Non Canon: Non Canon II

I don’t known much for sure but can say with utter certainty that Non Canon (aka Barry Dolan) has the most rabid fans in the country; either that or a large family. I reviewed his first album under this name, the imaginatively entitled Non Canon (sans I), and said that while I could see that […]

Andrew Hawkey: Long Story Short

We liked Hawkey before we heard a note: he was born in 1942 (yes, really) in Wadebridge, Cornwall, a favourite Review Corner haunt (and home to Andrew Ridgeley) and also lived in Cheshire. He left school at 15 to work on poultry farms, but became an estate agent. He was in London for the swinging […]

Sam Lewis: Solo

Lewis is a grizzled looking American dude and sings the songs you might expect; modern life and its many facets, just him and guitar. He’s good because he has a soft voice, lyrics that can be thoughtful, amusing or silly, and makes honest, simple music. This is just him and an audience in what sounds […]

David Gray: White Ladder (20th Anniversary Reissue)

Long ago there must have been genetic mutation that made it impossible for humans to dislike David Gray’s White Ladder. A final joke from the Neanderthals, maybe. Statistics show that every house in Ireland owns at least one copy, and many have dormer extensions made solely of White Ladder CDs. We vaguely remember the era […]

Vetiver: Up on High

Vetiver’s Andy Cabic has a gentle voice — it’s a bit like Iain Archer (ex Snow Patrol, doesn’t sound like Snow Patrol). It’s melodic and tuneful yet Cabic’s singing style does not involve much variation. Like Archer’s solo albums (all recommended), it’s a soothing and warm sound. He sings about life; opener The Living End […]

Charlie Parr: Charlie Parr

At first play, Charlie Parr’s self-titled new album sounds like a worthy but basically routine album: man sings while skilfully finger-picking a 12-string. (He plays a Mule resonator, National resonator guitar, a fretless open-back banjo, and a 12-string guitar, often in the Piedmont blues style). The album is a mix of old and new songs, […]

Craig Finn: I Need A New War

The song title is not a proclamation of bellicose intent but a lyric from a track about a man who is lost and simply needs a reason for getting his life back on track. That twist is typical of the songs and the approach of this album, which is both muscular and tender. We listen […]

Sunjay: Devil Came Calling

Sunjay has been seen at award ceremonies: he was a young folk award finalist in 2012 at Radio Two and the same year won the young performers award at the Wath Festival, as well as being a winner at the New Roots competition in St Albans. In 2014 he was nominated three times at the […]

Chas Rigby: Pearls

This is doubtless unfair on Chas, who’s probably 6’ 4” with pecks like a gladiator, but we imagine him as one of those underweight singers with less hair than they once had, who turn out to have led interesting but ultimately tragic lives, maybe some drugs and an arrest or two, but all giving them […]

Mak Grgic: Balkanisms

Solo classical guitar albums are not our favourite bag but this one looked like it might be better than average and so it is. The Balkans are famed for their folk music, noted for complex rhythms; you normally hear it in electric “gypsy” folk or punk bands. While the album consists of Mr Grgic noodling […]