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 »

Reviews / Gig Review – Gilmore & Roberts

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gilmore roberts

Not prepared to miss acclaimed three time BBC folk award nominees Gilmore & Roberts, I headed to see them in action at Komedia in Brighton on Thursday 13th October. This date was the 9th their 21 gig tour, celebrating their first decade of performing together. Music aside, what’s great about this duo is their relaxed, banter-laden stage presence –… Read more »

Reviews / Runaljod Ragnarok – Wardruna

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ragnarok wardruna

Runaljod – Ragnarok is the final piece in Wardruna’s epic musical exploration of the Norse Runes that has occupied main man Einar Selvik since 2003. Selvik has delved deep into the character and meaning of these enigmatic symbols from the distant past, he has crafted songs and instrumental pieces that unlock the power of each… Read more »

Reviews / Painted Lady – Jon Boden

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Jon Boden

Painted Lady is an expanded version of Boden’s first ever solo album, first released in 2006. The reissue comes  hard upon the heels of the final performance of folk phenomenon Bellowhead, a band in which Boden served as frontman for the last twelve years. Like most people I know, I thought Bellowhead were pretty darn… Read more »

Reviews / The James Brothers – The James Brothers

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the james brothers

Two of them, they aren’t called brothers and one isn’t called James, but Jamie’s close enough for jazz. Delightfully tongue in cheek but at the same time serious in their music, James Fagan and Jamie McClennan, (other halves of Nancy Kerr and Emily Smith,) share not only a southern hemisphere start in life but rootsy… Read more »

Reviews / Tree – Anna Elizabeth Laube

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tree anna elizabeth laube

American singer, songwriter and producer Anna Elizabeth Laube’s fourth album ‘Tree’ features mainly self-penned tracks along with covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘Wallflower’ and Beyonce’s ‘XO’. Laube’s voice is beautiful and the gentle, bluegrassy, old-timey sound she creates is truly lovely. She completely nails the music bit. I was all geared up to love this album… Read more »