FolkWorld #58 11/2015

CD & DVD Reviews

Short & Sweet

Paul Armfield "Take This Kiss" (Single/Video, 2015). Paul Armfield’s[46] sixth album "Found" is a suite of songs inspired by a collection of photographs gathered from the flea markets of Berlin (full CD review follows). The first online single is quite simply an homage to the joys of kissing, see the homemade video @ YouTube!

Azadoota "Lishana (Jesus Spoke My Language)" (Single/Video, 2015). The Assyrian language, Aramaic, most famously spoken by Jesus, has been spoken by Assyrians for over 3,000 years. Today however, it's in danger of extinction. Champions of Assyrian culture, Sydney-based worldbeat band Azadoota[38][47] have released a new single called "Lishana" (i.e. “Language”), which serves as a rallying cry to preserve the iconic language. Download the track @ SoundCloud, watch the music video exploring the lyric "imagine the world speaking Assyrian" @ YouTube!

Dan Bern "Reno" (EP/Download, 2015). L.A. country singer/songwriter Dan Bern has released about two-dozen studio albums and live recordings with an unassuming tip of the hat to the spirits of Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and the Beatles. Check out "Party By Myself" (Live at WFUV) @ YouTube, download 5 previously unreleased songs @ NoiseTrade!

Greg Blake "Songs of Heart and Home" (CD, Own label, 2015). Greg Blake, lead singer of progressive bluegrass band Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, has a debut solo album with powerhouse guest stars like Claire Lynch,[52] Laurie Lewis,[53] John Reischman,[51] etc. But it’s his voice that rings out above them all, the high, lonesome sound of Appalachian mountain music that lies at the heart of all bluegrass and country music. Listen to Greg Blake's bluegrass cover of Johnny Cash's "Hey Porter" @ SoundCloud!

Bob Bradshaw "Whatever You Wanted" (CD, Fluke Records, 2015). Called “a cross between Ray Davies, Randy Newman and Ryan Adams” (Taxi Music), Irish-born songwriter and singer-songwriter Bob Bradshaw has spent twenty-five years exploring the music of his adopted country USA - roots-rock, western swing, country soul, and acoustic ballads.

Sigurd Brokke "Munnharpe II" (CD, Etnisk Musikklubb, 2015). Munnharpe (mouth-harp) is the Norwegian name for the instrument called Jew's harp. Landskappleiken winner Sigurd Brokke from Hylestad[49] presents his second collection of traditional tunes, mainly adapted from the Setesdal fiddle repertoire. Search him out playing "Nordafjells" at the 15th anniversary of the Norwegian Jew's Harp Forum at the Riksscenen in Oslo in October 2013 @ YouTube!

Bumper Jacksons "Too Big World" (CD, Own label, 2015). Folding jazz, early blues, old-time music and country swing into an exhilarating mix, the Washington DC band around clarinetist Jess Eliot Myhre and guitarist Chris Ousley brings a hard-driving party energy to the dance floors. Watch "I've Got My Whiskey" @ YouTube!

Calexico "Bullets & Rocks" (Video, 2015). Americana-Tex-Mex-rock-band Calexico spends November 2015 on tour in Europe A limited number of tickets are still available for most shows, otherwise watch their hallucinatory video for "Bullets & Rocks,” where director Aaron Hymes developed a computer-animated dream sequence of humanlike figures coalescing into canyon landscapes, @ Stereogum!

The Carty Sisters "Cogar" (EP, Own label, 2015). “It’s always nice to work with gifted musicians”, muses the 7-track EP's producer, Kíla's Rónán Ó Snódaigh,[53] “but these girls are gifted and have a zest for the music. In short, They Rock!” Part Irish trad, part American jazz, part ethnic whatever, Wexford siblings Saoirse (17, guitar), Naoise (15, concertina, fiddle) and Ciara Ní Chárthaigh (12, flute, bodhrán) deliver all original material (4 songs and 3 instrumental tunes) with a particular sound of their own. Watch "Trouble" @ YouTube!

Dan Chadburn "Keys of Light" (CD, Own label, 2015). Classically-trained new age pianist Dan Chadburn[54][56] honors people whose lives have touched him with friendship, memories, courage: "I arranged each of the twelve pieces in a different musical key to symbolize the many and varied opportunities we have to bring light to this world. Someone else's light can be a positive force or an inspiration for others. Even after death there are people who leave some of their light behind to mark a path for others to follow."

Liz Chidester "Otter Hill" (EP, Own label, 2015). Liz Chidester, originally from the mountains of Virginia, was recently nominated for Best Female Vocalist in the Chicago Music Awards 2015. Her new songs are among the most personal she's written, penned during the worst winter in recent Chicago history (2014). The recordings are meant to be intimate and simple: Enjoy over a thoughtful warm drink on a cold autumn evening! Watch Liz Chidester's last year CD release show @ Vimeo, download the new "Otter Hill" EP NoiseTrade!

Hans Christian "Nanda Devi" (CD, New Earth Records, 2015). German-born new age composer Hans Christian, best known for his cello playing but also performer on sitar, nyckelharpa, medieval psaltery, Tibetan bowls and electronic keyboards, has created a musical ode to the sacred mountain Nanda Devi (Bliss-Giving Goddess, 7,817 m) in Northern India, which symbolizes nature's beauty, spiritual power and a place of quiet serenity outside the reach of modern civilization. A meditative reverie in sound, with the many world-flavored instruments giving the music the flavor of a trek (physically or mentally) to the top of the world.

