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).

AULD HAT NEW HEIDS – Volume 1 (Rickety Rackety Records RRR005)

The stated aim of Auld Hat New Heids’ album is to recreate the glory days of folk clubs – you remember; when we could go out for a good sing, have a couple of pints and still go home with change from a quid (yes, I am that old). This ...
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CHRISTINE PRIMROSE – Gràdh Is Gonadh – Guth Ag Aithris (Temple COMCD2109)

That Christine Primrose is one of Scotland’s premier Gaelic singers is a given. The title translates as Love & Loss – A Lone Voice and that tells you pretty much all you need to know. There are eleven newly recorded tracks and three bonus tracks one of which, from a ...
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LEVERET – Inventions (Rootbeat RBRCD38)

After two very successful albums and sold out gigs, Leveret bounce back onto the music scene with Inventions, an album of original material which was recorded live at Real Life studios in April 2017. Leveret comprises of fiddler extraordinaire – Sam Sweeney, who was 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ...
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Jarrod Dickenson announces new album, single and tour dates

Jarrod Dickenson announces the release date for his long awaited album Ready The Horses as September 29th 2017 and reveals new single ‘California’. Storytelling is something of a Texas tradition. Tall hats and even taller tales are woven into the fabric of The Lone Star State, and singer-songwriter, Jarrod Dickenson ...
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VARIOUS – Spiritual Music From The Hebrides (AN LANNTAIR)

Spiritual Music From The Hebrides was recorded at a live event that drew together singers and musicians from the worlds of the Presbyterian church, classical and traditional music. At its heart is the centuries-old tradition of Gaelic psalm singing which is pretty much unique to the Hebrides. Five of the ...
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HANNAH JOHNSON– Shaken (Woodville)

Physically based in Kings Heath, Birmingham but with her spiritual and musical homes shared between Nashville and Austin, Johnson was formerly one–third of Western Swing and bluegrass trio The Toy Hearts. But then, a couple of years back, guitarist and fellow vocalist sister Sophia decide to move to Austin, initially ...
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BENJAMIN FOLKE THOMAS – Acoustic Classics (Louvaio Lou006)

Folking.com has already announced the imminent release of Acoustic Classics by Benjamin Folke Thomas - http://folking.com/benjamin-folke-thomas-returns-with-live-album/ - with the back story to the singer’s life and an explanation that this is a ‘live’ album with a difference: it has been recorded in Folke Thomas’ living room with himself as the ...
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SLAID CLEAVES – Ghost On The Car Radio (Candy House Media CHM 130)

It’s been four years since there was any new material from the Maine-bred, Texas-based Cleaves, but, marking his 25th year in the business, he returns in splendid form with Ghost On The Car Radio, an album that has brings a keen eye and an open heart to the changing times ...
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VARIOUS – Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams (Slate Creek SCR0526172)

Now 78 and still going strong (his most recent album being in 2014), Don Williams is, both in person and on disc, one of the most laid back country artists you could imagine. Initially finding success as part of 60s folk-pop outfit The Pozo Seco Singers, whose hits included ‘I ...
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AMY HENDERSON – Soul For A Compass (own label AH2017CD)

These days we need all the cheering up we can get and my first thought was that this record would do the job nicely. Amy Henderson is a graduate of the Plockton school, studying accordion under Blair Douglas, and is as much a teacher in community music projects as she ...
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Sarah Jane Scouten releases new album and announces UK tour dates

Two-time Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee, Sarah Jane Scouten released new full-length album When The Bloom Falls From The Rose on June 16th via Light Organ Records. Observant, outspoken, and at the top of her craft, the new album is an luminous body of work; one that shines a light ...
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MARY ANN KENNEDY – An Dàn (Arc Music EUCD2737)

Mary Ann Kennedy describes this album as Gaelic songs for a modern world. An Dàn means…well, dàn means song but it also means destiny, which may be Gaelic humour. Mary Ann is from Skye and is, of course a Campbell. She is well-known as a broadcaster and producer as well ...
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WEST OF EDEN – No Time Like The Past – A Collection (West of Music WOMCDII)

