The Beautiful Drama Unfolds:The Bell That Never Rang by Lau

The Beautiful Drama Unfolds:The Bell That Never Rang by Lau

 

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1 First Homecoming

2 The Death of the Dining Car

3 Back in Love Again

4 Tiger Hill (Armoured Man)

5 The Bell That Never Rang

6 Ghosts

 

A true audiophile loves traveling though the highways of sounds. And the new Lau album provides this opportunity. Partly experimental and partly rooted to British folk, The Bell that Never Rang is an exquisite aural experience that will please crowds on both ends of the spectrum.

Lau comprises  Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics), Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) and Kris Drever (vocals, guitar).With their combined influences, they merge the world inhabited by the likes of Radiohead and the tradition of Fairport Convention. Which is also to say, that Lau continues to hold the sumptuous sounds of bands that came from the region before them.

The experimental nature of their sound is no accident. According to their bio, the three members have their involvement in so many different solo projects. This includes making records for other artists, and providing creative spark for their peers. Which is such a feat considering that they are still able to be consistent in releasing albums via Lau. It is a wonder that they can maintain that creative focus with so many choices and many musicians to collaborate with. But perhaps, like making a family, it all boils to decision. And they have decided to stick to their own kind of sound and band.

The Bell that Never Rang is a joy to listen to. At the center of the new album lies the epic seventeen-minute, collaborative title track, with The Elysian Quartet. This track is so massive and dense that its gravity seems to pull the songs around it to its core. It’s almost a religious experience!

I enjoyed this album and I hope you discover the same experience as you journey through their sound, which is also a journey to your heart.

Don’t miss their US tour by visiting their Gigs section: http://www.lau-music.co.uk/gigs/

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Listen To If Wishes Were Horses by Kris Drever

Listen To If Wishes Were Horses by Kris Drever

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride, sings Kris Drever in the title track of his new album If Wishes Were Horses. Part personal memoir and part disquisition into Philosophical matters and the human condition, this album sounds whimsical as it is serious.

The eleven songs combine elements of pop, British folk and soft rock. His musical style is 10900044_991812364203990_2050555669683239488_oreminiscent of Donovan and John Martyn. Vocal layers embellish some songs with complex treatment. The production highlights the sound of the acoustic guitar, making the instrument brighter and warmer above the soft swirls of  vocals and percussion. The bass sets the balance between the light percussion and the whispy strums.

Further exploration into his website sheds light to the album:

If Wishes Were Horses is a collection of semi-biographical songs covering the universal, and not so universal, themes of education, politics, sex, love, ennui, self-employment, social migration and Shetland. Drever’s recent outpouring of songs stems from a move back to the Northern Isles, Shetland this time rather than his native Orkney and the discovery of new lyrical voices to describe his life, times and wild new surroundings.

I haven’t heard of his work with Lau. But I will definitely go look because his style and craftsmanship are captivating. The 2016 Celtic Connections performance made an impression, further cementing his status as a singer-songwriter of heartfelt songs.

If Wishes Were Horses is an album with mid-tempo songs. With the exception of the last track Going to the North with its fast percussion rendering but even then, the relaxed  mood remains. The same tempo is found in the fourth track Shipwrecked with its hypnotic vocals and dreamy arrangement. There are many beautiful songs in this album and I think it really deserves to have a part in your ‘top artists’ collection.

I can listen to If Wishes were Horses again and again and be wrapped in that blanket of wonder, amusement and longing -hese emotions that get regal treatment in the artistry of Kris Drever.

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“Newfoundland Vinyl 3  by Allison Crowe brings the beautiful winter breeze early

“Newfoundland Vinyl 3 by Allison Crowe brings the beautiful winter breeze early

Newfoundland Vinyl 3 is a Holiday treat that should not be missed by beautiful music lovers! 

Now that we can move on to Yule, you might want to shop around for a good holiday album. No need to look further. Newfoundland Vinyl 3 by Canadian singer/songwriter Allison Crowe offers a perfect soundtrack for your winter needs. Her singing is strong and with the times. There is an interesting history how this album was conceived(please check the additional info at end of this post).