Sheldon Clark "Word and Sound" (CD/Download, Mango Cider Music, 2015). Nashville singer/songwriter Sheldon Clark’s 2015 effort, "Word & Sound," showcases a raw rock performance recorded in three days to analog tape, setting the scene for stark and personal lyrics, dealing with topics of anxiety, love lived and lost, the technological age and the influence of music. Download a sampler @ NoiseTrade!

Debra Clifford & Becca Wintle "The Farwells" (CD, Own label, 2015). Two kindred spirits in harmony: Debra Clifford (of the Lonesome Sisters & Old Buck)[52] and UK fiddler Becca Wintle have managed to create a sound that borrows from Bluegrass and Celtic music, Appalachian roots and the 1950’s folk revival to forge a music that is entirely their own. Check out "Pretty Little Saro" @ YouTube!

Connla "The E.P" (EP, Own label, 2015). Connla is a character in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology killed by his own father, the famous warrior Cú Chulainn, for refusing to tell his name. Connla is also a highly skilled armed force of pipes, flute, harp, guitar and bodhran from Northern Ireland, whose name everybody should know for their youthful but intricate traditional Irish music. Check out "Saints and Sinners" @ YouTube!

Cordofonic "Cordofonic Quatuor" (Video, 2015). Cordofonic is an alternative French string quartet that mixes traditional music and improvisation around a highly original instrumentation: Marie Mazille (violin, nyckelharpa), Frédéric Baudimant (violin), Stéphane Arbon (double bass), François Breugnot (violin, vocals). Discover Cordofonic @ YouTube!

Cork Gamelan Ensemble "The Three Forges" (CD, Diatribe Records, 2015). In Javanese traditional music, a Gamelan is an orchestra composed of tuned percussion instruments – bronze gongs and metallophones, drums, wooden flute and two-stringed fiddle.[46] University College Cork's Mel Mercier presents original and contemporary music for Gamelan, featuring a stellar cast including vocalists Iarla Ó Lionáird, Duke Special and Julie Feeney, dancer Colin Dunne, saxophonist Nick Roth, cellist Kate Ellis and the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra.

David Corley "The End of My Run" (Video, 2015). Roots rocker David Corley suffered a heart attack at the end of a show at the Take Root Festival, Netherlands. All the tests indicate that he will make a full recovery, and he is happy that his own song does not apply to him yet: listen to "The End Of My Run" live in Vicenza @ YouTube!

Crow and the Canyon "Leaving Soon" (CD, 58 North, 2015). “Portland is a melting pot for creative people,” says banjo player Austin Quattlebaum. After playing their first show in June 2014, Portland roots quartet Crow and the Canyon quickly gained momentum and attention at pubs and venues across the Pacific Northwest. They’ve just released their debut full-length album, weaving back and forth between bluegrass, acoustic folk rock and country blues.

Cupeiro Yukhnevich “Compromiscuo” (CD, Own label, 2015). A vibrant duo of a Galician multi-instrumentalist (with focus on brass instruments, including trumpet, horn and clarinet) and Russian accordionist, with some singing. Moving between Balkan, Spain, Greece, jazz, folk and even classical, the music is full of improvisation - in fact so much so that it is at times too free style and could in our humble opinion do with more structure.

D'Aqui Dub "Impermanència" (CD, Act-In Prod, 2014). Occitania, Balkan, punk, electro - that's the sound of freedom according to D'Aqui Dub. The musicians from Marseilles (bombarde, keys, bass) and Bosnia (bouzouki) create mystic and trance-like dub music on the fertile grounds of Mediterranean cultures. Check out "Impermanència" @ BandCamp, and the "Son que pensan que" and "Lo camin de Morgiu" videos!

Deuter "Illumination of the Heart" (CD, New Earth Records, 2015). The German-born veteran and founding father of new age music since his first LP in 1971 comes down from the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, to create a harmonious balance of music and spirit and contemplative healing music which is transcedent, spiritual, transformative, serene, meditative, blissful and rejuvenating.

Aurélie Dorzée & Tom Theuns "L'art de Voler" (CD, Home Records, 2015). The Art of Flying is a contemporary folk album, rhythmically manoeuvring in the twilight zone of waltz-musette and tango. Aurélie Dorzée & Tom Theuns[55] of Ambrozijn[32] and Aurelia[44] fame use enchanting vocals, violin and guitar to create poetic and fanciful musical soundscapes.

Dü-Sems Ensemble "Music from Turkey and Greece" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). Even though the title of this album is very uninspiring and may hint at a tourist trap album, this actually is authentic traditional Turkish music. The music and dance ensemble uses authentic period instruments, presenting on this album largely traditional music from Turkey as well as Greece. This is not music that makes light listening - particularly when it comes to songs.

Ana Egge "Rock Me (Divine Mother)" (Video, 2015). Ana Egge's original song "Rock Me (Divine Mother)" from her album "Bright Shadow",[57] backed up by the harmony vocals of The Stray Birds,[51] is a tribute to mothers everywhere as well as the divine feminine and possibility of redemption in all of us. Check out "Rock Me" @ YouTube!

