FolkWorld #54 07/2014

CD & DVD Reviews

Short & Sweet

The Ballina Whalers "Haul The Bowline" (EP, Hectic Eclectic Records, 2013). Three young musical barnacles clinging to the creaking hull (Sam Brookes, Pete Truin and Jamie Doe) sing acapella shanties and sea songs with grand three-part harmonies. Their second EP, recorded in the rolling belly of a bright red Lightship (a floating light house), features 5 trad pieces and Stan Rogers "Northwest Passage".

BandAdriatica (Videos, 2014). Italian band BandAdriatica plays powerful mediterranean and Balkan brass music.[50] Watch the video documentation, "Rotta Per Otranto", and the live trailer, "Il mistero della pizzica bulgara"!

David Benedict "Into the True Country" (CD, Own label, 2014). Mandolinist David Benedict’s debut album is a stunning display of progressive instrumental music rooted in old-time and Celtic traditions. Download sample @ NoiseTrade, listen to "April Evening" @ YouTube!

Gearóidín Breathnach "Grá Mo Chroí An Óige" (CD, Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2013). Gearóidín Breathnach is a renowned sean-nós singer from Rinn na Feirste in the Donegal Gaeltacht, and she is a double winner of the Corn Uí Riada competition in Oireachtas na Gaeilge. "Grá Mo Chroí An Óige" is a collection of Gaelic songs which many Irish kids learned at school, but delivered fresh and compelling for everybody to enjoy.

Bumper Jacksons "Sweet Mama, Sweet Daddy, Come In" (CD, Own label, 2014). Appalachian string-bands, jug-bands, Texas swing and jazz music - the Bumper Jacksons take nearly forgotten pre-war roots music and throw a hell of a party. Check out the Bumper Jacksons performing live at the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, VA @ YouTube!

Hanneke Cassel "Dot the Dragon’s Eyes" (CD, Own label, 2014). In Chinese legend, Zhang Sengyou painted a dragon on a temple wall, leaving out the pupils from its eyes. Upon the abbot’s insistence, he proceeded to paint in the pupils, causing the dragon to come to life and fly away. Boston fiddler Hanneke Cassel [43] (of Childsplay)[41][52] takes Scottish, Cape Breton and Texan fiddle traditions into a heady mix, let it roar to life and fly off the wall. Check out "Patana Sunset/Dot The Dragon's Eyes" @ YouTube!

Mark Chadwick "Moments" (CD, On The Fiddle, 2014). Mark is best known as vocalist and guitarist of Brighton's folk punk band The Levellers.[48] His second solo album, an honest look at drink, life and love, crosses effortlessly from the kitchen table to the recording studio, and from fine folk to racy rock music.

Chatham County Line "Rendezvous" (Download, 2014). Entering their second decade as an ensemble, Chatham County Line[31][36] have pursued a particular original style inspired from contemporary bluegrass music. Download highlights from their catalog as well as a new song from their new album "Tightrope"@ NoiseTrade, watch "Tightrope of Love" @ YouTube!

Chatham County Line / Aoife O’Donovan "Telluride" (Download, 2014). Chatham County Line and singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan[53] did perform together at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June 2014. Download new music from two essential Americana artists @ NoiseTrade!

The Civil Wars "Live at Eddie's Attic" (Digital CD, Columbia/Sony Music, 2014). Future dubious. The Civil Wars (John Paul White und Joy Williams)[47][48][52] exploit their back catalog. Their April 2009 concert at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA, is now available digitally @ iTunes and Spotify!

Jack Clement "For Once and For All" (CD, I.R.S. Records Nashville, 2014). While the late Cowboy Jack Clement impacted myriad major careers (Elvis, Jerry Lee, ...), he did little to promote his own. He was 82-years-old when he finished his swan song with help from friends such as Emmylou Harris,[16] T Bone Burnett,[53] Jim Lauderdale,[35] ...

Nate Currin "The Pilgrim" (CD, 2013), "You And I Are Ghosts" (CD/Download, 2014). In 2013 Currin released an 18-song concept album, a musical interpretation of "The Pilgrim’s Progress," written by English preacher John Bunyan in 1678. The new seven-song follow-up "You and I are Ghosts" is a less complex collection of songs about the beauty and uncertainty of life. Download it @ NoiseTrade!

