FolkWorld #59 03/2016

CD & DVD Reviews

Short & Sweet

Afrika Mamas "Afrika Mamas", Divanhana "Zukva", Lenka Lichtenberg "Yiddish Journey" (CD, ARC Music, 2016). ARC Music is committed to bringing you the finest world music from around the globe and 2016 is special as they celebrate their 40th anniversary! Join in the celebrations with some top world and folk music releases, including Lenka Lichtenberg's Yiddish songs of love and peace (watch ‘Zum Gali, Gali’ @ YouTube),[51] Sarajevo’s world music group Divanhana (check out Divanhana's YouTube channel), and South Africa’s vocal power group Afrika Mamas led by Ntombi Lushaba with a collection of 12 spirited and emotive African acapella songs.

Afro Celt Sound System "Cascade" (Video, 2016). The European and African collective Afro Celt Sound System[10] mark their 20th anniversary with their first studio album in 10 years, "The Source" to be released in April 2016. It brings together core members Simon Emmerson, kora and balafon virtuoso N’Faly Kouyate and dhol master Johnny Kalsi, along with long-standing collaborators such as Davy Spillane and Emer Mayock (uillean pipes, whistles), Moussa Sissoko (djembe, talking drum), members of Scottish folk fusion Shooglenifty, and newcomers to the family, including Gaelic rapper Griogair and Guinean female quintet Les Griottes. Watch the new track "Cascade" @ YouTube!

Robin Auld "Back of the line" (CD, Own label, 2014). A blend of blues rock with americana influences from this South African singer songwriter guitarist born to Scottish parents who apparently landed several top 20 hits in his home country.

Robbie Bankes "Through February Snow" (CD, Own label, 2015). Calgary native Robbie Bankes studies folk music at the University of Telemark, Norway. In September 2015 he was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the category Young Performer of the Year. On his demo album, Robbie sings minimalistic songs, including classic ballads ("Hang Me, Oh Hang Me"), sad originals ("Alice"), and lively banjo/fiddle instrumentals ("Up to Skoki"). Free Download @ BandCamp!

Baro Drom Orkestar "GENAU!" (CD, Musicastrada Records, 2014). The Apulian Baro Drom Orkestar mix past and present klezmer, Balkan music and pizzica for some “Power Gypsy Dance”! The first single, "Fanfara Ciociara", tips the hat to the musical traditions of both the Balkans and southern Italy. Watch it @ YouTube!

Robbie Basho "Bouquet" (CD, Grass-Tops Recording, 1983/2016). 2016 was supposed to mark the first ever reissue of the late guitarist Robbie Basho's[58] 1983 cassette release "Bouquet". However, there has been a copyright claim made against, thus out of precaution Grass-Tops has made the decision not to offer this material for sale, but releasing all tracks as a free download (see BandCamp).

Lamia Bedioui & The Desert Fish "Athamra" (Video, 2015). Tunisian singer and story-teller Lamia Bedioui,[58] living in Greece since 1992, presents her new video live teaser "Athamra" @ YouTube!

Beata Bocek "O Tobje" (CD, Indies Scope, 2016). Beata Bocek belongs to the ethnic minority of Poles living on the Czech side of the border, considering herself neither being Polish or Czech but Silesian. Her fourth album brings together Silesian and Wallachian folklore with rock and chanson, interconnected with the album's motto Lightness of life, living from little – the source of pure happiness. Check out audio & video @!

Bon Débarras (Video, 2016). Recipient of the Linda-Lemay Award, Bon Débarras[55] will be touring Europe in March 2016, July 2016 and November 2016. New album out in fall 2016, meanwhile watch Bon Débarras @ YouTube!

Boxer John "Delirium Tremens" (CD, BoxerJohnMusic, 2016); "The Great Folk Heist" (CD, BoxerJohnMusic, 2016); "Fifteen Furlongs From the Farm to the Frontier" (CD, BoxerJohnMusic, 2016); "Blighty and Beyond" (CD, BoxerJohnMusic, 2016). England-born, Vienna-based Marcos John Arrow, aka Boxer John, has won a mammoth battle against alcoholism and has released now several musical projects: "Delirium Tremens" is an album of extremely personal songs related to recovery from alcoholism. "The Great Folk Heist" traces the folk songs that inspired the early Bob Dylan. "Fifteen Furlongs from the Farm to the Frontier" is an album of Anglo-American folk ballads set to original music. Finally, "Blighty and Beyond" is criticising the willingness of his native country to bend to corporate demand.

Billy Bragg "Ballots and Bread" (Video, 2016). The English singer-songwriter had been part of the dramatised documentary "Death Or Liberty," which tells the story of a group of individuals convicted in Ireland, Wales and England and transported to Australia 200 years ago. Billy recorded some songs for the film; here's the clip for "Ballots and Bread" @ FaceBook!

Breaking Trad "Breaking Trad" (CD, Own label, 2015). This powerhouse band - made up of Dónal Murphy (accordion), Niall Murphy (fiddle) Mike Galvin (guitar) and Pauline Hartigan (vocals) - are reviving Irish Trad with a fresh and modern twist. Check out the "Spike Island Lasses Set" from 2014's Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo @ YouTube!

