Band of Storms Ridden by Jimbo Mathus

 Band of Storms Ridden by Jimbo Mathus

Band of Storms Ridden by Jimbo Mathus

 

With Jimbo Mathus, expect the unexpected and expect to be entertained with music steeped deep in the roots of the soul of American music. Band of Storms is no different, Come On Ya’all opens the album with a smile as he sings Gringo Man. This is a rock n roll ditty that has a smile on its face and feet tapping ‘dance-with-me’ rhythms. Jimbo mixes it up like the weather one moment it is hot and swampy, then we have blues of very hue into the weather forecast of every type of musical storm we stir in gospel, honky-tonk and Mississippi Hill Country Vibe. His band of musicians have the same easy-going approach to music fired by the South it is music that has many names but above all rooted in the emotions, feelings and hurt of folk, connecting with us all who have experienced life.

The nine new tracks are all written by Jimbo with one exception the country tones of Play With Fire co-written with us his late friend Robert Earl Reed. Full of country twang, and vim as Jimbo uses a twangy piece of elastic to stretch the country feel into a free-form musical flow that curls around the vocals. The next two tracks are a complete contrast Stop Your Crying with its gentle acoustic opening, the beat picks up, the vocals slow the tempo down this is a folk poem that makes the hairs on your skin stand on end, the hurt and pain as he begs ‘stop your crying baby’. The voice rises full of emotional angst joined by backing singers and searing music. Do we have time after the emotional angst? No we do not. We are now in for a storming number, rock, punk craziness as Springsteen collides with the Rolling Stones we are in the eye of the storm full of Massive Confusion. This is a track the fuels the album with storming energy as the rawness exudes through the speaker you are driven along on a crest of a wave of musical pleasure.

We travel across the Atlantic and the English folk woven into the textural landscape of Wayward Wind; written in an English Pub while drinking rum it is a travelling, drinking pirate song. I wonder who the pirate is that joins him on the Wayward Wind of life’s chances and opportunities. (Could it be Ian Siegal? They have been known to travel together on the road as Wayward Sons shows) Slow thoughtful blues deep and grounded in the Cotton fields is Slow Down Sun the guitar growls and snarls with assertive power never aggressive but Blues that are modern and rooted deep in the past.

Closing the album we have a track that fits in perfectly but so dissimilar to the other seven tracks with Keep It Together, one-hundred percent Jimbo in its difference. Then too soon we are listening to the last track, Catahoula. An American dog breed named after Catahoula Parish, Louisiana is a slower wistful number full of guitar and percussion. The album is seven tracks full of warmth that reflect the changing moods of a storm and the ever evolving music form that is roots music.

The album cover designed by Erika Jane Amerika, is the perfect representation of Jimbo guitar in one hand and fiery bible in the other. The iconography within the portrait is a reflection of the eight tracks that Jimbo has described as bits and bobs I had around. With his Catahoula dog, alligator and Yemayá (the “great mother” of Santeria religion). The whole album is like going horse-back riding after a long time you just get used to the walking when you find yourself cantering then trotting, the music is like this it takes you on a ride full of joy, blind corners and textural interest. You are in for a windswept journey in the company of Jimbo Mathus with his Band of Storms.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Jimbo Mathus – Band of Storms – Big Legal Mess Records, via Fat Possum Records

Track Listings

  1. Gringo Man
  2. Can’t Get Much Higher
  3. Play With Fire
  4. Stop Your Crying
  5. Massive Confusion
  6. Wayward Wind
  7. Slow Down Sun
  8. Keep It Together
  9. Catahoula

Nothing Wayward Music from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Matthus

Wayward Sons-

Nothing Wayward Music from

Ian Siegal and Jimbo Matthus

 

 

There are many roads in creating stand out music that gets noticed. It is a certainty that the musical furrow Ian and Jimbo are ploughing is one of them. Definitely Nothing Wayward in the Live Music from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus.

Opening with Ian Siegal who gets the show underway and introduces double grammy winner and wonderful musician Jimbo Mathus. Wayward Sons,  This is a live album brimming with bonhomie of friendship, bonding over music and the joy of singing, playing guitars and a generous dusting of charismatic magic. Ian and Jimbo in the spoken interlude are a double act, with background to the songs and wit.
This is a twenty-one track album that stretches the CD’s capacity so not a moment of wonder is lost.

The songs are a selection of traditional, artful covers and songs from Ian Siegel’s Picnic Sessions where he first met Jimbo back in 2013 and from Jimbo Mathus’ back catalogue.  Opening with In The Garden, Jimbo opens with vocals and a feel of Dylan runs throughout and has a twist on connections with Paradise.   We hear that Jimbo is glad to be brought overseas and we know they are back in 2016. Then it is Ian’s turn with a Townes Van Zandt’s Heavenly Houseboat Blues, the harmonisation is closer than close the guitar strumming hits the moods and connects to Jimbo’s harp playing. Recorded on Picnic Sessions by accident as Ian was playing it and the rest of the musicians joined in and the recording was captured.

Many people may have sung this song says Jimbo, but I am positive that Jesse James from this duo has a vim and vigour, they resemble outlaws as they approach blues/American roots music with a disrespectful swagger. The outcome is a devilish turning the known into a mighty opus of musical delight.

What do you need after a ditty about Jesse James, some gospel blues which is often included in Ian’s solo sets Mary Don’t You Weep sits in the show tonight perfectly. Ian and Jimbo are a pair of wickedly godf troubadours that just love to perform live and this energy exudes through the album.  Casey Jones a tale of a brave engine driver, lives saved all wrapped up in synchronization of voices, guitars and that swagger that makes this music a zinging hum of electric energy. This like other well-trodden tracks are given a musical spring clean with a Siegal /Matthus interpretation.  These artist are definitely not lazy in their approach, as they sing Old Earl, a tale of a lazy man who didn’t crawl until the age of seventeen, a real foot tapping, make you smile number. We leave behind outlaws and progress to pirates and an interlude where Ian checks what key, only happens in the live moment. Back talking about Overseas with Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues, is a sea swashbuckling number.

With cheers of delight the closing number, Ewan MacColl’s, Dirty Old Town draws the album to a close not with a whimper but a musical hurrah! This album will keep us going until we can hear the duo live for ourselves in UK & Europe in Spring 2016.

You need to purchase the album and hear every track for the nuances and more. This review is a mere snippet of the quality of the album a whisper in the wind that the music leaves behind.

Multi-award winning Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus have redefined great music, no pigeon-holes for them it is all about lyrics and guitars shaping the mood with vocals that stir your soul, make you smile, laugh and cry.

We all collectively have to thank whom- ever it was who pressed record at Café de Noot, a venue in Hoogland, Netherlands. So this show is not relegated to a folklore memory. We know how good it was because we have a front seat in our music rooms for today and beyond.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – Wayward Sons, Nugene Records   Release date 4th March

Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. In The Garden
  3. Jimbo’s Alive
  4. Heavenly Houseboat Blues
  5. Jesse James
  6. Mary Don’t You Weep
  7. The Story of Casey Jones
  8. Casey Jones
  9. Crazy Old Soldier
  10. Tallahatchie
  11. Old Earl
  12. The Blues
  13. Ludella
  14. Stack O’Lee
  15. What They Call You?
  16. Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues
  17. Too Much water
  18. Goodnight Irene
  19. Milltone
  20. I’ll Fly Away
  21. Dirty Old Town

Ian Siegal Jimbo Mathus

 

You will not want to miss out check out venues, towns and dates HERE

A little preview of what Jimbo and Ian will be getting up to on our 2016 tour.

