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CD Reviews

Keith James - Tenderness Claws (Hurdy Gurdy)

Known for his meticulous dissection of Nick Drake's idiosyncratic guitar techniques, which he handles with surgical precision, Keith James takes a series of poems written by some of our most noted poets and tenderly delivers each one wrapped in melodies all his own with arrangements courtesy of...

Josienne Clarke and Kit Downes - Such a Sky EP (Self Release)

There are voices.. and then there are voices; voices that take us on a journey, where the actual vocal inflections and sonic nuances are infinitely more important than the words themselves. Take for instance Josienne Clarke's multi-layered vocal on the coda of the opening song here, Out of View ,...

Taarka - Fading Mystery (Self Release)

The word taarka refers to the process of roasting spices in Indian cooking. When spice seeds are added to hot oil, they bring forth the intense flavours that provide the base for all Indian culinary delicacies. It should be easy, then, for a reviewer to get a hold of such etymology and squeeze it...

Vasen - Brewed (Northside)

There's one thing a band can be sure of after 28 years together, that their performances will be tight. Väsen, a threesome who have been playing together since the late 1980s and have released no fewer than seventeen albums, are so tightly bound that their handling of opulent Swedish folk is as...

Harri Endersby - Homes/Lives (Ivy Crown Records)

There is a swagger, a potential that bursts out of every note of Homes / Lives, Harri Endersby debut album release. Her voice, solo or in a multi chorus is assured, confident and always demanding of your attention. The band, Endersby, Rich Marsh and the wonderfully named Curtis Wayne Pierce Jr,...

Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child (Legacy)

Into his eighties, still touring, still recording, Willie Nelson has an energy and career that has never stopped revealing musical treasure. GOD'S PROBLEM CHILD is the first album of new songs since his BAND OF BROTHERS release in 2014. And, yes, it’s another treasure trove of great songs. With his...

Ashley Hutchings - Street Cries (Talking Elephant)

The re-issue of Ashley Hutchings' collection of dark traditional songs STREET CRIES, which contains revamped material, songs altered to suit the present day back then at the turn of the Millennium, clearly indicates that nothing much has changed over the last sixteen years. Dressed in a new sleeve...

Various Artists - Pop Makossa (Analog Africa)

The word Makossa, immortalised on the international hit by MANU DIBANGO Soul Makossa , comes from the Douala word to dance. First and fore-most the POP MAKOSSA compilation is dance music. Whichever of the 12 tracks, recorded between 1976 and 1984, you start with you will not be sitting down for...

Alice Marra - Chain Up the Swings (Inner City Sound)

Alice is a member of Dundonian Indie Popsters The Hazy Janes, but she is presenting a set of her father Michael Marra's songs. Michael Marra's rich writing was rooted in the Folk tradition and shot through with a real sense of Scotland and Scottish life. After successful career as a musican and...

Solana - Camino (Self Release)

CAMINO is the third album by Bristol-based gypsy band Solana since their debut in 2012. The eight-track album once again presents a sublime splash of continental colour from a band whose name is Spanish for the "sunny side of a mountain". Indeed, the whole album is drenched in sun, from the light...

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