FolkWorld Issue 42 07/2010

FolkWorld CD Reviews

Tori Sparks "The Scorpion in the Story"
Label: Glass Mountain Records; 2009
Tori Sparks is a singer/guitarist who fits somewhere in the American blues-country world of music. As a songwriter, she moves from mid-tempo honky-tonk songs to delicate emotive folk ballads. I preferred the latter such as “Easy and Slow” and “Rubbernecking”. They had a Richard Thompson style in the writing and were quite moving. Some of the more up-tempo songs were good, although for me, there was a bit too much of a Nashville sort of sound at times. Will Kimbrough, David Henry and other area musicians provide the talented backing. Still, Sparks has a strong and versatile voice and should win over many people with her thoughtful and expressive songs.
David Hintz

Richard Julian "Girls Need Attention"
Compass Records; 2010
Richard Julian works out of the New York City area and is a singer songwriter in the classic sense. By classic sense, I mean that this is not a straight folk record, nor a hard or quirky rocker. It is balanced pop-rock that fits into a jazz lounge mode at times and does briefly touch upon Americana style folk. I have to echo the other opinions I have read that praise the lyrical quality of Julian’s songs. They carry a nice melody and the lyrics are sharp and sometimes clever. It is no surprise that the record ends with a Randy Newman cover, “Wedding in Cherokee County”. I prefer arrangements that either head towards folk or rock (or both), but these are quality songs if you like this style.
David Hintz

The Grand Paradiso "A Farewell to Oblivion"
Label: Beste! Unterhaltung; 2009
This four-piece is from Nuernburg and has the classic light rock sound with two electric guitars and a rhythm section. There are decent enough vocals (in English) with some harmonies. There is a jangly folk-rock style working at times, although the choruses almost veer off toward country and western. This record has the sound of a bar band working small clubs in the midwestern part of the United States. The music is good but a bit too middle of the road at times. The last two cuts, “Give it Now” and “Action Replay”, worked best for me with their REM-like guitar melodies working behind the strong vocal lines. This took me back to the REM influenced Minnesota scene with latter day Husker Du and the Replacements, but I would have liked more of that on this record.
David Hintz

Amparo Sanchez "Tucson-Habana"
Wrasse Records; 2010
This singer is from Spain, singing in Spanish and performing music that sounds more of her native country rather than the USA or UK. Her voice is very emotive without being overpowering. The slide guitar is very nice with a nod to the Chris Isaak style along with a jazzy feel—a rather unique combination. I think the strength is in the arrangements as there is always something to listen to in the background to breathe life into what already lovely songs.
David Hintz

Sir Oliver Mally "Ol’ Dogs, Nu Yard"
Label: Office4Music; 2009
We are apparently graced with royalty on this release by Mr. Mally, who in actuality is an Austrian blues-folk guitarist. He has released numerous records in the last nineteen years and this record certainly sounds like that of a veteran. The music is confident and sparse, often with just one other musician. Mally’s guitar playing is deft and clean. He has a nice voice and writes songs with subtle pop hooks within a classic folk format. He mentions Bob Dylan in one lyric and is apparently (if my translation is correct) performing in a play about Dylan. As the CD continues, the songs become more stark and autobiographical. I preferred the earlier (and longer) songs such as “Love is a Day” and “So it Goes (2nd turn)”. Speaking of stark, he covers an early Lou Reed song, “Perfect Day”. An interesting artist here and one I would like to see in a club some time.
David Hintz

Jess Klein "Bound to Love"
Label: UFO Music; 2009
This has the look of country music. However, when the first song (“When the Time Comes”) kicks in, it really rocks. There is plenty of electric guitar, gutsy singing and some excellent brass backing. The album then settles back into what I expected from a simple look at the CD booklet. The singing is clean and consistent. The arrangements are decent, but nothing too out of the ordinary from a good professional country music album. A few songs lean toward the ballad side of things, but most are in a mid-tempo range. This is good music if you like the style and Ms. Klein is operating quite independently for now, so she deserves much credit for that.
David Hintz

