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I literally hear some of the same women I heard twenty years ago. I am a woman but i know exactly what you mean!!! Its ridiculous and sexist, i understand how fun it used to be!! A while back i had a few friends over, we poured some wine, had a bit too much, decided to call one of the numbers, and we laughed are asses off the entire time!!!
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I would also like to see a Christian chatline. There is a cowboy chatline called RodeoChat in the list above. I miss the old Chat lines you call now and its empty..
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The sound quality of the disc is raw and forward, primitive by today's standards naturally, and some of the guitar pieces are rather clangy, but it's all still perfectly listenable. In fact, a very enjoyable disc that's also of considerable historical and heritage interest.
Full liner notes are reproduced, as always with the Tradition reissues. Pretty much essential I'd say. Etta Baker is the grand old lady of the blues and I'm sure she won't mind me saying that she is 91 years of age. She has influenced many a guitarist and Taj Mahal has said that she is the greatest single influence on his guitar style. This album of songs recorded between and shows that she is a force to be reckoned with.
There are two parts to the recording, the 'now' section which covers the first 11 songs and the 'then' section covering the final 7. Opening with 5 songs accompanied by Taj Mahal, Etta introduces us to her gentle style on the oft covered John Henry, the beautifully played Crow Jane, the wonder that is Going Down The Road Feeling Bad, the first self-penned track Madison Street Blues on which she airs her electric guitar and outshines guitarists half her age and the country blues of Railroad Bill.
She picks up the banjo for Cripple Creek, and this is a foot-tapper, and then continues the country theme on Johnson Boys. Going To The Race Track, a gentle acoustic blues, starts off a run of three songs and a poem featuring Etta on her own.
Her dexterity is so astounding on Lost John that you will swear that you are listening to the playing of someone far younger. Dew Drop is slower than most of the others but you can just imagine the drops of water falling from the spring flowers. Poem is exactly what the title says. It is a four line poem that perfectly sums up growing old.
The final track of the 'now' category is Comb Blues and features the comb and paper as an instrument. Taj Mahal is back for this and is joined by Algia Mae Hinton. This is a slow blues that harks back to the very beginning of the genre. In the 'then' category we are treated to seven songs that were recorded in July One Dime Blues, one of the three songs on the album written by Baker, sounds so contemporary that it is hard to believe that it was recorded nearly 50 years ago and it shows that she was an extremely good guitarist in her time.
Etta's father Boone Reid plays the banjo for Sourwood Mountain and there is just something about banjo music when it is well played. This is a wonderful example of finger picking and, although age may have slowed her down a tad, there's not too much difference in the two versions.
There's a second offering from her father, a different version of Johnson Boys. The banjo playing is excellent again but having heard the later version with added fiddle I have to say that I preferred that one.
To finish off, Etta comes in with a strong version of the classic John Henry with excellent slide guitar and Bully Of The Town which is played in a gentle, acoustic Piedmont blues style. Etta Baker is a remarkable woman and Music Maker deserves our thanks for allowing her to record again. Music Maker page for Etta Baker. The first album, Mercy, sought to address the blast and the random manner in which some died and others lived.
In , Pretty World offered meditations on gratitude, obligation and beauty. Now comes the final part, an exploration of the price of forgiveness and the cost of clinging to anger, told through songs that pivot around the homeless and helpless, and of love found, lost and held together with tape.
On the bluesy title track we meet a field hand hoeing cotton "for the rest of my life" like the father that walked out on his family in despair, Mennonite tells of a religious kid from Mexico who, wearing his new 'pearl snap shirt', found love dressed in a "short short skirt' in a bar room and left the Lord behind, while, Palestine II and its prequel Palestine I unfolds the tale of a marriage that began with teenage passion in a travelling preacher's tent and has had to hold together through a tragic accident, hard times and history repeating itself with their daughter running away "with the boy selling bibles.
Speaking more than singing his narratives, Baker's dust and gravel voice variously recalls John Prine, Dylan, Steve Earle, Tom Waits and John Trudell, his sparsely arranged American songbook music hewing to southern backwoods folk disarmingly beautiful on the two step fiddle call and response swayer Who's Gonna Be Your Man and Texan country in the vein of Van Zandt and Kristofferson.
Opening with a brief snatch of Dixie, sung in the round by a female voice its 'look away' refrain returning to bring bitter resonance to the dark night guilty secrets of Moon and closing on the poignant Snow with its metaphor about being lost and emotionally frozen in a drift of your own making, it is both melancholic and life-affirming.
It's hard not to be touched by the snapshots of the disenfranchised and losers who populate Signs, by the Waits-like Angel Hair where, on Christmas Eve, the singer recalls a fatal traffic accident on black ice a decade earlier, or by the unwanted pregnancy of Not Another Mary and the girl who "could not say I love you too.