Peter Doran "Moon" (Video, 2013). This new song of Doran's was captured at a show in Holland last year[53] and will be featured on his new album "Outlines" coming in September 2014. Watch "Moon" @ YouTube!

Drakeford "Shining of the Sun" (EP/Download, 2014). Drakefords’ EP, recorded with the intention of building momentum for his first full length studio album due to be released in 2015, showcases the variety and diversity of acoustic folk music. Download sampler @ NoiseTrade!

Blair Dunlop "Something’s Gonna Give Way" (Single/Video, 2014). Award-winning British songwriter Blair Dunlop, son of Judy Dunlop and Ashley Hutchings,[53] is crafting fine contemporary songs that are influenced by his folk roots. View the video of the new album’s first single "Something’s Gonna Give Way" @ YouTube!

Luke Elliot "Provisions" (EP, Own label, 2013). Five-track EP, including the song "Benny's a Bum" from Cantagallo's feature film "Benny The Bum", showcasing dark and menacing folk rock. Download it @ NoiseTrade!

Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys "Somewhere Far Away" (CD, Own label, 2014). By day he's out on a tractor on an organic farm in Tennessee, by night he's playing modern bluegrass and country on Nashville stages with his Bluegrass Playboys. Have a look and listen to Bradford Lee Folk performing "Wood Swan" live at the 2013 Pickathon Pumphouse Sessions in Portland, Oregon @ YouTube!

Sam Green and the Time Machine (Videos, 2014). Folk Soul music, both original compositions and classic hymns and folk songs, from a poetic Australian singer/songwriter. Check Sam Green out, there are loads of videos @ YouTube!

Green Rock River Band "Rhinoceros" (CD, Hand Clap Records, 2014). London's honky-tonk string octet had played for years with Megan Lynch and Bill Evans,[49] now delivering folk music with fancy strings, brass and harmonies. Watch a promo teaser for their debut album "Rhinoceros" @ YouTube! Download some amazing collaborations (ft. beats from DJ Walde etc.) for free @ SoundCloud!

Glen Hartmann "Home, I Saw" (Video, 2014); "For the Hurricane Chaser" (EP, 2014). Glen Hartmann is an indie folk/ artist from Cape Town, South Africa, infusing the atmospheric sounds of synthesizers with his folk-style guitar playing. Take a look @ YouTube, download EP @ NoiseTrade!

The Henry Girls "The Weather" (Video, 2014). Echo Echo Dance Company in Derry and Simon Alleyne from Living Witness Productions got together and made a video to go along with a song "The Weather" from The Henry Girls' latest album "Louder Than Words". The footage was shot all around Derry on a March afternoon. Check it out @ YouTube!

The Howlin' Brothers "The Stone Fox Live EP" (EP/Download, 2014). The trio is currently touring their own version of old-time country blues, bluegrass, heartache & soul[52] from their latest album "Trouble". Download highlights from a live set at The Stone Fox in Nashville (official release later in the year) @ NoiseTrade, watch the official "Night And Day" video @ YouTube!

Jiří Pavlica & Hradišťan "Vteřiny křehké" (CD, Indies Scope, 2014). Moravian dulcimer band Hradišťan[33] had been founded in Uherske Hradiste in the east of the Czech Republic in 1950; since 1975 Jiří Pavlica[36] has been its first violinist and artistic director. Here Jiří Pavlica put to music 15 reflections by prominent Czech authors (Jan Skácel, František Novotný, Dušan Vančura, ...) about the transience and instability, the joys and sorrows of human life. Listen to "Šťovíky u cest" @ SoundCloud, watch album teaser @ YouTube!

Joseph Huber "The Hanging Road" (CD, Muddy Roots Records, 2014). Known as a furious banjo player, Joseph Huber goes out on his own, writing all the songs and playing all the instruments. This one-man show is a rough and rootsy mix of bluegrass, insurgent country and singer-songwriter songs.

