Meet hazeyjane – ambient guitar experimentalists

hazeyjane

Creation of Northamptonshire-based composer, acclaimed acoustic guitarist and singer Chris Brown, hazeyjane is the vehicle for the live musical expression of his own original songs and adaptive arrangements of celebrated pieces of poetry. Chris’ voice is often said to resemble that of David Sylvian and his ambient acoustic guitar style uses unusual tunings and spider capos to create exquisite guitar figures and motifs that give his songs distinctively airy, graceful and spacious qualities.

The soundscape settings of his songs are enriched by the accompaniment provided by the signature singing sound of Kevin T Ward’s fretless bass and his use of harmonics, stopping and chords to add rhythmic expression, texture, and colour.

The hazeyjane line-up was bolstered recently by the addition of percussionist David ‘Hopi’ Hopkins and his myriad nuanced, percussive textures, which contribute greatly to the overall mood of the hazeyjane sound.

Most rewarding to a listening and discerning audience, hazeyjane aim to produce mellow and melodic music that is, in turns, intense and intimate, dreamy and dynamic, relaxing in its mellifluence but hauntingly atmospheric; music that, ultimately, seeks the sublime.

Chris plays Taylor, Maestro and Takamine acoustic guitars and Kevin uses Roscoe and Sandberg 5 string fretless bass guitars.

Their debut album release, One, was recorded and mastered at Tu-kay Records in Stoke Bruerne, and released July 2016 to a series of glowing reviews.

Artists’ website: http://www.tu-kayrecords.com/hazeyjane

‘Things Behind The Sun’:

Nick Ellis – spring tour dates

Nick Ellis

Nick Ellis is a Liverpool-based singer and guitarist who released his debut album Daylight Ghosts via Liverpool label Mellowtone Records in November 2016.

Ellis blends streetscape narrative-noir with a classic British acoustic approach. Using a blend of rhythmic attack and finger-quick lucidity, his sound has been described as “a conversation between Elvis Costello and John Martyn”. On his songwriting Ellis says:

“I see my songs as chapters and scenes, my albums as movies and books. Except, in this film, these stories are true”. Ellis has a strong urge to give a voice to the voiceless,

“I try to write from the stance of the ignored, unloved, the defeated, those on the fringes of society who are isolated socially due to such challenging everyday issues like mental health, education, opportunity and confidence. Hence, the title of the album, Daylight Ghosts”.

Ellis is greatly inspired by masters of musical story telling such as Gil Scott-Heron and Townes Van Zandt, writers such as Kerouac and the Beats, and exemplary articulators of gritty social commentary directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.

Daylight Ghosts was recorded in one six-hour stint on a cold, dark Sunday evening in January 2016. As Ellis explains “we wanted it to be as pure as possible in single takes. If anything, the room itself – Liverpool’s St. George’s Hall Crown Court Room – brought more to the songs than we could have possibly imagined. All that wood, stone and marble awoke a century’s worth of ghosts. Sounds danced with the room; characters came alive; streetscapes suddenly became three dimensional and words hung as heavy as the very hearts of those who had once stood in that room to be judged, condemned and even worse, sentenced to hang. In fact, the last British man to be sent to the gallows (21 year old Peter Anthony Allen – 13th August 1964, Walton Prison, Liverpool) was done so from that very court room. The weight of history in that room cannot be described, only felt and Daylight Ghosts is a document of that very essence. Times may change, but history never fades.”

This naked honesty and directness is felt in every note of the album, a testament to Ellis’ virtuosic talent as an instrumentalist and singer, as well as his incredible ability as a communicator.

Following the triumphant EP Grace & Danger in April 2016, Ellis now presents the final piece in the puzzle: “this music, these stories, have lived themselves into songs. Some are like discarded photographs, found upon the floor. Some like a strange encounter with a strange old face. Others, like those forgotten people who appear from out of nowhere and go straight back into it. Like Ghosts, Daylight Ghosts”.

Artist’s/Label website: http://mellowtonerecords.com

Tour Dates

LIVERPOOL 4th March – District. The Key Card Launch.

MANCHESTER 18th March, supporting Ian Prowse, with Ceremony Concerts
(Ian is formerly singer/songwriter with Pele, and also Amsterdam)

LIVERPOOL 1st April. Super Weird Happening at the Florrie.

LIVERPOOL – 22nd April – Jacaranda Records (Mellowtone Records Party, Record Store Day)

MANCHESTER – 22nd April – The Castle

Southdowns Folk Festival – first names announced

Southdowns

Planning and preparations are well under way for this year`s popular Southdowns Folk Festival which is happening in and around Bognor Regis between Thursday 21st and Sunday 24th September.

This year will see a lot more Town Centre activities with a bigger & even more spectacular dance programme, expanded delightful street markets, music workshops, sessions, singarounds, childrens’ fun & games, Sussex Young Folk Competition, Real Ale Festival and to cap it all, a very impressive line up of great headliners and superb support acts.

The Festival starts on Thursday evening 21 September in the Alexandra Theatre with the wonderful & hugely talented Steve Knightley from Show of Hands, supported by a knock-out British Americana Band, The Jigantics. Friday evening sees the welcome return after four years of one of the U.K`s very top Folk/Rock bands, Home Service with the brilliant and award-winning duo Megson providing support. On Saturday evening, one of the most exciting and dynamic bands around come to the Festival. These are the multi-award winning Scottish band Skerryvore with support from the excellent Alistair Goodwin Band. Finally, Sunday evening in the Regis Centre Studio will see the one and only Richard Digance taking the stage with support from BBC Folk Award nominated, Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin.

There`ll be loads of other great performers including a welcome back to the lovely Flossie Malavialle and for the first time at the Festival, the guitar virtuoso, Sarah McQuaid plus appearances from the Bath Young Folk Band, Steve Dan Mills, Celtic Simbel and many others.

Full Weekend Tickets for the Festival are on sale now, costing just £69 for six great evening & afternoon concerts, and if you book BY POST on or before end February, you`ll get a full 10% OFF this price! Ticket bookings and more information can be got by going to www.southdownsfolkfest.co.uk or Facebook page plus www.WeGotTickets.co.uk, and www.regiscentre.co.uk or Regis Centre Box Office (01243 861010 ) where individual evening & afternoon tickets can be booked.

Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors reveal new album

Drew Holcombe
Photograph by Ashtin Paige

Souvenirs. Drew Holcomb has collected many of them. A road warrior for more than a decade, he’s spent his adulthood onstage and on the road, traveling from place to place with a catalogue of vibrant, honest songs that explore the full range of American roots music. He turns a new corner with 2017’s Souvenir, a highly-collaborative album that finds Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors focusing on the things that truly stick with you, including family and friends, music and memories, people and places, in a fast-moving world. Continue reading Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors reveal new album

Harri Endersby announces her debut album

Harri Endersby

Durham-based musician and songwriter Harri Endersby is proud to release her full-length, debut album Homes/Lives. The 11-track album is a collection of songs written by Harri over the past two years, the recording of which has been made possible by 85 ‘backers’ who funded the album process through her successful Kickstarter campaign.

Growing up in County Durham and its thriving folk scene, Harri’s music has been heavily influenced by the region’s crowd of prestigious folk singers and musicians, her lyrics being firmly rooted in the pastoral and the world of story-telling. Her new album Homes/Lives presents a transition in style, beginning with acoustic, stripped-back tracks whilst gradually introducing electronic instrumentation and beats as the album progresses. This interweaving of genres has been inspired by Harri’s love of Icelandic electro-folk and the likes of Ásgeir and Samaris.

Her 5-track EP Ivy Crown released in 2014, rose to number 17 in the iTunes singer-songwriter charts and had tracks played on BBC Newcastle Introducing, The Folk Show on Bishop FM and Roger William’s World of Difference.

Harri Endersby is currently scheduling a tour for autumn 2017.

Artist’s website: www.facebook.com/harriendersbymusic

‘Stay Awhile’:

Ron Sexsmith announces new album

Ron Sexsmith

Three-time Juno award winner Ron Sexsmith has revealed details about his new album, The Last Rider. Ron’s thirteenth studio recording was co-produced at The Bathouse Studios in Kingston, Ontario by longtime drummer and collaborator Don Kerr and Sexsmith. The album is his first to include Ron’s touring band.

Since making his major-label debut in 1995, Ron Sexsmith has become recognized worldwide as one of Canada’s most reknowned songwriters.  He counts among his fans no less than Elvis Costello, Elton John and Paul McCartney and has amassed no less than eight Juno Award nominations as Songwriter of the Year.

“At this point, it’s just second nature for me to write short, melodic songs that say everything I want to say,” says Sexsmith. “But having my band totally involved on this album maybe brought out more in the songs than on other recent albums. It felt special, anyway.”

On the album’s most poignant moments, such as ‘Man At The Gate (1913)’, there certainly is a sense—as with all of Sexsmith’s best songs—that life is often richer than we make it out be, and we should embrace that. In this case, the point is made through a photograph taken a century ago in front of Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods park, conveying the message that although styles and attitudes change, we all remain connected through our shared humanity. It all sprang from Sexsmith simply buying a postcard at a shop near his house one day.

“In the photograph, there’s a man walking by the gates of the park, and you can barely see him, but that’s the kind of thing I easily get obsessed about,” he says. “I couldn’t stop thinking that that guy could be me 100 years later, and really could be all of us. We’re here for a certain period of time, and we leave behind these traces of who we were that have the potential to inspire people who come along after we’re gone. To me, that’s really beautiful.”

Although Ron Sexsmith has more music to come that is sure to inspire us, for now The Last Rider is the latest addition to a body of work as impressive as any produced in the past quarter-century. Through truth and simplicity, Sexsmith’s songs help us get closer to the things that make us better people, meaning that an album like The Last Rider is as necessary now as anything he has ever done.

The Last Rider will be released April 21st, 2017 on Compass Records.

If you would like to order a copy of the one of the albums (in CD or Vinyl), download them or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Ron Sexsmith link 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.

ORDER – [CD]

Artist’s website: http://www.ronsexsmith.com/

Songs from The Last Rider: