The Lost Brothers. Halfway Towards A Healing.

a3891704386_16Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland, the Irishmen who sing so beautifully together as The Lost Brothers, headed to the arid lands of Tucson, Arizona for their latest instalment of wonderfully crepuscular songs. The pair have a penchant for choosing a specific location for each of their recordings (including Liverpool, where they started off as a duo, Sheffield, Portland Oregon and Nashville) and often a particular producer, believing that it’s key to attaining the “magic.” For Halfway Towards A Healing they recorded in Dust and Stone Studios with owner Gabriel Sullivan and the legendary Howe Gelb overseeing the production and sure enough, some of the Giant Sand man’s sonic drizzle percolates throughout the album.

There’s no dramatic change in The Lostie’s sound. They’re still the perfect late night accompaniment, their harmonies excellent, the songs almost lullabies, a balm for the discontented and the lonely. They’ve often been compared to Simon & Garfunkel but at times here they approach the melancholic lyrical beauty of Leonard Cohen, the title song here being the premium example (while it also slouches along wonderfully with Gelb’s fingerprints all over it). More Than I Can Comprehend (co-written with Glen Hansard) is a lyrically stark portrait of a relationship blowing up and Songs Of Fire is despair writ large despite its incredibly nimble arrangement. For true melancholia however it would be hard to beat Summer Rain which rambles along wonderfully with Gelb’s idiosyncratic lounge piano allied to a lazy cowboy rhythm.

The opening songs, Echoes In The Wind and Where the Shadows Go, will satisfy those who hold to the Simon & Garfunkel comparison, the former in particular is suffused with Simon’s early style. Come Tomorrow, a song which canters along in comparison to its siblings recalls another sixties songwriter, in this case Tim Rose and his version of Morning Dew. Again Gelb seems to be in the background with gently twanged guitar and occasional sonic splutters making their mark. On working with Gelb Mark McCausland says, “He would pick us up in the morning and take us out into the desert. We’d walk for hours, then he’d drop us back at the studio. We’d go through songs with studio engineer Gabriel Sullivan, then Howe would meet us at the end of the day, listen to what we’d done and work on the tracks. All those trips into the desert were to get the environment into our system.” The Tucson topography looms large in the instrumental, Reigns Of Ruin, a gentle cantina styled strum and Gelb himself has a cameo appearance as he narrates the closing song, The Ballad Of The Lost Brother, a self help manual of sorts which sounds like the sort of thing Travis Henderson (from Paris, Texas) might have said were he a gonzoid Zen like musician from Tucson, an odd end to the album but a delight for any fans of Gelb.

Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy” but if one were forced to compare Halfway Towards A Healing against their earlier albums it’s tempting to say that this is their best yet.

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Howe Gelb. Erika Wennerstrom. Stereo, Glasgow. Sunday 19th June

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Ever the maverick, Howe Gelb returned to Glasgow to perform what was billed as a solo piano show, reports of the demise of his long-standing moveable feast of a band, Giant Sand trailing behind him. Gelb’s no stranger to performing solo and has been known in the past to drop his regular show if there’s a piano sharing the stage with him while scattered within his dauntingly large back catalogue are four albums of piano music (Lull Some Piano, Ogle Some Piano, Spun Some Piano and Snarl Some Piano should you wish to pursue them).  In almost any other case these discs would stand out as oddities or vanity projects, in the weird happenstance world of Gelb they are simply another outlet for his restless quest in search of another note, another way to capture the sounds around him, molecules of music I believe he once described them.

Anyhow, as Howe aficionados will know, the night was up for grabs, no one sure what to expect. This has caused frustration in the past, audiences puzzled by his somewhat gnomic utterances, his lack of a set list and detours which have seen him singing along to Kylie Minogue records. Tonight the first impression on entering the venue was somewhat surprising, the cellar venue, grungy to say the least and usually home to hot and sweaty shows with plastic beer glasses spilled due to jostles had seating set out with the front rows set out cabaret style, tables with candles lit. Sure enough there was a solitary upright piano up there, stage left, a chair also which led to the initial pantomime acted out by Gelb as he appeared on stage, sat down and unimpressed left the stage to look for another perch. He soon reappeared with another chair, a very similar chair in fact and spent some time clowning around trying to set up his seating. One had the feeling that at this point “serious rock fans” would be muttering and complaining but tonight it seemed that the audience were attuned to the man and his antics drew serious laughter, a phenomenon that continued through the night as Gelb turned in a show that recalled memories of Victor Borge, the Danish keyboard prodigy who turned classical music into a comedy routine.

