2015 has beauty written all over it, thanks to many artists’ music including
Jo Bywater, Riches to Rags
Our coup de coeur of the year and apparently that of the Liverpool songwriting Contest Judges. Impeccable guitar and vocals to beautifully sing you the story of a journey from riches to rags
Steve Pledger, Matches in the wind
The album is a must, this song is its crown. Read more in this review.
Coco Mbassi, Joa
Wily Bo & Karena K (A Long Way From Heaven)
Session Americana, Pack up the circus
Easy favourite is All For You but see the full review of Session Americana’s 2015 Pack up the circus here and hear and purchase the full album from below
Marina Florance, Little Black Cloud / Kaity Rae…
The whole Downtown album from Folkstock Records is compilation wonder. More information about the Downtown album right here. Tiki
Ange Hardy, Estesee
What a wonderful and varied collection of amazing goose-bumpers, not the least the title track! What a great homage to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and to the romantic movement that he co-started.
Steve Folk, Black Sheep Bones
The title track of his new LP is a little wonder that give only a taste of the full experience. So many causes for the right kind of shiver on this album, not least the title track, “Spare Part” and “My wife, the river”.
Angéline, Back To Pike Place (EP)
UK-based French artist Angéline showcasese creativity and originality in this EP.
East by North West – Tracey Brown & Raevennan Husbandes
We played one of the lovely songs from the album courtesy of Fatea. But what an overall great collection these two artists put together!
Muddy Waters, 100
This officially authorised centennial tribute to Muddy Waters, “MUDDY WATERS 100″ is a once-in-a-lifetime CD that celebrates, commemorates and contributes to the musical legacy of this American icon produced by two times Grammy nominated producer Larry Skoller (“Heritage Blues Orchestra”/ “Chicago Blues: A Living History”).
The Unthanks, 2000 Miles
We were excited when we found out that The Unthanks were releasing an anniversary set of releases. But when we heard the music, we realised that it was not just the idea that sounded great!
Father John Misty, Bored in the USA (I Love You, Honeybear LP)
A favourite song from an album full of good music and stronger controversial melodics and lyricism. Review of by Father John Misty
When released, this was my album of the year 2015 thus far. I Love You, Honeybear is an album that screams of respect for music, humanity and weaves vocals on woollen waves with such craft that triggle a fever down your spine, especially when you hear its debut single Bored in the USA. American folk musician Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty is open like a Bible and without hesitation uses each word where it needs to be sometimes explicit but never crude. The songwriter says: “The songs are a narration of my experience falling in love. My ambition was to address the sensuality of fear, the terrifying force of love, the unutterable pleasures of true intimacy, and the destruction of emotional and intellectual prisons with an imprint that is undeniably my own. Blammo.” Yeah, I fell… in love that is.
Marina Florance (This, that and the other)
We love it when Marina gives us more to listen to, relax to and wonder in. Folkstock Records releases her 2015 album, This, that and the other and we review it right here.
Hilary James (You don’t know)
If you can take such power at a high pitches, you are going to enjoy Hilary James. There is no doubt about the artistry and craft of this musician or as of the variety and beauty of the album. With this new release a set of guest musicians, Hilary James explores different genres from Country and Blues to New Orleans or Jazz (You don’t love what love is), all with an operating soprano where the highs retain their full strength. She revisit the classics including Gershwin and the traditional.
Canen, A Matter of Time (A Matter Of Time EP)
The title track of this EP is a beautiful song rendition by Canen, a then 12-year old vocalist with a stage name inspired by the Roman Goddess of songs. This EP is why. Anna Coogan is the EP producer and pens the delightful song with Canen. Vintage gets a breath of fresh air with her original and breathtaking revisit of classics. A Must hear, at least thrice.
Rebecca Cullen, Carry on (Some Build Castles EP)
This lovely song comes from an equally lovely EP, notwithstanding some explicit language on some tracks. Rebecca Cullen has a beautiful voice that surfs adequately on music that could easily sit on current charts.
