FolkWorld #64: CD Reviews
FolkWorld #64 11/2017

CD & DVD Reviews

Na Leanai "Branching Out"
Ryan Records, 2017

Artist Video

www.naleanaimusic.com

"Bring 'em All In" by Mike Scott of Waterboys fame[49] is not only a fine start of an album, but also quite an appropriate motto. Na Leanai[60] which means The Children in Irish, is made up of Eimear Kane, Sorcha Turnbull, Ryanne Sands, Fra Sands and Moya Sands - all daughters and sons and nephews of the renowned Sands Family ensemble. Formed only recently in 2014 they present their sophomore album "Branching Out," which is a telling title as well. They have spread their wings embracing their Irish roots, delicious 5-part-harmonies, jazzy and ethnic strains, even adding two remarkable Zulu vocalists. The juicy song selection covers England (Allan Taylor), Ireland (Siuil a Ruin, Phegin Agus Pheader), France (V'lal Bon Vent) and Germany (Liebeslied), as well as several original songs from Eimear and Uncle Tommy's notabel "Your Daughters And Your Sons". After all, Na Leanaí have left the cradle behind and covered another mile on the road to stardom. Album no. 2 is a warranty that this outfit will last for quite some time.
© Walkin' T:-)M


BackWest "The Long Walk"
Own label, 2017

Artist Video

www.backwestmusic.com

Galway City's new traditional supergroup has taken the next step on The Long Walk. Acquaintances for years, they eventually established a permanent ensemble for some concerts at the King's Head medieval pub last summer. Brendan Browne (button accordion) had toured with Riverdance; his sister Maureen (fiddle) did play with Peter Vickers (bodhrán, percussion, dance) for Lord of the Dance and with PJ McDonald (guitar, vocals) for Ringo McDonagh's Full Steam Ahead. Their debut album features a couple of frenetic performances, celebrating their Galway heritage. It is actually titled after a street in The Claddagh, a notable area in Galway, as depicted on the cover art. BackWest refer to The KDC Set, including the traditional "Killavil Jig", "Connaught Man's Rambles" and Frankie Gavin's[44] "Drimeen Jig," as a real summation of their traditional roots. There are jigs, reels, Steve Cooney's "Diarmuid's March", two Matt Cranitch polkas; and they are also familiar with Breton and Galician music and haunting slow airs such as "Amhrán na Leabhair". PJ McDonald, who is from Co. Tyrone, is responsible for the songs, and he has chosen some Northern songs, namely the Northern Irish "Flower of Sweet Strabane" and the Scottish "Nancy's Whiskey". What a felicitous start, The Long Walk has begun...
© Walkin' T:-)M


JigJam "Live in Tullamore"
Own label, 2017

Artist Video

www.jigjam.ie

JigJam[57] are brothers in spirit to We Banjo 4.[61] Their genre has been branded as CeltGrass, though JigJam prefer the expression I-Grass being Irishmen and not Celts. Maybe this quartet from the Irish midlands speaks to a greater extent with an Irish lingua, though the American emphasis is penetrating thanks to the choice of instruments (Jamie McKeogh, Cathal Guinan, Daithi Melia and Gavin Strappe interchange between banjos, guitars, fiddles, mandolins and double bass) and their selection of music, playing traditional Irish alongside bluegrass tunes, sometimes frantically mixed together. They passionatley render traditional songs such as the Irish/British "The Mermaid" and "Yarmouth Town" and American "99 Years," plus contemporary folk/pop songs like Paul Brady’s "The Island" and Bob Dylan's "Señor." After two critically acclaimed studio albums, they felt the need to record one of their live performances, namely their latest studio album launch at the Tullamore Rugby Club. It is a showcase of vigour and virtuosity, exemplified by their flashy tenor and five-string banjo duels. If you listen carefully to the audience response, the crowd was having a whale of a time.
© Walkin' T:-)M


Pete Quinn, Karen Ryan, Andrew Mac Namara "From Camden to Tulla"
Lo La Records, 2017

www.karenryan.net
www.andrewmacnamara.com

This is the gorgeous collaboration of Andrew Mac Namara (button accordion),[49] Karen Ryan (fiddle)[48] and Pete Quinn (piano). Andrew and Karen first met at the Feakle Festival in County Clare in the west of Ireland in 1991. Over those 25 years since then, they’ve played on and off together. Meanwhile Karen co-founded The London Lasses featuring her husband, Pete Quinn.[43] The threesome has played some lively sessions every Feakle Festival ever since, which eventually made them record an album at Andrew's Galway home. The result is pure trad at a relaxed pace, but a rhythmical and lively performance that transports the listener to the London Irish scene of the 1950s to 1970s. The duet playing is tight and confident, the vamping piano gives great lift. Most tunes are familiar, plus a couple of real gems from East Clare including a set dance (Rodney's Glory) and a set of Schottische (Bonnie Scotland/Bill O'Malley's). Please have a listen @ camdentotulla.bandcamp.com!
© Walkin' T:-)M


Sinéad Murphy "No Better Time"
Own label, 2017

Artist Video

facebook.com/...

Young Sinéad Murphy from Armagh in the north of Ireland is one of the hip and cool to renew the old songs of the Emerald Isle. She does it with grace and vim alike. Their selection of songs, sourced from vocalists and collectors such as the late Frank Harte, Altan's Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh and Aran singer Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola, is fortunately beyond the most obvious: "The Cocks Are Crowing", "Citi n gCumann", "Valentine O' Hara",... While her vocal delivery stands on her own feet, she's been given a sensitive backing by Brendan Monaghan (whistles, pipes), Meabh Smyth (fiddle), Tiarnan Smyth (concertina), Ruairi Cunnane (guitar, bouzouki) and Brian McAteer (keyboards).
© Walkin' T:-)M


Eoin Dillon "Pondelorum"
Buda Musique, 2016

Artist Video

www.eoinpiperdillon.com

Uilleann piper Eoin Dillon is co-founder of the Irish fusion group Kíla,[63] but had left the band recently to pursue a musical career on his own.[32][43] "Pondelorum" is the third album under his own name; it had been originally released in 2016, but has been reissued now by Buda Musique to make it more easily available on the European mainland. That's why the sleeve notes are both in English and French. A handful of gorgeous tracks not only capture Eoin's fervent performance on the uilleann pipes but also emphasise his strength as a composer of melodies full of character. Each track is linked to a poem and a pen drawing, which makes a fine overall concept. Last but not least, Eoin may rely on support from Micheal O Suibhleabhain (harpsichord), Ronan O Snodaigh (bodhran), Eamonn Gall Dubh (saxophone), and many more.
© Walkin' T:-)M


Tiarnán O Duinnchinn "Reggish Paddy"
Own label, 2017

www.tiarnan.ie

Oh yes, the Uilleann Pipes, Ireland's peculiar contribution to the world of piping, also has a particular significance in Irish clture. Tiarnán O Duinnchinn[37] is very much aware of this. Tiarnán, who hails from Monaghan, had begun with the pipes at The Armagh Pipers Club when nine years old. He has won several All-Ireland titles and the Seán O Riada Gold Medal. Recently, he was awarded by the Irish Department of Arts to purchase another pipes set to support his prospective career. That is the context of his new album "Reggish Paddy," with the opening track "Reggish Paddy/Bunch of Regulator Keys" being a flamboyant wink to the classic piping reels "Rakish Paddy" and "Bunch of Keys". There is more of the kind, such as "Allistruim's March" and the jig "Cherish the Ladies," as well as haunting airs such as "Mál Bhán Ní Chuileannáin" (Eithne Ni Uallachain) and "Tá Dhá Ghabhairín Bhuí Agam". His overall tune choices are rather eclectic: "The Fairy Queen/Dance for the Haymakers" comes from a Henry Purcell opera; the jig "Twas When the Sea was Roaring" is actually a piece from Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel followed by a Scottish strathspey and a Cape Breton reel; he eventually ends up with the Italian "Tarantella alla Carpinese". Besides Steve Cooney and Trevor Hutchinson on two tracks, there is no accompaniment at all. Tiarnán relies upon his close-fingering skills on chanter, drones and regulators only, when exploring rhythms and sounds. As any triumphant explorer, Tiarnán O Duinnchinn eventually finds the promised land and the musical gold at the end of the rainbow.
© Walkin' T:-)M


Tommy Guihen "The Torn Jacket"
Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2017