There are thirteen songs (my lucky number) in the album and they offer unique listening experience as I don’t think I have met a kind of style or recording like her’s.  The styles vary from traditional to modern. The perky Up She Goes is already a favorite. Fiddlers Green, The Irish Rover will appeal to lovers of Irish music. While the rest are infused in folk, pop and blues style. She brings the spirit

Allison Crowe’s arrangements are simple and they exude an intimate air which is rare these days, in a world where music is overblown or over produced. You get the sense of organic simplicity in each track. it’s the feeling of coming home after a long hard day from work.

This recommended especially if you are looking for something that is not too classical, too folky or ethereal. The earthly arrangements and warm performance are gifts from this wonderful album that should last through all seasons.

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More about Newfoundland Vinyl 3:

“Newfoundland Vinyl” is a perennial favourite attraction of the cultural treasure that is the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

Conceived by Jeff Pitcher, Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, (TNL – the Atlantic Canadian professional theatre company founded in 1979), the hit stage show’s under the Musical Direction of Allison Crowe who’s been with the production from its launch in 2012.

Each Summer Allison Crowe delights in residing in the beauty of Gros Morne National Park – an UNESCO world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. In working with her wonderfully-talented cast and crew, Allison records a selection of songs to be included in the show repertoire. Once the play’s run its season, she selects some of her favourite tunes to share from this collection.

TNL describes the latest edition: “Hits of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s by Newfoundland’s biggest recording stars come to life! For your toe-tapping, tear-jerking enjoyment the music and songs of Ryan’s Fancy, Harry Hibbs, Gary O’Driscoll, Dick Nolan, Joan Morrissey, Bob Porter and more…”

“I have had such a wonderful time learning this year’s crop of songs for Newfoundland Vinyl – from waltzes and parlour songs, to torch songs, to songs with the same spirit as 1960s protest anthems and beyond – simply great music from throughout the decades,” notes Allison. “The silly, the sentimental, the sad, and serene all converge in this GMTF show… So, please, enjoy and do sing along!”

credits

released October 20, 2015

Music arranged, performed and recorded by Allison Crowe – Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.

See individual track listings for songwriting credits.

Album cover photos by Allison Crowe

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The Winter Mountain 2014 UK Tour Interview.

The Winter Mountain 2014 UK Tour Interview.

The outstanding debut ALBUM “Winter Mountain” available NOW on iTunes, Amazon etc.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/win…

https://www.wintermountain.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/wintermountain
https://twitter.com/winter_mountain
https://twitter.com/CharcoalRecords

Please sign up to their mailing list

filmed in April 2013.
Directed by Jack Liley – http://www.weareseallegs.com
Edited by Duncan Rice – http://www.blood-bank.co.uk
All copyrights for video and audio belong to Charcoal Records 2013

Winter Mountain (Joseph Francis and Martin Smyth) are a folk duo that incorporate a wide gamut of musical influences. It is hard to pigeonhole their style or their alliance to one specific sub-genre. But one thing remains: they are here to deliver high quality music for discriminating ears like you and me.

If you want to read about their interesting history, check this page: https://www.facebook.com/wintermountain/info

Below is the interview with Winter Mountain. Big thanks to my friend Paula who talked to the artists after the Cara Dillon concert she attended with our Gilly.

  1. On the scale of 1 to 10, how’s the UK tour going in terms of the excitement.

It’s extremely exciting. We are loving the opportunity to get out there and play our original music. It’s an honour.

  1. Your new album is out in different formats including CD which I love! How’s the experience recording the tracks.

    Winter Mountain concert. Photo by Paula.

    Winter Mountain concert. Photo by Paula.

Recording is perhaps the most rewarding of all the different components that make up a life in music. You get to witness a song you’ve written at home with an acoustic guitar grow into this enormous sonic piece of art. We recorded at some legendary Studios. Also, we were lucky enough to meet a couple of our heroes whilst recording the album. Robbie McIntosh of the Pretenders, Paul McCartney and John Mayer came and played slide guitar on a few tracks. We were honoured!

  1. Can you cite memorable experiences touring with Cara Dillon?

Touring with Cara is an amazing experience because she has one of the most beautiful voices in the world, and that’s no exaggeration. Between her, her husband/keyboard player/producer Sam Lakeman and her band there is so much that we can learn. Just being able to spend time talking and playing with musicians of that experience and calibre is an honour.

  1. Do you like meeting fans and hearing what they have to say about your music and why do you think it is important?

It’s great to hear from fans. There’s nothing better than hearing about how one of the songs you’ve written may have affected that persons life.

  1. I have many favorites including She a Little Light and Tell me. What pushed the move for both of you to release an album?