But, at the end of the day, between the tears, Baker reminds you that, even if you're only getting by, life is worth persevering with and far better than the alternative. When musicians appear at one of our Mr Kite Benefits, I often ask about what they are listening to and who they would recommend. So, you might imagine that his ears are well tuned to fine music. So, it was that I was recommended to Sam Baker.
I believe Bob Harris also had his ear bent about Sam too. Indeed, if your ears don't get wrapped around his music soon, I'll be mightily surprised. Guests like Kevin Welch and Joy Lynn White lend their support on this first record suggesting that he's already attracting the attention of the great and good. But, it's the music that is the star attraction. From the opening track, 'Waves', with its vivid imagery of walking down to the sea and writing a loved one's name in the sand just to see it washed away, I'm hooked.
Sam's lyrics are painting pictures like this all the way. From 'another bunch of boys, another blue sky' as he contrasts a baseball game and a war zone to the car 'full of baby junk' that sit on the backseat of a homeless mum's car.
There are 'barbers with no nose', 'drunk cops', men 'in their underwear drinking beer', 'skinny boys with their rifles fighting door to door' and characters galore in his stories In fact, there is so much colour in his lyrics that the one word song titles are enough. Hear one song and you'll be drawn in to hear the rest.
Sam's voice adds to that colour with its gravely lived-in drawl reminding you of John Prine or Todd Snider. As my wife says, you'll be immediately won over if you're a sucker for the gravely voice. Put that next to those lyrics that present social commentary whilst painting all sorts of pictures in your mind and I'll be very surprised if a major label doesn't pick up this record. Steve Henderson, March www. Long John Baldry - Remembering Leadbelly Stony Plain Records "Most of the songs in this collection have been part of my life since I first started singing in the mid's.
Because they are so familiar to me I was able to record my vocals and guitar work in one 'take' for most of the tracks. K - something he tends to be very self-effacing about, as those who have seen him live at any point will recognise. I know of no other headliner who gives his sidesmen such accolades whilst backing off from centre stage himself. This character trait is reflected in the bonus interview track on the very end of this CD, and the liner notes acknowledge Chris Barber and Lonnie Donegan and a host of other influences As to the content of the CD itself, well, I was amazed at the number of the tracks I knew so well whilst not having any Leadbelly in my record collection, nor, indeed, in compilation blues CDs - something I need to rectify but meanwhile LJB manages to cover this void magnificently.
This album is worthy of repeated playing, which may well have something to do with the sparseness rather than the 'over production' tendency found on so many of today's CDs. This is a tribute CD, acknowledging the input of Leadbelly, but with the unique Baldry interpretation.
His vocals going from the deep huskiness, for which he is so well known, to the lighter, smoother shades of his marvellously rich voice.
There were, for me, moments of goose bumps when he sounded like Alexis Korner - but then they both inspired each other way back when. LJB's voice is a musical instrument in it's own right. His guitar playing needs no accolades. What amazes me is how perilously close he came to the possibility of not being able to perform anymore. That was back in October Having not seen him for about 20 years I was taken to a gig by a friend on a whim to The Mill at Banbury.
John was not well. He managed the first half without anyone realising the levels of pain he was experiencing. He then nearly collapsed during the second part. We took him to the hospital where they had great difficulty believing that he had played a concert that night. His finger joints were severely swollen despite being soaked in a bowl of water with all the ice from the bar during the interval.
The promoter at the venue was prepared to pay back any punters the cost of their tickets. Not a single one did. A case of 'actions being stronger than words'. John has every intention of returning to UK and Europe again next year. At the moment he is about to go on the road in Australia and New Zealand. Catch him if you can. This CD has been played with great frequency since I got it when LJB toured the UK with the Manfreds back in June, , but I still find it virtually impossible to point the listener to any particular track.
The only solution is to just play the whole CD again and again. Just go order the CD for yourself and you can decide! Deep Purple, Fairport Convention, you get the idea - that's where my allegiances lie. So, let's improve my position a little.
I'd been privileged to meet John twice, on the occasion of his sadly aborted UK Tour. A close friend of mine knew John during the sixties, hadn't seen him since he'd moved to Canada, persuaded me to take her to the opening night in Banbury and I ended up putting this particular blues legend in hospital. If you're really interested, mail me and I'll tell what is, at best, a very dull tale. That evening, musically the gig bored me intensely.
Sure, the guys were all very proficient, technically adept at what they were doing, but I just didn't get it; Long John's style of blues just ain't for me. So, I find a copy of Johns Hypertension release ' Evening Conversation ' before me, requiring a review. I'm not exactly the best person for the job because, as I've said, I just don't buy this particular style of music. The man, however, I like a great deal; he is hysterical and great fun to be with. We only spent a couple of hours in each others company and I was gratified to learn that, when he was in the UK towards the end of , he inquired of said friend as to my whereabouts.