Article: Wrocław  has awakened!

Breslauer Cocktail "Bei Mir Bistu Schein" (Videos, 2015). I am a great fan of you all, says Chris Balwin, Artistic Director of European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016, about The Breslauer Cocktail project which mixes classic melodies of the 1920's/30's with the industrial and electronic sound of today. Watch "Bei Mir Bistu Schein" from their upcoming LP @ YouTube!

Bridge 19 "Riding on a Wire" (CD/Download, Own label, 2015). Amanda Lucas and Audrey Cecil, aka Bridge 19, are natural storytellers drawing equally on American roots and global pop music. Watch the live acoustic performance at Tim Faulkner Gallery of the single "Chain" @ YouTube, download "Riding on a Wire" sampler @ NoiseTrade!

Ernie Hawkins "The Ragtime and Blues Guitar of Big Bill Broonzy" (DVD, Vestapol, 2016); Woody Mann "The Guitar of Big Bill Broonzy" (DVD, Vestapol, 2016). "Big Bill Broonzy became like a role model for me, in terms of how to play the acoustic guitar”, Eric Clapton said. The blues singer and guitarist Big Bill Broonzy (1903–1958) became one of the leading figures of the 1950s American folk music revival and was one of the first bluesmen to tour in Europe. Ernie Hawkins teaches ten of his greatest guitar solos and arrangements, focussing on the happy sounding ragtime blues style that characterizes Broonzy's earliest recordings. Woody Mann explains Big Bill's country blues guitar techniques and style, which was highlighted by a strong pulsating bass and melodic lead lines. Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and then uses split-screen to study what each hand is doing. Detailed tab/music are included as PDF files. Check out Big Bill Broonzy's "Saturday Night Rub" taught by Woody Mann @ YouTube!

Le Bruit Court dans la Ville "The Foxhunter's jig/L'Arachouidine" (Video, 2016). Le Bruit Court dans la Ville brings together three legendary musicians from the Québécois folk scene: André Marchand (guitar, vocals, feet), Normand Miron (accordion, harmonica, vocals) and Lisa Ornstein (fiddle). These three veterans of traditional music are currently in France for a three week tour. Enjoy "The Foxhunter's jig / L'Arachouidine" @ YouTube!

Paz del Castillo "Now" (CD, Borderline Music, 2015). Creating moods from a background of classical music, Spanish pianist Paz del Castillo[52] recorded 8 solo instrumental tracks being an affirmation, a tribute to the present, to everyday life...

François Couture "La Buche - Musique & Cuisine Québécoise Vol. 01" (CD, Disques Boghei Records, 2015). Going to Quebec City? So sample some good food and music at the La Buche restaurant in Vieux-Québec! Substitutionally check out new-age/world-beat composer François Couture's original waltzes, marches, quadrilles and reels, performed by fiddlers Philippe Amyot and Sylvain Neault, accordionist Réjean Clouet and percussionist Frédéric Drouin.

Vincent Cross "A town called normal" (CD, Own label , 2013). American singer songwriter, singing primarily his own songs. The songs have generally catchy lyrics, with the classic themes of love, loss and failure, arranged in a gentle Americana style, with some country and pop as well as just a touch of Celtic influence.

Boo Boo Davis "One Chord Blues" (Digital CD, Black and Tan Records, 2016). „Three Chords and the the Truth” is a popular description of the blues; for James 'Boo Boo' Davis one of the last musicians that play the blues based on first-hand experience of picking cotton in the Mississippi Delta, it often takes less then that. This compilation features 16 one-chord-blues blues songs that Boo Boo recorded between 1999 and 2015. Released digital only, see iTunes or Spotify!

Luther Dickinson "Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger's Songbook) Volumes I & II" (CD, New West Records, 2016). "Blues & Ballads" celebrates the oral tradition of blues and folk songs: »The limited pressing makes the legitimacy fleeting and as it should be: rare and underground. This art is not for the masses. It is meant to wither and fade and then rise from the ashes again and again, evolving and mutating. So be it through text messaged fluency of thumb and mp3-ed micro speakers, the lives and legends of modern day folk music heroes will live on and the spirit of American roots rock ‘n roll will shout to the man, the masses, and disposable pop culture, Fuck off! Even in death, the art lives on!« (Luther Dickinson) Download a selection of "Blues & Ballads" @ NoiseTrade!

Dréos "The Clearing" (CD, Own label, 2015). Dréos (which means blaze) is an ensemble of performing composers who invent and arrange new and old music in a traditional vocabulary. The group was founded by Eliot Grasso (uilleann pipes & flute), Brandon Vance (fiddle & voice), and Glen Waddell (guitar & bouzouki). Check out the strathspey & reels "The Devil in the Kitchen/Tie the Bonnet/The Sound of Mull" @ YouTube!

Adrian Duffy & The Mayo Bros "United We Fall" (CD, Symphony Ray Records, 2015). This Irish-born, London-living sibling trio are known for their easy-listening, laid-back Americana soft rock style. Full album stream @ YouTube!