Lindsay Ellyn "Out of Road" (EP/Download, 2015). After 12 years in New York City, Lindsay Ellyn descended on Nashville, Tennessee. She “represents all the best qualities of the New Nashville music scene and brings a fresh perspective to town” enthuses music blogger Joe Wolfe-Mazeres. Her new EP features five original Americana songs for fans of Emmylou Harris or Alison Krauss. Download "Out of Road" @ NoiseTrade, check out the Making Of @ YouTube!

Kim Erickson "The raven's wing" (CD, Own label, 2015). Canadian singer/songwriter Kim Erickson presents on this album primarily self-penned songs. Sounding classically trained, her singing style is not the easiest to listen to. The music is influenced by Celtic traditions, and is accompanied by piano, guitar, violin, cello etc.

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn "Banjo Banjo" (EP, Rounder Records, 2015). Premier banjo players Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn[56] have a new EP with the greatest title in the history of the universe: Banjo Banjo. It is a compilation of live tracks and new tracks that have only been released as videos, including a rendition of the Chinese folk song “Good Flower Red” and a version of the 1980’s global hit “The Final Countdown”. Available now @ iTunes etc.

The Grahams "Glory Bound" (CD, Own label, 2015). “There is a special connection between American folk music and the railroad that has no parallel elsewhere in the world; rail lines stitch together the sprawling fabric of American song”, says New York-based husband and wife duo Alyssa and Doug Graham. They rode the rails and wound up recording not only a new studio album, but also filming a documentary, "Rattle the Hocks", which chronicles their excursions and the influence of train travel on American roots music (nominated for Best Documentary Short at London's 2015 Raindance Film Festival).
In support of the album, The Grahams will be touring the UK and Ireland in November 2015. Check out the album's title track "Glory Bound" and the full documentary "Rattle the Hocks"!

Green Diesel “Wayfarers All” (CD, 2014). Folk rock outfit from Kent in England. Steeleye Span appears to be a major inspiration for their music. Mix of traditional English and original compositions, presented on accordion, violin, drums, guitars, bass etc

Jackie Greene "Live at Infinity Hall" (EP Download, 2015); "Back to Birth" (CD, Yep Roc Records, 2015). Californian singer-songwriter Jackie Greene brought his band to Infinity Hall Hartford (aired on public TV in July 2015) for a dynamic performance filled with blues, folk, soul and good old rock and roll. Greene’s performance allows a sneak peek at some of the songs from his new album "Back To Birth". Check out "Gone Wanderin" @ YouTube, download a four song EP from the 60 minute concert @ NoiseTrade!

Tim Grimm "The Lake" (Song/Video, 2015). Indiana singer-songwriter-actor Tim Grimm's song "The Lake" taken from his latest release "The Turning Point"[55] is used in a key scene of the Robert Redford / Nick Nolte film "A Walk In The Woods" based on Bill Bryson's best-selling book. The song is also included in the soundtrack album. You can listen to or download 'The Lake' @ SoundCloud, watch the movie trailer @ YouTube!

Guo Gan & Loup Barrow "The Kite" (CD, Felmay Records, 2015). Unusual meeting between Guo Gan's two-stringed Chinese violin (erhu)[46][48][52] and Loup Barrow's unconventional instruments (hammered dulcimer, hang, mbira, glass harp etc.), "The Kite" features both classical Chinese pieces and original songs. Watch them @ YouTube!

Päkkos Gustaf & Ellika Frisell "Evening at Pekkosgården 1988" (CD, Country & Eastern , 2015/1988). This album presents an informal recording from 1988, of the late Swedish fiddle master and his student. Recorded at home in a relaxed setting, this is an intimate recording and includes some remarks from the master during the tunes. It gives the listener very much the feeling too sit in the livening room with these two exceptional players. Watch "Pekkos Pers Brudmarsch" @ YouTube!

Harpeth Rising "Shifted" (CD, Own label, 2015). Fiddle/banjo/cello trio Harpeth Rising[53] chose to name themselves after a river because of their both dynamic and powerful fusion of folk, newgrass and rock music into an organically unique sound. Check out the trailer for "Shifted" @ YouTube!

Fay Hield "Advance" (EP, Soundpost Records, 2015). Folk singer Fay Hield[43] introduces her forthcoming 3rd solo album "Old Adam" (February 2016) with a haunting version of the children's game song "Green Gravel". Support comes from Rob Harbron (concertina), Sam Sweeney (fiddle), Jon Boden (fiddle), Martin Simpson (guitar), amongst others. Watch "Green Gravel" video @ YouTube!

The Imaginary Suitcase "Fake Blood from Real Wounds" (CD, Own label, 2015). Belgian singer-songwriter The Imaginary Suitcase, aka Laurent Leemans, once the singer of La Vierge du Chancelier Rolin and Ceilí Moss,[43] goes on an egotrip with some acoustic instruments, his deep voice, and bittersweet lyrics about life, death and the scary bits inbetween. Check it out @ BandCamp, SoundCloud and/or YouTube!