Needless to day, I was chuffed that he remembered me, and more than a little peeved that when he was in my home town, I'd opted to be in Hong Kong following folk rockers Little Johnny England. And having a damn fine holiday with my daughters. Oh well, some things are just not meant to be. I've had this release on the go for a while now, and I'm almost embarrassed to say that it has not grated the nerves once.
Either I'm getting old or this music isn't quite as bad as I'd first feared. On first listen I recognised only one tune - Morning Dew. It took a while, but I finally twigged that this was the number opening the sixth Blackfoot LP some 20 odd years previously; a quick dive into the archives confirmed the authors as Tim Rose and Bonnie Dobson. Yep, it's the same piece, wake up ears. It just sounds a little different, like the difference between the late John Lee Hooker and Black Sabbath although, to be fair, Blackfoot were closer to Lynyrd Skynyrd and the lead guitarist of the former is now a member of the latter.
Many of the songs are Baldry arrangements of numbers written by that most classical of composers, Trad Arr. I think that, if you're a fan, you'll enjoy this release. You may well have a lot of the numbers already in the studio, but this is a live album, and there is always something that little bit different - special? I'm sure that you won't be disappointed by your purchase.
Well, I just don't know, but I'll be playing CD this some more. If he comes close enough to home that is. One of a pair of new releases from Scottish songwriter and storyteller Jackie Leven, this is a disc of monologues rather than songs, and is conveniently split into two sections. These vary from gently observed vignettes to some more overtly amusing tales of provincial life and newspaperdom, and are delivered in an initially quite low-key and diffident manner but also with evident affection; within them we meet the various characters that people the new town of Glenrodent and its newspaper offices and gain a whimsical insight into their lives and preoccupations.
The episodes are punctuated with brief but attractive piano interludes composed by Michael Cosgrave and inspired largely by Scottish dance forms.
The second section of the disc brings three choice stories of Jackie Leven's own concoction: The final tale, Sex Tourist, was recorded at a club in Sydney in It matters not that all three of these tales have been released previously albeit the first and third only on not-easily-available Haunted Valley label discs , for they well complement the storytelling of the Jackie Balfour episodes.
Even so, I'm not sure there's a particularly wide audience in terms of potential record sales, I mean for this aspect of Jackie Leven's art, beyond the "occasional entertaining listen" status that inevitably accompanies spoken-word recordings, however good. A Scottish folkster with a jazz family background, Bancroft's explored both fields in her previous albums, not to mention experimenting with electronica.
There's jazz blues flavours here on the musically flirty Occasional China where she slips into scat backed by Amy Geddes providing gypsy fiddle, the breathy No Smokin with a percussion rhythm that sounds like the bellows of an electronic lung, and the skittish Dented with Tom Lyne's double bass groove. Mostly though she channels her jazz raising into folk intimacy, delivering the rippling, bluegrass flecked Supersize Me with its laments about the lack of community and childhood in the modern age, the waltzing I Carried Your Heart's age-enduring love song and, also touching on a theme of passing years, the sparse wood-smoked When The Geese Fly South.
Written four years back, Boo Hewardine guests on co-penned closing track Caroline, a 3am jazz cellar piano blues account of an unconsummated drunken one night stand and subsequent self-questioning while, underscoring the classiness of the project, the album's co-produced and mixed by Mark Freegard whose extensive credits include Maria McKee, Manic Street Preachers and, more pertinently for that sultry jazz vibe, Swans Way.
Probably more one for the Ronnie Scott's crowd than your local folk club, but certainly worth the exploring. Produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard and mastered by Gulf Morlix both of whom also guest along with Stephen Bruton , it's fairly blueprint southern barroom rock country with pumped up guitars, mouth harp, swaggery rhythms and bluesy acoustic honky tonk ballads.
They're not doing anything new, but they're as reliable and easy to slip into as an old pair of shoes. Band of Two is exactly what it says on the tin - a band comprising two musicians. The pair in question are Croydon man Pete Fyfe and Garry Blakeley, from Hastings - two musical souls who met by chance ten years ago, discovered an affinity in their tastes and have built a great rapport and a catalogue of songs, jigs and reels that guarantees a great evening's entertainment when they play live.
Decade , the duo's second album, is packed full of high-quality songs and tunes, all played with an obvious love of the material and an infectious enthusiasm that will put a smile on your face and have you singing along. With a distinct leaning toward the Celtic end of the British musical spectrum, it's not surprising they elect to kick off with "Farewell to Ireland", a no-holds-barred instrumental workout that immediately displays the fine fiddle-playing of Blakeley and some furious strumming on the guitar by Fyfe - a tremendous opener.
Fyfe relishes the lyric, giving his vocal a menacing edge as Blakeley's fiddle ducks and weaves around it and the guitar. One of Van Morrison's best-known songs gives Blakeley his first chance at the mic, his voice a pleasing contrast to Fyfe's deeper tones.
