It transpires that much of the live music that I see in October will have at least significant blues influence.
Lizzy and the Bluenotes is not on my list, more is the pity. It was serendipity that caused me to notice this trio from Brighton this evening. I currently have not much to go on other than that the band comprises Lizzy Boyd, Daniel Shaw and Oli Vincent and their line is semi-acoustic blues with a distinct soul streak running through it.
I could listen to their cover of Fenton Robinson's 1967 track 'Somebody Loan Me A Dime' on repeat and I know that because I just have.
Monday, October 05, 2015
It transpires that much of the live music that I see in October will have at least significant blues influence.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
The other strand to modern UK folk is delineated by this. I saw parts of several of the performances that Stick In The Wheel played at Cambridge Folk Festival 2015, but unfortunately all of none of them. Furthermore I was never in a place to take worthwhile photographs, which was a shame too. The album was still many weeks away from release at that time.
It isn't actually backward looking and certainly does not hark back to a golden age. The feeling here is that the daily grind - on Bows of London in particular - just goes on. Whatever the surface shine might belie, it is that nothing has really changed at all.
This is the first of a pair that I prefigured here earlier this week. It is my first response to a variety of informal discussions, at festivals and elsewhere, about an apparent division in modern UK folk music.
I'm not going to make judgements for I will take as much time as is needed to assess both sides of the coin. This is not fence-sitting, for I like both for their respective virtues.
There are two fairly distinct kinds of tradition, in interpretation, and this represents one of them.
The nub of this lies with a conundrum that is at the heart of contemporary folk and one to which I have no answer and believe there is none to be found: does it reflect and seek solace in the values of the current time with regard to times past or attempt the mirror image of that situation, or indeed both?
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
About this time last year I mentioned that I was going to start listening over again to all of my long-list of music (EPs and albums together) that I had noted should be considered for those end-of-year rituals. In the end I did that, twice over, and the result was that I whittled that list of fifty-something down to just twenty LPs and a handful of EPs. Some were something between; let us agree to call them mini-albums for sustained quality, not length, is the defining criterion here. That process now needs to commence all over again.
I'm fine with that but there is a nascent problem. I'm pretty sure that my qualifications for inclusion on this long list are every bit as discerning as was the case last year. It is absolutely vital that this is so; as it stands today my long-list currently runs to one-hundred-and-eight items. A quick survey suggests that on average each is 40 minutes in length. To put it another way, if I were to start listening now (21:15 Tuesday) with no breaks at all I would get to the end of it early on Friday evening!
I'm not planning to do that, not least because I also have live music to go and see tomorrow evening.
It also brings me to another issue. That of all the live music that I have seen in 2015 and the discussions, both in person and remotely, about that. The good thing about this is that I certainly have a lot to reflect on!
My next two posts will both be in the series 'New Music 2015'. Both about albums released in the last couple of weeks, that should logically be included in the category of UK folk, and yet they are two very different beasts indeed.
I shall aim to make sure that both posts are published simultaneously. The order in which they actually appear will be decided by the toss of a coin. I'll get someone else to do that for me and with the outcomes known to them beforehand.
What remains true from the start is that, even as my taste in music has evolved over these last nine years and it most certainly has and in ways I might not have anticipated, I will not chose to write posts about things that I don't much care for. I do make comparisons in order to explain why I favour one thing over another. I regard that as something inevitable.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
The Oxford music scene is vibrant and nowhere more so than in the inter-related genres of folk, roots, bluegrass, and thus also the behemoth that is Americana. It is not so long since I mentioned Great Western Tears in that regard. This is another and the two are commonly found as part of the pop-up live performances known as Oxford Roots Rambles.
Francis Pugh and The Whiskey Singers is a six-piece and the latest Roots Ramblin' event that took place yesterday evening also served to launch their EP 'A Place Back West'.
- A Place Back West
- I Saw The Light (Hank Williams)
- You Can't Fix A Heart That's Been Broken
The inclusion of Hank Williams 1947-composed 'I Saw The Light' is interesting not only for its range of interpretation and the virtuosity of the playing displayed within it by the band, but also for its history.
It became, mostly through covers rather than Williams' own performance, a gospel-country standard and probably his best-recognised creation. In actual fact it was written about a comment that his mother made while driving the band back from a gig. 'The Light' in question was that emanating from Dannelly Field airport and it signalled that they were approaching their home town of Montgomery, AL.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
In the intervening few weeks I have quite consciously been paying attention and this is the first example I have chosen to mention.
It is as good as any EP that I have heard this year and that is saying something. Here is 'West' taken from it.
Monday, September 21, 2015
After a week away from reminiscing over the festivals of the summer just gone I return to the last one I visited once again.
I mentioned the release of the LP 'Sprinter', the second by Torres from Athens GA, right back near the start of the year. When it was announced that she was playing EOTR 2015 she went straight on my list of must-see live acts and therefore here she is.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
One of the greatest pleasures of having an excuse to listen to lots of new music is the surprise of discovering things totally by chance. This is why I am a habitué at the opening sets and indeed the smaller stages at festivals. That it is now the end of the outdoor festival season in the UK doesn't matter as much as perhaps it might seem it should.
Frome has plenty of new music of all kinds on offer and then there is all the rest. This is a very good example of how that, and a little serendipity, can work out when applied to the wonder that is internet radio. Yesterday I was listening to this - Hailsham FM - a transient UK broadcaster and specifically a two-hour slot hosted by Chris Giles.