Dark Green Tree, Lay me down (Secret Lives LP)
Boo Hewerdine produces. They could not get it wrong.
Ben Reel, Reflection of the Blues (7th)
Little Sparrow, Garden (Wishing Tree Single)
Enchanting track on the single from the album Wishing Tree. Little Sparrows delivers. Again. Always. More info and full review right here.
Martha Bean, Forever Long
This track has the original melodies and piano strength of a Fiona Apple tune showing her influence on this British singer-songwriter. It sits unique in a collection of songs that take us on a journey of 40 minutes 05 seconds, “When Shadows Return To The Sea”. Some of the melodic beauty is particularly highlighted when the strings temper, like in pieces of the last track.
Salwa Azar, Fighter (Black Feather Wooden Chair LP)
Ukelele and voice don’t have to be for a niche only. Salwa brings pure and flawless rendering to the fusion.
Jeff Healy (Best of the Stony Plain Years)
Jeff Healy is a bit of a genius. He is the rock star that achieved his dream by recording his favourite sound and create a set of lovely vintage swing Jazz tracks. To savour.
Jason Isbell (Something More Than Free)
Lauren Housley. The Waiting game (Sweet surrender)
The strong vocals of Housley in Sweet surrender are easily comparable to the great US country singers and they, together with natural instrumentation and harmonious arrangements hold together a lovely album.
Ronnie Earl (Father’s Day)
Case Harding, Anchor Toytown Mornin
Hardin sits us comfortably at the “Poet’s corner” and share with us raw emotion à la Springsteen in “Colour Simple” while his band serves musicianship to hold it all naturally together.
Phil Henry and Hannah Martin (Watershed )
Amy Goddard (Burn & Glow)
Colin Hay (Trying To Get To You)
Colin Hay, who shot to stardom with Men at Work during the ‘80s, presents his 12th studio album and his first album after almost four years, entitled Next Year People. The album features twelve songs that are an eclectic mix of both humorous and open-hearted tones. Colin is backed by San Miguel Perez and Yosmel Montejo, both recent Cuban transplants, in addition to Larry Goldings on piano, Jeff Babko on B3, and Colin’s wife, Cecilia Noel, as a vocalist.
Lucy Ward (I Dreamt I Was A Bird)
Joy (Paper Aeroplanes)
Minnie Birch (Floundering)
Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman (Tomorrow Will Follow Today)
Purity Ring (Bodyache)
Purity Ring trade the gorgeously claustrophobic atmospheres of their previous music for wide-open, muscular vistas of sound and luminous, up-front vocals of the new album Another Eternity. The emotional geography of Another Eternity is wider than ever: gloomy valleys and gleaming peaks in even measure. It revels in its upfront melody, clarity, and confidence.
Jose Gonzalez, Leaf Off / The Cave (Vestiges & Claws)
Brand new, long awaited album from José González, Vestiges & Claws. This is the first album in seven years for González – his sophomore album, In Our Nature, which was released in 2007 was met with much critical acclaim. Since then, González recorded and released albums with his other musical incarnation, Junip, a duo made up of González and Tobias Winterkorn. Most recently, González teamed up with Ryan Adams to create a track for Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty released last year.
Thea Gilmore (Ghosts & Graffiti)
David Mayfield (Show)
David Mayfield may be one of the most original performers on the Americana scene. Known for his bombastic stage presence as much as his virtuosic guitar talent and songwriting prowess, Mayfield’s newest album Strangers is, in true parade fashion, a bold affair. His goal was to record a timeless album – avoiding anything overtly modern without going retro – and in the process, Mayfield discovered his niche. Strangers, Mayfield’s first album with Compass Records, is a tour de force, stretching from the avant-garde to Mayfield’s musical roots, which are buried deep in the bluegrass tradition from a childhood of touring with his family’s band.
With The Dawn – Bella Hardy
Hattie Briggs (Red & Gold)
Eamon Friel, Brave new world
A brave take on an old concept.