The folking music store for album reviews and news

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Welcome to the folking.com music store for album reviews and news….

All the articles below contain direct banner links to the relevant Amazon web page for the featured product  (usually the CD or download for the press release or review).

THE HYDES – Green & Blue (Hyde Music Productions – HYDECD1)

This recently released debut album from Denver sibling duo – Joanna and Iain Hyde – who have mastered the art of Irish music, and entwined it with a dash of Americana and bluegrass, is a fabulous album! They have already won 2 accolades this year – Best New Group 2017 ...
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GARY INNES – Era (own label GH101)

Oh boy, do I like this CD? Yes, I do! Era is only the second ‘solo’ album released by Gary Innes who is part of the award-winning group, Mànran and it has such a variety of material that it grasps you from start to finish. All of the tunes and ...
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TOP FLOOR TAIVERS – A Delicate Game (TFT Records TFTR001)

The first thing I had to do was discover the meaning of taiver. Apparently it means a rag and, by extension, low or abject. Top Floor Taivers is a good name for a band but there is nothing abject or low about Claire Hastings, Gráinne Brady, Heather Downie and Tina ...
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Martha Tilston announces new album and single

Enchanting songstress Martha Tilston has announced details of her new album Nomad released via Squiggly Records on May 12th. Martha’s seventh album to date, Nomad will be preceded by the double A-side single ‘Nomad Blood’/‘Little Arrow’ on April 7 with UK live dates to follow. Nomad stands as Tilston’s most ...
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AMY WADGE AND LUKE JACKSON live at Cambridge Junction

Cambridge City Roots Festival, 7 February 2017 What comes across so strikingly from an evening with Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson is their natural rapport. Both are hugely talented songwriters, singers and musicians with a constant drive to create new music. They work effortlessly well together and although they like ...
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POLICE DOG HOGAN – Wild By The Side Of The Road

Formed in 2009 and currently an eight-piece, Wild By The Side Of The Road is Police Dog Hogan’s fourth album and firmly consolidates their growing reputation for infectiously punchy folk rock shaded with elements of country and bluegrass. Fronted by lyricist James Studholme and with banjo and mandolin provided by ...
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Dreadzone release new album and hit the road

Entering an impressive third decade, Dreadzone, one of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live bands to emerge from the post-rave scene, release a brand new album Dread Times on February 17th 2017. Dread Times is the band’s eighth studio album and the third release on their own Dubwiser label ...
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CARREG LAFAR – Aur (Sain SCD2754)

Carreg Lafar are a five-piece band from Wales and Aur is their fourth album in a career that has spanned 20 years.  From the front cover picture, with its carefully arranged Victoriana it's clear that this is going to be an album of traditional music and a glance at the ...
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THE HUT PEOPLE – Routes (Fellside FECD280)

The Hut People are an English instrumental duo, Sam Pirt and Gary Hammond. Routes is their fourth studio album on the Fellside label. Both are experienced musicians with and the list of artists they have worked with would grace any music festival - it includes Kathryn Tickell, The Dubliners, Sharon ...
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FAIRPORT CONVENTION – 50:50@50 (Matty Grooves MGCD054)

Opportunities for celebration come round with increasing frequency when you’ve been in the business as long as Fairport Convention has. The current line-up has been together for almost twenty years and before that they have a back catalogue so large that they can never hope to play it all. This ...
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The Hut People announce their fourth album

This month The Hut People release their fourth studio album on the Fellside label entitled Routes. Tunes forging pathways and routes underground; across oceans and traversing motorways. Infectious melodies and foot-tapping rhythms packed into containers laden with grooves from South Africa, Quebec and across the globe; North, South, East and ...
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BRENDAN HENDRY & JONNY TOMAN – Living Roots (own label LR001)

Living Roots is a traditional and modern tunes album that sets the scene from the first track – ‘The Boyne Hunt’. Hornpipe and fiddle at its best! I was already hooked! Track two – ‘The Crosses Of Annagh/Cousin Sally Brown’ is a melodic and haunting track to begin with – then ...
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Rock legend Steve Hackett announces new album

