FolkWorld #63 07/2017

CD & DVD Reviews

Coming soon !!!

Short & Sweet

Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers "The Eastwest Sessions" (CD, Pretty Good For A Girl Records, 2017). After 2½ years of non-stop touring, smooth jazz saxophon player Mindi Abair (sought-after support from Aerosmith to Jimmy Webb) and Randy Jacobs' Boneshakers entered Hollywood's famed EastWest studios to record 11 hot tracks of blues, jazz, soul, R&B and rock. Check out YouTube channel, album trailer, Mindi with Buddy Guy!

Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster "Flow" (CD, LMB Music, 2017). New Age Grammy award winning acoustic guitarist Will Ackerman teams up with fellow guitarist Lawrence Blatt,[54] pianist Fiona Joy[61] and trumpet/flugelhorn player Jeff Oster (FLOW ia an anagram of their first names): "If you look back into any time of human existence, this need for peaceful breathing and listening has always and will always be deeply important. It's not only NEW AGE music, it is EVERY AGE music!" Check it out @ YouTube!

Andy & Judy "This old town" (CD, Own label, 2017). American Duo from New England, presenting their own songwriting rooted in Americana trad and folk music, with influences from country, gospel and blues.

Armas "Metsästä kuuluu" (CD, Own label, 2017). Finnish quintet Armas plays music that combines an archaic sound with experimentation; following Nordic archaic shepherd music traditions, this is certainly an album of surprises. To quote the band themselves: “Armas leads you on a path across pastures and to banks of foggy forest ponds, through nocturnal woods and dewy meadows at dawn to the village swing and dance. Follow the call of lulletti, a wooden horn, and let yourself be taken on a journey of sounds!” Say no more…

Aronde "Aronde" CD, Pagans, 2017). This French band play traditional music from the Auvergne and Gascogne, on violins, violoncello, double bass, tambourine and other percussion. While the band experiment with cross rhythms and vocal arrangements, the music sounds nevertheless (or perhaps as a result of this) nearly archaic.

Gochag Askarov & Pierre de Trégomain "Mugham Souls - Traditional Music of Modern Azerbaijan" (CD, Felmay, 2017). "Mugham Souls" is the encounter of vocalists Pierre de Trégomain and Gochag Askarov, who represent the semi-improvised musical languages of European jazz and Azerbaijan mugham culture.[46] Watch trailer @ YouTube!

Pradeep Barot, Riccardo Battaglia, Federico Sanesi "tales of indian sarod" (CD, Felmay, 2016). This is the musical meeting of Sarod virtuoso Pradeep Barot (the sarod is a fretless lute in the Northern Indian classical tradition) with one of his best students, Riccardo Battaglia, and tabla player Federico Sanesi. "Raga Bageshri" and "Raga Abhogi," two major ragas of the Indian classical repertoire, are presented in their complete classical form, while "Raga Kafi" is presented in a compressed form, all based in the Kafi Thaat scale (closely resembling the Dorian mode).

Book Review

Eddie Berman "Square One" (Video, 2017); Katie Ferrara & Tom McNalley "Free Falling" (Video, 2017); Jason Isbell & Jerry Douglas "You Got Lucky" (Video, 2017). »It's hard to believe that this week will be one month since Tom Petty left us way too early. To me, rock and roll is just not the same.« (Jorge Otero, Stormy Mondays) »One of my very favorite childhood memories is when I was 5 or 6 years old, sitting in the front passenger seat, driving around the San Fernando Valley with my dad, listening to his Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits CD. And every time I listen to Free Fallin' I still feel like a little boy sitting in the car next to my dad, so excited for the line about the vampires moving west down Ventura Blvd -- just as we're driving the same direction, on the same street.« (Eddie Berman) Download Stormy Mondays' 2008 live version of "American Girl"! Watch Eddie Berman's Tom Petty cover "Square One"! Watch Katie Ferrara's collaboration with Tom McNalley on "Free Falling"! Watch Jerry Douglas joining Jason Isbell on "You Got Lucky"!

Ingried Boussaroque "Islands" (CD, Own label, 2017). Singer, composer and musician from Quebec, playing her own interpretation of Gaelic, Quebecois and Nordic songs, with a touch of Early Music in its style, on vocals, recorders, bagpipe, mandolin and kantele. Check it out @ BandCamp!

Billy Bragg "Bridges Not Walls" (EP, Cooking Vinyl, 2017). The mini album is featuring all of the singles Billy Bragg has released over the summer.[63] Listen and watch to the lyric videos of "King Tide and the Sunny Day Flood" (a wake-up call to those who would deny that global warming is a real threat), "Why We Build The Wall" (an Anais Mitchell cover taking on new resonance with Donald Trump’s vow to build a wall between the US and Mexico), and "Saffiyah Smiles" (about a young woman facing down a ranting fascist with nothing but a smile).

Moya Brennan "Canvas" (CD, Beo Records, 2017). Irish singer Moya Brennan is world renowned, not least as singer of Clannad.[49] This is her 9th solo album, featuring songs in Irish Gaelic and English language, sung in her unique haunting style.

Calexico "The Thread That Keeps Us" (CD, City Slang, 2018). The spring and summer of 2017, Tucson, Arizona-based Americana and indie rock band Calexico have been busy working on a new album, set to be released on January 26, 2018. Check out the lyric video with aerial footage from Calexico's travels from El Paso to Northern California, "End Of The World With You," @ YouTube!

Cardo-Roxo "Volto Já" (CD, Own label, 2017). Dancing is some of the few examples of truly ancient traditions that survive until today. Though Portuguese duo Cardo-Roxo (Antony Fernandes and Carmina Repas Gonçalves) proposes a musical approach based on listening and a contemplative dimension, their third album "Volto Já" is dedicated to Portuguese traditional dances. Watch "Chamarrita" @ YouTube!

Andrew Chapman a.k.a. JoJo "Well, It's About Time!" (CD, UpIsland Records, 2017). Almost 50 years on the road and still going strong! Discontinued by a successful corporate life in hotels and investment banking, bluesman Andrew Chapman a.k.a. JoJo went back into the studio. About time, eh? Listen @!

Chickenbone Slim "The Big Beat" (CD, Lo-Fi Mob Records, 2017). San Diego's Larry Teves (a.k.a. Chickenbone Slim) only picked up the guitar in 2011 after many years of playing bass with local artists such as Big Jon Atkinson.[61] Check out Chickenbone's old-school electric blues @ YouTube EPK!

Alana & Leigh Cline "Alana & Leigh Cline" (CD, Scimitar Records, 2016). Toronto based young Canadian fiddler Alana Cline plays on this album with her father, guitarist Leigh Cline. The duo present tradiitonal fiddle tunes from Cape Breton, Ireland and Scotland, most of them on the fast and furious side. On some of the tracks, they are backed by bodhran or whistle. Lots of talents here.

Joel DaSilva "Everywhere From Here" (CD, Track of Life Music, 2017). Joel DaSilva, Chicago bluesman of Brazilian heritage, delivers contemporary roots and blues rock straight from the heart into the face. Listen to "Everyday Man" and "Cadillac Mama"!

Dobranotch "Makhorka" (CD, CPL Music, 2017). Dobranotch from St Petersberg combine Klezmer, Balkan gipsy and Yiddish songs with traditional Russian and Russian brass orchestra influences. The music of this eight-piece band is certainly wild and energetic, and will no doubt get any audience up to dance. Featuring sax, trombone, tuba, clarinet, accordion, fiddle, banjo and big drums, the sound is big and groovy.

Doggerland "No sadness of farewell" (CD, Gammalthea / Westpark, 2017). Another lovely album of the Norway-based duo of English singer, guitarist and concertina player Richard Burgess and Swedish guitarist and hurdy gurdy player Anders Ådin. The CD features a beautiful blend of Scandinavian (and less Scandinavian) tunes and largely English songs. A warm and comforting album.

Ed Dupas "Tennessee Night" (CD, Road Trip Songs, 2017). Ann-Arbor-based Ed Dupas follows the road paved by Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen to end up at his garage country sound. Watch Ed Dupas discussing and playing 'Tennessee Night' solo acoustic @ YouTube!

The Early Mays "Chase the sun" (CD, Own label, 2017). All female Canadian trio presenting Appalachian inspired songs, combining traditional and original material. The trio presents harmony singing backed by banjo, harmonium, guitars, fiddles.

Scott Ellison "Good Morning Midnight" (CD,, 2017). Tulsa, Oklahoma-based blues guitarist Scott Ellison has been on the rock and blues scene for over 30 years. Watch Scott Ellison performing "Whiskey and Rum" and "These Blues Gotta Hold on Me"!

Duane Forrest "The Climb" (CD, Traaxx Music, 2017). Duane Forrest's Jamaican heritage has allowed him to so naturally weave the styles of bossa nova, jazz, reggae and soul to create an organic sound. Check him out @ YouTube!

Mary Gauthier "Rifles & Rosary Beads" (CD, In The Black / Thirty Tigers, 2018). What saves you in the battle can kill you at home: Mary Gauthier's[49] upcoming album is supposed to feature eleven new songs, all co-written with veterans and their families. Watch the "Rifles & Rosary Beads" trailer and "Bullet Holes in the Sky"!

Anne Girard Esposito "La flute traversiere en Bois - un instrument un artiste" (CD, Bemolproductions, 2017). This album does what it says on the tin – flute playing of French musician Anne Girard Esposito, a classically trained flautist turning to trad music. Well it is not always just one instrument and one artist, as there are guest musicians on some tracks, on accordion, guitar, bouzouki, violin or bodhran, but the album feels very much like a solo effort. The material is a blend of traditional Breton, Irish and Scottish, plus a couple of her own compositions and a Polish traditional.

Greenshine "The girl in the lavender dress" (CD, Tigerdog Records, 2017) An Irish family trio comprising Noel Shine, Mary Greene and their daughter Ellie. The trio features Noel on guitar/bass/mandolin/bouzouki/whistle, Mary on guitar and vocals, and Ellie on vocals and ukulele.

The Halley DeVestern Band "Keep On Playin'" (CD, Own label, 2017). Keep On Playin'! Another 5-track EP from New York City's Halley DeVestern (who had the honor of touring with Janis Joplin's original band, Big Brother and The Holding Company, as their lead singer) and her funky blues and roots rock combo! Check out Halley's YouTube channel!

Harmony Glen "Start Living Today" (CD, Own label, 2017). Another dutch band, Harmony Glen[58] are at home in the fun Irish Folk genre, featuring pipes, whistles, fiddle, banjos, guitars, bass and drums, the material is a mix of own compositions, traditionals and written by other musicians. Watch Harmony Glen at Zomerfolk 2017 @ YouTube!

Charlotte Hathaway & Mike Vass "The Dead Stations" (CD, Own label, 2017). A project bringing together Scottish folk composer Mike Vass[56] and writer Charlotte Hathaway. The album tells a weird story about loneliness, the mind and dead train stations, and features spoken word as well as music, featuring amongst others also singer and fiddler Mairi Campbell. It's all done well but still doesn’t quite do it for me.

Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors "Souvenir" (CD, Magnolia Music, 2017). "Souvenir" is the very thing its name suggests: a proper band album from The Neighbors, keepsakes collected while on the road. Still Drew Holcomb[56] is the captain on this Americana ship. Watch "Wild World" @ YouTube!

Steve Howell & Jason Weinheimer "A Hundred Years from today" (CD, The Past Music, 2017). Rural acoustic country blues and traditional jazz by Texas-born finger-style guitarist and vocalist Steve Howell[59] and bass player Jason Weinheimer digging into the repertoire of Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt, Fats Waller and The Mississipi Sheiks. Watch Howell and Weinheimer performing the 1927 old-time country blues 'Kansas City Blues' @ YouTube!