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn "Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn" (CD, Rounder, 2014; "Railroad" (Video, 2015). Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn's self-titled album has won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album, the recording industry's prestigious award to honor artistic or technical achievement not sales or chart positions, ( See their acceptance speech, or Béla and Abigail performing "Railroad" at Music City Roots Live From The Factory!

Steve Folk "Black Sheep Bones" (CD, Blabbermouth Records, 2015). Steve Folk, previously known as Steve Thompson or Blabbermouth,[43] has written an album straight from the heart, celebrating the life of a full-time singer/songwriter and “living the dream” without “pension schemes”. Check out the home live session of the opening track "My Green Rollercoaster" (“Do I believe in God?” - “Does he believe in me?”) @ YouTube!

Dori Freeman "Dori Freeman" (CD, Free Dirt Records, 2016). Every song on Dori Freeman's debut album is a window to a young woman from the tiny town of Galax, Virginia, in modern Appalachia, caught between the past, present, and future of one of America’s most fertile musical regions. Freeman’s debut refuses to be pigeonholed, slipping as easily into old-timey country or gospel blues, Nashville songwriting or classic pop.

Ghazalaw "Ghazalaw" (CD, Marvels Of The Universe, 2015). This is a first - Indian ghazal singer Tauseef Akhtar and Welsh singer-songwriter Gwyneth Glyn fuse their respective musical traditions to reveal a surprising consonance between the ancient love poetry of Arabic origin and Welsh folk song. The marriage of two alien traditions turns out to be a musical love match! Watch a sneak peek @ YouTube!

Goodbye Blue "Worth the Wait" (CD/Download, Own label, 2016). Husband and wife team Charlotte Kendrick and Dan Rowe, known as Goodbye Blue, present their newest album, "Worth the Wait," their first collection of music in eight years. Nine auto-biographical songs capture the joys and struggles of having children, raising a family and all that goes along with it. An exclusive pre-release download is available @ NoiseTrade!

Charlie Hager "American Saga" (CD, Flour Sack Cape, 2015). Nashville native Charlie Hager's forthcoming album of original songs, "American Saga", touches on global warming, gun violence and a longing for simpler times. Watch "Still With Me," a folk/gospel song about the Oso, Washington mudslides @ YouTube!

Paul Handyside "Tide, Timber & Grain" (CD, Malady Music, 2016). Newcastle's Paul Handyside was singer and songwriter with 1980's indie group Hurrah!, and formed group Bronze in 2001. Now his third solo album "Tide, Timber & Grain" easily blends pop, folk and Americana, including trad inspired songs such as "Woodcutter’s Son" and "A Whaler’s Lament".

Terri Hendrix "Love You Strong" (CD, Wilory Records, 2016). "Love You Strong" is the first leg of a sonic marathon Terri Hendrix calls “Project 5”: five distinct but thematically linked releases (four albums and a book). "Love You Strong" is focussing on the marriage of friendship, loyalty, and love as represented by the heart, hands, and crown of the timeless Irish Claddagh symbol on the album’s cover. Special guest harmony singers are Eliza Gilkyson (on “The Texas Star”) and Drew Womack (on “Mingulay Boat Song”).

FolkWorld Xmas

The Henry Girls "Tracks in the Snow" (EP/Download, 2015). The Henry Girls' winter show "Tracks in the Snow" ran in December 2015 at The Ark, which is a purpose built children's theatre in Temple Bar, Dublin. Check out 'Walking through Winterland', 'Wonderful, Magical Sky' and 'Don't Reach for the Stars'! The EP featuring four songs from the show is available @ iTunes, and can also be streamed @ Spotify!

Robb Johnson "Going Back" (Video, 2015). Robb Johnson[30] has just given up his dayjob to concentrate on his musical career. PM Press has just released a 5-CD-boxset retrospective of songs from 1986-2013, called "A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands", ft. 92 tracks, of which 17 have never been officially released. Robb is halfway through his next album of new songs to be released in late spring, and there might be an LP of acoustic songs, possibly called "Highway 5 Revisited", out in April as part of Record Store Day. Meanwhile check out Robb's new song "Going Back" and Robb playing 10 songs live @ Brighton Road Studios !

Kathy Kallick Band "Foxhounds" (CD, Live Oak Records, 2015). In the early 1980s, bluegrass guitar-vocalist Kathy Kallick[29] had the chance to sit on Bill Monroe’s porch and listen to his foxhounds running around. Now she conjures up a fitting tribute to the Father Of Bluegrass. Her 20th album features fiery fiddling, powerful vocal harmonies, and story-filled original songs and covers. Check out the Kathy Kallick Band live and in action @ YouTube!

Kíla "Am" (Video, 2015). View Swedish animator Mattias Gordon's beautiful video that he made for Irish fusion group Kíla @ YouTube! "Am" (meaning time in Irish) is one of the most remarkable tracks from Kíla's most recent album "Suas Síos",[57] exploring Gordon's own take on time.

