Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Music - Part 14 - Kelly Richey - Sweet Spirit

Kelly Richey has returned, after 2008 release 'Carry The Light', with a new band and a new studio album 'Sweet Spirit' and again it is released on her own label 'Sweet Lucy Records'. It has not had a UK release as yet but no matter. This is the track list:

  • 1. Feelin' Under
  • 2. I Went Down Easy
  • 3. Leavin' It All Behind
  • 4. Something's Going On
  • 5. Everybody Needs a Change
  • 6. Fast Drivin' Mama
  • 7. One Way Ticket
  • 8. Risin' Sun
  • 9. Dyin'
  • 10. Workin' Hard Woman
It is on its way to me from the US and, while we are about it, here is the album artwork. Blues rock of the highest order awaits if the samples I have heard are in any way representative of the whole. I'm pretty confident that this is so.

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Music - Part 13 - Tasha Taylor Johnson

It is none too rare for something like this to happen and oft-times I make nothing of it. This, however, was destined to prove an exception. I only got the chance yesterday evening and having now listened to the album four times I must say I'm impressed.
That album is 'Feed Your Ego' and is to be released by Quiffman Records (her own independent label) on May 5, 2013. The artist is Tasha Taylor Johnson. There is plenty going on here and my first thoughts are about how it is a throw-back to earlier times but almost always in a wholly good sense. Track-by-track dissections are not really my kind of reviewing. The mark of an album, I believe and especially in these download days, is if it stands as a satisfying whole. This one does.
She is young, this is her first album but that, as has been the case quite often of late, should not cloud your conceptions of it. My first thought was "OK, then", because I had no idea what to expect. My second thought was rather more telling; "I need to see this live."
Some things, many things actually, are so much better live and this music had all the hallmarks of being one of them. Of course I have as yet had no possibility of testing this theory. Here, instead and plundered from the website mentioned above, is a reason to believe that I might be right:

The image itself gives the only clues as to where this is. If it isn't 'The Old Queen's Head', Islington, London then tell me about it.
This is one of the songs from 'Feed Your Ego'.

Ol' Blues Eyes might be rolling his, whilst rotating in his grave, at the lyric. What the hell - who cares anyway - this album is so much fun. In a way I think that he might have seen the funny side of it, and Nancy likewise. I'd wager that Basil Kirchin would not have been displeased. 
Why am I not adding new items in 'Recently Listened To...' and why are the light-box views of images not working? These are Google Blogger issues at the moment and are widely reported. I hope that they will be fixed sooner rather than later.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The EP and me.

Around about six years ago I had a problem concerning music.
I had started blogging about six months previously, and discovered that liked doing so, but now I had a shortage of new material.
This was soon to presage my conversion to festivals, but I didn't yet countenance it at this time; that would take another three months or so. It did however turn my mind towards looking for new music beyond that which could be heard on the mainstream radio or learned about in the traditional music press.
What this means is that, for me at least, music changed forever. Way back then I thought that the EP - in any format - was a thing of the past although I had a few from back in the day.  That was only one thing that I was totally wrong about!
If I were to put all the (physical) EPs that I have accumulated since then in a pile it would be quite impressive. I shall continue by mentioning a few more that have very recently come to my attention...
The first is very recent and, as far as I am aware, currently only available as a download. It is from an act that, while dividing its time between widely spaced parts of our island, pulled this out of the bag.

It is their début release and I owe it to For Folk's Sake for bringing it to my attention and needless to say there is plenty more great stuff on show there.

The next one is very real, in a CD sense, and it arrived this week. I have mentioned this EP and the artist Pip Mountjoy before. This is the follow-up to the 2012 Lousiana EP. I have, more than anything, Deer Shed Festival to thank for letting me find out about this artist.
Still unsigned, I believe, but for how much longer? Certainly BBC Introducing have her locked on the radar and she's playing at venues and supporting better known artists as each month passes.
This next artist I have to thank Folkroom Records for bringing to my attention, courtesy of their first compilation.
Salwa Azar works a line surprising, and works it very well indeed. This EP is also download only and, oh my goodness, is it worth it.
It also provides a pivot on which to turn to a new album, but not her own although she has mentioned a forthcoming Kickstarter project, that has caught my attention very recently. In fact an artist that became known to me via another valuable resource for discovery - Amazing Radio.
Here is a taste of that; 'Between Destinations' is the first single from album 'The Story Of Me'. This is the début album by Laurence Made Me Cry aka Jo Whitby. It is available now as digipack cd here or widely on mp3 from the usual sources.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Acoustic+ - Frome, 15 March 2013

It has been a few months now since the last edition of Acoustic+ but it returned with a vengeance yesterday. It is, without doubt, the best evening of music that you can get for £5 and this one was the first of the series to take advantage of the new stage in the Cheese and Grain.

