The Lowest Pair + John Alexander, The Fallen Angels Club @ The Admiral Bar, Glasgow, 5th April 2018

It was Greil Marcus who coined the phrase, “old weird America” in his book, Invisible Republic, when discussing Dylan’s touchstone, the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk music, describing the songs therein as, “palavers with a community of ghosts”. There was an element of this musical version of a séance when The Lowest Pair (Kendl Winter from Washington State and Palmer T. Lee from Minneapolis) descended on the Fallen Angels Club for a banjo infused evening (although acoustic guitars were also brandished). The pair both have string band backgrounds but as a duo have concentrated on the banjo studying clawhammer and three finger techniques while also delving into American roots music. The band name is a nod to a John Hartford song, Hartford being one of their banjo heroes and like him they inject their old time music with a great deal of their own personalities. Continue reading “The Lowest Pair + John Alexander, The Fallen Angels Club @ The Admiral Bar, Glasgow, 5th April 2018”

Doghouse Roses + John Alexander + Mandulu & Hephzibah, @Celtic Connections, The Hug & Pint, Glasgow, 21st January 2018

From the quiet dignity of a church to the crammed basement of a West End bar for tonight’s Celtic Connections show. A sold out show for Doghouse Roses, the Scottish duo of Paul Tasker and Iona MacDonald who can be considered as our version of Gillian Welch and David Rawling, a similar combination of a superb voice and masterful guitar. Continue reading “Doghouse Roses + John Alexander + Mandulu & Hephzibah, @Celtic Connections, The Hug & Pint, Glasgow, 21st January 2018”

John Alexander “Of These Lands” (Independent, 2017)

John Alexander is a Scottish singer-songwriter with a ton of influences and a load of natural talent. With people like John Martyn, Greg Brown, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on his list, as one would expect pretty and fluffy doesn’t come into the equation. His lived-in vocals and rootsy style of playing see images of the road, and everyday life ease across the skyline in authentic fashion. Alexander’s music isn’t short of takers. One track from his last album “Nowhere To Go” was used on the US TV show, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, and with his sound steeped in good old-fashioned earthy organic roots Americana,  Alexander possesses a sound more akin to the banks of the Mississippi than his native River Clyde.  Continue reading “John Alexander “Of These Lands” (Independent, 2017)”