Old Crow Medicine Show: 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde

For fans of Bob Dylan, folk, bluegrass or country, this is going to be pretty close to a perfect record. In the sleeve notes, Old Crow’s Ketch Secor says Bob Dylan inspired him to go into music and that Dylan is “the greatest spinner of rhyme and couplet since Shakespeare”. You can take it that […]

Ben Marwood: Get Found

  There’s a raft of bands rotating around the daddy of this genre, Frank Turner: we most recently reviewed Beans On Toast, but there’s any number of singer-songwriters playing folk-based tunes with sincere and/or entertaining intelligent lyrics, and with links to Turner. Marwood is another. After the first couple of plays, we’d have said his […]

Andrew Combs: Canyons Of My Mind

You could call this country — he’s a Texan based in Nashville — but much of the music leans towards the classic ballady pop of the likes of James Taylor, or the folk of Gordon Lightfoot, with “proper” country only cropping up in a couple of tracks. The classic/old-fashioned nature of his approach continues in […]

Laura Marling: Semper Femina

We’ve missed a couple of Marling albums; she was always good but if this new album isn’t her best, we must have missed some crackers. The music is slickly delivered but intimate, and slightly downbeat. It takes in several genres; some parts are country, some folk, some jazz, a mix of English folk and 60s […]

Hackney Colliery Band: Live

Whenever we’re down in the dumps in the Review Corner, we often play Rock With the Hot 8, by The Hot 8 Brass Band, a New Orleans outfit that blend hip-hop, jazz and funk. It’s not brass as you might expect if you’re a fan of Foden’s Band, and nor are there eight of them, […]

Vladimir and Anton: Live

Slovakian brothers Vladimir and Anton Jablokov are ace violin players who’ve graduated from busking in Ireland, where they now live, to recording contracts. They take familiar pieces and re-do them with lots of energy and fancy playing. We wondered for a moment who’d buy this, before remembering André Rieu and the world-wide following he has. […]

Nadine Khouri: The Salted Air

Khouri is a British-Lebanese musician and songwriter based in London, whose work is described by the Press release as “music born of perennial outsider status”. The PR cites a four-star Mojo review (“dark, possessed beauty”) and a five-star Radio Two review (“fascinating musical tapestry”). We’d give it three stars (“all a bit the same, really, […]

Leif Vollebekk: Twin Solitude

Vollebekk is a Montreal singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is/was a fan of Nick Drake. We’d also guess he’s a big fan of David Gray, whose White Ladder this sounds very much like. For older readers, Gray was a singer-songwriter whose fourth album White Ladder was massive, partly helped by a memorable televised performance at […]

Raphael Doyle: Closer

  Most albums get compared with other albums or bands; this one is a book, Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man. That’s the story of his life in Auschwitz and its first chapter describes how his (and by extension) the reader’s humanity can be completely taken away if someone’s a big enough bastard. It’s […]

Neil Young: Peace Trail

We read a bad review of this and feared it would be like some of his recent releases — his work rate is admirable while his quality control is not — but it’s very good. It’s not up there with his best but it’s listenable and more casual fans of Young will find much to […]