FolkWorld #61 11/2016

CD & DVD Reviews

Short & Sweet

Afro Celt Sound System "Honey Bee" (Single/Video, ECC Records, 2016). European and African based collective Afro Celt Sound System celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a new cross-cultural album, ‘The Source.’[60] The band has just released ‘Honey Bee’, another single from this ambitious and captivating album to coincide with a major tour, featuring the spirited delivery of Armagh-born vocalist and flautist Rioghnach Connolly. Watch the video for 'Honey Bee' @ YouTube!

Elias Alexander & Bywater Band "Bywater" (CD, Fresh Haggis Music, 2016); MAC "Love Yourself" (Video, 2016). In 2009, twenty-year-old piper and singer Elias Alexander of Ashland, Oregon, was working in the Scottish Highlands. On a break from tree-planting, he sat down at the edge of a stream. In the quiet rush of the water, music emerged. “Something clicked right there,” he remembers, “and somehow I knew that traditional music was going to become more than just something I did, but something I was wholly dedicated to.” This has culminated in the release of his debut album "Bywater", comprised almost entirely of original compositions and bringing Scottish music into a contemporary, North American context. Featuring Eamon Sefton (guitar), Kathleen Parks (fiddle) and Patrick Bowling (flute, uillean pipes, percussion). Additionally, check out the Celtic cover of Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" from Elias Alexander's other band MAC (McKasson, Alexander & Cotter) @ YouTube!

Courtney Marie Andrews "Honest Life" (CD, Mama Bird Recording/Loose Music, 2016). Washington State songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews has been included in the Rolling Stone Country list of 'Artists you Need to Know' for 2016. She belongs to a new generation of women burning down the Nashville music industry, melding indie folk and Americana with a rebellious country flavor. Watch Courtney Marie Andrews filmed at the little tavern-bar in Duvall, Washington, where she works @ YouTube!

FolkWorld Xmas

Jocelyn & Chris Arndt "Still - A Holiday Collection" (EP, Own label, 2016). Sibling retro rockers Jocelyn and Chris Arndt turn classic (“What Child Is This”) and original (“Still”) Christmas songs into rabid blues and relaxed jazz pieces. “Christmas Man Blues” had originally been recorded in 1928 by Bertha “Chippie” Hill. See BandCamp!

Ayrad "Ayrad public dansant" (Video, 2016). During their summer tour 2016, Canadian world music sextet Ayrad[58] set many a stage on fire and made people dance with their lively music. Here's an extract from YouTube that proves it. Watch out, Ayrad prepare themselves for their next European tour.

Bija "Bija" (CD, SLAM Productions, 2014). The Sanskrit term bija means seed, and the Italian trio of Francesco Pellizzari (drums), Gabriele Di Franco (guitar) and Marco Puzzello (trumpet & flugelhorn) start every song with a small and simple bija evolving into astounding soundscapes. Watch album teaser @ YouTube!

Michel Balatti "The Cloon" (Video, 2016). "The Northern Breeze"[60] is the debut solo album of Italian flute and whistle player Michel Balatti, driving force of bands such as Birkin Tree[26] and Liguriani.[56] The core of the album repertoire is Irish music: from traditional tunes to a selection of reels, jigs and slow airs by contemporary composers. Check out the opening track "The Cloon," recorded at Count Basie Jazz Club, Genoa, ft. Michael Bryan (guitar) and Fabio Biale (piano) @ YouTube!

Theodore Bikel "While I’m Here" (CD, Red House Records, 2016). Red House Records has released a 2-CD celebration of the late Theodore Bikel (1924-2015), the legendary Austrian-born artist. Bikel played Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" over 2000 times. Along with co-founding the Newport Folk Festival and mentoring generations of younger folk artists, Bikel was a passionate human rights advocate. "While I’m Here" includes a 22-page color booklet with extensive liner notes, interviews and photos. Disc One is entirely spoken word and is dedicated to Bikel’s reflections and remembrances of his rich and eventful life. Disc Two is a 17-song career musical retrospective spanning his early work in the 1950s to his last recordings made during his 90th birthday concert in Los Angeles. Listen to his version of "Edelweiss" (written especially for Theo in his Broadway role as Captain von Trapp in "The Sound of Music") @ SoundCloud!

Joe Bonamassa "Live at the Greek Theatre" (CD/DVD, Mascot, 2016). Blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa[59] delivers a 22-track tribute to three of the greatest bluesmen of all time – Albert King, B.B. King, and Freddie King. "Live at the Greek Theatre" showcases “The Three Kings” tour of 2015 that culminated at the famed Los Angeles venue The Greek. Bonamassa introduces a steady rotation of vintage guitars, including a 1972 Dan Erlewine Flying V originally owned by Freddie King. Watch "Let The Good Times Roll" @ YouTube!

Article: Folk Music of England

Anne Briggs "Four Songs" (Vinyl EP/Download, Fledgling Records, 1966/2016). Fledgling Records' 7″ vinyl EP / Bandcamp download collects together four previously unreleased recordings - three BBC recordings from the radio series ‘Folk-Song Cellar’, plus one song privately recorded. Anne Briggs[55] is captured singing at just the right time in her brief singing and recording career, which nevertheless had quite an influence on succeeding generations of folk singers - from June Tabor to Eliza Carthy and Kate Rusby. Check out these "Four Songs" ("The Recruited Collier", "My Bonny Boy", "Polly Vaughan", "The Verdant Braes Of Skreen") @ SoundCloud!

Luke Brindley "Invitation to Joy" (CD, Own label, 2016); "Winter Guitar" (EP, Own label, 2016). When he’s not writing and performing his own music, critically-acclaimed guitarist and singer/songwriter Luke Brindley stays busy running Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia, one of the Top 100 clubs in the world ([60] On his new fingerstyle guitar album, Invitation to Joy, he is joined by several Grammy Award winning special guests on mandolin, fiddle, bass, and percussion. Check out "The Lark" and "Threshold"; download "Invitation to Joy" @ NoiseTrade and the five-song holiday EP "Winter Guitar" @ BandCamp!

Tom Brosseau "North Dakota Impressions" (Video, 2016). With Tom Brosseau's[54] new album, "North Dakota Impressions" (review forthcoming) European tour dates are coming right up! Watch the performance video for "Fit To Be Tied", the video premiere for album tracks “You Can’t Stop” and "On A Gravel Road", and NPR Music Tiny House Concert, featuring Sean Watkins.[56]

Brother Brother "Brother Brother" (CD, Own label, 2016). This is the debut album from spirited sibling duo Bradley and Brett Anderson, offering an unique and engaging blend of indie folk and roots infused original songs played on both acoustic and electric instruments. Download "Brother Brother" @ NoiseTrade!

Katy Carr "Dziś do Ciebie przyjść nie mogę or Kołysanka" (Video, 2016). Katy Carr has just been to Belfast to celebrate the connections between Polish and Northern Irish communities. Katy Carr has been sharing her songs of Freedom from Great Britain and Poland during WWII as recently released on her Paszport (2012) and Polonia (2015) albums. For more info about her 'Heart Poland - Building Bridges' workshop project, watch YouTube! Check out Katy at North Devon Diversity Festival 2016, singing "Dziś do Ciebie przyjść nie mogę or Kołysanka" ("The Lullaby"), a partisan song written by Stanisław Magierski in 1943.

