FolkWorld #65 03/2018

CD & DVD Reviews

Short & Sweet

Amanda Abizaid "Walking in Twos" (EP, Own label, 2017). Beirut born, Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Amanda Abizaid, who describes her music as 'neo soul meets world', has released a 7 track EP in support of, a non-profit organization that helps Aeta Filipino children get a better education. Watch the title track "Walking In Twos" featuring Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills Nash & Young) playing guitar @ YouTube!

Alan Haksten Ensemble "En La Ciudad de Los Pajaros" (EP, inamu, 2017). Argentinian born accordionist Alan Haksten and his fellow violinist and pianist present their "Suite Nordica," featuring 4 original tracks and 2 Astor Piazzolla pieces. Check out "La Ciudad de los pájaros" @ YouTube!

Altan "The Gap of Dreams" (Video, 2017). After thirty years of playing all over the world from Donegal to Tokyo, traditional Irish band Altan[46] came back home to record their new album, "The Gap of Dreams". The 13 tracks (sets of traditional Donegal reels as well as original compositions and Gaelic language songs) transport the listener to the lifestyle of rural Donegal, when folks would gather together to tell stories, sing songs and dance into the wee hours of the night. Watch "The Gap of Dreams" album trailer @ YouTube!

backtrack blues band "make my home in florida" (CD/DVD, Harpo Records, 2018). Named after a Little Walter instrumental, the Backtrack Blues Band is going strong since 1980. In January 2017, vocalist and harmonica player Sonny Charles and his gang hit the Palladium Theater in their hometown of St Petersburg, Florida for a spicy set of raw Chicago blues. Watch the band's video for the title track @ YouTube!

Gerry Beckley "Carousel" (CD, Blue Élan Records, 2016). Gerry Beckley is best known as a member of the legendary rock group America (of "A Horse with No Name" fame). His solo work then tries to utterly avoid being sucked into the maws of commercial conformity. He also comes “from an era when an album was the normal listening experience. Today, the notion of making a listening experience that’s 20 minutes or longer has been pushed to the side. People think it’s old-school, but to me it’s really valid.” Watch the lyric videos for "Tokyo" & "Minutes Count"!

Lamia Bedioui & Solis Barki "Fin'amor" (Video, 2017). Singer Lamia Bedioui and percussionist Solis Barki are proud to present the official video clip for their upcoming album. Watch "Fin'amor", and Lamia Bedioui live at Folkfestival Ham 2017!

Laura Benitez and the Heartache "with all its thorns" (CD, Copperhead Records, 2017). Laura Benitez plays heart-breaking country music of whiskey and murder with shots of bluegrass, cajun and rockabilly. One foot invariably anchored in the olden days, the other already has taken one big step forward. Watch "Nora Went Down The Mountain" @ YouTube!

Jeff Boortz "Every Other Night" (CD, Ghost Dance, 2015). Texas singer-songwriter Jeff Boortz’ fourth solo album is dealing with the aftermath of a fatal love affair. Bittersweet and poignant. Check out "There Goes My Heart" @ YouTube!

Les Bottines Artistique "Summertime" (CD, Appel Rekords, 2017). This duo brings together Belgian accordionist Guus Herremans and Bulgarian fiddler Pavel Souvandjiev. Their music is largely self-composed and is quite strongly focussed on Eastern European and Klezmer music styles, yet bring also Bal Folk and Italian influences into the mix. The album also features gues musician Jeroen Geerinck on electric and acoustic guitar.

Luke Brindley "Our Year / 52 Songs" (Download, 2018); "Dream Songs Part One" (Download, 2018). In 2013, Washington D.C. guitarist Luke Brindley challenged himself to write, record and release a song a week. He also has just released the first part of his new album, “Dream Songs,” all written in a dream or extemporaneously in a flash of inspiration in one sitting with minimal editing. Download "Our Year / 52 Songs" & "Dream Songs Part One" from BandCamp!

Calexico "Calexico Sampler 2017" (Download, 2017). Alt-country/indie-rock band Calexico from Tuscon, Arizona has released their ninth studio album, "The Thread That Keeps Us." Watch "Under The Wheels" & "Voices in the Field", download the "Calexico Sampler 2017" featuring a collection of old songs paired with new ones @ NoiseTrade!

Ron Campbell & the bLUESbUSTERS "The Main Event" (CD, Perfect Pearl Music / Dirt Road Records, 2017). “I've been doing this for 51 years,” says Canadian blues vocalist/guitarist/harpist Ron Campbell, “I've recorded a few other CDs, but this -- finally -- is the one that feels right. The preliminaries are over. This is the album I've worked a lifetime to create. To me, it truly is The Main Event.” That is Chicago-style blues with a jazzy twist. Watch the bLUESbUSTERS' live performance of "Dump That Chump" @ YouTube!

Steven Caspar & Cowboy Angst "Sometimes Jesse James" (EP, Silent City Records, 2017). Californian singer-songwriter Steven Casper[60] is back with his 8th recording, a deliberate choice in putting out a 6 track EP in accordance with today's listening practices: “Most people listen to streaming services these days, so I like to get my music out there, fast.” Casper’s sound incorporates influences from country to rock with a bit of blues and Tex Mex thrown in for good measure. Watch the moody ballad "Best Day Of Our Lives" in concert @ YouTube!

Joseph Childress "Leaving The Barren Ground" (Single, Empty Cellar Records, 2017). Following his 2013 collection of home recorded demos, Joseph's new songs are borne from working on a cattle ranch, riding trains and living out of his car. His new songs are conjuring up the American West with all its solitude and loneliness. Listen to "Leaving The Barren Ground," painting a picture of bitter heartbreak @ SoundCloud or BandCamp!

Timothy Cooper "Global Skies" (CD, Own label, 2017). "The more I travel, the more I cross culture and borders, the more I listen to people with divergent views speak their minds, the more I appreciate the world's breathtaking diversity and recognize it for what I think it is: humanity's greatest strength. But we have to work to bring together a planet splintered by prejudice and contorted by irrational fears." Washington DC new age pianist and human rights activist Timothy Cooper has created more music from his heart crying out for the new world.

Corde Oblique "Mille Anni che sto qui" (Vinyl, Caustic Records, 2017). Corde Oblique's latest album "Mille Anni che sto qui" (I have been living here for a thousand of years) has been released as a limited edition vinyl. You can see pictures from their gig at Leipzig's Wave Gotik Treffen 2017 @ Facebook!

Al Corte' "Mojo" (CD, Own label, 2017). Al Corte' started out with Bel Canto singing lessons, but was more into blues and rock ‘n’ roll than opera. After an eventful career including motorcycle racing, stunt work and video and TV production, he was drawn back to singing. His sophomore album, "Mojo," is quite the opposite of his debut cover album "Seasoned Soul" (2015), with all original blues, soul, funk and R&B tunes mostly written by his musical partner Ron Miller. Listen to "Juke Joint Jive" @ YouTube!

Jan Daley "The Way Of A Woman" (CD, Log Records, 2017). The title track was the #1 single on the Billboard Jazz Charts for two weeks in October 2017, after riding the Traditional & Jazz Charts for 15 weeks in the Top 5! Watch “The Way of A Woman” official music video @ YouTube!

