mon 19/02/2018

folk music

CD: Stick in the Wheel - Follow Them True

The spiky, angular traditional songs that made up Stick in the Wheel's first album From Here were stripped of any varnish and any trappings of nostalgia to become direct, upfront, yanked from the parlour into the street, and out of the past into the...

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Kings of The South Seas, Cutty Sark review - folly and tragedy resurrected

Kings of the South Seas first set sail back in 2014, with their debut album drawing on songs about South Pacific whalers. They are Ben Nicholls on concertina, banjo and fine, sonorous vocals, Spiritualized guitarist Richard Warren and drummer with...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Bennett, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

 Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel (Sony)This set’s arrival sent me scurrying back to listen again to Reinhard Goebel's 1985 DG set of Bach’s Brandenburgs with Musica Antiqua Koln: hyperactive, sharp-...

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CD: Xylouris White - Mother

If you see any list of greatest living drummers and the Australian Jim White isn't on it, you should look at it askance. Since he started Dirty Three in the early '90s, White has played with the cream of global alt-rock musicians: the Nick Caves, PJ...

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CD: Mari Kalkun - Ilmamõtsan

Ilmamõtsan’s centrepiece is “Linnaitk”, a disconcerting vocal-only composition playing distress-permeated chants off against a keening wordless melody line sounding as much an expression of grief as a call for support. The language is Estonian and “...

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Reissue CD of the Year: Lal & Mike Waterson

In 1972, just 2000 copies of Bright Phoebus were pressed. Half were off-centre and unplayable. This year, the first conscientious reissue of the album hit 31 in the British album chart. Although it has been a cult favourite for the last couple of...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Daymé Arocena - Cubafonia

All things considered, there aren’t many criteria by which this album, however cosmopolitan its influences, sensitive and precise its vocals and supple its rhythms, is really the best of the year. I’ve had a few sleepless nights recently over the...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Offa Rex - Queen of Hearts

I’ve only seen Olivia Chaney perform live a handful of times – once at a Copper Family celebration at Cecil Sharp House, 10,000 Times Adieu, singing unaccompanied with Lisa Knapp and Nancy Wallace, and at the nestcollective’s Unamplifire festival at...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Rising Appalachia - Alive

2017 has been a time of change if not turmoil, on both personal and political stratospheres. So the music of two sisters whose jam is made up primarily of protest and healing songs, is the perfect antidote.When chaos abounds, the relentless...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Nick Mulvey - Wake Up Now

For the past few years my Album of the Year has leapt out at me, craved attention, stood out from the competition. With no disrespect to Nick Mulvey’s fine second album, that wasn’t the case in 2017. Many albums this year had vital, enjoyable music...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Pentangle

A nineteen-minute adaptation of “Jack Orion” took up the whole of Side Two of Cruel Sister, Pentangle’s fourth album. It's the highlight of the smart but blandly titled 115-track box set The Albums 1968–1972. Up to this point in 1970, British folk...

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Tom Russell, 100 Club review - tales from a time-honoured troubadour

Nothing beats a great singer-songwriter live and unadorned. So it was with Tom Russell at London’s 100 Club on the penultimate night of his UK tour. Accompanied by his faithful friend the brilliant Milanese Max Bernadino on guitar, the man whom...

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