"The Torn Jacket" is Tommy Guihen's debut solo album of traditional flute playing, Co. Roscommon style, in particular that of the Arigna area close to the shores of Lough Allen. Tommy has started on the flute at the tender age of fourteen , and did win the junior All-Ireland championships in 1977 and the senior title in the following year. He subsequently toured with Comhaltas Ceolteóirí Éireann and a trad group called Shebeen. Howeevr, these days he is rather occupied with family farming and prefers to play his flute for the locals--he enjoys The View Across the Valley so to speak (that's the name of a John Brady reel). He also favours the local music, which he describes as a blast from the past. In his youth, he did listen to and studied the likes of Seamus Tansey,[64] but came up with a striking execution distinguished by rhythm and groove. Supported by guitarists Mary Corcorhan and Paul Gurney, he selected reels and some jigs associated with artists such as John Brady, John McKenna, Vincent Broderick, John McEvoy, Charlie Lennon, Ed Reavy, etcpp. Tommy has also an appreciation for slow airs, which derives from Sligo flutist Josie McDermott, whose "Lament for Jim Flynn" is featured here as well as the tune of the old love song "Úna Bhán."
© Walkin' T:-)M


Brian Hughes "This Day 20 Years - Sure there won't be a word about it"
Own label, 2017

bandcamp.com/...

This is Brian's[51] altogether sixth album, 20 years after the release of his debut album, "Whistle Stop," for the Irish language and arts organisation and record label Gael Linn. "Whistle Stop" then made him a household name in the world of traditional Irish whistle playing; his entire body of work afterwards has been hailed once as to be the greatest body of whistle music ever recorded, though it is agreed that Brian himself is rarely heard and seen in flesh and blood. "This Day 20 Years" features 20 highlights of his recording career from his five albums 1997 to 2014. Brian plays the whistles, and can be heard on the uilleann pipes on a couple of tracks; supported by the likes of Nollaig Casey (violin), Seana Davey (harp), Garry O Briain (guitar), Tommy Hayes and Donnchadh Gough (bodhran). There are both newly composed tunes and traditional fare, sometimes executed in purest traditional style, sometimes drifting into sonic territory which made bands such as Lunasa or Beoga so renowned. Of course, there is a selection of jigs and reels, however, Brian is also fond of Sliabh Luachra slides and polkas which are not played enough in his part of the country, he feels. Moreover, he is an aficionado of the haunting quality of slow airs; he has made an entire album of them and the tune of the Kerry love song "Bruach Na Carraige Baine" is featured here. "This Day 20 Years" finishes off with a suite and a shanty song written by Brian and sung by the Monasterevin Gospel Choir in memory of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874–1922), who led three expeditions to the Antarctic and came from Brian's neighbourhood in Athy, Co. Kildare.
The album title has been inspired by Brian's grandfather from whom he got the love for the music and who kept saying: This day 20 years, sure there won't be a word about it! I diasagree! There will be much to say about it, there has to be, in 10 years, or 20, as long as there are devices which can replay a CD like this!
© Walkin' T:-)M


Kierah's Collection

irishmadness.com

Kiérah "Strong Bow"
Own label, 2017

Artist Video

Kiérah Raymond from British Columbia on the West Coast of Canada is a classically trained violinist and pianist, however, thanks to an Irish/Scottish heritage her passionate love is traditional Irish/Scottish music. She names Irish fiddler Martin Hayes and Canadian folk music group Leahy her exemplary role model. This is already her fourth album showcasing a well-grounded virtuoso on the strings, whose heart and soul is not getting lost in technical execution. Out of 42 tunes, 15 are original, the remaining are contemporary tunes from the pen of McGoldrick, Duncan, Henderson and Peadar O'Riada. For good measure, Kiérah has thrown in some waltzes and slow airs, a Polish mazurka and the only song, "Fair Maiden." Her excellent support on guitars, keyboards and drums (special guest: flutist Mike McGoldrick) pushes the tune sets towards funky grooves and lusty beats, though the Strong Bow always keeps the upper hand.
Over the course of four albums, Kiérah has recorded 66 original tunes. All of these jigs, reels, strathspeys, waltzes and airs are included in her tune book,"Kiérah's Collection."
© Walkin' T:-)M


