FolkWorld #73 11/2020

CD Reviews

Ross Ainslie

»This album is designed to be listened to continuously from beginning to end!« (Ross Ainslie)

»There aren’t many people putting this kind of work into album packaging these days, as the CD slides into obsolescence; the jacket gets reduced to a sleeve, and finally, to the purely ephemeral: a thumbnail digital image serving as an “album cover” for a thing that’s no longer an album, with no need of a cover. You might ask what could be the point in swimming upstream against such an overwhelming current, and I can’t say you’d be wrong. Plenty of bands nowadays are just releasing singles, as a way to stay current in an increasingly crowded market, and it may be that the whole notion of an “album” is on its way out. The CD, at least, is clearly going the way of the 8-track, as new computers and cars don’t come with players anymore, and having a physical music library of any kind seems to make less and less sense. But from where I sit, I still see plenty of reasons to keep making physical albums, whether they’ve got a CD inside or not. For one, my fans still buy them. They’re glad I’m out there doing what I’m doing, and they want to keep me on the road. Most of those sales are happening face to face, in the intermission of shows, in theatres, halls, or living rooms, where the people want something tangible to take home as a reminder of the night. Most of my fans are old enough to remember the tactile pleasure of liner notes, and the thrill of discovery in reading the names and the stories behind the
songs. So much of my musical education happened that way, on the living room floor, with my parents’ record collection and the albums I scavenged from garage sales for a dollar or two apiece. Most of my fans think it’s unfair that the workers in song (or those of us left) should put so much work into writing, recording, and releasing songs, only to be paid in fractions of cents by the listeners who enjoy them. And most of the old folkies who host programs on college and community radio still want the physical thing. But there’s something bigger behind the commitment to keep making albums, and that’s the conviction that something valuable is being lost in the way we experience recorded music. Putting a record on was a more deliberate thing when you got to take it out of its sleeve, put it on the turntable, and lay the needle in the groove. Back in my university days, my friends and I used to get stoned, turn off the lights and listen to whole album sides at a time without talking. At half-time we’d go in the kitchen to do some more hot-knives and talk about what we’d heard, then we’d go back to the living room and listen to the other half. When we developed better social skills and weren’t quite such a bunch of stoner weirdos, we’d play records while hanging out with friends. It meant something to put a record on. Even when somebody was DJing, they were going through albums to pick the right track to follow the one playing, whether that was about keeping people dancing, or just setting a mood. Nowadays, most of the playlists we hear aren’t even made by humans, they’re put together by algorithms. They’re not telling a story. The songs come from out of nowhere. They don’t tell us who recorded them, or where, or when. An album, by contrast, was a set of songs that went together. They usually came from one session or series of sessions, with a group of players––they were a snapshot of a band at a particular place and time. Some songs got chosen, others got left out, and they were put in a deliberate order, to tell a story.« (Scott Cook)

»Someone once told me that making vinyl is like making cakes! You have the same ingredients and the same temperature, but other slight variables get in the mix which mean that no cake is ever the same. The same is true of our vinyl’s: each one will sound slightly different in terms of frequency and sound. And... everything sounds better on vinyl! We put a lot of thought into the artwork and photos and were inspired to see the quality of this in large format on a vinyl cover and sleave. Also, it's beautiful to watch the bowl on the vinyl label spin as it plays!« (Will Roberts, iyatraQuartet)

»To me, having a vinyl is making a commitment to your favourite records and artists - it's a promise that says 'I want to give this music its best chance to come alive, and each time I put the record on will be an event.« (Rich Phillips, iyatraQuartet)

»When Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak suggested artists should retrain, I had to laugh (or I'd cry), as this year I've done very little songwriting and playing music but an awful lot of other related activities, such as marketing, accounting, oh and video editing, lots of that.« (Paul Armfield)

