FOLKLAW – The Tales That They Tell (Own Label)

After releasing his debut album, Nation’s Pride, under the name Folklaw, Nick Gibbs has now put together a full band to go with that name and progress to a second CD. The line-up comprises guitarists Bryn Williams and Lyndon Webb with Gaz Hunt and, on loan from ColvinQuarmby, Marty Fitzgibbon on backing vocals and percussion. Their sound is light enough for small venues with Gibbs’ fiddle and Webb’s mandolin providing lead lines but also robust enough for festival gigs.

All bar one of the songs are by Nick and most address Continue reading FOLKLAW – The Tales That They Tell (Own Label)

THE YOUNG ’UNS – When Our Grandfathers Said No (Navigator NAVIGATOR075)

The Young ’Uns are probably the most entertaining group I’ve heard in a folk club in a long while. This is not just because of the quality of their music but on-stage banter, in the course of which they’re as unconscionably rude to each other as only the very best of friends can be.

When Our Grandfathers Said No is actually their fourth album but the first on a major label with a producer from outside the trio as Stu Hanna takes over from David Eagle. It shows in the relative solemnity of the album – there is no place for a song like ‘No More Frying Bacon’ or the ten minutes of hysterical out-takes that conclude their previous outing, Man, I Feel Like A Young ’Un. Sean Cooney, Michael Phelps and David Eagle are from the north-east, specifically Hartlepool and Stockton, and inevitably draw on maritime themes – they do enjoy a good shanty.

The Young ’Uns sound very traditional – three part harmony, with accordion and a little guitar and piano – but try as you might you won’t find a single traditional song on this album. They choose carefully – Ron Angel’s ‘The Chemical Worker’s Song’ is second up and there are songs from the famous Kipling/Bellamy partnership – but more important is Sean Cooney. He writes with a feel for place and time like Angel, Johnny Handle or Matt McGinn. The opening ‘Another Storm’ and ‘The Battle Of Stockton’, from which the album’s title comes, are particularly good examples and ‘One December Morn’ is a lament which inexplicably puts me in mind of ‘The Wife Of Usher’s Well’ despite there being no connection between the two.

I can recommend both Young ’Uns CDs that I’ve got hold of but, above all, I recommend you hear them live and put your singing heads on. You’ll need them. Dai Jeffries

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.

GEORGE STEVENS – A Toad In The Hand – GPJ Records GBN7M1100001-12

George Stevens is a maker of bespoke musical instruments by profession and a maker of music by instinct and inclination. His debut EP, 3 Tunes, came into my possession last year and I really liked it. It was by way of being a demo and perhaps a testing of the waters and there was talk of a full-length album. This is it.

His principal instruments are bouzouki, percussion and border pipes but he also plays keyboards and hümmelchen, which was a new one on me, but is a small German bagpipe dating from the Renaissance. With influences Continue reading GEORGE STEVENS – A Toad In The Hand – GPJ Records GBN7M1100001-12

Dylan Mondegreen – Dylan Mondegreen FOLKWIT RECORDS F0087

It isn’t his real name, of course, but it caught my attention and I bet it caught yours, too. Børge Sildnes is Norwegian, although you wouldn’t know it from his singing or writing. He sounds younger than he looks in his cover photo but I think that’s because he is younger. This is his third album and his first to get a full UK release. He’s not prolific and it has taken a while to get to this point, something perhaps explained in ‘Life As A Father’.

His music is sophisticated, orchestral indie-folk-pop and it is that sophistication that sets him apart from Continue reading Dylan Mondegreen – Dylan Mondegreen FOLKWIT RECORDS F0087

JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN – They May Put Land Between Us (FOLKWIT RECORDS f0083)

Joyce The Librarian are as enigmatic as their music. They would seem to be a quartet from Bristol led by singer-songwriter Martin Callingham. That said they are surrounded by a number of musicians who are as important to the sound as the core of the band. This is their full length debut following the EP, The Weight Of The Line, earlier this year and the single ‘Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You’ which almost qualifies as a singalong number.

Over guitars and organ (Tom Van Eker and Houdie) and Will Simpson’s cello are more strings, brass and Continue reading JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN – They May Put Land Between Us (FOLKWIT RECORDS f0083)

Dai Jeffries reviews GALLEY BEGGAR’s latest release…

There have been major line-up changes since Galley Beggar released their debut album, Reformation House, a couple of years ago. Gone are lead vocalist Frances Tye, violinist Prasanthi Matharu and pianist and bassist Paul Murphy.

The intent remains the same. There’s still an attachment to the classic folk-rock of the seventies but without Frances’ recorders there is less nu-folk and a harder edge thanks, in part, to Maria O’Donnell’s vocals. The material is split between traditional and original material although sometimes it’s hard to say which is which. ‘Daverne Lamb’ written by Paul Dadswell and David Ellis could easily be traditional both in delivery and content although the final two songs, ‘Hymn To Pan’ and ‘Birds & Fish’ hark back to their earlier style. The opener, ‘Willow Tree’, is in the Spriguns/Steeleye Span vein with ringing mandolin, fiddle, electric guitar and drums that say 1975 over and over again and ‘Nottamun Town’ has that wonderful drone effect that both Fairport and Pentangle used to achieve.

I’m heartened that Galley Beggar has an audience for what some would consider an old-fashioned take on the music. They are tight and dynamic and there isn’t a folk festival in the country that wouldn’t benefit from having them on the bill. Dai Jeffries

Artist web link: www.galleybeggar.com/wordpress

folkmaster – Here is a track from their first album as I can’t lay may hands on any material from the new album:

The new album is available form the web link above. If you’ve not got it and you fancy it, Reformation House is a available to download from the amazon link below.

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.