A school trip to Dublin the early 90s was to prove the catalyst for 20 years of music when classmates and subsequently husband wife Martin and Jenny Schaube fell in love with Celtic music. They formed West of Eden in 1995, releasing their debut album two years later. Since then, ...
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Chris Murphy announces new album

For 25 years, and with no sign of slowing, violinist Chris Murphy has made a living by writing, performing and recording original music. For Murphy, the path forward is charted by looking backward, to the troubadours and minstrels of ages past. Forget the exaggerated reports of the music industry’s demise ...
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THE BROTHERS BRIGGS – The Brothers Briggs (All Made Up Records, AMU0010)

This self-titled album by The Brothers Briggs drops in like the soundtrack to a long-lost folk horror film. There’s that delicious sense of the indefinably off-kilter, a queasy disorientation counterpointed by earthy and sweet vocal harmonies. There’s a real sense of rootedness in the music, yet this selection of traditional ...
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CANNY FETTLE – Still Gannin’ Canny (Canny Fettle Records CANNYCD001)

You know the kind of friendships where you don’t see one another for ages, yet when you next meet up, you just pick up right where you left off, like you’d never been away? Well, that’s the sound of Still Gannin’ Canny, right there. It might be some 30 years ...
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Tom Russell announces a new album, Folk Hotel

Tom Russell will release a brand-new studio album, Folk Hotel (Proper Records) on September 8th. The physical version showcases thirteen new Russell originals plus, as one of two bonus tracks, Bob Dylan's ‘Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues’, a duet with Joe Ely, featuring Joel Guzman on Tex-Mex accordion. Augie Meyers ...
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GREG RUSSELL – Inclined To Be Red (Fellside FECD281)

When he isn’t partnering Ciaran Algar or working with Nancy Kerr’s Sweet Visitor Band and half a dozen other projects, Greg Russell follows another path. Inclined To Be Red would seem to be his first completely solo album even though he seems to have been around for ever…and he’s still ...
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Hannah Aldridge releases second album, Gold Rush

In literature and in songwriting, the American South is where writers go to face their fears. Hannah Aldridge doesn’t just dip her pen into the well of the South, the Muscle Shoals native embodies it. With every song, she’s facing down demons of a life once lived from substance abuse ...
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VIKKI CLAYTON – Messenger (own label)

I suppose that I first encountered Vikki Clayton one Cropredy when she was fronting Fairport Convention to perform some of Sandy Denny’s songs. I bought a lot of her albums but sort of lost touch with her after Movers And Shakers and that was twenty years ago. There is even ...
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Richard Thompson to release Acoustic Classics II

Celebrated guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson will release Acoustic Classics Vol. II on his own Beeswing record label, distributed via Proper, on August 11. Richard will play Cropredy Festival in August, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Fairport Convention and tour the UK in October. On the heels of the success ...
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REG MEUROSS – Faraway People (Hatsongs HAT011)

I enjoyed Reg’s previous album, December, and Faraway People is more of the same and even better than its predecessor. Once again Reg has stripped himself back to the basics of voice and guitar – plus a bit of banjo and harmonica - with only engineer Roy Dodds in the ...
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DEMPSEY BROUGHTON – Off By Heart (own label SAECD14)

Kevin Dempsey and Joe Broughton have been in the business for so many years and in so many line-ups that it seems impossible to count. You can mention The Albion Band, the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, the Urban Folk Quartet, Dando Shaft, Whippersnapper and Lazarus before you have to stop and ...
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Carla Bruni releases Rolling Stones cover as single and announces new album

Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Carla Bruni has released a new song and captivating video directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino (Madonna, Bjork, Sting, Vanessa Paradis) for her cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You’, the latest release from her forthcoming fifth studio album French Touch, which is available for pre-order now. Produced by ...
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COAST – Windmills In The Sky (Ruabhal Records SAM04)