  English Reviews

Robb Johnson & The Irregulars "Pandemic Songs" England
Rura "Live at the Old Fruitmarket" Scotland
The Wilderness Yet "The Wilderness Yet" England
The Rheingans Sisters "Receiver" England
Caroline Keane "Shine" Ireland
Tom Kitching "Seasons of Change" England
Hannah Harris "Tea for Tunes" USA
Calvin Vollrath and Friends "20/20 Edition 1 & 2" Canada
The Black Brothers "Glackanacker" Ireland
Christian Sedelmyr "Ravine Palace" USA
Éilís Kennedy "So Ends This Day" Ireland
Ryan Molloy "pianophony" Ireland
Ryan Molloy & Fergal Scahill "One Day :: November Woods" Ireland
Fiona Ross & Shane O'Mara "Sunwise Turn" Scotland / Australia
Skerryvore "Live across Scotland" Scotland
Hamish Napier "The Woods" Scotland
Piccard & Masure "Webbesnaren 2.0" Belgium
Navarra "I ljusningen" Sweden
Joy & Andrew "Dithis - Duo" Scotland
Helene Blum & Harald Haugaard Band "Strømmen" Denmark
Amsterdam Klezmer Band "Fortuna" Netherlands
Colum Sands "Song Bridge" Northern Ireland
Andrew Cronshaw "Zithers" England
La Bricole "Jour de Malheur" France
Rakoczy "Frontrunner" England
Woodlands "Woodlands" Sweden
Ils Fränzlis "Mit alles und scharf" Switzerland
Garefowl "Cliffs" Scotland
Damir Imamovic "The Singer of Tales" Bosnia
Svjata Vatra "Svit, Ty Minjaeschsja" Estonia / Ukrainia
Kviven Duo "Kvakksalvar-Guri" Norway
Maskineri "Hopsa 101" Denmark
David Munnelly & Jonas Fromseier "Ten" Ireland / Denmark
David Munnelly, Joseph McNulty & Shane McGowan "On the Go" Ireland
Ies Muller & David Munnelly "Detached" Belgium / Ireland
The Sí Fiddlers "Donegal Fiddle" Ireland
The Carter Girls "Crossing Borders" Canada
Fiolministeriet "Et Nyt Liv" Denmark
John & James Carty "The Wavy Bow Collection" Ireland
Lauren MacColl "Landskein" Scotland
Paul Harrigan "Music from the White Stone" Ireland
Gunnar & Johannes Dahle "Rjukanfossen" Norway
Emilyn Stam & John David Williams "Honeywood" Canada
Desi Wilkinson "Two for Joy!" Ireland
Ross Ainslie "Vana" Scotland
Duo Granite "Le Jour d'Après" France
Hartwin Dhoore "Waterman" Belgium
Klezmer-ish "Dusty Road" England
"The Loon's Call: Tunes from the North Shore by Anne Delong" Canada
Maeve Gilchrist "The Harpweaver" Scotland
Bridget Marsden "When I listen to Bingsjö" England
Bridget Marsden & Leif Ottoson "Sea of Trees" England / Sweden
Guro Kvifte Nesheim & Mats Edén "Den Kaldsteikte" Norway
GKN5 "Tri Hjarter på Ei Snor" Norway

Short & Sweet:

Julie Abbé | Matthew Alexander | Alfi | Kurt Allen | Dave Alvin | Sam Amidon | Courtney Marie Andrews | Kris Angelis | Dustin Arbuckle | Mia Arends | Paul Armfield | Carley Arrowood | Badi Assad | The Avett Brothers | Avey Grouws Band | Balsam Range | The Band of Heathens | Sylvain Barou | Battlefield Band | Erick Beau | Tom Beaulieu | Ben Bedford | Charlie Bedford | Rick Berthod | Laila Biali | Blues Escape | Paul Boddy | Xavier Boderiou | Zoe Boekbinder | Joe Bonamassa | Kjell Braaten | Luke Brindley | David Bromberg | Joshua Burnell | Tré Burt | Calexico | Mairi Campbell | Caitlin Canty | Carolina Blue | Rosanne Cash | Barbara Cassidy | Celtic Kitchen Party | Annika Chambers | Chatham County Line | Cinder Well | Cowboy Junkies | Ronny Cox | Mike Craver | Crooked Eye Tommy | Thomas Csorba | Mary Jo Curry | Darlin’ Brando | Michael Derning | Ani DiFranco | Stuart Duncan | Duncan​C | Seamus Egan | Elson Complex | Rusty Ends | Tom Fairnie | Fairport Convention | Feuerschwanz | Charley Foskett | Iona Fyfe | Abbie Gardner | Genna & Jesse | Rhiannon Giddens | Eliza Gilkyson | Ben Glover | Jane Godfrey | Gogol Bordello | Kristen Grainger | Dave Greaves | Riley Green | Grendel's Sÿster | Jim Gustin | Hagathorn | Rachel Hair | Ofra Harnoy | Harrow Fair | Felix Hatfield | Robby Hecht | Shane Hennessy | Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram | Jason Isbell | Jim Iseman III | iyatraQuartet | Graeme James | Sarah Jarosz | Jim and Sam | Eric Johanson | Truth Jones | Joy Mills Band | Sam Joyner | Symcha Keller | Amythyst Kiah | Seth Kibel | Rich Krueger | Antoine Lahay | Langhorne Slim | Elaine Lennon | Johanna Lillvik | Matt Litzinger | Rebecca Loebe | Matthias Loibner | Nick Lowe | Yo-Yo Ma | Kate MacLeod | The MacMaster Leahy Family | Malaya Blue | Heather Maloney | Jason Mandell | Mannish Boy | Jono Manson | Gregg Martinez | Anna Massie | Sean Mathews | The McBroom Sisters | Sabine McCalla | Gerald McClendon | The Mckee Brothers | Arlo McKinley | Don McLean | Meadow Creek | Mean Mary | Edgar Meyer | Michael & Nell | The Milk Carton Kids | Buddy & Julie Miller | Siobhan Miller | Bernadette Morris | Peter Mulvey | Aaron Nathans | Willie Nelson | John Németh | Daniel Nestleorde | Danni Nicholls | Lizzie No | Coco O'Connor | Aoife O'Donovan | Old Moonshine Band | The Old Ramblers | Waylon Payne | Gretchen Peters | David Philips | Grant-Lee Phillips | Mehmet Polat | Philip Scott Poli | Trevor B. Power | Praying for the Rain | Derrick Procell | Jose Ramirez | Eli Paperboy Reed | Reely Jiggered | The Reverend Shawn Amos | Rising Appalachia | Janet Robin | Rodrigo y Gabriela | Carrie Rodriguez | Michael G. Ronstadt | Josh Rouse | David Rovics | Kate Rusby | Allison Russell | Russkaja | Safari Season | Rachael Sage | Carter Sampson | Cina Samuelson | Phillip Sandifer | Saskia | Danny Schmidt | The Sensational Country Blues Wonders! | Amanda Shires | Skinny Lister | Moira Smiley | The Smoke Wagon Blues Band | Frank Solivan | Songhoy Blues | Steep Canyon Rangers | Billy Strings | Sunnysiders | Adrian Sutherland | Emma Swift | Dudley Taft | Sofia Talvik | Tara Fuki | Laura Tate | Lara Taubman | Julian Taylor | Sean Taylor | Kirsten Thien | Chris Thile | Jordan Tice | Modou Touré | John Townley | Tuatha De Danann | Dan Tuffy | Twisted Pine | Fiona Tyndall | Michael Veitch | Sara Vidal | Vigüela | Vilma | Vissia | Wily Bo Walker | The Wallens | Dennis Warner | Rupert Wates | Doc & Merle Watson | West Of Eden | Bella White | Chelsea Williams | Wolf & Clover | CD Woodbury | Wooden Legs | Yola | Zoe & Cloyd | 9Bach

Various Artists: "A Living Past" | "Bluegrass Mastery: Instrumentals" | "Bluegrass Turns 75" | "Damn Straight We've Got The Blues" | "Folky Christmas" | "Friends and Legends of Louisiana" | "Greenwich Viillage Folk Festival 2020" | "Hanging Tree Guitars" | "Joyeux Noël, Bon Chrismeusse" | "2020 Paste Holiday Sampler" | "Pickathon at Home" | "Prison Music Project" | "Songs of Protest" | "#SOULIDARITY" | "The 75th Anniversary of Bluegrass Music"