Gogol Bordello "Trans-Continental Hustle"
Label: Sony Music; 2010
Gogol Bordello has been one of the hottest bands in recent years. They play hyper-charged energetic live performances based on their singular punk-gypsy music and have created a mighty buzz where just about everyone has by now taken a listen. If you are a purist folk fan like Ewan MacColl and Pete Seeger, you may want to avoid this. If you have like rock’n’roll or have a bit of punk attitude, then step right up and enjoy the ride. Ukranian born Eugene Hütz is the vocalist/lyricist/guitarist/leader of this large ensemble of musicians from various countries. They work out of New York, but more often out of a tour bus all over the world. As far as this album goes, it is fairly representative of their sound. It is a Rick Rubin production and I am not sure if that really helped much here. I think there was a bit more bite in the previous recordings and this one sounds a bit slicker. But the differences are minor from the previous work that I have heard. “Immigraniada” is my favorite song with the toughest attitude and pace. “To Rise Above” is the worldliest song with catchy backup vocals and a great melody. No matter what your preference, these thirteen songs will give you a workout and a smile. They are a hot band because they are good and have earned it through hard work.
David Hintz

Justin Currie "The Great War"
Label: Rykodisc; 2010
Justin Currie has sung and played bass for a couple of decades in Del Amitri, a fairly successful band from Scotland. They covered a lot of ground in and around a soulful rock format. Currie has done some side projects recently and now has this solo album out. The style is not too far removed from what I have heard from his band, although that could be misleading as I have not listened to all of their two decades worth of recorded works. Regardless, we have a slickly produced album with personal songs, which stress the vocals and the melodies. The lyrics are mixed with some excellent imagery and some awkward phrasing. Some songs are piano driven while others like “Everyone I Love” have some good electric guitar work. There are strings and well produced arrangements in several songs as well. This is a good listen and something that Del Amitiri fans will certainly want to hear.
David Hintz

Damien O’Kane "Summer Hill"
Pure Records; 2010
This is the first solo album of the very active guitarist/banjoist who has played with Flook, Shona Kipling, and Kate Rusby. O’Kane came from Northern Ireland and presently lives in England. His vocals are emotive with that great Irish lilt. Most of the lyrics are traditional or from other sources with O’Kane arrangements or original melodies. I liked the most traditional sounding songs such as his cover of Ewan MacColl’s “The Lag’s Song” and “Lough Erne Shore” (learned from Paul Brady). The rest of the music is decent and is quite listenable, but does not quite break out of the pack. Still, if you like Irish related folk or like O’Kane’s work on other records, by all means give this a listen.
David Hintz

Will Branch "Fog of War"
Label: Own Label; 2010
Will Branch is a folk singer from Wisconsin playing acoustic guitar and singing. He often works as a duo with banjo player Dave Fox, but it is just Branch on this record with some assistance on bass and some light percussion at times. It is a simple clean effort that generally delivers good folk songs throughout. The songs ranged from personal to political and I enjoyed the latter ones a bit more, such as “Checkpoint” and “Fog of War”. He has a laconic style that grew on me as the songs progressed. Nice collection of songs I must say.
David Hintz

Eryn Shewell "4th & Broadway"
Label: Own Label; 2009
This New Jersey based singer’s second album is a tricky one for me to simply categorize. And that is not a complaint, but it goes with the territory of listening to a lot of music. Ms. Shewell is a good straightforward singer/songwriter with a strong voice that she can let loose or pull back with a smooth transition. I hear rock sounds, a bit of lounge, and some country from the slickly produced cast of backing musicians. Her voice is soulful and can work well with just about anything. “I Would Wait Forever” and “My Soul” worked best for me as a good lounge song in the first case and a clean pop-rock song in the second. At the end of the day, I am just not sure where this fits in to my grand listening plan. It is good, but maybe not distinct enough for me to return to.
David Hintz