David Huebner "From the Cabin" (Download, 2014). After a childhood spent performing classical cello music, David Huebner quit music entirely. In 2004 he picked up a guitar and started writing songs in his cabin in the Sierra Nevada. Primarily still playing the cello with The Littlest Birds and the Sweetwater String Band, this is just him and a guitar. Download it @ NoiseTrade, watch "California" @ YouTube!

Jimi the Piper "Donald of Laggan Monster Mix" (Video, 2014). Watch the latest music video from Jimi's new album "Last King of Pictland"[53] @ YouTube! A dark and humourous look at Scotland's capital Edinburgh with some ancient mythology thrown in for good measure.

Juliette Jules "Black Crow" (EP, 2014). While most singers her age (16) aim for the well worn Idol/pop path, Juliette opts for honest expression instead, writing her own emotive lyrics and music and taking inspiration from the likes of Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith and the Sex Pistols. Is it so? Check out a live performance of "Johnny Was", a video for "The Game", or download the Parisian's debut EP for free @ BandCamp!

Kathy Kallick "Cut to the Chase" (CD, Own label, 2014). After 17 bluegrass albums[29] the accomplished singer and bandleader is exploring new forms (ft. John Reischman[51] and Bill Evans[49]): Story songs were ways of spreading the news and recounting important events, and I find plot-driven songs appealing – and easy to remember! I also find the fact that something mattered enough to be recounted to be moving and compelling – and it makes me want to sing the song/story in a compelling way.

Mamy Kanouté "Mousso Lou" (CD, Home Records, 2014). Senegalese kora player Bao Sissoko and Belgian violinist Wouter Vandenabeele[46] started working together in 2009 on the Fula violin player Issa Sow's "Doumale" project. Since then performing as a duo, they supported now Griot singer Mamy Kanouté, one of Baaba Maal's[40] principal background singers, at a fine selection of traditional and original songs and compositions of Mamy's. Watch the official video @ YouTube!

Jodee Lewis "Whiskey Halo" (CD/Download, 2014). A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Jodee Lewis was raised on folk songs and honky-tonk, and the music she took up after a career in Chemical Engineering reflects the best of both. Her first solo album incorporates country, pop and bluegrass that bring to life some of the challenges and joys Lewis has faced as a daughter, wife and mother. Download it @ NoiseTrade, watch "Like We Were" performed at The Hideout, Chicago @ YouTube!

Locust Honey String Band "Never Let Me Cross Your Mind" (CD, Own label, 2014). North Carolina’s Locust Honey - fiddler Chloe Edmonstone, guitarist Meredith Watson, and introducing new banjo player Hilary Hawke (of popular New York duo Dubl Handi)[52] - bring together old-time tunes, country classics, dancehall honky-tonk and new Americana gems. Get a sneak peak of two traditionals and one of Chloe's @ NoiseTrade!

Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys "Here Between" (EP, Earthwork Music, 2014). Lindsay Lou takes her folk and roots pop to the road since the Flatbelly's debut album "Release Your Shrouds" in 2012[49] (coming to Europe in early 2015). Download a snapshot of their sound @ NoiseTrade!

Anna Lynch "Anna Lynch" (CD, Own label, 2013). The young Californian, now living in Anchorage won the Alaska Song of the Year Competition in the bluegrass category for her original song "Olivia" in 2012. Except the traditional old-time song "Pretty Saro", she wrote all the songs on the album according to simple living is what happens here, and people like music their lives can relate to.

Beverley Martyn "Reckless Jane" (Stream, 1974/2014). "Reckless Jane" is a previously unheard track written by Beverley[11] (ex-wife of guitarist John Martyn)[39] and Nick Drake[46] in the spring of 1974, just months before Drake died. It lay half-finished until Martyn decided to complete the song last year for her new album "The Phoenix and the Turtle". Stream "Reckless Jane" @ SoundCloud!

