tue 02/03/2021

guitar

Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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Album: Steve Hackett - Under A Mediterranean Sky

Never have the early months of the year felt more cruel. Escape is what we all yearn for – from home, from ourselves and our shrunken lives. Never has music been more important to us and, over the last few days, I’ve had Steve Hackett’s new...

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Album: Skyway Man - The World Only Ends When You Die

When the concept album first properly took flight, in the late 1960s, before it became slave to the bloated artifice of prog-rock, it was an extension of the LSD-soaked times: “Songs aren’t big enough, man, I need a bigger canvas!” Famed albums by...

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Album: Kitchman/Schmidt - As Long As Songbirds Sing

I really wanted to like this album – indeed, from a short sample, I thought I would love it. But while there are indeed some lovely moments, repeated listenings fail to persuade me of anything other than two good musicians with evident talents who...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Henrique Oswald, Saint-Saëns, Tilson Thomas, Smaro Gregoriadou

 Henrique Oswald: Piano Concerto, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 5 Clélia Iruzun (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Jac van Steen (Somm)You can never have enough of Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5, a piece tailor-made to soothe and...

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Album: Melody Gardot - Sunset in the Blue

What a pick-me-up this album is. Released as the days darken, literally and metaphorically, it’s a real joy – a transport of delight to dappled squares in Paris or Lisbon, or a street party in Rio. Sunset in the Blue is billed as “an orchestral...

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Hendrix and the Spook review - a search for clarity in murky waters

September 18th is the 50th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death, an appropriate moment to release Hendrix and the Spook, a documentary exploring the vexed question: was it murder, suicide or a tragic accident? Trying to unravel this conundrum,...

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Album: Nadine Shah – Kitchen Sink

Why don’t you have children? Why aren’t you married? Why don’t you own your own home? Why are you a failure? These are the societally enforced questions that, as a 34-year-old woman, Nadine Shah finds inescapable. Much like the rest of us. When...

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Album: Michael Franti & Spearhead - Work Hard & Be Nice

It’s over 30 years since Michael Franti entered the public arena, howling “Television – drug of the nation” backed by harsh, industrial sounds and explosive beats, as frontman for the Beatnigs. He then produced the Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales...

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Echo in the Canyon review – California droopin'

Echo in the Canyon is a lamentably thin documentary about the vibrant folk-rock music scene that flourished in the bohemian Los Angeles neighbourhood of Laurel Canyon from 1965 to 1967. Though it features priceless vintage footage of the Beach Boys...

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Album: Larkin Poe - Self Made Man

Larkin Poe are an American blues-rock band fronted by the Lovell sisters, Rebecca and Megan, both mainstays of the US Americana scene since their teens, at the start of this century. Best known in Europe for their fired-up gigs and festival...

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The Shadows at Sixty, BBC Four review - pop's age of innocence

Back in the day, the weekend started with Ready Steady Go. Now Friday evenings are once more essential viewing, and not just because we’re all locked down. While the endless ToTP reruns are often no more than bad-taste wallpaper, the music...

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