Chris Daniels and The Kings with Freddi Gowdy "Blues With Horns Vol 1" (CD, Moon Voyage Records, 2017). Inspired by the classic horn bands of the 1950's to 1970's, Chris Daniels and The Kings are celebrating their 33rd year by continuing their crusade to revive the genre with their horn-driven soul, funk and blues rock. This time featuring Freddi Gowdy, founding member of the 1960's soul and funk party machine Freddi, Henchi and The Soulsetters. Watch Chris Daniels's One On One Session at City Winery New York on December 28th, 2017 @ YouTube!

Tommy Dardar "Big Daddy Gumbo" (CD, Kudzu Electric, 2018). The untimely death of Houston vocalist and harp player Tommy Dardar has stunned the blues community. Artists such as Teresa James have come together and donated their time to complete his unfinished recordings. Listen @ Spotify!

Delta Wires "Born in Oakland" (CD, Mud Slide Records, 2018). Delta Wires started over 30 years ago as Ernie Pinata's college project demonstrating the evolution of the blues from the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta to Chicago and the West Coast. Their name was derived from the image of a band playing the blues with modern, electric instrumentation. Their seventh album features high-energy harmonica and horns and intricate harmonies. Watch "Vacation" & "All I Have to Give"!

Xabier Díaz & Adufeiras de Salitre "O baile de Noró" (Video, 2017). This is the first single from traditionalist Galician vocalist Xabier Díaz' new album, "Noró" (2018). Watch Xabier Díaz and Adufeiras de Salitre performing "O baile de Noró" @ YouTube!

Joseph Eid "watch it fall" (EP, Own label, 2017). American singer-songwriter-guitarist Joseph Eid is melding cordial folk music with candid song lyrics, brought to life with electric guitars, pedal steel, saxophone and organ. Listen to the title track "Watch It Fall" about the struggle on the road to success @ YouTube!

ElectroBluesSociety feat Roscoe Chenier "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (Digital Single, Black and Tan Records, 2018). Dutch duo ElectroBluesSociety had the luck to work with blues singer Roscoe Chenier in the early 1990s. Chenier did an acapella recording of the old gospel tune "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" in 2006; unfortunately he died in 2013. On this new mix the ElectroBluesSociety added an electronical background, available on all digital platforms. For example, listen to and download "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" @ Spotify!

Elizabeth and the Catapult "Keepsake" (CD, Compass Records, 2017). Elizabeth Ziman is a singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, who won the 2015 Independent Music Award for Songwriting in the Folk category. Her fourth album "Keepsake" is a thoughful musical analysis of aspirations and expectations. Check out "Underwater" & "Ambrosia"!

Scott Ellison "Good Morning Midnight" (CD, Red Parlor Records, 2017). Scott Ellison had started his career in Tulsa/Oklahoma playing guitar for country singer Jesseca James and blues musician Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. In the mid 1980’s he relocated to Los Angeles to form his own blues band. Besides writing songs for television and the movies, “Good Morning Midnight” is his twelfth album. Check out Scott Ellison performing "These Blues Gotta Hold on Me" at Cain's Ballroom @ YouTube!

Elouise "I'll Fly Away" (Video, 2017). The Elouise version of “I’ll Fly Away” from the recently released album "Deep Water"[61] is a Blackgrass rendition of the 1927 Bluegrass standard written by Albert E. Brumley, refering to death and the afterlife as the ultimate freedom from this life and it’s struggles. Elouise backdrops the video with black & white images to match the sombre mood. Watch "I'll Fly Away" @ Vimeo!

The Eskies "And Don't Spare The Horses" (CD, Parochial Dancehall Records, 2017). On the eve of their first Australia tour, the "Dubliners for the internet generation" (The Irish World) have released their new album 'And Don't Spare The Horses,' presenting their racy sort of Irish folk noir with flying visits to tarantella, klezmer and ragtime music. Watch the "All Good Men" official video @ YouTube!

Johnny Fink and The Intrusion "JFI" (CD, Own label, 2017). For much too long, Midwest blues rockers Johnny Fink and The Intrusion spent time under the radar. That is, until they made the semifinals at the 2016 and the finals at the 2017 International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis. Their simply titled debut album, "JFI," is the calling card to reach out for more. Watch Johnny Fink and the Intrusion at the IBC 2017 Finals @ YouTube!

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn "Don't Let It Bring You Down" (Video, 2017). Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn perform “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” off of their latest record “Echo in the Valley” (Rounder, 2017). Watch the music video @ YouTube!

FreeWorld "What It Is" (CD, SwirlDisc, 2017). Memphis-based musical ensemble FreeWorld were celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2017. FreeWorld's 7th album release, "What It Is," is another eclectic ride through 1970's soul, funk and rock music. Check out "Shrimp N’ Grits" & "Deeper By The Minute"!

GFVP "Liqa'" (CD, Home Records, 2017). The Ghent Folk Violin Project (alias GFVP) under the direction of violinist Wouter Vandenabeele has been renowned for its original mix of folk, jazz and classical music, including traditional Belgian and Greek tunes as well as Arab takseem improvisations. Check out "Liqa'" @ BandCamp!

Ghalia & Mama's Boys "Let The Demons Out" (CD, Ruf Records, 2017). "Let The Demons Out" combines one of Europe's fastest-rising young vocalists, Brussels-based Ghalia Benali,[46] with one of Louisiana's hottest R&B bands, Johnny Mastro & Mama's Boys. “We're not aiming to replicate traditional blues,” Ghalia says, “but to push the songwriting and playing to a point at which we discover something new, while still maintaining a blues vibe. We hope to strike a balance between the traditional and progressive. That's what good art is about anyway." Watch Ghalia & Mama's Boys play the uptempo blues shuffle "All the Good Things" live in Brussels @ YouTube!

Ghost Town Blues Band "Backstage Pass" (CD, Own label, 2018). After nine years and thousands of shows the Ghost Town Blues Band, led by singer and guitarist Matt Isbell, has released a high-energy live album recorded at the historic Lafayette's Music Room stage in Memphis, Tennessee in July 2017. "Backstage Pass" opens with a shot on the Beatles classic "Come Together," Matt showcasing his cigar box guitar, which transforms into "Norwegian Wood" and into Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". Check out the album @ BandCamp!

Gwyneth Glyn "Tro" (CD, ARC Music, 2017). ARC Music has teamed up with Theatr Mwldan in Wales to form a new independent record label, bendigedig. The first artist signed is poet and singer Gwyneth Glyn (known from the Welsh/Indian album "Ghazalaw"[59] and the female folk music project "Songs of Separation"[59]). Her debut solo album "Tro" (Turn), which also features Senegal's kora player Seckou Keita and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner Rowan Rheingans (Lady Maisery, The Rheingans Sisters) on banjo, is an intimate and emotional journey back to her native roots in Eifionydd, north west Wales. Watch the "Cwlwm" official video @ YouTube!

John Gorka "True In Time" (CD, Red House Records, 2018). Singer-songwriter John Gorka will be one of the performers at Folk Alliance International 2018, performing at a special showcase celebrating Red House Records' 35th Anniversary. "True In Time" is Gorka's first studio album since 2014, exhibiting his spirited guitar playing, thoughtful lyrics and witty storytelling, with vocal cameos contributed by Jonatha Brooke, Eliza Gilkyson and Lucy Kaplansky. Watch John Gorka with "True in Time" (co-written by Pete Kennedy) on WSTP TV @ YouTube!

Graham Stone Music "Until the Day" (CD, Own label, 2017). Virginia singer/songwriter Graham Stone Music's debut album has been stylistically compared to folk rock artists such as Jason Isbell[64] and John Moreland.[60] Check out Graham Stone Music @ BandCamp, download "Until the Day" @ NoiseTrade!

Alastair Greene "Dream Train" (CD, Rip Cat Records, 2017). Only recently Alastair Greene started his solo career, stepping down touring as the guitarist and vocalist for the Alan Parsons Project. “After 7 years, the time has come for me to truly pursue my own musical dream”: hard driving blues rock featuring special guests such as Walter Trout and Mike Zito. Watch Alistaire Greene and the Just For You Family Band perform "One Way Out" @ YouTube!

Lex Grey & The Urban Pioneers "Usual Suspects" (CD, Pioneer Productions, 2018). Their seventh original album follows up the critically acclaimed "Heal My Soul."[61] Best known as a theatrical live band, The Urban Pioneers sympathetically support their enigmatic frontwoman on a cross-border musical journey, where one foot is always bound to the blues.

Leonard Griffie "Better Late Than No Time Soon" (CD, Pangoboy, 2017). These 14 original songs show a wide spectrum--from soulful blues ballads over a faint grain of jazz music to high-energy R&B grooves. For singer-guitarist Leonard Griffie, "Better Late Than No Time Soon" really is the momentary artistic climax of breathing and playing the blues in the prime of life.

Lynne Hanson "Uneven Ground" (CD, Song Shop Records/Continental Record Services, 2017). Canadian singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson covers the full gamut from bluesy ballads, pure folk and jazz to hearty roots rock. Watch "Uneven Ground" performed by Lynne Hanson and The Good Intentions live at The Biddulph Arms, Staffordshire @ YouTube!

Head for the Hills "Potions and Poisons" (CD, Own label, 2017). "Potions and Poisons" is the fourth album of original music from Colorado based post-modern bluegrass outfit Head for the Hills, building little worlds of sound from the detritus of bluegrass, jazz, folk, world, hip hop and soul. Download "Potions and Poisons" @ NoiseTrade!

Hot Club Sandwich "No Pressure" (CD, Acoustic Oasis, 2018). Washington State's Hot Club Sandwich have adopted its own interpretation of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s open-minded ethic in pursuit of an embrace of music forms from around the world, including a jazz manouche, a bolero, a Peruvian waltz and a Hoagy Carmichael song. For their fifth album, they invited longtime friend and mandolin player David Grisman to share in the experience.

I'm With Her "See You Around" (CD, Concord Records, 2018). "See You Around" is the debut album from I'm With Her, featuring Grammy-Award-winners Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan. Before getting together, they co-founded bands such as Nickel Creek and Crooked Still and have contributed to albums from John Prine to Yo-Yo Ma. Watch the "See You Around" live video, revealing their commitment to create a wholly unified band sound @ YouTube!

Jacky Molard 4tet "Mycelium" (CD, Innacor Records, 2018). Fiddler Jacky Molard has been a pioneer of reviving Breton music since the early 1980s and has been a member of Gwerz, Pennou Skoulm, and last but not least his own Jacky Molard Quartet (featuring accordionist Janick Martin, saxophonist Yannick Jory and double bass player Hélène Labarrière). The group's fourth album "Mycelium" takes another step in melding Celtic roots with jazz and contemporary music. Check out Jacky Molard's "Triangle" @ YouTube!

Pi Jacobs "A Little Blue" (CD, Travianna Records, 2017). Los Angeles singer-songwriter Pi Jacobs[58] provides a sort of Americana Bluesy Rock Thing. Basically she is a one-woman-band with vocals, guitar and a homemade percussion stomp box. Watch "Good Things" @ YouTube!

Jim Shaneberger Band "Above and Below" (CD, Own label, 2017). Led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Jim Shaneberger, this hard-driving group from West Michigan mixes rock, funk, soul and blues inspired by the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Motown. Watch the Jim Shaneberger Band perform the blues-rocking "Indifference," a social justice call to action for citizens to stand up for each other, inspired by the 2016 shooting of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling @ Facebook!

Jude Johnstone "A Woman's Work" (CD, BoJak Records, 2016). Born in Maine, Jude Johnstone[38] began writing songs as a child. At 18, she was discovered by Springsteen's saxophonist Clarence Clemons. In 1979, Jude moved to Los Angeles, where her songs were discovered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks, Jennifer Warnes, and many more. With her seventh album "A Woman's Work" she tries her luck again. Watch Jude Johnstone & Band live in 2015 @ YouTube!

Andrea von Kampen "Andrea von Kampen" (Download, 2018). With over 3 million Spotify streams, Nebraska-based singer-songwriter Andrea von Kampen has established herself with a vocal delivery that has been praised as "soulful and worn-in" (Hear Nebraska). She is currently writing and recording her first full-length album. Download a free compilation of Andrea's first two EPs, "Another Day" (2015) and "Desdemona" (2016), @ NoiseTrade! Watch the "See It Through" music video @ YouTube!

Steven Kamperman "Neoropa" (CD, Home Records, 2017). Modern improvised music with roots in early European music is the mission of Dutch clarinetist Steven Kamperman with violinist/percussionist Oene van Geel, Romanian violinist/guitarist George Dumitriu, Turkish vocalist Sanem Kalfa and French tuba player Michel Godard (the latter also playing a medieval serpent, a tuba predecessor in form of a snake). Listen to "Neoropa" @ YouTube!

Kelly's Lot "Bittersweet" (CD, Own label, 2017); Kelly Z At SlideAway Studio "Rescue" (CD, Own label, 2017). Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Kelly Zirbes has returned to her folk and folk rock roots, the genre she started out before succeeding in blues rock, including an old-time piece, a gospel tune and an Irish ballad. Check out "Bittersweet" @ YouTube!
In 2011, guitarist Chuck Kavooras recorded a collection of 1960's funk, rock and R&B cover songs (James Brown, Burt Bacharach, Michael Bloomfield, Tina Turner, ...), but production has never been completed. Fortunatly, Kelly was eventually brought in to sing on the tracks and rescue the abandoned tracks.

Kíla "Pota Óir" (Documentary, 2018). 2018 is proving to be a year of Kíla[57] projects coming to fruition... "Pota Óir" (Pot of Gold) is an intimate, hour long film portrait of Kíla with some great performances of new and old music. It will be screened at The CraicFest Film Festival New York, the San Francisco Irish Film Festival, the London Irish Film Festival and Irish Focus Dublin in March. Kíla will have a DVD version available in the next few months. Watch Kíla @ Vimeo!

Kings + Associates "Tales of a Rich Girl" (CD, Big Wing Records, 2017). Since winning the 2014 Adelaide Roots & Blues Association award for Most Outstanding New Act, Kings + Associates have developed into one of Australia's most enthralling blues acts. Their sophomore album featuring soulful vocalist Angie Portolesi offers a catchy mix of blues, R&B and funk music. Watch "Tales of a Rich Girl" and "Evergreen", the latter being a Eastern European Funky Folk thing played as blues.

Mick Kolassa "Double Standards" (CD, Swing Suit Records, 2018). "Double Standards" is a celebration of some of the greatest songs in the history of blues music (from the pen of Willie Dixon, Tampa Red and others), performed as duets by Mick Kolassa with friends such as Sugaray Rayford, Jeff Jensen, Patti Parks, Tas Cru, and others. As with Kolassa's previous albums, the proceeds will benefit The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund and Generation Blues programs.

Rich Krueger "Life Aint That Long" (CD, RockinK Music, 2018). Rich Krueger has been performing with The Dysfunctionells (who describe themselves as THE Butt-Ugliest Band in Chicago) since 1985. He has just released the first of two solo albums, ft. rather dark story songs referred to as “Richard Thompsonesque” (Dirty Linen) from an “old folkie at heart” (Anti-Folk). Check out Hollywood Soapbox Interview, listen to "A Stoopid Broken Heart"!

Lara and the Bluz Dawgz "Out Here in the Blue" (CD, Lock Alley Music, 2017). The album's cover shows a calm sea, and such is the Bluz Dawgz's blues and jazz music. Husband wife team Lara Dean Germony (vocals, songwriting) and Gregg Germony (bass) create smooth tracks spiced up with fiery horns and mellifluous vocals. Check out their YouTube channel!

The Lasses & Kathryn Claire „Live at De Parel van Zuilen“ (CD, Own label, 2017). Dutch duo The Lasses are joined on this album by a third lass, American musician Kathryn Claire. All three share a love of harmony singing. The album features a mix of traditional (often Celtic) and original songs, with the dominant harmony singing style being Americana. Watch "Craigie Hill" @ YouTube!

Lathouwers & Barbier "No Time For Rock'N'Roll" (CD, Own label, 2016). Belgian singer-songwriter-guitarist duo Walter Lathouwers and Bart Barbier started writing music together in 2015, piqued by a common interest in blues, folk, pop and rock music of the 1970s. Their debut album "No Time For Rock'N'Roll" features 11 original Americana songs and a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'". Watch "Silence" @ YouTube!

Katey Laurel "Upstairs Downstairs 10 Year Anniversary Retrospective - The Songs That Didn't Make the Album" (Download, 2018). To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the release date of Katey Laurel's first studio record "Upstairs Downstairs" in 2008, the Denver-based folk-pop singer Katey Laurel went back to her archives from that time period and listened through all the songs she wrote from 2005-2008 that didn't make the cut. Check out the Piano Songs and the Guitar Songs! While Katey is not an active performing artist at present, she always wants to be a writer and hopefully a recording artist. Watch out for her new album "Daydream" to be released later in 2018!

Laurie Jane & The 45's "Midnight Jubilee" (CD, Down in the Alley Records, 2017). Louisville/Kentucky was founded in 1778 and is named after King Louis XVI of France, making the river port one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachians. Anything connected with this history forms the background to Laurie Jane Jessup's timeless art, knit together into her new contemporary R&B album "Midnight Jubilee". Watch the Ruth Brown classic "Wild Wild Young Men" from the "Midnight Jubilee" release party @ YouTube!

Marshall Lawrence "Feeling Fine" (CD, Own label, 2018). "I did the rock thing, I did the punk thing, I did the funk thing, I did the blues -- and for me this album is a progression to coming back home," Canadian singer-guitarist Marshall Lawrence says. Marshall’s fifth release "Feeling Fine" is a return
 to rock and blues music reminiscent of the late 70s and 80s British and American rock scenes. Watch Lawrence talk about the album's rocking track "Dancing With a Hurricane" @ YouTube!

Lenore "Lenore" (CD, Own label, 2017). Portland/Oregon artists Rebecca Marie Miller and Joy Pearson met at a Pokey Lafarge show and immediately everything fell into place. Only days later these two like-minded women started collaborating as songwriters and singers. Witch Folk, they call Lenore's sanguine and catchy folk music, underpinned by Edward Cameron's nylon string guitar and Jessie Detwiller's cello. Watch "Heavy Eyes" @ YouTube!

Vivian Leva "Time Is Everything" (CD, Free Dirt Records, 2018). Vivian Leva grew up steeped in the Appalachian old-time and country music of her home in Lexington, Virginia. On her recording debut, she follows in the footsteps of songwriters such as Gillian Welch or Sarah Jarosz moving between classic ballads and contemporary Americana. Watch Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno perform "Time Is Everything" at Forest Hills Cemetary in Jamaica Plain, MA @ YouTube!

Likho Duo "Blues and the World Beyond" (CD, Own label, 2017). The Likho Duo has been formed in 2016 by Italian guitar and harmonica player Noé Socha and double bass player Cliff Schmitt in New York City. They are an acoustic group with a repertoire of blues standards, original music and, for good measure, traditional Italian ballads. The duo is named after a one-eyed monster from Slavic mythology (Russian: Лихо, Belarusian: лі́ха, Polish: licho), because Cliff has a vision issue in one eye and Noé has extremely limited vision and can only see shapes and colors. Watch the Likho Duo performing 'Spoonful' from their debut album "Blues And The World Beyond" @ YouTube!

Hamilton Loomis "Basics" (CD, Ham-Bone Records, 2017). Blues rocker Hamilton Loomis goes back to basics -- straight lyrics, simple tunes, primal grooves, and the elementary sound of guitar, bass and drums. The blues at its most poignant and personal. “I wanted this record to be more stripped-down. Even the CD jacket is black and white and pretty basic itself," Loomis says. Watch Hamilton Loomis onstage Crossroads Café, Antwerp, before taking a table top walkabout @ YouTube!

Alex Lopez "Slowdown" (CD, MarEmil Records, 2017); Alex Lopez "Is it a Lie" (CD, Own label, 2015). Cleveland/Ohio born bluesman and singer-songwriter Alex Lopez had been inspired to take up the guitar by The Beatles and British blues rock bands. After having raised a family, he continues his original brand of intoxicating blues music from his new home base in Tampa Bay/Florida. Watch the slow blues rocker "Stolen" @ YouTube!

Anxo Lorenzo "Live on BBC ALBA" (Video, 2018). Galician piper Anxo Lorenzo[54] is preparing his 4th studio album “Vórtice” (vortex) with his particular free-style on a quest for new sounds. Meanwhile, watch Anxo Lorenzo and Xosé Liz live on BBC ALBA Piping Live! @ YouTube!

Mia Rose Lynne "follow me moon" (CD, Own label, 2015). Mia Rose Lynne is a California native, who has joined the progressive songwriters working out of Nashville these days. Her second album features eleven groovy folk/bluegrass songs and bare acoustic ballads. Watch the title track "Follow Me Moon" from the album release concert at Trek Winery in Novato, CA @ YouTube!

Janiva Magness "Love Is An Army" (CD, Blue Elan Records, 2018). Janiva Magness[60] is known for playing her music with completely desperate, absolute intensity. On her 14th album, "Love Is An Army," she is updating her trademark R&B and soul with more than a slight touch of country music. Featuring pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young (Poco), bluegrass banjoist Courtney Hartman (Della Rae) and others besides Delbert McClinton and Charlie Musselwhite. Watch "Love Is An Army" at The Wonderbar @ YouTube!

Jitka Malczyk & Vojtech Jindra “Neofolk (CD, Keltskahudba, 2016). This Czech duo is very obviously in love with Celtic music, and they are really good at it too. Their fiddle/guitar interplay is hot - full of spirit and energy. The music is all composed by the duo, but is steeped in Celtic traditions while having a unique take on this style and not shying away from other influences, with lots of new ideas. Highly entertaining and energising music which should make waves internationally too.

Jono Manson "Angels on the Other Side" (CD, Con Artisti, 2014); Jono Manson "The Slight Variations" (CD, Con Artisti, 2016). Singer-songwriter Jono Manson was born into a creative family (e.g. his cousins are directors Joel and Ethan Coen). He already began playing professionally in New York City bars in his early teens. In 1998, an Italian label released the first of half a dozen albums. Jono has toured Europe ever since, making Italy his temporary home base. By now, he's pouring out eclectic and exceptional music from the mountains of New Mexico. Watch "Wildflower" @ YouTube!

Andrea Marr "Natural" (CD, Own label, 2017). Andrea Marr’s soul music album has been seven years in the making, unveiling her love for James Brown and Etta James. The Australia-based Sri-Lanka girl and The Funky Hitmen deliver a rich and ripe melange of soul, funk and blues music. Check out her video for "Force of Nature" @ YouTube!

Jeffrey Martin "One Go Around" (CD, Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017). These songs have been written as Portland songwriter Jeffrey Martin balanced full-time work as a high-school creative writing teacher with a demanding musical touring schedule. Since then he has quit this day job, but the stories of working-class America using the greats of literature as inspiration have stayed with him. Watch "What We're Marching Toward," lamenting the callous gamesmanship of American politics, @ YouTube!

The McKee Brothers "Moon Over Montgomery" (CD, Own label, 2017). The Moon brightly shines Over Montgomery (the title track paying tribute to the 1965 civil rights march), the second release by brothers Denis (guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals) and Ralph McKee (bass, lap steel guitar, vocals). A sublime cohort of musical friends (just pointing out horn player Lee Thornburg of Joe Bonamassa's band) showcase some powerful and passionate tracks encompassing gospel, soul and funk music. Watch a rehearsal video shoot of "One of Us Gots Ta Go" @ YouTube!

Sarah McQuaid "If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous" (CD, Shovel And A Spade Records, 2018). The fifth album from UK-based singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid is musing on mortality, including a cover of Jeff Wayne’s (of War of the Worlds musical fame) “Forever Autumn” which leads into the medieval chant “Dies Irae”. Sarah is playing her trademark DADGAD-tuned guitar (Sarah was presented in 2017 with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ards International Guitar Festival in Newtownards, Northern Ireland in recognition of her innovative use of the DADGAD tuning and her authorship of The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book), electric guitar, piano and a battery of unorthodox percussion instruments such as wine bottle and oven grill. The album has been launched with a concert in Sarah’s adopted home town of Penzance, followed by tours in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. Watch the documentary video about the making of "If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous" @ @ YouTube!

Paul Messinger "America 2.0 - Assorted Tales and New Myth" (CD, Own label, 2017); "Love Will Find You - 9 Degrees Of Relationship" (CD, Own label, 2018). American singer/songwriter/harmonica player Paul Messinger is increasingly powerful with telling stories of the people around him. "America 2.0" is a remarkable song cycle about the idea of that place, that has attracted many men and women and their hopes and dreams, in the Trump era. Paul has asked his friends to share their images and videos; watch Josh Hardt's film-rendering @ YouTube! The songs of his subsequent album then, "Love Will Find You," are embracing the different aspects of a love relationship. Listen to trust, delusion, perseverance, faith, regret, courage, betrayal, patience & satisfaction @ Paul's YouTube Playlist!

Midnight Skyracer "Fire" (CD, Own label, 2018). With their brandnew debut album, Midnight Skyracer will tour the European continent in May for the very first time. Midnight Skyracer are an all-female Anglo-Irish bluegrass quintet (ft. twins Laura and Charlotte Carrivick) playing hard-driving traditional and original songs. Watch the Mountain Heart cover "I'm Just Here To Ride the Train" @ YouTube!

Frank Migliorelli and The Dirt Nappers "Bass, Drums, Guitars and Organs" (CD, Rave On, 2017). Frank Migliorelli has written music for advertising, TV, video games and even a Chippendales video. He performs solo or with The Dirt Nappers, creating easy-to-listen-to and easy-to-remember pop music rooted deep in folk, rock’n’roll and soul. Watch "Rafferty Train", an homage and nod to the late great Gerry Rafferty, @ YouTube!

Neila Dar "Son of the Stars" (CD, Own label, 2017). Based in California, Neila Dar is an an eclectic ensemble of musicians from Italy, Colombia and the US, led by jazz singer Jasmine Tommaso and guitarist Lorenzo Grassi. "Son of the Stars" is a collection of tunes that were inspired by the Pacific Ocean, urban Los Angeles and the desert wilderness. Watch the "Son of the Stars" official music video @ YouTube!

Simone Nobili "By the River" (CD, Felmay, 2017). "By the River" is the debut solo album by Italian guitarist and composer Simone Nobili, spearheading a guitar, bass and drums trio. Listen to Simone @ YouTube! We relish the two tracks featuring vibraphone player Daniele Di Gregorio, in memoriam the great jazz liaison between Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett in 1970.

Damien O'Kane "Avenging & Bright" (CD, Pure Records, 2017). Yorkshire-based Ulsterman singer-songwriter Damien O’Kane’s third solo album again is extraordinary, illuminating, maybe taken traditional Irish songs to the extreme. The title track is an original tune to the words of Irish national bard Thomas Moore, decidedly set into a big, spacy soundscape. Watch "Poor Stranger" @ YouTube! Damien will be touring the UK with fellow banjo player Ron Block (Alison Krauss Band) in July/August!

Finn Olafsson "Acoustic Guitar 3" (CD, Olafssongs, 2018). Released on his 65th birthday, "Acoustic Guitar 3" completes Finn Olafsson's[65] trilogy of acoustic guitar solo compositions. These are sanguine melodies written during the illness of his daughter. As hitherto, "Acoustic Guitar 3" is also available as sheet music and tablature.

Bett Padgett "At the End of the Day" (CD, Ceilidhe's Music, 2017). Bett Padgett's eighth studio album is characterized by the feel of relaxation and relief at the end of the day, when the work is done and we enjoy a nightcap and some beautiful music. Watch "The Christmas Cookie Cutters" video, one out of fourteen songs dealing with the theme of family and friendship, @ YouTube!

Davide Pannozzo "Unconditional Love" (CD, Own label, 2017). Blues guitarist Davide Pannozzo recently reached the semifinals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where he represented Mojo Station, Italy's Blues Foundation-affiliated society. Critics have described him as contemporary blues guitarist to look out for, with a style hinting at Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Jimi Hendrix. See the video for "Living, Loving and Giving," which showcases Pannozzo's stylistic range through a melting pot of soul, rock, blues and even a splash of reggae, @ YouTube!

Jim Pearce "A Piano Story" (CD, Oak Avenue Publishing, 2018). Jim “Mr. Melodic” Pearce (not to be confused with ambient-electric-guitarist Jeff Pearce) has composed music for more than 300 TV shows including Saturday Night Live and The Mentalist. "A Piano Story" is reflective of his soundtrack career because its instrumental tunes are short and simple, easy-going and easy-to-listen-to embracing the atmosphere of new age and neo-classical music.

Brett Perkins & The Pawn Shop Preachers "Put A Fork In Me, I'm Done" (CD, Works Of Heart, 2017). Copenhagen based Pawnshop Preachers, featuring Californian Brett Perkins, has entertained audiences all over the North since the late 1990s. Their latest album invites you to a joyous and fancy-free trip across the ocean. Watch Brett Perkins & The Pawnshop Preachers live from the 2014 Copenhagen Songwriters Festival @ YouTube!