Davie Lawson "Tree tumble Wake Mother"
Label: Smoked Recordings; 2010
This is the second album from this Scottish/Welsh singer/songwriter. It is all original music and unlike his first album, there is some additional musical backing along with his voice and acoustic guitar. It is very light in touch, so the result is still an acoustic folk outing. Lawson has a sensitive, searching voice and a nice guitar touch to match. For once, I will not quibble with another assessment that there are similarities to Nick Drake. I also hear some Mac MacLeod and maybe early Shawn Phillips as well. The song “Black River” is a dark tale that a younger Bob Dylan of Neil Young could have easily had in their repertoire. Other songs have a more laid back feel, but all have a depth to them which makes want to replay this record often. And that makes this one of the finest folk efforts I have heard this year.
David Hintz

Ben Bedford "Land of the Shadows"
Label: Hopeful Sky Records; 2009
This is also a second album from an American singer/songwriter. Bedford has a fine voice and also plays guitar, although I believe the excellent acoustic runs on guitar and banjo are by Chas Williams who plays on all of the songs. There are some other studio hands to sometimes fill out the songs further. Bedford’s top skill is his story telling ability within the song. And based on his extensive and vast touring schedule both in Europe and America, he places himself in many interesting towns filled with people, some of whom will likely be in future songs. “The Sangamon” is the most powerful song on the album. It is a sad rural tale of a failed childbirth. Some of the other songs are dark and among the shadows, but there are some nice hopeful and positive songs to balance things out. Bedford is a fine writer and an active talented performer that is worth a look by any fan of folk music. I am sorry I do not see him coming to my town… yet.
David Hintz

The Sadies "Darker Circles"
Label: Yep Roc/Cargo Records; 2010
If you want traditional folk, it would be best to skip this band entirely. However, if you would like to listen to a band that begins with a folk base and stretches it into different psychedelic, western swing, surf, and garage rock directions, then you will want to give this a listen. The Sadies write lovely pop-folk songs and put lots of electric guitar loaded with tremolo and slide work to bring that special sixties garage pop-rock sound into the mix. Many of the 1960s psychedelic bands, even when playing heavy, had a folk rock base working (e.g. Jefferson Airplane, Love, Ant Trip Ceremony, etc.). The Sadies also start with a great song, “Another Year Again” and then sonically move it around in different directions. “Cut Corners” and “Another Day Again” are also great songs. “Postcards” and “Idle Tomorrows” even have a California country/Flying Burrito Brothers feel to it, although a bit snappier. The two brothers in this band have a father and a couple of uncles who are country musicians, so it is not too surprising. This band also frequently backs Neko Case. They hail from Toronto where I am finding wonderful music these past few years. I will add this to my list of favorite Toronto bands along with Elliott Brood and Do Make Say Think.
David Hintz

Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner "Tickled Pink"
WildGoose; 2010
This is a veteran English folk duo. I would say their specialty is the gorgeous harmony vocals between two female voices. They often perform a cappella or with one acoustic guitar. There is a small amount of fiddle and oboe, too. They play five traditional tunes including the classic “Rosemary Lane” (a cappella here) among the fifteen on this release. The originals cover a wide range of topics and can be comic at times. My favorite was a cover of an old poem set to music by a friend of theirs named Frank Lee entitled “Time You Old Gypsy Man”. These two clearly have a good sense of folk delivery and this record ultimately succeeds in that respect. If the idea of Brenda Wooton harmonizing with Mandy Morton of Spriguns interests you, then give this a try.
David Hintz