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    Onstage with Cara Dillon and crew. Photo by Paula.

We wanted to spread our creative wings. We had recorded an EP which was going down well and we felt like we had more to offer. The album is in a fairly eclectic mix of styles and with both really pleased that we managed to draw on a lot of our individual different musical influences. There simply wasn’t room for that on the EP.

  1. Can you site your musical influences?

Where to begin?! Simon and Garfunkel, the Everly Bros, the Beatles, The Police, Ryan Adams, Cat Stevens, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor… We could go on and on and on!

  1. What can we expect from Winter Mountain this year?

Touring, touring, touring! We have a full UK tour coming up in November and loads more dates in 2015 to come!

  1. Are you planning to work on another album next year?

We are writing all the time so there will probably be an album in 2015. We have so many live commitments currently that it’s difficult to find time to get in the studio!

  1. Message to your listeners?

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    So proud of the postcard and CD. Thanks to Paula for making these possible.

Thanks to everyone for listening, thanks to everyone who came to our recent shows and to everyone who supported us in any way over the last few years. We hope to see you out on the road again on our November/December 2014 tour of the UK.

Know more about the Winter Mountain Autumn tour here:http://www.wintermountain.co.uk/

Remembering The Late Dave Hum

Remembering The Late Dave Hum

 

Dave Hum was a great banjo player. He added a twist to this traditional instrument by going beyond the styles intended for the banjo. In his last project, he fused electronic sounds with ambient styles to create a marriage between the old a the new, the rural and the urban. It’s sad to announce that he passed away last year as he succumbed to a physical illness. It made me wonder for a while what happened to him. He disappeared from posting on facebook. Then one of his children made the announcement. It was heartbreaking because I used to chat with him. He was so happy with his recordings. He sent me two albums of his Traditional Irish and Scottish banjo music. He had so many things in mind. Then just like that…he disappeared.

I think I know what his family members went through and are and still going through. I lost my mom in the middle of last year. It doesn’t end. The hole of loss is still there. But I know that his music will be like sunshine in the midst of rain. He was an inspiring and beautiful soul. He will be missed. I know I will because I remember him today and I dedicate this post to him.

More from his official website: http://www.davehum.com/

Recording Updates from Moxie and Robert Doyle

Recording Updates from Moxie and Robert Doyle

Wow it’s just the middle of the week and more phantasmagorically smashing updates are coming up from the world of music. OUR world of music 😉

Moxie announced their plans of recording a new album late last year. Now, they are in the middle of it and the effort looks and sounds really promising. Check this amazing link. It gives the new meaning to the word busy :

MOXIE http://www.moxiemuso.com https://www.facebook.com/Moxiemuso
https://www.framelight.ie
http://beechpark.com (Studio)

Robert Doyle is releasing his new album next year. Here’s a sneak peak at the tunes he’s making. Arrangement by  Mark Thomson and video by  Alan Lambert .

Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean

http://www.robertdoyle.net

 

 

Two Available tracks from Wish by Poitin, via Soundcloud.

Two Available tracks from Wish by Poitin, via Soundcloud.

 

Yes you heard it right. The new album Wish by Poitin is finished. The main reason to rejoice.

Just when the thought the seas have calmed, Poitin brings out a new album called Wish. I am not sure about the details of the album yet, but I know the band have worked in recording tracks around Autumn last year. They uploaded two track via soundcloud: The Broomfield Wager and Toffee Jigs. The former is a vocal track showcasing the versatility of Jeremy King’s voice. It is also an acoustic and bodhran driven song. The latter is an instrumental collection of traditional tunes.

Like I said, I have not listened to the whole album yet, but I can tell this is something new. The poitin flavor is still there. But there is that slick and superb texture that I noticed in these two tracks. It is easy to judge that the album will sound this way. And this is an exciting release!

The album will be available everywhere and I will tell you more about it in my future post about the guys of Poitin.

The Bombadils are recording a new album

The Bombadils are recording a new album

2014-EEx-NEWS-The-Bombadils-CA

The Bombadils are: Sarah Frank Luke Fraser Anh Phung and Evan Stewart

The Canadian quartet The Bombadils are back in the studio. They are recording new tunes for an upcoming album. Release dates haven’t been confirmed yet. Apart from prepping their schedule calendar for more gigs, they are also expanding their fan base. And it will be made possible by the help of a ‘Street Team.” I got coined that term from a Lifehouse fan base during the early years of their album making. Street Teams are a group of loyal and passionate fans who are willing to advertise, blog or do YouTube promotion for the band. This is to ensure that they go viral.