Mehmet Polat "Ageless Garden" (CD, Aftab Records, 2018). "Music has been the best language with which to express my inner world for more than 30 years. And for the last 20 years, UD has been the main instrument on this journey. I composed these ten compositions during different phases of my life as a migrant musician. And I play them on this album through the lens of my vision of today." (Mehmet Polat) Watch "Ageless Garden" from the CD presentation concert @ YouTube!

Popa Chubby "Two Dogs" (CD, Own label, 2017). New York vocalist-guitarist T Horowitz a.k.a. Popa Chubby plays some Dirty Old Blues, raising concern: “We have become polarized as a race. There is a battle inside each of us. Each day we rise and must choose our path calling upon each other and our own spirits for strength and courage. The dog we feed is the one that rules, the dog we starve dies of neglect. It is up to each of us to use our spirit to feed the dog that will enable all of us to thrive.” You can watch Popa talk about the variety of rock and soul songs (“the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson”) he recorded for "Two Dogs" @ YouTube!

John Prine "The Tree of Forgivness" (CD, Oh Boy Records, 2018), "Live in Asheville ‘86" (Download, 2018). Legendary country singer/songwriter John Prine[61] will release his highly anticipated new album in April 13th, Prine’s first featuring new material in over 13 years. Check out "Summer's End" lyric video @ YouTube! To celebrate the release, Oh Boy Records is remembering a WBCN-FM broadcast from Asheville, North Carolina. Download "Live in Asheville ‘86" @ NoiseTrade!

The Rex Granite Band "Spirit Matter Truth Lies" (CD, Own label, 2017). Winners of the 2017 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (Best Blues) and representing Nebraska at The International Blues Challenge in January 2018, blues/gospel slide guitarist Rex Granite and singer Saran Benck are fronting a tight and powerful blues outfit. Have a look at the Rex Granite Band at the Tri-State BBQ Festival in Denison Iowa 2016 @ YouTube!

Ilya Portnov "Strong Brew" (CD, Own label, 2017). Moscow born harmonica player Ilya Portnov's debut solo album "Strong Brew" contains nine instrumental tunes, including different styles such as tango, ragtime, early jazz, surf-rock, and even a popular Russian tune from the 1940’s, "In A Town Garden." Check out the promo video @ YouTube!

Johnny Rawls "Waiting for the Train" (CD, Catfood Records, 2017). Born in southern Mississippi, soul-blues-singer-guitarist Johnny Rawls was backing stars such as Z.Z. Hill, Little Johnny Taylor and Joe Tex when they toured his area while still in high school. By the mid 1980's, he was touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording. In 2014, he was voted Living Blues magazine's Male Blues Artist of the Year. "Waiting For The Train" features six originals, with Johnny adding his stamp on songs from Wilson Pickett and Bob Dylan. Watch Johnny Rawls crooning at the Blues Heritage Stage at Oakland's 2013 Art & Soul fest @ YouTube!

Hayley Reardon "Forgiveness" (Video, 2017). In June 2017, Boston-based folk-pop singer/songwriter Hayley Reardon did embark on a two week tour of intimate concerts in unique spaces all over the UK. Watch "Forgiveness" from the rafters of Black Pear Barn @ YouTube!

The Reverend Shawn Amos "Breaks It Down" (CD, Put Together Music, 2018). Asked about describing his 3rd album and what he means by calling it a collection of “21st century freedom songs”, The Reverend Shawn Amos said it “was born while on tour through the American south during the spring of 2017. Driving through Tennessee and Alabama, I was reminded of my color, my otherness. I was drawn to how we pull ourselves apart while needing each other so badly. I revisited the freedom songs of The Staples Singers while visiting the ghosts of Birmingham and Memphis. Time stands still and life marches on.” Watch the "2017" lyric video inspired by the gospel-born protest songs of the 1960s American civil-rights movement @ YouTube: “Open up our hearts and brains/Think about what our children’s eyes have seen/In the year 2017.”

Jarmo Romppanen "Nordic Mandolin" (CD, Zebo Records, 2017). Finnish mandolin player Jarmo Romppanen (Kihaus Folk Pelimannit)[57] has released his third solo album featuring contemporary reconstructions of traditional and original waltzes, mazurkas and menuetts: crisp, coltish & captivating! Watch Jarmo Romppanen's composition "Långt borta" (Far Away) @ YouTube!

Tokyo Rosenthal "This Minstrel Life" (CD, Rock and Sock Records, 2017). Navigating the music business these days is very difficult and I feel we've come full circle from the original days of traveling minstrels. Says Tokyo Rosenthal.[51] I see myself, and my colleagues, mirroring the way things were back in the 1800's. In other words, we go from gig to gig, often getting room and board, selling our wares, and of course performing our original tunes. "This Minstrel Life" contains four live recordings from various locations with a group of different touring partners, echoing the album's theme about the lives of touring musicians. Watch "The Immigrant Revisited," an updated version of the previously released "The Immigrant" in light of the present climate regarding immigration @ YouTube!

David Rovics "Ballad of a Wobbly" (Digital CD, 2017). David Rovics's[32] new 14-track album, "Ballad of a Wobbly," is free to stream @ BandCamp; if he gets enough donations he hopes to put it out on vinyl. The title track traces the story of a Scottish migrant to the US in the early twentieth century, who becomes a laborer and joins the militant Industrial Workers of the World union, the Wobblies.
David has 27+ gigs confirmed for his upcoming tour of Europe that starts in April 2018.

Buffy Sainte-Marie "Medicine Songs" (CD, True North Records, 2017). Best known for writing “Universal Soldier,” Buffy Sainte-Marie[59] returns with a new album: “This is a collection of front line songs about unity and resistance. These are songs I’ve been writing for over fifty years, and what troubles people today are still the same damn issues from 30-40-50 years ago: war, oppression, inequity, violence, rankism of all kinds, the pecking order, bullying, racketeering and systemic greed. I’ve found that a song can be more effective than a 400-page textbook. It’s immediate and replicable, portable and efficient, easy to understand – and sometimes you can dance to it. Effective songs are shared, person-to-person, by artists and friends, as opposed to news stories that are marketed by the fellas who may own the town, the media, the company store and the mine. I hope you use these songs, share them, and that they inspire change and your own voice. I really want this collection of songs to be like medicine, to be of some help or encouragement, to maybe do some good.”

Doug Schmude "Ghosts of the Main Drag" (CD, Lost Hubcap Records, 2017). Currently based in southern California, singer-songwriter Doug Schmude combines folk and country music with blues and grunge rock, relating colorful stories mostly driven along by electric guitars. Watch Doug Schmude live at the Beach Hut Deli in Huntington Beach, CA, performing the title track @ YouTube!

Searson presents "Homegrown" (EP, Own label, 2017). Colleen and Erin Searson from the Ottawa Valley, Ontario, deliver a blend of high energy fiddling and intricate step dancing. They are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada by reintroducing Canadian songwriters such as Robbie Robertson, Bryan Adams and Neil Young: »We are so proud to be Canadian, and we carry that with us wherever we go. It was important to us to pay tribute this year by covering some of the artists and songwriters who have inspired us the most throughout our career so far.«

Trevor Sewell "Calling Nashville" (CD, Own label, 2017). After spending many years as a session musician, British blues guitarist Trevor Sewell is trying to smash down the barriers between contemporary blues and Americana music. Featuring a duet with Janis Ian on vocals and piano (YouTube). European live dates are forthcoming!

