Short & Sweet
Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers "The Eastwest Sessions" (CD, Pretty Good For A Girl Records, 2017).
After 2½ years of non-stop touring, smooth jazz saxophon player Mindi Abair (sought-after support from Aerosmith to Jimmy Webb)
and Randy Jacobs' Boneshakers entered Hollywood's famed EastWest studios to record 11 hot tracks of blues, jazz, soul,
R&B and rock. Check out YouTube channel,
Mindi with Buddy Guy!
Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster "Flow" (CD, LMB Music, 2017).
New Age Grammy award winning acoustic guitarist Will Ackerman
teams up with fellow guitarist Lawrence Blatt,
pianist Fiona Joy
and trumpet/flugelhorn player Jeff Oster (FLOW ia an anagram of their first names):
"If you look back into any time of human existence, this need for peaceful breathing and listening has always and will
always be deeply important. It's not only NEW AGE music, it is EVERY AGE music!"
Check it out @ YouTube!
Andy & Judy "This old town" (CD, Own label, 2017).
American Duo from New England, presenting their own songwriting rooted in Americana trad and folk music, with influences from country, gospel and blues.
Armas "Metsästä kuuluu" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Finnish quintet Armas plays music that combines an archaic sound with experimentation; following Nordic archaic shepherd music traditions, this is certainly an album of surprises. To quote the band themselves: “Armas leads you on a path across pastures and to banks of foggy forest ponds, through nocturnal woods and dewy meadows at dawn to the village swing and dance. Follow the call of lulletti, a wooden horn, and let yourself be taken on a journey of sounds!” Say no more…
Aronde "Aronde" CD, Pagans, 2017).
This French band play traditional music from the Auvergne and Gascogne, on violins, violoncello, double bass, tambourine and other percussion. While the band experiment with cross rhythms and vocal arrangements, the music sounds nevertheless (or perhaps as a result of this) nearly archaic.
Gochag Askarov & Pierre de Trégomain "Mugham Souls - Traditional Music of Modern Azerbaijan" (CD, Felmay, 2017).
"Mugham Souls" is the encounter of vocalists Pierre de Trégomain and Gochag Askarov, who represent
the semi-improvised musical languages of European jazz and Azerbaijan mugham culture.
Watch trailer @ YouTube!
Barcelona Bluegrass Band "Barcelona Bluegrass Band" (Video, 2017).
After two instrumental CDs featuring special guests Tony Trischka and Alison Brown,
the Barcelona Bluegrass Band
is working on a vocal album with no guests at all.
2017 had been a great year with many gigs and festivals.
Here is a couple of videos from Casa Golferichs
and L'Hora del Jazz!
Pradeep Barot, Riccardo Battaglia, Federico Sanesi "tales of indian sarod" (CD, Felmay, 2016).
This is the musical meeting of Sarod virtuoso Pradeep Barot
(the sarod is a fretless lute in the Northern Indian classical tradition)
with one of his best students, Riccardo Battaglia, and tabla player Federico Sanesi.
"Raga Bageshri" and "Raga Abhogi," two major ragas of the Indian classical repertoire,
are presented in their complete classical form, while "Raga Kafi" is presented in a compressed form,
all based in the Kafi Thaat scale (closely resembling the Dorian mode).
Eddie Berman "Square One" (Video, 2017); Katie Ferrara & Tom McNalley "Free Falling" (Video, 2017);
Jason Isbell & Jerry Douglas "You Got Lucky" (Video, 2017).
»It's hard to believe that this week will be one month since Tom Petty left us way too early. To me,
rock and roll is just not the same.« (Jorge Otero, Stormy Mondays)
»One of my very favorite childhood memories is when I was 5 or 6 years old, sitting in the front passenger seat,
driving around the San Fernando Valley with my dad, listening to his Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits
CD. And every time I listen to Free Fallin' I still feel like a little boy sitting in the
car next to my dad, so excited for the line about the vampires moving west down Ventura Blvd -- just as we're driving
the same direction, on the same street.« (Eddie Berman)
Download Stormy Mondays' 2008 live version of "American Girl"!
Watch Eddie Berman's Tom Petty cover "Square One"!
Watch Katie Ferrara's collaboration with Tom McNalley on "Free Falling"!
Watch Jerry Douglas joining Jason Isbell on "You Got Lucky"!
Ingried Boussaroque "Islands" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Singer, composer and musician from Quebec, playing her own interpretation of Gaelic, Quebecois and Nordic songs, with a touch of Early Music in its style, on vocals, recorders, bagpipe, mandolin and kantele.
Check it out @ BandCamp!
Billy Bragg "Bridges Not Walls" (EP, Cooking Vinyl, 2017).
The mini album is featuring all of the singles Billy Bragg has released over the summer.
Listen and watch to the lyric videos of
"King Tide and the Sunny Day Flood"
(a wake-up call to those who would deny that global warming is a real threat),
"Why We Build The Wall"
(an Anais Mitchell cover taking on new resonance with Donald Trump’s vow to build a wall between the US and Mexico),
and "Saffiyah Smiles"
(about a young woman facing down a ranting fascist with nothing but a smile).
Moya Brennan "Canvas" (CD, Beo Records, 2017).
Irish singer Moya Brennan is world renowned, not least as singer of Clannad.
This is her 9th solo album, featuring songs in Irish Gaelic and English language, sung in her unique haunting style.
Alison Brown, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull, Becky Buller & Missy Raines "The Girl I Left Behind Me - Announcing the Julia Belle" (Video, 2017).
World of Bluegrass
served as the launch event for Deering Banjo's new model, the Julia Belle,
a John Hartford
inspired low tuned banjo and collaborative effort between Deering and Compass co-founder
Watch a cover of John Hartford's version of "The Girl I Left Behind Me" ft. Alison Brown,
Sierra Hull, Becky Buller and Missy Raines
(the first five women to win instrumentalist awards at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards)
More info @ Deering Banjos!
Calexico "The Thread That Keeps Us" (CD, City Slang, 2018).
The spring and summer of 2017, Tucson, Arizona-based Americana and indie rock band
Calexico have been busy working on a new album, set to be released on January 26, 2018.