FolkWorld Xmas

The Celtic Social Club feat. Faada Freddy "Christmas 1914" (Single, PIAS, 2016). December 1914. In the first winter of the Great War, German, French and British soldiers, defying their generals, ventured into no man's land on Christmas in an improvised Christmas truce. Based on on a traditional 18th century melody by Scottish poet Robert Burns, with a guest appearance on vocals by Senegalese singer Faada Freddy, French-Scottish band THE CELTIC SOCIAL CLUB bring us a humanistic Christmas single, the first extract of their new album to appear in early 2017. Listen to "Christmas 1914" @ YouTube!

FolkWorld Xmas

Cherish the Ladies & Don Stiffe "The Christmas Letter" (Video, 2015). American-Irish band Cherish the Ladies loves the Christmas season and has recorded 3 acclaimed albums to celebrate this time of year.[41] "The Christmas Letter" is one of their favorite songs off "Christmas in Ireland" (2015), featuring Don Stiffe on lead vocals.[61] "The Christmas Letter" is based on a poem from the late 1800's with a new melody from Joanie Madden and Mary Coogan.[23] It tells the sad story of forced immigration due to starvation and unemployment and a mother's broken heart lamenting over the loneliness of a Christmas morning knowing that the only contact she'll ever have is the letters that arrive for Christmas.

The Chris Paterno Band "Lover, When You Gonna Come?" (Single, GroundSounds, 2016). “Lover, When You Gonna Come?” marks the fourth release from the self-titled debut EP of Philadelphia's indie-folk rockers, The Chris Paterno Band. In Chris Paterno's own words: “Lover, When You Gonna Come?” is a hopeful tune. When I wrote this I was excited about my future, where I was headed and the possibility of meeting someone or something that I was going to fall in love with. At the same time, I wanted that great future now – I didn’t want to wait for it – and you can hear that darker undertone creep in to the choruses and second verse. I really love this tune because it gets rootsy and real. Plus I get to wail on my harmonica, which is always a lot of fun!” Have a listen @ GroundSounds!

Clann MhicRuairi "Súile" (CD, Own label, 2015). The Mac Ruairí brothers Tony, Aodh, Sean, Dónal together with Tony's daughter Megan make up this Gaelic singing group from Rann na Feirste. Their perfect harmonies evoke the history and heritage of this Irish-speaking area in North West Donegal. Check out Clann Mhic Ruairí at Cabaret Craiceáilte Eanair 2016 @ YouTube!

Valentin Clastrier / Steven Kamperman "Fabuloseries" (CD, Home Records, 2016). Frenchman Valentin Clastrier is generally regarded as the inventor of the modern (electro-acoustic) hurdy-gurdy. Now Clastrier started an unusual duo with Dutch clarinettist Steven Kamperman. This duo rocks with captivating drone sounds and fierce improvisations. Check out "Et la roue de la vie" @ YouTube!

Don Conoscenti "Anastasia" (CD, Howling Dog Records, 2015). Anastasia is Don's first full studio album since 2001, both including new material and reinventing some earlier songs. The concept was to emulate the warmth and vibe of some of the hit records of the late 1970's by artists like Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty. Thanks to Kickstarter he was able to do the most elaborate recording of his long career, including string sections, woodwinds, horns, and lots of voices. Special guests include Eliza Gilkyson,[36] Kevin Welch,[58] and many more. Watch Making Of @ YouTube!

Scott Cook "Go Long" (CD, Own label, 2015). "Scott Cook has distilled his travels down into songs powered by a sharp eye for imagery, a healthy dose of humanity, and that unforgettable voice, that at the same time intones the rigors of the road and the most comfortable couch you have ever slept on." David Francey[60] says about Canadian roots balladeer Scott Cook[49] [53] who has announced an Autumn European tour including dates in Germany and The Netherlands in support of his fifth album, "Go Long," backed by his seven-piece honky-tonk band The Long Weekends. Listen to "Go Long" @ BandCamp, watch "Further Down The Line" @ YouTube!

Cowboy Junkies "The Trinity Session" (Vinyl/SACD, Latent recordings, 1988/2016). It’s taken a couple of years but it’s finally here; a re-mastered Trinity Session by the Cowboy Junkies[48] on Vinyl and Super Audio CD. The result is a pristine, 2 disc release; expensive but top-notch; and it makes a great Christmas present. The Trinity Session was recorded in 1987 at Ontario's Church of the Holy Trinity, with the band circled around a single microphone. The album includes a mixture of original material and covers of classic folk, rock and country songs.

FolkWorld Xmas

Brian Cullman "New Year's Eve" (EP, Own label, 2016). »I can’t set foot in a mall or step into an elevator after Thanksgiving. Holiday music gives me the creeps. So this is my revenge, my way out of no way out! Three minutes of seasonal music without a sleigh bell or reindeer or sugar plum fairy dancing in your head. It’s a song for that dark nightclub of the soul where Randy Newman, Sun Ra and Willie Dixon are the dee jays and no one really cares if you’re naughty or nice.« (Brian Cullman) Have a listen @ YouTube!

Curse Of Lono "Curse Of Lono" (EP, Submarine Cat Records, 2016). Curse Of Lono, named after an obscure book by American gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, was formed in London in 2015 by singer songwriter Felix Bechtolsheimer following the breakup of British roots pioneers Hey Negrita.[38][41] Bechtolsheimer is now combining spaced out americana with gothic indie rock. Their 4-track debut EP forms the soundtrack for a short film of interconnected videos. They also recorded 10 live performances as 'The Doghouse Sessions'. The full album will follow early 2017.

Damir Imamović’s Sevdah Takht "Dvojka" (CD, Glitterbeat, 2016). Glitterbeat Records specializes in traditional-based, contemporary global sounds. Sarajevo born and raised Damir Imamović matches these demands perfectly. Sevdah Takht challenges the sevdah folk music genre as laid down in the 1950's with refusing both the narrow boundaries of style, rhythm and repertoire and the orthodoxies and seductions of nationalism. Check out "Sarajevo" and "Lijepa Zejno"!

Dave Muskett Acoustic Blues Band "Recorded live at the slippery Noodle Inn" (CD, Own label, 2016). Award winning American blues singer David Muskett presents on this album 12 original compositions including seven previously unreleased ones. The music is built around Dave's finger style blues guitar, combined with harmonica, drums and bass.

Melanie Dekker "Lekker, Eh! (Live in Europe)" (CD, Own label, 2016). Melanie Dekker[57] is a Canadian roots-pop sensation, whose Dutch background gives her a no-hold-back fun attitude. She tours over 100 concerts yearly, and now she brings her fans what they've been asking for by releasing intimate recordings of various concerts from her 2014 tour.

Diab Quintet "Seagull Tango" (CD, Home Records, 2016). The Diab Quintet is an acoustic band without frontiers, proposing original music at the crossroads between classical, jazz, world music and improvisation on their second album "Seagull Tango". Check out "Valse 9" @ YouTube!

