Explore A Small World Enlarged Beautifully by Dan Burnett

Explore A Small World Enlarged Beautifully by Dan BurnettSometimes an E.P. disappoints, not just because it leaves you wanting more but as often with a collection of Short Stories the artist has not used the six tracks to truly promote the nuances that make an artist demand attention. This is not the case on Dan Burnett’s Small World E.P. Yes, you are left wanting more. But he opens the door into his world of musical tones and shapes on Small World a collection of five originals and the bonus track a stylish cover of the oft-covered Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower.  Explore A Small World Enlarged by Dan Burnett, on an E.P. that connects to you personally up close with intimate insights into Burnett’s music.

Opening with the title track, Small World is a light ditty with strong piano with hints of New Orleans as we are in Pittsburg with Dan as he realizes how small and connected we are in a world where contact with each other is easy.  The harmonica moans as we eavesdrop on a drunken conversation in the early hours at a hotel bar. The power is in our hands to change relationships and feelings to communicate.  The Piano from Dan is superb promising more of what is to come. The mood changes with Battle Scars, Dan refers to this as his ‘mental health anthem’. Taking us behind visible scars with a simple number sung with passion and empathy and deep understanding as the organ takes up the melodic tones. The next two tracks explore relationships as the deepness of keys are added with another set of strong lyrically driven songs. The last of the originals Reason For Living, written for Dan’s son Alfie and life-affirming about the changing power of his son in his life. The piano is strong with a driving beat and leaves you understanding Dan and yourself a bit more.

The bonus track Dan re-arranges the Dylan classic All Along The Watchtower. Stripped back with grand piano and organ intermingling creating the atmosphere that lets the lyrics pop out with intensity and poetry. Reminding us of the influence of Dylan on songwriting, Burnett has reclaimed this classic for the singer-songwriter and not just for a would-be Hendrix. The atmosphere is built and the laughter heard in response to the words adds to the intimacy of the album. For twenty-four minutes we are in a deeply personal space, the songs sung for us in the most intimate of shows that you can listen to whenever you want. These are six shining gems produced and delivered with love Get close and personal and explore a Small World enlarged beautifully by Dan Burnett.

Small World – Dan Burnett 

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Small World
  2. Battle Scars
  3. Last First Kiss
  4. Time Has Come
  5. Reason For Living
  6. All Along The Watchtower

Explore A Small World Enlarged Beautifully by Dan Burnett

Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

 

 

Some albums can be dipped in and out of and others have to be listened to with an open heart and mind from the beginning to the end. This is such an album. This unexpected solo delivery from Kaz Hawkins is a concept album that is full of anguish, a glimpse of sunshine behind the tears and the sunny uplands, a journey where you learn about pain of walking a mile In someone else’s shoes. The individual segments are short, full of lyrical depth and the full glory of Kaz’s vocals powers soulful deep and then soaring into the clouds with freedom of tonal shape and texture.  Kaz without her band there is a vulnerability juxtaposed with a forceful strength as Sam York on the piano accompanies her on this the most personal of journeys.   The songs are all written by Kaz, with the inclusion of Hallelujah Happy People linking back to her album Get Ready.

The opening track Nendrum is a tonal poem, taking us back to the chants of a cloister combining with the clarity of her vocals as she sings ‘Hold Me Let me know…. And I’ll Meet you there’ gospel meets modernity. This mix of ancient and modern makes perfect sense as Nendrum refers to a 10th Century Monastic Site in Northern Ireland that Kaz visited during her mental illness melding the many voices with the eighty-one vocal takes from Kaz woven into the power of the opening number.

How to follow this intensity, complexity and simplicity captured in just over two minutes, with a melodic piano and our first introduction to Sam York and the choral delivery full of slow and a begging demand as Kaz begs ‘Don’t Slip Away’. The first single from the album, every download benefiting Aware NI. The spoken interludes bring this spiritual and meaningful album back into the now with her daughters Avril & Amy. The family is integral to the album with Amy singing backing vocals on My Daughter My Reflection and on the album cover Kaz’s Grandson, reflecting that her journey of trauma and anguish has bought her to this crossroad of confidence, love and family. The fourth track is well-known to anyone who has heard Kaz live, dedicated to her daughters Because I Love You working so beautiful in this re-arrangement, followed by the gentle spoken words from Professor Meg Tyler of Boston University who has worked with Kaz over the past few years where she has given lectures to BU Students on using music as a mental health tool; ending Don’t You Know.

