FolkWorld #50 03/2013

CD & DVD Reviews

Soig Siberil "Tamm Ha Tamm"
Coop Breizh, 2012

This two CD set with over 136 minutes of music begins as if it were going to be comparable to a John Renbourn collection. There is nice finger style folk, some bluesy jazz offshoots, and plenty of instruments. But then, there are some Voices of the Seven Woods styled electric psyche jams along with male and female vocal work over ethereal folk guitar. So perhaps this owes more to Pentangle, Kebnekajse, and Filarfolket. There are songs that have that new age positive tone to them, others that have a good folk base. As goes most longer sets, it does get a little tiring and less interesting at times, but there are plenty of highlights to enjoy. And like fellow Frenchman, Pierre Bensusan, he is a DADGAD specialist, so that is always something that should interest folk guitar fans.
© David Hintz

Kevin Doherty "Seeing Things"
Big River; 2012

This is easy going singer songwriter material that has a lush quality more than a folk or Americana approach. At its best, a few of the songs approach something akin to Spiritualized or Bill Fay. It is not quite at those heights, but those artists are way up on the scale as far as I am concerned. Ireland’s Kevin Doherty has released a record that is both thoughtful in his songwriting and in the arrangements, all with a mellow, yet dense sort of feeling. Still waters…
© David Hintz

Shaun Ferguson "Ascensions"
Own label; 2011

There is much ascending on this instrumental record. The band has a delicate touch even with a dense sound, yet soars off to great heights. There are a lot of folk moves, smooth progressive tones, even jazz and new age touches, but most folk fans can find something here that they can connect to. Ferguson has assembled some fine musicians to work with and the arrangements are thoughtful and the sound is clean and inviting. This is an interesting record that I will be going back to.
© David Hintz

Police Dog Hogan "Miracles"
Own label; 2012

This one started a little slowly but eventually grew on me. The band is from England, yet plays Americana styled bluegrass-folk-rock honky-tonk music. They do it well enough that they could be from anywhere, which is exactly what you would want. The country tinges were a bit cloying on the lesser songs. Other songs were heartier fare. I would guess, as I often do, that this band would be highly enjoyable in a live setting. They are seven members strong, so they are capable of some flexibility in their arrangements, which makes for some good listening. It is a mixed bag here, but a band to keep an ear out for.
© David Hintz

Lorraine McCauley & the Borderlands
"Light in the Darkest Corners"
Own label; 2012

Lorraine McCauley plays acoustic guitar and sings. Her ‘Borderlands’ consist of cello, accordion/glockenspiel, and viola/fiddle mandolin. That combination has me expecting some vibrant group folk music. From the very first notes to the last, that is exactly what I get. McCauley’s songs and delicate reflective vocal work would be enough to carry a folk set or album easily enough. But the additional instrumentation elevates this into something even more special. This ultimately sounds like an album out of time and place and will float deep into the psyche when you sit back and give it a thorough listen. This one of the best records I have heard this year.
© David Hintz

Bob Haughian "Home"
Own label; 2012

Canadian musician/songwriter Bob Haughian may begin with some fine Irish styled folk roots music, but when the full arrangements result, we are left with a fairly rocking album. Even when he does not pull it back a bit to show the folkier side of his songs, the rockers all have plenty of roots showing. The opening cut balances folk and rock perfectly while a cut like “Around” maintains frantic pace while allowing the instruments to weave around each other. Not all the songs are gems, but the theme is steady and flows nicely. And the highlights are worth a listen, as this has both energy and heart.
© David Hintz

Monte Filet "Idyll"
Palmo Music; 2012

Dramatic Acoustic Folk Pop? That is the genre this music belongs in according to the press release. Being that I never heard of that genre, I was skeptical… until I heard about 30 seconds of music. This is not only crazy drama, but has plenty of humor that will put a smile on your face. I enjoy albums that over the top if they are well done like Tea and Symphony or Parzifal (the German band, not the opera, although…). There are plenty of blazing strings over a powerful bass and drums foundation, which creates a vibrant rock canvas for odd vocal works, guitar and organ fills to wind their way around the song. There is a sense of excitement in this album that may be too over the top for some, but is of such quality that it should work for adventurous souls.
© David Hintz