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Gelb’s target tonight was not the Minute Waltz but what we can consider The Great American Songbook and in particular those which are considered piano based jazz standards. Announcing that the night was to be devoted to his next recording, Future Standards, his foray into that weird world where serious jazz musicians rub shoulders with cocktail classics he proceeded to play an immensely impressive Cry Me A River. His croon was more than a match for Julie London’s torch singing, his playing displaying the occasional nod to the angular twists and dissonant chords of Thelonious Monk. Like Borge, Gelb was into explaining the music saying that almost any song can be turned into a cocktail standard before performing his own song Shiver with occasional ragtime and bop keyboard interludes. Well into his stride he then performed several songs from the forthcoming album, some sounding like Jack Kerouac performing with Steve Allen, others more cocktail jazz with Gelb asking the barmaid at the back if she knew how to mix a Martini. On Terribly So he stopped, explained that the song really needed a bass and drum rhythm before hauling out his Smartphone, dialling it to the studio recording therein and proceeded to duet with the phone held to the mic as he sang along and tinkled some ivory. Classic Gelb here.

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Aside from Victor Borge Gelb also summoned up the ghost of Chico Marx with his keyboard mannerisms but it was Chico’s brother Harpo who loomed large as Gelb stood up and removed the piano’s lid and front exposing the strings. Harpo famously wrecked a piano in the movie A Day At The Races, eventually pulling the strings from the piano carcass and using it as a harp. Gelb didn’t go so far as that but his plucking of the strings added to the occasional dissonance of his playing, his version of John Cage’s prepared piano.

He started with a cover and ended the set with another. This time Leonard Cohen’s A Thousand Kisses Deep with his very fine croon a suitable match for Cohen’s voice and a fine ending to a show that, aside from the  comedy and verbal musings, allowed Gelb’s undisputed talent to shine. Show almost over Gelb did strap on his guitar for a fine rendition of Paradise Here Abouts (from the Sno Angel Like You album) before finishing with the wonderful Wind Blown Waltz, an opportunity to show that he can be as idiosyncratic on guitar as on piano but again a reminder that he is a supremely gifted songwriter.

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Erika Wennerstrom, singer with Cincinatti band The Heartless Bastards, opened the show. A diminutive figure she has a big voice and she played several songs from her band including Marathon. Here she didn’t need the band accompaniment, her guitar shimmering and trebly as she intoned the lyrics. She struggled with the sound at times, her guitar almost booming and threatening to feedback but as she said to the audience this was a first time solo outing and she was still finding her feet. I Could Be So Happy was a fine performance, her voice recalling the primal tones of Patti Smith.

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There’s time to catch more Gelb at the piano here.

 

Marianne Dissard. Cibola Gold – Best Of 2008-2015

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Marianne Dissard is probably best known as a sometime collaborator with several bands from the Tucson scene including Giant Sand and Calexico; most notably, she is the femme fatale on Calexico’s Ballad Of cable Hogue. A noted filmmaker and photographer in addition to being a chanteuse, Dissard recorded three albums in Tucson, the last being The Cat, Not Me along with two albums in what she calls her City Series, Paris One Takes and Cologne Vier Takes. Last year she relocated to Europe and this collection, culled from the above albums, is something of a farewell to her American years.

Blabber’n’Smoke reviewed L’Entredeux and The Cat, Not Me, albums that steered a course between European (and in particular French) pop tradition and American guitar rock. Despite the plethora of Tucson musicians the overall sense was of a continental bent, Serge Gainsbourg being an obvious touchstone, Dissard singing in French (and occasionally German), her voice usually somewhat sultry in the grand manner of the likes of Juliette Greco and Francoise Hardy.  Her lyrics (handily translated on her website) sensual, poetic, dark, a mix of Rimbaud and French argot. Above all her words were wrapped in a polyglottal musical language, Mariachi, twang guitars and Chanson all thrown into the pot and this collection is a fine reflection of that.