Check out the lyric video with aerial footage from Calexico's travels from El Paso to Northern California,
"End Of The World With You," @ YouTube!
Cardo-Roxo "Volto Já" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Dancing is some of the few examples of truly ancient traditions that survive until today.
Though Portuguese duo Cardo-Roxo (Antony Fernandes and Carmina Repas Gonçalves)
proposes a musical approach based on listening and a contemplative dimension,
their third album "Volto Já" is dedicated to Portuguese traditional dances.
Watch "Chamarrita" @ YouTube!
Andrew Chapman a.k.a. JoJo "Well, It's About Time!" (CD, UpIsland Records, 2017).
Almost 50 years on the road and still going strong! Discontinued by a successful corporate life in hotels
and investment banking, bluesman Andrew Chapman a.k.a. JoJo went back into the studio. About time, eh?
Listen @ jojotunes.com!
Chickenbone Slim "The Big Beat" (CD, Lo-Fi Mob Records, 2017).
San Diego's Larry Teves (a.k.a. Chickenbone Slim) only picked up the guitar in 2011 after many years of playing bass
with local artists such as Big Jon Atkinson.
Check out Chickenbone's old-school electric blues @ YouTube EPK!
Alana & Leigh Cline "Alana & Leigh Cline" (CD, Scimitar Records, 2016).
Toronto based young Canadian fiddler Alana Cline plays on this album with her father, guitarist Leigh Cline. The duo present tradiitonal fiddle tunes from Cape Breton, Ireland and Scotland, most of them on the fast and furious side. On some of the tracks, they are backed by bodhran or whistle. Lots of talents here.
Dagadana "Grajo gracyki" (Video, 2017).
Polish-Ukrainian band Dagadana present their live session videoclip to the wedding song “Grajo gracyki” (which in Kurpie
dialect means “musicians are playing”). Dagadana want--through their music and
costumes--bring together two nations - Ukrainians and Poles: “We live together,
right next to each other. There are more and more Ukrainian people in Poland, and we still know so little about each other!”
Watch Musicians are playing (Grajo gracyki)!
Listen to the "Meridian 68" album!
Joel DaSilva "Everywhere From Here" (CD, Track of Life Music, 2017).
Joel DaSilva, Chicago bluesman of Brazilian heritage, delivers contemporary roots and blues rock
straight from the heart into the face.
Listen to "Everyday Man"
and "Cadillac Mama"!
Dobranotch "Makhorka" (CD, CPL Music, 2017).
Dobranotch from St Petersberg combine Klezmer, Balkan gipsy and Yiddish songs with traditional Russian and Russian brass orchestra influences. The music of this eight-piece band is certainly wild and energetic, and will no doubt get any audience up to dance. Featuring sax, trombone, tuba, clarinet, accordion, fiddle, banjo and big drums, the sound is big and groovy.
Doggerland "No sadness of farewell" (CD, Gammalthea / Westpark, 2017).
Another lovely album of the Norway-based duo of English singer, guitarist and concertina player Richard Burgess and Swedish guitarist and hurdy gurdy player Anders Ådin. The CD features a beautiful blend of Scandinavian (and less Scandinavian) tunes and largely English songs. A warm and comforting album.
Ed Dupas "Tennessee Night" (CD, Road Trip Songs, 2017).
Ann-Arbor-based Ed Dupas follows the road paved by Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen to end up at his garage country sound.
Watch Ed Dupas discussing and playing 'Tennessee Night' solo acoustic @ YouTube!
The Early Mays "Chase the sun" (CD, Own label, 2017).
All female Canadian trio presenting Appalachian inspired songs, combining traditional and original material. The trio presents harmony singing backed by banjo, harmonium, guitars, fiddles.
Scott Ellison "Good Morning Midnight" (CD, www.redparlor.com, 2017).
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based blues guitarist Scott Ellison has been on the rock and blues scene for over 30 years.
Watch Scott Ellison performing "Whiskey and Rum"
and "These Blues Gotta Hold on Me"!
Aaron English "american [fever] dream - NoiseTrade Sampler" (Download, 2017).
Seattle-based pianist/singer-songwriter Aaron English’s
music is already well-known to fans of the Fox TV drama Bones. This NoiseTrade sampler embraces
rock, folk, gospel, reggae, African and Middle Eastern influences: a melting pot of sounds reflecting the diversity of
21st Century American culture. Download English’s NoiseTrade sampler, featuring songs from English’s album
american [fever] dream
in advance of his new LP due this November 2017, @
Duane Forrest "The Climb" (CD, Traaxx Music, 2017).
Duane Forrest's Jamaican heritage has allowed him to so naturally weave the styles of bossa nova, jazz, reggae and soul
to create an organic sound. Check him out @ YouTube!
Mary Gauthier "Rifles & Rosary Beads" (CD, In The Black / Thirty Tigers, 2018).
What saves you in the battle can kill you at home:
upcoming album is supposed to feature eleven new songs, all co-written with veterans and their families.
Watch the "Rifles & Rosary Beads" trailer and
"Bullet Holes in the Sky"!
Anne Girard Esposito "La flute traversiere en Bois - un instrument un artiste" (CD, Bemolproductions, 2017).
This album does what it says on the tin – flute playing of French musician Anne Girard Esposito, a classically trained flautist turning to trad music. Well it is not always just one instrument and one artist, as there are guest musicians on some tracks, on accordion, guitar, bouzouki, violin or bodhran, but the album feels very much like a solo effort. The material is a blend of traditional Breton, Irish and Scottish, plus a couple of her own compositions and a Polish traditional.
Nessi Gomes "Diamonds & Demons", "Falling Birds" (Video, 2017).
British/Portuguese singer–songwriter Nessi Gomes
had the privilege to finally play in Portugal, the land where her family originate from.
Watch Nessi Gomes live in Portugal (Festival Músicas do Mundo, Sines) in July 2017,
featuring Misha Mullov-Abbado on double bass and Harry Pope on drums:
"Diamonds & Demons",
GreenMatthews "A Christmas Carol: A Folk Opera" (CD, Blast Records, 2017).
