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CD Reviews

Robyn Stapleton - Songs of Robert Burns (Laverock Records)

Robyn Stapleton was BBC Scotland's Young Traditional Musician in 2014, releasing her debut album in 2015. Brought up in South West Scotland, Robyn traces her introduction to singing, to the poetry of Robert Burns. Her sleeve note introductions to each track explain her personal connections to the...

Becky Langan - Parallel Paths EP (Self Release)

Sky Arts Guitar Star ran for its second season in 2016. While structurally similar to shows like The Voice and X Factor, Guitar Star was built around the often virtuosic prowess of its contestants, in a way that TV reality shows frankly often aren't. The guitar was very much the star. For me the...

Louise Bichan - Out Of My Own Light (Swanbister)

OUT OF MY OWN LIGHT is a demonstration of the rude health of contemporary Folk and Acoustic music. It is a calling card from a set of stunning musicians and an indication of names to watch closely in the future. Louise Bichan's amazing album is also a nightmare for anyone who ia thematically...

Jack Blackman - Nearly Man (Tuery Records)

Throughout his teens Jack traded guitar licks with such luminaries as Paul Jones and The Blues Band, the early tenure more recently receiving accolades from Tony Joe White and Charlie Parr, the latter marvelled at progress where Jack just keeps getting better and better with 'it's kinda scary'...

Big Top Heartbreak - Deadbeat Ballads (Two Bob Records)

There have been some pretty perfect album covers throughout musical history. The sleeve of Nick Drake's FIVE LEAVES LEFT perfectly introduces the autumnal bedroom-floor poetry of the young songwriter with a skin too few whilst The Clash's LONDON CALLING says everything it needs to say about the...

The Western Flyers - Wild Blue Yonder (Versa Tone Records)

Almost forty-two years have passed since the great Bob Wills shuffled off this mortal coil, but his departure didn't, in fact, signal the end of western swing, the genre of music of which Mr Wills was the undisputed king. In fact, the heart of that toe-tapping, soul-cleansing style still beats...

Hat Fitz and Cara - After the Rain (Self Release)

Collision of two hearts, minds and continents reward with vintage take on universal language. Meeting of Australian born Hat Fitz and Irish songstress Cara Robinson steadfast proof that love has no barrier. Husband, wife and musical partnership making Australia home base for career that reaches...

Home Service - A New Ground (Dotted Line)

It's been an astonishing twenty years since their last - and it has to be said - their finest album ALRIGHT JACK back in 1986, and now Home Service are back with a brand new studio album. Instrumentally the band are still very much on form, with some ingenious arrangements, utilising the band's...

Whalebone - Mirabilia (Two Wild Women Records)

Recorded during the Spring and Summer of 2016 MIRABILIA is the sixth release from trio of Steve Downs, Charlotte Watson and Sarah Ibberson collectively renowned as Whalebone. This time debut of all original compositions given exemplary airing with expanded instrumentation which includes baritone 8...

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