So what about this new album?

Given their background in Classical, Jazz and Folk music, I am sure this will be an amazing treat to those who already heard their previous album.

This is an interesting phase in the music industry where the fans become the managers, promoters and record executives. This is good news right? We don’t have to rely on the powerful few to run the state of the music we are in. But it is still sad that the majority would rather sit and accept whatever is handed to them instead of taking action. Now is the time people. let’s start a revolution. Go out there and voice your opinion. Turn on your computers and start blogging about your favorite bands.

Are you one of those who are fervent supporters of your kind of music? What do you do to promote your favorite band? Feel free to share your views in this matter.

Debut Album of CrossHarbour Coming Soon!

Debut Album of CrossHarbour Coming Soon!

 

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CrossHarbour takes the vibrant spirit of Traditional Irish music to new listeners.

CrossHarbour, is the name of the band after a London tube station. But it could also imply “crossing into another country’ through the sea. I love the idea that traditional Irish music blends well with any genre. It is so pure it sounds good with Jazz, Rock, Folk and even Classical music. Rosie Hodgson completes the circle, although she is not present in this video. They recorded their soon-to-be-released debut album at Livingstone Studios, London.

CrossHarbour are: Orlaith McAuliffe (flute), Sam Proctor (fiddle), Philippe Barnes (guitar), Tad Sargent (bodhran) and Rosie Hodgson on vocals. Hodgson has perfect folk vocals that sound warm and smooth. I am sure it’s going to be a fantastic debut album. To quote from Tradconnect: “I saw the future of trad music and its name is CrossHarbour.”

I keep on watching the bodhran technique of Tad Sargent as I am a bodhran student myself. His thundering chops are showcased in these live videos. You can tell they love being onstage. The listeners love them too.

Preorder the album here: http://crossharbourmusic.com/?album=crossharbour-2

 

visited us At Livingston Studios during the recording of their debut album (photos by George Staines)

 

 

Saoirse’s Heart by Celtic Cross.

Saoirse’s Heart by Celtic Cross.

The sounds of urban New York and the lush rural landscapes of Ireland are the main ingredients of Saoirse’s Heart by Celtic Cross.

It is an energizing experience to listen to the new album of Celtic Cross called Saoirse’s Heart. It seems that the Irish 1939701_10202492302182764_790937896_nspirit has jumped out of my speakers into my living room. It’s been ages since I heard a Celtic inspired pop rock band that can go out into the open with such confidence and maturity. Celtic Cross have all the elements found in groups like The Corrs and Bellefire. But these bands are more pop than Celtic, though there are traditional elements in the former. Celtic Cross made an easy transition between two worlds in Saoirse’s Heart. The interplay of rock and ballads are seamless.

I have many favorites and among them is Jameson Johnny in which lead vocalist Kathleen Fee pinned in what I can describe as a soaring hills-to-heaven singing. She is joined by band mates band mates Kenny and John who are her brothers and co-founders of the group. There also other members who showcased their beautiful playing. Saoirse’s Heart combines New York urban energy and the lush atmospherics of rural Ireland. When you fuse the two, you get something that works for everyone.

After hearing all the fourteen tracks, I don’t remember anything I am not enthusiastic about. Every track sounds different. But the unifying factor is the radio-friendly melodies and catchy hooks that are present in every song. The vocals are not too pop and not too folk/traditional to be too exclusive. Rather, they(the style of singing and instrumental arrangements) set a balance between modern and traditional styles. There are bluesy elements like in Best of Days. I listen to this in the morning when I exercise or water the plants. It is an energetic album that has a smooth appeal. I’d say Saoirse’s Heart is a great album and has a potential to sell like hotcakes!

Sample their tracks here:

http://www.celticcross.com/tunz1979541_10202613832540947_824479361_n

You can contact the band through:

email mail@celticcross.com

Email The Band….

Kathleen Fee – Lead Vocal
kathleen@celticcross.com

Kenny Vesey – Fiddle
ken@celticcross.com

John Vesey – Accordion
john@celticcross.com

Walter Ensor – Guitar & Vocals
walter@celticcross.com

Patrick Dineen – Bass, Keys & Vocals
patrick@celticcross.com