FolkWorld #75 07/2021

CD Rezensionen

Short & Sweet

More coming soon !!!

Frankie Armstrong

Frankie Armstrong and friends "Cats of Coven Lawn" (CD, Fellside, 2021). A veteran on the English song scene, has sung professionally in the folk scene and the women’s’ and the peace movements since the 1960s. On her new album, she sings sixteen ballads – reflecting her life long dedication to political and women’s movement songs, and to traditional and contemporary folk songs. Recorded with a group of friends including Martin Simpson and Flowers Tannenbaum. Watch Frankie Armstrong ft. Bird in the Belly "Marcy's Guest House"!

The Atomic 44s "VOL.1" (CD, Bird Dog Records, 2021). The Atomic 44’s release “VOL.1” is the latest collaboration from two legendary musical powerhouses: Eric Von Herzen, harmonica man for Walter Trout, Junior Watson and The Atomic Road Kings,[69] and Johnny Main, vocalist and guitarist for The 44’s.[48] These two seasoned musical veterans came together to create new "all-original jet-fueled" roots music, paying homage to the traditional while keeping a clear focus on the future. Check out the opening track, "The Boogeyman", voted #1 in eight weeks on the Roadhouse Blues & Boogie Chart!

Balamuc "Yedi Kedi" (CD, Own label, 2021). Balamuc, roughly translating to "House of Insane" in Romanian, was formed in 2018 when Hungarian violinist-vocalist Agnes Banner and other members of the London Gypsy Orchestra decided to explore a new repertoire of Eastern European music. "Yedi Kedi," Turkish for ‘7 Cats’ referring to 7 band members as well as a reference to London’s OneCat studio, travels through Ukraine, Romania and Macedonia with popular folk songs and dances, ending up with a 15th century Albanian love song re-imagined with electronic organ and Jew’s harp. Check out the gypsy song “Zuki Zuki” and "Yedi Kedi" @ BandCamp!

Banjo Joe "I’m Just an Old Hobo" (Digital/Vinyl, River to River Community Records, 2021). "I’m Just an Old Hobo" is the debut solo EP from Joseph James McCamish, a.k.a. Banjo Joe, who is most widely known as the front man from the Southern Illinois string band, Whistle Pigs. The title track and “Sunday Best” are both original tunes performed in an old-time folk style using only voice and banjo. “The Provider” is a banjo instrumental with the accompaniment of a traditional percussion instrument, the rhythm bones. Watch "I Am Just an Old Hobo"!

Eric Bibb "Dear America" (CD, Mascot, 2021). Eric Bibb[61] has known many different Americas, the good, the bad and the ugly. “It’s a love letter,” he explains of the record’s root concept, “because America, for all of its associations with pain and its bloody history, has always been a place of incredible hope and optimism." Watch "Born of a Woman" (featuring Shaneeka Simon on vocals) and "Whole World's Got The Blues" (featuring Eric Gales on guitar)! The latter title refers not only to the current global pandemic challenging us all, but also to the fact that music-lovers around the world love the blues!

The Bittersweets "Livin' on the Edge" (Single/Video, 2021). Who would have thought an Aerosmith song from 1993 would have so much relevance today? The Bittersweets[61] made two different videos about their latest single dealing with the parallels between the song and what we all have experienced over the last year. Check out The Bittersweets' friends holding up signs in a live action performance sequence, and Chris Meyers and Hannah Prater telling about why they recorded it!

Blås Bröders "Ska det va så här" (Video, 2021). "What a year! How are you? It would be great to hear all your different stories. I’m doing fine, and right now I’m even back on touring the venues of Germany." (Stefan Johansson)[61] 2020 was also the year when the showgroup Blås Bröders was founded! Watch "Ska det va så här"!

Pony Bradshaw "Sawtoothed Jericho (OurVinyl Sessions)" (Video, 2021). Mississippi-born Americana artist Pony Bradshaw performs the bluegrass-tinged “Sawtoothed Jericho” from his 2021 album “Calico Jim.” This live session was filmed at a dive bar called The Underdog in East Nashville. OurVinyl “strive to push the production envelope by filming artists in unique settings that complement the music while capturing studio quality audio regardless of the setting. It’s all live, all one take, no punching in, no autotune, no cheating. Just high energy and true authenticity.”