Half way through and the power and confidence grows as the tone begins to change with a hint of defiance as Kaz sings about Surviving, seamlessly moving into Better Days. Pandora has dropped once again the magic of hope into the tempo. You can hear the smile, the hint of an infectious chuckle as Kaz sings this jazzy number that is accompanied by a chirpy piano beat.

The album is a different direction but we dip into soulful Alabama Blues with Alabama Love. Opening with a recording of a conversation and Kaz’s chuckle, these are people of Muscle Shoals Kaz met on a recent trip to Alabama.  The River That Sings, written about Tom Hendrix’s Wall and the legend behind the story the wall tells of his great Grandmother Te-lah-nay part of the Yuchi Indian Tribe who named the Tennessee River the River That Sings.  The piano adds a tension and undercurrent to Lipstick and Cocaine reflecting the props used as we go down the river of hell to emerge the other side to sing with joy in your voice Hallelujah Happy People. This is a song of life, dance and living the dream that is a reality built on a hurtful past.

The penultimate and title track, Don’t You Know is the gathering of the journey we have been on with Kaz her voice is deep soulful shimmering in blood red rubies nothing is crystalline clear like a diamond life led and prizes earned are much more complicated Don’t You Know.  Guitar from Sam opens the final number a homage to the beauty of her daughter with Amy joining in on the backing vocals pulling the album together, music and love the strength and heart of every breath, laugh and note sung by the amazing Kaz Hawkins.

Kaz Hawkins Featuring Sam York – Don’t You Know –                     ALBUM RELEASE 22nd July 2017

5% of album sales are to be donated to Aware NI for Charity Single Don’t Slip Away.

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Nendrum
  2. Don’t Slip Away
  3. *Avril’s Interlude
  4. Because You Love Me
  5. Don’t You Know (Spoken Word)
  6. Surviving
  7. Better Days
  8. Alabama Love
  9. The River That Sings
  10. Lipstick & Cocaine
  11. Hallelujah Happy People
  12. Don’t You Know
  13. *Amy Interlude
  14. My Daughter My Reflection
  15. *Amy’s End

Pre-orders available until 27th June. Click HERE 

Sneaky preview

 

Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically

Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically

Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically

 

The debut album from Brighton’s Michael Baker is not dry as Dust & Bones, there is not a hint of morose self-indulgence. The reality across the ten tracks that make up Dust and Bones there is a lightness of touch and innocence that glows through the flowing melodies. It is more the openness of a sunny spring day than the closing down the year with a foggy autumn day.

The sound created flows and swoops you on a gentle ride that is full of soothing rhythms and lyrics that are thoughtful both simple and complex.  The album opens its doors into the world of Michael Baker with Steady & The Stuck a cascading chorus of sounds before the sting of the acoustic guitar pulls in the vocals from Michael. This is folk that is for the here and now with modern blending of tones and a waterfall of melodic chords and the vocals acting is much as an instrument as a bearer of lyrics that make sense and connect.

The title track as a melodic innocence with the beautiful gentle singing of Georgia Mason who entrances with her girlish quality that reflects the darker more mellow tones of Michael and acoustic.  The tonal quality is light and warm the very oxymoron of the title Dust and Bone.  Three tracks in and the music connects with less is more, Revolving Door 1 we never revisit the Revolving Door with its mesmerising Piano again, promising perhaps  another session with  a door that revolves perhaps that is  a gem for the next album.

This is an album that has one tempo a gentle gushing stream of freshness, there is no drama, not anthems or shocks. It retains interest with crisp production the use of Georgia’s voice and introductions on tracks like The River that has that quirky busking in the street feel. The River is upbeat foot tapping in a gentle soothing way. Closing with Some Kind, Michael Baker will have strengthened his fan base with Dust and Bones. If you love contemporary folk, singer/songwriters that have the ability to connect and music that calms the troubled soul then Dust and Bone is for you. Dust and Bones from Michael Baker, works as a piece of reflective music, it is  a debut album that lays out the musical stall of the artist as he builds on the success of previous releases Caroline and Keys To the Kingdom.

EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Steady & The Stuck
  2. Dust & Bone
  3. Revolving Doors 1
  4. Half My Love
  5. Pulling The Strings
  6. Only Human
  7. The River
  8. Slowly
  9. Anywhere Anytime Soon
  10. Some Kind

Elliott Morris Launches Pledge Music Campaign

pledge-poster-with-info

 

AWARD-WINNING MUSICIAN LAUNCHES DEBUT ALBUM CAMPAIGN

Elliott Morris Launches Pledge Music Campaign
Photo Credit Rockrpix

Award-winning singer/songwriter and guitarist Elliott Morris is launching a crowdfunding campaign to record and release his first album. Following the success of his E.P. It Seemed To Make Sense At The Time read what Bluesdoodles said HERE

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time!” says Morris. “I aimed to get into the studio at the start of the year, but the gigs have just kept coming!”

2016 started with a Celtic Connections spot in Glasgow (where previously Morris was a Danny Kyle award winner) followed by a support slot to American singer Aoife O’Donovan at her UK album launch in London. He then hit the road with Canadian roots rockers the Bros Landreth, supporting them on their debut UK tour. Other notable shows this year have included opening for Cara Dillon, headline dates at The Troubadour in London, and most recently, sharing a bill with Badly Drawn Boy at Barking Folk Festival.

“Crowdfunding means that people I’ve played to along the road so far can directly become involved in the creation of my first album said Morris, who averages 120 live shows a year. “I have played these songs up and down the country in pubs, folk clubs and concert halls, and met many great music fans along the way. It only seems natural to include them in the next step!”

Morris, described by Acoustic Magazine as “the next big thing”, has previously completed two UK tours supporting Paul Carrack where he made a lasting impression with Bluesdoodles we said “His voice is powerful and he engaged with the audience with funny tales and setting the context for his songs which were a mix of folk and country tinged with blue. The numbers were self-penned full of clever lyrics, this is a songwriter who understands the power of the story….” 

PledgeMusic is a direct-to-fan music platform, which allows fans to become a central part of the music making experience, gaining access to exclusive content and seeing Pledger-only updates that provide insight into the music as never before.

“Using PledgeMusic lets me offer my audience far more than if I were to release by myself through a label. With the advance support of my listeners, I can offer not just physical CDs, but I can release the album on vinyl, and provide really special extras such as signed artwork prints, handwritten lyric sheets and bonus discs. I can also send exclusive updates from the studio directly to Pledgers.”

Other benefits on offer to Pledgers include exclusive Harris Tweed guitar straps, a thank you in the CD booklet, signed and framed vinyl, an exclusive live EP recording while on a tour of Scotland this summer, and even a house concert where Morris will come and play a show in your living room.

Furthermore, once Morris’s funding hits its target, 10% of any extra Pledge money goes to the men’s mental health charity C.A.L.M.

Elliott Morris   releases his album in early 2017, but anyone can become part of the journey now. Visit Pledgemusic NOW   to find out more about the album, benefits and Pledge HERE.

 

 

 

 

On Tour Harry Pane releases Changing

On Tour Harry Pane releases Changing

On Tour Harry Pane releases Changing

This four track EP is a mellow snippet of Harry Pane’s approach to acoustic singer/songwriter Americana infused music. Guitar and voice perfect accompaniment when chilling on a Summer’s day.
Yes, Changing has a feel of Americana, in reality, Changing is guitar and vocals they cajoles and allows the song to be at the heart of the stage where Harry Pane sits and plays. The four tracks have a simplicity that charms with guitar backdrop curling around the lyrical story. Changing opening number shapes the reality of being ready for change it is the only certainty so be ready. Ghosts picks up the ethereal opening with sea on a beach. The guitar sounds at times like Don McClean. The percussive quality of wood and zing of wire are used to good effect. The music fills the space as we explore Karma’s Prey. The lyrics hit home the moment may be bleak and grey but optimism gives the track a glimmer of sunnier times. The tempo mood and feel changes as the guitar sound is pure country-blue and Cold Light Of Day closes out and EP that gives a glimmer of the breadth and scope of a talented Singer-songwriter. The honesty in the lyrics gives a personal depth of tone as he ponders and explores his relationship with his father through his evocative music.