Patrick Brooks "Rust and Weeds"
Own label; 2012

Patrick Brooks has a country folk, heartland Americana style that stays the course pretty much throughout these eleven songs. His acoustic guitar abilities occasionally shine and create interest. However, for the most part, this is good basic country tinged music that walked the same road that so many other artists have walked before. The factories of northern Ohio have been going away for forty years now. Not that there is anything wrong with this approach, but I would be more inclined to check out his playing in a live environment and check out his playing and energy levels than revisit this perfectly adequate album much. I will give props to the bluegrass number “The Old Feed Mill”.
© David Hintz

Ochre Room "Evening Coming In"
Beste! Unterhaltung, 2012

This has a Fleet Foxes feeling to it. Although it lacks the harmonies, the lead vocals are extremely effective in conveying emotion. The full band sound is lively and every bit as creative as the Decemberists or Do Make Say Think, even as they pull back and keep the pace to the point of creating dramatic tension. Their use of brass and ambient sounds also extend the landscape of their songs into fascinating territory. This band is from Finland and I hope people in Europe and the US are listening carefully, because this band could have great international success if their music gets the opportunity to be heard. There is not a bad note on this record and the songs flow by beautifully and beg for future careful listening. Obviously this is one band I want to pay close attention to.
© David Hintz

The Spokes "In my Head"
Spokes Records; 2012

These guys look like classic hard rockers. These guys make music that is pure classic hard rock. There is no pretension, no updated post modernism here, just hard rock music of the early 1970s that is blues based and electric guitar led. There is even the occasional ballad. They do it will enough and inoffensively, so it digests well if you want it heavy. They may not be as clever as other heavy Swedish bands (Graveyard they are not), but they do this music right and sometimes with flourish as well as gusto.
© David Hintz

Luke Powers "Memphis Mermaid"
Phoebe Claire; 2012

Luke Powers leads a full band in his take on Memphis blues rock. There is some R&B in the mix and everything has a relaxed almost New Orleans feel, even while he is rocking. There is some personality within this straightforward approach and the arrangements are varied enough to keep my interest up through 17 full songs. The production may be a tad better than the underlying songs, but there is some talent here and the songs should be able to find a substantial audience.
© David Hintz

AJ Downing "Good Day"
Charkansas Records; 2012

Twangy country blues is the basic approach here. It is well done, albeit predictable and a basic blend in the genre. There are wry observations in the lyrics delivered in a traditional style with twang in the voice as well as the guitar. The title cut is amusing—“piss in my cornflakes”? Indeed! Still, too straightforward for my tastes, even if it is dependable music.
© David Hintz

Jack Tempchin "Live at Tales from the Tavern"
Tales from the Tavern; 2012

This is a nice release that has both a CD and a DVD of a live concert featuring Jack Tempchin singing and on acoustic guitar and harmonica. He is a fine guitarist and moves from folk to blues to a bit of countryesque folk. You may not know Jack Tempchin, but you really do know Jack Tempchin. He knew a guy named Glenn Frey back in the day who liked a lot of Tempchin’s songs and thought his band, the Eagles, should record some of them. He churned out some serious hits for the band and does a couple of his takes on them here (Already Gone, Peaceful Easy Feeling). He certainly has talent enough beyond his song writing to make this worth a listen. The DVD has the same music, but with more of the stage patter. Hard to believe those Eagles songs that are burned into your brain sound so different when you hear them by the guy that wrote them in the first place.
© David Hintz