The Hut People "Routes" (CD, Fellside, 2017). A somewhat unlikely collaboration between accordionist Sam Pirt and the percussionist of the past 16 years of pop stars Beautiful South, Gary Hammond. And that's what this album is about - traditional and own tunes, from British, Nordic and European or French Canadian traditions, on a firey accordion back by a huge versatile range of percussion sounds. They present themselves on their website as “THE most unique, entertaining and best-loved acts on the UK folk scene today” which is a statement I cannot yet verify as I have not experienced them live.

I'm With Her "Little Lies" (Single/Video, 2017). I'm With Her is Sara Watkins,?? Sarah Jarosz?? and Aoife O’Donovan.?? All three musicians had crossed paths many times in their careers, yet it was an impromptu performance at the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival that sparked the formation of the trio with their unique blend of instrumental interplay combined with indelible harmonies. Check out the official "Little Lies" video @ YouTube!

Iona Fyfe Band "East" (EP, CPL Music, 2017). This is only a short six-track EP, but when Iona Fyfe from Huntly, Aberdeenshire gets in, she comes like a fresh breeze and blews some dust off old bothy songs and Child ballads. Watch Iona Fyfe, BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad finalist 2017 @ YouTube! A full length album is scheduled for 2018.

Paul James "The drowned lover and other dark tales" (CD, Mummerfy, 2017) Best known as member of Blowzabella,[52] Paul James presents on this solo album his range of talents as saxophonist, bagpiper, singer and composer. The musician from Newbury, England, makes music influenced by English and other European folk traditions, and the album features both instrumentals and traditional songs. Check it out @ BandCamp!

Lew Jetton & 61 South "Palestine Blues" (CD, Coffee Street Records, 2017). Palestine Texas it is! "Palestine is the community in which I live," says Lew Jetton, "but it's also a place of historic significance for being sacred, while at the same time, a place of conflict. That's kind of where I have been for years. I know a lot of blues is happy and uplifting. This is not. I'm OK with that. I wanted it to be real blues, in the emotional sense." Watch Lew talking about the album's inspiration @ YouTube!

Johnny Ray Jones "Feet Back in the Door" (CD, Moondogg Records, 2017). "Feet Back in the Door" is the Californian blues artist's debut album under his own name. Called "the Godson of Soul" (Percy Mayfield's wife, Tina, was his godmother), Johnny Ray Jones runs the full gamut of blues styles from straight-ahead blues to soulful R&B. Check out the Johnny Ray Jones YouTube channel!

The Jon Spear Band "Hot Sauce" (CD, Own label, 2017). When presenting any southern styled dish, whether it be fried, smoked, stewed or barbeque you must accompany it with a generous side of Hot Sauce. The Virginian blues quartet applied the axiom to the recording of their third album, featuring a mix of R&B, rockabilly and calypso music. The album is especially dedicated to the 209 dead of the Rhythm Club Fire of 23 April 1940 in Natchez, Mississippi, including bandleader Walter Barnes and 9 members of his Royal Creolians dance orchestra who kept playing to prevent panic. Check out "Wintertime" @ YouTube!

Cassie Keenum & Rick Randlett "hauntings" (CD, Fox Run Records, 2017). Acoustic blues duo Cassie Keenum and Rick Randlett were the winners of the 2016 North Central Florida Blues Society’s Blues Challenge and semi-finalists in the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. On "Hauntings," the two let their visions collide, featuring 10 intimate originals and a bluesy cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Watch Cassie Keenum and Rick Randlett @ YouTube!

Juha Kujanpää "Niin kauas kuin siivet kantaa" (CD, Eclipse Music, 2017. To where my wings will take me is the pianist's[59] third instrumental album; file it somewhere between Nordic folk music and progressive rock. Featuring friends such as Fiddler Esko Järvelä.[60] Check out "Niin kauas kuin siivet kantaa" @ BandCamp!