Katzenjammer "Le Pop"
Label: Nettwerk; 2009
When I think of Norway, I think of brilliant folk rock bands like Folque or Kong Lavring, if I can keep my thoughts far from the dark side of their infamous death metal scene. I was thinking I would get some interesting folk here, maybe with a modern twist like their neighbors Vasen or Garmarna. Instead, I heard four women playing their vision of folk songs with the abandon and attitude of the Pogues or Gogol Bordello. The title cut is an absolute laugh out loud joy starting with circus music and with lines like “you sell tickets to a funeral ‘cause you need tickets to the Cramps.” They can play it straight with a strong lush folk rock song, “Wading in Deeper” using their powerful vocals. Eclectic is too light a description. This is raucous fun and it appears they want to bring it to the world as they are backing this debut album with shows all over Europe and North America. If they make it out my way, I am there.
David Hintz

Various Artists "How To Make an Arrow – Philly Comp One"
Label: Own Label; 2009
This is a compilation of Philadelphia area modern folk practitioners. It does have a modern feel in many cases with lo-fi tendencies and off-key singing which represents feeling in the 21st century I suppose. While there are some brilliant examples of modern folk out there in the world, there is much to weed out as well. I would weed about half of this out. That being said, there are a few decent cuts by Sisters 3, Christopher Bohn, and a great cut by Crow vs. Lion. Like most compilations, it is worth a listen to find the bands that you may want to follow up on through their individual releases. You can partake of this strategy with their facebook page below.
David Hintz

The Blues Masters ft. Mickey Thomas "The Blues Masters ft. Mickey Thomas"
Label: Direct Music; 2009
A quick glance at the artwork and the title of this did not raise my hopes for anything beyond ordinary blues covers. Sure enough, it began pretty simply and I studied the credits when I wanted to see why they were covering the old pop hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”. Well, that is because Mickey Thomas, the featured vocalist here, did the original with Elvin Bishop. He was also in the Jefferson Starship, although I will try not to hold that against him. I was interested to see Aynsley Dunbar is still slamming the skins these days. In addition to his UK work, he also has San Francisco ties when he was in Journey. I won’t hold that against him, as this was before they were JOURNEY, as he missed the big paydays to come. Beyond these names, the guitarist here is Tim Tucker who also produced. He plays pretty tasty leads and this is all well played blues-rock. The production is slick, as you would expect with veterans, and it was recorded in Las Vegas--which I probably should hold against them. If you want to hear what these guys can do with classic blues covers of Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and Phil Collins (?!), then give this a listen. It has its moments.
David Hintz

Andy McKee "Joyland"
Label: Razor & Tie; 2010
Andy McKee is a fingerstyle guitarist and then some from Topeka, Kansas. I was not one of the millions of people that had viewed his Youtube performance of “Drifiting” having over 30 million views. One viewing will show you the unique style that McKee brings to the acoustic guitar. It is very similar to a bass player I saw with Leslie West (Mountain) recently named Rev Jones. Jones is from Oklahoma, so I wonder if there is something going on in the great plains where people are figuring out ways to use both hands all over a fretboard. The music on this CD is much more than just guitar pyrotechnics. There is a lot of classic finger style guitar in the manner of Pierre Bensusan or Werner Lammerhirt here. It is all instrumental and there are only a few added instruments on some songs. What really helps this release is the additional DVD included that has a ½ hour documentary along with a couple of video performances. You get to see some of the unique moves as well as learn a little about McKee who seems like a genuine good guy. It is clear he is a genuinely excellent guitarist.
David Hintz

David Carroll and the Migrating Fellows "The Guest"
Label: Own Label; 2007
This record is a bit older, but the band is still active and presumably still playing decent rock music. There are songs that trend toward folk and other are electric rockers, but I mostly hear a lot of the blues whether it be the harder rocking variety in “Broken Toy” or the lonely road along the landscape song like “Short Cuts”. The band has a lot of interesting sounds, but the good vocals-driven songs work best with the finest cut here being “I’m Alive”. This song could easily fit on the excellent Fleet Foxes album that won so many recent awards. There are a few rather forgettable songs, but the winners and overall quality wins out in the end with a record that may be better off heard song by song.
David Hintz