Double Naught Spy Car "Western Violence"
Foot Pole; 2012

Listening to this surprisingly succeeds in conjuring up visions of western violence by a band called Double Naught Spy Car—not a sensation I would have expected to come up with. This is mostly instrumental progressive music, but played with a heavy rock feel that does drift into spacier psyche territory. It is not quite Mogwai, but does remind me of Particle and some of the local DC ‘Sockets Records’ bands like Buildings or Hume. It has a modern vibe, even when the guitarist emphasizes that Duane Eddy twang on some of the cuts. They mix it up nicely with some playful lounge jazz moves, most evident in “Feral Kitty”. And there’s and incredible droning metallic riff in “Journey to the Center of Guitar Center”. This album plays nicely in the background, but is far too engaging and vibrant to stay there for very long—and that is a good thing.
© David Hintz

Rambling Nicholas Heron "Cannot Feel
at Home in this World Anymore"
Red Top; 2012

Rambling? I rather liked the galloping pace on “Pillow Book” with the rapid drumbeat and the punctuation of the keyboards. It is not all this quick, but there is a good pace and energy to this folk rock sound that sometimes moves into a more energized country. His voice reminds me of Don Partridge, for those that recall that famous busker. Heron and his band have a nice touch with this music and keep the momentum throughout the album.
© David Hintz

Amaral "Hacia lo Salvaje"
Altapante; 2012

Amaral is a Spanish rock band that is not terribly well known on my side of the pond despite huge European success. They have a big professional sound and manage both a strength in the vocals along with plenty of guitar hooks. There is a small, but significant enough local folk element in some of the songs which gives things a Spanish heartland approach. The guitars ring out in the rock manner of a Peter Buck, who not surprisingly has played with them. I have not heard their previous albums, but it is not hard to understand their big fan base with this level of professionalism to their craft. Folk fans may find enough here amidst the rocks, but most rock fans will be delighted.
© David Hintz

Singing Loins "…Here on Earth"
Damaged Goods, 2012

This has a real Decemberists vibe to it—maybe more of the Pogues, yet there is also some of that worldly Americana that Robert Plant is capable of conjuring up. You have to imagine Mike Ness singing as the vocals here are eerily reminiscent of Social Distortion’s front man. I am name-dropping very good artists as this music shows a high level of skill that lives up to these well-known bands. I particularly loved the dark power in “Darling”, although some may argue that the more delicate “Crown of Roses” shows the band’s true power. I will happily take it all in, as there is nary a wrong note on the album. This is one destined for many listens in my household and should be given a chance by any folk rock fan from any era.
© David Hintz

Jim Heald "Old Jalopy"
Own label; 2012

This singer-songwriter lives just a few miles south of me in Alexandria, Virginia and learned guitar years ago in Chicago, where I have also lived. I have not seen his live show, but hope to soon as he does a fine job with these original folk songs. The album starts rather light-hearted and there are some country touches as well. I preferred the deeper material such as “I’m not the one” or “Juliet’s on Fire” which have a bit of distant psyche quality to the guitars or the vocal work in the latter song. He employs a full band, back-up singers, or just voice and acoustic guitar depending on the song and the variety works well. There is a Bob Theil quality to some of the better songs here, which is high praise from me. This is a fine record and worthy of future listens, but I am definitely going to put “Juliet’s on Fire” on a play list with Theil, Jackson Frank, and Meic Stephens as it holds up every bit to the best of those major artists.
© David Hintz

The Riverbreaks "Wild Fruit"
Own label; 2012

This local band has been putting on some fine live shows over the years around Washington DC. I think they made a great call in recording their sophomore album with Chris Stamey at his studio in North Carolina. Stamey was always under the radar as a player, but was a superstar with other musicians and he knows sound. The Riverbreaks have a great Americana pop/rock base to work with and that shines through on this album. There is a constant flash of instrumental thrust, but more of a focus on the song with just enough guitar, violin, or keyboards to augment the vocals and rhythms. I believe good things are happening for this band as they have the ability to pull in some of the main stream fans of Josh Ritter or Alejandro Escovedo with this sort of sound. Their writing is not consistently at that level, but give them time.
© David Hintz

