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).

ANGE HARDY – Bring Back Home (Story Records STREC 1701)

Ange Hardy’s new album Bring Back Home was released on November 28th. For the past few years, she has had nominations and awards a-plenty, both for her music and most recently her radio programme, Folk Findings. If you’ve not come across Ange Hardy before (I was surprised recently to find ...
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Levellers – new acoustic album and tour

Celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2018, Brighton folk-punk band Levellers will be releasing We The Collective on March 9th via the band’s own label, On The Fiddle Recordings. Emerging victorious through the ups and downs of label deals, spats with the music press and the wear and tear of touring, the Levellers have long ...
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DAVID BOTTING – Heart Beat (Haven Records)

Heart Beat is the debut album from singer songwriter David Botting. Hard times in life can be the inspiration for many great songs, as David certainly knows. David has been playing guitar for as long as he can remember, but started writing songs while he became unwell with heart failure ...
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LUKE DANIELS – Singing Ways To Feel More Junior (Gael Records GAEL017)

Singing Ways To Feel More Junior by Luke Daniels, is a wonderfully eclectic collection of a dozen songs, most of which are Daniels’ originals. It goes in many different directions (occasionally at the same time) and presents shades of folk, funk, blues, jazz and Americana, and while some of the ...
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Mary Gauthier – Rifles and Rosary Beads

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier will release her most important work to date with Rifles & Rosary Beads on January 26th, 2018 via Proper Records. Co-written with U.S. veterans and their families, the eleven deeply personal songs on this album reveal the untold stories, and powerful struggles that these veterans and ...
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ROSS AINSLIE – Sanctuary (Great White Records, GWR005CD)

If there’s a more intensely personal album release this year than Ross Ainslie’s third album, Sanctuary, it would be hard to find. It’s a conceptual piece, a celebration of five sober years - no mean feat in the musician’s world, where it’s always pub o’clock somewhere. Ainslie’s well-known as a ...
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INDIA ELECTRIC CO. – Seven Sisters (Shoelay Music SHMU32)

The only thing wrong with this record is that there isn’t enough of it; only six tracks even though one of them is long. Many readers will be familiar with India Electric Co but for those who haven’t yet had that good fortune let me fill you in. They are ...
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THE NOVEL IDEAS – The Novel Ideas (own label)

Take a quartet of friends from Massachusetts, a clutch of guitars and a pedal steel, set them to work on their four-part harmonies, simmer gently for around 5 years and, voilà, it’s The Novel Ideas. Although this new, self-titled album is not their first, it does seem to represent a ...
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THE DEPORTEES – The Birth Of Industry (own label DEP-001)

The Deportees are a five piece band from the Aberdeen area and The Birth Of Industry is their debut album. They make a big, powerful sound full of pounding drums, crashing piano chords, organ, electric guitar and four-part harmonies. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure this record ...
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PEATBOG FAERIES – Live@25 (Peatbog Records CDBOG008)

The Peatbog Faeries new album, Live@25 is only their second foray into live recording in their long career, the other being 2009’s Live. As the title indicates, this return to the live format is a celebration of the band’s quarter-century anniversary - an impressive longevity by any standards. Recorded at ...
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THE WAILIN’ JENNYS – Fifteen (True North Records TND 683)

On January 5th 2018, The Wailin’ Jennys release their first new recording for six years. The album, Fifteen, is a celebration of a musical partnership lasting fifteen years. The trio – Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody and Heather Masse – have brought together nine of their favourite songs and the result ...
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THE LOST NOTES – Run Free Right Now (own label TLN01)

A self-deprecating acoustic folk roots five piece from Moseley in Birmingham, guitarists Ben Mills and Oli Jobes and Charlize Theron lookalike Lucy Mills provide the vocals with Silas Wood on double bass duties and Jamie Human behind the drums, they’ve been going for a couple of years and Run Free ...
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Daisy Chapman releases third solo album