Berdon Kirksaether & The Twang Bar Kings "The Voodoo Sessions - Live at Down Under" (EP, Roller Records, 2015). Norwegian blues guitarist Berdon Kirksaether has released a number of solo and band albums in the last 25 years.[57] Guitarist Erik Gabrielsen, bassist Stein Tumert and drummer Roy Hanssen joined forces with Berdon in August 2015 at the “Down Under" in Mjøndalen right outside Oslo. There is a YouTube video for each of the 4 songs on the EP: "Mama Roll Over", "Some Kind Of Voodoo", "Mad House", "When the Moon is On The Rise".

Paul Kovac & Jen Maurer "Boy = Girl" (CD, own label, 2015). American duo presenting songs on a blend of Americana, country, pop, blues - sung by a boy and a girl, and with music on banjos, guitars, bass and percussion.

Hurricane Ruth LaMaster "Winds of Change" (EP, Own label, 2015). The great blues singer-songwriter Willie Dixon once told Ruth LaMaster “You’re the only hurricane I can appreciate”. Believe it or not, there is a large sound coming out of such a small woman! Her new EP, "Winds of Change," is revisiting the big band sound that she has always loved with her favorite Willie Dixon tune, "Built for Comfort" and Percy Sledge’s "When a Man Loves a Woman". Check out Ruth LaMaster's YouTube channel!

Lazy Afternoon "Goodbye" (Single, Artache, 2015). Lazy Afternoon is Swedish singer-songwriter Bo Ahlbertz's[55] musical life journey through different genres, as he puts it: “I have picked the feeling from Country, the sound from Tex-Mex, the sense of freedom from Irish folk music, the swing from Cajun and some attitude from Rock music.” The video from their new single "Goodbye" can be found @ YouTube!

Lemon Bucket Orchestra "Moorka" (CD, Own label, 2015). Toronto's first offical "Guca"-style[43] brass festival has been held, featuring the Boban Markovic Orkestar and, of course, Canada's only balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super-band, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra.[51] Born as a busking band in 2010, these guerrilla-folk troubadours started touring the world. Their latest album, "Moorka," includes re-worked folk songs they learned in Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Macedonia from local virtuosos, each tune spiked with a unique blend of funk, punk, psychedelia and swing.

Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands "The Hazel and Alice Sessions" (CD, Spruce and Maple Music, 2016). In the mid-1960s, Alice Gerrard and Hazel Dickens blew apart the male-dominated bluegrass world with singing that was closer to the hard-edged style of early Monroe and Stanley Brothers. Now over 40 years later fiddler-singer-songwriter Laurie Lewis returns to her own inspiration with a tribute album that joyfully re-introduces us to two of the genre’s most important artists. You can stream the full album, featuring duets with Aoife O'Donovan, Linda Ronstadt, and Alice Gerrard @ PopMatters!

Luella "We Got To Meet Death One Day" (Video, 2015). It has been said that when Melissa Mathes (aka Luella) howls, her voice conjures up “sleeping ghosts of gospel churches, Clarksdale clubs and New Orleans street corners”. Enjoy Melissa Mathes and Tim Carroll in a park in Lockeland Springs, East Nashville, armed with a tambourine, ankle bells, an electric guitar and battery powered amps, cranking out a killer version of Blind Willie McTell's "We Got To Meet Death One Day"!

Simon Mayor "The Mandolin Albums" (CD, Acoustics, 2015). A special 25th anniversary double album reissue of mandolin virtuoso Simon Mayor's[52] first two solo albums, "The Mandolin Album" (1990) and "The Second Mandolin Album" (1991). Back then, no label was interested: “A mandolin? There’s no repertoire for it!" Simon Mayor went on his own and his debut CD with folk-inspired originals and adaptations of the classics became BBC Radio 2 Album of the Week, the beginning of a series of recordings and teaching books and DVDs.

Kelley McRae "If You Need Me" (Video, 2015). Kelley McRae[58] had a fantastic fall tour from Texas through the Midwest to the West Coast. Back in Austin, they recorded an unreleased song, 'If You Need Me,' watch it live @ YouTube!

John Miller "The Guitar of Mississippi John Hurt Volume 1" (DVD, Vestapol, 2016); "The Guitar of Mississippi John Hurt Volume 2" (DVD, Vestapol, 2016). Much of the interest in Country Blues today can be attributed to the tremendous appeal that Mississippi John Hurt exerted upon audiences during the brief period between his rediscovery in 1963 and his death in 1966. The two DVD guitar lessons present songs chosen to showcase Hurt's playing in different keys. The accompanying booklet includes tab/standard notation transcriptions and lyrics of the songs. Titles include: "My Creole Belle", "See See Rider", "Worried Blues", ...

Robert Nash "The Ghost of Your Old Love" (CD, Own label, 2016). Robert Nash is an indie folk singer-songwriter from Sydney, Australia. His debut album "The Ghost of Your Old Love" of 10 confessional and autobiographical songs is focusing on the universal themes of love and loss and drawing inspiration from artists such as Elliott Smith and Bob Dylan. Check it out @ BandCamp!

