Interview: Diana Jones on channelling Appalachian culture and refugees

Diana Jones is a well-respected singer-songwriter with admirers on both sides of the Atlantic. Steve Earle is on record as saying “Diana Jones is one of the best songwriters I have heard in a long, long time” and she is able to bring the true spirit of her family’s Appalachian culture to her modern-day recordings. She has played numerous festivals in the US and UK, won multiple songwriting awards and her songs have been covered by various artists, including Joan Baez and Gretchen Peters. Continue reading “Interview: Diana Jones on channelling Appalachian culture and refugees”

Richard and Linda Thompson announce vast retrospective release

In just one month from today Richard and Linda Thompson will release a career retrospective – ‘Hard Luck Stories (1972 to 1982)‘ – covering a decade of music making.  The 8 CD collection is more than just a reissue of their six studio albums (including the hard to get hold of ‘Sunnyvista‘ and ‘First Light‘)  – although these of course are included – there are also non-album singles, B-sides, Demos, Rarities and previously unreleased live material.  And more. Continue reading “Richard and Linda Thompson announce vast retrospective release”

The Song Remains: Emitt Rhodes 1950 – 2020

Emitt Rhodes died in his sleep on July 19th, 2020.  As a singer songwriter, he only released four authorised solo albums, with the penultimate one being released in 1973, to little overall success in the US and nothing in the UK. However, his work proved influential on the varying waves of power-pop and indie artists of subsequent generations. Richard Thompson, Aimee Mann and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline are fully paid up members of his fan club. Continue reading “The Song Remains: Emitt Rhodes 1950 – 2020”

VERSIONS – “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”

Following a conversation between our writers we’ve come up with this new occasional feature which we hope you will enjoy. The question posed is “What is the best or definitive version of any given tune. Is it the original, the first version that you heard or the one that got recommended by a friend?” It’s a tricky one, right? Over the course of this series we will be looking at individual songs and how different artists have interpreted them. This could be different artists covering the same tune or indeed the same artist interpreting their own tune in different ways. First into the fray is my chief collaborator on this feature Rick Bayles who gives us an in-depth analysis of the song ‘1952 Black Lightning’ for all you motorcycle enthusiasts. Continue reading “VERSIONS – “1952 Vincent Black Lightning””

Pick of the Political Pops: Richard Thompson “Keep Your Distance”

Well here we (still) are. Here’s hoping that you are keeping well, dear reader, and that you are finding things to keep you occupied if you happen to be self-isolating, social distancing, furloughed or simply keeping the rest of the mad bastards from your door. Of course you might be a key worker and hence busier than you have ever been – a medical worker or emergency services personnel or possibly one of those people who nobody previously realised was a key worker. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Richard Thompson “Keep Your Distance””

Richard Thompson – 70th Birthday Celebration, Royal Albert Hall, London, 30th September 2019

When you’ve had a career  such as Richard Thompson’s, supreme songwriter and guitar virtuoso, with many fellow musicians as fans, your 70th Birthday bash, of course, has to be held at the Royal Albert Hall. On 30th September, a star-studded line-up joined Thompson to play many of his songs  along with some of his old favourites and adding a few of their own.  Compèred by Thompson’s youngest son Jack – a self-described “Spawn of Thompson”- the night was split into two parts with the first half loosely following Thompson’s musical history in a chronological fashion. Continue reading “Richard Thompson – 70th Birthday Celebration, Royal Albert Hall, London, 30th September 2019”

Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 1st-4th August 2019

Now in its 55th year, an impressive achievement in itself, Cambridge Folk Festival continues to go from strength to strength and this year’s event was one of the best. At the top of the bill there were a lot of heavy hitters and they all delivered. Lucinda Williams wiped away memories of her dreadful appearance a few years ago with an outstanding set that, while it wasn’t the complete airing of ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ that she’s been touring was nevertheless full-on, committed, and contained a lot of fan-pleasers.  Her backing trio Buick 6 was also outstanding, particularly Stuart Mathis on guitar.  Continue reading “Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 1st-4th August 2019”

Richard Thompson announces guest list for his 70th. And it’s mega.

Richard Thompson’s 70th birthday bash at the Royal Albert Hall in September sold out in next to no time, and if you’re one of the lucky ones who managed to nab a ticket you’re in for quite a treat.  Joining Richard Thompson on the night will be (deep breath…) Continue reading “Richard Thompson announces guest list for his 70th. And it’s mega.”