Robert Doyle "Lig Amach" (CD, Own label, 2016). Irish singer/songwriter Robert Doyle presents here 5 original and 5 traditional tracks. I am not keen on his singing style, but do like the instrumental arrangements a lot featuring Robert's fingerpicking on the guitar as well as occasional additions of fiddle, uilleann pipes, sax and percussion. Watch the "Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean" jig set @ YouTube!

Džambo Aguševi Orchestra "Brass Like it Hot" (CD, ARC Music, 2016). From their first international showcase at WOMEX 2014, it was evident that the Balkan brass band’s combination of flair and musical punch would secure them a solid touring schedule as a tour de trumpet force. The Džambo Aguševi Orchestra have now toured across 3 continents, making legions of fans along the way from festivals, tours and on many a wedding trail from Macedonia to Mexico. Watch the Džambo Aguševi Orchestra live in Rudolstadt 2015 @ YouTube!

Tawny Ellis "Before All This Trouble" (Video, 2016). "We went for dressing up a like civil war era couple for the album cover and we were inspired by the real photos of couples who would go and get their daguerreotypes made back in the late 1800's. They would give you one shot, if you messed it up would have to wait a long time till the camera was ready for the next one. I guess we were inspired to do it old school. I even wore the corset pulled very tight, not to mention is was 100 degrees out and I had on three layers of skirts, a Long sleeve shirt and the corset. I almost passed out." (Tawny Ellis)[60] The video clip is a lushly lit affair that features Ellis and her band playing in the Boyle Heights twilight amidst portraits of the Civil War. Full article/video @ Stereo Embers Magazine!

Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch "Cross-eyed Woman" (Video, 2016). Jason Elmore and his band Hoodoo Witch perform "Cross-eyed Woman" from their new album "Champagne Velvet" (review forthcoming) live at the Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas on November 11, 2016. Check it out @ YouTube!

Elouise "Deep Water" (CD, Own label, 2016). Suicides, murders and alcoholic depravity followed by church on Sunday make up the musical world of Los Angeles-based Elouise Walker and William Bongiovanni. Drones combined with traditional Bluegrass is the signature sound they call Blackgrass. The Bluegrass Situation premieres the Carter Family song "Shadow of the Pines"! Check out the Link Wray song "Fire and Brimstone" @ Vimeo!

Faith i Branko "Gypsy Lover" (CD, 2016). Oxford/Serbian accordion/fiddle duo Faith and Branko Ristic are touring their debut album Gypsy Lover in 2016/2017, crossing over from Romani to Ragtime to Reggae. Watch Gypsy Lover CD release and Faith i Branko live at Hootananny London!

Jerad Finck "Criminal" (EP, Milk & Honey, 2015). Since releasing his self titled debut album in 2011,[43] Spokane based singer and songwriter Jerad Finck has been on the road practically non-stop. His recent 6 track EP introduces “Criminal”, an infectious power-pop ballad from the upcoming full length album.

FolkBeat & Friends "the joyful meeting - contemporary Russian folk music" (CD, Sketis Music , 2016). Russian folk songs presented by a singing quartet singing in a polyphonic style with rhythms from Tuva and India. On this album they are joined by a world music band interweaving the singing with Armenian dubuk, harp, cymbals, tabla and more. An intense experience.

Folkfusion Band (Audio, 2015). The Hungarian Folkfusion Band celebrated their 10th anniversary in Nyíregyháza in late August 2016. On this occasion, Europe's first and only rida-rock band played a concert in front of 10,000 people featuring the local symphonic orchestra. Listen to Folkfusion Band @ SoundCloud!

Dori Freeman "One On One Session" (Video, 2016). Dori Freeman[59][60] is a twenty-four-year-old singer and songwriter from the southwestern hills of Virginia. While her style subscribes to no one genre, the influence of her Appalachian upbringing lies at the core of her music. Dori recently sat down for a One On One Session at City Winery New York; see her perform two songs @ YouTube!

Tanya Gallagher "Virginia" (EP, Own label, 2016). Singer-songwriter Tanya Gallagher is born and raised near the Florida-Alabama line and moved to Vancouver, BC in 2013. Since then she hit the state of Virginia a couple of times. "Virginia taught me love, it taught me heartache, but most importantly it taught me that a home away from home can exist." Watch Tanya Gallagher and Brandon Hoffman sing the title track of her 7-track EP on a cliff in Williams Lake, BC @ YouTube!

Garmarna "Över Gränsen" (Video, 2015/16). Please check out the trailer for swedish folk rock band Garmarna's[26] latest album "6", and the official music video ft. Swedish-sami jojk-singer and hiphop musician Maxida Märak, "Över Gränsen"!

Great Lake Swimmers "A Forest of Arms" (CD, Nettwerk, 2015). Canadian indie band Great Lake Swimmers'[48] sixth album, A Forest Of Arms, is thriving in lusty banjoes and fiddles. Check out the official “I Must Have Someone Else’s Blues” video @ Vimeo!

Ange Hardy "Esteesee" (CD, Story Records, 2015); Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater "Findings" (CD, Story Records, 2016). Ange Hardy[54][55][59] has gained quite a reputation on the British indie folk music circuit (using loop pedals to build layers of vocal harmony). Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater formed as a duo for the tour that accompanied her "Esteesee" album, original music based on the life and work of 18th century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Now both have launched their debut duo album "Findings"; see their performance "By the Tides" for BalconyTV @ YouTube!

Erin Harpe "Women of the Country Blues Guitar" (DVD, Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop, 2016). Although the fingerstyle delta blues of the 1920's/1930's was mostly male-dominated, there were a number of women. Erin Harpe, having earned a reputation for her raw and accomplished fingerpicking with Boston group The Delta Swingers, takes you through some of Memphis Minnie's early material and gives an overview of other guitar-playing blues women including Geeshie Wiley, Elvie Thomas, Jesse Mae Hemphill and Mattie Delaney. Watch a 20-minute long preview with Erin Harpe playing and talking about the delta blues, and "Can I Do It For You", originally recorded by Memphis Minnie in 1930.

Terri Hendrix "The Slaughterhouse Sessions" (CD, Wilory Records, 2016). For the past few years, Texan singer-songwriter Terri Hendrix[59] has been working on a voluminous collection of lyrics and music. Project 5 is five distinct but thematically linked projects — four albums, one book. She kicked off 2016 with “Love You Strong”[59] The second album with harmonica driven blues/gospel music takes its name from a slaughterhouse — renovated into an artist-friendly guesthouse — in El Prado, New Mexico. Project 5 will continue with an EP of electronica music (“Who Is Ann?”), another songwriter set (“Talk to a Human”), and finally an autobiography chronicling her lifelong journey living with a seizure disorder.

FolkWorld Xmas

The Henry Girls "Mr Snowman", "Star of Wonder" (Video, 2016). The Henry Girls[55] Karen, Lorna and Joleen want to thank everyone who has supported them in 2016 and wish a merry christmas and a happy 2017! Watch a stripped back version of their Christmas song "Mr Snowman", accompanied by Dave Redmond on double bass, and The Roches' a capella Christmas song "Star of Wonder" filmed on the set of their children's show "Tracks In the Snow".[59]

Michael Howard "Gasoline Dream" (CD, Own label, 2016). Michael Howard grew up playing in punk bands around Anchorage, Alaska. Now he happens to be a songwriter, and in keeping with his DIY punk roots, many of the songs on "Gasoline Dream" were recorded entirely live. Michael Howard still speaks from the edge of society, a lot of the stories were inspired by being on the road. Listen @ SoundCloud!

Ialma "Camiño" (CD, Home Records, 2016). "Camiño" is an exciting musical journey through Ialma's[25][45] native Galician culture and traditions, exchanging ideas at the cosmopolitan and multicultural crossroads to their domicile Brussels. Check out Ialma live in concert @ YouTube!

Luke Jackson "Tall Tales and Rumours" (CD, First Take Records, 2016). For his fourth release "Tall Tales and Rumours", Canterbury-based singer-songwriter Luke Jackson[50] retains the trio format with bassist Andy Sharps and percussionist Connor Downs, but immerses himself deeper into the blues while also exploring jazzier areas. Check out "Aunt Sally" @ YouTube!

Sarah Jarosz "House of Mercy", "Green Lights" (Video, 2016). Texan folk and roots troubadour Sarah Jarosz goes from strength to strength. Please watch "House of Mercy" and "Green Lights" from Sarah's 2016 release, "Undercurrent."

Jimi the Piper "Taliesin" (Video, 2016). Jimi McRae's[40] latest project, a collaboration with artist Eric Clark, is celebrating the great Celtic bard Taliesin Ben Beirdd (Taliesin, Chief of Poets), who wrote a century or so after the Romans left Britain, before the coming of the Vikings, before the first Gaelic Kings of Alba, before Scotland became Scotland really. More info can be gleamed in his video, filmed at Dumbarton Castle on the River Clyde and Arthur Seat in Edinburgh, @ YouTube!

Jitka Šuranská Trio "Divé husy" (CD, Indies Scope, 2016). Simon Broughton concluded his Songlines article on Moravian music saying that violinist and singer “Jitka Šuranská is someone to watch.“[53] The cornerstone of the "Divé husy" album is the East Moravian folk song tradition, but there are also original compositions by the trio's double bass player Marian Friedl. Please watch the "Divé husy" teaser and the "Jablůška" video!

Ivan John "Good days a comin" (CD, Right side up Records, 2016). American folk/country blues singer/songwriter Ivan John presents on this album acoustic music based around early American roots. His music is brought to additional life by adding to his guitar fingerpicking also very pleasant fiddle as well mandolin and other instruments, giving the songs a lovely swing. Most of the songs are originals, added by four interpretations of classic American songs.

Karuna "Tuulispää" (CD, Own label, 2016). The second album of this contemporary Finnish folk trio presents unique compositions of the band members on accordion, violin/ nyckelharpa and piano. Often the music is calm relaxing and beautiful, with the dynamics of chamber music perfect for day dreaming. Yet others are much more passionate - taking the passion of tango, blues and the energy and rhythm of lively Nordic folk music.

Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms "Innocent Road" (CD, West Sound Records, 2016). Country duo Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms[49] are the new thing in a long line of country duos. Watch Klauder & Willms performing "Innocent Road", KBOO Sessions, Pickathon 2013 @ Youtube!

Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur "Penny's Farm" (CD, Kingswood Records, 2016). Two legends of American music, Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur, have released their first album together since their Jug Band releases way back in the 1960s/70s which had inspired The Lovin’ Spoonful, Country Joe and the Fish and The Grateful Dead. "Penny's Farm" is populated with charming traditional creatures, such as "The Boll Weevil" "The Cuckoo" and lots of "C-h-i-c-k-e-n" taken care of by friends such as Cindy Cashdollar and Van Dyke Parks.

LAU "The Bell That Never Rang" (CD, Reveal Records, 2015). Named after an Orcadian word meaning natural light, Scottish folk trio LAU[50] is composed of Kris Drever (guitar, vocals),[60] Martin Green (accordion)[56] and Aidan O'Rourke (fiddle),[39] who have opened the most challenging chapter since formed way back in 2005. Check out "The Bell That Never Rang" video @ YouTube!

Los Kingdom "The Patron Saint" (CD/Download, Madeline Madison Records, 2016). Los Kingdom is the new project by singer/songwriters Arielle Verinis and Dave Green (The Filthy Souls). With Arielle’s East Coast roots and Dave’s British upbringing they adapt and update classic and timeless spirituals such as “Down to the River to Pray”, “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “The House of the Rising Sun”, “Motherless Child” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. Download "The Patron Saint" as well as Los Kingdom's "Lonely This Christmas" from NoiseTrade!

The Luck "Holding On" (Video, 2016). London-born, indie folk sibling duo Max and Esmay is pleased to announce the release of their live video of "Holding On" from their debut EP, True North. The acoustic video was filmed in California's Runyon Canyon, capturing the spontaneity of their live performances. Watch the "Holding On" (Live In The Canyons) video @ YouTube!

Claire Lynch "North By South" (CD, Compass Records, 2016). Inspired by her recent marriage to a Canadian, female bluegrass icon Claire Lynch[52] pays homage to the rich tradition of Canadian songwriting, featuring songs from Old Man Luedecke,[60] J.P. Cormier,[26] Dave Francey[60] Gordon Lightfoot.[28] Preview "All the Diamonds in the World" by Bruce Cockburn[57] @ YouTube!

Carrington MacDuffie "Crush On You" (EP, Pointy Head Records, 2016). Texan voice actor, spoken word performer, poet and singer-songwriter Carrington MacDuffie's latest release "Crush On You" is a collection of five original songs merging folk songwriting with retro 1980's rock music, she refers to as 'electronic folk'. Check out the title track @ YouTube!

Mad Meg "Scary People" (Single, Own label, 2016). Based in New York City, Mad Meg is fronted by Moscow-born singer-songwriter Ilya Popenko. Their neurotic sound has previously been called "polka punk" and "Russian Folk"; they feel themselves that "punk chanson noir" may be more appropriate. Their debut full-length album "Puberty Tales" is in the pipeline. Check out "Scary People" live in 2013 @ YouTube!

Marco Polo "Marco Polo" (CD, 2014); "Queens and Kings" (CD, 2015). Russian band Marco Polo was founded in 2013. It's music can be classified as folk rock, with singer-composer Ludmila Savostyanova considering every composition as a soundtrack to a fairytale or a movie and neo-classical or metal elements penetrating the music. Check out Marco Polo @ BandCamp!

Rob McHale "Tom Dooley and Friends" (EP, Wooden Door Records, 2016). North Carolina-based folk artist Rob McHale[56] is living in the heart of Tom Dooley country and undertaking a historical journey, covering the likers of Jesse James, Daniel Boone and, of course, Tom Dooley, considered innocent for the murder of Laura Foster in 1866, on this 5 track EP.

