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Reviews

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

The Salts - Brave (Braccan Records)

As both the band's name and the album title suggests, the music here is of the high seas, shanties given an injection of folk rock, with an unmistakable Englishness. Even their recent festival bookings seem more than just suitable, such as the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich and the Pirate...

Star rating: 
3

Old Crow Medicine Show - Volunteer (Columbia)

Twenty years on the go and the Old Crow Medicine Show release their sixth studio album to date, which once again demonstrates the band's own unique blend of bluegrass, traditional mountain music and twangy country to great effect. Some of the band's trademark live sound is captured in the likes of...

Star rating: 
4

All Faces - All Faces (Self Release)

Self-titled debut EP release from London-based duo All Faces, the duo being made up of two Parisian singers, Ben and Daphne, who between them share their pop/folk sensibilities on their sleeves. The four songs are each instantly accessible, with Summer in London a potential seasonal anthem. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Old Salt Union - Old Salt Union (Compass Records)

From the opening this album bursts apart with glorious harmonies, upbeat melodies and that dancing western swing violin jazzy guitar interplay. Opening tracks Where I Stand and Feel My Love are so infectious and so familiar, slipping into your consciousness like faded comfortable jeans, you are...

Star rating: 
4

Green Rock River Band - Edgelands (Self Release)

Clive King had Stig Of The Dump, JG Ballard Concrete Island. The Folk Blues tradition has a long fascinating with the open road, rambling, roaming. But in line with those two otherwise unconnected writers, Green Rock River Band on Edgelands explore those unloved, overlooked spaces on the edges of...

Star rating: 
4

Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar - Utopia and Wasteland (Rootbeat Records)

Whilst you might have seen Greg Russell appearing as part of The Transports cast and Ciaran Algar lending his talents to Sam Kelly's Lost Boys, it's their appearance as a duo that has caused the biggest stir. Winners of the Young Folk Award at BBC Radio Two Folk Awards in 2013, the duo offers up...

Star rating: 
4

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