Roisin Mc Grory "The Brae Road"
Othain Records, 2016

www.roisinmcgrory.ie

This is pure traditional Donegal music throughout. Fiddler Roisin Mc Grory (nee Harrigan) from the Inishowen peninsula is married to the founder of McGrory's of Culdaff, where she organised the traditional music sessions until recently. Roisin 's debut album showcases her feathery execution of strings and bow, resulting in a bright and brilliant fiddle tone. "The Brae Road" is a fine selection of tunes from artists that have inspired her ever since; namely the likes of John Doherty, Tommy Peoples, Sean Ryan, Paddy Fahey, Maurice Lennon, ... There is also a couple of airs, including her own beautiful "Where Aileach Guards." Altogether Roisin accounts for five original tunes, such as the barndance which is also the album title.
"The Brae Road" features brother Paul Harrigan on piano accordion, fellow fiddlers Melanie Houton, Eimear McColgan, Clodagh Warnock, harpist Joleen McLaughlin, guitarist Colm O'Caoimh, as well as Roisin's two daughters Deirdre (whistle) and Ella (piano).
© Walkin' T:-)M


Kyle Burghout "The Prism Within"
Own label, 2017

www.kyleburghout.com

Canadian fiddle player Kyle Burghout says, "I believe a great musician is someone who is able to take a tune and expose its inner beauty to the listener in the same way a prism reveals the full spectrum of colours found inside white light. While recording this album, my goal was to find this musical prism within, to help show you the essential beauty of these tunes."
Kyle holds a Bachelor in Classical Music and plays with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra to this day, but growing up on a diet of Cape Breton fiddlers such as the MacMasters and the Rankins he has immersed himself in traditional dance music of Scottish and Irish provenance. At the time being, he is the Artistic Director of Fiddleheads Musical Theatre in Chelsea, Quebec, instructing a gifted bunch of teenage fiddlers.
His debut solo album, "The Prism Within," is drawing on the fertile heritage of the Ottawa Valley, which is comprising a mélange of Irish, Scottish and French Canadian music. There are many Cape Breton tunes though the style is quite different. One striking example is the "High Bass Set" (named after the high bass tuning AEAE with its peculiar bright sound characteristics) featuring compositions from John Morris Rankin, Liz Carroll and Jerry Holland, whereas "Ottawa Tunes" is devised from Ottawa fiddlers such as Denis Lanctôt only. "From Ottawa to Sligo" then is an 8-piece, 13-minute extravaganza of original tunes, coming full circle from the Old World to the Ontario/Quebec border and back to the west coast of Ireland again.
"The Prism Within" is a selection of ravishing tunes. Joined by a couple of local musicians, arranging has been kept to a minimum. Often there is only fiddle and piano, and Kyle's execution is expressive and emotional.
© Walkin' T:-)M


Bernadette Nic Gabhann "Here to Play"
Own label, 2017

www.irishfiddlemusic.com


© Walkin' T:-)M


Danny Diamond "Elbow Room"
Own label, 2017

Artist Video

www.dannydiamond.ie


© Walkin' T:-)M


Liam O'Connor "The Loom"
Own label, 2017

Artist Video

www.liamoconnor.ie


© Walkin' T:-)M


Anders Lillebo "Departure"
Just for the records, 2017

www.anderslillebomusic.com


© Walkin' T:-)M


Liam O'Brien "The Lane"
Own label, 2017

www.liamobrienconcertina.com


© Walkin' T:-)M


Floriane Blancke "Kaleidoscope"
Own label, 2017

www.florianeblancke.com

Hailing from the French capital, Floriane Blancke is a classically trained harpist and fiddler, who has immersed herself into folk music. She had studied at Bordeaux Conservatoire and C.I.A.M Jazz School, before falling in love with traditional Irish music. In 2006, she moved to Ireland and became a professional folk artist, first of all in a duo with former Altan accordionist Dermot Byrne,[49] and recently she joined the cast of the Danceperados of Ireland show.[61] Her solo recording "Kaleidoscope" (derived from ancient Greek for observation of beautiful forms) is an insight into and review of her musical journey so far. The traditional and original tracks are imbued by the people and the land, the spirit(s) and the craic of her new-found domicile in the west of Ireland. Floriane has written a couple of fine jigs and reels; the haunting air "Baile Na Bpuc" has been co-written with English guitar player Tim Edey. Classical composer Claude Debussy's "Passepied IV" is the only departure from the traditional formula and a retrospect on a world left behind. "Kaleidoscope" is beautifully staged by a who's who of the Irish trad circuit, featuring Dermot Byrne, Tim Edey, Joanie Madden, Trevor Hutchinson, to name just a few.
Last but not least, Floriane also showcases her vocal abilities, including the traditional Ulster love song "Molly na gCuach ni Chuilleanáin" (heard from the singing of the admired late Eithne Ní Uallacháin who also wrote the melody used here), Richard Thompson's "Crazy Man Michael", and Mary Elizabeth Frye's 1932 poem "Don't Stand at My Grave and Weep," set to music by Floriane herself.
© Walkin' T:-)M


