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Other reviews

Nic Norton and The Country Band - Brief Lives EP (Self Release)

Songs on this EP remind me vocally and compositional of early Al Stewart. The fleet fingered guitar and wry observational writing updated from Bedsitter Images to stories of cosmopolitan 21st Century life, Paul Keeler's Parisian Cafe violin enlivens it further. (MH)

Star rating: 
3

Hamad Kalkaba and The Golden Sounds - 1974-1975 (Analog Africa)

More vintage sounds re-visited through Analog Africa, this time from Northern Cameroon's 'forgotten genius'. Just 6 songs, yet packed with vibrancy and authenticity. Strange to think that while our jukeboxes in 1975 rattled to Gary Glitter, Bay City Rollers and Mud, Cameroon bars had this! (AW)

Star rating: 
3

The Courettes - We Are the Courettes (Sounds of Subterrania!)

Almost annoyingly noisy retro garage din led by a charming Danish/Brazilian duo in a sort of White Stripes in reverse, where he (Martin Wild) sneers his snare and she (Flavia Couri) creates hysterical mahem on the six strings. I can only imagine they had fun recording this bizarre album. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

The Mellowship - You Belong with Me (Self Release)

The Mellowship is shorthand for the musical endeavours of Maureen Dewdney, who for this project joins forces with Lukas Drinkwater and Ciaran Algar to deliver a selection of Mo's own self-penned songs, together with her interpretation of Stan Rogers' folk standard Northwest Passage. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Gitkin - 5 Star Motel (Wonderwheel)

Some twangy fuzzy guitar sounds and driving rhythms see this largely instrumental album move from one motel room to another, following a rather disreputable back story of an elder relative's counterfeit guitars and seedy lifestyle, presently re-enacted with curious results. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Sonido Gallo Negro - Mambo Cosmico (Glitterbeat)

Third album by Mexico City's psychedelic maestros, giving their variety of mambo, cha cha, porro and danzon tunes a kick into the 21st century. Imagine the Buena Vista Social Club arriving in Havana via spaceship rather than a 1950 open top Buick. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

The Turbans - The Turbans (Six Degrees Records)

Infectious grooves from the Balkan regions with individual band members roots in no less than seven countries, inevitably creating a rich mixture of sounds and styles, but firmly rooted in tradition, and all recorded in a Northumberland farmhouse. This stays on the player a good while. (AW)

Star rating: 
4

Esme Bridie - Today it Rains (Klee Music)

Debut release from Merseyside singer songwriter whose strong songwriting credentials shine through the dozen mature songs included here, each one treated to fine small combo arrangements. This will not be the last we hear of Esme Bridie, for sure. (AW)

Star rating: 
4

African Connection - Queens and Kings (Cargo Records)

World fusion from Ghana, Denmark and the US inspired and influenced by the music of legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. The collective's combination of Afrobeat, Highlife, Funk and good old Rock'n'Roll springs forth from the grooves inviting us all to dance, which we invariably do. (AW)

Star rating: 
4

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