Guitar virtuoso and rock legend, Steve Hackett (formerly of Genesis), releases his latest album The Night Siren on 24th March 2017 through InsideOut Music (Sony).  As implied in the title, The Night Siren is a wake-up call… the warning of a siren sounding in this era of strife and division ...
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Rodney Crowell announces new album

Multi-Grammy award winning troubadour Rodney Crowell will release his new album Close Ties on 7th April through New West Records. The ten-song set is his first album in over three years and follows The Traveling Kind, his acclaimed collection of duets with long-time collaborator Emmylou Harris. Co-produced by Jordan Lehning ...
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ELIZA CARTHY & THE WAYWARD BAND – Big Machine (Topic TSCD592P)

From her debut solo album back in 1996, Carthy has never been predictable in her constant determination to both celebrate and reinvent the folk tradition and, while that may not have always endeared her to purists, it has produced a remarkable - and sometimes challenging - back catalogue. Her latest ...
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Carrie Elkin announces new solo album and UK tour dates

The Penny Collector is Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Carrie Elkin’s long-awaited new solo album. After touring extensively as a featured vocalist with the Sam Baker Trio and as a duo performer with her husband Danny Schmidt, this is Elkin’s highly anticipated return to her solo work. Written in a year that ...
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KRIS WOODBIRD – Monsters Of Heart (Mess Productions MESS116)

Known to friends and family as Krister Svensson, Woodbird hails from southern Sweden and is currently based out of Stockholm, arriving at his indie folk singer-songwriter incarnation by way of punk and electronica. His Facebook page talks about him as a mix of Bonnie Prince Billy, Jason Molina and Bon ...
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MIKE GROGAN – Too Many Ghosts (Poacher Records PRCD105 & PRLP106)

Mike Grogan’s musical background spans many genres - rock, punk and indie among them. He became a solo artist in 2011 and released his first album in 2012. Too Many Ghosts is released on 10th February 2017 and will be his third solo release. Mike has written all the songs ...
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ALICE MARRA – Chain Up The Swings (Inner City Sound Records ICS002)

Those of you who are paying attention will have spotted the name and wondered what was going on. Yes, Alice Marra is a Hazey Jane and daughter of the late, totally wonderful Michael Marra and Chain Up The Swings is a tribute to her father featuring twelve of his songs ...
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SIOBHAN MILLER – Strata (Songprint Records SPR003CD)

Scotland is currently blessed with a crop of superb young female singers and Siobhan Miller is right up there in the top section of that list. Although still a young lady, she has been prominent on the folk scene for many years, appearing at clubs, concerts, festivals and regularly on ...
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MÀNRAN – An Dà Là – The Two Days (Mànran Records MAN04)

It is now so easy to create your own CD that most artistes of any calibre have at least one to boast of. Regretfully, this does not always produce a product of a suitable quality worthy of review. As such, I was delighted to receive An Dà Là the latest ...
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Keston Cobblers Club – new album and tour

This spring Keston Cobblers Club return with their brand new album, Almost Home, the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2015 album,Wildfire. While continuing to showcase huge hooks, intricate melodies and the kind of honest, accessible lyrics that have already won them an army of loyal fans - Almost Home ...
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Son Volt announce their new album, Notes Of Blue

Nashville, TN – Seminal band Son Volt has announced the February 17 release of their new album, Notes Of Blue (Thirty Tigers). Led by the songwriting and vocals of Jay Farrar, Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt.country movement of the 1990’s ...
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RAYNA GELLERT – Workin’s Too Hard (Storysound 161-019)

Fiddle player with Uncle Earl, Gellert follows up her 2013 solo debut with the seven track Workin’s Too Hard, which, at under 25 minutes, may be a little on the sort side but does further underscore her development as a songwriter in the American folk tradition as well as providing ...
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JUDE JOHNSTONE – A Woman’s Work (BoJack BJR2221960-2)