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

Track Listing 

  1. Changing
  2. Ghosts
  3. Karma’s Prey
  4. Cold Light Of Day

‘Changing’ is the title track of Harry Pane’s new EP – Written by Harry Pane
Mixed, produced and Engineered by Dani Castelar (Paolo Nutini, Caustic Love) Mastered by Mandy Parnell

HARRY PANE LIVE DATES
10/06 – Surrey, Greyshott Folk Club
13/06 – London, The Social (w/ Gabrielle Aplin & Hudson Taylor)
19/06 – Oxfordshire, Soho Farm House
26/06 – Somerset, Glastonbury Festival (Rabbit Hole)
30/06 – London, Sebright Arms
01/06 – Northants, The Old Firestation **Sold Out**
06/07 – London, The Green Note
31/07 – Hampshire, CarFest
10/08 – O2 Academy, Oxford
26/08 – The Cotswolds, The Big Festival (Udder Stage)

Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell

Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell

Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell

 

 

Tonight no camera so could concentrate on the music from the first to the last so one advantage of no photography permission for the show.

The hall was packed, the audience excitable and  I wondered how many would try and take mobile phone shots despite being informed on entry NO Photography. Yes, people still did leaving the stewards the impossible task of identifying  and re-informing people and this was a distraction from the music I certainly did not want. The staff handled the situation so well, but they should not have had to do this we were told – respect the artist wishes and just sit back and enjoy the show of magical Cornell sound.  Then there was the getting up and down… gripes over and on with the glory that was Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell. With no opening act due to circumstances beyond control, it was straight to the main act we all wanted to hear. Opening with  Before We Disappear, from Higher Truth, with Bryan Gibson on keys,the lights illuminated the backdrop and red heart, script and diagrams the show was underway.

The songs flowed and the set list was extensive – twenty-three numbers plus three additional in the encore. The set was interspersed with tracks from his latest album including Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart and Worried Moon, and the Sound Garden tracks Black Hole Sun and Blow Up The Outside World. The re-writing/updating of the Dylan classic re-titled Times Are Changing Back was a highlight showing that this was a set-list that entertained with sighs, laughs and tears.

For over two and half hours Chris Cornell entertained with a smile, witty stories and interaction with a packed house and his music spanning the Sound Garden years and his solo career joined on stage for some of the tracks by multi-instrumentalist Bryan Gibson with cello and keys. His tribute to Prince was raw and stripped back so the intensity of every word was savoured and then spread out across the auditorium, yes Prince Nothing Compares to You and a purple stage reflecting back the emotions still tender to touch for so many music fans. In the mix tonight was Josephine, for his wife.  The stage had an extra member tonight, mandolin player James from Nottingham who Chris had first met at the Manchester gig who joined Chris on Fell On Black Days after displaying a request placard. Impressed invited back for a repeat performance tonight in Bristol. This is what makes live music so special, always expect the unexpected. Fans shouted out requests that will have been a muffled noise by the time they hit the stage, Chris felt he had caught the words Drunk In the Forest a song title that should have been written, So we had a new experimental ditty from him including the importance of having crumbs (which he did not) in your pocket before wandering and getting lost in a forest! Quick wits and fun  exuding from  the stage tonight. It was truly A Day In The Life of a musician and a great rendition of this Beatles number from Sgt. Peper’s album, and then closing the set with the  words of John Lennon’s Imagine, if only we all could all live as one in harmony.

The music was spellbinding a walk through the music of Chris with Bond, James Bond the theme to Casino Royale You Know My Name and it was received with delight by the audience spellbound by musical narrative unfolding on stage.  People were on the edges of their seats as their own special Cornell song was delivered to a Colston Hall that wanted to hear more from the singer of songs on stage tonight.

Ghosts swirled, ebbed  and flowed of music past, lovers lost and found and musicians who have passed. The web flowed through Sound Garden and Chris Cornell’s material Dylan to Prince, Michael Jackson to Led Zepplin, Beatles and Metallica and U2 joined together in a Cornell Mash-up we were united as One applauding the power of music, the emotional feast of lyrics. Thank you, Chris Cornell we stood and appreciated as the fading notes of the title song of his current album Higher Truth faded away. The passion of live music lived on long after the lights of Colston Hall were switched off tonight!

