CHRIS RICKETTS – Port Of Escape – ACOUSTIC FUSION RECORDS AF01

Shanties seem to be coming back into fashion, which some of us regard as a good thing, and Chris Ricketts’ debut solo album is thus a timely collection of traditional shanties and songs of the sea given modern treatments. He starts out traditionally enough with ‘South Australia’, ‘Hanging Johnny’ and ‘Round The Bay Of Mexico’ which will do nothing to upset the purists. Then he slides into ‘The Mingulay Boat Song’ and things change. Sir Hugh S Roberton’s lyrics have undergone considerable editing over the past eighty years (does that make it old enough to be called traditional now?) and Chris’ text is broadly that of The McPeakes. It is at this point that his band: producer Steve Hampton, Alex Stack and Garry Blakeley begin to make their presence felt. ‘Blood Red Roses’ rocks and ‘Spanish Ladies’ is rich and full-bodied. Continue reading CHRIS RICKETTS – Port Of Escape – ACOUSTIC FUSION RECORDS AF01

PETER KNIGHT’S GIGSPANNER – The Electric Theatre, Guildford – 15 September 2011

Gigspanner are a band for whom improvisation is as important as composition. In theory, no two performances will be the same even with the same set list. I’d love to hear them on two successive nights in different venues but I’ve had to content myself with hearing them twice this year. It’s fascinating to hear how the music has evolved over a few months – or is it just that this is how it was on this night in this theatre with this audience? Continue reading PETER KNIGHT’S GIGSPANNER – The Electric Theatre, Guildford – 15 September 2011

ELBOW JANE – THE BOLDEST BLOOD

Now established as one of the finest live acoustic acts in the UK, Elbow Jane have just released their second CD with Fellside Records entitled The Boldest Blood. National press have described their music as “utterly infectious” and confirmed them as “one of the top acoustic acts in the country.” Hailing from Merseyside their unique blend of bouzouki, mandolin, guitar, keyboards and percussion is complemented by expressive vocals and stunning harmonies winning them national acclaim from top artists, festival organisers and radio across the country. This dynamic quintet bring energy, excitement and enthusiasm to their music – they’ll make you laugh, they’ll make you cry and continue to delight their audiences winning widespread friends & followers. The release of their latest album sees a string of live dates across the UK. Further gig information is available from the web-link below. Continue reading ELBOW JANE – THE BOLDEST BLOOD

Paul Johnson interviews PJ Wright – (Harvey!) at Cropredy 2011

The incomparable Mr. Paul Johnson’s interview with PJ Wright at Cropredy 2011. Paul talks to PJ about: Dylan Project, PJ and Peggy tour news, the weather, the “Thomas the Rhymer” camper and the general Cropredy vibe.

Click on the player or the link below to listen to the interview.

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.

For more information on all things PJ go to http://www.hedgeofsound.com/

The Waterboys – An Appointment with Mr. Yeats

‘An Appointment with Mr Yeats’ sees the words of W B Yeats, one of Ireland’s greatest literary sons, merged with the music of The Waterboys, one of Britain and Ireland’s greatest rock bands, in a truly unique and ambitious musical undertaking. The album features an extended Waterboys line-up including fiddle maestro Steve Wickham, new Irish singer Katie Kim, multi-instrumentalist Kate St. John, Flook flautist Sarah Allen and Catalan trombonist Blaise Margail. ‘An Appointment with Mr Years’ draws on fourteen of Yeats’ poems, spanning both famous and lesser known works, from the wry to the romantic, the political to the mythological, all invigorated with the energy and exuberance of The Waterboys.

The project has long been a passion for Waterboys vocalist Mike Scott, who first delivered a new dimension to Yeats’ poetry in 1988, when he wrote a musical accompaniment for the classic poem The Stolen Child, during the making of the Waterboys seminal album ‘Fisherman’s Blues’.

Five years later he set another Yeats poem to music, Love and Death, which appeared on their ‘Dream Harder’ album. Over the years, Scott has been quietly crafting a wealth of material similarly based on the writings of Yeats. A number of these were performed by him at the Abbey Theatre during the Yeats International Festival in 1991, but most have remained in Scott’s private songbook awaiting the right vehicle. An Appointment with Mr. Yeats is that long-awaited context.

Scott’s love of literature is firmly embedded throughout the work of The Waterboys. He has also put the writings of Robert Burns, James Stephens, Kenneth Grahame and George MacDonald to song. Speaking on his literary influences and loves, Scott explains: “I grew up in a house full of books so literature and language have always been important to me. Working with other peoples’ words is something that comes as natural to me as working with my own. In a way it’s even more immediate; I’ve always found writing music an easier process than the writing of lyrics, and setting words of the quality of Yeats’ to music is an enormous privilege and treat.”

An Appointment with Mr. Yeats is a unique and memorable opportunity for lovers of great music and great literature to celebrate the union of song and word in one spectacular record.

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.

See the website for more details: http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/

David Ferrard releases ‘Journeyman’ on 03.10.2011

Scottish-American singer-songwriter and folk musician, David Ferrard, releases Journeyman, an album of finely-crafted original songs marked by a strong social conscience. Ferrard takes the listener on a musical journey in his most autobiographical album to date, from the elliptical opening song of reconciliation and hope (Bridges) to the haunting closing number (The War Carries On – Turn, Turn Turn), in which he interweaves folk legend Pete Seeger’s 1960s peace anthem with his own contemporary lyric.  Throughout Journeyman Ferrard explores personal issues of identity, childhood, relationship and family break-ups, as well as those affecting humanity in other areas of the world: genocide in Bosnia (Wildflowers), AIDS-ravaged Africa (The Father Says), and the legacy of war both at home and abroad (The War Carries On – Turn, Turn, Turn). Continue reading David Ferrard releases ‘Journeyman’ on 03.10.2011