Reviews / Straight Line Talking – The Savage Prunes

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the savage prunes

If I am honest, I’m not generally a fan of solely instrumental albums – I often think that tunes are better when they’re live and when you can dance to them. I try my best, but often I despair that they all sound really generic – probably to a trained ear they don’t, but I… Read more »

Reviews / Wolves a Howlin’ – Kieran Towers & Charlotte Carrivick

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wolves a howlin

This feast of Appalachian folk tunes is ‘Wolves a Howlin’’, the debut album from acclaimed multi-instrumentalists Kieran Towers & Charlotte Carrivick, a duo who really do know their stuff when it comes to bluegrass. The album is full of old time melodies such as ‘Best Timber’, Polly Put the Kettle On’ and ‘Sally Coming through… Read more »

Reviews / Gitta de Ridder – Feathers

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Gitta de Ridder Feathers

‘Feathers’ is the newest album by Anglo-Dutch singer/ songwriter Gitta de Ridder – a folky acoustic-pop offering reminiscent of Anais Mitchell (one of her self-confessed influences), but with some of the quirky angularity of Regina Spektor and Ani DiFranco thrown into the mix. De Ridder’s voice is distinctive – edgy and sweet at the same… Read more »

Reviews / Liza Mulholland – Fine and Rosy

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liza mulholland

Liza Mulholland is a woman with a finger in many pies – musician, tutor, manager, producer, journalist  – that’s just the half of it. ‘Fine and Rosy’ is her debut album and is a real family affair – among other prominent musicians, cousin Rua Macmillan lends his fiddle, additional cousins and siblings provide vocals and… Read more »

Reviews / Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage – Before the Sun

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hannah sanders ben savege

The most beautiful thing about ‘Before the Sun’, the debut album from Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage, is that is seems so simple. Much of this effortless brilliance, of course, will be testament to the skills of award-winning Canadian producer David Travers-Smith, who has done an incredible job. But, as someone who has seen this… Read more »

Reviews / Songs For Christmas – Emily Smith

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emily smith

Finding genuine warmth amongst the plastic consumerist charade that the season of goodwill has become is a tough challenge these days. Christmas in the headlines revolves around our obsession with the department store and supermarket Christmas TV ads. The glittering starting gun to a season of wish lists, competitive christmas lights, plastic Santas, inflatable snowmen,… Read more »

Reviews / The Watchmaker’s Wife – Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston

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sykes preston

Been around quite a while now, Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston are often linked inextricably with Show of Hands, of which Miss Sykes is also a member but you’d be doing them a disservice if you think this duo is merely an offshoot. By now, I make this album number three, they’ve comfortably adapted to… Read more »

Reviews / No Smaller than the World – Broom Bezzums

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broom bezzums

This album by Broom Bezzums, Germany’s most famous English Folk Band, is an absolute treat. Broom Bezzums are Andrew Cadie and Mark Bloomer, originally from Northumberland and the Black Country respectively, two time winners of the Folk category of the German Rock and Pop Prize, a fact about which I am not surprised. Their songwriting… Read more »

Reviews / Instar – Nancy Kerr

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instar

For me, Nancy Kerr has one of the greatest voices of all time and she certainly has the best voice on the British folk scene today, so I was really pleased to have the opportunity to review ‘Instar’. Quite simply, it’s brilliant. There are compositions about struggle and injustice, with songs about the Tolpuddle Martyrs… Read more »

Reviews / Picking up the Pieces – The Changing Room

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changing room

‘Picking up the Pieces’ is the second album from Cornish-based folk collective The Changing Room, led by Sam Kelly and Tanya Brittain, with Cornish musicians Jamie Francis, Evan Carson and Morrigan Palmer Brown. They are joined by John McCusker for several of the tracks and Belinda O’Hooley for Brittain’s lament for young men lost in… Read more »