Good Luck Songs is wonderful new collection of powerful and poignant songs from Bristol-based singer-songwriter Daisy Chapman... Daisy’s powerful vocals have been used by the likes of John Parish, for his film work, as well as a handful of TV session work. Her piano style and versatility was noticed by ...
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CHRISTY MOORE – On The Road (Sony Music/Frontline)

Neither a greatest hits collection nor a conventional concert album, On The Road sits somewhere between the two. Here are two dozen of Christy best and most popular songs recorded at seventeen venues in Ireland and the UK over the past three years. The double-CD set opens with a mighty ...
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DAVID NEWEY – Unfold (own label)

David Newey releases Unfold on December 18th with a solo launch event in Camden followed by a full band launch in Newcastle on December 22nd. Newey is …er… new to me but it’s easy to see why previous releases in 2009 and 2012 were well-received. Unfold follows in the same ...
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BELLA HARDY – Hey Sammy (Noe NOE10)

Her ninth solo outing, this is very much Hardy’s ‘pop’ album, a dramatic change in sound an style resulting from a brief relocation to Nashville and a seven-week residency in Kumming in Southwest China (which itself gave rise to Eternal Spring earlier this year, a live collection of song and ...
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Ange Hardy’s new album is on general release this month

Bring Back Home is the sixth studio album from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated singer, songwriter and independent recording artist Ange Hardy. The last year has seen Ange Hardy performing live on both BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Three and touring as a headline artist at venues ...
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KATE RUSBY – Angels & Men (Pure PRCD44)

Bringing the 25th anniversary of her music career to date to a sparkling finale, Kate Rusby sees the year out with Angels & Men, her fourth Christmas album, again featuring a collection of predominantly South Yorkshire carols, but, this time, produced by husband Damien O’Kane with what she calls “an ...
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SAM KELLY and the LOST BOYS Tour Dates

Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys have been wowing audiences at festivals across the UK this summer - turning traditional songs on their head, swerving into rock territory and nudging the mainstream. Now the high energy, hot property line-up are bringing the ‘Wow’ factor indoors at venues across England this ...
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THE WAILIN’ JENNYS – FIFTEEN

One of today’s most respected folk groups, The Wailin’ Jennys are releasing their first new recording in six years, Fifteen. This long-awaited follow-up to Bright Morning Stars finds the trio bringing their passion and stellar musicianship to a carefully curated collection of some of their favourite songs, including tracks by ...
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KARINE POLWART – A Pocket of Wind Resistance (Hudson HUDOO5)

Originally conceived as the musical accompaniment to her theatrical debut production of the same name in collaboration with sound designer Pippa Murphy, this now takes on independent life as an album in its own right. Inspired by watching the migration of some two thousand geese to Fara Flow, a peat ...
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SAOIRSE MHÓR – Ghosts Of Tomorrow (own label)

Saoirse Mhór is an Irish singer-songwriter living and working in Germany. British and Irish folk is big there but Saoirse is barely known in England except as the frontman of Fleadh. Ghosts Of Tomorrow is his third solo studio album and he is supported by, among others, Andy Horn and ...
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MELROSE QUARTET – Dominion (own label MQCD03)

Dominion is the long-awaited second album from Melrose Quartet: Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Jess and Richard Arrowsmith. If you haven’t heard them you should remedy that oversight as soon as possible: four voices and four instrumentalists, equally gifted with unaccompanied harmony and instrumental dexterity. And that’s before we begin ...
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Ross Ainslie announces a remarkable third album

Ross Ainslie is one of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and composers, playing pipes, whistles and cittern. He is renowned for his highly acclaimed solo material, and as a skilled performer and prolific collaborator who performs regularly with bands Treacherous Orchestra (of which he is a founding member), Salsa Celtica, Dougie ...
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THE WINTERLINGS – American Son (own label)