Fyfe's playing on "Have I told you lately" comes to the fore as he overlays deft mandolin fingerwork on Blakeley's guitar. A sparser arrangement than Morrison's original but all the better for it - lovely. One of the several stand-out tracks is the pair's reading of "Fairytale of New York", the original of which featured another child of Croydon, the late Kirsty MacColl.
Two people could never, of course, hope to make a bigger noise than The Pogues at their best, but, like the Morrison song, this version loses nothing for its simplicity - well, it's such a good song, how could it fail? Ireland gets a look in again when the pair tackle the old standard, "Danny Boy" and the delightful "Blarney roses". You might remain tight-lipped through "Irene goodnight" but your resolve will begin to slip during "Comin' round the mountain" and, by "Worried man blues" you'll be singing along as it segues into a "Pick a bale o'cotton", "Swing low, sweet chariot", "It's a long way to Tipperary" and "Pack up your troubles" before the set's wound up with "Knees up Mother Brown".
It may sound a little naff but, believe me, it works. Two nicer blokes you couldn't hope to meet and "Decade" is an album they are quite rightly proud of. Following six independent releases, the hirsute ashram-friendly psych folk Venezuela raised, California based singer-songwriter finally makes his major label debut with a collection that, produced by Paul Butler from A Band of Bees, is eclectic while remaining firmly rooted in the hippie folkster landscape.
Can't Help eases you into proceedings with marimba ripples and a tropical island sway that might make Jack Johnson sound like explosive punk before his Incredible String Band affections rear their head with Angelika where his phrasings echo the young Robin Williamson before the song suddenly mutates into a jazzy piano led bossa nova and Banhart apparently turns Puerto Rican. There's a Latin blood in the veins of Brindo too, another bossa nova croon only this time sung - or rather seductively whispered - in Spanish.
Skipping around the influences, Baby varnishes a Smokey Motown soul groove with a light reggae hiccupping and a suitably playful lyric that talks of choo choo trains in a manner that recalls Jonathan Richman. Then it's a trip down to Graceland with the easy lilting kwela tinged folk Goin' Back To The Place while the more intimate moods of Paul Simon - and the lost soul purity of Jeff Buckley - would also seem to cast their shadow over the melancholic building piano pulses of First Song For B and its immediate acoustic guitar accompanied sequel Last Song For B which sounds like a musical close companion of Bookends.
He does like to keep your ears on their toes. Will it see him embraced by a wider, mainstream audience? Probably not, but his devoted following is certainly going to be passing round the pipe in celebration.
With a sleeve photo that suggests you're in for an expanded version of the Polyphonic Spree, the bearded Banhart's fourth outing sees him building on his past foundations of 60s harmony pop, trippy dippy Indian drones, bossa nova and blues.
Fleshed out into full band arrangements but retaining his eccentric whimsy I assume he's being whimsical when he sings of being a lonely sailor ogling young lads on the frankly barking Little Boys , he recorded this in Woodstock, clearly on a creative roll since it features no less than 22 tracks.
As such, it can prove a tad wearying if you're not totally submissive to his merry skewed charms as evidenced on something like the bizarre The Beatles which starts out namechecking Paul and Ringo and then inexplicably finds him crowing in Spanish while folk whoop it up behind him. But if you're prepared to pick around for favourites then the tripped out sitar drenched latter-day Donovan meets Bolan blues of Lazy Butterfly, the soft whispery Queen Bee, lollopping jugband Some People Ride The Wave, guitar instrumental Sawkill River, the lazy warbling driftalong Koreak Dogwood and, in his Spanish mode, the sun kissed Santa Maria Da Feira and a melancholic cover of Venezuelan Simon Diaz's moody Luna De Margarita repay the effort of juggling with the skip and play buttons.
A bunch of four track recordings came to the attention of former Swans frontman Michael Gira who released them as is through his Young God Records, thereby setting into motion a growing cult following. Recorded in the same sessions as the previous Rejoicing In The Hands, this 16 track collection pretty much sums up everything you need to know.
He plays acoustic guitar, has a high pitched, quivering vibrato that makes him sound several decades older than his 23 years and which prompts regular comparisons to Tyrannosaurus Rex period Marc Bolan and the early days of the Incredible String Band. Oh and of course, Syd Barrett. Deliberately naive in his sound, which straggles warbling folk, ragtime, bluegrass and blues but here embracing arrangements that involve brass, piano and strings in addition to trusty guitar, his narratives frolic cheerfully in the fields of playful whimsy with lyrics that include tales of psychedelic squids and the cloven hoofed offspring of a man and a pig.
Dotting around at random, you'll find a bluesy reading of Ella Jenkins' folk song Little Sparrow, fingerpicked spooked lullaby Ay Mama with its mournful trumpet, the arpeggio folk blues tumbling Little Yellow Spider about, well take a guess, a vaguely pop inclined At The Hop no, not Danny and The Juniors , an ominous Horseheadedfleshwizard where he sings about hosing down the dead before they die, backporch good timing The Good Red Road and the closing drunken swayer round the summer evening Hawaiian bonfire strummer Electric Heart.