Shadowfields "Tapestry of Shadows" (CD, HM-Music, 2017). Folk rock songwriters and vocalists Heather Humphrey and Tom McKeown met in their hometown of Schaumburg/Illinois in 2006. After writing successful songs for others, they wanted to find their own musical voice. Their fifth album eventually became truly a band album, featuring bassist Tony Meadors, violinist Gary Jacklin and drummer Jim Livas. Check out "The Making of Tapestry of Shadows" @ YouTube!

Andrew Sheppard "Steady Your Aim" (CD, Wood River, 2018). Idaho-born singer-songwriter Andrew Sheppard headed around the US collecting stories for what he deemed his “record-writing road trip”. After 8,000 miles of driving, he came up with a cinematic narrative richly layered with pedal steel guitar, cello, piano and organ. Watch "Steady Your Aim" (Acoustic) about the trials and tribulations of what being a musician on the road means @ YouTube!

Howard Simon "Visitors" (CD, Own label, 2016). Howard Simon is a San Francisco based singer-songwriter performing his original fingerstyle and flat-picked guitar folk and blues songs. His second album "Visitors" offers miscellaneous views on love and family and morality and mortality, composed over a time period from Howard's 20's to his 50's: If there is a common thread to my songs, it is the people we love, the desire to do right, and the hope and fear, the peace and the struggle that constitute life bring wonder in addition to its joy and sadness, and sometimes loss. Listen to "Visitors" @

Laura Smyth & Ted Kemp "The Poacher’s Fate" (CD, Broken Token Records, 2017). Traditional English songs are the focus of this duo of singers and multi-instrumentalists. Most of the songs are lesser known and from their native regions of East Anglia and the North West, yet there is also a very tame version of the Irish hit “Wild Rover”, and they once also foray into songwriting - with great results. While they play a range of instruments between them, the songs are fully focussed on Laura and Ted’s voices, often a Capella with effective harmonies.

Solju "Odda aigodat/Heargevuoddji" (EP, Bafe's Factory, 2018). On Sami National Day, 6th of February, Bafe's Factory released a digital EP by yoik duo Ulla Pirttijärvi and her daughter Hildá Länsman (a.k.a. Solju), ”Odda aigodat” (New Era) & "Heargevuoddji" (Reindeer Driver). The new album will be released on 25th April 2018; review is forthcoming.

Greg Sover "Jubilee" (CD, Grounded Soul, 2018). In his own words, the seven tracks of Philadelphia blues rocker Greg Sover's sophomore album, "Jubilee," are about heartbreak and overcoming heartbreak. Put into operation by Deb Callahan's tight backing band. Watch Greg Sover performing "Jubilee" at Steel City @ YouTube!

Gus Spenos "It's Lovin' I Guarantee" (CD, Own label, 2018). Two years ago, the Indianapolis-based sax player and blues singer's debut impressed the critics. Gus Spenos is back Jumping, Swinging, Boogieing, Grooving & Loving, that means brass-charged Rhythm&Blues with more than just a breeze of jazz.

Val Starr & The Blues Rocket "I Always Turn The Blues On" (CD, Sandwich Factory Records, 2017). "I found the blues and with it I discovered my voice," says Sacramento based singer/songwriter Val Starr. "I had been singing covers for so long, imitating other singers, I forgot what my own voice sounded like. I may not have the 'typical female blues whiskey voice’, but I know that I was always meant to sing and play the blues." Her fourth album of original material features both blues shuffles and ballads. Listen to "I Always Turn The Blues On" @ YouTube!

Stormy Mondays "Southwind" (Video, 2018). On February 10th, Spanish roots band Stormy Mondays lived an unforgettable night in Madrid, where they packed the Café Berlín for the live premiere of “Suitcase Full Of Dreams”.[64] See pictures of the show @, watch "Southwind" @ YouTube!

Billy Strings "Turmoil & Tinfoil" (CD, Apostol Recording Company, 2017). Bluegrass prodigy Billy Strings has lived hard, growing up in the abandoned rural communities of America, and he even plays harder, picking his guitar so intensely that he's known to break multiple strings per song. His debut album "Turmoil & Tinfoil" with it's political undertones and psychedelic overtones made #3 on the Billboard charts. Watch the title track live at Music City Roots @ YouTube! Download last year’s EP release with the bonus track “I’m Troubled”, an outtake from "Turmoil & Tinfoil" @ NoiseTrade!

Russell Suereth "Spiritual Odyssey" (CD, Haven Tone Records, 2017). Russell Suereth's fourth new age pop recording is the first featuring lyrics and singing, thus being more forthright than his previous instrumental picture painting. Telling song titles: Break the Chains, ... Have a listen @!

Tom Teasley & Seth Kibel "Tiny Planet" (CD, Own label, 2018). It's a Tiny Planet, but I wouldn't want to clean it... Woodwind wizard Seth Kibel has another album yet, an improvisatory world music project with percussionist Tom Teasley. You can preview and purchase it @ and watch a preview @ YouTube!
Wait, there's more: an interview about Seth's "Snark & Despair" album[64] @ the "Something Came From Baltimore" Podcast, and the videos of "Unfriend", "White Guilt" and "240 Years" (featuring Flo Anito & Black Betty).

Jack Tempchin "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" (CD, Blue Élan Records, 2017). Singer-songwriter Jack Tempchin[61] is best known for having written some of the best-known hits of The Eagles, such as the iconic "Peaceful Easy Feeling." His new solo album features Jack's own versions of ten of his greatest compositions. See the video for "Soul Searchin'" featuring Grammy-nominated blues vocalist Janiva Magness @ YouTube!

Teres Aoutes String Band "Lo rock’n roll de la mountagna" (CD, Own label, 2017). The Teres Aoutes String Band brings the traditional rock'n'roll music of the western Italian Alps from the highlands down into the lowlands. Featuring Mario Poletti (mandolin player for Lou Dalfin), Fabrizio Carletto (bass), Diana Imbrea (violin) and Oreste Garello (guitar, banjo, lap steel). Please have a look @ "Rondeu Du Dahu"!

Thunderbolt & Lightfoot "Songs for Mixed Company" (CD, Vesper Music, 2017). The sophomore release from Michigan duo Sarah Fuerst and Phil Barry a.k.a. Thunderbolt & Lightfoot maintains their close harmony vocal approach, while expanding their sound to include strings, keyboard, electric guitar, accordion and mellotron. Watch "Dearly Beloved" live at The Rootead @ YouTube!

Anna Tivel "Small Believer" (CD, Fluff & Gravy Records, 2017). The best songs don’t need to be complex, they just need to mean something to someone. Unobtrusive fiddle, accordion and electric guitar never overshadow Portland songwriter Anna Tivel's touching lyrics. Watch the first single "Illinois" @ YouTube: "This one is for a good friend who moved a long way to be with someone who ended up really breaking her spirit. It’s about the hope of making a new life, the promise of real love, and the terrible let down and destruction of abuse. I wrote it imagining her driving back home, hoping so hard that she would, but knowing how blindingly difficult it is to leave, how much shame and hurt and hope and fear is involved."

Marta Töpferova & Milokraj "Tento svět" (CD, Moravia Publishing, 2017). Marta Töpferová's ninth album "Tento svět" (This World) features nine original songs as well as lyrics by Czech poets Věra Provazníková, Jan Zahradníček and Antonín Sova, drawing inspiration from Slavic folk music as well as flamenco, Latin America and the urban music scene of New York City. Check it out @ CD Baby!