Jackson Browne "My Cleveland Heart" (Single, Inside Recordings, 2021). The songs on Jackson Browne’s?? new album "Downhill From Everywhere" sustain the soulful intimacy of his first release nearly five decades ago, combined with a power and wisdom gained from a life pursuing positive change. Watch Jackson Browne performing "My Cleveland Heart" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls "She Got Him (With Her Voodoo)" (Video, 2021). Somewhere on the east coast, in a tiny run down shack, footage of England's last vaudeville villains has been discovered. Thought to be lost forever, it's been pieced back together and presented here to shock and excite you, but beware of the demonic music hall mistress. Has she got you with her voodoo yet? Watch "She Got Him (With Her Voodoo)", taken from the 2020 album "Voodoo Bones and Vaudeville Blues".??

Lyssa Coulter "I Don't Wanna Know" (Video, 2021). Country music singer-songwriter Lyssa Coulter shares a special acoustic version of her recent single, "I Don't Wanna Know". “I felt this track was important to put into the world because many times we see vulnerability as “bad” or “scary” due to it potentially revolving around aspects of life that hurt such as heartbreak," explains Lyssa. "In my past, I’ve shoved those emotions down and they resulted in built-up anger and disrespect towards myself and towards people in my life that I love.”

Cowboy Junkies "At The End Of Paths Taken" (Vinyl, Wouldn't Waste Records, 2007/2021). This one is just for the vinyl lovers out there... Cowboy Junkies[48] are excited to announce that 2007’s At The End of Paths Taken is now available on vinyl; one of their favourite albums and one that kind of got lost in the music biz shuffle. It is only available through their webstore and through the Wouldn’t Waste Records webstore. Watch "Spiral Down" (Lyric Video)!

Ani DiFranco "Revolutionary Love: Live at Big Blue" (Video/Download/CD, 2021); "Tiny Desk (Home) Concert" (Video, 2021). Ani[72] is excited to bring you two new ways to experience her 22nd studio album "Revolutionary Love Live" again! The full 95-minute concert documentary film from Ani, Terence Higgins, and special guest Ivan Neville is available for order on Vimeo. Hang with the band in Big Blue, Ani’s New Orleans home and recording studio for the past decade, as they reminisce about touring and perform energetic live versions from Revolutionary Love along with classics from the Little Folksinger canon. You can also order Revolutionary Love: Live at Big Blue as an audio download or CD from the Righteous Babe store and Bandcamp. Check out Ani's solo rendering of the title track and two older songs at the not-so-tiny desk of her great grandfather’s!

Peter Doran feat. Haley Heynderickx "Blue Mountains" (Video, 2021). The offical video for Peter Doran's "Blue Mountains" from his new "Voices" album has been released. According to Folk Radio UK, "Heynderickx brings a laid-back vibe to the song while Doran gives it a timeless quality… combined it’s an irresistible song."

Esbe "Yesterday" (Single/Video, New Cat, 2021). British vocalist Esbe[70] is known for pushing the boundaries of jazz, electronic and world music. YESTERDAY is a completely new take on the classic 1965 pop ballad by Paul McCartney and the first single lifted from Esbe's forthcoming album, UNDER COVER, a collection of songs that have influenced her musical career and are also personal favourites.

Mike Ferry "From Ulster to Appalachia" (CD, Own label, 2020). The Scots-Irish emigrated from Northern Ireland in the 18th century, many ending up in Mike Ferry's North Carolina home. They brought along their native music, and "From Ulster to Appalachia" is a techno-trad collection of Irish-American fiddle tunes. Check out Mike Ferry @ YouTube!


Iona Fyfe "The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen", "The Internationale" (Single/Video, 2021). Iona Fyfe's latest single, a version of The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen, has been released in collaboration with Aberdeen Football Club for the club's social media campaign to release 2021/2022 season tickets. The single reached #39 in the UK iTunes Download Charts. Check out BandCamp & YouTube! See also Iona Fyfe and Michael Biggins performing "The Internationale" at Eastwood Park Theatre, Glasgow.

Rachel Garlin "The State That We Are In" (EP, Own label, 2021). Rachel Garlin stepped up to a new challenge this year by competing in the sports show American Ninja Warrior. She realized it requires a lot of the same skills needed to be an indie musician -- flexibility, improvisation, resilience and a sense of adventure. Garlin wrote the title track "The State That We Are In" in the weeks leading up to the presidential election: "I wrote it in solidarity with everyone who's been pushing for change while trying to stay balanced during the difficulty of the pandemic," says Garlin. "Toward the end of the song, there's a reference to Vice President Kamala Harris's 'I'm speaking' refrain from the debate: 'we're not tired, we're not despairing, not resigned / we're not counting on the roof to fix the leak... and we are, we are, we are gonna speak.' The song is a reminder that we're not stuck in the state that we're in. It's temporary, and we can actively effect the next state that we create. Music can be a part of that."

Jeremy Garrett Featuring Jon Stickley "I'm Not The Enemy" (Single, Organic Records, 2021). Two of the most innovative players in bluegrass unite for a driving bluegrass song: fiddler/singer/songwriter Jeremy Garrett of progressive bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters?? fame and his labelmate, guitarist Jon Stickley.?? “I’m Not The Enemy” — long a staple of Garrett’s live sets — offers a heartfelt vocal, ripping solos and rich, ever-changing interplay between Garrett and Stickley. Get a behind the scenes look at the recording of “I’m Not The Enemy”!

Andy Irvine & Dónal Lunny "Songlines" (Video, 2021). Two giants of the Irish trad scene, Andy Irvine[71] and Dónal Lunny[65] were uniting for an evening of great music, a mixture of traditional songs and originals composed by Andy, Songlines! Between them, Irvine and Lunny have been at the helm of legendary bands like Sweeney’s Men, Planxty, The Bothy Band, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher’s Island. Their unique style of accompaniment is an ongoing influence in the wider world of Irish music.

Jenny & Tyler "Part of Me" (Video, 2021). Jenny & Tyler[61] released a new song about perservering together in hard times. “I was inspired to write Part of Me while watching my kids adjust and learn to live in a pandemic. One day they left school and without warning never went back. They didn’t get to go to their friends’ birthday parties. Dance class became virtual. Everything changed. I want them to know that I see them. I see their big emotions. I see how hard this is. I see their strength. I see them overcome. We hope this song and video will encourage you. We’ve all experienced loss this year, yet we’ve persevered. We’re going to get through this together. We are connected, each one of us. We are a part of each other.”

Seth Kibel "Der Heyser Bulgar" (Video, 2019). "This video of my disappearing clarinet shtick has been making the rounds again. I need all of the assistance I can get in my relentless battle against irrelevance and obscurity, so if you're able to share it with a few friends, or perhaps a few enemies, I would greatly appreciate it. And if you haven't seen it yet, please check it out, and marvel at my mastery of shameless cheap tricks!" (Seth Kibel) Watch "Der Heyser Bulgar" (with disappearing clarinet shtick)!

Alison Kinnaird "Art in Glass" (Video, 2021). Alison Kinnaird[69] is one of the foremost exponents of Scottish harp music, playing both gut and wire-strung harps. In her "Art in Glass" video she explores the link between art and music and introduces new work shown at Shinlinghall Studios as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2021.

Amber Lawrence and Catherine Britt "I Am Woman" (Single/Video, Red Rebel Music, 2021). For Amber Lawrence, the passing of iconic Australian singer-songwriter-activist Helen Reddy last September was the moment she truly felt the gravity of the lyrics of her global women’s rights anthem, “I Am Woman”. When the time came to hit the road with her good friend Catherine Britt for their 'Love & Lies Tour', she floated the idea to include it as a duet. “Catherine and I are proof that women can and do, do anything. We’re both working mums, run our own businesses, we tour manage, drive ourselves, load in the gear, perform the show, then load out and drive to the next town to do it all over again”, says Amber. “We’re consistently asked after the show 'who is minding your kids?'. The men on tour with us have children too, but are never asked that same question”, says Catherine.

Simon Leleux "A Letter to Levent" (CD, Home Records, 2021). Simon Leleux's first solo album marks a significant milestone in his study of the doholla, a bass darbuka originating from Egypt. "A Letter to Levent" is dedicated to Levent Yildirim, pioneer in this instrument's modern techniques. Leleux has freed himself from any role imposed on him by a certain music tradition or ideological straightjacket. Watch Darbuka Doholla solo!

Leon Creek "Call It A Day" (Single/Video, 2021); Chris Pierce "Young, Black and Beautiful" (Video, 2021). On the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas lies Leon Creek: a small river that served as the first rest stop and watering hole for travelers making their way from Texas to Southern California in the 1850's. Leon Creek is a new project from Los Angeles-based blues-soul singer-songwriter Chris Pierce,[74] bluegrass picker Matthew Stevens, and producer Erik Janson to bring forth a new take on the Americana sound. Check out the debut single "Call It A Day" from the upcoming full length album "Far From Broken"!
"Young, Black and Beautiful, taken from Chris's latest album AMERICAN SILENCE, is “about black self love. It’s the song that I would have benefitted hearing as a child. My hope is that this song reaches the hearts of black children and parents alike and extends to the hearts of all. Black IS beautiful and blackness should be celebrated, not feared.” All photos in the video were shot by Mathieu Bitton.