The Noveaux Honkies "Blues for Country" (CD, Own label, 2015). Rolling along in their self-sufficient camper van, Tim O’Donnell and Rebecca Dawkins drew their sound from New Orleans, Nashville and Austin. The Nouveaux Honkies’ music jumps between genres, mixing blues, country, R&B, swing and honky-tonk. “To me there is good music and bad music and I really have no formula on what it is. I just know when I like it.” Check out the "Life Ain't Easy" video @ YouTube!

Omiri "Corridinho da Margarida" (Video, 2016). "For some years now, Vasco Ribeiro Casais (Dazkarieh,[45] Seiva[57]) has built a well-earned reputation for being one of the most original and exciting musicians to pick up on the Portuguese traditional rhythms and smash them against other European folk forms alongside is sober use of electronics," says Songlines magazine. His project Omiri is reinventing Portuguese traditional music with a live show where music, dance and video go hand in hand. Watch "Corridinho da Margarida" live at Fábrica Braço de Prata in Lisbon @ YouTube!

Opycham "" (CD, Sketis Music, 2015). Yat-Kha[26] percussionist Evgeny Tkachev with singer Maria Akhpasheva and cellist Georgy Tkachev presents meditative and psychedelic music made up of Tibetan mantras, Tuvan throat singing and Russian folk music. Old Ritualism, Buddhism and Shamanism are in tune to celebrate the unity between man and nature. Check out Opycham's YouTube channel!

Conor O'Sullivan "Good day Señor" (CD, Newt Records, 2015). Cork City banjo player Conor O’Sullivan (North Cregg, Deluce's Patent, Silta)[40][48] has just recorded his debut solo album "Good day Señor" with guest musicians such as Pauline Scanlon and Mick Daly, featuring bleak folk-pop tales of love and loss, murder and brutality. “It's hard to say exactly what type of music it is, but I'd prefer to call it folk rather than singer/songwriter, which in my mind refers to someone writing songs about themselves. I prefer to write songs with a story, or songs that have their own identity, if that makes sense!” Check out "Rio Grande" @ YouTube!

The Paperboys "At Peace With One’s Ghosts" (CD, Own label, 2015). Wrapping up their 20th anniversary year, Canadian folk rock group The Paperboys is looking back.[41] The first new album in six years is full of The Paperboys’ signature sounds: Spanish-language songs that reflect Tom Landa’s Mexican heritage, powerful brass lines from their extended 8-piece ensemble, fiddle and pennywhistle blazing through an Irish reel or an English pop/rock song. Check out The Paperboys live video for their latest single "City of Chains" @ YouTube!

William Caleb Parker "Full Moon Rising" (Video, 2016). Los Angeles-based folk singer-songwriter William Caleb Parker has paired the novelist tone of Dostoyevsky and Steinbeck with the music of Fleetwood Mac and Paul Simon. Watch the first of three acoustic sessions, "Full Moon Rising," adopting the story of Marilynne Robinson’s novel "Gilead," the tale of son and grandson dealing with the death of a (grand)father and a difficult relationship, @ YouTube!

Anni Piper "More Guitars Than Friends" (CD, Sugar Daddy Records, 2016). The title track "is the most honest and sincere song I have ever written. I've had some awful experiences with musicians on the road. There have been many nights when I sat in my hotel room, all alone except for my bass guitar", reveals Australian blues bassist/vocalist Anni Piper, now residing in Cocoa, Florida. Watch "More Guitars Than Friends" @ YouTube!

Poemus "The name of our ancestors" (CD, Etnisk Musikklubb , 2015). What to expect from an album “volume 1” in a series "progenitor", of a band called Poemus, released in Norway? Maybe it is unsurprising that the music from the regions of the former Yugoslavia did not initially spring to my mind. The album features traditional music and songs from Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and their neighbouring countries. This is presented by the six piece band on instruments including accordions, percussion and piano.

Philippe Prieur "Joueur de Musette"(CD, Aepem , 2015). A whole album dedicated to and focussed around Philipe Prieur's French bagpipes playing. The piper is joined on the album by a range of other musicians, including on accordion, violin, violincello, bass and more, but the pipes are central to the music throughout.

The Railsplitters "The Faster it Goes" (CD, Own label, 2015). Fresh off the success of their debut album,[56] Colorado natives The Railsplitters got busy touring! The musical potpourri heard in the van seeped into the new album, "The Faster it Goes", breaking boundaries and pushing the bluegrass genre forward - music unlimited by tradition!

Red Moon Road "Sorrows and Glories" (CD, Own label, 2015). While recovering from a broken leg, Winnipeg singer Sheena Rattai and her collaborators Daniel Jordan (guitar, bass drum) and Daniel Péloquin-Hopfner (banjo, mandolin, pedal steel) wrote songs such as “Beauty in these Broken Bones” and “I’ll Bend But I Won’t Break”. The Red Moon Road trio creates an eccentric blend of Canadian roots, folk, jazz and country music.

Ben Reel "Coming Round Again / This Christmas Time" (Single/Video, 2015). "Coming Round Again" is taken from Ben Reel’s[36] new album "7th". Here is the video @ YouTube, shot in the grounds of Hope Castle (often referred to as Blayney Castle) and around Lake Muckno, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. "This Christmas Time", written in 2010 during one of the coldest Decembers on record, is a warm cosy song, inspired by one of Ben's favourite singers Sam Cooke.

Ana Ritta "Doce Fado" (CD, Ovação, 2015). With a 20 year career behind, distinguished fado singer Ana Ritta comes with a new full length disc, "Doce Fado" (Sweet Fado). Listen to the debut single, Jorge Fernando's "A Nossa Guerra" (Our War), from Ovação Music Live Sessions @ YouTube!

Janet Robin "Billie Jean" (Video, 2015). 2015 had been quite a busy year for Janet Robin,[54] including the work-coaching guitar on a Tarantino film and being a part of the band for the musical "Girlfriend". 2016 will bring a new CD and a lot of touring. Janet Robin is also working on another recording with her new side project; The String Revolution is a 4 piece all guitar band. You can check out The String Revolution performing Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" live @ YouTube!

Rodrigo y Gabriela "Foc / Re-foc", "Other Voices: Songs From A Room" (CDs/DVD, Own label, 2001-2/2015). This 2CD/DVD package features the previously unavailable debut album from Rodrigo y Gabriela[47] (recorded in their Dublin flat in 2001 and sold from their guitar cases on the street), alongside their first official release (an attempt to re-imagine some of those early compositions with an expanded sound) and their debut TV performance for the Other Voices show in St. James's Church, Dingle in 2002. Check out "Capitan Casanova" @ YouTube!

David Rovics "2015 in 10 Songs" (Download, 2015); "1939" (CD/Download, 2016). Here's David's[32] musical review of 2015, reporting the news in song, political commentary that rhymes @ SongwritersNotebook! And here's the new album, "1939", basically a concert at Big Red Studio in Corbett, Oregon, in front of a live audience @ BandCamp. Streaming is free, donating to download is much appreciated. A video recording of the entire concert can be found @ YouTube!

Eva Salina "Lema Lema - Eva Salina sings Šaban Bajramović" (CD, Vogiton Records, 2016). After years of dancing and singing songs at weddings and circumcisions, New York vocalist Eva Salina took on the daunting project of recording the first tribute album to the king of Romani music, Šaban Bajramović.[37] Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Bajramović recorded music that resonated so deeply with Yugoslavian audiences that it’s still heard today. Eva Salina draws from New York’s diverse global and jazz music scenes (e.g. Frank London)[51] for an electric, gonzo take on the great Romani singer's legacy.

Jon Shain & Joe Newberry "Crow the Dawn" (CD, Flyin' Records , 2016). Piedmont blues guitarist Jon Shain and Missouri banjo player Joe Newberry have travelled countless miles in their years as working musicians. Their first album together, "Crow the Dawn," invites listeners to join them on lyrical back roads and musical side trips unbound by era or genre.

Steep Canyon Rangers "Born on the Radio - The Rounder Records Collection" (Download, 2015). A blast from the past with a nod to the future. Enjoy four free tracks from the Steep Canyon Rangers' successful tenure at Rounder Records as they continue to push the limits of the Bluegrass and Americana genres. Watch "Radio" @ YouTube, download "Born on the Radio" @ NoiseTrade!

Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line "When I Wake" (Video, 2016). One year ago, Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line[58] released their album "Wake". To celebrate all the love we shared in the last year, they give you a new music video for the title track, "When I Wake," @ YouTube!

Nathaniel Talbot "Swamp Rose and Honeysuckle Vine" (CD, Fluff and Gravy Records, 2015); "Born To" (Video, 2016). Whidbey Island farmer and folk musician Nathaniel Talbot released his stripped-down "Swamp Rose and Honeysuckle Vine" in November 2015 relying on his finger-picked guitar and the narrative taking center stage, as it does in "Born To". Check out the video @ YouTube!

Tama Trio "Voglio Un Chilo Di Pane" (CD, S’Ard Music, 2015). Singer/percussionist Nando Citarella, lutenist Mauro Palmas and bagpiper/flutist Pietro Cernuto bring together Sicilian, Sardinian and Napolitan folk traditions, an emotional and poetical journey around the Mediterranean. See the Tama Trio[58] in concert at Baobab, Rome @ YouTube!

Tied & Nyckled "baroque update" (CD, Home Records, 2015). The viola d’amore a chiavi (nyckelharpa) has barely been kept alive in central Europe. Belgian Didier François[47] is one of the last troubadours. Together with Philippe Malfeyt (theorbo) and Romina Lischka (viola da gamba) he explores Baroque forms, intervals, harmonies and chord progressions to translate this particular aesthetics into a contemporary context.

Tow'rs "The Great Minimum" (CD/Download, Own label, 2015). Arizona five-piece band Tow’rs (originally husband and wife duo Kyle & Gretta Miller) sophomore album “The Great Minimum” explores a bigger sound with the addition of new instruments and more complex structures and traverses darker themes than their previous self-titled album without compromising their folk (rock) roots. Download "The Great Minimum" for free @ NoiseTrade!

Wouter Vandenabeele & friends "Chansons pour le temps qui reste" (CD, Home Records, 2015). Music to enjoy in the evening before the complete sunset with a nice glass of red wine.... After "Chansons sans paroles" and "chansons pour la fin d'un jour",[46] there is now the third and last album from Wouter Vandenabeele's instrumental chanson trilogy. Listen to "Wals voor Lynn" @ YouTube!

Kate Vargas "Call Back The Dogs" (Video, 2016). New Mexico born, New York based Kate Vargas cites both Nina Simone and Tom Waits as influences for her dark mix of folk, blues and rock music. You can watch the animation video for Kate's newest single "Call Back the Dogs" @ YouTube!

Velvet & Stone "The Storm" (CD, Own label, 2016). The debut release from Devon-based alt-folk trio Velvet & Stone -- comprising Lara Snowdon (vocals, guitar), Holly Jo Gilbert-West (vocals, guitar) and Kathryn Tremlett (fiddle, piano) -- is drawing on folk and jazz and the natural world and melancholy of the West Country. Watch their live performance of "The Storm" at Hope Hall Arts, Exeter @ YouTube!

Manish Vyas "Atma Bhakti - Healing Sounds of Prayer" (CD, New Earth Records, 2015). "Prayer is a state of simplicity - not of words, but of silence," according to his spiritual master Osho. Indian singer/composer Manish Vyas has emerged in the new-age, world-fusion, spiritual music scene, playing music for prayer and meditation on keyboards, Buddhist bells, swar-mandal harp and tanpura strings on two half-hour-long mantras plus a five-minute piece of ritual chanting.

Brian Keith Wallen "The Stompboard Sessions" (CD/Download, Own label, 2015). In over 1,000 shows in the past four years, Brian Keith Wallen has spread his brand of alternative blues across the US, including placing 2nd in the Blues Foundation's prestigious 2015 International Blues Challenge. Named after a percussion instrument built by his father, "The Stompboard Sessions" serve up a foot stompin' slice of acoustic fingerpicking, shredding guitar and Latin Blues flair. Watch Brian's Tiny Desk Concert @ YouTube, download "The Stompboard Sessions" for free @ NoiseTrade!

JD Weaver "Where Eagles Fly" (EP, Own label, 2015). I know I have something to offer far greater than music as I really feel that disability is criminally under-represented in music ... 19 year old Cheshire musician Jason Weaver has completed his debut three track EP of folk, pop, rock and country, representing his thoughts and feelings on the way in which some people perceive individuals in situations similar to his own. Check it out now @ Soundcloud, here's an honest discussion about disability to get disabled equality issues out in the open @ YouTube!

Eli West "The Both" (CD, Own label, 2016). For his debut solo album, Seattle singer and multi-instrumentalist Eli West, well known for his work with Cahalen Morrison,[46] Tim O’Brien, Jayme Stone[59] and John Reischman, curated small ensembles, e.g. new Americana discovery Dori Freeman (see above) and Appalachian duo Anna & Elizabeth.[56] He centered the album conceptually on the story of his two grandfathers; one a decorated WWII prisoner of war, the other a preacher and peace advocate. The first half of the album showcases six American folk songs; the second half revisits each song as instrumental passage. Watch Eli West and jazz great Bill Frisell play "Lonesome Valley" @ YouTube!

Amelia White "Home Sweet Hotel" (CD, White-Wolf Records, 2016). “The road holds temptation and adventure and heartache all in one suitcase,” Nashville singer-songwriter Amelia White knows all too well, “it can be glamorous one day and down-right humiliating the next.” She sings “Sleeplessness and miles pile on the soul, it can bring you down, or it can bring you 'round,” on ‘Rainbow Over the East-Side’, a track from her moody and seductive Americana record, "Home Sweet Hotel." Amelia White will be touring the UK in summer 2016, check out "Tupelo Train" live @ YouTube!

Mike Wilson "Mike Wilson Unplugged" (EP/Download, Own label, 2015). Mike Wilson is a folk singer-songwriter from Orange County, California, who can be found playing regularly at local bars and festivals. On his second solo release, he delivers a blend of laid-back acoustic covers and originals. Check out "Sorry" @ YouTube, download "Mike Wilson Unplugged" @ NoiseTrade!

John Zipperer "We Walk Together" (Single, Own label, 2015). Former tv actor and stuntman John Zipperer, who was hit by a ten-wheel oil truck while changing a tire, headed out to Los Angeles to pursue a life in music.[55] "We Walk Together" is a folk-pop song of unity written in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and dedicated to the people of Paris who suffered from bombing in last year's December. Watch John Zipperer and Friends performing "We Walk Together" live @ YouTube!

9Bach "Anian" (CD, Real World Records, 2016). 9Bach's 3rd album "Anian" will be released in April 2016 (Anian is a Welsh word meaning nature, creation). It's still in the 9Bach vein, but while "Tincian" (BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Winner of Best Album)[57] commemorated stories from the past, "Anian" critically explores more contemporary themes. Watch Lisa Jên introduce "Anian" and hear music @ Vimeo!

Various Artists

Various Artists (Antologie moravské lidové hudby) "6 - Milostné a svatební písně", "7 - Verbuňky a písně rekrutské" (CD, Indies Scope, 2015). The 6th and 7th parts of the Anthology of Moravian Folk Music[47] are thematically focused on love/wedding songs and recruiting songs, respectively. This epic compilation is an attempt to introduce current groups and singers who maintain an authentic form of musical traditions in their particular regions.

Various Artists "Arctic Paradise 2016" (CD, Music Finland, 2015). The latest edition of Arctic Paradise, a compilation series focusing on Finnish contemporary world and folk music,[53] is out now! The 15 featured artists showcase the wide and exciting array of the Finnish folk music scene, ranging from the Ilkka Heinonen Trio's bowed lyre,[55] to Sväng's harmonicas, [56] the Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble’s afrobeat funk,[57] Pekko Käppi’s raw archaic punk folk,[58] and Kimmo Pohjonen’s experimental accordion soundscapes.[41]

Various Artists "Celtic Colours Live - Volume 3" (CD, Own label, 2015). For the third year in a row, Cape Breton's internationally renowned Celtic Colours festival presents a cross-section of musical experiences from all over the island.[56] Various combinations of fiddle, flute, pipes, piano, guitar and banjo are sure to please lovers of traditional music everywhere. 14 tracks recorded during the nine days of the 2015 festival are showcasing artists from Canada and the US, Scotland and Ireland, Sweden and Norway, including Old Man Luedecke,[50] Kathleen MacInnes,[50] Fred Morrison,[41] Paddy Keenan,[23] J.P. Cormier,[26] Liz Doherty ,[23] Gino Lupari,[58] and the Barra MacNeils.[33]

Various Artists "God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson" (CD, Alligator Records, 2016). Blind Willie Johnson (1897–1945) was an iconic gospel blues singer and slide guitarist. His "Dark Was the Night" is one of the music tracks on the 1977 unmanned Voyager Project space probes. "God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson" features newly recorded versions of his most seminal material. Ft. Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams,[59] Cowboy Junkies, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Sinéad O'Connor, Luther Dickinson (see review above), ...

Various Artists "The Journey Continues: Fellside at 40" (CD, Fellside Recordings, 2016). Fellside Recordings, along with Topic Records, are the two most significant and longest serving record labels for traditional music in the UK. Fellside had been formed by Paul Adams (who had toured semi-professionally with the Barry Skinner Folk Group in his teens) and Linda Adams in 1976 in Workington, Cumbria, and is still run by its founders. To celebrate 40 years and tell the Fellside story, 57 tracks on 3 discs are as wide-ranging as the label has always been. Two CDs are devoted to albums which have been released 2007 to 2010 and 2010 to 2015, respectively; the third CD is devoted to some personal favourites and some quirky sidelines both from released albums and the archives. Featuring: Last Orders,[35] Frankie Armstrong,[44] The Queensberry Rules,[37] Graham & Sam Pirt,[38] A.L. Lloyd,[38] Tom Kitching,[57] Gren Bartley,[57] Elbow Jane,[39] Ewan McLennan,[48] Andy May,[40] The Hut People,[49] James Findlay,[50] Peter Bellamy,[38] Pilgrim's Way,[46] Hedy West,[46] Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick,[46] Hadrian's Union,[51] Joe Tilston,[50] Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith,[57] Pete Morton,[59] Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar,[56] Jez Lowe,[58] Janet Russell,[38] Bob Fox,[27] and many more.

Various Artists "PS Paré - Artistes en Tournée 2016/2017" (Promo CD, 2015). Since 20 years, Montreal based management and agency Productions Serge Paré is promoting local talents, including folk groups Le Vent du Nord,[56] De Temps Antan,[53] Bon Débarras,[55] MAZ,[47] ...

Various Artists "The Rough Guide to Americana" (CD, World Music Network (Harmonia Mundi), 2016). There's dogs, there's cars, there's saints and Jesus, and a whole lot of love gone wrong ... Welcome to the world of Americana seen through the eyes of Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), [51] Noah Gundersen,[53] Sean Taylor,[58] Mary Gauthier,[49] ... Visit for comprehensive notes, videos and more music.

Various Artists "ShamrockFest 2016 Mixtape" (Download, 2016). Everyday's St. Patrick's Day... according to French Celtic Rockers CelKilt. Since the last 17 years, Washington DC's ShamrockFest has become America’s largest St. Paddy’s Day festival; thousands have enjoyed the shenanigans with great beer and the understanding that anyone can be Irish for a day. To get you in the spirit, download a mixtape to introduce yourself to some of the artists on the line-up @ NoiseTrade!

Various Artists "The Voice of the People: It was mighty!" (CD, Topic Records, 2016); Various Artists "The Voice of the People: It was great altogether!" (CD, Topic Records, 2016). Topic Records proudly releases the latest volumes in the acclaimed series of traditional music, The Voice of the People; nearly 200 tracks on two 3-CD-sets of the most vital, dynamic music-making by immigrants from rural Ireland who settled in London throughout the last sixty years.

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