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CD Reviews

Ribbon Road - Roadside Dreams (Shipyard)

This seventh album by Ribbon Road, the family band that effectively serves as a vehicle for the songs of prolific singer-songwriter Brenda Heslop, once again reveals a family business that knows what it's doing. Joined once again by guitarist/producer husband Geoff and daughter Jill who provides...

Star rating: 
3

The Mighty Doonans - The Mighty Doonans (Self Release)

The Mighty Doonans are essentially The Doonan Family Band with some of the younger family members joining in on the fun. This multi-talented, multi-generational, mightily fine and mightily Doonan-drenched debut from one of the Northeast's most famous musical dynasties comes with a sense of fun and...

Star rating: 
3

Syd Arthur - On and On (Dawn Chorus)

Inventive and funky debut from Kent-based four-piece Syd Arthur, whose easily detectable precedent must be that of their Canterbury-based forerunners of the late 1960s. It's almost as if Prog Rock has returned but with much less pretentious baggage. Musically, Syd Arthur explore World rhythms but...

Star rating: 
3

Steve Katz - Barricades (Self Release)

With five well-produced original songs from this debut EP by Brussels-born but now New York-based singer-songwriter Steve Katz, we get an instant feel for what Steve's songs are all about. With a style reminiscent of such artists as Damien Rice, Jose Gonzalez and occasionally Brad Roberts (Crash...

Star rating: 
3

Steel Threads - Timing Is Everything (Rocksector)

Debut album by Coventry-based three-piece power rock/folk ensemble Steel Threads, whose Neil Wardleworth, Stuart Eastham and Cliff Woodworth are no strangers to the music world. With eleven original compositions all written by Wardleworth, TIMING IS EVERYTHING provides some of the energy the band...

Star rating: 
3

Gary Stewart - Year and a Day (Babaganoush)

The Scots-born now Leeds-based singer-songwriter Gary Stewart adopts a minimalist approach as he returns with four new songs with four single syllable titles, Thorns, Eve, Green and Blue . The four songs on his new YEAR AND A DAY EP once again feature Gary's distinctively throaty voice and delicate...

Star rating: 
3

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman - Hidden People (Navigator)

Before the convenience of online shopping and instant music downloads, it would take something special for me to drop everything and drive the twenty miles to Sheffield specifically to buy a record, knowing that my town would not have such an item in stock. Such was the situation back in 1995 when...

Star rating: 
4

Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys - Two Fine Days (Fellside)

This third outing for the Birmingham-based duo follows its two predecessors on Fellside, LIGHT UP THE BEACONS and THE NORTHERN ROAD and once again features the singing of Jack McNeill accompanied by the empathetic fiddle playing of Charlie Heys. Receiving critical acclaim, the BBC Radio 2 Young...

Star rating: 
4

Various Artists - Harbour of Songs (Proper)

Producer Adrian McNally of The Unthanks presides over this exceptional album, which brings together a wide variety of songwriters, poets, musicians and performers all of whom were invited to contribute songs especially written to accompany Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan's Lone Twin Boat Project. The...

Star rating: 
4

Larkin Poe - Thick as Thieves Special Edition EP (Edvins)

With some slight over-eagerness, Northern Sky recently reviewed Larkin Poe's fifth EP before its official release after picking up a pre-release copy at their London gig in November 2011. This special edition of the EP includes an additional live DVD and therefore deserves further mention within...

Star rating: 
4

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