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Reviews

Stella Chiweshe - Kasahwa: Early Singles (Glitterbeat)

For world perspective, if we consider that the biggest UK single of 1973 was Dawn's ever-so-twee Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree and by 1983 we had arrived at the dazzlingy colourful Karma Chameleon , courtesy of Culture Club, then Stella Chiweshe's run of singles, released exclusively...

Star rating: 
4

Tia McGraff - Stubborn in My Blood (Bandana Records)

Tia McGraff has one of those voices, that blends angelic note hitting ability with just enough rasp or crackle to give her life lesson lyrics gravitas and weight. There is a little of the Country Blues burr of a sweet Bonnie Raitt or even Bonnie Tyler with a touch of Dolly Parton. It's a confident...

Star rating: 
4

Ruston Kelly - Dying Star (Rounder Records)

There's something of a buzz going around town at the moment in anticipation of South Carolina-born, Nashville-based Ruston Kelly's debut full-length album release and UK tour, which are both now very much upon us. Not only does DYING STAR boast a lead track ( Jericho ), a first single release (...

Star rating: 
4

Mark Harrison - The Panoramic View (Self Release)

A curious release this time from country blues devotee Mark Harrison, with each of the songs prefaced by a spoken introduction by the familiar voice of Gail Porter, who effectively saves us the bother of reading the sleeve notes. There's a demo feel to each of the songs, as if they haven't been...

Star rating: 
3

Mairearad and Anna - Farran (Shouty Records)

Mairearad Green and Anna Massie, raised by Achnahaird Bay and The Moray Firth respectively have strong historic and current connections to the sea. This is evident in the nautical title of this, their predominantly instrumental forth album, FARRAN being the Scots word for the Starboard side of the...

Star rating: 
4

Ryley Walker - Deafman Glance (Dead Oceans)

Followers of Ryley Walker on Twitter get drawn into a world of life on the road where tales of fast food and travel blur into opinions on music. It's hard to tell whether it's fact or fiction at times but what's clear is that he's happily taking a singular path through life. So, it is with each new...

Star rating: 
4

Edwin Hawkins Singers - The Buddah Collection (Retro World)

Between 1969 and 1998, the the Edwin Hawkins Singers released a string of gospel albums and enjoyed at least one smash hit with Oh Happy Day , a song that resonated in popular culture during the late 1960s, inspiring George Harrison's similarly sounding My Sweet Lord . Three of those albums, IT'S A...

Star rating: 
3

Chris Thomas - Bound to the Ocean (Self Release)

Having previously honed his craft in several local bands as well as a successful Pink Floyd tribute show, Devon-born singer-songwriter Chris Thomas has concentrated his solo songwriting credentials into this, his debut album, which showcases his flair for writing accessible folk/pop melodies,...

Star rating: 
4

Thabang Tabane - Matjale (Mushroom Hour Half Hour)

Deeply spiritual music from the Mamelodi township area of South Africa, on the outskirts of Pretoria, as Thabang Tabane continues the musical traditions set by his father, the late Philip Tabane, a leading force in the malombo style, who died earlier this year. The ten songs that make up this,...

Star rating: 
4

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

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