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Reviews

Peter Hammill - X/Ten (Fie Records)

This release is essentially a complete, yet sparsely performed live version of Peter Hammill's last album FROM THE TREES, which was released in 2017. The songs are in the same running order, each performed on either acoustic guitar or piano and lifted from European shows recorded between November...

Star rating: 
3

Cam Penner - At War With Reason (Self Release)

Cam Penner has a soulful voice, shot with character. On Gather Round his chorus of 'come on people' is part Games Without Frontiers Peter Gabriel, part Curtis Mayfield. Delivered over a captivating soundscape of electronics and strummed guitar chords. Eastside continues the grainy, intense,...

Star rating: 
5

Moonlight Benjamin - Siltane (Ma Case)

A surprisingly adrenaline-soaked rocker of an album this, the opening track of which immediately alerts us to the energy-packed Voodoo inspired goodies to follow, as Haitian singer Moonlight Benjamin attacks each song with unmitigated authority. Much of the album is delivered in Creole, Haiti's...

Star rating: 
4

Me and My Friends - Look Up (Split Shift Records)

With shades of Penguin Cafe Orchestra in places, notably on the instrumental title track Look Up , and with a wealth of Sade-like vocal inflections, Me and My Friends' third album release seems to ooze joy from the start, with an infectious album opener Another Lifetime. The UK-based outfit, namely...

Star rating: 
5

Dawda Jobarteh - I Met Her by the River (Sterns Music)

There's always something immediately warm and soothing about the kora, and Dawda Jobarteh's new release is indeed no exception. The instrument is enough in itself, especially in the hands of such a remarkable musician, yet when placed amongst other instruments it truly comes alive. I doubt there's...

Star rating: 
5

The Willows - Through the Wild (Elk Records)

It's difficult to put your finger precisely on what exactly constitutes The Willows' trump card, it could be any of a dozen things. Perhaps it's their excellent choice of material or maybe it's the cohesive nature of their arrangements. It could be the clever interplay between Ben Savage's informed...

Star rating: 
5

John Meed - Never Enough (Self Release)

The widely travelled John Meed delivers each of his songs in an uncomplicated and unpretentious singing voice, removed only slightly from an actual speaking voice, perfect for the sort of poetic songs he writes. On this, his seventh album release, the Manchester-born, now Cambridge-based singer...

Star rating: 
4

Thro' My Eyes: A Memoir - Iain Matthews with Ian Clayton

I picked up Iain Matthews' autobiography during the break between two sets at an intimate Matthews' Southern Comfort gig in an unassuming Pontefract pub, having just witnessed a rather fine opening set from the vantage point of a front row seat. I don't think I had any intention of buying this book...

Star rating: 
4

Raoul Vignal - Oak Leaf (Talitres)

French singer and guitarist Raoul Vignal creates a music that shimmers and rests lightly on your ears, without ever being throwaway or lightweight. Pepas Eyes features his perfect Nick Drake like acoustic guitar and a very intimate, hypnotic vocal. In a development from his previous album there are...

Star rating: 
5

Ewan Macintyre - Road Junkies (Broken Car Records)

Some albums, like hot baths on December evenings, let you lower yourself into them and recline there in utter comfort and satisfaction. Road Junkie, Ewan Macintyre's latest record, is one such LP, lapping at the ears with a wonderful warmth as each song froths with Tim S. Savard's fiddle, evocative...

Star rating: 
3

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