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CD Reviews

Hannah Rarity - Neath The Gloaming Star (Self Release)

The absolute star of this excellent album is Hannah Rarity's voice, delicate and pure, full of nuance on Wasting Time and Where Are You (Tonight I Wonder) , revisited from Hannah's 2016 Beginnings EP, or more powerful but still perfectly phrased on Neath The Gloamin Star at E'en . Hannah, BBC Radio...

Star rating: 
5

Dan Webster - Devil Sky (Self Release)

Dan Webster possesses a confident soulful voice, think Mike Scott of The Waterboys channelling rich Americana. Play Cards And Late Night Bars marries a Celtic lilt and violin with a driving tune and a punchy beat. Home Again is altogether more pensive and smooth. Dan Webster delivers a superb...

Star rating: 
4

Dur-Dur Band - Dur Dur of Somalia Vols 1 and 2 (Analog Africa)

Analog Africa continue in their endeavour to introduce new audiences to the authentic sounds of Africa, bringing to our attention what could possibly be described as the musical treasures of the continent, with the reissue of the first two volumes of the Dur-Dur Band of Somalia's back catalogue...

Star rating: 
4

Rachel McShane and the Cartographers - When All is Still

Some delightful arrangements of traditional songs each with a contemporary feel. Rachael's voice may not be quite as distinctive as Kate Rusby or Ruth Notman (for instance), but clearly her arrangements fall along similar lines. It's been almost ten years since Rachael's debut album NO MAN'S FOOL,...

Star rating: 
4

A Different Thread - On a Whim (Self Release)

Staffordshire's Robert Jackson and North Carolina's Alicia Best make up the formidable team of A Different Thread, a duo who blend their own particular roots with quite pleasing results. The dozen songs included here are all self-penned apart from the traditional The Prickly Bush , but it's...

Star rating: 
4

Yvonne Lyon - Everything's Fine EP (Self Release)

EVERYTHING'S FINE is a single taken from the eighth and latest album, METANOIA by Yvonne Lyon. Everything's Fine the track is a sparkly, light upbeat piece of Celtic Americana. Yvonne's voice within the first moments reminds me of both Eddi Reader, who she has toured with and Aimee Mann, two of my...

Star rating: 
4

Letitia VanSant - Gut It To The Studs (Self Release)

Letitia VanSant writes fine songs and delivers them in a voice that first demands, then holds your attention. The grit and rasp of experience mixes with a beautifully phrased delivery, like the burr on a country violin or the crackle in Stan Getz's low drawn out saxophone notes. There are the...

Star rating: 
5

Assynt - Road to the North (Self Release)

Assynt, are a new Scottish trio, playing self penned tunes influenced by the Highland and Gaelic Traditions. The band comprises David Sheddan Pipes and Whistles, Graham Mackenzie, Fiddle and Innes White Guitar and Mandolin. On this, their first album they are joined by BBC Radio Scotland's Young...

Star rating: 
4

Terence Blacker - Enough About Me (Self Release)

Terence Blacker is a singer songwriter and writer of wry offbeat songs. Like dry Jake Thackray and American Tom Lehrer, Blacker has the ability to look at the ordinary, everyday, that nobody writes about and turn out gems of social observation. Like Lehrer and Thackray his powers of observation are...

Star rating: 
4

Niteworks - Air Faìr An Là (Comann Music)

ALBUM OF THE MONTH (September 2018) Niteworks is Ruairidh Graham, Allan MacDonald, Christopher Nicolson and Innes Strachan. On AIR FAIR AN LA the Niteworks quartet is augmented by guest vocalists Julie Fowlis, Ellen MacDonald, Iain Morrison, Scottish Gaelic vocal trio Sian and traditional string...

Star rating: 
5

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