This folk opera and accompanying album is telling Charles Dickens’ Yuletide Classic
with new words hitched to traditional festive tunes, featuring Chris Green (guitar),
Sophie Matthews (pipes) and special guest Jude Rees of Pilgrims’s Way.
Check out A Christmas Carol @ YouTube!
Greenshine "The girl in the lavender dress" (CD, Tigerdog Records, 2017)
An Irish family trio comprising Noel Shine, Mary Greene and their daughter Ellie. The trio features Noel on guitar/bass/mandolin/bouzouki/whistle, Mary on guitar and vocals, and Ellie on vocals and ukulele.
The Halley DeVestern Band "Keep On Playin'" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Keep On Playin'! Another 5-track EP from New York City's Halley DeVestern
(who had the honor of touring with Janis Joplin's original band, Big Brother and The Holding Company, as their lead singer)
and her funky blues and roots rock combo!
Check out Halley's YouTube channel!
Harmony Glen "Start Living Today" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Another dutch band, Harmony Glen
are at home in the fun Irish Folk genre, featuring pipes, whistles, fiddle, banjos, guitars, bass and drums, the material is a mix of own compositions, traditionals and written by other musicians.
Watch Harmony Glen at Zomerfolk 2017 @ YouTube!
Charlotte Hathaway & Mike Vass "The Dead Stations" (CD, Own label, 2017).
A project bringing together Scottish folk composer Mike Vass
and writer Charlotte Hathaway. The album tells a weird story about loneliness, the mind and dead train stations, and features spoken word as well as music, featuring amongst others also singer and fiddler Mairi Campbell. It's all done well but still doesn’t quite do it for me.
Las Hermanas Caronni "Macondo" (Video, 2017).
Argentinian twin sisters Laura and Gianna Caronni present a new live video from their album
"Flavoured with notes from their native Argentina,
here we are, joining the gorgeous journey of the two true world musicians on the charming pathways of a
borderless music." (Philippe Vincent, Jazz Magazine)
Watch Las Hermanas Caronni performing "Macondo" in London, June 2017 @ YouTube!
Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors "Souvenir" (CD, Magnolia Music, 2017).
"Souvenir" is the very thing its name suggests: a proper band album from The Neighbors,
keepsakes collected while on the road.
Still Drew Holcomb
is the captain on this Americana ship. Watch "Wild World" @ YouTube!
Steve Howell & Jason Weinheimer "A Hundred Years from today" (CD, The Past Music, 2017).
Rural acoustic country blues and traditional jazz by Texas-born finger-style guitarist and vocalist Steve Howell
and bass player Jason Weinheimer digging into the repertoire of
Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt, Fats Waller and The Mississipi Sheiks.
Watch Howell and Weinheimer performing the 1927 old-time country blues 'Kansas City Blues' @ YouTube!
The Hut People "Routes" (CD, Fellside, 2017).
A somewhat unlikely collaboration between accordionist Sam Pirt and the percussionist of the past 16 years of pop stars Beautiful South, Gary Hammond. And that's what this album is about - traditional and own tunes, from British, Nordic and European or French Canadian traditions, on a firey accordion back by a huge versatile range of percussion sounds. They present themselves on their website as “THE most unique, entertaining and best-loved acts on the UK folk scene today” which is a statement I cannot yet verify as I have not experienced them live.
I'm With Her "Little Lies" (Single/Video, 2017).
I'm With Her is Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan.
All three musicians had crossed paths many times in their careers,
yet it was an impromptu performance at the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival that
sparked the formation of the trio with their unique blend of instrumental
interplay combined with indelible harmonies. Their debut album is scheduled for February 2018.
Check out the official "Little Lies" video @ YouTube!
Inlay "The Tube Set" (Video, 2017).
Three-time BBC Folk Award nominee Will Pound is busy touring and recording a new album. He is also really excited to
announce that he has joined Norwich folk quartet Inlay, featuring fiddler Ross Grant,
5-string-banjo player Nick Sánchez-Ray, guitarist James Porter and accordionist Andy Weeks.
Check out The Tube Set @ YouTube
and look out for Inlay live in 2018!
Iona Fyfe Band "East" (EP, CPL Music, 2017).
This is only a short six-track EP, but when Iona Fyfe from Huntly, Aberdeenshire gets in, she comes like a fresh breeze
and blews some dust off old bothy songs and Child ballads.
Watch Iona Fyfe, BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad finalist 2017 @
A full length album is scheduled for 2018.
The Infamous Stringdusters "Laws of Gravity: Live" (CD, Compass Records, 2017).
This is a 13-track collection featuring live renditions of songs
included on The Infamous Stringdusters acclaimed, Billboard #1 Bluegrass album "Laws of Gravity".
Chris Pandolfi who plays banjo for the acoustic five-piece says, “Laws of Gravity: Live
will give everyone a chance to enjoy the great energy that the fans brought to our album release tour.”
Watch The Infamous Stringdusters @ YouTube!
Paul James "The drowned lover and other dark tales" (CD, Mummerfy, 2017)
Best known as member of Blowzabella,
Paul James presents on this solo album his range of talents as saxophonist, bagpiper, singer and composer. The musician from Newbury, England, makes music influenced by English and other European folk traditions, and the album features both instrumentals and traditional songs.
Check it out @ BandCamp!
Lew Jetton & 61 South "Palestine Blues" (CD, Coffee Street Records, 2017).
Palestine Texas it is! "Palestine is the community in which I live," says Lew Jetton, "but it's also a place of
historic significance for being sacred, while at the same time, a place of conflict. That's kind of where I have
been for years. I know a lot of blues is happy and uplifting. This is not. I'm OK with that. I wanted it to be real
blues, in the emotional sense."
Watch Lew talking about the album's inspiration @ YouTube!
The Jimmys "Live from Transylvania" (CD, Brown Cow Productions, 2016).
Named one of the Top Ten festival acts of 2015, Wisconsin's blues powerhouse The Jimmys,
led by keyboardist and vocalist Jimmy Voegeli, recorded
“Live From Transylvania” on 28 March 2015 at the Sighisoara Blues Festival in Romania.