Dana Immanuel "Dotted Lines" (CD, Own label, 2015). Dana Immanuel is a banjo-toting, whiskey-drinking, poker-playing singer-songwriter whose blend of folk, blues, jazz and Americana is more associated with the Bayou Country than her north London domicile. Check out the "Dotted Lines" video @ Vimeo!

Photis Ionatos "Périples" (CD, Home Records, 2015). Photis Ionatos (Φώτης Ιονάτος), brother and sporadic duo partner of the better known Greek chanteuse Angélique Ionatos, recounts the poetical universe he's been inspired from since the early years of his musical career. His compositions are based on the writings of the poet Aki Roukas or coming from poems of Homer, Konstantínos Kaváfis and Nikiforos Vrettakos.

Emily Ann Laliotis "Single Step" (CD, Own label, 2015). "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (Lao Tzu). This debut album showcases 19 year-old Californian singer-songwriter Emily Ann Laliotis' first step into the music industry. Influenced by the folk artists of the past and present, Emily Ann Laliotis has moved on from angsty pre-teen music to indie folk. Take a listen @ YouTube, SoundCloud & BandCamp!

Lewis & Leigh "Hidden Truths" (EP, ALM, 2015). Drawing on the musical heritage of both the Deep South and the Welsh coast, Al Lewis and Alva Leigh create a unique blend of Celtic folk and Americana, or ‘Celticana’ as they like to call it. Their third EP "Hidden Truths" features their take on Elton John’s "Country Comfort" from his 1970 country album "Tumbleweed Connection". Lewis & Leigh filmed the video in an old church in London and paired it with archive footage of American farms in the 1950s. Watch the video @ YouTube!

Lowland Hum "Native Air" (CD, Own label, 2013). Featuring songs written primarily during the first year of Daniel and Lauren's marriage and recorded in the months surrounding their first anniversary, "Native Air" is the Greensboro duo’s first album,, a Swell Season[38]/Civil Wars[48] record of their search for unity, wholeness, and shared identity. Watch the stop-motion music video "Twine" @ YouTube, download "Native Air" @ NoiseTrade!

Low Lily "Low Lily" (EP, 58 North, 2015). On their self-titled 6-track EP, string and vocal trio Low Lily (formerly Annalivia)[50] - which is Liz Simmons on vocals and guitar, Flynn Cohen on vocals, guitar and mandolin,[49] and Lissa Schneckenburger on vocals and fiddle[43] - explores the various roots and branches of American folk music and the relationships of bluegrass, Irish, English, New England and Old Time Appalachian music.

Eden MacAdam-Somer “My first love story” (CD, A-Side Records, 2014). Texas-born violinist, violist, composer Eden MacAdam-Somer presents on this album solely voice and violin arrangements. Two cycles of new compositions for voice and violin, along with a couple of trads and Dukeonvton's Jump for Joy, this is highly improvised music, with Appalachian folk as basis.

Elizabeth MacInnis "Sensitive Guy" (Single, Own label, 2015). Canadian singer-songwriter Elizabeth MacInnis is fond of blending jazz, soul, pop and country music. The retro vibe she loves also fuels her new single "Sensitive Guy," co-written with her brother Norman James and co-sung with Nova Scotian singer/songwriter Mark Flores.

Helen McCreary "Kaikoura" (EP/Download, 2015). While Brooklyn archaeologist-turned-singer-songwriter Helen McCreary was working in New Zealand, she documented her adventurous journey through lyrics and melodies which eventually show up on her debut EP and LP. Listen to "As the Bark to a Tree" live at Studio 42 @ YouTube, download a two track selection from "Kaikoura" for free @ NoiseTrade!

Kelley McRae "Fair Weather" (Video, 2015). It's been almost 5 years since Kelley McRae and Matt Castelein traded in their NYC apartment and left Brooklyn in a VW Camper van. They have been touring US and Europe ever since and don't plan on stopping any time soon (film director Wim Wenders said that her songs move him to tears). There's a new video for their song "Fair Weather" from McRae's EP "Easy On My Mind" @ YouTube!

Mehmet Polat Trio "Whirling in the Jungle" (Video, 2015). After two years of sharing a common artistic and spiritual path and releasing their debut CD, "Next Spring" (review forthcoming), Mehmet Polat (Turkey, oud), Zoumana Diarra (Mali, kora) and Sinan Arat (Turkey, ney) are planning and preparing for the follow-up album to be released in Spring 2016. They are striving to go deeper with the mix of their particular cultures and instruments. Check out their new video clip "Whirling in the Jungle" @ YouTube!

Michael-Ann "Heavy Load" (CD, Own label, 2014). Starting off in folk rock, Kansas City born Michael-Ann returned to musical roots in the Ozarks of Missouri. The 12-song collection "Heavy Load" will please fans of traditional country and bluegrass music as well as devotees of Americana music. She says: "I wish music wasn't motivated by a formula to please the masses, but a formula to touch the soul. I hope to touch people spiritually, not just perform. If people can have some sort of transcendence in heart or soul--a joy or catharsis through my music, then I think I've done my job." Check out Michael-Ann's YouTube channel!

