Thursday, June 02, 2016

A meander through music...

This isn't quite the virtual road or rail trip through music that I have been mentioning in my plans for some while, though I expect I'll come to that sooner rather than later. It's just a spur-of-the-moment thing and I don't really know where I'm headed. Its genesis was last week when I had been listening to lots of stuff that is new to me and, every so often, something quite unexpected ended up in my path.
It really started just fifteen minutes walk from home with live music at the Grain Bar Roots Sessions in my home town of Frome, played by an acoustic trio from down the road in Devon. This is folk (of the English variety) but not quite just that. 
Amongst the summer rain, so typical of England, touches of blues and even jazz seep in through the cracks whilst the stories told are relevant to those in almost any place or time. That trio is Velvet & Stone and they were touring their six-song début release.

The Storm - Velvet & Stone (self released, 8 December 2015).

Not a weak track on this and how this band has passed under my radar completely requires an investigation. These are not traditional songs but new songs that embody traditional themes and the distinction is a rather important one.

The next is certainly the result of a improbable set of coincidences. It all started with a local (but not particularly so to me) community radio show called FNARW (Folk is Not A Rude Word) that is primarily broadcast on Hailsham FM (Sussex, England) but is also available (almost) worldwide on Mixcloud here. Chris Giles, the presenter, cited his awareness of this duo as a result of 'networking'. I'm going to continue that theme...
He introduced me to this next act and played a couple of tracks from it yesterday. I couldn't wait to find out more. This one is a collection of folk songs revisited and reinterpreted:

Wolf Hunter - The Creek Rocks (self released, 2016).

The Creek Rocks is husband and wife team Cindy Woolf and Mark Bilyeu both from the territory covered by the Ozark Mountains (they are similar in altitude to the "mountains" in the UK so not Rocky mountains or Alps style) but cover extensive tracts of southern Missouri and north central and north western parts of Arkansas. Wolf Hunter is their first truly collaborative work although both have released music before.
It is released on vinyl, CD and d/l but finding the physical versions in the UK is a slight issue at the moment. I rather like the idea of buying the vinyl for myself as a birthday present, even if it has to ship from the US. The album certainly deserves a listen and you can listen to five tracks from it here.

Last but not least is this news from today, about new music from an artist possibly better known on both sides of the Atlantic than either of the aforementioned. This is the follow up to 2014 self-titled début Arc Iris.

Moon Saloon - Arc Iris (19 August, Bella Union in the EU and possibly also the UK too).

The first track released from the second LP from Jocie Adams and her cohort is Kaleidoscope. I'm guessing that the title might serve as a good guide to the rest of the offering.

Arc Iris, The Garden Stage, End Of The Road Festival, 6 September 2014.

No comments: