John Smith: Hummingbird

Smith has always seemed to be the musician’s musician: the people we know who like him are musicians. We tried one of his albums once, but it was a little too workmanlike (sorry, “critically acclaimed”). This new one is much better, evidenced by the fact that we’ve been sent a review copy. They must be […]

Hannah Trigwell: Red

Trigwell is from Leeds and started off as a busker; then she found YouTube and racked up 100m views online for cover versions of popular tunes, as well as two number one singles in Laos and Vietnam for a song of her own. We read an interview with her in which she cites Phil Collins […]

Larry And His Flask: This Remedy

The most surprising thing about Larry And His Flask are that they’re not from the UK: their festival-friendly Mumfords-meets-Pogues drunken folk is akin to Brit bands such as Skinny Lister and Ducking Punches, but this crew hail from Oregon and not English suburbia. We guess they’re great live, a band for dancing and spilling beer […]

The Little Unsaid: Selected Works

The Little Unsaid is the work of John Elliott, who started recording in his bedroom and originally played all the instruments himself. This, as the name suggests, is an introduction to the band’s work. It’s intense stuff, mainly because of Elliott’s struggles with mental health (“The Little Unsaid chart(s) my journey from small, bewildered boy […]

Hanzhi Wang: On The Path to HC Andersenp

We’re not often taken aback in the Review Corner (at least not in a good way) but such an event has occurred with this new programme of accordion music. We usually associates the accordion with Last Of The Summer Wine tweeness, or of pirates with one parrot and fewer legs, or Cajun or, in more […]

The Once: Time Enough

You can’t beat stereotypes and a cliché for the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) to which Newfoundland abuts is that everyone makes music. A bit like Shetland, where schoolchildren get free instruments. So knowing that The Once were Newfies meant we were expecting quality music, and quality it is. It’s firmly […]

Luke Daniels: Singing Ways to Feel More Junior

You’ve probably all heard the music of Daniels – he was a Riverdance band member and folk musician in residence at the Scottish National Museum of Rural Life – but even if you missed those gigs, he was a soloist on the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit soundtracks. Solo he proves solid, though […]

Blair Dunlop: Notes From An Island

All Dunlop’s albums we’ve had in the past have been good – you’re always guaranteed quality with Mr D – and we have seen him move from folk to pop, and Notes From An Island sees the move continue. It’s now more pop than folk, and more commercial. The tunes always seem simple (but aren’t […]

Sean McGowan: Son Of The Smith

This came as a download and we thought it was Shane McGowan, drunken Pogue; we were not expecting the “cor blimey guv’nor” sound of the latest everyman poet McGowan clearly hopes to be. McGowan is a cross between sturdy man of the people Frank Turner and young voice of the streets Jamie T. His band […]