Boubacar Traoré "Dounia Tabolo" (CD, Lusafrica Records, 2017). Boubacar Traoré is the last Malian bluesman of his generation, who became the first star of independence at the start of the 1960s. After an erratic career with long periods of silence, he returned several years ago to the public eye in the company of harmonica player Vincent Bucher.[53] On his new album, Traoré decided to continue with this internationalization, bringing in musicians from the Southern States of the USA: Cedric Watson (violin, washboard), Corey Harris (blues guitar), Leyla McCalla[65] (cello, vocals). Watch the video teaser @ YouTube!

Tre Martelli "40 gir 1977-2017" (CD, Felmay, 2017). Tre Martelli are renowned as leading exponents of the music of the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, playing songs and music on traditional instruments, including bagpipes, the piffero (an oboe), guitars, clarinets and more. Presented as a 40th birthday present to themselves, the subtitle of this albums says it all: 40 years of unreleased and rare music, often from live recordings.

Molly Tuttle "Rise" (EP, Compass Records, 2017). Molly Tuttle is the first woman in the 27 year history of the International Bluegrasss Music Association (IBMA) Awards to be nominated and win Guitar Player of the Year. (Having also been nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.) Her debut seven-song EP is just a glimpse of her songwriting and flat-picking skills, revealing a female Doc Watson on ecstasy. Watch the "Save This Heart" video @ YouTube! Molly is currently working on a full length follow up album set to be released later in 2018.

Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards "Lads From The Countryside" (Video, 2018). Italian folk/rock band Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards,[55] recently celebrating 10 years of activity, are ready to kickstart a new tour across Europe, including shows in Germany, France, Switzerland, Netherlands and more. Their new video, filmed in the countryside of Novara and Varese, shows the places where the band belongs and it pays homage to the Italian cinematography from the 1980s. Watch “Lads From The Countryside” from the latest album “Handmade!” @ YouTube!

Michael Veitch "Wake Up Call" (EP, Burt Street Music, 2017). Michael Veitch's[54] latest offering is a five-track EP, covering Veteran’s Day to Happy Fourth of July. Pristine storytelling and social commentary. Check out Michael Veitch performing "Veteran's Day" @ YouTube!

Frank Viele "What’s His Name?" (CD, HMG Recordings, 2018), "Frank Viele Sampler" (Download, 2018). What’s His Name? The name's Frank, Frank Viele. The roots/blues singer-songwriter-guitarist has been something of a regional secret throughout New England, though Howl Magazine predicted that his music “will rattle your bones and penetrate to the core.” In anticipation of his 2018 release, NoiseTrade offers a sneak-peek collection of songs new, not-so-new, and a little borrowed. Check out his new song "Honey" live from Horizon Studios and "Broken Love Song" from his last album ft. Joe Bonamassa! Download the "Frank Viele Sampler" @ NoiseTrade!

Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer "The Whole Charade" (CD, Crazy Moose Records, 2018). Anglo-German folk and singer-songwriter duo Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer have just released their third album, "The Whole Charade," a lovely burlesque of traditional British/Anglo-American and original ballads, rendered with a subtle groove and great passion for the pure stuff. Watch "The Whole Charade" performed by Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer live at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre @ YouTube!

Jack Wargo "Keepin' it Real" (CD, Own label, 2017). "The power of the blues is all about keepin' it real," Jack Wargo a.k.a. Guitar Jack says. He has toured with artists such as Screamin' Jay Hawkins and recorded with Ray Charles. Wargo's new album is a blend of R&B, soul and blues featuring 11 new songs and a cover of Woody Guthrie's "Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad." Watch Guitar Jack Wargo @ YouTube!

Ira Wolf "The Closest Thing To Home" (CD, Own label, 2017). The life of a wandering minstrel may sound romantic, but the truth lies somewhere between adrenaline-fueled exhilaration and endless stretches of boredom and loneliness. Indie folk singer-songwriter Ira Wolf dives headfirst into these themes with her folk/country/bluegrass-laden pieces. Watch the music video for 'Ruby' @ YouTube, download a sneak peak @ NoiseTrade!

Wood & Wire "North of Despair" (CD, Blue Corn Music, 2018). The melding of the Texas songwriter tradition about hard people in hard times with high-octane bluegrass instrumentation makes for Austin-based Wood & Wire's signature sound. On "North of Despair" they bring the vigor of their live shows to the studio once again. Watch the official music video for "Just Don't Make 'Em" @ YouTube!

WoWaKin "Kraj za miastem" (CD, BABA Studio, 2017). Founded in 2016, the Polish trio WoWaKin (Paula Kinaszewska, Bartlomiej Wozniak and Mateusz Wachowiak) received enthusiastic reactions at Womex 2017 in Katowice. Their debut album "Kraj za miastem" (Beyond the Edge of the City) brings together the varied backgrounds in classical, jazz and contemporary music to explore village music from the Mazowsze region (including the capital Warsaw). Watch the album release concert & live at Womex!

Sebastián Caldas Zeballos "Nowruz" (CD, Daphne Records, 2015). The acoustic guitarist Sebastián Caldas Zeballos, born in Uruguay in 1977, moved to Sweden at the age of 2, has always been interested in working across genres and barriers. His ”Nowruz” album has been an innovative reworking of Astor Piazzolla & Co, with the title piece written for the Nowruz Festival in Gothenburg 2013. The first part has been inspired by heavy metal music, Piazzolla in the middle, the 3rd part being slow and free.

61 Ghosts " the edge" (EP, Bluzpik Media Group, 2017). Electric guitarist Joe Mazzari and drummer Dixie Deadwood a.k.a. 61 Ghosts deliver a 6-track batch of “gritty and primal rock 'n' roll.” Watch the "Heartbeat" official music video @ YouTube!

Various Artists

"Awakening Beyond" (CD, Igroove Ag (Soulfood), 2017). Israeli singer-songwriter Mor Karbasi[46] has teamed up with Tina Turner, Regula Curti, Ani Choying, Dima Orsho and Sawani Shende Sathaye. "Awakening Beyond" is featuring lyrics and prayers from 6 different cultures and spiritual tradtions: "It has been an amazing experience working with these great inspiring people and artists. Each one tells her story in her own voice and together we go beyond all that separates us one from another and we connect. Such is the power of music." Learn more @! Check out the "Awakening Beyond" teaser @ YouTube!

"Pelimanni 8bit" (Video, 2017). Folk music and video game music are poles apart!? Anni Tolvanen and Jimmy Träskelin talk about their Pelimanni game @ Finnish Music Quarterly! "Pelimanni 8bit" is a platformer game for iOS and Android: join young fiddler Friiti as he embarks on a journey to become a Master Pelimanni (a person who has acquired a skill in playing traditional Finnish folk music) and encounters a number of mythological creatures. Check out "Pelimanni 8bit" @ YouTube!

Various Artists "Strings Over the Oslava River" (CD, Indies Scope, 2017). People go to festivals to witness unrepeatable moments. Seckou Keita with his African kora, guitarist Antonio Forcione, Germán López with a small guitar timple, Antonio Toleda with his guitar, mandolin player Martin Krajíček, Slovak double-bass player Juraj Valenčík and violinists Juraj Stieranka and Jitka Šuranská[53] had an amazing concert playing and improvising together on the Folk Holidays (Folkové Prázdniny) above Náměšť nad Oslavou. Check out samples @!

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