The festival's Liviu Florescu observed:
“The band literally rocked the stage. Their desire to play music is truly contagious, the guys were
sweating blues. Sighisoara Blues Festival got richer with The Jimmys on lineup, for this I thank
you guys. All the best from Transylvania!”
Watch The Jimmys live @ YouTube!
Johnny Ray Jones "Feet Back in the Door" (CD, Moondogg Records, 2017).
"Feet Back in the Door" is the Californian blues artist's debut album under his own name.
Called "the Godson of Soul" (Percy Mayfield's wife, Tina, was his godmother),
Johnny Ray Jones runs the full gamut of blues styles from straight-ahead blues to soulful R&B.
Check out the Johnny Ray Jones YouTube channel!
The Jon Spear Band "Hot Sauce" (CD, Own label, 2017).
When presenting any southern styled dish, whether it be fried, smoked, stewed or barbeque you must accompany it with
a generous side of Hot Sauce. The Virginian blues quartet applied the axiom to the recording of their third album,
featuring a mix of R&B, rockabilly and calypso music. The album is especially
dedicated to the 209 dead of the Rhythm Club Fire of 23 April 1940 in Natchez, Mississippi,
including bandleader Walter Barnes and 9 members of his Royal Creolians dance orchestra
who kept playing to prevent panic. Check out "Wintertime" @ YouTube!
Cassie Keenum & Rick Randlett "hauntings" (CD, Fox Run Records, 2017).
Acoustic blues duo Cassie Keenum and Rick Randlett were the winners of the 2016 North Central Florida Blues Society’s
Blues Challenge and semi-finalists in the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
On "Hauntings," the two let their visions collide, featuring 10 intimate originals and a bluesy cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."
Watch Cassie Keenum and Rick Randlett @ YouTube!
Kíla "White Fang" (Soundtrack, 2018).
Kíla had an amazing recording session with old collaborator
Kíla were recording music for an animated feature film called White Fang,
an adaptation of a famous Jack London novel. Should be out sometime next year.
Kings & Associates "Tales Of A Rich Girl", "Evergreen" (Single/Video, Widescape Records, 2017).
"Tales Of A Rich Girl" is the single and title track from Australia's neo blues act
Kings & Associates. Watch "Tales Of A Rich Girl"
Juha Kujanpää "Niin kauas kuin siivet kantaa" (CD, Eclipse Music, 2017.
To where my wings will take me is the pianist's
third instrumental album; file it
somewhere between Nordic folk music and progressive rock. Featuring
friends such as Fiddler Esko Järvelä.
Check out "Niin kauas kuin siivet kantaa" @ BandCamp!
Lekkujad "tulinbo ruadieh" (CD, Own label, 2014).
Much of this album features subtly arranged Karelian singing by Finnish folk singer Kristiina Olanto in a simple traditional style, often just featuring a simple guitar backing. However, on other tracks, the music features also a four band from the Finnish free jazz scene, creating soundscapes focussed around a shrill sounding flutes, bass and percussion. There are a couple of much more contemporary sounding numbers, featuring a full band sound. While some of the other songs are attractive in their simplicity, it is these more heavily arranged songs that make the highlights of this album for me.
Georgia Lewis "The Bird Who Sings Freedom" (CD, Rootbeat, 2017).
In 2015 Georgia Lewis, folk singer and accordionist from Wiltshire, had won The Future of Young Folk Award at
the Bromyard Folk Festival and won the band competition at Ely Folk Festival the following year.
Her debut album is a blend of modern folk influences with traditional songs about love and loss,
two original songs, an A.E. Housman poem and a setting of words of the late Afro-American writer Maya Angelou.
Listen to the title track @ Rootbeat Records!
"The Work of a Scribe - at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford" (Video, 2017).
Here's a short film about the work of a Jewish scribe at the Oxford Hebrew Manuscript Studies Summer Workshop,
featuring the London Klezmer Quartet
playing the "Clackety-Clack Bulgar"
on the backing track: YouTube!
Karen Lovely "Fish Outta Water" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Just returned from a successful European tour, Karen Lovely offers an original selection of up-to-date
blues, soul and Americana. Check out ‘Punk Rock Johnny Cash’ from “Fish Outta Water” live in Hollywood
Lowland Hum "Songs for Christmas Time" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Lowland Hum is an art-folk duo based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and made up of Daniel and Lauren Goans.
Christmas Time is their favorite time of year: nature becomes a wonderland,
the air is crisp, animals are busy with their wintertime preparations, houses
take on cozier, festive appearances, as their windows pour golden light from within out into the early darkness.
You can find "Songs For Christmas Time" wherever you listen to music, or just
head to BandCamp!
Rob Lutes "Walk in the Dark" (CD, Lucky Bear Records, 2017).
On his seventh album, Canadian songwriter Rob Lutes finds himself at the crossroads of folk, blues and Canadiana.
Check out a promotional video @ YouTube!
Elaine Mahon "Reach for the Stars" (CD, Gatorbone Records, 2017).
According to her website, Elaine is a singer, songwriter and stargazer. On the album, she sings solely her own songs.
Please watch Elaine Mahon singing "Fredericksburg" from the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Lydia Sylvia Martin "Chasing the Ghost" (CD, Family Records, 2017).
Solo album of the Americana singer of the Martin Family Band, presenting her voice and old time banjo.
Check her out @ BandCamp!
Steve Martin "The Long-Awaited Album" (CD, Rounder/Decca Records, 2017).
You may or may not be aware that as well as been an accomplished actor and comedian, Steve Martin is also a
talented banjo player. He had found his love for the banjo at the age of 17 and originally
used the instrument as part of his stand-up comedy routine. In 2009, he had released his first of five albums
and won five Grammy Awards both solo and with his band The Steep Canyon Rangers.
Now Steve returns with 'The Long-Awaited Album'.
You can see Steve in action @ YouTube!
Sarah McQuaid "The Tug Of The Moon" (Single/Video, Shovel And A Spade Records, 2017).
"The Tug Of The Moon" is the first single from the upcoming "If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous,"
the fifth solo album by Madrid-born, Chicago-raised, Cornwall-based singer/songwriter
The single is being released for radio and online streaming only,
but is included as a free download with pre-orders of the new album.