Coast is a folk-rock band, with the emphasis on the rock, formed by Paul Eastham and Chris Barnes back in 2009. Windmills In The Sky is their third album and I hope it will be the one that propels them to greatness. They spent their childhoods on Benbecula in the ...
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JOE BROUGHTON’S CONSERVATOIRE FOLK ENSEMBLE – Painted (own label SAE16CD)

I’ve seen Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble on stage just once and it was an exciting experience. It was a small theatre and I reckon there were more people on stage than there were in the audience – what a sound - and Joe says that they might have turned ...
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THE DRYSTONES – We Happy Few (own label)

The Drystones are two young chaps from Somerset: Alex Garden and Ford Collier; singers and multi-instrumentalists who made their debut album at age 16. Remarkably, this is already their third outing. On the surface, We Happy Few seems typical of albums of our age. Three songs and eight instrumental sets ...
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MARTHA TILSTON – Nomad (Squiggly Records)

This recently released album is a pure joy to listen to. Martha is the daughter of highly acclaimed singer/songwriter – Steve Tilston, but Martha is a fabulous singer/songwriter on her own merit. She has various critically acclaimed albums already under her belt and this latest album looks like being another ...
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OH SUSANNA – A Girl in Teen City (Continental Song City CSCCD1142)

Whether or not A Girl In Teen City is wholly autobiographical, Suzie Ungerleider’s concept album about growing up a teenager in the 80s in her hometown of Vancouver perfectly capture that adolescent search for identity, love and rebellion. Or, as she puts it on the album sleeve, “Falling in love, ...
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MALCOLM HOLCOMBE – Pretty Little Troubles (Gypsy Eyes Music )

His voice croakier and gummier than ever, sounding as one review put it, like he’s wearing someone else’s teeth, even so Holcombe continues to deliver the goods when it comes to coal dust coated Appalachian blues. Pretty Little Troubles a quick follow-up to last year’s Another Black Hole. Joined by ...
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DARDEN SMITH – Everything (Compass 746812)

After the release of 2013’s Love Calling, his fourteenth album in thirty years, the Austin-based singer-songwriter considered calling it a day, unsure he had anything left worth saying or that anyone was even listening. Instead, he turned to exploring creative avenues outside of the traditional music business, writing an as ...
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MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS – Existential Beast (Invisible Hands IHCD74)

A quick follow-up to last year’s Echoes Of The Dreamtime finds the San Franciscan native and erstwhile Brian Jonestown Massacre member in often dreamy cosmic country mood, opening Existential Beast with the pedal steel laced gentleness of ‘Ashes and Seeds’ before getting a little spikier on the urgently flurrying rhythms ...
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Elliott Morris announces debut album

Lost And Found is the debut album from singer/songwriter and guitarist Elliott Morris. Recorded at Caribou Studios, Scotland and produced by Mattie Foulds, the album is a melting pot of folk, rock, blues and country. Blending progressive, contemporary ingredients with still vibrant British folk and roots traditions, this is folk ...
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THE AUGUST LIST – Ramshackle Tabernacle (Ubiquity Project Records)

Sifting through a batch of CDs recently, one stood out from the rest as quite different and unexpected. It turned out to be Ramshackle Tabernacle by The August List. Unfamiliar with The August List, I did my usual online trawl to find out more. Their first album, 2014’s O Hinterland, ...
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THEA GILMORE – The Counterweight (Cooking Vinyl COOKCD668)

Thea Gilmore described herself like this “Some people write me off as some waily folky woman……Other people think I'm rock. In terms of an image, if you want to be cold and corporate about it, it's hard to decide who my target market is. There isn't one. There is no ...
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JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE – Kids In The Street (New West NW6389)

Ten years into his career, now dry, married and an expectant father, Justin Townes Earle is understandably in energised form on Kids In The Street. With producer Mike Mogis behind the desk (and on baritone guitar), he’s drawing on both classic soul and blues influences, case in point coming from ...
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VAIR – A Place In Time (own label 00001)