Mascarimirì "Gitanistan" (CD, Own label, 2011). Punk Dub Tarantolato Salentino is the term used to emphasize the Tradinnovazione experimentation of Mascarimirì from Muro Leccese in the outmost of south east Italy.[27] The latest album "Gitanistan" is part of a larger project of research on the Roma community in Salento, it also gave birth to the Gitanistan Orkestra, a musical journey through Salento and Occitania, featuring papet J (Massilia Sound System), Louis Pastorelli (Nux Vomica) and Sylvain Bhuler(Pyteas). Watch video @ YouTube!

The Milk Carton Kids "The Ash & Clay" (CD, ANTI Records, 2013), "Live from Lincoln Theatre" (DVD, ANTI Records, 2014). This Grammy-nominated, flat-picking harmony duo from Los Angeles, California, consisting of singers and guitarists Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, has been already praised in some circles as the next big thing of contemporary indie folk. Watch a sample @ YouTube!

Modern Grass "City Ghosts" (CD, Own label, 2014). The Modern Grass[49] from Nova Scotia, Canada, celebrate the release of their third studio album: hard-driving bluegrass, groovy blues, tender ballads, accompanied by social commentary and introspective songs of love and loss. Watch "Reuben's Train" @ YouTube!

Moon Brother "My Friend" (Video, 2014). This sugar-coated folk-pop, currently being used by British clothing brand Jack Wills in their summer advertising campaign, is the debut track from brothers Matt and Theo, originally from Devon, but now living in London. Watch the official video @ YouTube!

Marissa Nadler "Drive" (Video, 2014). The Boston singer/songwriter is on a musical mission of Downshift & Decompression. Her concerts are incredibly moving and a fair number of people have figured that out now.[48] Watch "Drive" from Marissa's 6th studio album "July" @ Vimeo!

Carrie Newcomer "A Permeable Life" (CD, Available Light Records, 2014). The American singer, a prominent voice for social justice and interfaith dialogue, has always explored the intersection of the spiritual and the daily, the sacred and the ordinary. Newcomer is simultaneously releasing a companion book of poetry, no material in common, but she has indicated that it shows some of the process and themes of her songwriting. Watch the lyric video for the song "Writing You A Letter" @ YouTube!

Nickel Creek "A Dotted Line" (CD, Nonesuch Records, 2014). Progressive bluegrass trio Nickel Creek (mandolinist Chris Thile,[49] Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins) have reunited to make a new album coinciding with the group's 25th anniversary: quite varied, only vaguely recalling pristine bluegrass music. Watch the video for "Destination" @ YouTube!

OakTree "Well" (CD, Home Records, 2014). OakTree is an accoustic music trio from Belgium, exploring the potential of combining voice (Sarah Klenes), cello (Annemie Osborne) and accordion (Thibault Dille), nourished by jazz, classical, world music and free improvisation. Follow their adventures with images from the studio recordings @ YouTube!

The Quiet American "Songs From a Rocking Chair" (CD, Own label, 2014). Ballads, gospels, banjo breakdowns - Oregon's husband and wife duo Aaron and Nicole Keim create music for the porches and living rooms of rural America, and named their new album in anticipation of the biggest event in their live, the birth of their new baby! Check out "Carroll County Blues" @ YouTube!

Bruce Robinson & Kelly Willis "Harper's Valley PTA" (Video, 2014). One of Americana music's coolest couples release "Our Year", traditionalist country music without being retro. Watch the performance of Jeannie C. Riley’s 1968 hit "Harper's Valley PTA" @ YouTube!

David Rovics "All the News That's Fit to Sing" (CD/Download, 2014). The political singer-songwriter[32] has a new solo acoustic album out. Mostly songs about current or recent events, from the "sun tax" in Oklahoma to illegal Israeli settlements and the latest round of "free trade" negotiations, the culmination of hundreds of hours of research, writing and playing music over the past months. You can stream or download "All the News That's Fit to Sing" for free or by donation @!

Rodrigo y Gabriela "The Soundmaker" (EP Download, 2014). Rolling Stone magazine describes Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela[47] as today's best exposition of pyrotechnic, fusion-oriented guitar playing. Their first album of all new material in five years is out now, check out "The Soundmaker" EP featuring a collection of 5 new tracks and classics @ NoiseTrade, watch the "9 Dead Alive" album preview @ YouTube!