The Miserable Rich "Of Flight & Fury"
Hazelwood Vinyl Plastics; 2010
This Brighton based band is steeped in the realms of pop music. I have seen the term chamber pop used which sounds accurate as the production is filled with orchestral sounds amidst the usual rock instruments and other percussive intricacies. The vocals are always on top and are somewhere in the Radiohead/Muse kind of range. The music is not as heavy as that, but nor does it head toward folk music. This is their second record with an ep of cover songs of Iggy Pop, Pixies, Eurythmics, and the Stranglers(!) coming in between. “The Mouth of the Wolf” is a strong song here, although I like the interesting strings in “For a Day” which still has the same excellent pop structure that is present throughout all the songs. The album gets in a little bit of a rut toward the end, but has enough highlights to encourage further listening.
David Hintz

Red Rooster "Walk"
Label: Wondermore Records; 2009
There are a lot of bands in Brooklyn, NY these days. There are many that even have the sound of rural Americana or the Mississippi blues. One of the better ones is Red Rooster. They are a collective of musicians, lead by the strong clear voice of Jay Erickson. He has that classic road weary voice enhanced by superior vocal style and resonance. In fact I would say it more of a relaxed understanding of the road as opposed to a weariness with it. As good as the male vocals are, the background vocals by Susannah Hornsby (niece of Bruce Hornsby) and the lead she has on “Borrowed Money” are outstanding and a nice change of pace. I really enjoy the interesting instrumentation they use, especially Andrew Green’s banjo, which is also a highlight of their live show. The songs are all high quality and the album flows nicely with enough style adjustments to keep things interesting.
David Hintz

Si Kahn "Courage"
Strictly Country Records; 2010
Si Kahn is a folk singer that has been around a long time. I have owned his 1986 record with John McCutcheon, “Signs of the Times” for some time and give it a listen regularly. I kind of knew I had not kept up with his career, but it is even larger than I imagined. The sixteen CDs that available is not too surprising, but he has also published four books and has just retired from “Grassroots Leadership”, an organization dedicated to major prison reform. So even if I thought this record was mediocre, a person with his convictions and his actions backing them, always has my respect and recommendation. The good news is that I can recommend this record solely on its merits, especially for classic folk fans. There are good general songs and some very topical stories as well. I particularly liked “Molly Maguire” which is one of the latter. Kahn’s rich worn voice is perfect for telling the story of harsh battles over miners’ union rights in 19th Century Pennsylvania. There are some strings and slick production, but I gravitated more toward the starker songs with voice, guitars, and maybe some light piano and a rhythm section. A good classic folk album is always nice to hear.
David Hintz

The Iain Ad Venture "Ride the Times"
Label: Turtle Records; 2010
Iain Matthews is back teaming with Ad Vanderveen for this duet. They play all instruments with the former Fairport Convention vocalist handling much of the vocals and acoustic guitar. Matthews split from Fairport long ago and pursued a more Americana approach to music. His first band, Matthews Southern Comfort, was successful in my opinion. However, I never cared much for his solo records thereafter. They were decent enough, but didn’t have that combined magic that the many different voices and styles of the Fairport players brought. This album still sounds more American than it should, especially with a veteran player from the Netherlands on board. Vanderveen is someone Matthews has worked with several times before and provides another voice (musically and vocally) in the mix. They each bring original songs to this album and they do a fair amount of covers that I really did not think worked as well (see Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” for example). I liked Matthews’ “Sorrow” and Vanderveen’s “The Moment that Matters” as they seem to be very heartfelt folk songs. If you are fan of either or both of these artists, you should find things to like on this album.
David Hintz

