You are here

CD Reviews

Merry Hell - Bloodlines (Self Release)

Merry Hell have a solid track-record of releasing undeniably anthemic songs and BLOODLINES continues the trend of catchy hooks, positive messages, and foot-tapping sing-along choruses. From the opening notes of the album it's obvious you're listening to Merry Hell. BLOODLINES is without doubt the...

Martha Fields - Southern White Lies (Self Release)

Martha Fields is a Texan, currently resident in France, with deep Appalachian roots and an impressive grasp of the central tropes of American roots music. SOUTHERN WHITE LIES is her second album but you'll need to search under her former pseudonym of Texas Martha to find her first. With this name...

The Jigantics - Seconds Out (Rawtone Records)

In the red corner, figuratively speaking was Martin Fitzgibbon generously exchanging messages in-between the hectic schedule of Gloucestershire based roots outfit The Jigantics. Martin adding some of the miniature on behalf of multi-instrumentalist sparring partners and quintet of friends Mark Cole...

The Revellers - Skeletons (Self Release)

If the name of the band isn't sufficient to hint at a major influence, the fact that their publicity material features a ringing endorsement from Mark Chadwick will serve to confirm where the band is coming from. That said, they are not slavish copyists, they do bring enough of themselves to the...

Sara Watkins - Young in All the Wrong Ways (New West Records)

Sara Watkins first came to my attention as vocalist and fiddle player with the feel good American Bluegrass band Nickle Creek, With Nickle Creek on indefinite hiatus Sara Watkins has pursued an always interesting solo career. Three releases in and YOUNG IN ALL THE WRONG WAYS shows how far Sara has...

Methera - Vortex (Self Release)

The commingling of classical and traditional folk music has given us some fine work over the years but never so pleasingly rendered as Methera's VORTEX. The release of this stunningly presented nine-track instrumental album marks ten years of the four-piece string ensemble and, as the hand-painted...

London Klezmer Quartet - To the Tavern (Proper Records)

For newcomers to the term, Klezmer refers to a form of music associated with Eastern European Jews but while eminent musicologists may debate and indeed argue over the exact roots of the genre, the more sensible amongst us will just listen and enjoy. Having first played this album in a car full of...

Coope Boyes Simpson - Coda (No Masters)

For the last twenty-three years, Barry Coope, Jim Boyes and Lester Simpson have produced album after album chock full of socially conscious songs, steeped deeply in the folk tradition and delivered with face-slapping a capella harmonies. CODA, their tenth album continues that sequence; fifteen...

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry - Shine a Light (Cooking Vinyl)

There is so much that is evocative and intriguing about this collection, from the cover with its graphic based on a Union Pacfic Streamline train and Futura styled 1920s lettering, to the title, a quote from The Midnight Special and a line rich with suggestions of discovery and insight. That the...

Will Varley - Kingsdown Sundown (Xtra Mile Records)

In a sense, listening to Will Varley's new album KINGSDOWN SUNDOWN is a little like first hearing some of Bob Dylan's earliest recordings; one man, one guitar, a gruff voice and a clear message in each of the songs. Devoid of any pointless over-produced clutter, the songs are direct and pretty much...

Pages