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Rory Ellis – Perfectly Damaged

It’s been multiple years now since hearing Australian troubadour Rory Ellis for the first time. I was in a car listening to the latest batch of CD’s through for review when suddenly this tornado of a voice ripped through the stereo speakers and exploded in my face. Since then – every single release I’ve anticipated with huge excitement. This new one then was no exception.Ellis’s productivity over the last few years has been both blistering and brilliant. Slowly but surely carving a name for himself on the UK roots scene, the hard work is paying off, and it’s with consistently quality records like this that keeps people coming back to his shows.

With a voice like a freight train one minute and soothing lullaby the next, along with great acoustic guitar accompaniment and decorative lap steel flurries throughout, you can hear the quality in the record right from the start. It is however after a few listens when the album really starts to reward you. A slow burner usually turns in to a brilliant piece of work, and slow burners are something Ellis has a habit of producing.

Stand-out tracks on this record include the brilliantly infectious ‘Jesus Lane’, and the almost rag-time sound on ‘Street Angel House Devil’ – however as usual with this man’s work I’m finding new favourite tracks on every listen, which again is something Rory’s songs just have an uncanny knack of doing.

The standard of songwriting is first class, both witty and poignant – and something else that stands out on this record is the fact the artist has taken the time in the sleeve notes to comment on each song, and the reason behind writing it. It gives each song that bit more depth of understanding, which is something lost in the digital age.

This guy truly is the real deal as far as musicians go. It goes without saying this record comes recommended, but then so does his entire back catalogue. Do yourself a favour and go and buy the album @ Phil Daniels

For more information and the latest tour news please visit


I can’t remember where I first heard of this staging of Fairport Convention’s celebrated folk-rock opera but it proved irresistible enough for me to obtain a copy of this trimmed down ‘sampler’ DVD from a 2 hour show to 30 minutes. For those of us that were lucky (and old) enough to have witnessed the National Theatre’s excellent Lark Rise To Candleford in the late 1970’s will much appreciate that folk tales such as ‘Babbacombe’ Lee should adapt well to the stage and by utilising the strengths of predominantly Dave Swarbrick’s original songs and tunes employing a diverse array of talent from the ‘house band’ Little Johnny England and the ‘cast’ writer/director Kevin Burke should be proud of his efforts in conveying this tragic tale. With inventive use of aerial acrobatics (think Cirque Du Soleil) particularly on the effective “Dream Song” sequence, dance, magic lantern style puppetry and screen projected images the production would appear to move at a reasonably brisk pace. With only (to my knowledge) one production of the show it would be a great injustice to the ‘folk scene’ to be deprived of more outings and if there are any festival organisers reading this review could I suggest that you check out the following links below:

Further information can be found at Kevin’s website here


Daniel Hertzov releases – BELIEVING

Artist – Daniel Hertzov
Label – Red Cat Productions

Daniel Hertzov is a singer songwriter and also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who has remained virtually unknown apart from in Glasgow where he and his family currently reside. Daniel was born in Moscow in 1975, the son of a dissident Jewish couple who moved to the USA when Daniel was two years old eventually settling in Boston. Daniel loved rock music from an early age but after university worked in finance in New York. Witnessing first hand 9/11 he quit his job and worked for a year as a Sautee cook, fell in love with a Polish girl and moved to London. Due to his skills in the finance industry he soon got a job in the city…only to then be trapped in a tube during the July 7th London bombings, time indeed for a life style change.

Daniel decided to move to Glasgow where he has chosen to continue his passion for performing and recording his music. He is a regular on the Glasgow acoustic scene and has produced a stunning debut album entitled BELIEVING, an album consisting of twelve original compositions covering Americana and folk along with a healthy dose of rock.
Daniel fuses Russian lyricism, American song-craft complete with British hooks to create a style all of his own. Stand out tracks include the stunning opening and title track Believing, a song that is the perfect fusion of styles reminiscent of one of my all time favourite bands, the Lilac Time, the track urging the listener to hit the repeat button. Following track Down At The Park is a perfect slice of Americana with a thoroughly West Coast feel and features the talents of Alan Scobie on Hammond organ and the superb slide guitar of Marcin Galazka, this track guaranteed to be a live favourite. Same can be said of the jaunty Tumbling Down And Away, here Daniel showing his prowess on the mandolin.

Apart from the afore mentioned Alan Scobie and Marcin Galazka other musicians on the album include Craig Strain on electric bass, Fraser West on drums and legendary Polish musician and performer Tymon Tymanski on double bass, guitar and inspired vocal on final track Jewish Bride.

Each track stands up for itself; there are certainly no fillers, all killers. This is one of those albums that once you have listened to it you will be hooked and with a string of UK dates on the horizon it certainly won’t be long before the name of Daniel Hertzov will become a household name within the UK roots/folk and Americana scene.

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For more information and the latest tour news please visit