James Gordon "My Stars Your Eyes"
Borealis Records; 2010
According to the press release, this Canadian singer-songwriter is famous for having written over 1,000 songs. While that is about what Robert Pollard (Guided by Voices) does in under two years, this is quite prolific. And that some times presents a problem for me. What makes all of these thousands of albums that come out every year stand out from the pack? And frankly, only a few records ever really do jump out at you. James Gordon’s latest album certainly boasts quality songs. He has a good voice and his songs have a sense of immediacy to them. I liked the humor in “The Great Duncan Heist”. The music is folk based with some steady light rock rhythms working in most of the songs. The lyrics are smart and the melodies clean. I find this to be a fine album, but since it does not leap out at me as best of the year, do I recommend it? Well, yes. This guy is a good musician with plenty to say. If you know him and want to add to your collection, then this album will not disappoint. If he plays live at a club near you, then you would probably have a good time. Otherwise sample some songs online and see if his sound is something you want to add to your listening routine. You could do worse.
David Hintz

The Moonband "Open Space"
Label: Own label; 2009
A group of men and women dressed as astronauts on a colorful digipack… So what will have here, Hawkwind? David Bowie? P-Funk? No, it is a lovely folk rock album. The rock is subtle, but present. The folk melodies and interplay between acoustic guitars and voices are what leads the songs. There is a wistful searching quality to the songs that are very transportive. The electric guitar is quite restrained which it makes it more dramatic when used. It is hard to place the music geographically. The band is German and sings in English. There is an Americana quality mostly, but a European feel is also evident. Maybe it does indeed make sense that the art and liner notes tell of a space journey where you have all the time in the universe to play music. And if good music makes me struggle to see what simple category it fits into, then it has proven itself worth many listens. I would be happy listening to this many times over on my next space journey.
David Hintz

MC Hansen "Pariah"
Label: Gateway Music; 2009
MC Hansen is the voice, guitar and songwriter of the eleven songs here. He is ably assisted by a full band, which adds some crack rhythms and guitar work to the songs. There are nicely paced mid-tempo rockers, folk rock outings, and country and western numbers leaning towards honkytonk. The songs are catchy and they remind me of a slightly more subdued Langhorne Slim (who I like a lot). Hansen hails from Denmark, but his sound is quite Americana if not universal.
David Hintz

Edgehill Avenue "Rambler"
Label: Departure Records; 2009
This band hails from Louisville, Kentucky. There have been no shortage of interesting bands there over the years. I grew up in Ohio and saw many back in the day, plus a few more at a festival two years back. Unlike a Squirrel Bait or Antietim, Edgehill Avenue does not break into new ground, nor demand people stand up and take notice, but instead offers good steady barroom rock music. There are some moderately up-tempo rockers and some bluesier Americana slower ones. I preferred the up-tempo numbers including “With these Hands” which has a riff very similar to one in my favorite song from my favorite Buddhist punk band, Ruin…. The slower ones just do not move me as much. The vocals are rootsy with a bit of guts to them when needed and the band emits a decent full rock sound throughout. They sound like a fine live band, but have presented their songs well enough here on this record.
David Hintz

Frazey Ford "Obadiah"
Label: Nettwerk; 2010
Frazey Ford is a Canadian singer from British Columbia. She has just released her debut album and is touring Canada and both US coasts. I will be interested to hear this material live and I will get that chance when she plays at a local club. She has a modest voice—something above fragile, but quiet and very effective. The tempo is slow and the backing musicians create a nice groove for Ms. Ford to work with. And although her on-line biography says she has a voice that defies comparison, I will boldy state that she reminds me of Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini who I thought was quite good. I do like that her voice can be quite flexible, much more than most singers. It will be fun to see her progression as she brings her music to the public for the first time. I am not always the best at predictions, but I suspect good things await Ms. Ford if she continues to release music of this quality.
David Hintz

Tim Easton "Love at Water Canyon"
Label: New Moon Records; 2008
I am not sure how this album made it my way as Time Easton has had more recent studio releases, which I have not yet heard. But it is a good album to get a taste of his style, which is pretty basic voice, acoustic guitar and a bit of harmonica. It is folk and blues with some slide work. The guitar playing is excellent and he has a fine breathy voice. The bluesy “They Will Bury You” was my favorite, but the fingerstyle work on “Lexington Jail” was snappy as well. No frills on this live recording, but it seems representative of a fine guitarist and singer.
David Hintz