Keegan McInroe "Uncouth Pilgrims" (CD, Own label, 2015). For over a decade, Texas singer songwriter Keegan McInroe has rambled around the globe, weaving threads from old country, blues and folk together. His latest album "Uncouth Pilgrims" takes it’s inspiration largely from his vivid and often humorous observations and (mis)adventures, particularly in regards to romance, of 3 years of European touring.

Don McLean "American Pie" (Vinyl, Universal Music, 1971/2016). Don McLean’s 1971 masterpiece "American Pie" has become part of American culture. McLean’s second disc, following his 1970 debut "Tapestry," contained not only the iconic chart-topping title cut, a poetic look back to the tragic plane crash that took the life of Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and Ritchie Valens, but also the hit single "Vincent," a tribute to artist Vincent van Gogh. Now, after four and a half decades, music connoisseurs can hear his classic songs, newly remastered from analog tape, on their original vinyl format. McLean continues to tour the world, performing old fan favorites along with new material.

Tony McManus "Explorations for Fingerstyle Guitar" (DVD Video, Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop, 2016). Tony McManus:[52][58] "In this collection we'll use the well-known DADGAD tuning, We will also use CGCGCD or C Sus2 tuning for some of the tunes. We will look at triplets with ring middle and index fingers, my thumb technique for playing triplets on the wound strings and many other ways of bringing the guitar to this music in an authentic way. These are not pieces for beginners but neither should they be out of the reach of an intermediate player with a bit of dedication to bringing these pieces to life." Each tune ("The Sleeping Tune", "Roslyn Castle", "Le Tourment", ...) is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen. A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file.

Mean Mary "Trumbull County Antique Tractor Show" (Video, 2016). Mean Mary is an irresistible americana, bluegrass, blues, folk group from Nashville. Watch the jaunty frontwoman Mary James on the "Trumbull County Antique Tractor Show" video @ YouTube! Full album review is forthcoming!

Mei Han & Red Chamber "Classical & Contemporary Chinese Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2016). ‘Classical & Contemporary Chinese Music’ is the new album of traditional and original compositions by Mei Han.[39] She has earned her place as one of the world’s leading performers and academic authorities on the Chinese zheng, a plucked string instrument over 2500 years old. These days, Mei Han is Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University and the founding Director of the Center for Chinese Music and Culture.

Chris Murphy "Red Mountain Blues" (CD, Teahouse Records, 2016). Born into an Irish-Italian family, violinist Chris Murphy[32] was surrounded by eclectic sounds and he has accumulated a rich catalogue of jazz and blues, classical and electronic music albums. His latest release "Red Mountain Blues" takes the sounds of Bill Monroe and Bob Wills and pours it into 14 original bluegrass, nu folk, country rock and western swing songs. Featuring Ted Russell Kamp[38] and Tim O’Brien.[11]

Nefesh Mountain "The Hanukkah Dance", "Hanukkah’s Flame" (Video, 2016). Who knew Woody Guthrie celebrated Hanukkah? As a member of a marginalized group himself—the Dust Bowl Okies—Guthrie identified strongly with the hardships and resilience of the Jews, and became particularly fascinated by the works and cultural milieu of his mother-in-law, the Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt. Two new music videos from the string band Nefesh Mountain—whose sound is an amalgam of Jewish culture and Kentucky bluegrass— bring this vividly to life. Watch "The Hanukkah Dance" and "Hanukkah’s Flame" recorded and shot against a stained glass window in the chapel at Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Friends "Circlin’ Back: Celebrating 50 Years" (CD/DVD, NGDB Records, 2016). With one foot in the traditions of country and folk and the other pointing toward something new, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have influenced generations of artists. Nearly a dozen of them (John Prine, Sam Bush, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, Jackson Browne,...) have joined the group at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium to celebrate 50 years of the group mixing elements of country, old-time, bluegrass and rock & roll into an All-American soundtrack. For more, check out the NGDB YouTube channel!

Antoni O'Breskey "Sorkuntzaren Trenean - When Bach Was an Irishman and Mozart a Gypsy Boy" (CD/Book, 2015). A fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach is turning into an Irish tune, Chopin becomes a flamenco artist, Beethoven's 9th joyfully rambles through Appalachia, and Mozart’s Turkish March ends up back in Asia Minor. This is the pretentious and playful musical tour de force attempted by Florentine pianist Antonio Breschi, also known as Antóni O’Breskey. Listen to "Sorkuntzaren Trenean" @ BandCamp!

Aoife O'Donovan "Man In The Neon Coat: Live in Cambridge" (CD/Download, Yep Roc Records, 2016). Relentlessly touring singer-songwriter Aoife O'Donovan (Crooked Still) has been named as “a must-see act” at this year’s Newport Folk Festival by Rolling Stone magazine. The Man In The Neon Coat album features live trio performances of tracks from Aoife O'Donovan's critically acclaimed releases In The Magic Hour and Fossils.[53] Download selections from "Man In The Neon Coat," recorded at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in April 2016 @ NoiseTrade!

Old Man Kelly "Off My Lawn" (CD, Own label, 2016). The sound of Old Man Kelly comes from the early days of American roots music. "Off My Lawn" is bringing his vintage dance hall sound from festivals and honky-tonks throughout Appalachia to your living room. Check out "Jesus Is My Co-Pilot" @ YouTube!

FolkWorld Xmas

Caitríona O'Leary featuring Tom Jones, Rosanne Cash & Rhiannon Giddens "The Wexford Carols" (CD, Heresy (Naxos), 2014). "You can trace a direct line from the Carter Family to The Wexford Carols," says Rosanne Cash, and Tom Jones adds: "The Wexford Carols are from a time in Ireland when many things were outlawed, you couldn’t sing and couldn’t celebrate Mass – a few of the songs refer to these prohibitions." The Wexford Carols is a collection of 17th and 18th century Irish Christmas songs, mostly lost to history until recently and recorded for the first time by Irish traditional and early music singer Caitríona O’Leary[17] along with a cast of American and British artists. Listen to Caitríona O'Leary, Rosanne Cash, Tom Jones and Eric Fraad discuss The Wexford Carols @ YouTube!

Osama Abdulrasol Quintet "Jedid" (CD, Home Records, 2016). With his qanun (lap harp) playing, Babylon/Iraq born Osama Abdulrasol has made a valuable contribution to the Belgian world music scene for many years now. His compositions have their origins in his native country, but are enhanced with influences from all over the world, thus creating a new sound and providing a bridge between East and West. Check out the Osama Abdulrasol Quintet with "Ghazal" (غزل)! and "Gypsy in Baghdad" (غجري في بغداد)!

Paper Moon Shiners "Paper Moon Shiners" (CD, Own label, 2015). Austin's Elena Antinelli and Frank Meyer share a fascination with the early 20th-century American songbook. conjuring up smoky prohibition speakeasies, dust bowl medicine shows, Mississippi Delta juke joints and Harlem Renaissance night clubs. Check out "Cap Gun Dory" live @ YouTube!

Pentangle "Finale" (CD, Topic Records, 2016). In 2007, the original five members of Pentangle - Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox - reconvened to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2008 they did a UK tour re-visiting their classic early repertoire, its recordings eventually released by Topic Records as a 2CD set. Listen to "Light Flight" @ SoundCloud!