Watch Sarah accompanied only by her fingerpicking on an Ibanez electric guitar
Kirsty Merryn "She & I" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Kirsty Merryn’s debut album is more of an EP than a full lengths album, with its 8 titles only lasting 28 minutes. Kirsty is one of the shining new singer/songwriter stars on the English folk scene. The album is full of songwriting with powerful storytelling. The album also features guest appearances by Luke Jackson and Steve Knightley on vocals.
Mile Twelve "The Margaret Keene" (Video, 2017).
Banjo luminary Tony Trischka
says about this young band walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass:
"Mile Twelve is carrying the bluegrass tradition forward with creativity and integrity."
Watch the official video to "The Margaret Keene" off their debut full-length record "Onwards",
filmed at Loring Greenough House in Jamaica Plain, MA
Mountain Thyme "It’s about thyme" (CD, Own label, 2016).
A quartet from West Virginia blending Appalachian and Celtic music. I particularly enjoyed their instrumental tracks, on flutes, piano/djembe, piano/double bass and bouzouki/mandolin/harp. The songs feel a bit esoteric.
I Muvrini "Ma soeur musulmane" (Video, 2017).
"Ma soeur musulmane" is an extract of Corsican folk music group I Muvrini
(The Mouflons) new album "La luciole" (The Firefly).
Watch the "Ma soeur musulmane"video and
I Muvrini live @ Paléo Festival Nyon 2017!
Mystic Journey "Kingdom of Mountains" (CD, Autumn Light Productions, 2017).
A relaxing, soulful, mystical if you like, journey around the world, guided by Suzanne Teng (flutes),
Gilbert Levy (strings), Dann Torres (guitar) and Jon Ossman (bass).
Check out Suzanne Teng & Mystic Journey live @ YouTube!
Notify "The Aud" (Video, 2017).
is the collective name of concertina players Padraig Rynne and Cillian King, bass player Eoin Walsh,
pianist Cormac McCarthy and drummer Davie Ryan.
Enjoy their brand new track 'The Aud' recorded live at Mother Jones' Flea Market in Cork City last August
Old Salt Union "Old Salt Union" (CD, Compass Records, 2017).
With a history of playing 200+ shows a year since forming in 2012, Old Salt Union are a band born, grown and cultivated on the road.
Of working with the band in the studio, producer Alison Brown
says, “These post modern bluegrassers are true renegades.
While they look like a bluegrass band, their musical sensibilities run much deeper and broader, borrowing as much
from indie rock and jazz fusion as from Bill Monroe. And, even more exciting to me, they know no fear! They
are wide open musical adventurers and we had a great time experimenting in the studio.” Check out the
Old Salt Union album trailer!
Watch Old Salt Union do their best Paul Simon and Chevy Chase impression in their re-imagined video for
'You Can Call Me Al'!
Ordinary Elephant "Before I go" (CD, Berkalin Records, 2017).
An unusual name for this husband and wife duo from Texas. Presenting their own songs, they present their Americana music with vocal harmonies, clawhammer banjo and guitar.
Joan Osborne "Songs of Bob Dylan" (CD, Womanly Hips Records, 2017).
American roots singer and songwriter, Joan Osborne ("One Of Us”) has released her ninth studio album,
unleashing her gifts as a vocalist and interpreter upon Bob Dylan’s celebrated canon
(in 2003, Osborne had joined the surviving members of The Grateful Dead and had the chance to sing with Dylan).
Check out Joan @ YouTube!
Passerine "Harbingers" (CD, Own label, 2017).
American band Passerine blends traditional folk and bluegrass music and a repertoire of original Americana songs. Featuring vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, fiddle and dobro and double bass.
Matt Patershuk "Same As I Ever Have Been" (CD, Black Hen Music, 2017).
A handful of good songs, the ability to finesse beautiful melodies from an old flat top guitar and
an honest rough and true voice to make it in the music business--that's Alberta roots songwriter Matt Patershuk
in a nusthell. Featuring a bigger session band than ever before with mandolinist John Reischman, vocalist Ana Egge etc.
Check out EPK @ YouTube!
Pilgrims' Way "Stand and Deliver" (CD, Talking Cat Records, 2017).
Award winning trad band Pilgrims' Way from Stockport, Greater Manchester,
present a themed album packed full of highwaymen, robbers, and brigands,
their stories told through traditional English folk song and 1980's disco music.
Watch 'Shoot them All!':
Having killed a highwayman in self defence, this girl gets taste for blood and murders three more,
thereby pre-empting the plot of 'Dexter' by several hundred years.
Ron Pope "Work" (CD, Brooklyn Basement Records, 2017).
"Work" marks Nashville-based, independent hero Ron Pope's seventh studio album: "This album follows me from when I was thirteen and a teacher told my
mother that I'd probably end up in prison; I started messing around writing songs that year. It's been mostly
uphill ever since." Watch the official video @ YouTube!
Red Herring "Here to distract you" (CD, Mondo Tunes, 2017).
This Dutch band plays folk, bluegrass, country and Americana. Headed by Arthur Deighton (of the Deighton Family Band), the band features fiddle, banjo, mandolins, double bass, guitars, bouzouki.
Watch the "Wedding Dress" video @ YouTube!
John Reischman and the Jaybirds "On That Other Green Shore" (CD, Corvus, 2017).
For their seventh recording, mandolinist John Reischman 
has chosen material to showcase the signature Jaybirds blend of old-time and
bluegrass music, this time with an added emphasis on the bluesier side and a foray into the
Beatles songbook (the lesser known "Two Of Us" from the "Let It Be" album).
Watch John Reischman and the Jaybirds live at the Fresh Grass bluegrass festival, North Adams, Massachusetts
David Rovics "The Begging" (Video, 2017).
made an updated version of an old English folk song -- "The Begging."
It's David's first effort at using captions,
and following the song is a spoken plug for Community-Supported Art.
Check out "The Begging" @ YouTube!
Tom Russell "Folk Hotel" (CD, Proper Records, 2017).