 

Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken

Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken

Broken Wings Heal is a deeply personal album for Caroline Aiken. Her ninth recording and has special guests joining her adding depth and feeling to the lyric driven songs. The album is a journey, from despair to hope, empowering as her daughter’s life unfolds from the beauty of birth, troublesome teenage years and then the light. The album artwork reflects this with a bird being released from a cage.

This is not a laid back album as the roots of the music are given exciting textures with funky, rock and twist of jazz tones and power to the whole production. John Keane’s guitar work throughout the album is superb. Into the mix add Randall Bramblett’s horn, Caroline’s bluesy vocals, guitar and piano the sound is never going to be muted.

This is definitely not an angst riven introspective. The opening track Mission of Angels has the a feeling of sunshine and joy with Caroline‘s vocals and guitar and special guest Indigo Girls’ Emily Sailers.  The title track, the only one with no writing input from Caroline leaving this centre piece in the penmanship of Boo Ray. Broken Wings Heal is a heartfelt plea many will be able to connect with as a mother sings her hopes for her daughter will reach their full potential, be happy and fly free.

Visiting her daughter in prison creates a song with a feeling of a poem set to music as Razor Wire captures her. Again, as Caroline articulates her daughter’s thoughts she has a message of hope of dreams of flying free. The next track with Ike Stubblefields B3 Organ added to the mix takes the beat up as Mysterious Wonder unfolds. This track has a sultry edge tipping its tone to jazz and the lyrics bubble like a crystal clear stream. This song was originally written in a group of 40 students and staff during Aiken’s time teaching children at a music camp in North Carolina.

Caroline throughout the album like life changes the tempo and feel as feelings and moods change.  So now for some Rock N Roll vibes as we Cry Wolf. The beat is infectious and once again it is Caroline’s swampy curling of the lyrics around the guitar that makes this track have a power of its own.

The mood shades into the evening as dusk gathers around. This is a moody darker track with Sax from Bramblett that sets the tone and then the husky singing of ‘Hello Cruel World’. The piano and sax lead breaks are the perfect foil for the track. It is fitting the Everything Can Change is co-written with her daughter Sarah who is at the heart of the album. This is a simply orchestrated track of piano and vocals and has the depth that nothing stays the same.

Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken on an album that has a depth of feeling, never over introspective always with a ray of hope. The reality can be grim and she is not afraid to address these with honesty and clarity. Broken Wings Heal lifts the mood as the power of music once again gives life a direction.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Caroline Aiken – Broken Wings Heal

Track Listing

  1. Mission of Angels
  2. Fragile
  3. Broken Wings Heal Boo Ray/Steve Ferrone
  4. That’s What I Heard
  5. Razor Wire
  6. Mysterious Wonder Pepperland/CA
  7. Cry Wolf
  8. Hello Cruel World
  9. Comfort Is Deep
  10. Everything Can Change Sarah Page Dukes/CA
  11. Saving Grace
  12. Butler Field

 

Caroline Aiken – 6 and 12 string guitar, piano and vocals

John Keane – pedal steel, acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, bass, percussion, organ (all songs but 8, 12)

Emily Saliers – vocals, acoustic guitar (1, 3, 9, 12)
Randall Bramblett – keys, piano, saxophone (8, 9, 11)
Ike Stubblefield – B3 organ (6, 7)
Michelle Malone – vocals (2)
Michael Steele – bass (11)
Gerry Hansen – drums (1, 3, 6, 7, 9)
Charlie Wooton – bass (8)
Andy Carlson – strings (9, 12)
Susan Staley – vocals (4, 5, 7)
Eddie Glikin – percussion, Udu drum (1, 4)
Doug Peters – electric guitar (4)
Deane Quinter – congas (6)

The Grahams @ The Convent, Stroud via Netgig

convent logo

The Grahams The Convent, Stroud via Netgig.

 

 

Once again Bluesdoodles was not disappointed with the service via The Convent website –  a couple of clicks, payment made and the link to access the show was in my inbox.