David Philips "The Rooftop Recordings 2" (CD, Black and Tan Records, 2016). David Philips has returned to his Barcelona rooftop apartment to record "The Rooftop Recordings 2". Like the first “Rooftop” record from 2011[46] David strips it right back to the bare essentials: guitar and voice captured with just 2 microphones and all doors and windows wide open. The record concentrates on the songs and stories. Have a listen @ SoundCloud! The CD artwork is made up of a selection of David's own watercolour paintings of birds that visit the Barcelona rooftops regularly. The special artwork version is limited to 1000 numbered copies.

John Prine featuring Holly Williams "I'm Telling You" (Video, 2016). Holly Williams' grandfather may be the great Hank Willams, but country classic "I'm Telling You" has been originally sung by her grandmother Audrey Willams. Check out "I'm Telling You" off John Prine's new record, 'For Better, or Worse,'[60] @ YouTube!

Pulsar Trio "Seven Horses And A Hornet" (Video, 2016). »When we were kids, our parents warned us about hornets - the saying was that just seven of them could kill a horse. We took pity on the horse and fancied just the reverse. Recently someone told us that this track reminds her of music for jump-and-run-videogames. That observation was spot on!« Check out "Seven Horses And A Hornet" from the album "Cäthes Traum" @ YouTube!

John Redmond "Box Sets" (CD, Own label, 2016). John Redmond grew up in the village of Ballindaggin, near Mount Leinster in North Wexford, and became an All-Ireland champion on button accordion before relocating to New York in 1988. His animated and energetic album, Box Sets, is a tribute to his childhood home, with all tunes his own compositions.

Red Tail Ring "Fall Away Blues" (CD, Earthwork Music, 2016). Few duos understand the heart of traditional American music like Laurel Premo (voice, fiddle, banjo) and Michael Beauchamp (voice, guitar, banjo) from Kalamazoo, Michigan.[52] With tight harmonies and sparse instrumentation Red Tail Ring are pushing traditional old-time and original roots music songs to new heights on their fourth studio album. Check out Red Tail Ring's live performance of "Fall Away Blues" and "I'd Rather Be The Devil"!

Kat Riggins "Blues Revival" (CD, Bluzpik Media Group, 2016). Blues is my business and business is good, Kat Riggins joyfully reports, and she also reckons: Blues is the new Black! So she is travelling the world with her band, Blues Revival, to spread the gospel once again. Watch Kat Riggins & Blues Revival @ YouTube!

Archie Roach "Let Love Rule" (CD, Liberation Music, 2016). Archie Roach was one of a handful of performers in the 1990s who brought Aboriginal issues into mainstream conversation. His 10th album "Let Love Rule" once again sees at the heart of humanity, deeply concerned by what he saw happening: “We are closing ourselves off and not letting people in. And not just in the sense of not letting them into the country, but not letting them into our hearts, into our minds. This country was built on people coming here from other countries. That’s what made Australia what it is today.” Watch "It's Not Too Late" @ YouTube!

Titi Robin "Taziri" (CD, World Village, 2015). French guitar and oud player Thierry Robin, known as Titi Robin, has developed a unique sound rooted in Romani and Oriental music. The "Taziri" album continues Robin's collaboration with the young Gnawa musician El Mehdi Nassouli, carrying the legacy of his South-Moroccan Berber culture.[47] Check out "Taziri" album teaser and Robin/Nassouli live!

Roger Roger "Fairweather" (CD, Own label, 2016). Lucas and Madeleine Roger from Winnipeg, Canada, unite sugary harmonies and convincing songwriting — as only proper twins can do. Full album stream @ BandCamp! Watch ‘Mad Trapper’ & ‘Think of Me’!

Book Review

David Rovics "Just A Renter", "Standing Rock", "Gather Round" (Video, 2016). »I go to Europe. Twice a year or more, for months at a time. Europe is where I make a living these days. This is the first year where I'm almost entirely making a living from touring Europe.« David Rovics[32] wrote a blog post about his impressions from a month traveling around northern Europe, "A Portlander In Europe". »[Europe] always reminds me of being one of Frodo's gang in Middle Earth, leaving the realms that have been taken over by the orcs and the evil forces of Mordor, and arriving in the elven forest of Lothlorien [...] I get the feeling that I have gone from a chaotic land of injustice, to a well-organized, prosperous place where there is still a pretty solidly intact sense of living in a cohesive society. One that shares certain values, such as the belief in the right to affordable housing, health care, actual high-quality education, and many other things like that.« Meanwhile, David wrote some new songs featuring his new cool cello grooves: "Just A Renter", "Standing Rock", "Gather Round". He will be back to Europe in April 2017, his first-ever tour where he will be holding a bow on stage as often as a pick.

Inti Rowland "The Ballad Of The Ballroom Ghost", "Masks Of Winter" (Video, 2015). London based singer-guitarist Inti Rowland has been compared as lying somewhere between Grizzly Bear and Nick Drake. Watch Inti Rowland's official videos of "The Ballad Of The Ballroom Ghost" and "Masks Of Winter" from the album 17th Century Japanese Aviary!

Georgia Ruth "Cloudbroke" (Single/Video, 2016). Welsh folk singer-songwriter Georgia Ruth has switched her previous go-to writing tool - the harp - for a piano in search of a more ambient sound. Now she debuts the video for the single "Cloudbroke" from her new much-lauded album "Fossil Scale" (review forthcoming). Watch the video, choreographed by Eddie Ladd who also stars alongside dancers Rebecca Smith-Williams and Eluned Owen, @ YouTube! Also listen to the Ewan Pearson remix @ SoundCloud!

Sanacore "E la partenza" (CD, Buda Musique, 2016). Four ladies from Italy, each equipped with expressive strong voices, present traditional and contemporary Italian songs. "E la partenza" is an intense album of well-crafted a capella singing.

Saoirse "Music evermore" (CD, Own label, 2013). Celtic contemporary folk from this Australian five piece acoustic band. Presenting a mix of traditional and new material, they are at their best in their confident versions of Gaelic songs. Some of the songs venture more into pop. The album received an Australian Celtic Music Awards.

Julian Sas "1996 – 2000" (CD, Cavalier (Fenn Music), 2016). In 1996, Dutch blues guitarist Julian Sas released his debut album Where Will It End!?. Twenty years later, the end is nowhere near. The box-set "1996 – 2000" is the legacy of the first incarnation of the Julian Sas Band, featuring Pierre de Haard (drums) and Phil Poffè (bass). The first 5 years, the first 5 albums!

J. Alan Schneider "Lo & Behold" (CD, Own label, 2016). J. Alan Schneider is an upcoming folk singer based in New York City. His debut record has just been released , and you can stream the lead single "Behold" @ Spotify. If you want to get a sense for what he sounds like live, he was featured in a Proving Ground Session video series filmed at an old abandoned fort in New Jersey. Check it out @ YouTube!