In the 1990s, Tom Russell's nr. 1 Merle Haggard tribute album (with Dave Alvin) initiated the Americana charts in the US.
His new release showcases 13 Russell originals plus a Dylan cover. Featuring guest appearances by Eliza Gilkyson,
Joe Ely and Joel Guzman. Check out the Folk Hotel Promotional Video @ YouTube!
Scottie Miller Band "Stay Above Water" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Sounds like Dr. John meets The Band at Bruce Springsteen's house, wrote Tom Hyslop at Blues Revue Magazine about
Miller's smart lyrics, fat grooves and soulful delivery.
Watch the title track @ YouTube!
Ron Sexsmith "The Last Rider" (CD, Compass Records, 2017).
I think my sound has always been a combination of the folk singers and British invasion artists I've
always admired, says Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, it's just second nature for me to write short,
melodic songs that say everything you want to say.
Check out "Radio" @ YouTube!
Martin Simpson "Trails & Tribulations" (CD, Topic Records, 2017).
Martin Simpson is well reputed as an excellent guitarist, singer and songwriter.
This is already his 20th solo album in 40 years. The songs on “Trails and Tribulations” are a mix of traditional songs, poems, contemporary songs and his own songs. As you would expect, there’s also plenty of brilliant guitar playing alongside Martin’s expressive singing. An album with a very English folk-y feel.
Watch Trails & Tribulations album promo and
Martin talking about his new album;
listen to "Blues Run The Game"
and "Thomas Drew"!
Merlin Snider "One Light Many Windows" (CD, Barking Dog Music, 2017).
Merlin Snider's third album seeks guidance in the one light of Abraham Lincoln's wisdom
by the many windows of folk, blues and jazz.
Watch "Abraham's Light" live @ YouTube!
Spontus & Manu Sabaté "Spontus & Manu Sabaté" (EP, Klam Records, 2017).
Catalan clarinet and gralla (a traditional Catalan double reed instrument in the shawm family) player Manu Sabaté
teams up with Breton dance band Spontus
to play a couple of accordionist Youen Paranthoën's compositions
Watch Spontus & Manu Sabaté live at Fira Mediterrània 2016 @ YouTube!
Christopher Paul Stelling "Itinerant Arias" (CD, Anti, 2017).
Driving by refuge camps and people behind barbed wire fances, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter
Christopher Paul Stelling wrote dark songs about something that hadn't happened yet, and now it's happened.
Watch "Destitute" @ YouTube!
Stormy Mondays "Suitcase Full of Dreams" (EP/Vinyl, Own label, 2017).
Stormy Mondays is a folk-rock band from Spain's northern coast, playing a mixture of Americana, soul and Asturian folk,
that points out they don't make fast food but slow cooked music.
Coinciding with the Summer Solstice and the European Music Day, Stormy Mondays has released the
limited edition "Suitcase Full of Dreams" Compact Vinyl, i.e. one side is a 45 rpm vinyl, the other side is a CD
(only the second release of this kind in the world).
Listen to the "Suitcase Full Of Dreams" lyric video @ YouTube!
Strong Water "Bearfoot" (Single, 2017).
Strong Water's new single, “Bearfoot”, is a long awaited release from the up and coming band from Harrisonburg, Virginia. Combining Americana and
folk-rock styles with a touch of country, the tune immerses listeners in the memories of seemingly endless summer days.
Download @ NoiseTrade!
Jim Stubblefield "Guitare Mystique" (CD, Natural Elements Records, 2017).
The album cover displays a medieval alchimist imbueing an acoustic guitar with magical powers.
Californian guitarist Jim Stubblefield (Incendio)
works the magic here from some chill-out melodies to some upbeat world-fusion tracks with a Latin-style edge.
Listen to "Saint- Tropez" @ YouTube!
Sultans of String "Christmas Caravan" (CD, Own label, 2017.
Canadian band Sultans of String
is pretty excited that their Christmas CD hit #6 on the Billboard World Music Charts. Chris McKhool days:
»After decades of walls coming down around the world, it seems like we are now in an era of deepening divisions in world politics. With Sultans of String, as artists, we have always tried to emulate the kind of collaboration that we wish to see in the world, between peoples, and our political leaders. This is an album that could only have be made because of the collaboration of extraordinary artists from Cameroon, Sudan, USA, France, Cuba, Czech Republic, Pakistan, Turkey, and Ireland, working with each other towards a common goal.«
Watch the Christmas Caravan EPK @ YouTube!
Sofia Talvik "When Winter Comes" (CD, Makaki Music, 2017).
For over 10 years, Swedish folk/americana artist
Sofia Talvik has made it her tradition to write a Christmas song every year.
This year she has re-imagined and re-recorded these songs to make them come together as an unique album
focussing on the darker side of Christmas with murder, war, loss, loneliness,
and about how the world around us is changing to a colder harsher place.
Watch Sofia Talvik performing "When Winter Comes" at a private house concert in San Diego
Sean Taylor "Run To The Water" (Video, 2017).
has a magical treat, blues meets contemporary dance,
a new video of his song 'Run To The Water' featuring dancer Sofia Casprini.
Here is the link: YouTube!
Simon Taylor "Now Then" (CD, Own label, 2017).
A haunting collection of eight instrumental tracks reminiscent of Daniel Lanois or Colm Mac Con Iomaire,
featuring his Kíla
friends Emma Peters (fiddle), Rónán Ó Snodaigh (bodhrán) and Lance Hogan (drums).
Terra Guitarra "Of Sea & Stars" (CD, earthsign records, 2017).
Acoustic guitar duo Bruce Hecksel and Julie Patchouli want to create a world-fusion sound that enables listeners
to discover their common global unity. Once a nouveau flamenco act, now drawing on Mediterranean and Latin American
rhythms and adding wooden flutes and various percussion instruments.
Watch "Sea & Stars" Trailer @ YouTube!
Teyr "Nothing Grows" (Video, 2017).
Teyr’s summer tour 2017 is accompanied by an animation for ‘Nothing Grows’ from their 'Far From The Tree' album,
brought to life by animator and illustrator Sasha Balan.
Watch it now @ YouTube!