The 13 songs gathered here are each and every one reason to make the listener search out the albums they are taken from. Dissard roams from the opening accordion jollity of Les Draps Sourds, the Bal Musette setting disguising the lusty goings on in the lyrics, to the nightmarish claustrophobia of Tortue. She almost purrs on the magnificent Pomme, a song that initially recalls Parisian cobbled streets before a grand, almost prog, middle eight weighs in. On the rock side there’s some ferocious guitar squabbles on the driving The One And Only, another fine guitar solo on the thrilling Election and Trop Express oozes sensuality over a funky Hammond organ riff. However Dissard can also come across like a Gallic Nico back in her Chelsea Girl days on the string laden acoustic ballad Cayenne or conjure up a glistening bucolic world on the sublime Les Confetttis. The crowning glory perhaps is the meandering musical map of Un Gros Chat with its spooky bowed saw and splashing cymbals, the lyrics abstractly erotic, Dissard like a whispered siren drawing listeners into her realm.

The album is an excellent entree into the weird and wonderful world of Ms. Dissard, a dizzying potpourri of sensual frissons seasoned with some wonderful music. The package itself is worth delving into. Packed full of pictures , tributes, poems and snippets of correspondence from the Tucson days it gives a measure of Dissard’s time there. In addition, with the deluxe package, Ms. Dissard has liberally garlanded each CD with golden confetti, some of which is still cluttering up the keyboard here.

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Sacri Cuori Delone Glitterbeat

From the moment Blabber’n’Smoke first heard Sacri Couri we were convinced that they were a very special band. They played a short set when backing Dan Stuart back in 2012 which we described as an “astounding palette of sounds that ranged from surf and Duane Eddy type guitar to Nino Rota cinematic whirls with Joe Meek electronica and superb percussion to take the audience on a trip through some weird places.”
Their album Rosario confirmed their wide range of influences and left no doubt that there is a “Sacri Cuori universe,” a strange and wonderful place where a cornucopia of delightful sounds coalesces to deliver a true Technicolor dream. Often described as purveyors of imaginary soundtracks (and very much influenced by the likes of Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone) Sacri Cuori actually delivered the soundtrack for a movie, Zoran, which won several European awards in 2014 and now we have Delone, an album that positively drips with aural delights and is indeed, as the press release claims, a kaleidoscopic road trip.

For an Italian band Sacri Cuori have long been associated with American music due to their association with the likes of Dan Stuart, Calexico, Richard Buckner and Giant Sand with their first album, Douglas and Dawn recorded in Tucson. Delone however sees them proudly reclaim their homeland with guitarist Antonio Gramentieri saying, “in every sound and feeling on the album, Italy is the heartbeat.” It’s an Italy that is viewed through the lens of Hollywood and Cinecitta, the Italy that was cool and hip in the sixties, land of Vespas, Gaggia, Mastrello Mastrianni and Virna Lisi. The band look to the music of Italian film composers, not only Rota and Morricone but lesser known artists such as Riz Ortolani, Armando Trovajoli and Piero Umiliani, composer of the song forever associated with the Muppets, Mah Na Mah Na. With a musical palette then that includes orchestral sweeps, funk, goofy humour and Euro pop they also toss in tango, surf music and a nod to the subversive pop genius of Serge Gainsbourg. Morricone’s spaghetti western whistling is married to the traditional sound of Secondo Casadei’s Romagna Mia and lit by a neon stream of vibrant Giallo colours.

Delone features Evan Lurie, Marc Ribot and Steve Shelley on additional instrumental duties while the vocals are handled by Howe Gelb (on Serge), Carla Lippis, an Italian diva they discovered in Australia and Emmanuelle Sigal with the songs variously in English French and Italian. The opening number, Bendigo is a turbo charged Mexican infused surftrash thrash that Quentin Tarantino really needs to hear. Delone, the song, tells the tale of the album’s anti hero, a man in the shadows , in a manner redolent of sixties spy thriller theme songs while Dancing (On The Other Side Of Town) is romance as danger, a David Lynch nightmare delivered with a deadpan sense of cool. With spoken word snippets between numbers, twanging guitars, deranged horns and fairground keyboards enlivening the instrumentals the entire album is a delight to listen to. It’s infectious, humorous and intelligent and marks Sacri Cuori as one of the coolest bands around.

p.s. watch the video below for a cameo appearance from Marlowe Billings, Toni Delone’s American friend.

