Reviews / The Toerag Sessions – Emily Barker

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toerag sessions

Emily Barker’s career has gone through many incarnations, and as a performer she is as happy performing solo to a small audience as she is fronting a band to thousands. Her songwriting alone has a depth that few attain, her most recent album with the Red Clay Halo ‘Dear River’ being a tour de force… Read more »

Reviews / Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane

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danni nicholls

Danni Nicholls is a classic songwriter, her feet so firmly rooted in Americana you can almost her the creak of cowboy boots on the studio floor. Her sophomore record Mockingbird Lane, so new that it hasn’t even got cover art yet, sees her on fine form surrounded by the cream of Nashville. A minute to… Read more »

Reviews / Various Artists – The F Spot Femmes Fatales

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f spot

There’s been a lot of talk in the press recently about the lack of ‘female acts’ at some of this year’s biggest festivals. What has been discussed far less is that this seems to be part of a wider problem – the amount of songs written by women registered to PRS is less than 20%…. Read more »

Reviews / The Changing Room – A River Runs Between

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river runs between

Already lauded Sam Kelly and Tanya Brittain pool their talents to focus on Cornwall in an arts project with legs, The Changing Room are already knee deep in sessions for an album. Here’s the taster. A not inconsiderable amount of Brit roots experience has been organised to steer the project, engineer Jon Kelly, ( Paul… Read more »

Reviews / Miriam Jones – Between Green & Gone

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miriam jones

Life on the hoof seems to suit Miriam Jones, born in Canada, lived in Papua New Guinea, Nashville and now resident of Oxford, you’d expect the girl to be able to offer something beyond what’s standard. She doesn’t disappoint. Such globe-trotting informs her vision but not her soulful roots rock which it has been pointed… Read more »

Reviews / Who He?- Ian Carr

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who he?

Sessions lead to anonymity. Discuss… Ian Carr’s pedigree as a guitarist is in no doubt, his name credited on albums by the likes of Swap, Heidi Tablot, John McCusker, Eddi Reader and Kate Rusby. None of those artists carry makeweights, so understand Mr. Carr is somewhat talented. In fact he’s ridiculously talented, besides serving time… Read more »

Reviews / Into the Sea- Dean Owens

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into the sea

I first saw Dean Owens play at The Slaughtered Lamb in London a few years ago, opening for the brilliant American songwriter Nels Andrews, and I don’t know if it’s because I’d already made the association, but the lush, sweeping Americana of this new record does call to mind some of Nels’ work, particularly Off-Track… Read more »

Reviews / Illusion- Snowapple

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snowapple

One from the ‘beyond’ section of the review stack, Snowapple are a theatrical, close harmony, Dutch trio. Despite sending no explanation with their album I can tell you theyare Una, Laurien and Laura- thank heaven for the internet. Illusion has an almost Alice in Wonderland picture: three girls on a chess board hidden from view… Read more »

Reviews / Spokes EP- Sam Kelly

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sam kelly

You either have to overlook or forgive the fact that Sam Kelly was once involved with reality TV – I won’t name the show, but it does have an individual named Mr Cowell in charge. Thankfully he survived unscathed and has come up chipper and is certainly wiser for the experience. Now he’s got roots… Read more »

Reviews / From the Storm- The Blue Pig Orchestra

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blue pig

Fylde-centric and proud of it, the Blue Pigs play the strip between Blackpool, Fleetwood and Thornton-Cleveleys, eternally bound to the Lancashire coast. Since last summer they’ve featured the talents of mega fiddler Richard Curran. From The Storm is their second recorded work and conjures an agreeable, friendly roots rock sound which takes contributions from both… Read more »