I wonder if there will ever be a time when I can’t begin a review along the lines of ‘here’s another fine young band from Scotland’. It’s certainly not happening yet because, well, here’s another fine young band from Scotland, or Shetland to be precise. A Place In Time is ...
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THE UNTHANKS – Diversions Volume 4: The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake / Extras (RabbleRouser Music RRM016/RRM017)

For this, their fourth volume of Diversions, the Unthanks have chosen The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake. Inspired by hearing the limited release 2012 CD of her works (a set of songs, accompanied by a booklet of poetry) and spurred on by a pre-existing love of her son Nick's ...
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THE UNTHANKS Live at Vicar Street, Dublin (25 May 2017)

The dark stage is bedecked with an array of lamps (of the standard and table varieties), interspersed with rattan chairs. The grand piano and elegantly wrought music stands suggest a more genteel era of afternoon tea dances – if you overlook the modern paraphernalia of cables and microphones. The voice ...
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Fairport Convention – 50th anniversary box set

July 28th sees the release of this lavish Fairport Convention CD box set, Come All Ye – The First 10 Years. Compiled by Andrew Batt, the curator of the very successful show, The Lady – A Tribute To Sandy Denny, which toured the UK in 2012, this collection celebrates Fairport’s ...
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ROSS COUPER + TOM OAKES – Fiddle + Guitar (Haystack Records HAYCD009)

I get to hear a lot of new music from Scotland these days. There are some nice people there who keep sending me records to listen to and I usually enjoy them all. Sometimes, however, I wonder if I really need another album of fiddle music and don’t ever quite ...
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The Unthanks, Gabrielle Drake and Maxine Peake in Conversation and Performance

Saturday 27th May The Barbican (Fountain Room) 6pm-8pm (free, registration required) Sandwiched between the album release the day before, and two sold out performances at The Barbican the day after, The Unthanks launch Diversions Vol. 4 - The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake, featuring an exclusive Q&A with The ...
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HARROW FAIR – Call To Arms (Roaring Girl RGO14)

Comprising Miranda Mulholland, violinist with Great Lake Swimmers, and Andrew Penner, Harrow Fair are a Canadian duo who first began working together as part of a Toronto theatre company and who take their name from an Ontario county fair. They both sing, while she plays violin and percussion and he ...
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DONALD BLACK – Bho M’ Chridhe (own label DB05CD)

Scottish Celtic harmonica might seem like something of a niche market and that’s what I thought at first – but wait. Bho M’ Chridhe translates as From My Heart and that is exactly where this music comes from. The tunes come from all over Scotland and even further afield and ...
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LIANNE HALL – The Caretaker (Market Square MSMCD182)

Lianne Hall used to be a punk. She was a member of Witchknot but I rather think that she was punk in the way that The Stranglers were; embracing the ethos but having rather superior musical skills. She’s originally from Peterborough and lived in Brighton before moving to Berlin. After ...
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GALLEY BEGGAR – Heathen Hymns (Rise Above Records RISECD208)

I have opined before that Galley Beggar’s albums, though excellent in themselves, never quite reflect the live feel of the band. The last album Silence And Tears went some way to redressing this imbalance, but their latest offering, Heathen Hymns, is much more in line with their live performances. The ...
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Martin Simpson announces his 20th solo album

World renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter Martin Simpson releases his 20th solo album in 40 years Trails & Tribulations on September 1st 2017 via Topic Records. The brand-new studio album, his first new solo work since 2013’s widely praised Vagrant Stanzas, will be available in standard and deluxe CD, digital ...
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SKIPINNISH – The Seventh Wave (Skippinish Records SKIPCD26)

The Seventh Wave is the seventh album to be released by Skipinnish and it is possibly one of the most enjoyable albums that I have recently been given the opportunity to review. When I agreed to take on the suicidal responsibility of reviewing new releases I was, unbelievably, excited about ...
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Kaia Kater announces new album