Howe Gelb interview

 
2015 marks 30 years of Giant Sand, the protean band that has been the primary vehicle for Howe Gelb’s restless sonic journey over three decades. Through various incarnations from duo to 12 piece (aka Giant Giant Sand) Gelb has steered the band’s unique path and also found time to release solo albums and recordings under various names (including The Band Of Blacky Ranchette, OP8, and Arizona Amp & Alternator). Heartbreak Pass, released on New West Records on 4th May is the latest Giant Sand offering with Gelb explaining that the album is an attempt of sorts to celebrate the band’s twists and turns. “There are three volumes of 15 songs here representing living two lives for 30 years” adding “Don’t do the math. It doesn’t figure.” Featuring the current Giant sand line up along with contributions from artists scattered across the globe (Tucson, Portland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Bristol) much of the album was recorded at pit stops as Gelb criss crossed the Atlantic over the past year before being mixed by John Parish in Bristol. Over the course of the album Gelb is joined by the likes of Grant Lee Phillip, Steve Shelley, Jason Lytle, Maggie Bjorklund, Sacri Cuori and The Voices Of Praise Gospel Choir. Gelb was back in Bristol earlier this month for a preview showing of another project he’s involved with, Out Of The Desert, a documentary of the last Giant Giant Sand tour filmed by Peter Triest. We managed to hook up with Howe by telephone as he travelled back to London by train the day after the screening. Despite a poor connection and a lot of background noise Howe began by talking about the film screening the previous night.

It was really good, it went down well. It was a preview, testing to see the audience reaction….how well it’s coming along. He’s (Peter Triest) put it all together with his own money, his own investment before he does a kickstarter or whatever you do now to finish it properly, get a final edit. The first half of last night was me doing a solo set with John Parish on drums and the second half was the film screening. It’s a film of the tour we last did with the big band and then there’s my narration over it. He took excerpts of me reading my tour journal, each passage relating to a show. Now he has to see how it works, maybe trim it down a little bit. I think if he wants it to have a broader scale he needs to make it a film that doesn’t just preach to the choir. I think it’s a hard job to make a film like this entertaining.

Heartbreak Pass is being billed as a celebration of 30 years of Giant Sand. Was that in your mind when you were recording it?

Well I think it was in my mind in the way that I was thinking of how much time I’ve put into it, how much time has passed. I don’t think it’s obvious but I was trying to assemble it with material that warrants three decades, I didn’t want to put in stuff like I did in the beginning. Back then I would put in stuff that was unwarranted so to speak, more playful. I didn’t mind killing time, wasting some time to go to battle with the eighties for example but now I have a shorter story to tell, it’s more to the point

The album was recorded in several locations, often as you passed through on tour.

Yeah, I think that’s the natural way to do things. It might make a lot of sense to just spend two weeks in a studio to make an album, it worked maybe many years ago but I don’t see the merit in it now. That’s the beauty of it, recording wherever you are lets you capture the lightning bugs in the jar at the moment they’re around.

Lightning bugs?

Yeah, those little insects that light up in the night, fireflies. The songs are the fireflies and the album’s the jar.

I get a sense in some of the songs on the album that it’s describing you as a global traveller, missing out on things like family, kids growing up etc. Is it time to do less of the travelling and spend more time at home?

Well the thing is you can’t afford the family without going to work so this is the impossible nature of trying to this… this particular job. It’s a job without retirement or security so all I can do is reflect on the impossible nature of it, not with regret or even celebration that it happened at all or that I’ve been able to do it for thirty years and that three children can be raised up. I think I’m able to pause and consider all the ramifications but at the same time I don’t think I’m ever that obvious in my lyrics, I understand what those songs are about but the listener can just take from them whatever they need

Do you see yourself then as being on some never ending tour, a bit like Dylan?

Well I think he stands as a symbol for just being around so long. I think he decided to just stay on the road to keep him from going senile. If you’re forced to be sharp by staying on the road then with that kind of challenge then you’re not going to get dementia. I think he needs it for an exercise. For me, I’ve taken the blue collar route. You have to tour in order to make a living, I enjoy it more than ever but you have to recognise that travel takes its toll but then if I worked in construction I’d have congested lung.

You spent much of last year on tour with Grant Lee Phillip

Yeah, we just finished a couple of days ago in Florence, Italy, after a year of doing it. We’ve talked about getting together again to record some songs.

Talking of Italy, Sacri Couri appear on one of the songs on the album.

Yeah on that song, Hurtin’ Habit. Well I was in Italy and I just started to write it and they were there so they helped me out.