It started off with Lady Nade, who I have seen live in Frome twice before - at Frome Festival Food Feast 2011 (in the Cheese and Grain) and then again at Frome Folk Festival 2012 (in the Masonic Hall), but playing as a duo this time.
Both EPs, 'All I Am' and 'Wrap Me Up, Pick Me Up, Take Me Home' were selling well.
Next up was Switch, one of two three-piece acts, on what was at least nominally their first ever public gig. To be fair you wouldn't have guessed that but on the other hand, young though they are, the members have both history and fans!
Switch have a self-titled CD EP and it seemed to be doing good trade too.

Next to play was Daisy Chapman, solo this time, and her third appearance at Acoustic+. She was showcasing some songs from the album 'Shameless Winter', to which I shall return before long. She decided to perform her opening song a capella. She had inadvertently left her tambourine at home, which might explain the vexed countenance, but the situation was soon rescued by Switch that loaned her one.
She also obliged us with the appropriate, given the weather yesterday, cover version that she played on her last visit to Frome - that being Rihanna's 'Umbrella'. One thing that was particularly noticeable this time was the use of live self-looping as accompaniment on many songs. I'm sure she did it before but perhaps I have become more attuned to spotting what is happening and how it is done.
Last to play was Crash and The Coots and they most certainly didn't disappoint either.

The next edition of Acoustic+ is on April 26.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rock and Roll Joe

This is a little something for this dark, cold Sunday evening. It's been in my head all day so I decided to let it out...

Joe is every guitar player
Who played it from his heart.
Here's to Joe.
Joe is every funky drummer
Who knew when to stop and start.
Way to go, Joe.
And we all bow down to the ones that took us to him
The ones that took us some place where we needed to go
Then we all bow down to the ones that got us through it.
Here's to Rock and Roll Joe.
Joe is every bass player
Who played it from his balls.
Here's to Joe (Here's to Joe...)
And Joe is every fiddle player
Who slammed us to the walls.
Way to go, Josephine.
And we all bow down to the ones that took us to him
The ones that took us some place where we needed to go
Then we all bow down to the ones that got us through it.
Here's to Rock and Roll Joe.

Joe is every keyboard player
Who played it like he's from the South.
Here's to Joe.
Joe is every sweet horn player
That pressed that thing up to his mouth.
Way to go, Joe.
And we all bow down to the ones that took us to him
The ones that took us some place where we needed to go
Then we all bow down to the ones that got us through it.
Here's to Rock and Roll Joe.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

New Music - Part 12 - Lucy Cait - Gabriel's Wharf

Folkroom Records is quite new to the game but don't you bet against it or the choice of artists.
Lucy Cait - Gabriel's Wharf EP is her first label recording and is to be released on March 18, 2013 by Folkroom Records (CD and d/l).  This is the title track:

It is uncompromising but also quite wonderful.

Monday, March 04, 2013

New Music 2013 - A malleable wishlist

The post title says it all really. I have just got to a point that, although rather enviable, I can't keep up. Here is a partial list of the albums that I really want to hear - The order in which they are listed is merely alphabetical by artist. Not all have been released yet, but some may be available in part to stream legally and I shall likely add some links to that, as well as some more thoughts that I see as key, in the coming days:

  • Dear Reader - Rivonia
  • Emily Baker - All at Sea
  • Gabrielle Aplin - English Rain
  • Little Boots - Nocturnes
  • Pascal Pinon - Twosomeness
  • Polly Scattergood - Arrows
  • Widowspeak - Almanac
  • Wild Belle - Isles
Of the eight I have already seen five of them live: the exceptions are Pascal Pinon (Iceland), Widowspeak and Wild Belle (both US acts). Widowspeak is already confirmed for End of The Road 2013.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

New Music - Part 11 - Pip Mountjoy - Your Skeleton

To be quite honest, the first time I heard of Pip Mountjoy was when I was browsing the artist list for Deer Shed Festival 3, shortly before I attended it last summer. This is one of the very best features of festivals that showcase new artists. Her début EP 'Louisiana' had recently been released. Her second EP, 'Your Skeleton' has recently been released and is the reason that, now on the BBC Introducing programme, she has appeared twice in my New Music radar within the space of a year.

Downloads (GBP 3) are already available here.
CDs, again with hand-made covers, are also available and are likely to ship later this month.