Reviews / Untrained Heart – Neal Hoffmann

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

Untrained Heart

Debut solo album from singer-songwriter Neal Hoffmann, previously of London based group Amphibic. Born in Germany, Hoffmann has made his home in London. Untrained Heart is a strong solo debut, Hoffmann is influenced by Nordic Noir and the Scandinavian approach to pop and rock , and he does have something in common with acts such… Read more »

Reviews / Locks and Bolts – Solarference

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

Solarference

Solarference are Nick Janaway and Sarah Owen, describing themselves as ‘folk song and laptop duo’. Their debut album ‘Lips of Clay’ came out in 2012 – it held something very different from the rest of the growing electronic folk culture; they were actively exploring what could be done with new technology and traditional song, without… Read more »

Reviews / Look Out – Early Cartographers

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

Early Cartographers

Based in Sheffield, Early Cartographers are less a band than an umbrella for a group of musicians performing soupy, unplugged, jazz roots. Worthily they don’t just stick to a single modus operandi, you’ll find them busking the streets, playing on trams, at various festivals and in many a Yorkshire haunt. Look Out has been a… Read more »

Reviews / Never Stop Moving – John Jones

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

John Jones

Recorded over three eventful years in the life of all round decent chap and front person for the Oyster Band, the background here is  love for life, country, people, long-distance walking and a turn of serious illness. John Jones is a restless creative, his rambles over mountain, hill, valley and dale have grown beyond simple… Read more »

Reviews / The Aviators’ Ball – Matt Owens

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

aviators ball

Manchester composer, producer cum bass player Matt Owens is anything but ordinary. This debut wears several references plainly on its sleeve yet hints at far more in the background. If you like a spot of stylistic chopping and changing then this’ll be right up your street. The cover image of a 1920s afternoon soiree on… Read more »

Reviews / UNPREPARED TO DIE America’s greatest murder ballads – Paul Slade

Posted

Categories: Books | Reviews

unprepared

Written by Paul Slade ‘Unprepared to Die – America’s greatest murder ballads and the true crime stories that inspired them‘ explores the real stories behind the murder ballad. These ballads are a staple of American roots music, Slade explores the reality behind eight of these iconic songs and murders. Each chapter takes a murder story… Read more »

Reviews / No One Knows That You’re Lost – Tina Refsnes

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

tina refsnes

Music which uses space and quiet with effective charm is hard to create but Tina Refsnes has done just that, creating as assured a debut as you’ll hear in a month of Sundays.  From Oslo by way of Liverpool, Tina’s is an album to ironically, lose yourself in, the core sounds are simple guitar lines,… Read more »

Reviews / 22 Strings – Seckou Keita

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

22 strings

Following the rewards of gentle boundary pushing with Welsh harpist Catrin Finch was never going to be easy, but then Seckou Keita is a man who never considers the obvious. You might have expected him to try something equally inventive but instead he’s gone back to his Senegalese roots, intending to explore the possibilities of… Read more »

Reviews / Live Review – Show Of Hands, The Forum, Bath

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

show of hands

There can be few acts in any genre that would opt to open a concert with a song that their audience had never heard them perform. Yet this is precisely what Show of Hands did on Thursday evening amidst the art deco opulence of the Forum; then proceeded to showcase a succession of beguiling new… Read more »

Reviews / Jenny Does Burn – Mairi Orr

Posted

Categories: Music | Reviews

mairi orr

Mairi Orr connects both sides of the Atlantic on her debut full length album. The Scottish Folk and American Bluegrass traditions are the cornerstones, yet what makes the album richer is Orr’s gathering of other connected styles. The first three tracks offer a whirlwind journey through these influences; from the sombre and atmospheric ‘The Drover’,… Read more »