Here's some background on the song:
Travelling through Ireland in late summer we stopped off in Fermanagh, lake county, for a house concert in the
kitchen of Maggie and Stephen [Muldoon]. Aside from being wonderful humans they are also lovers of music and words. This
song grew from the kernel of Stephen’s beautiful poetry, in particular, a set of five stanzas about growth and memory.
Tone Fish "Irish Night 2017" (Video, 2017).
Since July 2017, German band Tone Fish
are under representation of an international management company and have
signed with Dutch label Friendly Folk Records (www.indieplant.com/friendlyfolk/).
According to the label, Tone Fish
take folk music to a whole new level bringing their passion mixed with lots of fun to the stage.
Melodies possessed with powerful, yet delicate vocals, flutes, guitar, bouzouki, mandocello, cajon-snare and bass.
Performances have a balanced blend of traditional Celtic Folk sound and Folk Rock that keep the crowd moving
with the beat.
Watch Irish Night Hameln 2017 @ YouTube!
Tram des Balkans "Kobiz Project" (CD, Diffusion, 2017).
Labelling themselves as “Vibrations Pop’nTrad”, Tram des Balkans blends Balkan gipsy, Klezmer and Eastern European music with more modern influences, creating a very heady and danceable mix. Featuring vocals, clarinet, violin, mandolin, banjo, accordion, harmonica, double-bass and drums, their live appearances look they are quite a spectacle – watch out the videos on their website.
Watch "Swing Hat Paradise" @ YouTube!
Tsuumi Sound System "Montelago Celtic Festival 2017" (Video, 2017).
'I cannot imagine them getting any more tighter or more exciting. The energy is all there, plus an excellent
combination of Finnish fiddle music with a rock steady rhythm section.' Says visual artist, musician and world music journalist
Michal Shapiro about Finland's world fusion band
Tsuumi Sound System.
Want to know what TSS looks like on stage?
Check out some videos live in concert from Montelago Celtic Festival 2017
Unleashed Dreams "Dare to Dream" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Singer-songwriter duo Lindsey Gaye Walker and Sean Michael Paddison are on a
mission to create epic, new age, world music to empower people to transform their lives and live their dreams:
"Our main message is that it's never too late to live your dreams or create new ones."
Check it out @ YouTube!
Stephen Wade "Across the Amerikee" (CD, Smithsonian Folkways, 2017).
This grass roots singer goes back to basics, playing Americana old time instrumentals and songs mostly on banjo, sometimes on guitar.
The Waifs "Ironbark" (CD, Compass Records, 2017).
A double CD with a whole 25 newly recorded tracks has been released by this Australian contemporary folk band, to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary.
Watch Ironbark live at The Blue Mountains Music Festival @ YouTube!
Dan Walsh Trio "Late Night Drive" (Video, 2017).
is delighted to introduce his brand new Dan Walsh Trio, featuring Ciaran Algar on fiddle and Nic Zuppardi on mandolin,
which will launch with a tour round the UK in May 2018.
Check out Dan's new tune 'Late Night Drive' filmed in the Bank House, Stafford
Mick 'Citern' Walsh "Image" (CD, Own label, 2015);
Mick “Citern” Walsh "High Street Blues/Away to the Garden Plot" (CD, Own label, 2016).
In 1988 Mick Walsh moved to Kilkenny and John Cleere's pub became his regular venue on Monday nights,
Kilkenny’s longest running trad session. Walsh is known for songs about issues and interests in his area,
e.g. the picturesque lanes connecting the high street with the market area,
"Twenty One Steps (The Butterslip Kilkenny)".
Michael Ward with Dogs & Fishes "Mendacity" (Video, 2017).
"I wrote this tune
in early 2016, appalled by the dangerous devaluation of truth featured in the campaign rhetoric of
Donald Trump. It’s foul breath clouded not only the public debate in a historically pivotal election, but threatened
to permanently alter the standards by which that discourse is interpreted and judged. Straight faced lying threatened
to become an accepted vernacular of the political process. At that time it seemed a surreal and incomprehensible
possibility that his campaign might actually succeed, but all of us, including Trump and his minions, were in for a
cruel surprise. His stunning victory installed a man of seemingly bottomless corruption and infantile character in a
position to alter the course of history in ways we are coming to understand daily in ever more personal ways.
The fundamental concepts of democracy and fair play are being challenged in such a bold, shameless and relentless
way that renders punch drunk the default condition of public engagement, certainly a tactical political goal. This
assault on the central values of a progressive society obviously requires a response and I felt that this song and
it’s message was aimed at the heart of the situation and deserved amplification."
Watch the "Mendacity" video @ YouTube!
The Wardens "Sleeping Buffalo" (CD, Own label, 2017).
Canadian trio blending folk, bluegrass and Americana, aiming to “reflect the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains”, featuring vocal harmonies, double bass and guitars.
Watch "Sleeping Buffalo" @ YouTube!
Webster Ave "Daylight" (CD, Own label, 2016).
Webster Ave (i.e. a street in the Bronx) is the debut from a trio of session veterans,
who played with anybody from Diddley to Dylan,
namely guitarist David Webster, bass player Tony Mercadante and drummer Andrew Caturano.
"Daylight" covers the entire spectrum of blues, jazz, soul and rock.
Have a listen @ YouTube!
West of Eden "No time like the past – a collection" (Double CD, Own label, 2017).
To celebrate West of Eden’s 20 anniversary, the Swedish folk rock band has released a compilation double CD.
West of Eden
has created their own blend of contemporary folk, influenced by British and Irish folk music, with their very own songwriting in English language.
Emily Mae Winters "Siren Serenade" (CD, Own label, 2017)
Contemporary and poetic English singer/songwriter Emily Mae Winters offers on her debut album a combination of self-penned and traditional folk songs, recorded with a number of top folk names of the English scene including Evan Carson, Lukas Drinkwater and Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage.
Watch "The Ghost of the Pirate Queen" @ YouTube!
Worry Dolls "go get gone" (CD, Bread & Butter, 2017).
Debut album from Liverpool female duo Zoe Nicol and Rosie Jones recorded in Nashville, Tennessee,
infusing American country and folk with a heavy dose of Britpop.
