Saturday, April 27, 2013

Valerie --- a cover of that cover...

The Zutons' 'Valerie' was a fine song from the off, there is no doubt about that.
Then Amy Winehouse covered it and the rest, not all of it good in a sense, is history.

Now it has been covered again, by London-based Kalina Starhemberg (vocals) and Gael Cabado Barreno (guitar & beatbox). It is interesting how very far songs can travel from the place in which they started.

Then again there is so much good stuff to listen to at the moment and long may that last.

Added May 1, 2013:
Thanks to Barrie Moore for alerting me to this, another cover of 'Valerie'.

This one is by Sydney, NSW based singer Tiger K and was new to me until today.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Folk Weekend Oxford 2013 - The Pub Sessions

I caught part of several of these and they provided some of the highlights of my weekend. The first was that in James Street Tavern on Friday evening and, before I go further, this is exactly the kind of pub that we must all treasure and support: see here. I had never been there before - and first impressions count more than most - so I shall start somewhat after midnight or, in other words, very early Saturday morning...

A little time and some more ale later but still going strong.
This next is from the session in the café-bar in the Old Fire Station on Saturday afternoon, which was a monster in terms of both duration and participation.  This is just a snapshot of the centre of the musical melée at this time.
I did some counting ... this included nine fiddles, four melodions, three flutes, two clarinets (and a fair few other instruments too) all playing together. It worked beautifully.  The next picture is another view of the same, focussing on reed instruments including two piano accordions, and taken just seconds later.

Next to mention is the 'Scandinavian Sessions' in the 'Far From The Madding Crowd' pub on Saturday. It was fascinating not just for the music played but also for the instruments used to play it. Here are two of them...
In the foreground is a fiddle with nine strings, only four of which you can bow while the remaining five are sympathetic. The other even more complicated instrument, which is being played, is a nyckelharpa and it has sixteen strings, of which twelve are sympathetic, and both instruments are now largely confined to Scandinavian music - the nyckelharpa to Sweden in particular. The long, dark, winter nights must make the development of such complicated creations appealing but, I have to say, the effort was well worth it; they both sound absolutely wonderful.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Folk Weekend Oxford 2013

I booked my ticket for Folk Weekend Oxford, the second edition of this festival, the very same evening that I heard the first rumours that the second edition of Frome Folk Festival (February 2013) would not be taking place as planned. That said, I would very happily have attended both and I very much hope that it will be possible to do exactly that in 2014.

Before I start on more detailed commentary concerning who and what I saw I have to mention my respect for the organizing committee and all the volunteer stewards and technical staff. From the printed programme to the nitty-gritty of keeping everything on-track and running-to-time across multiple venues, which is no mean feat in itself, they also arranged for near perfect weather too. That is a big ask, especially in light of the last year or so!
On offer were performances by large ensembles in almost incredibly intimate venues, such as Oxford Fiddle Group in the Studio at The Old Fire Station.
Slightly more than half the OFG seen here in the accompaniment of Appalachian tap dancing. I would have needed a fish-eye lens to get the whole picture in a venue that seats about fifty. I might try stitching two pictures together in due course. The audience outnumbered the performers by only a ratio of 3:1!
To this, for the taking of which I had to turn my back on the gaze of Apollo.
Emily & The Tunesmiths, playing under the watch of the Greek Gods,
in the atrium of the Ashmolean Museum.

I shall head to The Old Fire Station Theatre for just two of the acts that I saw there. For now these are focussed on just one artist from each, although both acts and their sets were sublime.
On Saturday, Tyde... with Andrew Waite playing piano accordion.
Richard Arrowsmith playing melodion.
That, I'm delighted to say, was not even the half of it and that is to say nothing about the sessions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

RSD poster spot #5 - The Portraits & Upbeat Records, Bude

This is a special, one additional to those on the side-bar posts. The poster doesn't lend itself to 320px wide. Aside from that The Portraits are so good and Bude has a small independent record store, Upbeat Records, in which they are performing.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Music - Part 15 - all out of Wales

It is a while since I have done something quite like this, something so geographically defined. This morning, when perusing the detail of the End of The Road 2013 artists, I noticed that North Wales duo Golden Fable, whom I have mentioned before, are on it.
This then reminded me of three other artists/acts from Wales that have recently come to my attention. 

Of the five tracks on Casi Wyn's EP 1, which is released tomorrow by Welsh independent label IKACHING, the only one sung in English is the last and that is 'Winter'. To keep you on edge here it is.

This next is a self-titled album released at the start of April 2013 by Trwbador, a duo from west Wales, and actually their second album. It is available, if only very sparingly, on vinyl too; specifically white vinyl on their bespoke label Owlet Records   
Trwbador - Trwbador (2013)
This is just the end of the start.

This next one was released in February 2013 by another independent label from Wales, Recordiau Gwymon, is vinyl 10" EP 'In Luna' from Aberystwyth songwriter, harpist and vocalist Georgia Ruth Williams.
Somewhere that folk meets blues, accompanied by harp, fiddle, percussion and much more:
This, from the 'La Luna EP', is Through Your Hands.

This is, interestingly, just scratching the surface of new music from Wales that has come to my attention in the last couple of months.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Hello, weekend.

Blogger seems to have fixed the recent issues with, in particular, side-bar lists. This is, of course, good news.
Better still is that it was also sunny and less cold here today: indeed, so my car told me, it was 10ºC when I was on my way home from work at about 5pm this afternoon. That would be the first time in double figures for three weeks. I have loads of live, and local, music coming up but I'm particularly put in mind of this artist that I saw for the third time, live at The Cheese and Grain three weeks ago.
This album is astonishing.

Piano-led music didn't start or end with Adele.