Sassparilla "Pasajero", "Hullabaloo" (CD, Fluff & Gravy, 2014). The cowpunk jugband from Portland, Oregon, delivers a 19-track, double-disc set of two divergent records. "Pasajero" boasts thorough studio technics, while "Hullaballo," recorded in songwriter-frontman Kevin Blackwell’s attic, captures the live essence of the band. It also brings the washtub bass front and center, which fans have come to love at their live shows.

Sophie ter Schure "Laurels" (CD, Own label, 2014). Sophie has been playing traditional music since living in Edinburgh in 2006, amongst others forming a band ft. fiddler Gilles Rullmann (Maalstroom).[35] French-English sound engineer Nicholas O'Brien happened to cycle through Europe and recorded her singing along the river Amstel (Vimeo), some months later she met singer-songwriter Luka Bloom[42] at her weekly session at Mulligans,[44] who told her to make an album. The rest is history.

Sleeping At Last "Yearbook" (Download, 2014). Sleeping At Last’s[52] 36-song project "Yearbook” is FREE for a limited time via NoiseTrade. 100% of all "tips" received between July 1st and July 14th, 2014 will be given directly to Preemptive Love Coalition to help continue their life-saving heart surgery for Iraqi children in need.

Soaked Lamb (Video, 2013). Don't hurry ... Lisbon's Soaked Lamb is inspired by blues, jazz and swing of the 1920s to 1940s. The musicians remain seated and always wear hats, hence the album's title "Hats and Chairs". Take a peek at what they are doing: Hank Williams' I Saw the Light, Palhaços (Clowns)!

Jen Starsinic "The Flood and the Fire" (CD, Dangerous You Records, 2014). The young fiddler started as a 14-year-old bluegrass fiddler busking on a street corner, then gotten training at the Berklee College of Music. Jen wrote all songs on her debut album, rootsy songwriting based on bluegrass, country and folk rock. Watch Jen singing "Six Foot Three" @ YouTube!

Star Anna "The Sky Is Falling" (Digital CD, 2014). "Star Anna is an American original. She sings from a place of beauty that takes me to a higher place," says Pearl Jam's Mike McCready. Watch McCready and Star Anna live @ YouTube! Prior to releasing "Go To Hell",[52] Star Anna recorded "The Sky Is Falling" before putting it on the shelf. Now she is releasing this dark song collection as a digital-only album (CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon).

Nora Jane Struthers "The Baker's Boy", "Outside of Town" (Video, 2014). Performing at Merlefest was a career milestone for Nora Jane Struthers:[50][51] We played well, had a blast, and a lot of new people discovered our music that weekend. More than anything else, it was such a joy for me to share the stage with my friends, play my songs, and reflect on the road that has brought me to this point. Here's a video of "The Baker's Boy" @ YouTube! Watch her perform "Outside of Town" in her backyard in Tennessee @ YouTube!

Anna Tivel "Before Machines" (CD, Fluff & Gravy Records, 2014). Portland fiddler-guitarist-vocalist Anna Tivel has been raised on piles of books from her little town library and music from Paul Simon to Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio to Itzaak Perlman. The raw and intimate songs of "Before Machines" allow her songwriting to be at the forefront. Watch the promo video @ YouTube!

True North "Elsebound" (CD, Own label, 2014). “We were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized man had never trod,” reflected Lewis & Clark on entering the Pacific Northwest. “The good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine.” An impetus to explore new territory in contemporary bluegrass is a cue taken seriously by this Northwest bluegrass quartet. Check out "Hard Place" @ Vimeo!

True North "True North" (EP, Own label, 2014). This True North is an acoustic trio of three well-respected singer-songwriters: Eva Hillered[52] and Patrick Rydman of Sweden, and Janni Littlepage of California, USA. Their individual styles swing from folk and country to jazz and rock, blending unique vocal harmonies, guitars, dulcimer and percussion.

T Sisters "Kindred Lines" (CD, Spruce and Maple Music, 2014). Siblings Erika, Rachel and Chloe Tietjen from the San Francisco Bay Area have been singing together their whole lives. Produced and mentored by bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis,[53] "Kindred Lines" draws on country, gospel, R&B, and fellow sibling bands like The Andrews Sisters and The Beach Boys. Check out "Seduction of Spring" from The Humboldt Live Sessions @ YouTube!