Jenna Moynihan "Woven" (CD, Own label, 2015). Young Boston fiddler Jenna Moynihan knows that tradition is meant to be a starting point for great inspiration. On her new album she is pulling the many strands of the Scottish fiddle tradition into a colorful tapestry that showcases her musical talent. She has brought together some of the best young traditional artists of Boston, harpist Mairi Chaimbeul, bluegrass guitarist Courtney Hartman (Della Mae), Celtic guitarist Owen Marshall, plus three all-star guest fiddlers: Duncan Wickel, Darol Anger, and Alex Hargreaves.

Dušan Holý & Musica Folklorica "Nejen zahrádečky" (CD, Indies Scope, 2015). The legendary Dušan Holý is a well-known ethnographer and organizer and also an excellent performer of folklore songs from the Horňácko region (and the neighbouring Moravian-Slovakian border). Cymbalist Petr Pavlinec and Musica Folklorica[47] accompanied Dušan Holý on this collection of garden songs which gave the title to the entire album. Petr Pavlinec enthuses: "We had the scores ready, we rehearsed the phrasing, and in the end we recorded some songs in different tonality, in new form and variants. This kind of improvisation based on the momentary mood of the performer proves that folklore is not a dusty thing on display in a folk museum."

'ndiaz "'ndiaz" (CD, Coop Breizh, 2013). Fest-noz ethno-jazz fusion, ft. accordeonist Yann Le Corre, saxophonist Timothée Le Bour,[56] trumpeter Youn Kamm and tabla player Jérôme Kerihuel. Watch CD teaser @ YouTube!

Danni Nicholls "Mockingbird Lane" (CD, Danni Nicholls Music, 2015). With performances guaranteed to melt your heart into the soles of your cowboy boots, UK singer-songwriter Danni Nicholls recorded the country-soul and folk-pop of her second album in Nashville, Tennessee with the city's finest musicians. Check out the "Mockingbird Lane" trailer @ YouTube!

Anne Niepold "Tohu-Bohu" (Video, 2015); "Musette is Not Dead" (CD, Own label, 2014). Belgian accordionist, arranger and composer Anne Niepold (Deux Accords Diront)[46] has been flirting with the café musette music of Europe for a few years now. On her latest release, "Musette is Not Dead," she pays tribute to some of the great names like Jo Privat and delves into others who made a name in the clubs of Paris. Check out the album teaser @ YouTube!

Paddy O'Brien "Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection, Volume 3" (CD, Own label, 2015). Over the past half-century, Paddy O'Brien, an expert accordion player originally from County Offaly in Ireland, now resident in Saint Paul, Minnesota,[52] has earned a reputation as a walking encyclopedia of Irish traditional music; according to conservative estimates, he carries in his head more than 3,000 Irish melodies. The "Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection" is a historic compilation of 1,500 jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs etc. Volume 3 features 500 tunes played through several times on solo accordion on 10 CDs in a zippered wallet, plus a spiral-bound booklet (124 pp) with background information on each tune. It is available @, and in digital download format @ CD Baby!

Sinéad O'Connor "The Foggy Dew" (Single, 2015). As down the glen one Easter morn ... ‘The Foggy Dew’ was written by Canon Charles O’Neill, chronicling Dublin's Easter Rising of 1916 and encouraging Irishmen to fight for the cause of Ireland rather than for the British. Sinéad O'Connor[24] has recorded 'The Foggy Dew' in honour of the funeral re-enactment of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa in Dublin on August 1st 2015. O'Donovan Rossa was a renowned leader of the Fenian movement in the 19th century seeking independence from Britain. His burial in 1915 and Padraig Pearse's funeral oration are seen as a pivotal moment, as several of those who attended went on to take part in the Rising. Listen to Sinéad O'Connor's 'The Foggy Dew', watch her live at Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor's entrance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in July 2015, and a two minute history of O'Donovan Rossa!

Gretchen Peters "The Cure For The Pain" (Video, 2015). 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Gretchen Peters'[56] first album, "The Secret Of Life," and her first UK tour. She's celebrating with a 20th Anniversary UK Tour in early 2016, which kicks off at the Celtic Connections Festival on January 31st in Glasgow, Scotland. Here's a clip from an October show in Groningen, Netherlands @ YouTube!

David Ramirez "Fables" (CD, Own label, 2015); "Eastside Manor Sessions" (Download, 2015). This summer travel-tested troubadour David Ramirez from Austin entered into Nashville's Eastside Manor Studios to record intimate acoustic versions of 4 songs from his new album, "Fables". Download "Eastside Manor Sessions" @ NoiseTrade, read NoiseTrade One-on-One Interview, watch "Fables" album trailer @ YouTube!

Red Herring "Live at Volver" (CD, Own label, 2014). The first two tracks on this album – a lovely interpretation of Scottish “Siul a Run” and a set of Irish tunes – could have suggested that this is a Celtic folk outfit – but this turns out to be a Red Herring (sorry for the pun), as the focus of this Dutch trio is on Americana and bluegrass songs. The album is recorded live, and clapping from the audience is audible not only as applause, but also during many of the tracks.

Ben Reel "One Of These Days" (Single/Video, 2015). The video for Ben Reel’s[36] single "One Of These Days" is a tribute to some of Ireland’s iconic figures celebrated throughout the streets and parks of Dublin City. Filming began at the Phil Lynott statue in Harry St, then moved on to different sites and monuments like the Patrick Kavanagh bronze overlooking the Grand Canal, Wolfe Tone,[4] James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Rory Gallagher, James Connolly.[54] Here is the video @ YouTube!