Sue Sergel "Beneath The Willow Tree" (CD, Own label, 2015). Sue Sergel, born a stone's throw from Penny Lane in Liverpool, but a Gothenburger for many years, has became one of Sweden's foremost blues voices and interpreters in the 1980's/90's. Nowadays she performs with Jimmy Olsson on bass and Eric Ivarsson on guitar and has made a departure from traditional blues and writes songs in the americana genre, incorporating various elements of country, folk and blues music. Enjoy the title track and murder ballad "Beneath The Willow Tree" @ YouTube!

Session Americana with Jefferson Hamer "Great Shakes" (CD, Own label, 2016). All star band collective from Boston, Session Americana (Patty Griffin, Rose Cousins,[46] Aimee Mann,[49] Grant Lee Phillips, Gaby Moreno, plus guitarist Jefferson Hamer who won the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Traditional Song for his Child Ballads collaboration with Anais Mitchell),[50] present a modern hootenanny and an anything-could-happen feeling of a spontaneous jam session.

Richard Shindell "Careless" (CD, Continental Song City, 2016). Your guitar has travelled far... An expatriate New Yorker now living in Buenos Aires, Richard Shindell is a craftsman whose passionate and profound songwriting has been revered by critics and fans alike. 2016 marks the release of a brand new album with a stellar cast of musicians including Jerry Marotta, Scott Petitito, David Spinozza, Larry Camplbell, Victor Krauss and Lucy Kaplansky.

Sitardust "Sitardust" (CD, Home Records, 2016). Sitardust is a Belgo-Indian musical journey for the sitar which, departing from Varanasi in North India, first travels south to meet the sophisticated rhythms of Bangalore, then heads west to Brussels, mixing with European jazz, classical and folk flavours. Featuring B.C. Manjunath (mridangam), Carlo Strazzante (percussion), Renaud Crols and Catherine Graindorge (violins), Raphaëlle Brochet (vocals), Frédéric Becker and Grégoire Tirtiaux (saxophones), Charlotte Danhier (cello) and Joachim Lacrosse (sitar and composition). Watch Sitardust at PointCulture Brussels @ YouTube!

FolkWorld Xmas

Mindy Smith "The Snow and Three Thousand Miles" (Single/Video, 2016). 2016 has been an eventful year for Long Island country & folk singer-songwriter Mindy Smith, and she is thankful that she gets to make music and share it with folks willing to listen. Since the holiday season is just around the corner, the time is finally here to download her brand new Christmas song, "The Snow And Three Thousand Miles," @ iTunes!

Spirit Family Reunion "Goin' Out To Cannon Ball" (Video, 2016). The new track from 3-time Newport Folk Fest band Spirit Family Reunion is about and benefitting the folks protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. Postable lyric video @ YouTube! Pay-what-you-want download, 100% donation to the Camp of the Sacred Stones @ BandCamp!

Arturo Stàlteri "préludes" (CD, Felmay, 2016). The prélude is one of the freest and most concise forms of European classical music and had the attention of many important composers. Roman pianist Arturo Stàlteri adds 23 new compositions inspired by poetry and literature (J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Roth, Patricia A. McKillip, Xavier Grall), featuring several guests on violin, flute, santoor (Indian hammered dulcimer), electric guitar, harpsichord, and Pino Zingarelli's Lunar Machines.

FolkWorld Xmas

John Cee Stannard "It's Christmas Time" (EP, CastIron Recordings, 2016). Who says you can't play the blues at Christmas? Englishman John Cee Stannard[59][60] surely can on three original blues songs plus BK Turner's "Beggin’ Santa Clause" (1937) and Shifty Henry's "Let Me Go Home Whisky" (1950’s), the latter rewritten to suit the season.

John Statz "Tulsa" (CD, Own label, 2015). After years of DIY touring everywhere from Eastern Europe to Mexico, the Wisconsinite folksinger/singer-songwriter John Statz, who now resides in Colorado, fell in with fellow Midwesterner Jeffrey Foucault. The resulting Tulsa is beautiful blend of soft americana and smooth folk with echoes of The Jayhawks and Whiskeytown. Check out the "Tulsa" kickstarter campaign @ YouTube!

Taj Mahal "Labor of Love" (CD, Acoustic Sounds, 2016). Blues legend Taj Mahal’s[48] 47th album "Labor of Love" (recorded on the road in 1998) features some of his most beloved materials such as the murder ballad “Stagger Lee,” Mississippi John Hurt’s “My Creole Belle,” the Delta standard “Walking Blues,” and the longtime live favorite “Fishing Blues.” He also collaborates with the great and late harmonica player Neal Pattman and blind singer Cootie Stark. All songs are previously unreleased.

Talisk "Abyss" (CD, Own label, 2016). BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award Winners Talisk (Mohsen Amini – concertina, Hayley Keenan – fiddle, Craig Irving – guitar) are presenting their vibrant and vivid full length debut album "Abyss". Check out Talisk's official "Abyss" video @ YouTube!

Sean Taylor "The Cruelty Of Man" (Video, 2016). Sean Taylor[58] is delighted to present a new song and video, 'The Cruelty Of Man', from the forthcoming album 'Flood & Burn'. The album will be released early 2017. You can view the video @ YouTube!

Ruben & Matt and the Truffle Valley Boys "I Like the Old Time Way" (CD, Own label, 2016). Established folk and roots musicicians from Italy successfully bring back an almost forgotten sound. Ruben Minuto, Matteo Ringressi and the Truffle Valley Boys draw their authentic repertoire and raw sound (two microphones and no overdubs) from some of the more obscure early bluegrass artists and recordings of the early 1950s. Check out a short documentary (with English subtitles) about the Truffle Valley Boy @ YouTube!

Wallen and Phelps "Mountain Roads" (EP, Own label, 2016). Brian Keith Wallen[59] and Dean Phelps jam together for about five years. They share influences such as Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt and create a really distinctive hybrid of blues/rock and folk/blues. Download the seven-song EP "Mountain Roads" @ BandCamp! Find out more @ YouTube!

Michael Ward with Dogs & Fishes "Mendacity" (Single, Own label, 2016). ”This political season has produced a phenomenon unique in my experience. While the shading of facts, as well as the outright falsehoods designed to promote one’s objectives have been a staple of electioneering for as long as the process has existed, the current surreal and widespread public acceptance of the openly, one might say proudly, mendacious rhetoric of Donald Trump is unprecedented in our country. His chronic devaluation of verifiable fact in favor of the broadcast of unsupportable but emotionally rewarding fantasy threatens to turn our attempts at collective decision making in an irretrievably dark direction. Differences are the inevitable consequence of democracy and language is the primary tool we have as citizens to sort them out. To so radically alter the terms of public debate with a willingness to trade the truth for crowd response, will make all subsequent debate more difficult, and in some cases impossible. Words matter. Tone matters. Respect is the price of common destiny and we are bound together in that conversation regardless of affiliation. This song, 'Mendacity', is my humble stab at naming this dangerous tactic.” (Michael Ward)[56] Free download @ NoiseTrade!

Warszawa Wschodnia "Ławeczka" (Video, 2015). Since 1999, the East Warsaw Ensemble (Warszawa Wschodnia) performs traditional Polish, Russian and Ukrainian music, aiming at preserving the archaic ways of singing unique ritual chants, carols, polyphonic lyrical songs and dance music. In 2014, the group released a 2-CD album, "Ławeczka", containing both Russian field recordings and the group's studio session, see @ YouTube!