Ocean Versus Daughter "Slightly Parted"
Own label; 2012

This Richmond, Virgina band puts on a great live set and they provide evidence with their most recent album, that they have that same magic working in the studio. The album captures much of what I heard live with piano and voice carrying the thrust of the song, and rock instrumentation merging in demonstratively or pulling back for atmosphere as the song dictates. There are strings as well and the sound is positively mystical at times. They really remind me of Spriguns mostly due to the Mandy Morton like vocals, although there is a bit more power here beyond the mysticism. The real success here is in their determined creation of a musical world that pulls the listener in and keeps them deeply involved throughout each flowing song. “Turpentine” was a dreamy psyche-folk song with the spacey guitar and vocals enveloping the rich piano. Great dramatic tension here, nearly a theater piece in its own way. Other songs worked magic in other unique ways and this record is well worth going out of your way for.
© David Hintz

Nicolas Repac "Black Box"
NoFormat/Naive, 2012

This one is hard to describe, which means I am paying very close attention to what the artist is doing. I am constantly reminded of Dr. John, although Dr. John is rather unique and hard to compare to. But Repac takes some of the same approaches Dr. John did in “Gris-Gris” by taking rootsy blues forms and twisting it around to various degrees of recognition. “House of the Rising Sun” and “Black Betty” make appearances here in odd tempos and vocal variations. If there were a wyrd blues category as there is with wyrd folk, this would be a perfect fit, as the psychedelic touches here are far from cliché and are pleasantly surprising throughout.
© David Hintz

John Wheeler "Un-American Gothic"
Cooking Vinyl, 2013

German CD Review

This record begins with a bluesy rocker that has a distinctly early Elvis feeling to it. Elvis Costello that is and that is revealed in his gutsy vocal delivery where it is most similar. Harkening back to that era is a cover of one of my favorite Jam songs, “Eton Rifles”. He focuses the melody on the piano in this version, although the vocals match the intensity of the original version. I can’t say the same for Dylan’s “Masters of War” which offers little new. The general approach on this album is gutsy, bar blasting rock music that does NOT rely solely on electric guitar work. The energy starts with the vocals and although there is crisp electric guitar work, it shares the side of the stage with violin, an able rhythm section, and some acoustic and keyboard riffs. This is a bit of a mixed bag for me, song-wise, but it should find an audience.
© David Hintz

Hugo Race Fatalists "We Never Had Control"
Gusstaff Records; 2012

Hugo Race sings and plays an acoustic guitar, both in that deep dark blues manner that sounds classic, yet up-to-date. The band around him adds to mystery with mannered beats and electric guitar coloring. They conjure up images of the old American west, but actually to be more accurate, it should be the great Australian west as Race hails out of Melbourne. “Ghostwriter” conjures up Ghost Riders with its vivid atmosphere. “Snowblind” is not the Black Sabbath song, and after borrowing the “Baby’s On Fire” melody, it veers off into deep dark lands before finding the next song “No Angels Fear to Tread”. This is strong, evocative music and will likely go on my replay pile for when I want to let my body drift off while keeping my mind focused on this dark and intriguing imagery. Profound music, this.
© David Hintz

Luke Jackson "More than Boys"
Pipe Records; 2012

If you enjoy classic modern singer songwriter material delivered in a straight forward, clean acoustic guitar and voice folk manner, then this record should please you. Jackson has a delicate guitar style where he picks through the notes in the chords and gives a little extra sting to the smooth songs. He has a nice range in his singing, but the real plus is the songwriting. It is all good and sometimes elevates itself into a Richard Thompson style, especially with the vocal phrasing. “Run and Hide” is the best example of that. I believe Luke Jackson has a fine command of songcraft and has with this debut album that he is every bit as good as some of the more familiar names. In time, he may be with them.
© David Hintz