  Deutsche Rezensionen

Ross Ainslie "Vana" Scotland
Sväng "Vänner" Germany
Wellbappn  "Didl-Dudl" Germany
Jan Cornelius "Vör Anker" Germany
Em Huisken & Jank Frison "Fräiske Soang" Germany
Uhlenflug "dulcis armour" Germany
Wildes Holz "Höhen und Tiefen" Germany
Schweizer Jugendchor "S isch äben e Mönsch uf Ärde" Switzerland
Lydie Auvray "mon voyage" France
Isabel Frey "Millenial Bundist" Austria
More Maids "fourmaids" Germany
Thomm Jutz "To Live In Two Worlds Volume 2" Germany
Barbara Bergin "Blood Red Moon" USA
Redon & Gómez "Una Más" France / Spain
Moritz Weiß Klezmer Trio "Klezmer Explosion" Austria
Sés "Liberar As Arterias" Spain
ewo2 "Avanti Popolo 3" Germany
Jim Stanard "Color Outside the Lines" USA
Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha "Börek" Finland
Gangstagrass "No Time For Enemies" USA
Jul i Nord "Jultråddokka" Norway
Albin Brun & Kristina Brunner "Midnang" Switzerland
Elisabeth Cutler "Silence is Rising" USA
Esbe "Saqqara" England
Folk Group Merema "Kezeren Koiht" Russia
Georg Clementi "Zeitlieder 3" Austria
Julvisor "Vinternatt" Germany
Kristine Heebøll "Pernambuk" Denmark
Lakvar "Sabotage and Tradition" Georgia / Hungary
Lincoln Briney "Homeward Bound - The Seasons of Simon & Garfunkel" USA
Lorraine Jordan "Send my Soul" Scotland
Motus Laevus "Y" Italy
Menace D'Eclaircie "Finish Your Patates and Take Your Converses" France
Mulo Francel "Crossing Life Lines" Germany
Scarlett O' "... Ob du mich lieb hast?" Germany
Sebastian Krämer "Liebeslieder an deine Tante" Germany
Singadjo "Tango bis zuletzt" Germany
Sväng "Plays Tango" Finland
Ugagn "Vengjeslag" Norway
Vimma "Meri ja avaruus" Finland
Roland Neuwirth & radio.string.quartet "Erd'" Austria
Rafael & Energia Dominicana "Enamrarse en la playa" Dominican Republic
Hubert von Goisern "Zeiten & Zeichen" Austria
Oumou Sangaré "Acoustic" Mali
Trio Tekke "Strovilos" Cyprus
Polkageist "Rückwärts durch die Geisterbahn" Germany

Kurz & bündig:

Gaye Su Akyol | Ala Fekra | Alma | Ammar 808 | Antichrisis | Arbouretum | Paul Armfield | Kristofer Åström | Joe Bonamassa | Book of Stories | Kjell Braaten | BRTHR | Ane Brun | Calexico | Mary Chapin Carpenter | Che Sudaka | The Cumberland River Project | Ex Silentio | Fanfare Ciocarlia | Fiddler’s Green | Kirk Fletcher | Halber Hahn | Hotel Palindrone | In Extremo | Irdorath | Tim Jaacks | Jim and Sam | Johanna Amelie | Svavar Knutur | Richard Koechli | Larkin Poe | Latin Quarter | Liraz | Luka | Reinhard Mey | The Milk Carton Kids | Miss Allie | Okzitanis | Old Sea Brigade | The O'Reillys and the Paddyhats | Quadro Nuevo | Schandmaul | Norbert Schneider | Gilles Servat | Shockwave Riders | Jonas Simonson | Luke Sital-Singh | Songhoy Blues | Spui'maNovas | Norman Swoboda | Gianmaria Testa | Tibetréa | Tim Vantol | Andreas Vollenweider | Williams Wetsox | Yusuf | Zäpämmät | Zephyr

Various Artists: "Christmas Together (Wherever We Are)" | "Wien dreht auf! Kultursommer 2020"

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