Bob Bradshaw: Queen Of The West

The music is warm and rich but we find Bradshaw’s vocals a little dry (which we would also find fault with Bread over), but there’s a lot going on. He has lots of ideas and the band is good, his voice just fails to excite us. That aside, it’s a meaty album with a lot […]

Brittany Howard: Jaime

This is the debut solo studio album by the lead guitarist / vocalist of chart-topping, Grammy-winners Alabama Shakes. It’s going to be on everyone’s “best of” lists come December, as it’s great. It’s not like the Shakes, though. Howard wrote and composed all of the music, and played a lot, too we suspect. The songs […]

Larkin Poe: Venom and Faith

This is an album that falls between pop and blues. It’s like one of those visual illusions, where upside down plates suddenly flip to the right way round. In this case you’ve got to see it as a pop album rather than blues; it sits a little uneasily until you do. There’s a mix of […]

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 […]

Rod Melancon: Pinkville

This is an album we’ll be savouring after the review is done; it’s a quality album and very interesting (interesting always being the best thing about music). Melancon plays swampy, dirty American blues (at least on this, we’ve not heard of him before but this is his fourth release). Imagine Nick Cave and the Bad […]

Jesse Dayton: Mix Tape Volume 1

This is a song of covers, except Dayton puts a twangy spin on them, muscular country meets rock ‘n’ roll. If you always felt your favourite tunes would be improved by deep country guitar licks, this is for you. We won’t pretend to have heard of him. We guess he’s big in the US, as […]

Boogie Beasts: Deep

This is one of those rare records — ones we actually buy. In this case via a tweet from bluesman Son Of Dave, whose single we recently reviewed. Boogie Beasts play a style of blues that seems to be particularly European. When the Rolling Stones played Hyde Park a few years back we were far […]

Gary Clark Jr: This Land

We knew we’d like this when we read the reviews. We’re not fans of formulaic music genres so we liked some bits of Gary Clark Jr’s music but not the bits where he settled down into what he’s known for, rock blues. He’s a fantastic guitarist but rock blues is rock blues and does tend […]

Paul Weller: Other Aspects, Live At The Royal Festival Hall

For many bands the obligatory album with an orchestra is a sign they’ve run short of ideas, their egos are too big or they’re dead. For Weller not only does it work — his songs suit gentle string arrangements — but it takes his music to a different place, that place being St Tropez, about […]