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Marvin, Welch and Farrar – Second Opinion (Beat Goes On BGOCD714)

How do you carry the burden of being so well established because of another vehicle (in this case The Shadows) that anything else you try pales into insignificance…at least in the eyes of a majority of the general public? Such was the case of Marvin, Welch & Farrar. Well, part of it may have had to do with the fact that they turned from electric gods into acoustic weaklings but, for me at least that’s where a lot of their charm lay. OK, so the comparisons to Crosby, Stills & Nash are inevitable (MW&F even said so themselves) and to some lesser extent the band America but if you give it a chance, particularly in 2012 where ‘acoustic’ music is being heralded as the second coming there may hopefully be reawakened interest. Now, far be it for me to be critical but I’m not sure about the opening track “You’re Burning Bridges” which apparently met with approval from more knowledgeable scribes than me but the intonation on the nylon strung guitar is what might politely be described as being a bit dodgy. The second track “A Thousand Conversations” however is a different kettle of fish with its gently picked 12-string introduction and seductive string arrangement which wouldn’t sound out of place on a BBC Radio 2 show. Collectively Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and John Farrar could rock it out when they needed to as can be witnessed on “Throw Down A Line” and surely a contender alongside the likes of the Goo-Goo Dolls for a Hollywood soundtrack. I just knew when I got this album I was going to be in for a treat little realising just how much of a treat it really turned out to be…a bit like getting the purple wrapped chocolate in a box of Quality Street. If you’re into a slice of country-rock or just into great harmonies and guitar performances then may I humbly suggest you start here.

PETE FYFE

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DOGAN MEHMET Outlandish Album Reviewed

DOGAN MEHMET Outlandish Album ReviewedBlimey mate…luvvaduck…wotcher cock, it wouldn’t surprise me if these and many other colloquialisms were all thrown into Dogan Mehmet’s melting pot and a good few others to boot. If I was in Brick Lane I’d possibly have thought I’d just bought a ‘fake’ CD so colourful is the International vocabulary but no, this is the genuine article. This cross cultural musician (Turkish/English) displays the passion of his roots to exploit traditional songs and instrumental textures with a smattering of youthful vigour and to help steer you as to where I’m coming from think of Jim Moray combined with a slice of Jack The Lad for good measure.

It will help if you don’t think too much about the ensuing clash but go with the flow and just enjoy the recording for what it is. As you may have guessed already, being somewhat an anglophile, for me personally I’m not sure about the Turkish influence (stereotypically too many late nights spent indulging in greasy kebabs and not being able to converse with anyone in the queue perhaps?) but Mehmet’s passion for a broadside ballad has to be admired. If I was on a ‘folk’ jury I’d give him ten out of ten for the English stuff particularly when he includes “Lord Bateman”, “Roaming Journey Man” and “Young Edwin” in his repertoire but let’s just say that the jury is still out on the Turkish stuff…well, look what they did to Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. OK, so if you like your music with bite and don’t mind throwing caution to the wind then I’m pretty sure you’ll find something here to crave your indulgence even though, as the title suggests you may find the whole process a little outlandish.

PETE FYFE

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Folking introduces Will Varley, ‘King For A King’ video and Advert Soundtracks…

Will Varley has been haunting the open mics and acoustic nights of London and the South East for the past decade. His polished live shows have won him a growing crew of faithful followers and after releasing a collection of home demos in 2009 his first proper album ‘Advert Soundtracks’ began production with Smugglers Records in the spring. The collection of ten songs was recorded in the attic of an old fisherman’s cottage by the sea in Kent and produced by David Hatton Jnr. (Cocos Lovers) using an old 1960′s Neumann U47 tube microphone and a beaten up laptop.

After the recording was finished, Varley set out on the road and walked a hundred and thirty miles with a guitar and tent on his back. Starting the tour at London Bridge he headed south east, strolling through the roll- ing hills of the Kent wield and singing songs to whoever would listen. The 24 year old slept in barns, camped at the side of canals and played gigs in the corner of crowded pubs. By the time he strolled back to deal, despite the blisters and the aching muscles, word of his album had begun to spread and he had many a story still to tell.

Since his return, Varley has been gigging relentlessly across the country, with a summer of festival appearances followed by an autumn of support slots, folk clubs, and a number of performances at the Occupy Lon- don protests.

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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Folking introduces Cocos Lovers, ‘Baron of the Trees’ video and the new album…

Operating well beyond the remit of alt-folk, the 7 piece husband and wife led band festival favorites are an incredibly distinctive musical force who channel North African and Eastern influences while still keeping true to their coastal Kent roots. Their second album ‘Elephant Lands’ offers an interesting progression from the band’s debut, blending their characteristic world music feel with sixties melodies, rock guitar riffs and sky high production values.

Since forming just four years ago, the band have toured to great acclaim all over the UK and Europe, sup- porting Mumford and Sons, Nuru Kane and the BFG, Fionn Regan, CW Stoneking, Jonny Flynn and Pete Roe along the way.

Performing to full capacity audiences at Green Man, Secret Garden Party, Glastonbury and Cambridge Folk Festival during the 2011 festival season, Cocos Lovers have been causing quite a stir in the music world, counting BRIT winner Laura Marling and BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey and Cerys Matthews among their fans.

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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Norwegian Fiddler Annbjorg Lien Announces New Album Khoom Loy

“If you like moody, sometimes dark, folk music, punctuated by beautiful musicianship and artistry, then you will find nothing to dislike here.” —PopMatters

“Lien’s spectral fiddling proves hauntingly absorbing as it introduces the past to the future.” —The Washington Post

A virtuoso of Norwegian traditional music deeply inspired by the music of other cultures, fiddler Annbjørg Lien crosses musical borders as a pioneer for true “world music.” Khoom Loy, Thai for “Paper Lanterns,” is Lien’s eighth solo album and explores a broad spectrum of traditions ranging from her traditional Norwegian folk to Irish and Asian music, with Lien playing her native Hardanger fiddle as well as the keyed fiddle. Lien says of the album, “this is a tribute to a lovely ritual of the East: releasing lanterns in remembrance of the dead, or as a prayer for a good life. They serve as bridges connecting us to the past and the future, the east and the west, tradition and innovation.”

Steeped in the music of other cultures, Khoom Loy also represents a first for Lien—her world vocal debut to stunning effect, notably on the title track and “Den Storste Daarlighed,” which also offers a unique fusion of the Indian tabla with Celtic whistles. The album features Bjørn Charles Dreyer, Hans Fredrik Jacobsen, Bjørn Ole Rasch, Per Elias Drabløs, Per Hillestad, Orsa Spelmän, Kristiansand String Quartet, and Pat Broaders.

Winner of the Garmeleng Prize for classical folk and the Hilimar Award in her native Norway, Lien is also is a member of the world music fiddle group String Sisters (Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Liz Knowles, Catriona MacDonald, Liz Carroll and Emma Härdelin) and has collaborated with American fiddler Bruce Molsky amongst many others. Lien comes from a musical family and learned traditional music from her father and classical music at the music school in Ålesund. She has since been teaching privately with other top musicians, including Hauk Buen from Telemark.

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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Magpie, the fantastic new album by Tess with selected album SoundCloud track…

TESS was born in 1972. In the following years, there could have not been a better education into music and songcraft! Bowie, The Doors, John Lennon -it all left a caliber of musical structure and melody that strongly imprinted on the mind of a growing child. As each newly released song was lapped up on a Sunday “chart show” afternoon, it taught him how to express what he, a quiet child, found hard to do through words alone, yet more importantly it gave him something to aspire to.

For most of his adult life, he didn’t fully embrace a music career. To him, his songs were more like intimate diary entries, recording the major passages of his life. But songs eventually led to performances; and those gigs led to a chance meeting with a cellist in a café. Through her, TESS was introduced to producer and strings arranger Howard Gott. Howard recognised the strength of the vocals, guitar structure and they began work. Howard bought an air of patience to the recording with his string parts offering sensitivity and texture. The album took well over a year to develop, often with long periods of reflection in between tracks; he was determined to give it “his all”. Every song has to be based on the truth of his life; some of the lyrics so intimate that he still finds it hard to directly address their meaning. The result? “An album that creeps under the skin with each listen” (ACOUSTIC MAGAZINE).

And so we have Magpie, 11 songs of depth and introspection. At times haunting and deeply personal – yet always unmistakable. “Not to be ignored”, say MOJO. Available via the Amazon link below:

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.