Saturday, December 06, 2014

My 2014 in Music - Live Albums & New Music 2015 - Part 2

A few years ago I thought that EPs were a dying breed. I was wrong about that. More recently I thought that live LPs were for the most part a highlight of the 1970s and 1980s; I have plenty of those, almost all on vinyl, that attest to that. My inclination even then was that the costs involved were something that only well established acts, with major label resources both logistical and financial, could really contemplate and that therefore they tended to be recorded at large venues or festivals and where such facilities were more likely to be found in any case, only served to reinforce that idea.
I am happy to report that I was seemingly wrong about this too. Whilst obviously no replacement for seeing the artist actually playing live they have interest. Here, in no particular order, are a few that have caught my attention in 2014.

  • Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin - Live in Calstock
Overlooking the Tamar in far-eastern Cornwall this venue is something of a hidden treasure.

In a wider sense that was also somewhat true of the artists until they won the 'Best Duo' award at the BBC Folk Music Awards 2014. I have been lucky enough to see them live on a number of occasions. Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin are confirmed to play Behind The Castle Festival, Sherborne, Dorset on 13 June 2015.
  • Rachel Sermanni - Live in Dawson City
I have mentioned this in some detail here. Suffice it to say that Dawson City makes Calstock and Carrbridge seem like accessible places to play and record! The march of technology has had more than a few downsides in music - the ability to make very respectable recordings at reasonable cost in small venues is not one of them. I'm hoping that her follow-up to Under Mountains (2012) will appear in 2015.
That turned out to be more prescient than I could have known when I wrote the foregoing paragraph last week. Sometimes, but rarely, not finishing posts has unanticipated advantages!
It was announced only today. 
'Tied To The Moon'. This, I believe, will be the album artwork. It is due for release in late February 2015.

  • Dana Fuchs - Songs From The Road
In the last couple of years the live CD/DVD format presented by Ruf Records 'Live On The Road' has been a major influence and I have mentioned several of these already. This one by Dana Fuchs is the latest to find favour with me and the album artwork is, as ever, totally generic. It was recorded in a single take before a sold-out audience. In this case it was the Highline Ballroom, NYC, March 14, 2014.
The label favours blues but the remit is liberally interpreted and I don't have any problem with that - soul blues, blues rock; whatever and however it comes it is likely to at least catch my attention, to be quite honest. The production is, however, uniformly top-drawer as are the performances so recorded.
I will probably never understand why, as I approach fifty years of age, I like a far wider range of music than I did when I was eighteen or twenty-one. I reckon that I am amongst the lucky ones.

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