Mama Rosin "Bye Bye Bayou"
Moi J’Connais Records; 2012

I hope this one does not fall through the cracks, because its spirit and energy should cause it to bust through any artificial genre barriers. It starts out in a bluesy rock with a bit of French New Orleans feeling (most likely due to thick accordion tones). By the fourth song, they start blasting away in a Birthday Party or Jon Spencer type manner. It is not as low down and dirty as that, as the production stays clean, but the crazed power behind it all is similar. They are able to pull back at times and ultimately create an eclectic gumbo of music that is simply more fun to listen about than to try and break down the components within. If you are in want of something a little off the beaten path, but easy enough to digest, this record might make the perfect meal.
© David Hintz

My Sister Grenadine "Spare Parts"
Solaris Empire, 2012

This has a light, whimsical feeling and with a ukulele leading the way through many of the songs, that may be natural enough. But there are many nice brass, musical saw, and other sounds that give this music some breadth. The vocals are well done and the songs all have extensive lyrics that form the focal point of each. This Berlin based band is certainly closer to Yo la Tengo meets Cocorosie than to anything in your traditional folk collection, but it does retain consistency and even charm throughout. The violin tones give a fine spookiness when they are used. This is intriguing, although it is a little tricky to fully grasp on to, but there are many newer folk bands from the Joanna Newsome/Devandra Banhart tree that this band would fit in well with these days.
© David Hintz

Zachary Richard "Le Fou"
Avalanche; 2012

There is only a bit of English in the lyrics here in this solid Blues-Rock-Zydeco record from New Orleans. There is that great Louisiana spirit here with both rural and city influences virtually as indistinguishable as the specific genre. There is a high standard to musicianship in New Orleans, so I expect good things and rarely am disappointed. And Zachary Richard knows this better than I, as this is his twentieth album. Even if you don’t want it kicked up a notch, there are some nice easy going folk tunes such as “La chanson des migrateurs”.
© David Hintz

Billy Marlowe "Show Me the Steps"
Newtex, 2012

Let’s see, this music is thirty years old, made by a forty-year old odd character with some great musicians in New York including Shawn Colvin. After a few vinyl copies and cassettes drifted around, it was mostly forgotten with Marlowe passing on in 1996. Still, there are enough people behind his music to get it together and get this reissue out. Like many artist and bands of just about any era, he was a lot better than much of the major label material coming out. His style was not quite in vogue, but bluesy folk singer songwriter material always has a place somewhere, some time. And now is as good a time as any to take in this quality music. The vocals are the star and the overall songcraft is also impressive. There are country touches and perhaps a more singular focus could have helped with the old A&R community. Be sure to read the liner notes and information at the website. It is a great story, which adds further life to this music as you take it in.
© David Hintz

Harlequin’s Glance "Ashore"
Lindo, 2012

This band takes country rock and pushes it forward into something raucous or pulls it back into something folkier depending on their song. There is a modern feeling with some of the background instruments, but violins, guitars and steel guitars keep things grounded in tradition. I preferred the more up-tempo numbers like “Them Nights”. The vocals are on the raspy side but with enough tone and quality to handle delicate moments well. There are some clever real world background sounds in here and good variety throughout. Lesser artists would steer this vehicle down the center of the highway. This band takes some interesting backroads on their journey. Nicely done.
© David Hintz

JJ Schultz "Carolina"
Own label; 2012

Good solid American singer-songwriter material is what you will get in the eight songs from this album. Schultz has a silky voice and his acoustic playing is augmented by a full band. I will assume that Jeff Cotton on guitar is not the same Jeff Cotton who played with Captain Beefheart and Merrill Fankhauser. But the guitar work here is solid and not overpowering. There is just enough rock to give a bit of contrast to the slower, deeper songs. But if you want a pure folk tune to spin around the block, “My Lady Lane” has all the acoustic guitar moves and moving vocal melody to take you where you want to go. And the little bit of organ vibrates enough to knock the stereo. I like these sounds and songs and they will appeal to a wide audience.
© David Hintz