Taken en bloc it can get a touch wearying, but sampled at intervals you'll be convinced his people really were fair and had sky in their hair. Primarily built around their twin guitars, it's a simple acoustic affair, with no ambitious productions, but it leaks honesty and a passion for the music they make.
As in Bushbury days, American bluegrass back porch mountain music remains an influence, most evidently so on the naggingly catchy Mousetrap, a jug band of a number with Bannister on mandola that could have slotted easily into the Oh Brother soundtrack without anyone suspecting anything out of place.
But there's more than hillbilly going on. Opening track Long Slow Day is a gorgeous tropical lilt designed for laying back and watching the sky while the spellbindingly lovely I Will Go With You brings to mind the better, less bombastic moments of Chris De Burgh and mixes it with Art Garfunkel.
Not sure about the closing number, a bluesy Superman's Lasergun that doesn't really come off, but otherwise this can only serve to further boost Bannister's reputation among the faithful as one of the most distinctive voices and writers on the UK roots scene.
If you've not yet encountered the wonderfully original music of this perennially dynamic and talented young Whitby-based trio, then now's the time to start, and this new album, taken together with Galata Bridge , should provide the perfect starter pack.
The band have taken their recent cautious experiments in layering of sound textures from Galata Bridge and the Bluebells EP on to new levels of accomplishment, and this is strongly in evidence on the trippy opener Go To Dreams , but to their credit this aspect is never overdone, and the defiantly individual characters of the three individual musicians is always foremost, with the quality of the recording attaining a new level of engineering expertise here.
Quiet Fire is a truly beautiful creation, with Dave Moss's sinuous, enticing vocal line poignantly inhabiting the idyllic landscape of Bluebells. Other songs show Dave's increasing penchant for the more pensive turn of thought, ranging widely from the eerie, economically-expressed pacifism of The Fight and the compelling title track to the quasi-catechism of Bless with its curiously effective neo-calypso setting.
The instrumental tracks that punctuate the songs on this album are sensibly sequenced to follow them, in that like the Eastern European dance-forms on which they're modelled they often begin slowly then build in tempo or intensity. They can therefore appear slow-burners by comparison with some of the band's earlier, wilder efforts, though it still takes a fair bit of digital dexterity to get your feet round the almost wilfully complex time-signatures! As ever, Tim Downie's guitar work which, admirably, is clearly audible throughout is a model of subtlety and embellishment that might come as quite a surprise if you've ever witnessed his string-breaking exploits in live performance!
My only minor complaint about this release is the near-unreadability of the text on the neat digipak sleeve, due to insufficient contrast - that latter tag certainly doesn't apply to the varied music on display on this exhilarating album. This disc has been long in coming, but hey, it's been worth the wait.
It's a natural confluence of two of our finest singer-interpreters who have discovered an equally natural kinship; they have much in common, not least some important formative influences. Each of them has a background to die for - both were "kid folkies in the proverbial sweet shop", growing up being involved in, and understanding and appreciating, folk music.
For them, standards were set at an early stage, and both were introduced to major figures on the folk scene at a tender age almost as a matter of course. They met and became friends quite early on, but then for several years they followed independent courses: Mike mostly singing with his siblings in The Wilson Family group and Damien launching his own professional solo career after attaining the finals of BBC's Young Tradition Award in , then going on to mastermind the groundbreaking Demon Barber Roadshow.
They'd talked about trying some songs together, but it was not until around four years ago to my recollection that this idea bore fruit on a tentative foray into the clubs armed with an embryonic joint repertoire developed under the influence of the generous folk artists whose own repertoires form the thread that now binds this disc together. The folk artist whose figure looms largest over the whole set, inevitably but entirely justifiably , is the mighty Peter Bellamy whose own performances provided the inspirational source recordings for several of the songs chosen for the disc , closely followed by Ewan MacColl and Dick Gaughan.
The vital combination of attitude and respect is an essential one for any song carrier worth his salt, and it's one which Damien and Mike closely share and keenly display throughout their work together. Each of them is passionate and distinctive as a solo singer, with a rich-toned and sturdy delivery. Mike here employs quite a bit of decoration in his solo passages, while not getting in the way of Damien's trademark throbbing vibrato, and the two voices sit well together generally not always the case with two voices which share a roughly similar range.
It's important, therefore, to retain plenty of textural variety during the course of a joint CD, and this is managed by virtue of Damien varying the accompanying instrument between English concertina seven tracks and guitar three , the remaining brace of tracks being performed acappella. In the latter category we find one of the disc's highlights, a particularly enterprising choice and the only item not associated with any of the previously notified "influences": The second acappella item is a runthrough of Shiny O, a shanty obtained from Stan Hugill.
