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THE ONCE – Row Upon Row Of The People They Know (Borealis Records BCD212)

Not many Internationally established Canadian folk artists immediately spring to mind with the possible exceptions of Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Loreena McKennitt and Stan Rogers so to see a new ensemble from the land that brought us Cirque Du Soliel being heralded as ‘the next big thing’ was bound to draw my attention to the package that arrived on my doorstep recently.

This highly personable trio’s skills as musicians are well represented by Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale whose nifty licks on mandolin, guitar, bouzouki and fiddle buoy the crowning glory of Geraldine Hollett’s vocals.

Utilising tight harmonies as a main feature The Once open with a sonorous self-penned “Cradle Hill” before moving onto the traditional tale of “Jack The Sailor” but most surprisingly it’s the underplayed rendition of John Deacon’s (Queen’s bass player) “You’re My Best Friend” that will undoubtedly bring a wry grin to anyone with a sense of fun. For those that like a bit more meat there’s a nicely re-worked version of “My Husband’s Got No Courage” where Hollet’s double-tracked raunchy singing takes centre stage as if she was auditioning for a place on the X-Factor. Now (and I hate to nit-pick), the only problem with CD digi packs is that you can’t get enough information on them…unless you add a book and the only reason I mention this is that The Once are clearly a band where words play an important part in their presentation and, personally speaking, as a reviewer I like to read the lyrics as I listen to them being sung. Perhaps next time they could put them on their website? With that minor quibble out of the way this is an album well worth adding to your collection. PETE FYFE

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist Web Link: www.theonce.ca

Eliza Carthy releases ‘Monkey’ 7th November…

Eliza Carthy will release her new single ‘Monkey’ through HemHem Records on 7th November. The single is taken from her current album ‘Neptune’, which was recorded at Castle Studios, Edinburgh and co-produced by Dave Wah and Eliza Carthy, ‘Neptune’ is the solo follow up to 2008’s ‘Dreams of Breathing Underwater’ and the first record to be released through her own label, HemHem Records.

Her bravest, most original work to date” 4/5 The Guardian
“A second coming for the saviour of British folk” The Independent
“A cracker” 4/5 MOJO
“One of our most cherished artists” 4/5 Record Collector
“The best original album of her career” 4/5 The Mirror
“A warm, quirky cocoon of sound” Mail on Sunday
“Impressive” Independent On Sunday
“Fearless and uproarious” The Observer

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist Web link: www.eliza-carthy.com

KATE DOUBLEDAY – Pied Flycatcher – COPPER RECORDS CRCD003

Following two full-length albums, Kate’s new EP features three songs: delicate pastoral acoustic gems which embody her closeness to nature and her home in Wales.

Kate herself plays flute, beautifully used on ‘The Dunes’ with its traditional-sounding chorus, and is joined by Marie Smith on cello and Daniel Wilkins on guitar and kora. Daniel imitates the harp perfectly on the title track, a perfect example of transporting an instrument from one culture to another. In passing, do Greeks still play the bouzouki, I wonder? Continue reading KATE DOUBLEDAY – Pied Flycatcher – COPPER RECORDS CRCD003

BRYONY GRIFFITH AND WILL HAMPSON – Lady Diamond (SELWYN MUSIC SYNMCD0007)

Bryony Griffith and Will Hampson have been working together for nearly twenty years, most recently in The Demon Barbers. I take this on trust since the photograph on the cover suggests that they began making music together as children. This is their recording debut as a duo.

All the music on Lady Diamond is traditional and as an old git I find it fascinating to see Anne Briggs and Tony Rose cited as sources – a sign of the times, I suppose, and a recognition of all that has gone before. Continue reading BRYONY GRIFFITH AND WILL HAMPSON – Lady Diamond (SELWYN MUSIC SYNMCD0007)

JOHN DOYLE – Shadow And Light (Compass Records 4562)

John Doyle may, at first hearing appear an earnest, thought provoking artist but at least he cannot be accused of being dull. By that I mean he understands that with extensive knowledge of your subject matter you have in your hands the tools to inspire and in return will hopefully have the same effect on anyone you are imparting this information to. If that is his intention he has certainly found a disciple. Continue reading JOHN DOYLE – Shadow And Light (Compass Records 4562)

THE BAD SHEPHERDS – By Hook Or By Crook (Monsoon Music)

At first the idea of ‘folk’ with a punk attitude didn’t appeal to me more than likely due to my ‘traditional’ prejudices but when I heard that multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley was on board I thought perhaps I shouldn’t be too dismissive. And so it’s proved. Of course, having a front-man as famous as Ade Edmondson spitting out the words helps and third member All-Ireland champion Andy Dinan holds his own.  Continue reading THE BAD SHEPHERDS – By Hook Or By Crook (Monsoon Music)