SINGLES BAR 20

A round-up of recent EPs and singles

Singles Bar 20The first of three self-released themed EPs set for 2017 from Devon duo INDIA ELECTRIC CO., pianist/violinist and accordionist Joseph O’Keefe and Cole Stacey vocals/ percussion, EC1M (Shoelay) offers five tracks variously coloured by influences drawn diversely from Ireland, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. Named for the building in which they lived when they moved to London(the EP title its postcode), ‘Farmiloe’ makes for an intoxicating opener, keys, violin and squeezebox conjuring a sort of mutant Gallic atmosphere (it features found sound recorded in Paris) filtered through Eastern vibes while the chorus references both the traditional ‘Farewell He’ and e e cummings.

Another American poet, Barbara Guest, feeds into ‘Parachutes’ which, with its pulsing fiddle and prepared piano, quotes the title of her poem Parachutes My Love Could Carry Us Higher while also enfolding in midway the traditional tune ‘The Green Gowned Lass’. Tempo shifting ballad ‘Camelot’ is a heavily percussive piano number with plucked violin notes while, named for a champion 1913 racing pigeon to underscore its theme of endurance, ‘The King Of Rome’ takes off into avant-jazz territory, the musical backdrop designed to conjure nonstop traffic. All of which climaxes with the swirling crescendos of the pizzicato ‘Castles In Spain’, inspired by a passage in the celebrated French medieval poem The Romance of the Rose. Impressively inventive and eclectic, I can’t wait to hear that the other two EPs will have to offer.
www.indiaelectricco.com

Robert Jackson and Isaac Collier are two buskers who met in Bristol and became local stars as A DIFFERENT THREAD since when their name has spread nationwide. Their debut EP, Home From Home, produced by Luke Cawthra, might best be described as Anglo-Americana. Jackson writes the songs, sings them and plays guitar and harmonica and Collier plays cello and arranges parts for the half-dozen guest musicians including singer/songwriter Ruth Royall. The opening track, ‘Big Crane’, has a lazy bluesy feel and ‘The Same Cloth’ uses Jonny Bruce’s trumpet to add a touch of classic swing. ‘A Wayward Sun’ is the sort of complex song that you would expect from much older writer and this debut bodes well for a very bright future.
http://www.adifferentthread.com/

Championed by Bob Harris, Scotland’s YVONNE LYON is building a name for herself in the folk Americana field, her latest bid for the spotlight being the self-released Till We Meet Again, a piano backed swayalong song of loss co-written with a friend whose young son died from septicaemia and forming part of her Masters degree on the connection between songwriting and grief. It comes with two extra cuts, the quietly acoustic Celtic-tinged love song ‘Already Made’ and, again musically nodding to her heritage, the eight and a half minute ‘Spike Road Gardens’, a spare piano and fiddle instrumental suite with a brief passage of spoken but not clearly decipherable lyrics.
http://yvonnelyonmusic.com/

MIKE WEST makes his recording debut with Rusted. He plays acoustic guitar influenced by blues and rock but you can tell that he used to play electric and these five tracks were recorded off the floor for authenticity. Mike’s voice frequently strays into Tom Waits’ territory, notably on the opening track, ‘Work On’, but it is probably more effective when he lightens the tone a little. ‘Rock Ferry’ is possibly the best track but ‘Keep Going’ runs it close.
https://mikewest333.bandcamp.com/releases

A quick follow up to his recent album, PAUL McCLURE and the LOCAL HEROES is the self-titled EP (Clubhouse) result of getting a band together to record five of the songs he’s had hanging round but which never quite fitted on his past two albums. The first of a planned shelf-clearing series, it opens on wailing harmonica with ‘Million Dollar Smile’, a number that should chime well with fans of labelmates The Dreaming Spires and the Redlands Palomino Company, members of which also happen to feature on the EP. Rhiannon Payne who can be heard to good effect providing harmonies on the waltz time, brushed drums ‘Weight In Time’, a fine country gospel drinking away my hurt honky tonk number.

