JIM MORAY – Skulk (NIBL013)

Perhaps its Moray’s numerous tales of brushes with death on previous recordings that inspired him to use the collective noun for foxes ‘Skulk’ as the title of his latest CD. Or maybe you’ve just seen the series “Whitechapel” on TV? Whatever the reason, his opening choice of song “The Captain’s Apprentice” is a brooding piece of work that would settle comfortably alongside any recording by June Tabor and I certainly applaud the unsettling choice of piano chords on a stark background of saxophone used for its texture rather than as a melody. This really is an unpretentious, Gothic piece of dramatic theatre that wouldn’t sound out of place as the soundtrack to a David Lynch or David Cronenberg movie Continue reading JIM MORAY – Skulk (NIBL013)

OONAGH DERBY – Harmony Street (KTM Records KTM001)

In a way Oonah Derby’s story reflects Irish chanteuse Mary Black’s transformation as singer for General Humbert to her more elevated position as a conveyer of contemporary songs. Having come via a traditional music grounding in the band ‘Nua’ Derby has slipped effortlessly into the mantle of singer-songwriter in collaboration with guitarist Gerard Thompson. From what I’m sure was a pretty safe environment propelling oneself into the glare of the contemporary music genre is quite a step but one that I’m sure will pay dividends as soon as everyone has become aware of her and in this technological day and age who’s not to say that isn’t possible? Continue reading OONAGH DERBY – Harmony Street (KTM Records KTM001)

THE CARRIVICK SISTERS – FROM THE FIELDS

The Carrivick Sisters are twins Laura and Charlotte Carrivick from South Devon. Both are skilled multi-instrumentalists and between them they play a variety of bluegrass-associated instruments – guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro and fiddle. Though just 21 years old, Laura and Charlotte are already accomplished songwriters, fine individual singers, and they harmonise hauntingly, as often only siblings can, their beguiling voices blending together irresistibly. Although their principle influence is bluegrass, their music also has a strong folk influence, with many of their original songs inspired by their local landscape and stories. Continue reading THE CARRIVICK SISTERS – FROM THE FIELDS

Cheyenne Brown – Parallel Latitudes

Alaskan harpist Cheyenne Brown’s beautifully packaged new album “Parallel Latitudes” is a project which aims to highlight connections between music of her homeland, her adopted home of Scotland and sources further a field.

Jigs, reels and tunes are presented with an eclectic mix of accompanying instruments ranging from dobra to banjo, tabla to bodhran. Traditional airs are given inventive settings and juxtaposed against atmospheric melodies with Cheyenne’s own compositions “Seals at Rhu” and “Ruth’s Recovery” showing that she is a musical force to be reckoned with as well as a harpist of great dexterity. Continue reading Cheyenne Brown – Parallel Latitudes