Alex Roberts “The Demon and the Eidolon” (CD, Own label, 2015). British singer songwriter singing mostly original songs, with a folksy bluesy feel, accompanied by guitars, double bass, percussion, harmonica and drums.

Rodrigo y Gabriela "Live at Red Rocks 2013" (Video, 2015). Rodrigo y Gabriela's[47] performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado from July 2013 is now available to stream and download. The concert features the first live performance of many tracks from the "9 Dead Alive" album as well as classic Rod and Gab songs from their back catalogue. The duo were joined on stage by special guests The Colorado Symphony to perform unique orchestral arrangements of specially chosen songs. Watch the trailer, stream and download the full concert movie @!

David Rovics "The Other Side" (Stream/Download, 2015). "Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics[32] says exactly what needs to be said," BBC's Ian McMillan is reckoning. "The Other Side" consists of 16 songs that he wrote between December 2014 and August 2015, as with all of his albums a mix of songs about recent and notable historical events. Stream/download "The Other Side" @ BandCamp, seek out lyrics, audios, videos and sheet music on the "Songbook" tab @!

Buffy Sainte-Marie "Power In The Blood" (CD, True North Records, 2015). Buffy Sainte–Marie's[44] latest album "Power In The Blood" has won the prestigious Canadian Polaris Music Prize in 2015! "Awards? They're nice. Applause? It's nice. But the reason to get on the plane is the same reason you wrote the songs in the first place," she explained "It's meaningful to the songwriter. It's meaningful to the artist. And it's a pleasure to play songs you really believe in, and that you believe might help somebody else figure out their day. I love words, I love thinking, and I recognize and value the core of a universal idea simplified into a three–minute song." Stream "Power In The Blood" in full @ True North Records!

Kathy Sanborn "Lights of Laniakea" (CD, That Other Label, 2015). Laniakea is meaning Immeasurable Heaven in Polynesian and the name of a supercluster in space that contains our own galaxy. The 7th album of award-winning Californian vocalist and composer Kathy Sanborn, previously mastering many styles from jazz to pop, is musically exploring the universal desire to live in the light. Grammy winner Ricky Kej arranged the new age music and brought in some world fusion musicians, blending rhythms and instruments of India with American melodies.

Sinouj "La Fiche" (CD, Autoproducción, 2014). Sinouj, based in Madrid, is a band that mixes Arabic rhythms and modes with jazz, funk and contemporary African music. More precisley, Western saxophone meets Oriental violin versus Afro rhythm section. Check out the CD launch @ YouTube!

Slocan Ramblers "Coffee Creek" (CD, Own label, 2015). One of Toronto's hottest roots bands plays working-class bluegrass music that harkens back to the grittiness of a city that used to be known as “Hogtown.” The Slocan Ramblers understand that if you polish up the music too much, you lose the raw excitement that makes it so vibrant. Check out Behind-the-Scenes studio footage @ YouTube!

Emily Smith (Videos, 2015). The summer months have seen Scottish folk singer Emily Smith[51] play festivals, here's some footage from Skagen Festival, and work on new recordings. First of all, a collaborative project with fellow Dumfries & Galloway musicians Claire Mann, Aaron Jones, Robyn Stapleton,[57] Wendy Stewart[40] and Ali Burns to sing back to life the songs collected by Galloway man William Macmath during the 1800s (‘Macmath: The Silent Page’), and secondly, a Christmas/Winter themed album, here's a wee video of Siskind/Monroe's 'A Life That's Good'!

Fred Sokolow "The Music of Woody Guthrie Arranged for Fingerstyle Guitar" (DVD, Vestapol, 2015). In Stefan Grossman's[57] latest instructional DVD, Fred Sokolow[45][49] teaches you how to play fingerpicking backup and solos to ten of Woody Guthrie's[48] best known songs. Easy to learn with split-screen, slowed down versions of the songs and helpful hints about licks and picking styles. Watch "Do Re Me" @ YouTube!

Spoil the Dance "Northern Common" (CD, Own label, 2015). This amateur band evolved from a group of people running the Sheffield Folk Club, and this is their debut album. Their biggest asset is singer Gaynor Brook, singing with her clear light voice primarily traditional songs. Instrumentally, the focus of the band is on counterpoint playing on bouzouki/guitar and mandolin/mandola/guitar, plus the addition of a flute.

Dao Strom "We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People" (Book, Paperdoll Works, 2015); "East/West" (CD, Paperdoll Works, 2015). American-Vietnamese author/musician Dao Strom[34][37] is happy to announce her experimental 200 pages, full-color memoir in text, image and song accompanied by two CDs, a hybrid-forms journey she has been working on for the past seven years. Dao Strom navigates between California and Saigon, two cultures, mother and father. The digital album is available @ BandCamp, the book trailer video featuring the song "Cataclysm" @ YouTube!

Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi "City of the Future - Yiddish Songs from the former Soviet Union" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). American violinist Yale Strom[45][47] selected seven of the best interpreters of Yiddish songs including Michael Alpert and Daniel Kahn,[50] to explore the thriving Yiddish culture in the former Soviet Union before the onset of World War II, most songs have never been recorded before. As Yale Strom says: ‘This recording brings a freshness to a genre of Yiddish songs that still resonates today. I hope this project encourages Yiddish singers to once again sing these songs that represent a golden era of Yiddish culture in Soviet Jewish history.’

Jitka Šuranská & Irén Lovász & Michal Elia Kamal "Tři hlasy - Three Voices" (CD, Indies Scope, 2015). Recorded live at 2014's Folk Holiday festival in Náměšt nad Oslavou,[57] the Tři Hlasy project links together three unmistakable female singers: Czech Jitka Šuranská,[53] Hungarian Irén Lovasz and Israeli of Iranian descent Michal Elia Kamal. Language barriers and different cultural backgrounds had to overcome to make three voices sound like one. "This project is a good example of an enormous power of music: it is the most effective instrument of intercultural and interpersonal communication also for the fact that it liberates blocked up emotions." (Irén Lovasz) Watch teaser @ YouTube!

Talisk "Pinnacle 67" (EP, Own label, 2015). The Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award and the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award[57] catapulted Mohsen Amini (concertina), Hayley Keenan (fiddle) and Craig Irving (guitar) onto the stages of the Royal Albert Hall, HebCelt,[58] Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival. Glasgow-based trad trio Talisk proved very popular with audiences, comprehensible from this 3 studio and 1 live tracks. Here's the "Abyss" video!

Sofia Talvik "Drivin' & Dreaming live" (CD, Makaki Music, 2013); "Big Sky Country" (CD, Makaki Music, 2015). Swedish singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik had a once-in-a-lifetime experience touring 37 of the 50 US states in 16 months in an old RV and playing her music in every little town. Stories and concert recordings are available as a coffeetable book and a live album, "Drivin' & Dreaming," while the Americana songs of her new and altogether 6th studio album "Big Sky Country" are inspired by the year-and-a-half adventure. Watch the title track @ YouTube!

Tara Fuki "The Best of Tara Fuki" (CD, Indies Scope, 2015). After a series of five albums,[33][44][55] Czech ladies cello duo Tara Fuki presents a selection of their best songs (plus an unreleased track), capturing the gradual development of this unique music phenomenon. “We tried to include not only the songs which were popular at our shows but also those which were almost never played live and so are not worn out,” say singing violoncellists Andrea Konstankiewicz-Nazir and Dorota Barová.

Transkapela "Neon Fields" (CD, Own label, 2014). Very experimental acoustic folk band, playing tunes which often have highly competitive elements. The Polish band takes in their original tunes inspiration from Eastern European folk traditions. The six musicians play, amongst others, hammered dulcimer, violin, double bass, percussion, trombone. Watch Transkapela @ Ethno Port Poznan Festival 2014!

The Dan Trudell Trio "Dan Trudell Plays The Piano" (CD, Own label, 2015). Wisconsin jazz musician Dan Trudell is primarily known as a Hammond B3 organist and felt the time was ripe for a return to the 1980s with a sprightly collection of jazz and pop standards. "So many people pigeonhole me as an organ player," says Trudell, "that I wanted to remind them I'm also a pianist."

German CD Review

The Waifs “Beautiful You" (CD, Compass Records, 2015). Popular Australian band The Waifs label themselves as folk rock band. There is though not much folk in the music from these three singer/songwriters – it’s a blend of Rock, Blues, Country and Pop, with a small dose of Roots. But for what it is, it’s brilliant stuff.

Warsaw Village Band ft. Mercedes Peón "Midsummer Rain Song" (Video/Single, 2015). Warsaw Village Band's[49] new single from the forthcoming album "Sun Celebration" (scheduled for autumn 2015) was recorded with Galician singer Mercedes Peón.[44] Check out the "Midsummer Rain Song" @ YouTube!

Doc Watson "The Guitar Artistry of Doc Watson" (DVD, Vestapol, 2015). Doc Watson,[52] who profoundly influenced generations of folk and rock guitarists was a legendary performer who blended his traditional Appalachian musical roots with bluegrass, country, gospel and blues to create a unique flatpicking style, which elevated the acoustic guitar to solo status in bluegrass and country music. Check out "The Guitar Artistry of Doc Watson" @ YouTube!

Savina Yannatou & Primavera en Salonico "Songs of Thessaloniki" (CD, ECM Records, 2015). Since the mid 1990s, Greek singer Savina Yannatou and the Thessaloniki-based group Primavera en Salonico blend the modal music of the East and the polyphonies of the Mediterranean with improvised music and jazz. "Songs of Thessaloniki" explores the multi-cultural tradition of the Jerusalem of the Balkans and its Greek, Jewish, Turkish, Bulgarian, Serbian and Armenian communities.

Various Artists "Appel Folk" (CD, Appel Rekords, 2015). Early this century, Belgian Appel Rekords started producing folk music. Today the back catalogue contains over 60 CD's offering a fine overview on Flemish folk music. Discover and enjoy 33 songs from between 2010 and 2015 on a double CD, ft. Trio Dhoore,[52][56] Moragh,[52] Naragonia,[56] Sophie Cavez & Baltazar Montanaro,[49] Hot Griselda,[40][53] WÖR,[58] Zef,[56] Snaarmaarwaar,[46][55] Comas,[50] Rue du Canal,[54] Orbál,[55] Shantalla,[46] Cecilia,[46][55] Jeff Caresse,[46] Kim Delcour,[46] I Fratelli Tarzanelli,[48] Soetkin Collier,[48] Balacordes duo,[50] Andar,[49] ... Have a listen @!