Keston Cobblers’ Club "One For Words"
Beatnik Geek Records; 2012

This is a slick, professional recording of a band that is up for the challenge of creating arrangements to match. There is orchestration, brass, and imaginative instrument combinations to keep the material lively. It is not quite the Decemberists, but it has some of that adventurous spirit here. Maybe if the Low Anthem tried to cover the Zombies, it could sound like this. But only some of this, as this band plays around with tempos and attitudes to give a nice diverse mix of songs that come together nicely. I have no idea how they do all of this live, but the songs are snappy enough that it would be fun to find out. Give this one a long and thorough listen and see where it takes you.
© David Hintz

Various Artists [Samplers, EP's, Demo CD's, Downloads, ...]

Battlefield Band "Boxed 2002-2009", "Boxed 1998-2006", "Boxed 1989-1997" (Temple Records, 2012). Temple Records have released three boxed sets with 5 CDs each, highlighting the music of the Scottish trad group from 1989 to 2009's "Zama Zama".[40] The collection also includes the solo albums from current band members Mike Katz[31] and Alasdair White.[33]

Carbon Leaf "Noisetrade Sampler" (Download, 2013). Virginian indie folk rock band Carbon Leaf left their major record label to release their ether-electrified porch music on their own schedule via the internet. Download a sampler from their 2012 shows (plus 2 tracks from their 2013 "Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle" album) @!

Cold Chocolate "This Old Way" (EP, Own label, 2012). 5 track EP of a Boston-based band that fuses bluegrass music and funk beats into one meaty feast. Can't get more original than that.

The Deep Dark Woods "My Baby's Got to Pay the Rent" (Single, 2013). Nova Scotian folk rockers The Deep Dark Woods[48] created an original song for the drama movie "Safe Haven."

Conor Doherty (EP, Own label, 2013). Three track promotional teaser for the upcoming debut solo album of Derry-born, London-based singer-guitarist, featuring the traditional ballad "Little Musgrave", Robert Burns' "Now Westlin' Winds" and Anne Briggs' "Go Your Way". Promising, we're looking forward to the full monty.

Kinky Friedman "Bi-Polar Tour: Live from Woodstock" (CD, Avenue a Records, 2012). Texas Jewboy Kinky Friedman,[28] iconic and satirical country singer, live @ The Bearsville Theater, Woodstock NY 2012, featuring the Kinkster's best songs - "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You," "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed," "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore," and his version of Paul Robeson singing "The Ballad of Kevin Barry" - as well as some biting jokes and stories.

John Wesley Harding "Pieces of the Past" (Download, 2013). 5 rock tracks from John Wesley Harding's[49] album "The Sound of His Own Voice" (2011), his "Making Love to Bob Dylan" single, and an unreleased acoustic demo from his upcoming release.
Download it @!

Rita Hosking "Little Boat" (CD, Own label, 2013). A stripped-back family affair, featuring husband Sean (dobro) and daughter Kora Feder (clawhammer banjo), and half a dozen intimate Californian country folk songs. Just listen to the arresting "Parting Glass"!

Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham "Well Dressed" (CD, Wild Goose, 2012). The man with a voice as sturdy as a five-bar gate, Keith Kendrick[29] exchanges striking harmonies with Sylvia Needham on traditional English songs such as "Banks of the Nile" and "Five Gallon Jar". Both are equipped with a concertina and a powerful voice.

Padraig Lalor "Ismay's Dream" (CD, Own label, 2011). Belfast's singer-songwriter Padraig Lalor’s debut album is a timely release with the centenary of the Titanic's disastrous maiden voyage in 2012 ( Well-written songs about those who built her, those who sailed on her, and those left behind.

Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer "Child Ballads" (CD, Wilderland Records, 2013). American songwriter Anaïs Mitchell[48] and Jefferson Hamer pay homage to "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads," the famous nineteenth century anthology named after their collector, Francis James Child, and turn their favourite Child ballads into their own mesmeric versions.