American Son is the fourth album release from Washington -based duo, The Winterlings, alias Wolff Bowden and Amanda Birdsall. A meeting of minds at a Buddhist fire ritual (where else?) led to the formation of this tightly self-contained musical unit. Videos show that they occasionally perform with an additional vocalist/guitarist, ...
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Police Dog Hogan announce spring tour

Police Dog Hogan get back on the road with a short tour during February and March 2018. With 300 plus gigs already under their belts and a highly successful fourth album, Wild By The Side Of The Road, released in 2017 this band carries on delivering their own brand of ...
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KIRSTY MERRYN – She & I (own label)

Kirsty Merryn hails originally from the New Forest but is now, inevitably, based in London where the action is. She & I is her debut album; an ambitious work but also accomplished and confident. The songs are about or dedicated to influential women except the opener, ‘The Pit And Pugilist’ ...
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Mavis Staples – If All I Was Was Black

Mavis Staples has again joined forces with songwriter-producer Jeff Tweedy for a new album entitled If All I Was Was Black, out this November 17th. The history Mavis recalls from her early years touring with her family as The Staple Singers, the prejudice, ugliness and danger, well it’s all still ...
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BOB FOX – A Garland For Joey (Fledg’ling FLED 3107)

I’m guessing that A Garland For Joey is an album that Bob Fox has wanted to make for a long time. Many fine musicians have taken on the role of Songman but Bob has the gravitas to take the part from that of the provider of incidental music to the ...
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O’HOOLEY & TIDOW – Winterfolk Vol 1 (No Masters NMCD51)

My first Christmas review of the year, it seems to have become de rigueur now that at some point the great and good of the contemporary British folk scene should release an album of festive material. Kate Rusby’s third is due shortly, last year it was Cara Dillon’s turn and ...
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JON BODEN – Afterglow – Hudson Records HUD004

Folk royalty Jon Boden’s latest album, Afterglow, is an excellent follow on from Songs From The Floodplain, which was released in 2009, and was Jon’s second solo album. Jon is a twelve time BBC Folk Award Winner who partnered celebrated concertina player John ‘Squeezy’ Spiers in Spiers and Boden, fronted ...
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THE STRANGE BLUE DREAMS – The Strange Blue Dreams (Holy Smokes Records, HSR006)

At first glance, the front cover of the debut and self-titled album by The Strange Blue Dreams, might seem to hint at sci-fi or electronica. The back is emblazoned with an embroidered shirt Elvis would have been proud of. Just what is this band about? On the CD player, a ...
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Melrose Quartet announce their second album, Dominion, plus launch tour dates

Melrose Quartet are Nancy Kerr (voice, fiddle), James Fagan (voice, bouzouki, guitar), Jess Arrowsmith (voice, fiddle) and Richard Arrowsmith (voice, melodeons). November 2017 sees them release their eagerly-awaited second album, Dominion. From deep roots in their hometown’s vibrant music, song and dance scene, to smashing concert appearances all over the ...
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LEE ANN WOMACK – The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone (ATO)

Over the years, I’ve reviewed several albums on which Womack’s appeared, but somehow never managed to actually review one of her own. And she’s now made nine. So, let’s put that to rights with the East Texan’s new label debut, The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone, that, produced by ...
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Tom Waits re-releases his Anti- catalogue

Tom Waits is set to release newly remastered versions of each of his acclaimed albums in the Anti- catalogue.  In addition, the album Real Gone has been fully remixed and individual releases of each of the three discs of Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers And Bastards will be available early 2018. Remastering ...
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FINDLAY NAPIER – Glasgow (Cheerygroove Records, Cheery006)

A sense of place is a wondrous, nebulous thing; it’s very personal and can be tricky to evoke meaningfully. Findlay Napier’s homage to his own Glasgow (there must be a clue in the name…) succeeds in bringing alive a sense of the diverse aspects of the city. Snippets of on-location ...
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YE VAGABONDS – Ye Vagabonds (Inglenook Records YVB01)

I heard Ye Vagabonds supporting Roy Harper at the Festival Hall last year, and that is a hell of a gig for a duo who hadn’t yet released an album. They took it in their stride, however, and I was impressed with the way they sounded. Ye Vagabonds are brothers ...
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The Unthanks release new single and film, featuring previously unseen film of Nick Drake and family.