The new album from young African-Canadian roots phenom Kaia Kater couldn’t come at a better time. As a new generation takes the reins, American roots music is needed more than ever to remind us of the troubled pathways of our own history. Born of Afro-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia Kater ...
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AMY McALLISTER – String On String (own label)

I’ll state now that anyone who sings ‘Matt Hyland’ is all right with me, especially when that anyone sings it as gorgeously as Amy McAllister does, even though she does omit the bribery verse. Amy is a singer, songwriter, harpist and fiddle player from Antrim and, after many years of ...
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CHIP TAYLOR – A Song I Can Live With (Trainwreck TW057)

His fifth album in as many years, and his twenty-first studio recording in total, A Song I Can Live With falls firmly into what Taylor calls his stream-of-consciousness based songwriting, more spoken rather than sung and with rarely more than an acoustic guitar and Goran Grini’s keyboards for backing. I’ve ...
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TRACK DOGS – Serenity Sessions (Monde Green)

For those who don’t know, Track Dogs are an Anglo-Irish-American acoustic quartet based in Madrid comprising Sheffield’s Howard Brown, Ohio’s Robbie K Jones and, respectively from Co. Wicklow and Dun Laoghaire, Dave Mooney and lead vocalist Garrett Wall, their instrumentation taking in cajon, banjo, ukulele, mandolin and trumpet alongside guitar ...
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Calum Alex Macmillan releases second solo album

The latest in a venerable family line of Gaelic singers and bards, Calum Alex Macmillan ranks squarely at the forefront of his culture’s contemporary renaissance. With his second solo album Till (a long-awaited successor to 2005’s highly-praised Taladh Nan Cuantan), the Isle of Lewis native and ex-Dàimh vocalist resoundingly reaffirms ...
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FRONT COUNTRY – Other Love Songs (Organic Records OR16882)

What I really like about Front Country is the way they take the styles of country music, its bones if you like, and take them off somewhere new. Other Love Songs is only their second album and already they sound like they’ve been doing this for years. Take ‘Storms Are ...
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SOUND OF THE SIRENS – For All Our Sins (DMF Records)

Sound of the Sirens consist of Exeter-based duo Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood. Their debut album For All Our Sins is released on May 5th and will then be toured around the country. The duo have built up a loyal fanbase with a number of EPs and live performances in ...
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JUPITER OWLS – The Fallow Cry Of The Jupiter Owls (Cupboard Under The Stairs)

Based in Frome, The Jupiter Owls began life as a duo comprising singer-songwriter/ guitarist John Libert and guitarist Ryan Steele but have subsequently added the rhythm section of Kev Jefferies and Kevin Reed to add extra live dimension to their Americana-tinged chilled folk-pop. Drawing their influences from the late 60s/early ...
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PORTER NICKERSON – Bonfire To Ash (Weasel Records WSL-1601)

Porter Nickerson are Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson. Bonfire To Ash is their new album, released on May 5th. I haven’t stopped playing it since it came for review. Occasionally in life you meet someone that you feel you’ve known forever; listening to Bonfire To Ash was like this – ...
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HAZEYJANE – One (Tu-Kay Records TKHJCD01)

It’s almost impossible to pigeonhole Hazeyjane. At their heart is the songwriting of guitarist Chris Brown accompanied by Ash Tu-Kay, a pseudonym of producer and label boss Ashley Woodward. The line-up has recently been expanded but on One, their debut album, Chris and Ash do everything except for extra vocals ...
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REV HAMMER – Skald (own label)

It is always good when you hear that Rev Hammer has released a long awaited new album! He has done just that in the recently released Skald, featuring acclaimed guitarist and singer/songwriter Nick Harper together with Rev’s son Samuel Ryan, who is establishing himself as a singer/songwriter and about to ...
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Oysterband celebrate 40 years together

Oysterband was born in the summer of 1977 when the sound of punk rock rang loud from the radio, disaffection became the order of the day and riots filled the streets which would ring through the later years of Thatcherite Britain. There were many on the UK folkscene who felt ...
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