Sean Watkins "Everything" (Video, 2016). Sean Watkins'[56] West coast tour went really well, but following the final show in Seattle he ran out of gas. Sean had to hoof it back down the coast to his home in Los Angeles - on foot! That's not a true story, but the song is. Check out the official music video for Sean Watkins' song "Everything" off of the album 'What To Fear' @ YouTube!

Laura Whittenberger & Peyson Moss "Never give all the Heart" (CD, Merrow Records, 2016). Raymond Driver is an illustrator and cartoonist from Washington D.C. "Never give all the Heart" fulfills his lifelong ambition creating music set to the early love poetry of one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). Poems such as "The Song of Wandering Aengus" (1899) and "The Wild Swans at Coole" (1919) are brought to life with classical and Irish influences by soprano Laura Whittenberger and pianist Peyson Moss. Listen to "He Tells of a Valley Full of Lovers" @ YouTube!

Wicklow Atwater "The Fallen Flame String Band" (CD, Own label, 2016). Wicklow Atwater is an Americana band based in Atwater Village, Southern California, which play acoustic music which encompasses a blend of bluegrass, old time, country, folk, and blues. The ultimate goal of the band is to live and experience the beauty that the US has to offer through touring and performing on road and reignite the fallen flame in America's heart. Watch their video for "Inside You" and "I Wanna Be Yer Man"!

The Wildfires "All That's Left Is Right" (EP, Own label, 2016). This 5-track EP features the characteristic vocals of Elizabeth Carlton (percussion) and Paul Bonin (acoustic guitar, mandolin) plus a full band, including Axel Rosenbauer's pedal-steel guitar, to generate a highly individual folk pop sound. Have a look @ BandCamp!

Wildwood Kin "Warrior Daughter" (Single/Video, 2016). Wildwood Kin is an indie-Americana 3-piece from Exeter made up of sisters Beth and Emilie Key and Cousin Meghann Loney. Their harmonies can be heard throughout Seth Lakeman’s new album,[61] and they will support him on his tour at the end of the year. "Warrior Daughter" from their forthcoming EP is a call-to-action for female empowerment and tells the story of a mother sending her daughter into battle. Check out Wildwood Kin exploring a haunting, abandoned building deep within the forest @ YouTube!

Zanzibar "Flali in Chicago" (CD, Home Records, 2016). Flali is a mask used with a traditional dance in Ivory Coast, Chicago is one of the most prominent cities in the blues and boogie woogie history. "Flali in Chicago" from Belgium-based group Zanzibar starts from the idea that blues, boogie woogie, ragtime and rhythm 'n blues came from a melt of European and African cultures, which happened on American soil. Check out "Mushakire" at Théâtre de Cambrai @ YouTube!

3hattrio "Solitaire" (CD, Okehdokee Records, 2016). Hal Cannon (vocals, banjo, guitar), Greg Istock (vocals, bass, percussion) and Eli Wrankle (violin) have made three albums that pioneer a sound that they call American Desert Music. With "Solitaire" they “wanted to make a dance album, even if it was the dance of a Scorpion. We really wanted to capture the energy of the desert. There is an odd combination of feeling insignificant yet feeling powerful in the desert.” (Hal Cannon)

Various Artists

Various Artists "Celebrating World Music - 40 Years, 40 Tracks" (CD, ARC Music, 2016). ARC Music had much to celebrate in 2016! As well as being in the top 3 WOMEX world music label for 2016, it is also the label’s 40th anniversary year as a dedicated world and folk label distributing music from over 120 countries. ‘Celebrating World Music - 40 Years, 40 Tracks’ is a an epic selection that is being released to media only with 40 tracks to celebrate 40 years - from the the first band to sign to the label in 1976, Bolivian folk music group Los Rupay, to Seckou Keita’s solo kora album ‘22 Strings’, winner of the Songlines Music Award 2016 for Best African & Middle Eastern album. A host of beautiful songs feature Clannad,[52] Al Alcaide,[61] Custodio Castelo,[50] Toure / Goose,[58] Divanhana,[60] Khiyo,[58] Lenka Lichtenberg,[51] Kiran Ahluwalia,[57] La Jose,[58] House Devils,[47] Tannas,[11] Ceumar,[58] El Naan,[57] Tango Orkestri,[58] Noel McLoughlin,[56] Sakina,[55] Perunika,[50] Golden Bough,[31] Korrontzi,[56] Zingaros,[52] Saor Patrol,[58] and many more.

FolkWorld Xmas

Red House Records

Various Artists "Christmas on the Lam and Other Songs From the Season" (CD, Red House Records, 2016). Red House Records, based in the icebox of Minnesota, has put out their first collection to mark the Christmas holidays. A request for wintry songs brought out the best from Red House veterans and newcomers alike, with new recordings by artists such as Bill Kirchen,[54] nestled against chestnuts by the Wailin’ Jennys,[30] or John Gorka.[43] No clichéd holiday standards here, cheese-free and heartfelt, "Christmas on the Lam" is a folksy, offbeat collection of tales about winter and the season that, like the holidays themselves, deal with love, loneliness, long wintry evenings and one of those untranslatable Scandinavian words used to describe the coziness concept that gets us through the long winter. Listen to Dale Watson's "Christmas To Me" @ YouTube!

Various Artists "CRSingles" (CD, Continental Records Services, 2015). Based in the Netherlands, the European distributor of Rounder Records presents free downloads of artists such as Meschiya Lake & Little Big Horns,[60] NO Blues[55] and David Corley.[60] Check it out @ BandCamp!

Various Artists "Discover Sufi Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2016). "Discover Sufi Music" is the latest in the Discover Music Series, which has more than 30 albums from different world music genres.[56][57][58][60] Sufi music is a combination of the poetry and music of wandering mystics, rooted in ancient Persian and Sanksrit poetry. This album also includes contemporary and traditional arrangements of ghazals (songs) from various regions in Afghanistan, played on traditional instruments with vocals by Zohreh Jooya and Hamid Golestani.

Various Artists "Folk Songs from Israel" (CD, ARC Music, 2016). Popular Israeli composers and song writers such as Eitan Masuri, HaGevatron, Montserrat Franco, Effi Netzer Singers present a collection of well-known songs. It includes the classic folk song Hava Nagila (“Let us rejoice”), perhaps the first modern Israeli folk song in the Hebrew language that has become a staple of band performers at Jewish celebrations. Hebrew lyrics (transcribed) are provided for every song to sing along to, as well as English translations and summaries.

Various Artists "Stony Plain 40 Years" (CD, Stony Plain Records, 2016). 2016 marks the 40th Anniversary of one of Canada's longest surviving independent roots and blues record labels, Stony Plain Records. This three volume set celebrates with some of the label's favourite tracks, including rarities and previously unreleased music. Featuring Colin Linden,[34] Harry Manx,[35] Emmylou Harris,[16] Tim Hus,[38] Jennifer Warnes,[21] Steve Earle,[56] Eric Bibb,[46] David Wilcox,[39] ...

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