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CD Reviews

Pamela Wyn Shannon - Courting Autumn (Girlhenge Records)

My initial interest in Pamela Wyn Shannon was sparked by her rumoured return to the annual Nick Drake Gathering in Tanworth-in-Arden in 2007, where she would possibly be performing later that Summer. I found the songs the singer had uploaded onto her website thoroughly engaging and interesting and...

Star rating: 
4

Bex Marshall - Kitchen Table (House of Mercy)

Bex Marshall comes along at a time when female singer songwriters are just about as plentiful as hydrogen. Rather than thinking in terms of KT Tunstall though, I'm more inclined to think along the lines of a younger version of Bonnie Raitt. Seldom do we hear such blues inflected rawness in female...

Star rating: 
3

Gathering: Legends of Folk Rock (Hypertension)

The names on the front cover of 'Gathering: Legends of Folk Rock' read like a who's who of the genre, but you tend to approach the album with apprehension, especially if you allow the accompanying booklet to fall open at the centrefold, where you would be greeted with a monochrome image of a bunch...

Star rating: 
3

Bag Of Rats - Abbey Rodent (Self Release)

As an avid reader, you would have thought I would be only too aware that you should never judge a book by its cover, and the same should ideally go for music CDs as well. Still, I have to confess that the reason it took me so long to get around to listening to Bag of Rats' ABBEY RODENT is simply...

Star rating: 
2

Mike Silver - How Many Rivers (Faymus Records)

From the opening few bars of the title song from Mike Silver's new album HOW MANY RIVERS through to the closing scrape of Phil Beer's fiddle on 10-15 Year Old's Festival Blues , we are presented with a dozen songs of outstanding quality from one of Britain's most treasured songsmiths. With a good...

Star rating: 
3

David Ferrard - Broken Sky (Flamingo Records)

David Ferrard is a young Scottish/American topical songwriter who blends together his two genetic cultures remarkably well. Reminiscent of the 1960s protest singers, notably Harvey Andrews, both in terms of topical song writing and in sweetness of voice, Ferrard's thoughtful songs cover a variety...

Star rating: 
3

Sarah McQuaid - I Won't Go Home 'til Morning (Self Release)

It's been a long while since I got up extremely early on a Sunday morning, before light even, curled up on the sofa with the old Ipod, rested my head on a cushion and read through all the sleeve notes from start to finish including the lyrics, the comments, the personnel list and production credits...

Star rating: 
3

Rodina - Over The Sun (AM Records)

If you are poring over the brochures whilst the last of the snows turn to sludge, pondering upon where you might spend some Summer days later in the year, then you could do a lot worse that have Rodina's debut as the soundtrack to your daydreams. Summer is a-coming after all. With Latin rhythms...

Star rating: 
3

Martyn Joseph - Evolved (Pipe Records)

Twenty-five years and thirty albums along from his debut in 1983, Martyn Joseph has trod a consistent path, producing some of the most uncompromising and often hard hitting songs from the Welsh valleys. The Springsteen comparisons will always be there, but this matters little with such a prolific...

Star rating: 
4

Various Artists - Not In Our Name (Songs For Change)

In light of the recent announcement that British troops are to be taken out of Iraq by the end of May 2009, only then presumably to be redeployed in Afghanistan, makes the songs on NOT IN OUR NAME even more poignant. The title itself is a simple statement that needs no elaboration, and the artists...

Star rating: 
3

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