Lekkujad "tulinbo ruadieh" (CD, Own label, 2014). Much of this album features subtly arranged Karelian singing by Finnish folk singer Kristiina Olanto in a simple traditional style, often just featuring a simple guitar backing. However, on other tracks, the music features also a four band from the Finnish free jazz scene, creating soundscapes focussed around a shrill sounding flutes, bass and percussion. There are a couple of much more contemporary sounding numbers, featuring a full band sound. While some of the other songs are attractive in their simplicity, it is these more heavily arranged songs that make the highlights of this album for me.

Karen Lovely "Fish Outta Water" (CD, Own label, 2017). Just returned from a successful European tour, Karen Lovely offers an original selection of up-to-date blues, soul and Americana. Check out ‘Punk Rock Johnny Cash’ from “Fish Outta Water” live in Hollywood @ YouTube!

FolkWorld Xmas

Lowland Hum "Songs for Christmas Time" (CD, Own label, 2017). Lowland Hum is an art-folk duo based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and made up of Daniel and Lauren Goans. Christmas Time is their favorite time of year: nature becomes a wonderland, the air is crisp, animals are busy with their wintertime preparations, houses take on cozier, festive appearances, as their windows pour golden light from within out into the early darkness. You can find "Songs For Christmas Time" wherever you listen to music, or just head to BandCamp!

Rob Lutes "Walk in the Dark" (CD, Lucky Bear Records, 2017). On his seventh album, Canadian songwriter Rob Lutes finds himself at the crossroads of folk, blues and Canadiana. Check out a promotional video @ YouTube!

Elaine Mahon "Reach for the Stars" (CD, Gatorbone Records, 2017). According to her website, Elaine is a singer, songwriter and stargazer. On the album, she sings solely her own songs. Please watch Elaine Mahon singing "Fredericksburg" from the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Concert @ YouTube!

Lydia Sylvia Martin "Chasing the Ghost" (CD, Family Records, 2017). Solo album of the Americana singer of the Martin Family Band, presenting her voice and old time banjo. Check her out @ BandCamp!

Kirsty Merryn "She & I" (CD, Own label, 2017). Kirsty Merryn’s debut album is more of an EP than a full lengths album, with its 8 titles only lasting 28 minutes. Kirsty is one of the shining new singer/songwriter stars on the English folk scene. The album is full of songwriting with powerful storytelling. The album also features guest appearances by Luke Jackson and Steve Knightley on vocals.

Mountain Thyme "It’s about thyme" (CD, Own label, 2016). A quartet from West Virginia blending Appalachian and Celtic music. I particularly enjoyed their instrumental tracks, on flutes, piano/djembe, piano/double bass and bouzouki/mandolin/harp. The songs feel a bit esoteric.

Mystic Journey "Kingdom of Mountains" (CD, Autumn Light Productions, 2017). A relaxing, soulful, mystical if you like, journey around the world, guided by Suzanne Teng (flutes), Gilbert Levy (strings), Dann Torres (guitar) and Jon Ossman (bass). Check out Suzanne Teng & Mystic Journey live @ YouTube!

Ordinary Elephant "Before I go" (CD, Berkalin Records, 2017). An unusual name for this husband and wife duo from Texas. Presenting their own songs, they present their Americana music with vocal harmonies, clawhammer banjo and guitar."

Passerine "Harbingers" (CD, Own label, 2017). American band Passerine blends traditional folk and bluegrass music and a repertoire of original Americana songs. Featuring vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, fiddle and dobro and double bass.

Matt Patershuk "Same As I Ever Have Been" (CD, Black Hen Music, 2017). A handful of good songs, the ability to finesse beautiful melodies from an old flat top guitar and an honest rough and true voice to make it in the music business--that's Alberta roots songwriter Matt Patershuk[61] in a nusthell. Featuring a bigger session band than ever before with mandolinist John Reischman, vocalist Ana Egge etc. Check out EPK @ YouTube!

