FolkWorld #64 11/2017

CD & DVD Reviews

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

Artist Video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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