Watch "Miss You Already",
"Bless Your Heart"!
Yantra "Introduction to Yantra" (Video, 2017).
Yantra combine English Renaissance music (Jeremy Birchall) with Indian Classical (Vamshikrishna Vishnudas)
and traditional Bulgarian folk (Eugenia Georgieva).
They have recently performed to 20,000 people on a 5-week tour of Japan and and are now looking for some European dates.
Please have a look at this short video which introduces the world of Yantra:
9Bach "Llyn Du (live at Kings Place)" (Video, 2017).
Check out 9Bach performing "Llyn Du" from the band's third album
live at Kings Place in London in February 2017 @ YouTube!
Lisa Jên Brown from 9Bach gives some insight into the song:
"Imagine Cwm Idwal lake, or Ogwen lake on a moonlit night. You might come across this deranged and damaged queen
under the black shimmering ice cold water ... It’s based on the book
'One Moonlit Night' by Caradog Prichard... a novel that had a great affect on me when I was young and still remains
my favourite ever Welsh novel."
The 19th Street Band "The Things That Matter" (EP, Own label, 2017).
This quartet from Maryland, fronted by Belfast born guitarist Caolaidhe Davis and his wife Meghan on violin,
introduces their first 20 minutes of recorded music, folk and country rock with a Celtic attitude.
Check out The 19th Street Band live on the Belfast Barge in July 2017 @ YouTube!
Various Artists "AMERICANAFEST 2017 Mixtape" (Download, 2017).
AMERICANAFEST 2017 has been happening in in Nashville, TN. Check out this mixtape
created to get a taste of what to expect at a music scene
where you can catch over 300 artists performing in more than 50 venues across Music City,
including Rodney Crowell, The Secret Sisters,
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge, Cary Morin,
Billy Strings, Sammy Brue,
Ted Russell Kamp,
Download @ NoiseTrade!
Various Artists "Blue Élan Records Americana Sampler" (Download, 2017).
Blue Élan Records presents a mixtape highlighting the
label's Americana artists. This is the perfect playlist to get you ready for AmericanaFest,
featuring songs from Jack Tempchin,
Stream and download @ NoiseTrade!
Various Artists "The Blues Foundation Presents International Blues Challenge #33" (CD, The Blues Foundation, 2017).
Over the past 33 years, one of The Blues Foundation's key events has blossomed into an industry-leading annual
showcase of the best new talent the blues genre has to offer.
The 14 tracks on the International Blues Challenge #33 CD, produced through a partnership between The Blues
Foundation and Frank Roszak Promotions, were drawn from this year's IBC finalists.
Represented are Dawn Tyler Watson, Johnny Fink & The Intrusion, Randy McQuay,
Brody Buster, Al Hill, Sobo Blues Band,
Ruth Wyand & The Tribe Of One, Souliz Band featuring Sugar & Spice, Felix Slim, Wes Lee, Sam Joyner,
Rae Gordon & The Backstreet Drivers, King Bee and Sugar Brown.
Various Artists "Crazy Heart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Vinyl, New West Records, 2010/2017).
The Oscar-, GRAMMY-, and Golden Globe-winning soundtrack to the movie Crazy Heart is finally coming to vinyl.
Featuring the 23-song deluxe tracklist, including Ryan Bingham's "The Weary Kind"
and Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell's original film recordings.
Stream @ NoiseTrade!
Various Artists "Czech Music: At the Heart of the Bonfire" (CD, 2017).
The Czech language uses the same word – hranice – for bonfire and borderline.
The Czech Republic is simultaneously at the warm heart of a burning fire,
but also on the musical border between Western and Eastern Europe.
This 16-track CD is exclusively available with the
October 2017 (#131) edition of Songlines,
featuring many of the top artists such as
Jitka Šuranská Trio,
Iva Bittová & Čikori,
Musica Folklorica & Veronika Malatincová,
Jiří Pavlica & Hradišťan,
Tomáš Kočko & Orchestr.
Watch Musica Folklorica "Ej, ženy, ženy, poradteže mi",
Tara Fuki "Dopis",
DVA "Nunovó tango",
Jitka Šuranská Trio "Pofukuj větříčku, Maliny",
Beata Bocek "Co jo tam bedym robić?",
Bran "Jen vítr kdyby vál"!
Various Artists "Dualtone Summer Sampler 2017" (Download, 2017).
Dualtone Records compiled some of their favorite tracks from their artists to create the perfect end of summer playlist.
Based in East Nashville, the company has been pioneering folk and rock artists since 2001.
Featuring Delta Spirit, Shakey Graves,
Ivan & Alyosha. Stream and download @ NoiseTrade!
Various Artists "New West Records - An Americana Christmas" (CD, New West Records, 2017).
"An Americana Christmas" features 16 holiday classics from some of the towering giants of country and Americana:
Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, John Prine, The Band, Old 97's, etc.
The perfect collection for anyone with an appreciation for Christmas music that doesn't suck.
Stream "An Americana Christmas" @ NoiseTrade!
Various Artists "New West Records: The First 19 Years" (Download, 2017).
Download 20 songs from the New West Records catalog, hand-picked by the owner of New West, George Fontaine, Sr.
This compilation encompasses almost 20 years of recordings, including classic and current artists like
Delbert McClinton, John Hiatt, Steve Earle,
Rodney Crowell, and Justin Townes Earle.
Stream and download @ NoiseTrade!
Various Artists "Topic Records – The Real Sound Of Folk Music" (2 CDs, Topic Records, 2017).
Topic Records are proud to announce The Real Sound Of Folk Music,
a perfect introduction to the wonders of the world's oldest surviving independent record label,
featuring 28 specially selected songs from the label's vast catalogue
June Tabor and Oysterband,
to name but a few.
Various Artists "The Rough Guide to the Music of West Africa" (CD, World Music Network, 2017).
West Africa is considered the original source of the blues. The Rough Guide offers selections from the
25 years catalogue of Riverboat Records, focussing on Senegal and Mali.
Featuring Ali Farka Touré, Etran Finatawa, Mory Kanté, and others.