Mick O'Brien, Emer Mayock, Aoife Ni Bhriain "Tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts" (CD, Is Mise Records, 2013). Traditional Irish music taken from the mid 19th century collection of Canon James Goodman - unusual versions of well-known tunes as well as unique items to the Goodman collection -, performed by piper Mick O’Brien,[27][39] his daughter and fiddler Aoife Ní Bhriain and flutist Emer Mayock.[26] No academic exercise though!

Tommie Potts "Traditional Fiddle Music from Dublin" (CD, RTÉ, 2012). Dublin fiddler Tommie Potts' (1912-1988) virtuosity and particular combination of tradition and innovation is admired by many an Irish musician. These re-mastered tape recordings from 1962 to 1982 contain 47 tracks from the slow air "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" to "The Fermoy Lasses" reel, plus several spoken-word recordings. It is Potts' second commercially available recording, after the acclaimed "The Liffey Banks" LP in 1972.

Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band "Live at the Iveagh Gardens" (CDs/DVD, 2011), Josh Ritter "The Beast In Its Tracks" (CD, Yep Roc, 2013). "The Beast In Its Tracks," the new album from Midwestern singer-songwriter Josh Ritter,[44] is preceded with a download of a two hour show at the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin in 2010, spanning his full back catalogue.
Download 21 live tracks + 2 new songs @!

David Rovics "Have Guitar, Will Travel: Protest Travel Writing" (ebook, 2013). Travelling bard David Rovics[32][44] put down his guitar and pen to paper to tell about the courageous people and communities he met from Denmark to Palestine who are fighting for justice and democracy.
Download his ebook @ Amazon and soon on all other ebook platforms!

Socks in the Frying Pan "The Gathering - A Welcome to County Clare" (Single, ClareGathering, 2013). 2013 is the year of The Gathering, an initiative encouraging people to visit Ireland. The Gathering Song for County Clare, performed by local group Socks in the Frying Pan,[50] in particular is supposed to draw visitors to the West Coast: Come all ye people from County Clare, scattered all over everywhere, stop 'n listen, pull up a chair, let's join the gathering ...

Amy Speace "Best Of, So Far (NoiseTrade Collection 2013)" (Download, 2013). In advance of her fifth album, "How To Sleep In A Stormy Boat" (April 2013), American singer-songwriter Amy Speace[33][39] has created an exclusive best of collection. 10 tracks, including "Weight Of The World" (covered by Judy Collins[44]).
Download it @!

The Steel Wheels "Live at Ignition Garage" (Download, 2013). Teaser for the upcoming studio album, "No More Rain", the Virginian quartet introduces their rejuvenated old-time sound live at the Ignition Garage (Goshen, Indiana) on January 27, 2013. Great show!
Download it @!

Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line "Carnival" (CD, Own label, 2013), Nora Jane Struthers "Nora Jane Struthers" (Download, 2010). To celebrate the release of her second album "Carnival," Americana singer-songwriter Nora Jane is giving away all tracks of her self-titled debut, and to celebrate her new band, The Party Line, the eponymous song "Party Line."
Download them @!

Valkyrien Allstars "Ingen hverdag" (CD, Heilo, 2011). 3rd album of the Norwegian hardingfele trio, who conquered the world from their local pub Valkyrien. Rooted in traditional music, Tuva Syvrtsen, Olma Hilmen und Erik Sollid[41][43] surprise with a peculiar variant of Nordic music.

The Whiskey Priests "Full Circle" (EP, Whippet Records, 2013). Between 1985 and 2004 North East English Whisky Priests had a reputation as an outstanding folk punk live act, combined with Gary Miller's[44] fancy northeastern English lyrics. Preceding a forthcoming Best-of album and a couple of shows in 2013, they offer an EP with the last ever studio recording from 1999, "Full Circle" (later also recorded as an acoustic version with Blyth Power's Joseph Porter),[18] plus previously unreleased tracks from a live acoustic radio session 1998 at Radio Sieben, Ravensburg 1998, complete with the appropriate T-Shirt.