Damien's deft, rhythmically inventive guitar playing provides an ideal foil for Mike on three contrasted songs including The Green Linnet and MacColl's My Old Man, while his concertina provides sterling accompaniment for both solo and joint vocal outings as well as a notably poignant counterpoint to MacColl's Joy Of Living. The actual form the "duo act" takes can vary in approach: The "odd track out" is Jim Jones, which is a solo performance by Damien with concertina.
Yes, both in terms of repertoire and performance style, Damien and Mike have chosen well for representing their duo activities on this CD. Finally, an honourable mention for the disc's presentation: Influences and inspirations are freely acknowledged, generously granted and openly encouraged in my turn, I've been well "under the influence" of both Damo and Mike, and "The Family" ever since I myself started singing.
Sure thing, Mike and Damo have done themselves proud here, and it'll be interesting to see how this musical partnership develops in due course - let's hope we don't have to wait five years to find out! This Canadian songstress singer-songwriter to you! She played over here in the UK last autumn as part of the Twisted Folk package tour along with Tunng , and is set to return for a handful of dates next month including the Green Man Festival.
Jill's been tagged "alt-cabaret", and listening to For All Time, her second record, it's hard for me to get that tag out of my mind. I think it's her singing style and the tonal quality of her voice more than anything else that justifies that tag: In its gentle energy, this album has a direct, up-close feel which reflects the method of its actual recording live-off-the-floor , with individual instruments perfectly selected and balanced within the overall spare-but-rich sound-picture.
The canvas is quite broad as far as instrumental colours are concerned, with almost every one of the eleven songs being differently scored: You might find the album easier to get into after the first three tracks, which aren't really typical; the opener Just For Now is a chunky old-style ballad with a torchy country-gospel feel, then Don't Go Easy is easygoing steel-driven country, and When I'm Makin' Love To You is a cheeky swing-jazz piece set to a perky clarinet and piano backing.
Ashes To Ashes is both delicate and stately, a measured and considered reflection, Hard Line has a subdued funkiness in its driving Motown vibe. Variety and contrast notwithstanding, the standouts for me are the title track and Goodnight Sweetheart, both good examples of the kind of beautiful, simple little time-honoured love songs that you feel you've always known, and Legacy, whose generous, measured pace allows full rein to Jill's expressive vocal qualities.
Jill's probably at her tremulously confidential best on the closing Starting To Show, while on some of the other songs, like the tender Two Brown Eyes, Jill reveals herself to have a sexy vocal presence akin to Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins. On the evidence of this CD, I can understand why Jill has made such an impression thus far, and can imagine her special brand of intimacy working much to her advantage live.
Brighton-based duo Kevin Barber and Mark Taylor are one of those totally-together acts that sound for all the world like they've been playing and singing together almost from birth. Typically they play an attractively melancholy brand of acoustic-based, guitarsome bluegrassy Americana, with around two-thirds of their material self-penned and the remainder made up of respectable if not consistently outstanding covers of on this, their third CD songs by Albert E.
Brumley, Woody Guthrie and Paul Simon gripe: But I liked this record a lot, and even though it's primarily the vocal harmonies and tight arrangements that make the impact on first hearing the songs stand up to scrutiny and grow on repeated listening. Generally there's a very satisfying ambience about the duo's music, and it's couched in an accomplishment that's easy-going yet not without a quality of thoughtful depth and immediacy of inspiration.
With top-flight recording quality reflecting the duo's close, intimate yet dynamic live presence, this is a treasurable release that deserves wider recognition. A little over two years ago, I reviewed a very fine CD, Islet, which paired Rebecca's passionate and individual singing of a selection of traditional songs with the intricate and inventive traceries of Durham guitarist John Steele.
For her latest recording project, Rebecca has recruited a host of accomplished traditional musicians from different cultures to assist her in bringing alive her brilliantly creative vision of these age-old ballads and songs.
For instance, on the disc's closer, an idiosyncratic take on The Snows They Melt The Soonest, Rebecca is at her most vocally uncompromising and adventurous: Compared to which, the faint-eared will find much of the preceding album significantly easier going. For instance, on Rebecca's percussively upbeat take on The Blacksmith, you can readily believe you're listening to Kate Bush backed by 3 Mustaphas 3 and a Turkish fiddler, while her retelling of The Cutty Wren is propelled by a spicy flamenco-style rhythm.
Just as on Islet, Rebecca demonstrates a keen response to English and Scottish traditional material and Quebequois call-and-response song alike, although you may feel especially on initial acquaintance that one or two of her determinedly imaginative settings seem too eccentric and "busy".
On the other hand, there are moments when the outcome of Rebecca's creativity is simply so extraordinary that you've never heard the like before the soundscape of Queen Jane is not at all easily describable, and will stop you in your tracks for sure, while the extended, subtly percussive drone-layered setting of Lagan Love is almost as astonishing in terms of atmospherics.