Dan, solo acoustic from Dan Israel

Dan, solo acoustic from Dan Israel

 

Dan, solo acoustic from Dan Israel

 

 

This is Americana/folk stripped down to its simplest components and is even reflected in the title where Dan Israel simply uses his first name for this self-titled album. Throughout the tone has a world-weary shading to Dan’s vocals that have a rasping edge more Petty than Dylan. This is Dan’s thirteenth studio album. The production is crisp and there are many special guests everything is minimal ensuring the personal singer/songwriter appeal is maintained.

Opening with Winter Is Coming the beat is jaunty as it looks forward almost with dread to the cold of the upcoming season. The fiddle acts as a sharp punctuation to the lyrics plus the lightning of the song with female backing singer adds depth and interest. This is an album that is personal, and the titles of the songs relate to the moods and experiences that shape life. It captures the smiles and tears, joy and hurts and leaves you always with hope. Dan as an album is a Pandora’s Box and does not provide solutions to life’s journey he can only leave you with a heart full of music with feet tapping joy that gives you hope for sunshine tomorrow.
There is an instant listenability of a mainstream hit on the second track in. Be With Me has an energy the growl of his rasping vocals are reminiscent of a cross between Dylan and Petty not as a copy but in the tonal shaping of the lyrics. You are left having listened to Be With Me and the rest of the album that this is an album you will return to. The tracks blend Americana with open catchy melody that just acts as an ear-worm as the tempo and arrangement changes for Can’t Believe It. The guitar opens on You Don’t Love Me Anymore with a country feel and the sadness is there but doesn’t overwhelm as Dan explores those life changing moments where your life will be different from now on. The chronological sense of the next track Moving On gives the slower almost hesitant development of the song an authentic honesty as you step over a new threshold full of trepidation and hopes. With its Country beat Winning At Solitaire with its slide guitar and the title links up to be on your own despite the dance beat of the number. Closing with the haunting tune Now You’re On Your Own there is an acceptance of what life is about now on your own the end of the tunnel of change is reached with the closing number. The album is full of sadness is a retrospective of relationships ending and loneliness. Dan Israel keeps the sunshine peeping out from behind the clouds there is joy and hope in the album from beginning to end.

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

 

Track Listing
1. Winter Is Coming
2. Be With Me
3. Can’t Believe It
4. Two Bright Stars
5. You Don’t Love Me Anymore
6. Moving Day
7. Lonely Too
8. Try and Let You Know
9. Winning At Solitaire
10. Now You’re On Your Own

Jack Savoretti playing to a full Tramshed

Jack Savoretti playing to a full Tramshed

Jack Savoretti playing to a full Tramshed

 

Wednesday night in Cardiff and all roads led to the Tramshed off Clare Street. Everyone appeared to be walking and driving to see Jack Savoretti the atmosphere was excited anticipation as Earl opened for Jack Savoretti and his band.

Jack Savoretti playing to a full TramshedEarl stepped on stage sat behind her keyboard and picked up electric guitar and entertained with a singer/songwriter set that entertained. Earl from Alaska now based in London has fine vocals and the lyrics certainly shared emotions with the audience if they cared to listen. Those that did were enchanted by the laid back and warm demeanor of Earl. Showcasing her EP recorded in a church and performed Good Witch which is being played on Radio 2 on the B list and noticed by Chris Evans. This is her first UK tour and her name will definitely get more notice and as her style develops, needs more variation in tempo and musical delivery to retain interest; Earl has the musical foundation for being a powerful Singer/songwriter act.

Short break and the laughing and excitement grew in Tramshed and for a change the audience was predominately women. The age range was diverse and once again proving live music is healthy in UK as people come out to a venue on a cold March Cardiff evening.

Jack Savoretti playing to a full TramshedWhat a loss to the British music scene if the broke and disillusioned singer/songwriter had quit four/five years ago. Thankfully the fates had another plan for Jack, as he said an angry farewell to the music business. The songs just came, a viaduct for the anger and frustration the younger Jack was feeling. Like many talented musicians touring the circuit his voice is exceptional, his stage presence amenable and musicianship that makes the best of the lyrics. The writing and personal passion resulted in 2011’s critically-acclaimed Before The Storm; the future was now set to stay with a music career for once the combination of perseverance and talent combined to make sure that Jack Savoretti was now here in Cardiff as part of a sell-out tour.