Adas "Echo"
Label: Zerberus Music; 2010
See also the German
review in this issue
Adas is a mystical band either from Germany or perhaps from the faeryland realms of Mag Mell, Emain Ablach, or Tir na Nog. Well, not Tir na Nog as an Irish duo already resides there. These five women play deep, contemplative, mystical music that if you are not careful, will transplant you to faeryland realms as well. They weave their musical spells in the enchanted terrain somewhere between Spriguns and Dead Can Dance. Each song sounds a part of the entire vision, yet moves from world music to delicate folk to meditative chant quite seamlessly. The vocals will pull you into their world with the instruments provided the depth and color of a pastoral environment. I stopped counting the languages they were singing in after five. The real success for a band like this is how they are able to capture a lush background texture while grabbing the listener’s attention to the individual song. That is no small feat and they pull it off here with these thirteen songs. There is always room in the mystical world of folk music for a band like Adas.
David Hintz

Blitzen Trapper "Destroyer of the Void"
Label: Sub Pop; 2010
This is the fifth full-length album of this rising band from the Sub Pop label. The band started simply enough with indie/Americana pop-rock, but in recent albums have pushed in different directions. This one also goes off in a slightly different direction from the excellent pop-rock music they have recently done. I hear sort of a late sixties Kinks crossed with Tomorrow, especially in the title track and “Laughing Lover”. Yet, they still sound like Blitzen Trapper at the roots with the wonderful hooks, clean vocals, and Americana touches. They succeed nicely with a folk ballad like “Heaven and Earth” and an Americana pop song such as “Dragon’s Song”. There are Dylan touches on “Evening Star” and a guest appearance by the excellent Alela Diane adding a vocal on “The Tree”. It is an exercise in futility to try hard to classify this band, with all the changes that go on from album to album and even song-to-song. They remind me of another successful indie band, Midlake, with the adjustments in musical themes they make from album to album. While I was quite happy with what Midlake did recently, I feel Blitzen Trapper is even more successful over the full spectrum of their releases. Coincidentally, I saw their live set the same evening I received this CD and saw how well their new material fits in with their older songs. I would think most any folk or indie rock lover that respects both genres would want to include this album in their listening.
David Hintz

V/A [Samplers, EP's & Demo CD's]

Fionnar "Sgoil Roc" (EP, MacDug DUG001, 2009): First three tracks for a start: a Scottish teenage project formed in 2003 under the guidance of singer Fiona Mackenzie (FW#40) delivering original Gaelic pop songs. That's fionnar (i.e. cool), showing that Gaelic language and culture could be relevant to 21st century kids as well.

More Citizen K "A Bit Further up North" (EP, Paraply Records; 2010): Additional material beyond his 16-track album, “Meet Citizen K – Somewhere Up North”. This release has two originals and two covers by Justin Hayward and Dennis Wilson. All decent yet just a little similar in the light mainstream rock sense. His voice is quite good and there is some potential here.

V/A "JARO 2010 - Gone to the Dogs" (Sampler, JARO 4299-2, 2010): Since 1981 the German JARO label presents music beyond the mainstream from all over the world, their motto is being different to uncover interesting things. This sampler features the Warsaw Village Band (FW#38), Hazmat Modine (#34), Tam Echo Tam (#40), The Shin (#41), Bulgarian Voices Angelite (#34) & Huun-Huur-Tu (#38), amongst others.

Various Artists "Unusual Suspects - Valve Records Compilaion 2010" (Sampler, VALVE2187, 2010): 18 track compilation of a label from Solingen featuring blues, country, folk and rock/pop music, as razor-sharp as the famous knives manufactured in that German town: Carus Thompson (#38), Eric Taylor (#36), Mick Thomas (#22), Michael Weston King (#38), ...

More CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7 - Page 8
German Reviews: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5

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