And a special mention for recording engineer-wizard Ron Angus, who plays guitar is there no limit to this guy's talents?! But all the members of Rebecca's support crew are vitally important, as she acknowledges by devoting four pages of the excellent booklet to their biographical background. I suspect that this CD will divide listeners it even divided me at the start!
Durham guitarist John Steele and Canadian singer Rebecca Barclay have been collaborating as a duo for around five years now, yet this would appear to be their first CD together. On it they illustrate their common interest in performing predominantly traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic - this diverse selection presenting songs from standard English sources including The Cruel Mother, Lovely On The Water, Factory Girl and MacCrimmon's Lament alongside three of French Canadian or Newfoundland origin all sung in French , topped up with a brace of contemporary songs by Dick Gaughan and Stan Rogers.
So far, so straightforward; but initial aural encounter proves not quite so. John's guitar work is very skilled indeed: And there we come to what for many listeners may be the sticking-point: Describing the features of Rebecca's style is not an easy task: But I came round to celebrating Rebecca's individuality of style, her distinctive brand of passion - although I'd acknowledge that it doesn't work equally well on every song she tackles Blackwaterside and Both Sides The Tweed, for instance, sound laboured and out of kilter as interpretations.
But when it does work, close listening is rewarded by a mesmerising experience, a kind of pindrop immediacy that startles in its simplicity - which in turn is informed, I'm sure, by Rebecca's study of the vocal traditions of other world cultures. Finally, although this is a duo record, Rebecca and John benefit from some subtle augmentation from friends playing variously fiddle, flute, accordion and percussion on a small handful of songs.
The basic duo will provide an intense and intriguing live experience, one which I'm now quite keen to sample. Bob Haddrell, Alan Glen and Dino Coccia are the current incarnation and the guest stars compliment them perfectly.
Val Cowell and Paul Cox guest on vocals and their voices fit together very well on this sultry blues along with Papa George on slide guitar and Roger Cotton on Hammond.
There are only four covers on the album and the second, Mose Allison's I Won't Worry About A Thing, shows a bunch of top musicians on top of their form. However, it is Alan Barnes on sax that is the standout. The first of the originals is a result of many hands and Back At The 4 Aces is an airy instrumental that takes in jazz and a little bit of reggae. Jim Mullen adds his considerable guitar talents to this one. Great British blues musician Alan Glen is a much lauded guitarist, harmonica player and songwriter and his Petunia is next.
This is slinky jazz of the highest order and has Glen written all over it, as you can tell from the guitar work. Everything Or Nothing is another Glen song and he showcases his harmonica this time - British blues from a British bluesman.
It's a full band effort for the instrumental Blues For Judy which is on the jazzy side of the blues again, with Glen's guitar shining through. I also thought that Glen would have given the harmonica part a better treatment.
Coccia and Haddrell team up for the first time to write Time, Talk 'n' Trouble, a slow methodical blues that doesn't really get anywhere. Although it has the added extra of Nick Newall on flute it's really nothing out of the ordinary. The last of the covers is a laid back version of Peter Green's Watch Out. It's jazzed up a little and I'm sure that it's not what Green had in mind when he wrote it.
Well played, as are the others, and in the jazz vein which is a side of the band that has come out more than I'd hoped. The Barcodes latest offering on the excellent British blues, soul and jazz label Note Records raises the standard for blues tinged jazz for those who choose to follow.
Alan Glen manages to get his guitar to sound like a Steely Dan track and the saxophone from Nick Newall is very slinky. Thick Cut is the first of the instrumentals and whilst the organ flurries from Bob Haddrell are excellent, they fall into second place after Alan Glen excels on guitar and harmonica. Crazy Life is smooth blues tinged jazz and Glen's harmonica is on top again. The Barcodes Theme is mainly a showcase for the saxophone Nick Newall but the others get a look in too.
This is a well-played jazz instrumental. The title track is jazzy blues, pretty much akin to the rest of that ilk on the album and they get a little funky on the blues groover, Tell Me The Truth. The wonderfully named Splanky is an organ-led instrumental. Jazz, of course, that gives the main protagonists a chance to show off again and Dino Coccia's drums are the perfect foil for the rich guitar and organ sounds.
We finally get a real blues on That's Alright. The slow guitar intro added to the harmonica fills, organ and electric piano makes this a favourite. However, this jazzy, up-tempo version does not do much justice to the original and the vocalist doesn't really get out of first gear.
The Barcodes are excellent musicians but their singing does not come up to the same standard. This legendary guitarist's first solo album in almost 20 years should be a cause for celebration, and it is. It's also a happy set that was self-evidently as much fun for the musicians as it is for us humble listeners. Only now has he felt the time right to return to recording, and When At Last certainly has the feel of an easy-flowing, relaxed 40 minutes of music-making.