Although A Woman’s Work is her seventh album, there’s a very good chance you’ve never heard of the piano-playing New England singer-songwriter. It is, however, very likely you’ll have heard one of her songs. She’s and had her songs covered by such superstar names as Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha ...
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RED TAIL RING – Fall Away Blues (Earthwork Music EW8504)

So you’ve seen the title, Fall Away Blues, and noted that Red Tail Ring are a guitar/fiddle/banjo duo so you know what their album sounds like, right? I thought that, too, but we were both wrong. Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo are from Michigan but their love of old-time music ...
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Rayna Gellert releases a new mini album

If Rayna Gellert seems a preternaturally gifted songwriter, it’s because she’s seen farther into the old songs than most. Growing up in a musical family, Gellert turned to Appalachian old-time music at a young age, becoming a prodigious fiddler and leading a new revival of American stringband music through her work with ...
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JOHN RENBOURN & WIZZ JONES – Joint Control (Riverboat Records TUGCD1095)

This CD review is something of a special case, in that it actually comes from my own collection, and wasn't bought specifically to review (and has been available since September 2016). However, it includes the last recorded work of John Renbourn, in a rare recorded collaboration with the almost equally ...
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SON OF THE VELVET RAT – Dorado (Fluff and Gravy FnG037/Mint 400)

Dorado is released on February 17th, the sixth album of husband and wife duo Georg Altzeibler and his wife Heiki Binder who left Austria to make their home in Joshua Tree, California in 2013. They had an impressive career with five albums to their credit and the description "best Austrian ...
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Chris Murphy announces new album of original fiddle music

Have you ever had the feeling that a perfect moment could only be made more so if it had a soundtrack? From misty strolls down forgotten trails, to laughter-filled pubs bursting with dance and joy, to that moment when you look at someone and realize for the first time that ...
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SOPHIE RAMSAY – The Seas Between Us (own label SRAM003)

The collection of Scots and Gaelic songs that form The Seas Between Us are largely taken from Burns (either by attribution or orgin), together with Hector Macneil’s ‘My Love’s In Germanie’ and a handful of traditional airs. From the opener, ’Ae Fond Kiss’, we are on well-trodden and familiar ground ...
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Siobhan Miller announces her second solo abum

Siobhan Miller releases her hotly-anticipated second solo album, Strata, on February 24th, 2017. Following her well-received 2014 debut, Flight of Time, Strata consists of eleven songs, from a variety of sources, that Miller grew up listening to and performing in her youth. All newly arranged and now recorded by her ...
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The Amazing Devil release debut album

They met aboard a boat bound for strange new worlds and sang each other songs of blashy storms and sinking ships, following the release of their debut single ‘King’, and their astonishing debut album Love Run, this new London-based band are rapidly gaining a cult following with their raucously broken, ...
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PIPPA REID-FOSTER – Driftwood Harp (own label PRF2016CD)

There’s a meditative quality to the sound of the harp, something at once hypnotic and calming. It can be a pleasure to put on the Driftwood Harp CD and simply allow the sounds to wash dreamily away, as a soothing backdrop. But, delightful as that idea is, it would be ...
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RAB NOAKES – The Treatment Tapes EP (Neon Records NEONCD018)

I haven't heard much of singer/songwriter Rab Noakes since the early 1970s, when he was associated with Lindisfarne, Gerry Rafferty and others, as well as working as a highly-rated soloist. So I jumped at the chance of reviewing The Treatment Tapes EP – due for release on January 20th 2017 ...
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Police Dog Hogan – new album and tour

Police Dog Hogan release their new album Wild By The Side Of The Road on Major Tom Records on Friday 17th February. The official launch gig will take place at Nell’s Jazz and Blues Club in West London on 22 February and will be followed by an extensive tour throughout ...
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GEOFF LAKEMAN – After All These Years (own label GLAK-01)