Taken from the critically acclaimed album, Diversions Vol. 4 - The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake, The Unthanks release Do You Ever Remember? The accompanying film includes Super 8 footage of the Drake family, much of which has never been seen before, except live during the recent tour by ...
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Loudon Wainwright III – new memoir, Liner Notes, published this month

With a career spanning more than four decades and still going strong, Loudon Wainwright III has established himself as one of the most enduring singer songwriters of his generation. Few others have revealed their lives so intimately in songs about parents, grandparents, children, siblings, and wives. As Loudon himself says, ...
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ROBBIE CAVANAGH – To Leave / To Be Left (At The Helm ATH 99021)

Originally from Portland, Maine and now based in Manchester, Cavanagh’s second album, To Leave / To Be Left, explores, as the title succinctly puts it, the end of relationships and what’s taken away and what remains behind. As such, it opens with ‘Get Out Alive’, a full-bloodied slice of guitar-driven ...
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DAVY GRAHAM – Large As Life And Twice As Natural (Bread And Wine BRINECD-2)

If you want to know why Davy Graham was such a unique and influential artist just listen to the first track on Large As Life And Twice As Natural, his third studio album. Actually, listen to the whole record but the first track will tell you all you need to ...
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JEREMY TUPLIN – I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut (Folkwit Records f0141)

Jeremy Tuplin released his debut album, I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut, on September 29th and it will be launched at Paper Dress Vintage in London on October 26th. The album has been described as part of a new genre, “space-folk”, because of its “retro-futuristic feel” and blend of “electronic ...
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ADRIAN NATION – Anarchy And Love (Laburnum Ridge LABAN040)

Adrian’s fourth solo album (one of them is live), Anarchy And Love, began with the death of his father some four years ago. In a brief sleeve note he says that his father left many things behind and on the record are “some of the songs he left in me” ...
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Seth Lakeman – album reissue with bonus tracks and tour dates

Seth Lakeman has re-released his Top 20 album Ballads Of The Broken Few, with five added bonus tracks via Cooking Vinyl. Recorded during the original album sessions, with producer Ethan Johns, the previously unreleased bonus tracks are: ‘Gambling Man’, ‘Everything’, ‘Days Are Longer’, ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Bury Me Deep’. The ...
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MARK T. – From Blues To Rembetika (Circle Of Sound COS330CD)

From Blues To Rembetika neatly encapsulates the two strands of Mark T’s music and his love for both the resonator guitar and the bouzouki although there is rather more of the former than the latter here. Rembetika is an urban music from Greece and Turkey which spawned the bouzouki music ...
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CARA DILLON – Wanderer (Charcoal CHARCD009)

Following last year’s release of her first Christmas album, Upon A Winter’s Night, Dillon returns to secular form with a predominantly traditional collection, again produced by and featuring husband Sam Lakeman. Pivoting around an underlying theme of transition and departure, whether that be through emigration or the search for love, ...
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Katie Melua to release double-CD version of In Winter

In late 2016, Katie Melua and the Gori Women’s Choir released the now silver certified In Winter, an album (and associated live show), which received universal acclaim from music critics and audiences alike.  That artistic and touring journey resulted in many incredible experiences for them all, and this revised edition ...
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DAVY GRAHAM – Folk, Blues & Beyond (Bread & Wine BRINECD1)

Davy (or Davey) Graham's Folk, Blues & Beyond is a reissue of his 1965 Decca album on licence to Bread and Wine Records/East Central One, due for release on October 27th 2017. It retains the same tracks and running order as the original vinyl release and the Topic reissue CD ...
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Singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin announces debut album

