Molly Tuttle: Rise

First the predictable joke: the opener is Good Enough but this mini-album is more than good enough. It’s marvellous. Though she plays bluegrass it doesn’t, on the surface, sound it. Bluegrass, the genre of American roots music that emerged from Appalachia but is shaped by Irish, Scottish and English traditional music, is often typified by […]

Vance Joy: Nation Of Two

Joy is a singer/songwriter, the basic format of his songs between him and acoustic guitar. He’s ok; to call him average is harsh — to write and play one decent song is too much for most of us — but he brings nothing new to the game. Noah And The Whale did something similar, and […]

Black Water County: Taking Chances

You’ve heard Black Water Country before, at least if you’ve heard the likes of The Pogues, Levellers and Dropkick Murphys; the sound is not original, but it’s so high energy it makes us feel exhausted just listening to it. We imagine that, live, they spent a lot of time jumping about and spilling beer. Black […]

Speak, Brother: Young and Brave

Just to get the negativity over first: Speak, Brother are aimed at the Mumfords market, without the world-class songs that made the latter famous. Despite the mockery that followed Mumfords for a while because of their omnipresence, they did write some very good songs. That they were nice guys and being good live also helped, […]

Stick in the Wheel: Follow Them True

This is the most likable folk album you’ll ever hear; with punk folk already taken they need a name for the genre they have created. It’s not punk in sound, but they take traditional folk and modernise it, with distorted guitar, tapes and Auto-tunes, without losing the folkiness. If wandering troubadours remained in existence, this […]

Paul Mosley and The Red Meat Orchestra: Wintertide EP

We receive some albums as links to downloads, and they can go missing. Such is the case with this release, which to our embarrassment (admittedly not much) is a Christmas EP. Never mind, stock up ready for Christmas 2018, and it’s a nice EP if you ignore a few references to the season of Santa. […]

Joana Serrat: Dripping Springs

Not quite as intense as the Felice album (see elsewhere) this is still very good, and has a few standout moments. Vocally she sounds a bit Lana Del Rey but with a richer sound. The music is dreamy Americana that’s a little unvarying, rescued by a couple of outstanding moments that give the listener a […]

Ian Felice: In The Kingdom Of Dreams

This reached us before Christmas but “bloody good” seemed too brief a review. We can’t improve on it, though. The Felice Brothers are an American folk rock/country rock band, who seem to be bigger over there than here. The brothers bit is partly true: Ian and James are in the band and Simone was but […]

The East Pointers: What We Leave Behind

We knew where this Canadian folk group were from without looking it up. We visited Prince Edward Island a few years ago to see the owner of the independent paper on the island (Halifax, Nova Scotia is only a five-hour flight from the UK). The omnipresence of Anne of Green Gables aside, it could be […]

Skinny Lister: The Devil, The Heart, The Fight

Roaring drunk in Hamburg. Locked in a bunker in Berlin. Tearing up the road in New York and Tokyo. Dreaming of Cairo. Originally recorded in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. They get about. We saw these live at Rode Hall’s Just So festival in 2016 (we think; possibly 2015). This album was put together while they were on the […]