Geoff Lakeman isn't quite as famous as his sons but he is a much regarded singer and songwriter, particularly in the West Country. At 69 Geoff has finally succumbed to the temptation to record an album, After All These Years, produced by son Sean. Geoff usually performs solo with concertina ...
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Robert Vincent announces his second album

Robert Vincent is an award winning singer songwriter from Liverpool and I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins is the follow up to his acclaimed debut, Life in Easy Steps. I'll Make The Most Of My Sins, was produced by Robert Vincent, Michael Gay, Etienne Girard, recorded and engineered by ...
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Stephen Fearing announces new album and UK tour

For multiple JUNO Award winner Stephen Fearing, a cross-country relocation - from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia - kicked off a period of reflection that inspired the songs which became Every Soul’s A Sailor, his ninth solo record. While they span a range of musical styles from folk ...
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Mànran return with new album – An Dà Là

After three and half years’ near-constant touring, Mànran are back with a storming new album. The title, An Dà Là (The Two Days), comes from a Gaelic expression for great change and change is very much the central theme of the album. This exhibits itself in myriad forms ranging from ...
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LOUISE BICHAN – Out Of My Own Light (Swanbister Records SWAN001CD)

If you’re the sort of person who reads the small print on CD covers, you’ll be familiar with the name of Louise Bichan. She is widely known as a photographer, particularly of Scottish artists but has been playing the fiddle for even longer. Out Of My Own Light is subtitled ...
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COOPE BOYES & SIMPSON – Coda (No Masters NMCD48)

Subtitled A Concluding Event, Coda marks the beginning of the end for Coope Boyes & Simpson. They’ll be playing some gigs next year to say farewell and individually and collectively they are involved in numerous projects so I doubt we’ve seen the last of them. It’s hard to credit but ...
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Ray Cooper (Chopper) announces spring tour

In 2000 Ray Cooper moved to Sweden, to a small red wooden house close to the forest and the wild beasts. The love of winter, the Swedish fiddle tunes and the love of a woman took him there. There is a melancholy to the music, it's the blues of the ...
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DOGHOUSE ROSES – Lost Is Not Losing (Yellowroom Music YLLWRM-010)

Lost Is Not Losing came to me for review – I think you might like this, was the suggestion. For the past week it has been on continual play in my car. Doghouse Roses are from Glasgow, a duo comprising Iona Macdonald and Paul Tasker who have written the songs ...
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JIMMY ALDRIDGE & SID GOLDSMITH – Night Hours (Fellside FECD278)

Night Hours is the second album from Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith and I must confess that I have been shockingly remiss in catching up with them. This is a remarkably powerful record, solid in the sense of being unmoving in the face of opposition which, sadly, is something that ...
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Jethro Tull – The String Quartets

A massive treat for Jethro Tull fans and classical aficionados alike, Jethro Tull The String Quartets is an album of classic Jethro Tull repertoire, imaginatively arranged for classical string quartet with the flute, guitar and vocals of songwriter and producer Ian Anderson, it will be released on 24th March 2017 through ...
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EDDIE AND LUC – Tirade (Brig Records EDLUC2CD)

Tirade comes out the speakers at you like a cavalry charge as Eddie Seaman winds up his Highland bagpipes and Iain Copeland hits the drums. The tune is ‘Angry Piper’s Tirade’ by Hazen Metro and it is described as pushing the boundaries – I really don’t think bagpipes were ever ...
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ROSIE HODGSON – Rise Aurora (own label)

I'll get straight to the point.  Rosie Hodgson's Rise Aurora is an absolute gem of an album and I will probably not be the first reviewer to say you will want to listen to it over and over again.  It's full of beautiful music with seven of the twelve tracks ...
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ANNA & ELIZABETH – Anna & Elizabeth (Free Dirt DIRT-CD-0072)

