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CD Reviews

Milton Hide - Little Fish (Howdy Records)

Convincing performances by Eastbourne-based husband and wife team Jim Tipler and Josie Tipler, with six choice songs, the themes ranging from Brexit, Japanese carp migration, ideal locations for enduring cerebral hypoxia and a touching homage to home, each obviously revealing something rather more...

Star rating: 
3

Lucia Comnes - Held in the Arms (Delfina Records)

A rather tasty selection of fine songs courtesy of this San Francisco-born, now Italy-based singer, fiddler and guitar player. Lucia's fourth album features songs that tackle themes of 'nurturing', whilst adopting an easily accessible Americana sound, complete with lilting rhythms and clutter-free...

Star rating: 
3

Ben Reel - Land of Escape (B Reel Records)

Ben Reel's eighth album features a dozen new songs by the Irish singer songwriter, recorded at Ben's home studio in South Armagh, the songs being treated to lush arrangements throughout, with Ben's fine vocal at the helm. Soulful in places, LAND OF ESCAPE provides the sort of escapism we currently...

Star rating: 
3

Rachel Brown and The Beatnik Playboys - Look Who's Back (Self Release)

Rachel is a considerable talent, a powerful vocalist and a fine piano player. Both her voice and her playing adapt easily to fit the furious bar blues and the torch songs the band play so well. Rachel Brown's rich voice draws on Country, Rock n Roll, Rockabilly and sultry Jazz. Look Whose Back and...

Star rating: 
4

Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain (Loose)

Starting with her HONEST LIFE record, Courtney Marie Andrews began a steady climb up the collective Americana psyche. It caused Loose to rerelease her earlier ON MY PAGE record and, now, we have a new record to ponder, MAY YOUR KINDNESS REMAIN. All this in the space of a couple of years. You'd...

Star rating: 
5

Scott Matthews - The Great Untold (Shedio)

This album, made up of stripped-back songs, holds our attention through its poetic beauty, it's simplicity and it's restrained atmosphere throughout. The Wolverhampton-born singer songwriter has shown remarkable progress since he arrived on the scene twelve years ago with his debut album PASSING...

Star rating: 
4

Ry Cooder - Prodigal Son (Fantasy)

I can actually remember a time when we used to look forward to the new Ry Cooder album, just to see where this man's impeccable taste would take him next. Questions would invariably arise, such as, would there be any trademark bottleneck guitar wizardry, or any mandolin driven spirituals? Would...

Star rating: 
5

Robert Lane - Only a Flight Away (Self Release)

With commendations from the master of English songwriting Ray Davies, Robert Lane exercises his craft once again in this third release, an album of self-penned songs ranging in style from the folk/pop leanings of The Instigator , to the rock solid band arrangement of Man of the Moment. Impressive...

Star rating: 
3

John Statz - Darkness on the San Juans (Why River)

The Denver-based singer-songwriter pours his heart out on this fine album of personal songs, the production of which make the songs sound even more personal and intimate. Highly prolific with eight albums under his belt, John Statz writes in a fluid style, with uncomplicated arrangements and...

Star rating: 
3

The Lonesome Ace Stringband - When the Sun Comes Up (Self Release)

Chris Coole, John Showman and Max Heineman make up the Lonesome Ace Stringband, with banjo, fiddle and bass under their respective command. The Canadian trio's third album takes old-time music and gives it a modern twist, taking the tradition to new places, whilst mixing their own original songs...

Star rating: 
4

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