Copyright Photographer Mark Jarvis
Copyright Photographer Mark Jarvis

Now for the important bit;  was the show good?, did listening at home feel like a show reflecting the power of live music and the energy that The Graham’s always exude? – Yes! It is different but with a glass of wine and the discipline of silence this was the next best thing to live music.

Tonight as a trio The Grahams, Alyssa and Doug joined by percussionist Mike Meadow. They now based in Nashville and reflected in the sound created. Originally Doug and Alyssa were from New York and Mike is from Texas, these early influences form an integral bedrock to the musics. The music was Americana, a sound that is difficult to capture in a few words, it is an artful blending of all the roots of American music, African, British folk and native American swirling the sounds and textures add a generous pitch of American can do and country attitude that is the magic of Americana.

This was a show that revolved around three sonic sounds the crystal smooth tones of Alyssa’s vocals, the mid tones of Doug’s guitar, whether slide or picked and the National had a beautiful depth of tone and the bass provided by a snare and array of percussive sounds from Mike creating a tumbling musical movement that shaped itself around the strong lyrics the very purpose for the musical backdrop. Every song had a story, meaning reflecting the travels and adventures that often occurred on the extensive rail journeys around USA.  As The Grahams said “There is a special connection between American folk music and the railroad that has no parallel elsewhere in the world. Rail lines stitch together the sprawling fabric of American song. As writers of Americana music, our goal is to draw on the deep, recurring sources of American folk culture, giving them new shape.”  Tonight was an opportunity to hear a selection of songs from their current album Glory Bound they have been involved in a documentary Rattle the Hocks (released digitally) filmed on the move and in venues from Sun Studio to Amtrak’s famed City of New Orleans train, produced and directed by Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, which chronicles their train-bound excursions and the influence of train travel on American roots music.

We were informed about Southern biscuits before hearing a absorbing live version of the suitably titled number Biscuits as well as Blow Wind Blow and Lay Me Down. The tonal tapestry changed with slower numbers more reflective and those that conjured up a barn and  a line dance full of energy and the beat to get your body on the move. The Grahams have a style that is full of warmth and a generosity of spirit that ensured the audience were happy to join in making it music in the round.

The grahamsGrahams in The Convent definitely entertained,delighting the crowd with their contemporary Americana sound that is without doubt infectious music that is Glory Bound.  Read what we said about the album HERE

The Grahams – UK & Ireland Tour – November 2015 still a chance to catch them live…
Wednesday 11th – The Musician, Leicester
Thursday 12th – The Met (Studio), Bury
Friday 13th – Private House Party
Saturday 14th – The Con Club, Lewis
Tuesday 17th – Levis Corner House, Balleyhob, Co. Cork
Wednesday 18th – Dolan’s, Limerick
Thursday 19th – Monroe’s Live, Galway
Friday 20th – The Errigle Inn, Belfast
Saturday 21st Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre, Naul, Ireland

 

Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons Live @ St David’s Hall

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0050lMartin Simpson & Dom Flemons
@ St Davids Hall Cardiff
13th October 2015