Getting back to the 30 years anniversary I noticed that at SXSW you joined up with some previous collaborators, The Psycho Sisters, Winston Watson and Scott Gerber. How does it feel when you’re catching up with folk like that from the distant past?

Well life gets so crowded that you can’t spend as much time or at least the time you would want to with people you’ve met along the way. Like with Winston, it was so great to play with him again, it feels so familiar but it gives you a new pulse.

Can I ask you about Lonna Beth Kelley who does a wonderful job on the vocals on Pen To Paper?

Lonna and I have been very good friends for a long time. I adore her, I love her voice and the way she carries a song.

The album’s out in May and I believe you’re coming back to the UK to play some shows with Giant Sand.
In May we’re touring through Europe, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. We’ve got some UK dates lined up in June . Liverpool, I’ve never been to Liverpool so it’ll be good to be there. The others are at The Brudenell Social Club, a great venue in Leeds and Union Chapel in London, one of my favourite places.

With that Howe’s train sped on and we gave up battling with the onboard announcements. Since then Giant Sand have been confirmed to play at The End Of The Road Festival in September. Heartbreak Pass is released on 4th May on New West Records and the progress of the film Out Of the Desert can be followed on its Facebook page

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Best of 2014

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There’s a lot or pros and cons when it comes to listing end of year best ofs or favourites. Two years ago Blabber’n’Smoke eventually plumbed for the pros outweighing the cons so this is the third time we’ve presented what, when it comes down to it, is an arbitrary choice of remembered listen. Albums that have stood the test of (a relatively short) time, the ones we’ve returned to or recommended to others in the pub. Above all it’s been fun to look back, read the reviews and see if they still stand. So with this in mind the following are the official Blabber’n’Smoke 2014 picks, in alphabetical order.

Blue Rose Code. Ballads Of Peckham Rye
Birds Of Chicago. Live From Space
Fire Mountain. All Dies Down
Bradford lee Folk and The Bluegrass Playboys. Somewhere Far Away
Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands
Jim Keaveny. Out Of Time
Parker Millsap. Parker Millsap
Michael Rank & Stag. Deadstock
Sturgill Simpson. Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
John Southworth. Niagara

Random honourable mentions go to

Lucinda Williams Down Where the Spirit Meets The Bone,
The Johnny Cash Native American album reboot, Look Again To The Wind,
Danny and The Champions Of The World’s Live Champs!
Dan Michealson & The Coastguards Distance
Cale Tyson’s EP, High On Lonesome,
Luke Tuchsherer’s debut You Get So Alone at Times It makes Sense,
Petunia’s Inside Of You,
Ags Connolly How about Now,
Chris Cacavas & Edward Abbiati. Me And The Devil along with Abbiati’s band Lowlands who delivered the excellent Love Etc.,
Zoe Muth. World Of Strangers,
Hank Wangford & The Lost Cowboys. Save Me The Waltz .
Grant Peeples and the Peeples Rebublic. Punishing The Myth.
Simone Felice. Strangers.
Bronwynne Brent. Stardust.
Sylvie Simmons. Sylvie (allowing an honorary mention here for Howe Gelb who produced).
The War On Drugs. Lost In The Dream.
Lynne Hanson. River Of Sand.
Gal Holiday & The Honky Tonk Revue. Last To Leave.
And finally John Murry’s EP, Califorlonia which is brilliant and hopefully just an appetiser for his follow up to the majestic Graceless Age.

Digging through the archives it’s been noticeable that there’s been a fine contribution this year from Scottish acts who dip into or draw from an Americana well to a greater or lesser extent. While Blue Rose Code’s Ballads Of Peckam Rye features above the following are all stellar contributions to the local scene.

Dropkick. Homeward
Dumb Instrument. The Silent Beard (with the Scottish song of the year, Suffering from Scottishness).
John Hinshelwood. Lowering The Tone.
The David Latto Band. Here Today, Ghost Tomorrow EP
Norrie McCulloch. Old Lovers Junkyard
The New Madrids. Through the Heart of Town.
Red Pine Timber Company. Different Lonesome
The Rulers Of The Root. Porky Dreams
Ten Gallon Bratz. Tales From The Long Shadows

Although his album, Little Glass Box came out in 2012, Fraser Anderson is a major find of the year while another local lad, Daniel Meade unleashes his Nashville recorded Keep Right Away in January. Hopefully folk will have long enough memories to recall this when it comes to compiling the 2015 lists. In the meantime it can be first on the New Year shopping list.