Elsewhere ‘Baby That’s You’ is firmly in the tradition of 60s pop n roll, ‘The Good And The Bad Of It’ is a melancholic strung out and moping lost love piano ballad, while, conjuring Dylan by way of The Byrds, the strummed closer ‘Troubadour’s Lament’ was born of listening to a bunch if CDs while stuck in traffic on the way to a gig, musing on pop star billboards, the family, service stations and radio-phone ins among other things. Let’s hope he does his housekeeping on a regular basis.
http://www.paulmccluremusic.com/

In anticipation of their debut album later in the year THE BLACK GUARDS release their first EP, Drawn In, which opens with the full length version of the title track, their first single. Next up is ‘The Ballad Of Mrs O’ which is scheduled to be their second single. The Black Guards are a six-piece from Cumbria and Dublin who mix folk and roots-rock and anything else they can get their hands on. ‘Karma’ has an old-fashioned mittel-European feel built around Anne Marie McStraw’s fiddle and the final ‘Boat Cuts A Water’ begins as a languid, bluesy acoustic guitar piece before everyone sweeps in for the big finish. We’re looking forward to the album already.
www.folkstockrecords.com

Peter Knight and John Spiers return to FolkEast

Peter Knight and John Spiers

A unique collaboration between folk legends Peter Knight and John Spiers, seen for the first time at FolkEast 2016, will return to the fast-rising East Anglian festival this August.

The three day festival at the glorious 300-acre Suffolk estate of 16th century Glemham Hall witnessed the debut performance of the pair on the Broad Roots stage on opening night last year – an undisputed highlight of the event.

In its sixth year, FolkEast will be packing a punch with an eclectic line up of folk and world music acts including BBC award-winning headliners Jon Boden and Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys, 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees Nancy Kerr, Kris Drever and Dorset duo Ninebarrow and of course FolkEast’s irrepressible patrons The Young’uns.

New names announced include the mighty Martin Simpson, the ace guitarist and songwriter who skilfully melds British and American roots music and has been nominated an astounding 23 times in the Radio 2 Folk Awards as well as top traditional English folk singer Fay Hield, India Electric Co, Ben Savage & Hannah Sanders, popular Cambridge-based band The Willows, Basque folk music band Korrontzi and many more.

Peter Knight and John Spiers live at FolkEast 2016:

TICKETS: Advance weekend tickets are available price £115 (adult), £100 (full time students, senior citizens) and £70 for Youth tickets (12-17 year old) which must be purchased with an adult ticket. Family weekend tickets for two adults and two 12-17 year olds are £342. A great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under; camping is £12 per tent with a £24 charge for campervans and caravans.

Festival website: www.folkeast.co.uk

Welcome To The Folkies

With Oscar fever rising to a climax it’s time to say “Welcome To The Folkies” – the 2016 Folking Awards. We’ve sifted through the albums and performances of 2015 – always a long and difficult task punctuated by bouts of thumb-wrestling to settle disputes. Adopting the pattern followed by everyone else, here, in no order of precedence, are our nominations. With the exception of one category we have restricted our choices to British acts.

All nominations are 2016 Folking Awards winners.

Welcome To The Folkies

Soloist Of The Year

Steve Tilston
Sam Carter
Kathryn Roberts
Steve Knightley
Ange Hardy

Best Duo

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin
India Electric Co.
Show Of Hands
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman
Clype

Best Band

Blackbeard’s Tea Party
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
Tradarrr
False Lights
Merry Hell

Best Live Act

The Demon Barbers XL
Blackbeard’s Tea Party
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
Tradarr
CC Smugglers

Best Album

Layers Of Ages – Peter Knight’s Gigspanner
Head Heart Hand – Megan Henwood
The Girl I Left Behind Me – India Electric Co.
It’s Not Your Gold Shall Me Entice – Elle Osborne
Disco At The Tavern – The Demon Barbers

Best Musician

Dan Walsh
Peter Knight
P.J. Wright
Chris Leslie
Kris Drever

Folking’s Rising Star

Will Varley
Sam Kelly
Wes Finch
India Electric Co.
Chris Cleverley

Best International Artist

Gretchen Peters
Tom Russell
Gandalf Murphy And The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams
Justin Townes Earle
Los Lobos

To give the awards a further edge, we opened the vote to our visitors and run a public poll in all of the 8 categories (as listed above).