Michael Logen "Long, Hard Year" (Single, 2021). “We've collectively been through some incredibly difficult things this past year and a half. And even as we in the States are starting to move out of lockdown, many places in the world are still suffering. Now that more things are starting to open back up, I sometimes feel a strong urge to rush back to life as "normal", almost like nothing ever happened. But before that, I also feel a need to pause, reflect and perhaps acknowledge what we've been through. And I think of the many lives lost and the many businesses shut down and the many lives changed. Maybe we need to grieve, in a way, before we can heal. I hope Long, Hard Year can be for you a moment of rest and reflection on what you've experienced this past season, the pent up emotions, the fears, the uncertainties, the political unrest, the cancelled plans, the missed time with family. We are all human. We experience the same things. There is much hope on the horizon. Here's to better days ahead. Here's to healing. Much love to you. If you want it, you can have a free download of this unreleased, acoustic version at BandCamp.” – Michael Logen

Mitchell Manburg "Laplace Resonance" (EP, Own label, 2021). Mitchell Manburg is a guitarist and songwriter based in Oakland, California. After having spent the last years fronting bands, he has landed back during quarantine, refining his sound as a solo artist. His debut 4-track solo EP, "Laplace Resonance," is soothing guitar driven music reflecting a current common sentiment of seeking calmness within discord. Watch the title track, "Laplace Resonance" (Official Video)!

Don McLean + Home Free "American Pie" (Video, 2021). As Independence Day approaches, the all-vocal country group Home Free will unfurl their patriotic new album, LAND OF THE FREE, which will include their duet version of "American Pie"[74] with Don McLean. “I am really excited about this version of American Pie,” says Don. “You know, everyone that has heard it just loves it. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it because I have always performed with a guitar. I felt I was going to lose my security blanket when I didn’t play guitar on this version. Then, all of a sudden, I started to hear it and it just blew me away. The harmonies that Home Free produce with their vocals reminds me so much of the Jordanaires.”

Meadow Creek "When the Sirens Call" (Single, 2021). Swedish couple Meadow Creek[66] have released their new single "When the Sirens Call". The song is written as a reflection of the past year. Feelings and thoughts that have arisen in the progress of the current pandemic, and the changes that are taking place in this world we no longer recognize. "We are starting to see the light in the tunnel , and longing to meet our audience to share our newly written music. The idea is of course to release a third album in the future, but we start a little soft with this single."

Bernadette Morris "These Ruins", "If They Build Their Wall" (Digital Single/Video, 2021). Following the success of her debut album, ‘All The Ways You Wander’,[51] and subsequent release ‘Where the Heart is’, Irish singer Bernadette Morris has launched her brand new single ‘If They Build their wall’. Co-written with Eleanor McEvoy[64] the song was inspired by the negative and destructive narrative against refugees and asylum seekers: “We wanted to write a song that reflected our belief that anyone fleeing for their lives should be made feel welcome, and embraced for the joy and colour and everything that they bring with them.”

Joy Oladokun "Sunday" (Video, 2021). Joy Oladokun's music spans the genres of folk, R&B, rock, and pop and is influenced by her identity as a queer woman of color. Joy is performing "sunday" from her album "in defense of my own happiness" from The National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee.

Partington & Sweeney "Commonplaces" (CD, Own label, 2020) An album of traditional American songs and new songs in traditional style, with a very Irish sound. The sons are about immigrants, factory workers and farmers in 19th and 20th century America. Mary Lee Partington’s vocals are backed by Ed Sweeney’s guitar and banjo, with charming additions of uilleann pipes/flutes/whistle (Torrin Ryan) and fiddle (Sheila Falls).[74] Check out Partington & Sweeney @ YouTube!

Dennis Roger Reed featuring Don Reed "Down At The Washington Hotel" (CD, Plastic Meltdown Records, 2021). Dennis Roger Reed[71] is a singer-songwriter-instrumentalist based in Southern California. "Down At The Washington Hotel" is his first release of all original material, and touches on “some blues, some bluegrass, a little country rock, folk, rock'n'roll, a taste of British invasion pop, plus even a few minutes of psychedelica.” Watch "Manzanita" (Live From Dennis's Garage)!