Blabber’n’Smoke’s Top Ten for 2013

I succumbed to the idea of a top ten for the first time last year and if nothing else it’s been useful looking back at it over the past few days and comparing it to the list below. Was it a good year for music? I don’t know. Has there ever been a bad year? All I can say is that I’ve enjoyed listening to music this year as much as the last one and the year before that and so on. Many of last year’s list still get regular plays here so at least I liked them and the number one, John Murry’s Graceless Age has had a second wind with its eventual release Stateside. It may seem odd to have an artist with two entries in the list but both albums by Michael Rank & Stag are simply superb examples of what Blabber’n’Smoke would define as Americana; rooted in the country with a frontier outlook and a fierce regard for the common folk. And a happy coincidence to have two works from Howe Gelb mentioned also as he continues to plow his singular field. Both albums have striking images of Gelb threatening to turn him into an Americana icon, part Mt. Rushmore, part Dorothea Lange, for Blabber’n’Smoke, he’s a hero. Anyway, here’s what rocked our boat over the past twelve months.

1. Doc Feldman & the LD50. Sundowning At The Station. This Is American Music

Soiled songs and dusty ballads sounding like a wounded Crazy Horse. A triumph for label of the year, This Is American Music.

And here’s the man himself

2. Michael Rank and Stag. Mermaids. Louds Hymn

Wracked and raw country folk and rock from North Carolina’s Michael Rank. In the space of two years he’s delivered three albums (one a double disc set) that in a fit of hyperbole we said it sounded as if Keef had left the Stones in ’69, joined The Band and recorded with Neil Young frying honeyslides in the kitchen. At the very least it comes close.

3. Israel Nash Gripka. Israel Nash’s Rain Plains. Loose Music

Guitars weave and wander with a ferocity and lyricism that defies description and he repeats this throughout the album and there’s a moment in the title song where the guitars fizz and burn just like the best firework you’ve ever seen.

4. Cam Penner. To Build A Fire. Independent

“Ukuleles, guitars, banjos were strummed. Floors were stomped. Kick drums were kicked. Feet stumbled. Thighs, knees, hands, slapped, clapped. Voices strained and bent. Fingers gripped, grabbed, picked. Arms and hands flung. Skin wrapped tight strained and stretched. Body and sound thrown against wood and metal.”

5. Michael Rank & Stag. In The Weeds. Louds Hymn
No apologies for the second appearance from this tall, stick thin North Carolina rock’n’roll ragamuffin. The sonic slurry he conjures up is nothing less than mesmerising.

6. Sam Baker. Say Grace. Independent

Baker’s wounded heart goes from strength to strength

7. Diana Jones. Museum of Appalachia Recordings. Proper Records.

She’s not well known but whenever we mention her there’s a flurry of activity from folk who recognise Jones’ ability to sound as old as the hills and bang up to date, the thinking man’s Gillian Welch?

8. Birds of Chicago. Birds of Chicago. Independent.

JT Nero makes an honest woman of Allison Russell as they formally pair up for a laid back celebration of harmony singing and some Tupelo honey.

9. Dead Flowers. Midnight at The Wheel Club Hee Haw Records

Dark and deep, vocally and lyrically, a trip through North America and the soul.

Dead Flowers – The Beach from deadflowers on Vimeo.

10. Wynntown Marshals. The Long Haul. Blue Rose.

Local heroes, The Wynntown Marshals survived some turbulent years with band members coming and going. With new crew on board they came up trumps with a bigger, more layered sound and another fine songwriter in the shape of bassist Murdoch McLeod who penned the amazing Tide. Topping off a great year for them the band were snapped up by the very discerning blue Rose label.

Honorable mentions

Howe Gelb. The Coincidentalist
Howe Gelb. Dust Bowl
Mark Collie & his Reckless Companions. Alive At Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary.
J. R. Shore. State Theatre.
The Coals A Happy Animal
Benjamin Folke Thomas. Too Close to Here
Slaid Cleaves. Still Fighting The War
Thriftstore Masterpiece presents Lee Hazlewood’s Trouble Is A Lonely Town.
The Quiet American. Wild Bill Jones
Amanda Pearcy. Royal street
Heidi Talbot. Angels Without Wings
Jim Dead I’m Not Lost
Rachel Brooke. A Killer’s dream
Great Peacock E. P.