

red-sky-july-2016Hot on the heels of their album “The Truth And The Lie”, released in March, comes this six track EP from Red Sky July.  The trio has pedigree, with Ally McErlaine being the guitarist in Texas, Shelly Poole once of Alisha’s Attic and Charity Hair of the Alice Band.  Sadly said pedigree doesn’t deliver anything memorable here but rather a nicely produced, tastefully played and but ultimately unmemorable listening experience. Continue reading “Red Sky July “Voyager” (Shadowbirds Records, 2016)”

The Slow Show “Dream Darling” (Haldern Pop Recordings, 2016)

The Slow Show-2016Quirky and eclectic the music and vocals of Rob Goodwin are undeniable. In many ways The Slow Show breathe fresh air into the scene as the five-man unit take the listener away from the predictable and sometimes mundane work of all too many bands. The band’s debut album of last year, White Water was a more aggressive and urgent album in comparison, but such is the compelling manner of Goodwin’s story-telling, and spare instrumental arrangements provided by band members Fred Kindt (keyboards), Joel Byrne-McCullough (guitar), James Longden (bass) and Chris Hough (drums) the listener becomes trapped the instant the needle drops into the groove. Added to the above as a bonus Goodwin is joined on vocals on “Hurt” and “Last Man Standing” by Manchester vocalist Kesha Ellis. On the latter he speaks with no little passion of a man jilted-at-the-altar and of ‘the tears in his eye’.

Continue reading “The Slow Show “Dream Darling” (Haldern Pop Recordings, 2016)”