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CD Reviews

Fairport Convention - 50:50@50 (Matty Grooves)

So, fifty years eh? Who'da thought? The institution that is Fairport Convention reaches half a century with an evident sense of joy, albeit tinged with some degree of sadness, in as much as one or two key players involved in this enduring story didn't quite make it through; Martin Lamble, Sandy...

Thom Hell - Happy Rabbit (Lost Boy Records)

The predominantly pink wash of colour on the cover artwork, together with the seemingly cheerful bunny illustration and accompanying album title gives absolutely no indication as to how good the music on Thom Hell's latest full-length release actually is. The Norwegian singer-songwriter (real name...

Cupola:Ward - Bluebell (Betty Beetroot)

The combination of the three-piece Cupola and the singular Lucy Ward is a Derbyshire marriage made in musical heaven. Whilst nodding to the instrumental prowess on display, it is the fusion of the entwined voices rising above all and every subject matter on display, creating a joyous sound, that...

Daria Kulesh - Long Lost Home (Self Release)

Fascinating and enjoyable in equal measure, the title of the Russo-Anglo chanteuse's album cannot be separated from the stories that make up the songs in an collection that is exotic in voice, instrumentation and subject matter. To mix geography and metaphor, the writer could rightfully be...

La Mambanegra - El Callegueso y su Mala Mana (Movimientos Records)

From the opening bars of Puro Potenkem , the lead song on the new album by Colombian orchestra La Mambanegra, there seems to be an immediate desire to drop everything - apart from a handy saucepan and wooden spoon - in order to shamelessly dance around the kitchen; the pan and spoon blending nicely...

Dipper Malkin - Tricks of the Trade (Self Release)

Dipper Malkin are the duo of John Dipper and Dave Malkin. Dipper could most recently be found playing fiddle with the Methera string quartet and is a veteran of the English Acoustic Collective alongside Chris Wood and Rob Harbron while Malkin was a founder member of electro-trad. ensemble Tandem...

Steve Pledger - Somewhere Between (Noisy Dog)

We remain, constantly... Somewhere Between. 2016 an exceptional year in which Steve Pledger completes succesful nation-wide album tour and shares opportunity to return compliment to Ange Hardy (who having provided vocals on There We Are from STRIKING MATCHES AT THE WIND) to her duo album with Lukas...

Mike Grogan - Too Many Ghosts (Poacher Records)

TOO MANY GHOSTS is Mike Grogan's third album and his fourth release. It follows a significant gap after MAKE ME STRONG, his last album. Clearly Mike has spent the time playing and reflecting, as there is a significant shift and refinement, that much is obvious from the first moment of the first...

Top Floor Taivers - A Delicate Game (Self Release)

We seem to be getting rather used to seeing young musicians in collaboration these days, whether that be as part of a 'collective', a themed commissioned project, or more commonly as part of a good old tried and tested band. In any such format, the strength of this collaborative prowess appears to...

The Backyard Devils - Honkytonk Heartbreaker (Self Release)

From the opening few bars of Rambling it becomes immediately obvious that The Backyard Devils have a raw energy ready to share with anyone in close proximity. Twangy guitars, gravelly voices, attitude in spades and an immediate groove best served in a late night bar that stocks good whiskey. It's...

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