Tonight delivered everything that this show, as part of the Roots Unearthed on the 3rd Floor of St David’s Hall, promised to be; two hours of superb musicianship the blending, and mixing of British traditional music and blues in many guises and the common heritage of themes, lyrics and melodies the two traditions share. Above all this was the joy of listening to two musicians who devour the stories and share the joy with the audience with nuggets of information about the songs, the history, the narrative and emotions creating the perfect music experience.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0136lWe heard nineteen delicious songs that spanned country, vaudeville and delta blues with folk songs from the English lexicon we had ballads, sauciness and infectious guitar licks and the percussive quality of bones the ethereal piping of the quills and harp playing and the joy of banjo tunes played with skillful dexterity. Tonight like all of the gigs on the second tour of this duo was recorded with the tantilising and exciting promise of a CD celebrating the bond of common love of the songs they play and the mutual respect they have for each other’s talent as they uncover and share with us the power of tunes and lyrics that need to be heard and remembered.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0052lOpening the show Martin delivered St James Hospital a traditional song and in reply Dom brings the ‘over-the-pond’ rendition of St James Infirmary the songs are similar rooted deep in musical memory but the translation and changes reflect the two nations. Like so much music nothing stands still the tunes and lyrics develop and modify to reflect audiences and the times in which they are sung. Music is an organic form nothing is set in aspic once musicians add their own interpretation and arrangement it is what keeps live music vibrant and the pure pleasure it brings to everyone in their seats tonight.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0111lTonight for many we were introduced to the Quills as part of the multi-instrumentalist repertoire that is Dom Flemons, the first outing for this pipe-like instrument was Bulldose Blues, inspiration for Canned Heat’s Going Up Country this combined with his vocals that have an authority and intensity as he spans the octaves with a purity and a mighty fine holler when required. Added into the mix is the superb finger work, finger picking and slide guitar of Martin Simpson as the music just rolled from their fingers and lips. We had a parody of Stephen Foster’s 1850 Hard Times Come Again No More, not the American Civil war soldiers re-writing Hard Tack Come Again No More; this is an English song during the Cotton Famine in the 1860’s due to blockades of Confederate ports during the Civil War and rename Short Times, found by the Martin & Dom when visiting Cecil Sharpe House, the archives of English Folk songs and dance. All too soon the first half was finished with a flurry as they delivered Leadbelly’s Poor Howard and Champagne Charlie with its links to the music hall tradition across the UK and Europe.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0016lOpening the second installment with My Money Never Runs Out, Dom plays banjo on this Gus Cannon number. We heard about Minstrel shows and how their popularity spread across the world, segregation Vaudeville and the difficulties of early black musicians and and how blues changed and adapted. The wealth if historical knowledge was as deep and immense as the music they were playing. Stealin’ a jug band number featured a St David’s Hall Jug/Carafe and added another layer of tonal experience the evening bought. The evening closed far too soon with a rousing version of Little Liza Jane and enthusiastic singing from the audience, this was an evening that has that special element that you all get if you were sitting in the audience.

Every song they sung deserves a mention and the story that went with it but to get that go and see them live they are still on tour see below you will not be disappointed. They are touring extensively throughout October, November and December check out the dates and venues HERE

Set List

St James Hospital
St James Infirmary
Bulldose Blues
Ruben
Little Sadie
Payday
Short Times
Old Folks At Home
Poor Howard
Champagne Charlie
My Money Never Runs Out
If I Lose
Stealin’
Coalman Blues
Too Long/I’ve Been Gone
John Hardy
Buckeye Jim
Little Liza Jane

CD Review: Willy Porter ~ Human Kindness

porterWilly Porter
Human Kindness
Weasel Records

Opening with a whistle and a cheerful sunny number Willy Porter brings Human Kindness to your musical repertoire, on the opening track Chippewa Boots. Why the title for Willy Porter’s latest album? It is an exploration of the nature of human kindness, the seed was sown for the project after Porter witnessed a man pulling a women out of the path of a bus. With this in mind Willy Porter has been inspired to launch a year-long campaign connected to the release of the album and tour, The Year Of Kindness, calling everyone to get involved in giving back to communities. Now back to the music, this is an album that brims over with positivity with the music full of textures of American music, little bit blue, country but above all songwriting and delivery of the song that is honest and wraps around you like a giant hug. The supporting cast on the album are talented artists that include Martin Barre, Natalia Zuckerman, Carme Nickerson and Peter Mulvey. The guitar work on all of the track is crisp and contoured this is highlighted on the title track where the instrumentation gently folds itself around the lyrics creating a poem set to music a true troubadour in action. This is a twelve track album that is like walking with the artist, Walking With The Man is stripped down to a walking beat and delivered with a rasping vocal that tell the tale and once again the instrumentation is just perfectly formed. After this we are treated to horns that are full of warmth on A Love Like This as the tempo goes up and this is a pop dance tone that certainly gets the feet tapping. We are now on the tracks on a journey, the pace is that of the railway, and the vocals gentle on This Train, ending the album with Roses in The Rain once again feet are tapping, fingers are clicking and the fiddle adds the glimpse of sunshine behind the clouds as you give Roses in The Rain. It is reminiscent of the style of Paul Simon as the album finishes with a true American sound Willy Porter has created an album that will be listened to again that is for sure.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

