Friday, May 16, 2014

New Music 2014 - Part 13 - The Best of British

The principal feature that these four acts have in common is that I have seen all of them live at least twice and therefore, although only one of the albums has already been released, I reckon I have a pretty solid grounding in what to expect.

The first is the début LP from Dorset-based acoustic duo Ninebarrow.

'While the Blackthorn Burns' is the only one that has had a full release (26 April 2014, on the band's own Ninebarrow label) and the only one that is acoustic folk, both original and traditional songs. In the few weeks since release it has garnered much attention and praise; I have it on good authority that a track from it will feature on Mike Harding's Folk Show this coming Sunday (18 May, but also available on-line 24/7/365). I would not be surprised to see it nominated for BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 in due course.
Bold Sir Rylas is one of the traditional songs, seen performed at Purbeck Folk Festival 2013. This version is from the sold-out album launch at The Lighthouse, Poole.
Bold Sir Rylas has much in common with the song Matty Groves, although the details as to how the the working man is betrayed and the names of the Noble Gentleman are many and various. Alela Diane has recorded a stunning version of Matty Groves and I commented on it here, having seen her perform it live with Alina Hardin at EOTR 2009. It was also released on a six-track 33 rpm 10" vinyl EP, 'Alela & Alina' (Family/Names Records, FAM001, 2009) that I have.
While it certainly is good, Bold Sir Rylas is not what is going to make the reputation of 'While the Blackthorn Burns'. The new and original songs will do that.

The second LP on this list is also a début.

'The Midnight Novel' is the work of singer-songwriter Chl0ë Warren from Somerset and is released to the world on 2 June 2014. It is not folk. Bits and pieces can be found on-line, including Chloë with her previous band South Divide. I saw South Divide play in Frome late last year and was impressed enough to mention that here. For that matter I took some pictures too.

Voice aside, her instrument of choice is keyboards and 'The Midnight Novel' will be no exception.
The next two, although not released yet, are not début albums and so it becomes easier to judge them by previous releases. This is not always a good plan, because things can change for better or for worse, but in both these cases I feel that the omens are very promising indeed.
This next is a very good example of just why festivals matter so much to me. I was heading from one "must see" act to another one on a different stage and arrived just in time to see the last five minutes of a set by a band that was simply not on my radar. My thought, within seconds, is that something special is going on here. I was right, as it happens; it turned out to be The Moulettes.

My opportunity to make amends for this came at North Dorset Folk Festival 2012 - the first of its kind.

'Constellations' is their third LP and it is released by Navigator Records on 2 June 2014.

Completing this musical journey is an album for which I currently have no cover image available but, and please believe me here,  the music will not disappoint.
This will give a taste of the theme, however, of the forthcoming album by Jennifer Crook Trio.
Westbury Station, Wiltshire, 2013.
It does not have the iconic clock, nor the 'Brief Encounter' association.
The album 'Carnforth Station' will be released in the early autumn of 2014. 

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