tue 22/10/2019

folk music

Richard Thompson 70th Birthday Celebration, Royal Albert Hall review - not just a family affair

So it’s your birthday. Not just another one but your 70th. So who’s on the guest list? Let’s see – master concertina player Alasdair Anderson, the "guvnor" Ashley Hutchings, Husker Du’s Bob Mould, bassist extraordinaire Danny Thompson, Fairporters...

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CD: The Lumineers - III

It’s fair to say that things are going pretty well for Denver folk-rockers the Lumineers: Grammys, two platinum-selling albums, huge arena tours, support slots for the likes of U2 and Tom Petty, and the massive boost of having one of their songs (...

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CD: Širom - A Universe That Roasts Blossoms for a Horse

Avant-folk differs from traditional music, as it isn't rooted in place but draws its inspiration from a cultural universe without boundaries. Širom are three Slovenian multi-instrumentalists, and the extraordinary array of sounds they make could at...

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CD: Whitney - Forever Turned Around

As days get shorter and the sun tucks itself behind a blanket of clouds, Whitney return with the bittersweet sound of summer ending. Forever Turned Around is the long-awaited follow up to 2016’s Light Upon the Lake, and the band have lost none of...

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Josienne Clarke, Green Note review - world-class melancholia hits its mark

It’s been a period of upheaval and change for singer-songwriter, and compelling interpreter of traditional ballads, Josienne Clarke. These days she’s a Rough Trade artist, now sailing solo seas away from her long-time musical partner, producer and...

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CD: Bon Iver – i,i

If you’ve been paying attention, you might have already heard most if not all of Bon Iver’s curiously named i,i album – weeks before its physical release on August 30. The band debuted two tracks (“Hey Ma” and “U (Man Like)”) at London’s All Points...

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CD: Karine Polwart - Karine Polwart's Scottish Songbook

As a recent exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland showed, attempting to tell the history of Scottish popular music in an afternoon – or on one single album – is no mean feat. Though Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook covers project spans...

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Josh Ritter, Union Chapel review - strong songs and a boyish smile

Josh Ritter is in his early forties. He has a two-decade career with 10 studio albums (and, incidentally, a First World War novel) to his name. He has come a long way from trying out open mic nights in Providence, Rhode Island. His albums now...

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Florence + the Machine, BST Hyde Park review - mastering the matriarchy

It’s a rare thing that musicians sound better live than they do on Spotify. But Florence Welch sings a note perfect set – even when jumping up and down like a pogo stick, whirling and spinning, or sprinting along the front of the stage to meet fans....

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Reissue CDs Weekly: John Renbourn

Although British folk-jazz stylists Pentangle played their first official concert in May 1967, their name is borrowed for the title of Unpentangled, a box set of their guitarist John Renbourn’s work on album which kicks off two years earlier. It’s...

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CD - The Lost Words: Spell Songs

Earlier this year, eight musicians – Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Kerry Andrew, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter and Jim Molyneux – set about working with the ‘spell songs’ of nature writer Robert Macfarlane and the images from...

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Midsommar review - hell is other people

Who would have thought that Ari Aster could top the satanic delights of Hereditary? Yet with Midsommar, a psychedelic twist on folk horror, he has. Aster abandons the supernatural to show that it’s not things that go bump in the night that scare us...

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