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CD Reviews

Brother Roy - Last Man Standing (Self Release)

It's rewarding to hear a record so chock full of songs rich in melody, with lush orchestrations, maturely written lyrics and embellished with the sound of a sweet Hammond organ, occasionally swirling along in the mix as if it was 1965 again. Heartbreaker , the opening song, ticks the same boxes...

Edgelarks - Edgelarks (Dragonfly Records)

Standing back to back on the sleeve of their latest album, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin enchant before a single note is played. Birds circle the margins as the duo's newly adopted name suggests, serving as an eloquent introduction to the twelve songs included within, which enchant equally...

Hadrian's Union - Aural Borderalis (Self Release)

Strange place Cumbria. Not quite Scotland and it's shared Caledonian identity, yet too far from England's cultural epicentres to be dragged into any passing mode du jour. A place then where they do things their own way, at least if Hadrian's Union are anything to go by. Yes, they do make their own...

Pons Aelius - Captain Glen's Comfort (Self Release)

The North East music scene has produced some fine folk outfits over the years from Lindisfarne to The Unthanks, Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies to the Young'uns. In 2015, the traditional sextet Pons Aelius, named after the Newcastle Roman fort, were the deserved recipients of the Celtic Connections...

Meridian Brothers - ¿Dónde Estás María? (Soundway)

Beginning life as a one-man conceptual project in the late nineties, Meridian Brothers has developed into a constantly imaginative and exciting live quintet. For ¿DÓNDE ESTÁS MARÍA?, founder Elibis Alvarez returns to the studio to cook up ten infectiously lively and eccentric tracks that propel...

Gigspanner - The Wife of Urban Law (Self Release)

The arrival of any new Gigspanner album is always preceded by eager anticipation in these quarters and the trio's fourth album to date is no exception. So good is Peter Knight's trio, I've come to expect nothing short of musical excellence in both their choice of material and their intricate...

The Foxglove Trio - Distant Havens (Foxglove Records)

The task of following their 2015 debut THESE GATHERED BRANCHES was always going to be a bit of an uphill slog for The Foxglove Trio. Amazingly, however, these three outstanding musicians appear to have skipped effortlessly up the incline with DISTANT HAVENS, an album that keeps your ear superglued...

Megan Henwood - River (Dharma Records)

Since winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2009 with her brother Joe Henwood, Megan has released a trio of albums, this being the third and an EP with Jackie Oates. Over the last six years, MAKING WAVES, HEAD HEART HAND and now RIVER have charted Henwood's slow burn development into an...

Davy Graham - Folk Blues and Beyond (Bread and Wine)

Listening back to what is now considered a folk classic, FOLK, BLUES AND BEYOND, Davy Graham's second album release, now sounds pretty pedestrian in the vocal department, although his mastery of the acoustic guitar is still startlingly vibrant. Whether tackling blues standards such as Cocaine, Rock...

Jack Rutter - Hills (Self Release)

Still in his mid twenties, as well as being a member of both Seth Lakeman's and Jackie Oates' band, Jack Rutter is already a highly respected singer, guitarist and interpreter of traditional material. HILLS is his debut solo album, a pure and unadorned set of tracks, with one voice and one...

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