Vandaveer "Videography" (Download, 2014). This is the globetrotting Americana project penned by folk-pop tunesmith Mark Charles Heidinger from Washington, DC. Download an exclusive 9-song sampler featuring selected tracks from 4 different releases, each with its own official video available @ NoiseTrade, watch "Dig Down Deep" @ YouTube!

Paul Vens "For the Unborn" (Video, 2014). Dutch singer-songwriter Paul Vens[44] created a YouTube clip for his love song for the Earth, "For the Unborn", from his album "Open":[26] YouTube!

The Warren G. Hardings "Get A Life" (CD, Own label, 2014). Out in the Pacific Northwest they brew bluegrass a little differently, not afraid to toss in influences from pop to punk. The Warren G. Hardings create music with obvious nods to old-time nostalgia, the songwriting however owes more to the lifestyle of young urban men. Check out The Warren G. Hardings live @ YouTube!

Missy Werner "Turn This Heart Around" (CD, Own label, 2014). Singer-mandolinist Missy Werner feels her success is owed to the sharing, teaching and learning bluegrass community of which she’s a part. Mostly new songs from at least eighteen songwriters, half of the tracks are in a bluegrass setting, the other half in a nu-Country, Nashville style. Check her out @ YouTube!

Wisdom and Folly "Wisdom and Folly" (Download, 2014). Fans of The Civil Wars[48] and The Swell Season[38] will easily connect with this Indianapolis-based husband and wife duo. Download two tracks @ NoiseTrade!

9Bach "Lliwiau" (Single/Video, Real World Records, 2014). "Lliwiau" is the first track to be released from 9Bach's second album "Tincian".[53] According to Lisa Jen, Lliwiau means Colours. It's a song written about childbirth. It's a positive outlook on all the pain and craziness that is giving birth. It is a psychedelic description of labour and contractions comparing it to the rush of Ecstasy. All the colours you can see, brightly coloured shapes, the tunnel vision, when you close your eyes and the instant love that you feel for this soul that comes out. Watch a live acoustic version @ YouTube!

Various Artists "Alligator Records: 21st Century Blues & Roots" (Download, 2014). Chicago-based Alligator Records has been recording Genuine Houserockin’ Music since 1971. With a catalog of over 300 releases, the label specializes in blues and roots rock ranging from traditional artists to cutting-edge contemporary singers and players. Download 16 tracks from Alligator’s most recent albums (ft. JJ Grey & Mofro,[34] Janiva Magness,[31] ...) for free @ Noisetrade!

Various Artists "The Rough Guide To Celtic Music" (2 CDs, World Music Network, 2014). The Celtic Music Guide explores the contemporary interpreters of music from the Celtic fringe, both beautiful songs and breathtaking instrumental dance music: Scottish artists such as Capercaillie,[52] Alasdair Fraser,[53] Old Blind Dogs,[43] Irish (and Irish-American) such as Solas,[42] Liz Carroll,[52] Altan,[46] Grada,[42] Cara Dillon,[53] John Doyle,[46] Canadian (Vishten[44]), Breton (Yann-Fanch Kemener[15]), Welsh (Ffynnon[33]). The Rough Guide comes with a bonus CD, this time 2007 album "Rooz"[34] from Cornish folk band Dalla.[52]

Various Artists "The Voice of the People" (CDs, Topic Records, 2014). Topic Records is proud to announce the release of four further volumes in their acclaimed The Voice of the People series, selected from field recordings made by Peter Kennedy in the British Isles during the 1950s: "Good humour for the rest of the night" - Traditional Dance Music in Northumberland and Cumberland; "The Barley Mow" - Field recordings and a film made in Suffolk in the 1950s; "The Flax In Bloom" - Traditional songs, airs and dance music in Ulster; "Orkney" - Traditional dance music from Orkney. As part of their 75th Anniversary celebrations throughout 2014 Topic is making monthly special offers from their website!

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