 

1. Chippewa Boots
2. Elouise
3. Human Kindness
4. Constellation
5. Walking With The Man
6. A Love Like This
7. Freedom
8. This Train
9. My Bird Can Sing
10. Try To Forget
11. Roses In The Rain

Willy Porter touring UK October 2015 for these dates and teh rest of teh tour through Europe and beyond click HERE

Frankie Lee: Debut Single ~ ‘Where Do We Belong’

96260Frankie Lee’s debut single  Where Do We Belong  is out 4th September 2015 via Loose Music

Frankie Lee will release his debut single ‘Where Do We Belong’ through Loose Music on 4th September. Available on 7” vinyl and featuring the AA-side ‘Buffalo’, the single was recorded at Real Phonic Studios in Minneapolis, MN.

Born on the banks of the Mississippi river, Lee’s family later moved to Minneapolis. Following the death of his father in a motorcycle accident when he was 12, Frankie immersed himself in the city’s music scene, appearing onstage with local heroes Slim Dunlap (The Replacements) and Curtiss A at the impressionable age of 14. After inheriting records and instruments from his father’s collection, Lee was – as he sees it – “taught to play guitar by a ghost”. He continues, “I was raised on stage. These guys would bring me into the clubs, sit me behind the soundboard and give me all the coca cola I could drink until they’d call me up for a song or two at the end of the night.”

View the video and take a music ride with Frankie Lee!

Bluesdoodles enjoyed listening to the country fused fast driving melodic Where Do We Belong asking the question that so many of us ponder. The music easily attributed to Americana, but it is more that there is a driving rhythm combined with questioning lyrics that takes the music back to roots music and given a popular riff to make the song catchy. The harmonising of the vocalists adds a depth of tone and fits the guitar tone so that this is a complete single a true teaser and taster of what is too come. With his colourful background and eventful life he has a lot of personal material to draw on his forthcoming debut album. It definitely makes you want to hear the debut album American Dreamer due out on the 2nd October on Loose Records.

6159748

Preview: Israel Nash’s ~ New Album : Silver Season

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Israel Nash and his band return from the Texas Hill Country with the new album Israel Nash’s Silver Season to be released October 9th, 2015 via Loose/Thirty Tigers.
Following his critically acclaimed 2013 album Rain Plans, Israel Nash’s Silver Season was written and recorded on Nash’s 15-acre ranch in Dripping Springs, near Austin TX, where he and his band built Plum Creek Sound, a 1,400 square-foot Quenset studio. Recorded to tape with Grammy-award winning engineer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, The Rolling Stones) back behind the boards, Israel Nash makes a bold return with Israel Nash’s Silver Season.
 
Influenced by the peaceful Texas hillside, the 9-song album ventures farther down the acid-soaked trail blazed by Rain Plans, arriving in lush and expansive territory. Here, Nash sounds more assured than ever, supported by his highly capable band and production inspired by psychedelic greats.
The band has now released a video for the album’s first track ‘Strangers’:

WATCH ‘STRANGERS’ VIDEO:

In support of the new record, Nash and his band are heading out on the road to play multiple US festivals this summer and headline dates in the autumn. News of UK and European dates to follow soon.
Israel Nash is:
Israel Nash
Eric Swanson
Joey McClellan
Aaron McClellan
Josh Fleischman
unnamed (1)Israel Nash’s Silver Season – Tracklisting:
1.     Willow
2.     Parlour Song
3.     The Fire & The Flood
4.     LA Lately
5.     Lavendula
6.     Strangers
7.     A Coat Of Many Colors
8.     Mariner’s Ode
9.     The Rag & Bone Man
 
What the critics said about Israel Nash’s previous album – Rain Plans…

“A thing of real beauty” ★★★★ UNCUT

“Israel Nash surely deserves wider exposure. If ‘Rain Plans’ doesn’t convince you, nothing will” 

THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

“Gripka has created a Wall of Sounds that could best be described as the CSN&Y album that Neil Young should have produced but never did.”

