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CD Reviews

Jess and the Bandits - Smoke and Mirrors (Absolute Marketing)

Jess is a passionate vocalist and with the bandits delivers an engaging, smooth, radio friendly, Gospel Soul Country Rock. There are swampy dirty numbers and moments where the band broods with an intensity that will appeal to Hozier fans as well as Shires & Lady Antebellum ones. (MH)

Star rating: 
3
The Rheingans Sisters - Green Unstopping (Official Video)

The Rheingans Sisters - Bright Field (RootBeat Records)

Bright Field is the third album from The Rheingans, musicians, composers and folk music scholars. Anna is a Toulouse based musician and violin teacher. Rowan balances this duo with the Lady Maisey trio and has appeared on three notable releases in the last two years, including the SONGS OF...

Star rating: 
4

Port Cities - Port Cities (Turtlemuzik)

Layered vocals against guitars and keyboards Port Cities are a hard band to classify. This Canadian three piece from Nova Scotia who recorded in Nashville manage to blend elements of both locations into their sound. The band, Dylan Guthrie, Breagh Mackinnon and Carleton Stone, reckon a port city is...

Star rating: 
4

Sue Foley - The Ice Queen (Stony Plain)

Ottawa-based blues gal flaunts her deliciously smokey vocals and lithe guitar licks on this sizzling record. With a little help from Jimmy Vaughan and Charlie Sexton, this cleanly produced selection of old and new blues numbers proves that, seventeen years after receiving her Juno, Foley is still...

Star rating: 
3

Jimi Hendrix - Both Sides of the Sky (Legacy)

Third and final album in a trilogy of previously unreleased recordings from Jimi's final two years, once again showcasing the bewildering talent of an artist who left us far too soon. A treat for blues fans, the album includes roaring renditions of Muddy Waters' Mannish Boy, Guitar Slim's Things I...

Star rating: 
3

Jakob Bro - Returnings (ECM)

The Danish guitarist's third ECM outing presents another selection of sprawling sonic textures with Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet, Jon Christensen on drums and Thomas Morgan on bass. Moving ghost-like between minimalism and sumptuous climaxes, the album is a thing of dreamlike beauty that rejuvenates...

Star rating: 
4

Pilgrims' Way - Stand and Deliver (Talking Cat)

Lively highwayman themed concept album. Driving music mixes classic folk with some surprising twists, courtesy of the bewildering array of instruments the band plays and the glorious sound of four voices singing together. Pilgrims' Way also manage to folk up Stand And Deliver that most famous...

Star rating: 
4

Dan Caine - Journey Through An Open Mind EP (Fluttery Records)

Wirral-born ambient/post rock guitarist's eighth release, comprising four lengthy pieces, including the ten minute title opus, an atmospheric and adventurous statement of restraint. Although released as an EP, the whole is long enough for headphones on, feet up and relax for half hour. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Heather Downie - Nae Sweets For The Shy Bairns (Self Release)

It takes a listen to realise how brave and how decisive this album is and how much it demands your attention. The title NAE SWEETS FOR THE SHY BAIRNS, it quickly becomes apparent is very apt and as much a statement of intent or a manifesto. Harpist and Singer Heather was introduced to music at the...

Star rating: 
5

The Often Herd - The Often Herd EP (Self Release)

The Often Herd are a hybrid. Guitar, mandolin, an American fiddle player and a jazzy Double Bass player produce a hybridised Bluegrass topped with West Coast vocal harmonies. Recorded by this British band in Newcastle this is acoustic dance music with some fine trio vocal harmonies spun out over...

Star rating: 
4

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