Pilgrims' Way "Stand and Deliver" (CD, Talking Cat Records, 2017). Award winning trad band Pilgrims' Way from Stockport, Greater Manchester,[60] present a themed album packed full of highwaymen, robbers, and brigands, their stories told through traditional English folk song and 1980's disco music. Watch 'Shoot them All!': Having killed a highwayman in self defence, this girl gets taste for blood and murders three more, thereby pre-empting the plot of 'Dexter' by several hundred years.

Ron Pope "Work" (CD, Brooklyn Basement Records, 2017). "Work" marks Nashville-based, independent hero Ron Pope's seventh studio album: "This album follows me from when I was thirteen and a teacher told my mother that I'd probably end up in prison; I started messing around writing songs that year. It's been mostly uphill ever since." Watch the official video @ YouTube!

Red Herring "Here to distract you" (CD, Mondo Tunes, 2017). This Dutch band plays folk, bluegrass, country and Americana. Headed by Arthur Deighton (of the Deighton Family Band), the band features fiddle, banjo, mandolins, double bass, guitars, bouzouki. Watch the "Wedding Dress" video @ YouTube!

John Reischman and the Jaybirds "On That Other Green Shore" (CD, Corvus, 2017). For their seventh recording, mandolinist John Reischman [41] has chosen material to showcase the signature Jaybirds blend of old-time and bluegrass music, this time with an added emphasis on the bluesier side and a foray into the Beatles songbook (the lesser known "Two Of Us" from the "Let It Be" album). Watch John Reischman and the Jaybirds live at the Fresh Grass bluegrass festival, North Adams, Massachusetts @ YouTube!

Tom Russell "Folk Hotel" (CD, Proper Records, 2017). In the 1990s, Tom Russell's nr. 1 Merle Haggard tribute album (with Dave Alvin) initiated the Americana charts in the US. His new release showcases 13 Russell originals plus a Dylan cover. Featuring guest appearances by Eliza Gilkyson, Joe Ely and Joel Guzman. Check out the Folk Hotel Promotional Video @ YouTube!

Scottie Miller Band "Stay Above Water" (CD, Own label, 2017). Sounds like Dr. John meets The Band at Bruce Springsteen's house, wrote Tom Hyslop at Blues Revue Magazine about Miller's smart lyrics, fat grooves and soulful delivery. Watch the title track @ YouTube!

Ron Sexsmith "The Last Rider" (CD, Compass Records, 2017). I think my sound has always been a combination of the folk singers and British invasion artists I've always admired, says Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, it's just second nature for me to write short, melodic songs that say everything you want to say. Check out "Radio" @ YouTube!

Martin Simpson "Trails & Tribulations" (CD, Topic Records, 2017). Martin Simpson is well reputed as an excellent guitarist, singer and songwriter.[51] This is already his 20th solo album in 40 years. The songs on “Trails and Tribulations” are a mix of traditional songs, poems, contemporary songs and his own songs. As you would expect, there’s also plenty of brilliant guitar playing alongside Martin’s expressive singing. An album with a very English folk-y feel.   Watch Trails & Tribulations album promo and Martin talking about his new album; listen to "Blues Run The Game" and "Thomas Drew"!

Merlin Snider "One Light Many Windows" (CD, Barking Dog Music, 2017). Merlin Snider's third album seeks guidance in the one light of Abraham Lincoln's wisdom by the many windows of folk, blues and jazz. Watch "Abraham's Light" live @ YouTube!

Spontus & Manu Sabaté "Spontus & Manu Sabaté" (EP, Klam Records, 2017). Catalan clarinet and gralla (a traditional Catalan double reed instrument in the shawm family) player Manu Sabaté teams up with Breton dance band Spontus[57] to play a couple of accordionist Youen Paranthoën's compositions Watch Spontus & Manu Sabaté live at Fira Mediterrània 2016 @ YouTube!