Chris Ronald "Light & Dark" (CD, Borealis Records, 2021). The track sequence of Chris Ronald's fifth album alternates between songs with light and dark themes, 70s folk rock shaped by the pandemic. Watch "City Girl", "I Won't Change", "Still Turning" (Official Lyric Video), and the "Light & Dark" album LIVE!

Brent Ryan "Undone" (Video, 2019). Brent Ryan's forthcoming album will feature four cover songs of roots music singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen that he grew up loving. He won't reveal the titles yet, but while waiting, check out Ryan's acoustic cover of "Undone"!

Graham Sharp "Truer Picture" (CD, Yep Roc Records, 2021). “Graham Sharp has been one of my closest friends for the past 25 years, and he has been my favorite songwriter for nearly as long. As a friend, Graham is wise, thoughtful, and honest, and his musicianship and songwriting share those same qualities. He has written, with little exception, the entire catalogue for the band. Truer Picture, Graham’s first solo endeavor, is in contrast to the music we have grown accustomed to hearing Graham write and help shape. Instead of 4 or 5 voices, it’s just his. Instead of his complex banjo lines, it’s his tasteful finger-style guitar. It’s like a Sunday morning cup of coffee with Don Williams, a late night tour bus ride with Terry Allen, or an afternoon with John Hartford.” (Woody Platt, Steep Canyon Rangers)?? Check out "Truer Picture of Me" (Official Video) and BandCamp!

Stormy Mondays "Forever Young" (Single/Video, 2021). “In 2019 we got an intriguing request. We had two days to record a cover of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young for a possible movie use. Somehow we managed to meet the deadline with a very accurate rendition of the song. And then… silence. Once it became clear that there would be no movie placement, we set out to put our own stamp into the song. We thought we might release it eventually…” Spanish folk rock band Stormy Mondays?? is celebrating Bob Dylan’s?? 80th birthday with their cover of one of his all-time classics, "Forever Young"! Happy Birthday, Bob!

Billy Strings with Del McCoury "Midnight On The Stormy Deep" (Video, 2021). Michigan-born and now Nashville-based, guitar flatpicker Billy Strings arrived on the scene as “one of string music’s most dynamic young stars” (Rolling Stone). Strings is in the midst of a triumphant year after winning Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards for his critically acclaimed record, Home. The record also led Strings to top Billboard’s 2020 year-end charts in both Bluegrass categories—Top Bluegrass Artists and Top Bluegrass Albums. Check out his latest single featuring Del McCoury, "Midnight on the Stormy Deep" (Live)!

Joe Troop ft. Tim O'Brien & Nokosee Fields "Love Along the Way" (Single/Video, Free Dirt Records, 2021). Joe Troop,[73] the GRAMMY-nominated bandleader of Che Apalache,[71] took to the rural roads ”most affected by Trump’s horrific policies” and channelled it into his upcoming solo album, Borrowed Time, featuring legends like Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, and Tim O'Brien. Joe about the first single, Love Along the Way: ”What I’ve learned outside of the US bubble is that when things really go awry on a more massive scale, you have to lean on people, even people you don’t know, like neighbors. What is generally lacking in this country is solidarity. The ruling elites chose to divide and conquer, they pitted us against each other. This song is a rally cry to come together across lines. Ideologies wither fast when enough people realize they share a common oppressor. We don’t have to convince everyone to join us, just enough. This track features my bestie, Nokosee Fields. He suggested we start with a bluegrass vibe and then drop the bass and fiddle after the first chorus, going straight oldtime. It was a brilliant idea, and his playing on all three instruments was impeccable! In as much as how to unify people across lines in this country, I think the first peoples should be leading the initiative.”

Urban Ladder Society "The Summit" (CD, Own label, 2021). All-star band Urban Ladder Society combines blues, classic rock, and R&B with metaphoric hip hop lyrics, a band very capable of rocking any audience. Watch "What's On Your Mind"!

Various Artists

"In Conversation: Freeman Vines & Dom Flemons" (Video, 2021); "Time Warp 07: Music Maker Relief Foundation" (Playlist, 2021). Watch In Conversation: Freeman Vines & Dom Flemons, 6/17/21! Freeman Vines[72] built his first guitar in 1958 and has been searching for a tone ever since, using found materials from around his home in North Carolina. Dom Flemons[66] branded the moniker “The American Songster” since his repertoire covers over 100 years of early American popular music. When the pandemic kept Dom Flemons off the road, he built a host of Spotify playlists that trace the roots of American music all over the place.

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