The Road Not Taken Sings Adam Beattie

Adam Beattie-

The Road Not Taken Sings Adam Beattie

 

Adam Beattie may sing The Road Not Taken on his latest recording, and it is without argument that music was the only road he should travel. The Road Not Taken is not a journey of straight streets where the end is in sight. The music takes you on an intricate path through all the alleyways of mystery, small paths that open onto an amazing vista. This is achieved by weaving the melodies through folk, traditional and the twizzle of jazz beats creating tunes that engage and act as the perfect backdrop for the lyrics to drop on to like glistening diamonds.
The opening track The Man I’ve Become is full of sounds that twist and turn borrowing from the beats of French street music, jazz, and folk. The violins are counterbalanced by a deep percussive tone and above all, it is the lyrics that shape the song and lead you into an album you want to hear. The curve in the journey ends at the Middle East with a 5/4 groove of I’m On Your Side before the title track The Road Not Taken. This has a purity, the simplicity of the melody opens up the lyrics reflecting how choices are made. The harmonies between Adam and Brooke Sharkey shape the mood created perfectly. The following track is much darker with the music sharpened with a sinister edge again this is a ballad that tells the tale of You Only Kill The One You Love. The darkness is brightened with a Celtic folk lilting number The Family Tree. We have hints of blues on The Man Who Loves Too Much. The album draws to its finale with a title that tells the tale Catch The Biggest Fish And Let It Go an intimate ballad as Adam shares the lyrics with you. Closing with Welcome Home this is a warm track that leaves you delighted, intrigued and wanting to get to know Adam’s music.

On this album Adam Beattie is joined by Brooke Sharkey backing vocals, Marco Quarantotto whose drumming shines through. Piotr Jordan violin sears to the deepest heart of the music and the multi-instrumentalist Co-producer Fred Thomas plays the other instruments.

Adam Beattie understands the deep-rooted honesty of traditional music in its many forms. As he has woven them into a tapestry of sound of his making he has not over complicated the mix. The Road Not Taken Sings Adam Beattie; demonstrating a deep understanding of traditions made modern, kept fresh and the power of the word.

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

 

Adam Beattie – The Road Not Taken – Independent Release Date: 11th May 2016

Track Listing

1. The Man I’ve Become
2. The Same Sea
3. I’m On Your Side
4. The Road Not Taken
5. You Only Kill The One You Love
6. The Family Tree
7. The Man Who Loves Too Much
8. There’s No Postcard For This Town
9. Catch The Biggest Fish and Let It Go
10. Welcome Home

Jamie Smith’s Mabon Album Launch

Mabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0029l

Jamie Smith’s Mabon Album Launch
St David’s Hall, Cardiff 17th November 2015

 

Jamie Smith’s Mabon album launch is tonight’s Roots Unearthed event starting with a difference before the first note with a complimentary drink as the crowds arrived. Jamie Smith’s Mabon, is Celtic infused contemporary sound that celebrates the links in tone and texture between the Celtic nations from Galicia in northwest Spain through Brittany in to the Cornwall, Wales, Ireland Isle of Man and Scotland. The music has a collective identity and form revolving around dance rhythms with its reels and jigs, but Mabon is more celebrating the Celtic languages and traditions which have been obscured within the mists of time.

The name Mabon in Welsh folklore is linked to Arthurian legend with a man Mabon ap (son of) Modron; but as with many things Celtic there is more than one interpretation. Mabon is also female Saint Mabyn in Cornwall whose day is celebrated 18th November halfway through Autumn and Winter equinox. In modern times Mabon has also been taken for the celebration of Autumn Equinox. The root of the name may be hazy, BUT there is nothing hazy about the quality of the music heard tonight, where we heard the whole of the album The Space Between and a selection of much loved tunes from this Celtic Welsh band’s back catalogue.

Mabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0016lThe five piece step on to the stage and the applause and cheers were full of the Capital city’s warmth delighted to be part of a special evening and the return of a favourite to level 3 at St David’s Hall. Jamie Smith’s Mabon bring originality to all their songs and melodies giving the band a distinctive worldly sound that has a bow in the past, a squeeze of the accordion in the present and a drum beat exploring the future. Mabon is Celtic inspired music that is not fixed in time or space. How do they achieve this firstly, the quality of the musicianship. Secondly, the interplay and timing creating tones and textures that keeps the ear in tune with the music and the feet tapping or dancing to the rhythmic shapes created. Lastly, Mabon is music that connects to your head and your body. Individually they are all five are masters of their instruments Upfront are Jamie Smith lead singer and accordion player of extraordinary dexterity; to stage left is fiddler Oliver Wilson-Dickson and Adam Rhodes on Electric Bouzouki. To keep these tunesmiths in order, tempo and shape is the rhythm section, Matthew Downer, bass upright and electric and percussionist Iolo Whelan.

Mabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0070lOpening unsurprisingly with the title track of their fifth album, The Space Between the interplay between the fiddle and accordion opened the show with a Celtic infused sound. The story unfolds with lyrics that flow around the beat and adds another dimension to music. This is music that transcends ‘traditional’ Celtic music from wide-ranging cultures and fixes itself into its own space a blending and re-creating with love skill and understanding.

Mabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0002lMuch of the music is instrumental and the instrumentation lets your imagination go on a journey of celebration, sadness and wonderment as with Croeso Ioan a soft melody celebrating the birth of a baby. We move away from the album and the music has a Russian feel, and a tale that goes with it from when Jamie immersed himself in Romany music in Russia. The Tale of Nikolai, The Dancing Bear, is full of pathos mixed in with the dance inspired melody as it takes you to a land far away with its Eastern European musical cadences.

We had jigs and reels and traditional Welsh music people could not resist the opportunity to pick up the beat with their feet across the two sets, and plenty of opportunities to buy the album and chat to the friendly band during the break. At the start of the second set Jamie picks up an acoustic guitar for Returning from Where I’ve Never Been as the lyrics and melody explore the move from disappointment to a positive outlook and a mandolin added to the mix by Oliver, creating a sound that is acoustic pop proving that Mabon refuse to be pigeon-holed in the framework of traditional folk. We have the taste of Galicia with 48 in Ortegueira inspired by playing in a festival at 3 am in the morning. Inspiration form a trip to Brittany created a fabulous rhythmic instrument Go Kemper!, infectious with some jazz infused improvisations.

If I had to describe Jamie Smith’s Mabon to someone, they are like Bellowhead stripped down then restructured with a Celtic knot of tonal patterns. What you definitely will hear is strong instrumentals, songs where the words matter shaping a narrative that has a uniquely infectious qualityMabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0027l.

The Space Between Album tracks heard tonight live.

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The Space Between
Franks’ Reel
Croeso Ioan
Returning From Where I’ve Never Been
The Accordianists Despair
48 in Ortgueira
Go Kemper!
Drum ‘N’ Breizh
Yr Ennyd

The Space Between TOUR continues

check out dates and venues near you HERE