NO DEPRESSION

“A neo-psychedelic monument, the most phenomenal Americana record of the year”

★★★★½  ROLLING STONE GERMANY

Live: Gill Landry Guest of Laura Marling

 

Gill Landry - Colston Hall - May 2015_0019l

 

Laura Marling with Special Guest Gill Landry
Colston Hall, Bristol
5th May 2015

 

 

Gill Landry - Colston Hall - May 2015_0015bwlTonight was a first for Bluesdoodles, we came to hear and see the support Gill Landry – why? When the main event was Laura Marling who was visiting Colston Hall performing at yet another sell out gig? Bluesdoodles was sent a digital download of Gill Landry’s forth coming self-titled album; I can let you into a secret it is a perfect gem of an album.  Gill is from Louisiana and is the banjo, slide guitarist player for The Old Crow Medicine Show demonstrates the depth and contours of musical experience that has shaped the songs on his new album being showcased tonight in Bristol.

 

Gill Landry - Colston Hall - May 2015_0086lWith photo pass and the excitement of seeing an artist that you have met through the power of recorded music I hoped he would live up to my high expectations. I am delighted to say he did his stage presence, guitar playing and lyrics grabbed the rapidly filling hall and we all clapped with delight.  Gill, started with three numbers as a solo acoustic act, the last a stylish instrumental full of finger picking magic as the notes phished and pinged across the stage and up to the rafters, this is acoustic guitar full of life rhythm and soul He was joined by fiddle player, Odessa Jorgenson who add the depth of tone of backing vocals to augment the country blues introspective tone and shape of his vocals. Tracks from his latest album dotted the set including  Waiting For Your Love and  Emily, full iconography his vocals take the centre stage so it is poetry set to music and the talent of the songwriter just shines through the stage wasGill Landry - Colston Hall - May 2015_0052l aglow with Gills brand of music. Joining him on stage Laura Marling doing a live version of Take This Body a track from his third solo album, the full weight of this rather disconsolate but romantic ballad the full weight that a live performance gives to any song.  Laura and the band stayed on stage for the last number, adding to the depth of musical delight we had already heard from Gill Landry a warm up act who gained new fans tonight. An excellent opening act, I for one would have liked to hear more but we had Laura waiting in the wings to entertain us.
Set List Gill Landry
Funeral in my heart
Never coming here again
Last steam engine/James alley blues
Waiting for your love
Lost love
Emily
Take this body
Bad love

 

The stage dwarfed diminutive Laura as the lights came up and the backdrop screen of a stark Californian desert scence a was revealed, but as soon as she struck her first chord and shared her first song full of words that strung out across the stage into the auditorium her fans were delighted and sat back to be entertained the Marling way for the next ninety minutes. The stage was sparse and the backdrop movie moved slowly as the sun rose and fell and night in the desert came and as the stars shone in an inky back sky the last song was sung.  Laura shared her thoughts and emotions through the music there was no chatting better the songs they ebbed and flowed sometimes on acoustic,  with double bass and other times electric, the band came and went and returned. It is well-known that as in 2013 in an interview with Neil McCormick, “I am a solitary person but I love people, I’m not a misanthrope. I like the idea of speaking only when it’s strictly necessary. The closest I ever feel to people is in shared experience. I’m still exploring that, I don’t know where it’s going to lead me. But there are others like me, that’s all I’m trying to say. I’m not alone.”