The compositions may themselves be necessarily tautly structured, but the playing - from Russ himself and his collaborators alike - is wonderfully flexible without going overboard on the improvisation angle. In fact, it's Russ himself especially his guitar playing who seems quite unobtrusive, almost too self-effacing, at times! Stylistically, the eleven pieces making up When At Last move from the gentle newgrass of Little Monk to the smiling, swinging Fat Mountain, the softly driving "Irishy" Pleasant Beggar to the deftly funky Dixieland-cum-Hawaiian vibe of The Man In The Hat, the bluegrassy hoedown On Milo's Back to the curious limping almost-slow-cajun waltz of The Drummers Of England and the altogether more atmospheric repose of the title track and A Dream For Sophie from which we're rudely awakened after less than two minutes.
And all without any feeling of forced bravado or unduly showy virtuosity - Russ and his chums have it all sorted, and work it all out between them with consummate musicianship. If you want a pleasing and thoroughly satisfying sequence of entirely unassuming and wholly natural music-making in the spirit of those Transatlantic Sessions, then this joyous album's for you. And you don't have to be a dog-lover to appreciate its delights! Almost as if overcompensating for the previous album's terrible heavy metal looking cover, this time the album sleeve and inner photos have them firmly displaying their roots image wearing flat caps, dungarees, braces, and gabardines, photographed with spades, watering cans and tending an allotment.
Mind you, those are legs hanging over the wheelbarrow and a pair of feet you see sticking out of the soil, so maybe someone's having a bit of a laugh. They kick off in bluesy form with Black Cat, Nella Johnson singing unaccompanied before guitar, drums and banjo kick in for a rootsy bluegrass stomp.
Although the voices of Barker brothers Sam and Jake can be heard on Trouble and Love Letters, as with the last album it's Johnson's that dominates, in soulful sultry mood with Hold On, conjuring thoughts of Bobbie Gentry rather than Joplin, burning a country gospel flame with Chapel where Dave Fretton's key scorch the pews, and drawling bluesily through the dark clouds of El Diablo. They're also getting increasingly heavy these days, incorporating considerable hard rock influences into the bluegrass and folk based sound.
Yes, the title track kicks up a sprightly pair of fiddle and banjo heels as its bustles along on an almost mazurka jog, but its closer to Charlie Daniels than it is Alison Krauss. Likewise, six minute closer The Bullet where the boys take lead over a throbbing bass line and urgent riffs leading to a squealing guitar notes and pounding drums finale.
That they have a track titled Song For Dio, a swampy, bluesy tune with muscular banjo and heavy metal guitar breaks about the late Ronnie James, says much, though just to confuse pigeonholing, Let It Go turns up a reggae lurch behind Johnson's Fever-ish prowl. As such they may well have lost some early fans along the way, but if they keep moving in the current direction they'll be gathering considerably more..
Fans of the London based British bluegrass outfit are in for something of a shock when they lay hands and ears on their fourth album. While still fronted by the banjo playing songwriter twins Jake and Sam Barker, they've stepped back from the microphones and the lead vocals are now totally handled by Nella Johnson, who originally joined four years ago as backing singer.
Johnson has a relaxed delivery, her voice honey with a streak of pepper that can do yearning and spit with equal effectiveness. By moving her into the spotlight, while keeping the bluegrass bubbling the music's taken on a twangier Nashville sound. It's evident from the get go with 'y'all come' Southern country boogie opening track It's Goodbye, and again on the bluesy stomping, harp wailing clatter Cut You Down and the fiddle scraping, train time rhythm of the closing Make Him Stay, a track which, were it for the fact it's discreetly not mentioned on the credits, I'd swear rides along on a choogling electro pop synth backing.
The single, Don't Want To Remember, takes the mood down to a bass and violin groove that underlines the band's pop sensibilities while keeping the dark folk-country tones. Like penultimate track Die Tonight, it wouldn't sound out of place in a Stevie Nicks set list. However, the bluegrass on which they made their name hasn't been relegated to a token musical influence, the line dance friendly The Way I'm Feeling, the Dillards dappled fiddle and banjo good timing Good Place To Run with its singalong chorus hook and the leg-slapping Heaven's Bell a kissing cousin of I Saw The Light with the banjo in full head of trad steam all guaranteed to get the joint jumping from Acton to the Appalachians.
And, since no bluegrass album is complete without a death waltzing mountain music folk lament, then Death Meets Me Here fits the bill perfectly with Johnson's aching voice and the tears-weeping mandolin and fiddle conjuring the vintage days of the Gram and Emmy. I've a lot of time for the band's previous releases, but the brothers' decision to put Johnson upfront certainly makes this by far their best yet.
Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs.. For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get .  kwjWXajbWjnQta 投稿者：Archie 投稿日：/10/13(Mon) More or less not much going on worth mentioning. Pretty much nothing seems worth. The Bad Shepherds - By Hook Or By Crook (Monsoon) Transfiguring punk classics into folk songs, those who hadn't actually heard the debut album by Adrian Edmondson, Maartin Allcock, Andy Dinan, and Troy Donockley might have thought it was a bit of a gimmick.