Dallahan: Smallworld

This is a tasty folk / roots album. The opener is an instrumental, Aye Chiki, which uses instrumentation typical of any folk band but — as the name might suggest — with an Eastern flavour. The beat (to our ears) is Tartar, and reminiscent of some of the music we collected following a recent trip […]

Richard Sutton: Paper Plane

There are people who like non-league football for its grassroots nature, people doing something for the love of it, and the same is true in music: this CD is one for people who love honest, heart-on-its-sleeve folk/pop. Sutton is a guy who plays guitar (possibly for a living, he seems to play regularly at a […]

Tim Fredericks: Singer Songwriter

This album, which we guess is a labour of love (they’re giving it away) is from a band that if not local is at least regional: members are from Crewe, Macc, Stoke and Manchester. The tracks on this were recorded between 2015-19, so we guess when money was spare. The opener is a full band […]

Trapper Schoepp: Primetime Illusion

Schoepp is one of those artistes who sound like they’re going to be big, just because they’re so good. We thought it was a band but Trapper Schoepp is a real name of just one person, and Primetime Illusion is his third album. He writes songs about life, but in the same way as Squeeze […]

Beans On Toast: A Bird In The Hand

Beans On Toast (aka Jay McAllister) sings the same song over and over; the words might change but his musical accompaniment has a small range, and exists to make words melodic. He’s a mate of, and like, Frank Turner, just less grand. Early on, he explains his modus operandi to listeners, saying he’s “at it […]

Ray Cooper: Between The Golden Age and The Promised Land

Cooper is known to folk fans as Chopper: he joined Oysterband in 1987 after bassist Ian Kearey left, himself leaving the band at the end of the Ragged Kingdom tour in February 2013, to pursue a solo career. (He was also in 3 Mustaphas 3 and OK Jive). In a self-penned biography, Cooper says of […]

Shred Kelly: Archipelago

Shred Kelly should be bigger, if they could only get some more variety. They blend folk and rock — almost prog in places — that makes individual tracks interesting, but leaves the listener unsure as to what they’re about. The punning name doesn’t help; they’re not a joke band. The title track opens and promises […]

Katie Melua: Ultimate Collection

The PR says it’s 15 years since the release of Katie Melua’s debut album (Call Off The Search) but we reckon it’s only five years … it’s only listening to Ms Melua’s music that makes it seem like 15. It’s true! We never meant to be mean about this; we were expecting nice folky pop […]

Neil Young: Songs for Judy

Recent Neil Young live albums can sometimes be of the “I guess you had to be there” kind: the recording is not the same as the actual event, and even for die-hards, they can be a bit meh. Songs for Judy is different. Young’s guitar tech and tour photographer Joel Bernstein taped live shows from […]

The Trials of Cato: Hide and Hair

If you like folk and you’ve not heard of The Trials of Cato, we suspect this will change before the year is out. They produce folk that is recognisably traditional, with the commercial mass-appeal of Seth Lakeman and the musical prowess of a shredding metal guitarist. The people who don’t like this will probably be […]