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth Laprelle sing the songs of the southern mountains in the old-time style with banjos, guitar, fiddle and distinctive harmonies. Elizabeth hails from Virginia and released her first solo album aged just sixteen. Anna is from Vermont and is a classically trained violinist but was seduced by ...
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THE REVELLERS – Skeletons (The Revellers REV12345678)

A normal drive to work, a quiet day and you slip a CD into the player, which then explodes with raw energy.  That is the impact upon first hearing the Revellers second album Skeletons.  The Revellers are a seven piece band from the Shetlands who mix folk lyrics, banjos and ...
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CHARLIE HARRIGAN – Wasted And Wounded (Medicine Hat Records MHR000721)

After a long career littered with names like Alex Campbell, Alexis Korner, Lonnie Donegan and Derroll Adams, Charlie Harrigan took a break and went sailing for almost twenty years. A brush with mortality  a couple of years ago brought him back to music to record Wasted And Wounded, his first ...
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Michael McDermott announces rare UK tour

On his tenth solo album, Chicago based singer-songwriter Michael McDermott (The Westies) has delivered one of the most honest, daring and defiant recordings of his extraordinary 25 year career. “This is an album of reckoning I suppose,” McDermott reflects. “There was a real cacophony of change going on in my ...
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MARTIN GREEN – Flit live

Cambridge Junction, 22 October 2016 Following its premiere at Edinburgh Festival in August 2016, Martin Green's latest musical concept Flit, heads out on tour, starting in Cambridge. There's a bit of a delay getting into the venue, which the staff member working the queue tells us is due to some ...
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UB40 FEATURING ALI, ASTRO AND MICKEY – Unplugged + Greatest Hits (UMC)

The Unplugged album (along with the Greatest Hits compilation), by the band calling itself UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey, means that UB40's current status deserves and requires a little clarification. In 2008, frontman Ali Campbell left the band, followed soon after by keyboard player Mickey Virtue, and in 2013 ...
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LUKE JACKSON – Tall Tales And Rumours (First Take Records FTCD002)

I never fail to be impressed by Luke Jackson. He is still only in his early twenties, has a voice that many more experienced singers would kill for and writes songs of such wisdom and perception. Tall Tales And Rumours is his fourth studio album and he’s only just started ...
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Doghouse Roses announce new album

Glasgow’s Doghouse Roses once more present their unique take on contemporary folk and reaffirm that they are “Something a little bit special” (The List) with the release of their long-awaited third studio album Lost Is Not Losing. In 2014, an invitation to open for Television brought the pairing back to ...
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WINTER MOUNTAIN – I Swear I Flew (Astral Fox WMISIF001CD)

Originally twin peaks, the departure of Martin Smyth has seen a change in the topography, meaning I Swear I Flew, the follow up to the eponymous debut is now a solo project for Cornwall's Joe Francis. Not that he’s entirely alone, with a clutch of musicians providing drums, pedal steel, banjo, ...
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BILLY BRAGG & JOE HENRY – live at G Live, Guildford

Shine A Light, the album of railroad songs recorded by Billy Bragg & Joe Henry on their epic train journey from Chicago to Los Angeles has a rough-hewn feel recorded, as it was, in train stations and hotels en route with the sounds of the passers-by left in place. That ...
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WILL VARLEY – Kingsdown Sundown (Extra Mile Recordings XMR124CD)

If the time was ever ripe for a few protest songs it is now and Will Varley duly obliges on Kingsdown Sundown, his fourth full-length album. It isn’t all protest, however, and it certainly isn’t packed with political rantings. The songs are deep and thoughtful but when Will decides to ...
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EMILY SMITH – Songs For Christmas (White Fall Records WFRCD015)

The clocks have gone back, the days are shortening, so it must be time to settle down and look towards the festive season. And what better to line up on the CD player than Scottish singer/songwriter Emily Smith's unambiguously titled Songs For Christmas album? It's a smart, quietly eclectic mix ...
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