Dan Walsh & Alistair Anderson "Right At Home - Live At Mount Hooley"
White Meadow Records, 2017

www.danwalshbanjo.co.uk
www.alistairanderson.com

Banjo player Dan Walsh is going to make his name on the folk music circuit.[57][58] This here is the first album from a particular collaboration; Dan has been joined by veteran Alistair Anderson (English concertina, Northumbrian pipes), who has been promoting the musical traditions of Northumberland for five decades. "Right At Home" has been recorded live over two nights at Alistair's homestead at Mount Hooley. Their repertoire ranges from bluegrass standards and old-time songs ("Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms", "Shady Grove") to Northumbrian triple time hornpipes ("Geld Him Lasses, Geld Him") and jazzy ballads (the night visiting song "When a Man's in Love" and the early Saw Doctor's song "At Least Pretend"). There are reels from James Scott Skinner as well as original tunes from Dan and Alistair, respectively. Both agree that this cross-generational music has to be played muscular but at the same time relaxed and easygoing. This makes their gig a matter of rare timeless beauty.
© Walkin' T:-)M


Bellevue Rendezvous "While Rome Burns"
Own label, 2017

www.bvrz.co.uk

Busy with his "Journeyman" show for quite some time, Gavin Marwick[53] and Bellevue Rendezvous[42] eventually recorded and released their third album "While Rome Burns". This Scottish threesome had been formed in 2006 by Gavin (fiddle), Cameron Robson (cittern) and Ruth Morris (nyckelharpa), whose musical careers include stints with grousp such as Burach, Cantrip, Deaf Shepheard, Iron Horse, Malinky, Session A9, and the Unusual Suspects. The interplay of these particular instruments makes quite an appealing and full-bodied sound. The band's name is French-sounding, but indeed dervied from an Edinburgh area, and their music encompasses traditional and newly written music from the Celtic fringe (e.g. a strathspey from the Simon Fraser collection) up to continental Europe (an Anglo-French waltz by hurdy-gurdy player Cliff Stapleton) and further afield. This time the trio takes you on a tour visiting Galicia ("Jota da Gheada" by Berrogüetto piper Anxo Pintos), Norway ("Hvit Marsj" by Gjermund Larsen), Sweden and Finland (polskas from Väsen's nyckelharpist Olov Johansson, Frigg's fiddler Esko Järvelä and fusion band Hedningarna), Romania (the traditional wedding reel "Onga Bucharesti," which klezmer clarinetist/bluegrass mandolinist Andy Statman and Irish trad group De Dannan used to play), and Armenia ("Hicazkar Sirto" by Armenian-American oud player Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian). Last but not least, Gavin's original "Nero's" and "The European Dream" (please note the hint to the album title) are a musical comment on US and EU politics. The first is an eerie slow reel, but the latter hopeful and promising.
© Walkin' T:-)M


Emily Barker "Sweet kind of blue"
Everyone Sang, 2017

Artist Video

www.emilybarker.com

Australian born and England based singer Emily Barker (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica) released her latest album with 10 original songs recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis TN with local musicians.
The title song was co-written with Memphis based keyboarder Rick Steff, a rocking mix of Blues and Soul with great lead and backing vocals. Blues harp and Country sound meet Soul on the single release “Sunrise” and “Crazy life” is a melancholic Tennessee waltz featuring strings. London singer/songwriter Boo Hewerdine was co-writer for the up-beat song “More”, horns, keyboards, bass and drums create the brilliant mix of Jazz, Soul and Rock and Emily sings with seducing and passionate voice. They finish with the slow Blues “Underneath the honey moon” co-written with Nashville based producer/musicians Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson.
Emily Barker has delivered a pleasant mix of Americana, perfectly produced and recorded in Memphis.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup


Lesley Kernochan "A calm sun"
Make My Day Records, 2017

www.lesleykernochan.com

Lesley Kernochan (vocals, acoustic guitar) hails from the City of Angels covering 4 octaves with her voice. Together with Jeff Babko (keyboards), Dan Lutz (acoustic bass), Aaron Sterling (drums, percussion), two guitar players taking their turns, Dean Parks (guitars, pedal steel, banjo, dobro, ukulele) and Christopher Bruce (guitars), and a few guests she recorded 14 original songs for her third album.
Lesley sings the up-beat Country song „Hurricane eye“, her crystal-clear voice driven by the band, Bruce playing the guitar and Ben Peeler adding dobro, mandolin, pedal steel and lap steel. Parks opens “Tumbleweed” on his ukulele, Lesley sings the romantic song, Sterling starts a slow paced Two step rhythm and Tom Rhodes and Robert Rex Waller Jr. add the backing vocals. The title song is a beautiful ballad featuring powerful keyboard sounds, bass, drums and Parks on guitar. Then Sterling and Lutz accelerate the pace for “Love is a verb”, Parks plays pedal steel and dobro and Alisa Rose plays the intoxicating fiddle creating a great Country sound. Bruce plays the guitar on “The chocolate tree”, a rhythmic song featuring Lesley’s bluesy singing, and “Wherever I go”, a melancholic slow waltz, both putting Peeler on lap steel and pedal steel into the limelight.
Lesley Kernighan is a breath-taking singer, her songs are beautifully crafted and she’s accompanied by some brilliant musicians, check her out!
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup


Steve Mednick "Root of the sun"
Cottage Sound Recordings, 2015

www.stevemednick.com

Singer/songwriter Steve Mednick hails from Middlebury CT, where he recorded his latest album with 17 original songs. Originally the project was planned for 2013 and nearly finished then, but Steve changed plans and recorded Never mind the rain. Two years later they added some guest appearances to the line-up consisting of Karl Allweier (bass, banjo, acoustic guitar), Billy Kotsaftis (lead guitar) and Eddie Seville (drums, percussion, slide guitar, keys, synth, vocals) and finalised their work.
They start off with a rhythmic Country rock presenting Tommy Weeks on saxophone, “A wanted man”. Gene Grenier plays the brilliant lead guitar on “The passing and loss of time”, an intoxicating Blues rock with pulsating bass lines and Steve’s twangy vocals, my favourite song. Seville and Natalie Modugno join Steve’s singing on the beautiful ballad “Lorena”, accompanied by double bass, guitar and Matt Cartsonis on mandolin. Steve sings a nice duet with Sallylu Sianni on the folky “Arc of the universe” and Tony Casagrande joins the guys on organ for the Rock ballad “The stormy sea”. Another highlight is the rhythmic “Don’t know why” featuring two guitars, two voices, double bass and percussion. The album also includes two solo appearances by Steve, “Salvation Alley” is a folky song accompanied by guitar and Dylan like vocals.
Steve Mednick presents a pleasant collection of diversified songs, more than an hour of good music, check him out!
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup


John McCutcheon "Trolling for dreams"
Appalseed Productions, 2017

www.folkmusic.com

Folk singer John McCutcheon (vocals, guitars, hammer dulcimer, octave mandolin) has released his 38th album with 14 new songs, recorded in Virginia and Tennessee together with Pete Kennedy on e-guitar, Eric Scott on bass, Brian Simms on piano and Robert “Jos” Jospé on drums. Guest appearances include singers Jon Carroll (also piano, organ), JT Brown (also bass), Tim O’Brien and Sam Gleaves as well as Stuart Duncan on fiddle and mandolin.
O’Brien and Gleaves sing the chorus on the anthemic Folk ballad “Y’all means all”, accompanied by the full band and John sings the romantic waltz “Dance” to the smooth sound of the piano. My favourite song is “Sharecropper’s son”, an intoxicating Bluegrass with fiddle and e-guitar swirling around one another and O’Brien and McCutcheon singing. Acoustic guitar and e-bow hammer dulcimer lay the musical carpet for “Between good and gone” while the full band rocks “Three chords and the truth”. Another highlight is “This ain’t me”, a mid-tempo song written during John’s illness featuring some nice dulcimer sounds.
John McCutcheon started his career in the 70ies, he’s a fine songsmith, multi-instrumentalist and singer and has joined with excellent musicians to record a perfect Folk album.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup


Police Dog Hogan "Wild by the side of the road"
P&C Major Tom Records, 2017

www.policedoghogan.com

Police Dog Hogan are an eight-piece line up featuring lead singer and guitarist James Studholme, violin (Eddie Bishop), banjo (Tim Dowling), mandolin (Tim Jepson), bass (Don Bowen), drums (Michael Giri), accordion (Shahen Galichian) and trumpet (Emily Norris). On their latest album, they present 12 new original songs.
They start off with an intoxicating Irish Folk inspired Rock’n’Roll, “Tyburn Jig”, violin versus trumpet. “Devon Brigade” is a melancholic folk ballad accompanied by guitar and violin and “In the country” a banjo driven Two-Step. Banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass and drums give the pace for the mid-tempo Folk song “The one on the left”, violin and trumpet play a nice duet, and “Our lady of the snow” is a beautiful Country Blues featuring terrific fiddle playing. My favourite song is the “East Nashville Back Porch Fix”, driving banjo pace, powerful arrangement and Studholme’s brilliant singing.
Police Dog Hogan create a high energetic sound, 8 great musicians, a fine singer, beautifully crafted songs, and perfect arrangements. Listen to samples at their website!
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup


Quiles & Cloud "Shake me now"
Compass Records, 2017

www.quilesandcloud.com

Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud first met at an open mic in San Francisco in 2011. They started touring together, two guitars and two voices, and in 2013 were joined by upright-bassist Oscar Westesson. Together they recorded 8 original songs a Bob Dylan Cover and 2 traditional tracks produced by Alison Brown.
Maria sings the lead vocals on “Black sky lightning”, a dramatic song with the two interweaving guitars. Her silky alto mesmerizes the listener, brilliant guitars and upright bass accompany the rhythmic Americana “On my way tonight”. The title song is a beautiful Blues ballad and they sing an awesome duet on the traditional “Deep Ellum Blues”. Another highlight is the soulful Blues “Feelin’ good”, two guitars and upright bass create an intoxicating groove. Rory sings “You ain’t goin’ nowhere”, his beautiful mellow tenor makes the big difference to Dylan’s original.
The new album of Quiles & Cloud is a hauntingly beautiful collection of acoustic Americana songs brought forward by three great musicians and two fine singers.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup


Sound of the Sirens "For all our sins"
DMF Records, 2017

www.soundofthesirens.net

Exeter based duo Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood have recorded their stunning debut album with 10 original songs.
Their first single “Smokescreen” is a rocking Pop song with their remarkable singing together, the two contrasting voices match perfectly together. The beautiful ballad “Mr Wilson” is as perfectly arranged and performed as the powerful hymn “Grow”. My favourite songs are “Chaos”, a dramatic mandolin driven Folk/Pop song with breath-taking vocals, or the bass driven duet on “The voice”.
Sound of the Sirens present a 32 minutes long collection of lyrical Pop songs, preeminent the two hauntingly beautiful voices.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup


Wendy Webb "Step out of line"
Spooky Moon Records, 2017

www.wendywebbmusic.com

Iowa native singer/songwriter Wendy Webb (acoustic guitar, e-piano) hails from Nashville TN, where she produced and mixed her new album together with co-writer Mark Keller. Keller recorded 8 original songs and a Bob Dylan cover, Wendy’s beautiful voice in the limelight and brilliantly accompanied by a bunch of excellent musicians.
Bob Bullock recorded and mixed the first song in Franklin TN, “Talk to me” is a passionate plea for frankness, Vince Santoro drums, Willie Weeks bass, Dennis Matkosky keys and Larry Chaney e-guitar create the dramatic sound. The title track is a hauntingly beautiful Blues ballad featuring a duet with Wayne Jackson on trumpet and driven by Ron Krasinski drums, Dave Pomeroy bass, Mark T. Jordan e-piano and David Grissom e-guitar. Bass, e-piano and Dan Dugmore on pedal steel accompany Wendy’s mesmerizing singing on the love song “Destiny’s muse” and Jim Horn joins in with fine saxophone lines. Wendy sings the Blues, “Camden Town” featuring e-guitar, bass, drums and organ or the romantic ballad “In the night” solely supported by David Hungate on acoustic bass.
Wendy Webb is a fine songwriter, though most of the songs are co-written with Mark Keller, who also deserves praise, and a great singer with a wonderful voice. Check her out!
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup



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