The good news is that it was a Folk Is Not A Rude Word production and as such this can be listened-to from wherever you are on Mixcloud here.
Loads of good stuff on it and an eclectic mix too, so many boxes ticked, but the interview guests were an act of which I was previously unaware. Rainbow Girls.
- The Naked Song
- She-bop Nation
- Step Down from the Mountain
- No Girls Allowed
- Syd Barrett
- George Lassos the Moon
- Dinner Was Yellow But the Shit Was Gold
- Windy Bitches
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Nothing gives me more pleasure than writing about this. It is a couple of years since I was introduced to this duo by Ian Lyster via North Dorset Folk Festival and Marnhull Acoustic Sessions. I have seen the duo live at least five times now and it can never be once too many.
It is not really so long since Mynd was released (2013). This is about the new studio album but in the meantime they have released the CD Live At Calstock (2014).
- Yarrow Mill
- Letter (Unsent)
Should you want it ASAP then Proper Music have it on a limited pre-order deal for £10.99 and that includes UK delivery and the CD is signed!
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Here is an interestingly useless statistic. EOTR 2015 saw me break my own records for both the longest and the shortest time to see two
complete sets by the same band (comprising the same band members
with no additions of deletions) ever. Three of the four sets
happened last Saturday.
The other is London five-piece The Duke Spirit. I somehow missed seeing them play at Latitude 2010 but not on the (main) Woods Stage at EOTR 2015.
The first time was one of my first ever trips away to see a live band since my student days: on 21 May 2005 I ventured to The Astoria, London to see The Duke Spirit play [I took no pictures of that]. That is also fifteen months before the first EOTR took place!
The Astoria is no more - it was demolished in 2010 and the site is now part of the soon-to-be-opened Tottenham Court Road CrossRail station. I guess you might say that I got the live-music bug. Other than that very little has changed except to say that, 3758 days later, their music is rather back in fashion...
Friday, September 11, 2015
I mentioned the then forthcoming release of 'The Granary Sessions' a couple of months back, when I saw The Rosellys live at Truck Festival 2015. Time flies - it was released a week ago now, at least in the UK, by Clubhouse Records.
I knew already that I really liked their previous records, 'One Way St.' (2008) and 'Two Much Like Trouble' (2011) and the new material that they show-cased was every bit as strong and varied.
It was the first time I had heard them live. They performed live with a full band; this new LP differs from the aforementioned records in that it is the first recorded with a full band. Simon and Rebecca are joined by Allan Kelly (pedal steel/resonator), Drew Bridges (percussion) and Matt Kirby (bass). It was recorded in Gloucestershire, England and produced by Alex Elton-Wall, a leading light of UK alt-country act Redlands Palomino Company.
This is the track listing:
1. A Thousand Miles
2. Not That Old (But I'm Not Eighteen)
4. Asheville 1784
5. Made A Choice
6. Red, White And Blue
7. James' Song
8. It's Not Me It's You
9. Number One
10. Rose Tinted Glasses
11. Memories Of Me And You
One comment that I might make is that almost all reviews and comments on the album are from America, rather than the UK, and also that almost all of them are distinctly positive.
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
After a rather soggy, but quite wonderful, Green Man 2015 I am happy to report that apart from a short shower at an unimportant time on Saturday morning End Of The Road 2015 was blessed with dry and, as time went on, increasingly sunny weather.
By Saturday afternoon it was pretty much sunny so, having visited it hardly at all in 2014, I decided to spend much of the afternoon inside the tented Big Top stage! The first act that I saw there was actually one that had impressed me a fortnight earlier at Green Man - The Drink. This was just the start of what turned out to be a run of female-led acts on this stage.
When I first heard the song 'Jane' last year it made me take note of its perpetrators - female duo Girlpool from Los Angeles. I can honestly say that at that time what it might sound like live never even crossed my mind. In fact I still don't know for, following the prudent idea of not playing live the song(s) that first garnered attention, they didn't play it.
Without the slightest pretence Harmony Tividad (bass and vocals) and Cleo Tucker (guitar and vocals) set about dismantling a whole raft of preconceptions about modern music in the space of forty minutes. I'm not at all convinced that I have seen a more affecting live set this year.
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
This is a bit out of the blue.
Not so long ago Alabama Shakes released the band's second album Sound & Color and I mentioned it then. Brittany Howard has now revealed this, on vinyl and download, as a completely-executed side project Thunderbitch. What is more at least for now you can stream it all here.
- Leather Jacket
- I Don't Care
- I Just Wanna Rock'n'Roll
- Eastside Party
- Wild Child
- Very Best Friend
- My Baby Is My Guitar
- Let Me Do What I Do Best
- Heavenly Feeling
Monday, August 31, 2015
Amrywiaeth. What's that all about?
Well this post is about a lot of things that haven't made it into the previous three posts on Green Man 2015, so what to call it was a mystery. Welsh has this one word that encompasses several English ones - such as miscellany, variation, variety, assortment - and is more appropriate in this instance than any one of them. That is my excuse.
The tented Far Out stage is large and, whilst I didn't spent as much time there this year as last, I have mentioned it hardly at all since seeing Gwenno play it on Thursday afternoon. First support Sunday evening was an Australian artist rapidly establishing herself as one of the break-out acts of 2015, following the release of her first full LP 'Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit'.
In keeping with my oft-stated policy of favouring the smaller stages and the opening acts on any stage here is the smallest stage - Green Man Rising - and the opening act of the Festival on it, Seren the Heron.
London three-piece Girl Ray.