The stage went dark the atmosphere built-in a venue that knows how to put on a show, on came the band and then to a rousing heartfelt cheer before a note was played or sung Jack Savoretti himself.  The dramatic intro over and straight in to the title track of his current album Written In Scars, the music rolled for another 90 minutes as we were entertained with a stomping, rollickingly good mix of alternative rock folk with variation weaved through the weft and warp of the musical tapestry painted tonight by Jack Savoretti. There were blues riffs and licks and country guitar, southern rock and British rock n’ roll creating an accessible sound that refused to be captured into the cul-de-sac that being linked with a specific genre can become.

Jack Savoretti has a superb band supporting his vocals that change like a vocal chameleon to suit the shape of the lyrics and musical style and accomplished acoustic guitar playing. The band created the deep rhythms, drummer Jesper Lind and John Bird Jnr on various Bass guitars and upright and to the melody is keyboard play Nikolaj Torp Larsen (Danish session musician who currently also tours with The Specials) and a Wurlitzer with a Nord C3 is different from the Hammond combo.  To the left of Jack is guitarist Pedro Vito who adds such depth of tone from his myriad of guitars to add whether a Fender or a Gibson with and without glittery finish.  The band with the layers of tonal colours paint the musical landscape for Jack Savoretti who rules the stage and is the focal point of the audience’s attention. They were delighted as Fight Until The End and Breaking The Rules were sung the atmosphere was getting  hot hot hot. Then the band left the stage after Home and for one track the stage was Jack’s with an acoustic solo of Dylan’s Nobody ‘Cept You. His voice was deep and melodic filling the Tramshed from the edge of the stage up into the rafters. Once again the soundmen had the sound spot-on.  He was not left on his own for long as John Bird joined him for Soldiers Eyes and then the rest of the band picked up the baton and the second half of the show started.  The crowd continued to be pleased and sing along to the numbers they love so much. The whoops of pure joy rang around the venue, the energy of live music is addictive.

Jack has a vocal range that can be compared with many on the circuit, the gravel tones stop the whole proceedings becoming syrupy sweet combined with the lyrics that have a passionate power. As in For The Last Time – “I don’t want to hear what you, I’ve heard it all before every single phrase, Wipe away the tears drowning out my days, Give me back the years that you took away….“.  Knock Knock, brought the set to an end and had the everyone harmonizing with Jack  this gritty gravel infused vocal on a country-style number the venue was rocking.  No the silence didn’t last he and the band were back for three more songs for an encore with Come Shine The Light a closing number that will linger as an earworm for everyone at the sell-out gig tonight. Cardiff says, Thank you Jack Savoretti for crossing the bridge over the Severn and to Tramshed for being such a great venue for live music.

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Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

 

 

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin on this a stylish singer/songwriter album. The tales are told with humour, sadness and a freshness – the energy is from the pure delight Rachel imports into every track. Rachel is based in San Fransico, Wink at July her fifth tuneful album makes the sun shine what every the weather.

Wink at July a journey both physically and lyrically on a perfect summer holiday. Taking the listener from the Berkeley Hills to the Isles of Scotland (her mother’s homeland) via the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1950; Keith Haring’s graffiti and the artist studio. The twelve songs are mini novellas the stories are intricate and full of expressive imagery, the album is artistry.

Opening with Gewndolyn Said, with the beat of a drum the album starts and then the voice that is the core of the album and guitar accompaniment. The instrumentation acts as punctuation, the shading for the lyrics and what did Gwendolyn say, “We put the playground behind us, Pushed the envelope back into our binder” and so much more from her poem Annie Allen. The late New York graffiti artist is celebrated in Hey Keith Haring and celebrates the artform, “You Kept a Sharpie in your pack, You gave graffiti love and gave graffiti love back”. A mini portrait of his life in New York frozen in just under four minutes.

My two standout tracks are The Sea You See is a delicate plucked number. A celebration of family and lineage she is passing on to her daughter. It is a tribute to everyone who leaves their homeland and roots to emigrate as her mother did. It is about chance, changing plans and the loss of not being able to see other people’s experiences and memories from far away.  Dear Friend is a strong song. It is a heartfelt open letter about friendship over a distance. Rachel picks and turns over with a gentleness, non-judgemental understanding of vulnerabilities, the journey we all take in our lives.