Christopher Paul Stelling "Itinerant Arias" (CD, Anti, 2017). Driving by refuge camps and people behind barbed wire fances, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling wrote dark songs about something that hadn't happened yet, and now it's happened. Watch "Destitute" @ YouTube!

Manifesto: Slow Cooked Music

Stormy Mondays "Suitcase Full of Dreams" (EP/Vinyl, Own label, 2017). Stormy Mondays is a folk-rock band from Spain's northern coast, playing a mixture of Americana, soul and Asturian folk, that points out they don't make fast food but slow cooked music. Coinciding with the Summer Solstice and the European Music Day, Stormy Mondays has released the limited edition "Suitcase Full of Dreams" Compact Vinyl, i.e. one side is a 45 rpm vinyl, the other side is a CD (only the second release of this kind in the world). Listen to the "Suitcase Full Of Dreams" lyric video @ YouTube!

Jim Stubblefield "Guitare Mystique" (CD, Natural Elements Records, 2017). The album cover displays a medieval alchimist imbueing an acoustic guitar with magical powers. Californian guitarist Jim Stubblefield (Incendio)[44] works the magic here from some chill-out melodies to some upbeat world-fusion tracks with a Latin-style edge. Listen to "Saint- Tropez" @ YouTube!

FolkWorld Xmas

Sultans of String "Christmas Caravan" (CD, Own label, 2017. Canadian band Sultans of String[47] is pretty excited that their Christmas CD hit #6 on the Billboard World Music Charts. Chris McKhool days: »After decades of walls coming down around the world, it seems like we are now in an era of deepening divisions in world politics. With Sultans of String, as artists, we have always tried to emulate the kind of collaboration that we wish to see in the world, between peoples, and our political leaders. This is an album that could only have be made because of the collaboration of extraordinary artists from Cameroon, Sudan, USA, France, Cuba, Czech Republic, Pakistan, Turkey, and Ireland, working with each other towards a common goal.« Watch the Christmas Caravan EPK @ YouTube!

Simon Taylor "Now Then" (CD, Own label, 2017). A haunting collection of eight instrumental tracks reminiscent of Daniel Lanois or Colm Mac Con Iomaire,[48] featuring his Kíla[63] friends Emma Peters (fiddle), Rónán Ó Snodaigh (bodhrán) and Lance Hogan (drums).

Terra Guitarra "Of Sea & Stars" (CD, earthsign records, 2017). Acoustic guitar duo Bruce Hecksel and Julie Patchouli want to create a world-fusion sound that enables listeners to discover their common global unity. Once a nouveau flamenco act, now drawing on Mediterranean and Latin American rhythms and adding wooden flutes and various percussion instruments. Watch "Sea & Stars" Trailer @ YouTube!

Tone Fish "Irish Night 2017" (Video, 2017). Since July 2017, German band Tone Fish[60] are under representation of an international management company and have signed with Dutch label Friendly Folk Records ( According to the label, Tone Fish take folk music to a whole new level bringing their passion mixed with lots of fun to the stage. Melodies possessed with powerful, yet delicate vocals, flutes, guitar, bouzouki, mandocello, cajon-snare and bass. Performances have a balanced blend of traditional Celtic Folk sound and Folk Rock that keep the crowd moving with the beat. Watch Irish Night Hameln 2017 @ YouTube!

Tram des Balkans "Kobiz Project" (CD, Diffusion, 2017). Labelling themselves as “Vibrations Pop’nTrad”, Tram des Balkans blends Balkan gipsy, Klezmer and Eastern European music with more modern influences, creating a very heady and danceable mix. Featuring vocals, clarinet, violin, mandolin, banjo, accordion, harmonica, double-bass and drums, their live appearances look they are quite a spectacle – watch out the videos on their website. Watch "Swing Hat Paradise" @ YouTube!