Tonight on stage the music was the medium of communication, she acknowledged the audience and Bristol and then got back to playing the Marling style of music shaping the guitar and vocals around a music that reflected the mood, yes contemporary folk; with pop but into the mix were licks and phrases that made the music prog-folk with a freeform flow especially when the drummer was added into the mix.  Her voice is distinctive and is a mix of Patti Smith, Stevie Nix topped off with that ice-queen control that is Laura Marling with a hint of Nick Drake.   Tonight she opened with Howl as she leaves a sleeping lover in the morning desert sun of the backdrop, we heard from her back catalogue including the title track of her fourth album Master Hunter and Goodbye England Covered with Snow from her 2010 album, I Speak Because I Can, absorbed completely in her music she throws back her head, plays the guitar then picks up the lyrics as her chilling voice reached out across the Bristol audience touching everyone as the appreciative silence deepened.  Daisy one of the bonus track from her latest album Short Movie, for which we had no hard sell. Her music was given shape by various tempos but always the lyrics that captivated, Laura left the stage having told the audience that this is the last, there will be no encore. She played to a cross-section of people; young, her stalwart fans and many from the folk scene around Bristol. The house lights went up and the stage fell dark and silent Laura had been and touched Bristol with her gently almost shy stage presence but left the touch of her music on everyone’s soul.

 

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Neil McCormick (25 September 2013). “Mercury Music Prize 2013: Laura Marling, interview”The Telegraph. Retrieved14 October 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD Review: The Milk Carton Kids ~ Monterey

COVEREXACTYXThe Milk Carton Kids
Monterey
Anti-Records
Release Date 19th May

Two singer/guitarists from Eagle Rock, California, Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan, who after struggling with their individual solo careers joined up to form The Milk Carton Kids in 2011; and success followed. This flat-picking harmonious pair with voices that match the guitars have created a sound that picks from traditional American folk and letting the sound re-emerge as a contemporary sound that has been recognized with Grammy nomination. Monterey is their fourth album and following the tradition set in two of their previous albums Prologue and The Ash and Clay the prologue is written by Joe Henry a singer-songwriter and producer.
The opening number is an evocative, picture painting guitar number before the vocals join the guitar in Ashville Skies, this is a melodic tuneful number that develops a story and full of modern American folk that is calming and draws you in to listen to every note and word as The Milk Carton Kids work their musical magic. The title track Monterey, has a feeling of nostalgia and the guitar has a classical form and the voices work with the guitar so that the words are like a shadow working well keeping the listener’s interest and attention with its yearning for Monterey. Secret From The Stars in a higher octave and quicker beat this gets the musical juices flowing it has a Spanish guitar feel that flows and rolls with the melody of the lyrics.; this approach is also seen on High Hopes.

The Milk Carton Kids use many musical styles and textures creating a shape for every track some slow and almost with a jazz beat on Deadly Bells whilst throughout the vocals are firmly rooted in American folk making for interesting musical shapes and sounds that always sit easy on the ear. Closing the album with Poison Tree we have a folk number that is simple the guitar work stylish and precise and the voices curl around the lyrics like steam in the air and is a perfect ending to a considered and accomplished third album.

This is an album that celebrates the perfect harmonization of two voices with the guitar adding texture & tone and acts as punctuation marks throughout the album that is perfectly balanced contemporary folk that is not afraid to have its own style shape and tonal quality. Monterey as an album has distilled simplicity so that there is an elixir of folk suited for the here and now without losing its footsteps in the heritage of acoustic music of the past; a third album from this talented duo that will charm and delight fans and introduce many to the delight that is The Milk Carton Kids.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

TRACKS
1. Ashville Skies
2. Getaway
3. Monterey
4. Secrets Of The Stars
5. Freedom
6. High Hopes
7. Deadly Bells
8. Shooting Shadows
9. City Of Our Lady
10. Sing, Sparrow, Sing
11. Poison Tree