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Introducing Marc O’Reilly…

‘My Friend Marx’ is the debut album from Irish folk-blues artist Marc O’Reilly. Its release has been greeted with much acclaim in his native Ireland and received extensive national media, radio and TV exposure with Marc been strongly tipped to follow artists like James Vincent McMorrow and Villagers as Irelands international breakthrough artist of 2012.

The video for his first single, ‘My Friend Marx’, won the Best Music Video at the DareMedia Underground Short Film Festival Awards in 2011.

Marc was invited to open for John Grant on his recent Irish Tour and his song ‘Family Reunion’ was chosen by ISCA as their ‘PLAY Irish’ song for Dec’11.

Marc’s album ranges from US and UK inspired folk ‘n’ blues to African percussive rhythms. His roots may lie in Ireland and France, but Marc’s sound rests somewhere between the American-influenced folk-blues of Peter Green and contemporaries such as Ray LaMontagne. Marc is gaining a reputation as a spellbinding live performer and his musical journey has seen him play across different continents with gigs in Europe the US and Australia in 2011.

2012 will kick of with UK dates in February followed by a trip to Toronto in March for some gigs as part of Canadian Music Week.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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“A remarkable debut ” Hot Press Magazine
“ A classy debut ” Dan Hegarty (2FM)

Artist Web link: www.marcoreillymusic.com

SUZY BOGGUSS – American Folk Songbook CD and Songbook (Loyal Dutchess Records LDR 1006)

When I took my first faltering steps into the world of ‘folk’ music my music teacher presented me with a book of American folk songs edited by Alan Lomax. That memory is once again evoked by this glorious collection of songs and what better way than to reminisce than with Suzy Bogguss. It sounds very much as if Ms Bogguss and I travelled the same road for isn’t it best that in the first instance you should ‘enjoy’ what you’re performing and if possible invite everybody in who’ll listen? If that is the case then this comes across in a presentation that is simple yet effective utilising amongst others the skills of musicians including Jerry Douglas (dobro), Stuart Duncan (fiddle & mandolin) and John McCutcheon on hammer dulcimer. Along with long time associate Pat Bergeson on guitar Suzy’s lyrical style is all encompassing with an easy going approach that will appeal to anyone who feels a kinship with predominantly traditional ‘folk’ music. Opening with the unrequited love song “Shady Grove” of which the melody in the UK is more recognisable as that employed by Fairport for “Matty Groves” (but nowhere near so gory) the catalogue of 17 tracks reads like a top of the pops list of those we have loved. “Shenandoah”, “Red River Valley” and Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer” are all treated with dignity never allowing the arrangement to become indulgent thereby giving an honest, orderly representation of the chosen material. The hardback book is well laid out with piano accompaniment and guitar chords and Suzy’s informative notes make for interesting reading but not (thankfully) in a scholarly way. This project was obviously put together by someone who wants to convey the message that ‘folk’ music is good for the soul and if you’ll allow it you too can become an advocate. If the CD and book get the kudos they deserve I hope it won’t be too long before another recording is in the offing – perhaps with “The Titanic” and “Jesse James” amongst them?

PETE FYFE

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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Artist Web link: http://www.suzybogguss.com/

The Henry Girls – December Moon

The Henry Girls are fast becoming one of the most talked about folk/roots acts to come out of the North West of Ireland in the last decade , and they are now also developing an international reputation performing overseas, including the US. Hailing from the picturesque village of Malin in the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, they have a unique sound which blends classic traditional Irish folk music with a hint of Americana, a nod to bluegrass and many more in between.

They are renowned for their fine close harmonies and musical arrangements, and have been likened to many other harmonising siblings such as The McGarrigle Sisters, The Andrews Sisters and The Everly Brothers. Their sound has also been compared to such great musical acts as Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Dixie Chicks and the Be Good Tanyas.

The new album December Moon is now available and so far has been really well received and has been getting national and international airplay with great reviews from Irish Music Magazine and Music Review Unsigned.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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.

Award-Winning Songsmith Susan Greenbaum Announces This Life

Susan Greenbaum committed the first sin of musicians: She quit her day job. After working as a corporate executive in Fortune 500 companies, she traded her power suits for performing and songwriting. Since then, the Harvard graduate is poised for success, having won several national songwriting awards, including the Smithsonian Songwriters Award, The Philadelphia Songwriters Project and released four albums independently. Now, Greenbaum is releasing This Life, her most insightful and engaging songs to date, distributed by Compass Records Group this January 31st.

Not only were the songwriting trophies a boost to Greenbaum’s career change, she won a national competition to be the opening act for Jewel and enjoyed overwhelming success on the tour, welcoming thousands of new fans. Prior to This Life, her most recent album of all-original songs, Hey, Hey, Hey! was lauded by Billboard for having songs with “hooks that drill into your brain; smart, organic production; and lyrical substance to make the music an interactive experience.”

Her success has not come without sacrifice, as the tragedy of personal loss lends itself to the depth to Greenbaum’s songwriting. The album-opening “This Life” is a reflective letter to her brother who passed away from brain cancer; she wrote the song a week before her wedding. “I was thinking about how he wasn’t going to be at my wedding but maybe he was, maybe he is somewhere safe and healthy and not in pain and able to at least look down on all of us. That’s the whole idea of the song­—a conversation with him.” Greenbaum instills a glimpse of hope and recovery in her music, even in songs inspired by tragedy.