Various Artists "Discover Fado with ARC Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). Portugal’s melancholic and fatalistic blues represents a certain feeling, which the Portuguese call saudade, an almost untranslatable word evoking longing, yearning and nostalgia. Discover Fado with Custódio Castelo,[50] Maria Ana Bobone,[51] Mário Moita,[50] Rodrigo Costa Felix,[52] Katia Guerreiro,[22] Francisco Fialho,[36] etc. - from the popular Lisbon form to the lesser known variant from Coimbra and fusions with other musical genres.

Various Artists "Discover Music from Africa with ARC Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). The African continent is home to a vastly rich musical tradition whose influence can be found all over the world. Discover some of the most charming musical instruments on earth, such as the mbira (thumb piano), the kora (West African harp-lute) and its myriad drums, shakers and percussion instruments. Ft. Johnny Clegg from South Africa,[32] Insingizi from Zimbabwe, Seckou Keita from Senegal, to name just a few.

Various Artists "Discover Music from Greece with ARC Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). Greek music is more than just the soundtrack to fond holiday memories; Greek music is the result of influences from the crossroads of southern Europe and Asia. This collection highlights a selection of traditional Greek music. Ft. The Athenians,[47] Glykeria,[55] ...

Various Artists "Discover Music from Hungary with ARC Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). Hungary’s musical legacy is so much greater than one would expect from a country of just 10 million people. This collection highlights its folk and Romani repertoire.[57] Ft. Kálmán Balogh,[35] András Farkas, Méta, and others.

Various Artists "Discover Music from Russia with ARC Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). Russian traditional music is influenced by the melancholy of the endless steppe on the one hand and by the lively rhythms of happy Russian country weddings on the other hand, with vodka drunk from water glasses. Russian singer Vitaly Romanov and violinist Oleg Ponomarev,[53] the balalaika ensemble “Wolga” (whose music was used in the Spielberg blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) and the Red Army Choir, as well as Lithuanian Folk Group Arinushka[56] and Belarus vocalist Nataliya Romanskaya present the variety of styles and expressions of Cossack songs and polyphonic singing, Gypsy music and folk dances.

Various Artists "Discover Music from Scandinavia with ARC Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). Scandinavia is the land of auroras and fjords, long winters and the midnight sun. This 22-song-collection highlights the variety of Scandinavian traditional music, enchanting and often mysterious, as we travel between regions and countries. Featuring Finnish folk dance group Matit Ja Maijat, Swedish folk band Kurbits and the Blekinge Spelmansförbund, Norwegian band Gjesdalringen and hardanger fiddler Lief Sørbye.

Various Artists "Discover Music from Turkey with ARC Music" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). Situated at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia, Turkey’s musical traditions include folk, gypsy, classical, mosque music and of course the whirling dervishes of the Sufi order.

Various Artists "Temple Records Free Download Sampler" (Download, Temple Records, 2015). Robin Morton,[41] founder member of Boys of the Lough,[32] founded Temple Records in 1979. Over 35 years later the label has released many groundbreaking and seminal Scottish recordings. In addition to CDs and books, they will now be able to sell downloadable albums, downloadable sheet music and ebooks from their new website. They are also offering a free download sampler, ft. tracks from the Battlefield Band,[51] Alison Kinnaird,[39] Christine Primrose,[20] Peter Nardini,[31] Alasdair White,[33] Mike Katz,[31] Sean McAloon & Dr Angus MacDonald. Download @ Temple Records!

Various Artists "True North Essentials" (Download, True North, 2015). The Canadian independent label True North Records, founded in 1969, can be summed up with one word: Authentic! The "True North Essentials" sampler includes 10 tunes from ground-breaking roots and Americana songwriters such as Buffy Sainte-Marie,[44] Bruce Cockburn,[57] The Wailin' Jennys,[30] Matt Andersen,[48] Catherine MacLellan,[56] Old Man Luedecke,[50] and Ruth Moody.[51] Download "True North Essentials" @ NoiseTrade!

Various Artists "The Ultimate Guide to Scottish Folk" (CD, ARC Music, 2015). ‘From Celtic singers Dick Gaughan,[36] Mick West[53] and Lau fiddler Aidan O’ Rourke,[39] to musical maverick Ashley MacIsaac[10] and Slàinte Mhath,[23] and from the Scottish norselands of Shetland to Scandinavia with legendary fiddler Aly Bain… ’[53] Singer and BBC presenter Mary Ann Kennedy gives us a taste in the liner notes of what we can expect on this double disc from ARC Music's Ultimate Guide series.[52] In the words of ARC Music Director Julia Beyer: ‘I wanted to show the evolution of folk music in a particular country by showcasing a cross-section of highly talented artists, whether known or unknown, old or new, and give people a more in depth understanding of how a particular country’s traditions in folk music have grown and influenced other parts of the world.’

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