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Reviews

Occidental Gypsy - 44070 (Self Release)

Fans of Django-brand jazz may already know Occidental Gypsy, either via the band's stunning 2011 debut OVER HERE (which featured a superb Western Swing take on Michael Jackson's Thriller !) or by attending one of their utterly engaging live performances. The New England quintet has been building a...

The Emily Askew Band - Alchemy (Self Release)

Transforming old styles into new is a notion I always respond quite well to - as long as it doesn't include suddenly bursting into inner city rap midway through with an 'explicit' sticker slapped onto the CD sleeve. The Emily Askew Band handle this material with delicate detail, both instrumentally...

Massa Dembele - Mezana Dounia (Izniz)

Recorded in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, in the eastern region of Mali, this relatively short album, just eight compositions rendered in about 30 minutes, bears all the hallmarks of the enchanting traditional music of the jeli, whilst playing the kora-like kamala n'goni, not normally associated with...

Sarah-Jane Summers - VIRR (Eighth Nerve Audio)

When Sarah-Jane Summers confided in me, "it doesn't fall wholly within the traditional genre", little did I know precisely how far removed from your common or garden fiddle tunes album VIRR actually is. Highly experimental at its core, the twelve-track concept album explores the sonic possibilities...

Quetzal - The Eternal Getdown (Smithsonian Folkways)

The extensive sleeve notes contained within the handsome 44 page dual language illustrated booklet, detailing thoughts on social justice, race, anger, frustration, disillusionment and hopelessness amongst the indigenous peoples of Latin America, almost overshadows the music found within. One of the...

Warsaw Village Band - Sun Celebration (Jaro)

Opening with a swell of shimmering violins, dripping dulcimer notes and pounding percussion, SUN CELEBRATION proceeds with unrelenting currents throughout. This seventh album by the Warsaw Village Band marks twenty years of the Polish octet with a double-disc plunge into the rushing waters of the...

Duane Forrest - The Climb (Traaxx Music)

"Oh I was sitting at the edge of the sea" sings Duane Forrest at the start of the first song, backed by the ambiance of waves on an expansive tropical beach. Steam of consciousness lyrics, spilling over with evocative detail draw you in from the start. His warm and inviting voice is backed by a...

Amy Henderson - Soul for a Compass (Self Release)

Amy is a graduate of the prestigious National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School and the Folk and Traditional Music Degree at the University of Newcastle. The University course led to an interest in community arts along side her live performing. Coming through...

Elliott Brood - Ghost Gardens (Paper Bag Records)

For their sixth album release, the Juno-winning Ontario-based trio Elliott Brood have found themselves in unexpected reflective mood having stumbled across some old demos and song sketches that were thought long lost. Revisiting these song ideas, the band have polished up some of the material that...

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