The Willis Clan "Chapter One – Roots" (CD, Own label, 2012). A family of 12, the American Willis Clan (with Scotch-Irish ancestors) performs original music with a blend of traditional, pop and folk music. Many critics are dumbfounded, well, let's see about that in the future.

Wood & Wire "Wood & Wire" (CD/Download, Own label, 2013). Nomen est omen: Acoustic music on wood and wire! The Austin-based quartet’s debut album is a heady mix of bluegrass music with high-energy picking on mandolin and banjo, and three-part harmonies and contemporary songwriting, which they call themselves Dirty Texas Grass.
Download it @!

Various Artists "Classic Celtic Music from Smithsonian Folkways" (CD, Smithsonian Folkways Rec., 2013). Compilation of the Smithsonian Classics series, ft. 23 tracks from 1945 to 2001 from Moses Asch's shelves. Here Celtic music from the traditional end of the style, artists such as fiddler Kevin Burke[43] and Brian Conway,[40] singer Margaret Barry,[38] piper Willie Clancy,[41] and folk music legends like Ewan MacColl.[35][37]

Various Artists "Danish Roots - Growing in the World 2013" (CD, Go' Folk, 2012). Third installment of the "Danish Roots"[43] promotional sampler,[46][47] ft. artists such as Asynje,[47] Trias,[50] Phønix,[39] Jansberg Band,[48] Svøbsk,[47] Tradish,[42] Jensen & Bugge,[44] Elof & Wamberg,[50] Fjärin,[47] ULC,[18] Helene Blum,[50] Over Sundet,[50] plus 1 hour radio program in English about Danish folk music, hosted by musician, journalist (and also FolkWorld writer) Morten Alfred Høirup.

Various Artists "Explore Yep Roc Records" (Download, Yep Roc Records, 2013). The title says it all: Explore the North Carolinan independant label, featuring artists such as Josh Rouse,[42] Eleni Mandell, Robyn Hitchcock, Tift Merritt, Aoife O'Donovan (Crooked Still), ...
Download it @!

Various Artists "HGTV and Paste Present The Stages on Sixth" (Download, Paste Magazine, 2013). Paste Magazine and HGTV present a compilation of artists appearing at their ninth annual series of day parties in Austin, Texas in March 2013, featuring a song from the new Billy Bragg album, as well as Amanda Palmer, Red Baraat,[50] Josh Ritter (see above), Josh Rouse,[42] Ron Sexsmith, ...
Download it @!

Various Artists "Music from the Faroe Islands" (CD, Tutl, 2012). TUTL[24] is the leading record label in the Faroe Islands, comprising over 400 releases to date, from whom Gudrid Hansdóttir[46] is the best known artist.
See also the review about Liv Næs's "Keldufar" album![50]

Various Artists "The Rough Guide to Irish Music", (World Music Network, 2013). Another compilation of today's thriving Irish tradition: 17 tracks from Waterford to Donegal (taking in New York too), featuring The Unwanted,[39] Solas,[42] Karan Casey,[42] Andy Irvine,[44] the Brock McGuire Band,[45] Fidil,[47] Grainne Holland,[46] Dermot Byrne & Floriane Blancke.[49] John McSherry's "At First Light"[46] leads over to the bonus CD of the piper's collaboration with slide guitarist Bob Brozman, "Six Days in Down".[44]
Rough Guide also offers to download a free world music sampler @!

Various Artists "The Storm Is Passing Over" (Download, Mason Jar Music, 2012). In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York's Mason Jar Music has assembled a collection of 15 indie-folk artists to create a benefit album of fifteen classic American storm songs, including Rosanne Cash,[41] Béla Fleck,[49] Dawn Landes.[37] Donations go directly to ongoing relief work.
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