I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut is the debut album of London-based singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin and follows two independently released EPs: Open Letters (2016) and Carry The Fire (2014).  His voice has a uniqueness expressing itself through the less commonly used, lower register and his song-writing extends beyond the conventions ...
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CIARA SIDINE – Unbroken Line (own label)

It’s been six years since the Irish singer-songwriter and book editor released her debut, but she’s finally got round to a second, one drawing an Americana and country blues, filtered through her Gaelic heritage and featuring the stunning guitar work of Conor Brady. Thematically, it balances with the pointedly and ...
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Findlay Napier announces his new album, Glasgow

Following huge acclaim for his 2015 solo debut VIP: Very Interesting Persons, Scotland’s Findlay Napier again unites superb songwriting, magpie-minded imagination and compellingly vivid vocals on his new album Glasgow. A characteristically wry yet lyrical, offbeat yet heartfelt paean to his adopted home town - marking 20 years since Napier ...
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Robbie Cavanagh announces new album

Robbie Cavanagh returns with his stunning second album To Leave / To Be Left, out 13th October via At The Helm Records Recorded at Eve Studios near Manchester, To Leave / To Be Left finds Robbie Cavanagh (sounds like 'Copa Cabana’) building upon his debut with eleven new tracks exploring, “leaving ...
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EDGELARKS – Edgelarks (Dragonfly DRCD004)

Having previously traded under their own names, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin have decided to save space on the album sleeves (well, after this one anyway) by reinventing themselves as Edgelarks. Fans will be pleased to know, however, that, musically, the duo haven’t rung too many changes. Featuring contributions from ...
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JEREMY PINNELL – Ties of Blood and Affection (Sofaburn SBR2-032)

Opening your album with the line “laid up in the house full of hookers and wine” is a pretty good way to get the listener’s attention, but you still have to keep it. And, on this, his second release, the Kentucky country singer-songwriter does that effortlessly, both on that opening ...
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THE EAST POINTERS – What We Leave Behind (East Pointers Music EPCD17)

A trio from Canada’s East Coast, fiddler and nasally-voiced singer Tim Chaisson, banjo player Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron serve up bluegrassy songs and instrumentals in equal measure, the former getting What We Leave Behind rolling with a medley of the moodily atmospheric banjo-led ‘Tanglewood’ and the more spirited ...
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THE RAILS – There Are Other People In This World Not Just You (The Orchard PSYCHED CD010)

Their debut album Fair Warning, being one of the finest folk albums of 2014, expectations were high for a follow-up from Kami Thompson and James Walbourne. They have been matched and, in some cases, exceeded. As you’ll be well aware Thompson is the daughter of Richard and Linda and, as ...
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JOOST DE LANGE’S ROCK BLUES EXPERIENCE – Live In Antwerp (own label)

Joost de Lange, though well known as guitarist with Zeeland band Yes You Did (among others), has fairly recently emerged as a vocalist/guitarist with his own band Joost de Lange's Rock/Blues Experience, also featuring Mitchell Goor on bass and Ramses Donvil on drums. The band's latest CD is Live In ...
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KARINE POLWART Announces New Album – A Pocket Of Wind Resistance

Karine Polwart - five-time winner of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - will release her new album A Pocket Of Wind Resistance via Hudson Records on November 17, 2017. Written in collaboration with the Scottish sound designer Pippa Murphy, ‘A Pocket Of Wind Resistance’ is the musical accompaniment to ...
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Edgelarks – Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin – New Album and Remaining Tour Dates

We were recently treated to the hatching of Edgelarks (the new name for duo Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin) at the Southdowns Folk Festival in Bognor Regis last Sunday evening. The name change also spearheads the launch of the new album by the same name that is released 6.10.17. The ...
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SHAKE THE CHAINS – Shake The Chains (Quercus Records QRCD003)

Even supposing you knew nothing about this album, a quick glance down the track listing would instantly identify Shake The Chains as a politically conscious project. A new generation of protest songs sit comfortably alongside some old standards. Despite Edwyn Collins’ complaint in ‘A Girl Like You’ about “too many ...
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