Throughout this sophisticated album the instrumentation weaves itself with empathy around the clever words stirring up a myriad of feelings and emotions. The mix is used with care whether it is Harmonium, accordion, piano or the refined acoustic guitar chords. They are the perfect soundscape for the journey Rachel is taking us on with her skills as a wordsmith and singer. Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin, the closing track of the album with a darker tone and a calmness as “The whole World Stopped To look at The Sky”. There is a mystery throughout reflecting memories of the first moonwalk fading with “I look at the sky in layers of maroon..”

Rachel Garlin wraps the listener around in a cocoon of colour, textures and a soundscape and stories that captivate your soul.

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


Rachel Garlin – Wink at July – Buy HERE

Track Listing

  1. Gwendolyn Said
  2. Accordion Song
  3. Hey Keith Haring
  4. This Winding road
  5. The Sea You See
  6. Colorado Rain
  7. Up On a Ladder in Boots
  8. Flying Together
  9. Spin
  10. Stranded
  11. Dear Friend
  12. Wink At July

Rob Richings chatting with Bluesdoodles

Rob R

Big thank you to Rob Richings for chatting with Bluesdoodles

 

BD: We catch you on a break in your current touring
RR: Tom Baxter is great fun to open for and this is the second time so it must be working, just completed three dates in Scotland and have further dates through November with Tom and one opening once again with Fisherman Friends. Fisherman Friends from Port Issac is a very different style of music it is an unusual combination it seems to work the crowd gets my music and the auditorium is warmed up for the main act. Tom Baxter has fantastic guitar skills and his support has been fantastic.
BD See end of interview for dates and links to venues
BD: I see you close your touring at The Convent on the 21st what are your plans for the rest of 2015 and beyond?
RR: Busy time ahead day after the last show I am off to Sydney to record my album – (BD: wow why Sydney?) I met the producer in Paris of the band Passenger, well and so off to a studio in Australia. I went over in August and did the pre-production so will be spending a solid ten days concentrating on finishing the album. I have got to nail it whilst in Austrialia so giving it 100%.
BD: So will you be using session musicians?
RR: Yes, happy to use session musicians to shape the tones on the album. My shows are not about reproducing recorded material I prefer the stripped back form for my live act.

BD: We have talked about the excitement of the album, you currently have a EP Half Way Up.
RR: The EP is four tracks that all work well together and are a taster for the main event. The album will be all new material as we go forward I have plenty of material so no need to duplicate.
BD: So what inspires you as a song writer?
RR: I tend to use real life experiences, I was quite ill for a while with major surgery having survived and come out the other side I have lots of material. I also people watch, sit back and observe what is going on around me. I do not have Colitis any more after a series of serious operations and surviving the cancer caused by the Colitis. I spent a long time in hospital. I got over it and music helped my recovery, gained lots of inspiration and my song writing improved so there were some positives.
BD: How do you approach you writing is it lyrics then melody or the other way around?
RR: Happens both ways. Sometimes, it is a chord and the lyrics build around that. Or I find a line and build a song around the idea. I really think it is important to get the song across. I am never sure where the first line comes from. Yes there are formulas to shape a song but you need the inspiration when that hits the hard work begins as the song takes shape.
BD: What came first singing or the Guitar?
RR: Guitar is an important part but not the main it is underneath the songs that are the important part of my act. I am not a fancy guitar player but I am good at capturing the sound underneath the lyrics. I picked up the guitar around 12 or 13 and did covers of Nirvana and Brit Pop of the 90’s. I was self-taught and the covers developed my guitar skills.
BD: So who has influenced you?
RR: There have been lots of influences including Ron Sexsmith and Damon Albarn his music is immense across genres and has stood the test of time and of course Tom Baxter. I used to listen and watch Tom and always thought I would love to be asked to support him and it has happened.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?
RR: It would be a trio of vocalists myself, Damon Albarn and Freddie Mercury – what a front man to have.

BD: Describe what an audience should expect from your singer/songwriter approach to music
RR: I am one man and a guitar with strong hooks into the lyrics that tell a tale. Simple guitar, strong words and I will often explain the song and background before singing to help connect with the audience.

Read what Bluesdoodles said about the excellent EP Half Way Up HERE and we are looking forward to the album out in 2016.

Sneak preview then catch him live before Rob Riching sis off to Australia

Tour Dates
13th – St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings (Fishermans Friends support)
19th – Phoenix, Exeter (Tom Baxter support)
20th – Railway (Attic), Winchester (Tom Baxter support)
21st – Convent Club, Stroud (Tom Baxter support)