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CD Reviews

Holy Moly and the Crackers - Salem (Pink Lane Records)

There's little doubt that Holy Moly and the Crackers are one of the most vibrant live outfits in the country today, a band whose individual members attract your immediate attention, making it difficult for you to take your eyes off any one of them. There's the charismatic frontman Conrad Bird,...

Rafiki Jazz - Har Dam Sahara (Riverboat Records)

Things change as they travel, all things are broadened by travel and music is infused as it crosses the world. So Township Jazz of the 50s and 60s, filtered Post Bop through an African bounce and lightness of touch. Gambia’s Bembeya Jazz National band synthesised Jazz, Cuban rhythms and Rock n Roll...

Ryan Young - Ryan Young (Ryan Young Music)

Voted 'Up and Coming Artist' at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards in December 2016 and a finalist from BBC Radio Scotland's Young Traditional Music Awards in both 2015 and 2016. Ryan Young has performed on the BBC Hogmany Show and at 'T'in the Park to around 80,000 people, sharing the main stage...

David Rawlings - Poor David's Almanack (Acony)

Some years ago, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were at the forefront of a resurgence in the interest around American traditional music and its roots. It was a similar reaction against the schmaltzy aspects of Nashville to the one pushed forward by 'outlaw' and 'new' country acts before them...

Fine Lines - Hour of Need (Parade Recordings)

Before I start, I shall have to declare an interest – I like Fine Lines and looked forward to the release of this, their debut album with a fair degree of anticipation and on initial listening was not disappointed. However, in the interest of fairness and objectivity, HOUR OF NEED was shared with...

Callaghan - The Other Side (Self Release)

It comes as little surprise that Lincolnshire-born singer-songwriter Georgina Callaghan, known professionally by her surname only, chooses to pursue a radio friendly pop direction on this her latest EP release. Following the current trend for releasing shorter bursts of creativity, Callaghan's five...

Sam Baker - Land of Doubt (Self Release)

Texan singer-songwriter Sam Baker seems to have taken his time with this, his fifth album, once again engaging his audience with a selection of highly distinctive songs from the heart. The first thing we notice is Sam's particularly mannered singing style, where he inserts spaces between each word...

Jupiter and Okwess - Kin Sonic (Glitterbeat)

There's something striking about the Congolese musician Jean-Pierre Bokondji (aka Jupiter), his tall gangly frame and growling voice as deep as the ocean being his most notable features. A formidable presence on stage, the singer commands attention, whilst his band Okwess (Kibunda for 'food'),...

Reg Meuross - Faraway People (Hatsongs Records)

Reg Meuross is one of the most reliable singer songwriters in the country today. His songs are often touching, poignant and easily accessible, yet he doesn't feel a need to shriek or scowl, grumble or growl, rather, he stands before us with guitar in hand and moves through a song as a concerned...

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