Unleashed Dreams "Dare to Dream" (CD, Own label, 2017). Singer-songwriter duo Lindsey Gaye Walker and Sean Michael Paddison are on a mission to create epic, new age, world music to empower people to transform their lives and live their dreams: "Our main message is that it's never too late to live your dreams or create new ones." Check it out @ YouTube!

Stephen Wade "Across the Amerikee" (CD, Smithsonian Folkways, 2017). This grass roots singer goes back to basics, playing Americana old time instrumentals and songs mostly on banjo, sometimes on guitar.

The Waifs "Ironbark" (CD, Compass Records, 2017). A double CD with a whole 25 newly recorded tracks has been released by this Australian contemporary folk band, to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary. Watch Ironbark live at The Blue Mountains Music Festival @ YouTube!

Article: Memories of Great Sessions

Article: Memories of Great Sessions

Mick 'Citern' Walsh "Image" (CD, Own label, 2015); Mick “Citern” Walsh "High Street Blues/Away to the Garden Plot" (CD, Own label, 2016). In 1988 Mick Walsh moved to Kilkenny and John Cleere's pub became his regular venue on Monday nights, Kilkenny’s longest running trad session. Walsh is known for songs about issues and interests in his area, e.g. the picturesque lanes connecting the high street with the market area, "Twenty One Steps (The Butterslip Kilkenny)".

The Wardens "Sleeping Buffalo" (CD, Own label, 2017). Canadian trio blending folk, bluegrass and Americana, aiming to “reflect the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains”, featuring vocal harmonies, double bass and guitars. Watch "Sleeping Buffalo" @ YouTube!

Webster Ave "Daylight" (CD, Own label, 2016). Webster Ave (i.e. a street in the Bronx) is the debut from a trio of session veterans, who played with anybody from Diddley to Dylan, namely guitarist David Webster, bass player Tony Mercadante and drummer Andrew Caturano. "Daylight" covers the entire spectrum of blues, jazz, soul and rock. Have a listen @ YouTube!

West of Eden "No time like the past – a collection" (Double CD, Own label, 2017). To celebrate West of Eden’s 20 anniversary, the Swedish folk rock band has released a compilation double CD. West of Eden[59] has created their own blend of contemporary folk, influenced by British and Irish folk music, with their very own songwriting in English language.

Emily Mae Winters "Siren Serenade" (CD, Own label, 2017) Contemporary and poetic English singer/songwriter Emily Mae Winters offers on her debut album a combination of self-penned and traditional folk songs, recorded with a number of top folk names of the English scene including Evan Carson, Lukas Drinkwater and Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage. Watch "The Ghost of the Pirate Queen" @ YouTube!

Worry Dolls "go get gone" (CD, Bread & Butter, 2017). Debut album from Liverpool female duo Zoe Nicol and Rosie Jones recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, infusing American country and folk with a heavy dose of Britpop. Watch "Miss You Already" @ YouTube!

The 19th Street Band "The Things That Matter" (EP, Own label, 2017). This quartet from Maryland, fronted by Belfast born guitarist Caolaidhe Davis and his wife Meghan on violin, introduces their first 20 minutes of recorded music, folk and country rock with a Celtic attitude. Check out The 19th Street Band live on the Belfast Barge in July 2017 @ YouTube!

Various Artists

FolkWorld Xmas

Various Artists "New West Records - An Americana Christmas" (CD, New West Records, 2017). "An Americana Christmas" features 16 holiday classics from some of the towering giants of country and Americana: Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, John Prine, The Band, Old 97's, etc. The perfect collection for anyone with an appreciation for Christmas music that doesn't suck. Stream "An Americana Christmas" @ NoiseTrade!

Various Artists "The Rough Guide to the Music of West Africa" (CD, World Music Network, 2017). West Africa is considered the original source of the blues. The Rough Guide offers selections from the 25 years catalogue of Riverboat Records, focussing on Senegal and Mali. Featuring Ali Farka Touré, Etran Finatawa, Mory Kanté, and others.

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