The album is far from somber and includes high-energy singles such as “Big,” a lively recipe for fame and fortune. “It’s very me, it’s funny and cynical and it’s unafraid to really look at things and be blunt and honest and there’s positivity in it and there’s reflection in… It’s like, ‘Chop chop! Let’s get to it, let’s get famous!’” The album includes lighthearted love songs like “Penny on the Sidewalk” and even a novelty bonus track lamenting the consequences of the indecision of squirrels.

Recorded in Nashville at Compass Sound Studios and produced by Garry West and Alison BrownThis Life includes such esteemed musicians as multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Todd Phillips on upright bass, and the banjo of Alison Brown on the tracks “Virginia, the Home of My Heart” and “The Squirrel Song.” Says Greenbaum of the recording process, “Garry and Alison are very right-brained as well as very left-brained, and I am too, so we worked very well together. I had no idea what was going to happen, but it was one of the smartest risks I’ve ever taken!”

Greenbaum draws big, enthusiastic audiences who delight in her lively, diverse and powerful performances. Greenbaum has toured as a solo artist, playing such storied venues as The Bitter End in NYC, The Birchmere, Bethlehem Musikfest, Floyd Fest and Rams Head Tavern. In addition to touring with Jewel, she performed an acoustic set with Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley; sharing bills with Jill Sobule; and opening for Kenny Loggins, Patty Griffin, Dar Williams, Janis Ian, Jim Messina, Todd Snider, Tuck and Patti, Iris DeMent, Lucy Kaplansky, Lloyd Cole and Catie Curtis. Susan also endorses W.L Gore’s Elixir Strings.

Unafraid, brazen and under five feet tall, the dynamic Greenbaum shares an empowering message: “If you have something you know you love to do and you want to do it, you can do it! Follow your dreams!”

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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.

Some exciting news about RENAISSANCE…

RENAISSANCE: DREAMS & OMENS / TUSCANY / LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN – LIVE IN JAPAN 2011. This set provides a glorious glimpse into the musical legacy of a great British group, performing at the height of their fame and success. Annie Haslam’s crystal clear vocals soaring through hit songs, is just one of the pleasures to be derived from these albums. Michael Dunford is interviewed by respected author and journalist Chris Welch for the exclusive detailed liner notes in the booklets that accompany these three releases. All three albums have been expertly re-mastered, superb sound, top quality reproductions – the best in the business.

Dreams & OmensLive At The Tower Theatre, Philadelphia 1978: This album has been hailed by the critics as the best ‘live’ album by Renaissance, and it features six songs rescued from the archives by Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford. It includes a live version of the delightful hit single Northern Lights plus songs from their key 70’s albums Ashes Are Burning, Turn Of The Cards and Novella. This album is an important addition to any collection of Renaissance musical artistry.

Tuscany: First released in 2000, this was the comeback album for the classic, definitive line-up of Renaissance, with Annie Haslam on vocals and Michael Dunford on guitars, that went on to great success worldwide. This ten track studio album is a must for all admirers of a tasteful and elegant ensemble that shows how good music can mature like a fine wine!

In The Land Of The Rising Sun: Renaissance were particularly welcome in the Far East where they performed in 2001. In The Land Of The Rising Sun is a two CD set, comprising of fifteen tracks and recorded live in concert in Japan. On this release the band tackle such newer songs as Lady From Tuscany, and other older favourites from past albums, like Mother RussiaTrip To The Fair and Ashes Are Burning – a mammoth twenty-minute epic. It is often said they don’t make music like this anymore.

Well, thanks to Renaissance, they still do. Welcome back to a show you can’t miss…

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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Wailin’ Jenny – Ruth Moody’s debut solo album

Ruth Moody’s debut solo album The Garden was released January 16 on Red House Records

The Garden is the first full-length solo album from Ruth Moody. A founding member of the Billboard-charting folk supergroup The Wailin’ Jennys, she has long been recognized for her captivating voice, superb musicianship and impressive songwriting. Ruth displays all this and more on this stunning, highly anticipated release.

Gardens, like the seasons, are symbols of life and its cycles.” Ruth says. “They have always been magical places for me–where the tiniest seeds are planted and grow into beautiful expressions of life.”

Appropriately, the album opens with ‘The Garden’, which refers to an awakening, according to Ruth. “It was inspired by a theme from Voltaire’s Candide – the idea that we must work on our garden and make our little corner of the world beautiful, in whatever way we can.” Performed on the banjo and layered with lush strings and harmonies, this is the perfect introduction to Ruth’s rich and vibrant collection of songs.

Stretching beyond traditional acoustic sounds, the record uses organ, horns and pedal steel to create radio-friendly pop tunes like ‘Travellin’ Shoes’ and ‘Closer Now’, in addition to more spare tracks like the traditionally-inspired ‘Nest’, the sensual ‘Cold Outside’ and the poignant ‘Never Said Goodbye’. An unexpected treat is the sweet and catchy duet ‘We Can Only Listen’, co-written with Matt Peters of The Waking Eyes. In addition to Peters, Ruth is joined by an all-star musical cast that includes neo-bluegrass band Crooked Still, Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, k.d. lang), Luke Doucet, and a guest appearance by The Wailin’ Jennys. Sure to be a hit with Americana and folk fans, Ruth’s verdant garden of songs is a breath of fresh air.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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: https://www.facebook.com/Ruth-Moody-94362040214/