The Public Vote closed Sunday 28 February at 20.00 hours and “The Folking Winners” have now been announced here at: http://folking.com/the-folking-winners/


If you would like to order a copy of an album (in CD or Vinyl) of any of the artists featured here, download an album or track or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then type what you are looking for in the search bar above to be taken to that relevant page via 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.

India Electric Co & The Girl I Left Behind Me

India Electric Co & The Girl I Left Behind Me

folking have featured India Electric Co. in the past in our tour news section and I recall being impressed at the time reading, that a band that I had never heard of before, was supporting Midge Ure on tour. However, that thought was soon replaced by the million of other things that go on in my folking head, so it wasn’t until I recently when I bumped into Chris Puxley (sound-man extraordinaire) that I was reminded of them.

Jane Brace, their PR wonder-woman, picked up on this and immediately sent me through a copy of the album. Now, with all the stuff we get through at folking, its rare that a CD stays playing in my car on constant repeat. In fact there are two songs on this album that have become instant ear-worms and like some drug infused fix, I’m unable presently, to get through a day without hearing “Beirut” or “My friends are rich”.

Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe, the brains behind this enterprise have done something really special here, and in my opinion, its hats off to them for coming up with a collection of music that’s both original and forward thinking. I think BBC 6 presenter Tom Robinson pretty much nailed it by describing them as  “Folk teleported to the future”.

The styles of music jump from Latin American, Eastern European and African as gypsy jazz rubs shoulders with lively Irish reels with arrangements fresh and varied.

Its definitely an album to check out and in my book a contender for an award or two next year!

Darren Beech

Here is one of the ear-worms – ‘Beirut’ (audio only):

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.

Remaining tour dates with Midge Ure:

  • Weds Oct 14 Preston, Guildhall Charter
  • Thurs Oct 15 Ulverston, Coronation Hall
  • Fri Oct 16 Leamington Spa, The Assembly
  • Sat Oct 17 Hunstanton, Princess Theatre
  • Thurs Oct 22 Lincoln Drill Hall Lincoln
  • Fri Oct 23 London, Union Chapel

Artists’ website: http://indiaelectricco.com

 

India Electric Co – new album

IEC

Pigeon hole India Electric Co. at your peril. Packing a punch, Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe – the acoustic duo with the electric name – are the musicians behind one of the most exciting and diverting debut releases this spring.

“Folk teleported to the future” is how BBC 6 presenter Tom Robinson has described their bold and refreshing eclectic sound while testament to the esteem in which this young duo are already held comes from no less than Midge Ure who has chosen them to accompany and support him on an extensive UK and European 2015 tour. He says: “The wide range of musical textures they create immediately stood out.” The tour includes a date at London’s Union Chapel on October 23.

Ingenious singer songwriters, musicians and coffee connoisseurs, Cole (25) and Joe (23) have spent a year writing and recording the 10-track The Girl I Left Behind Me. Reflecting their shuttle life style on both sides of the English channel (they lived in France for a time), this is a heady concoction brewed in Devonshire barns and stirred in Parisian cafes.

With an intriguing and atmospheric mono cover image of people crossing a bridge in India, The Girl I Left Behind Me is a fusion of styles, intricately woven textures, lush string arrangements and broad brushstrokes. Says Cole: “It draws on a theme of transience, exploring non places with a sense of not belonging and the highs and lows of being on the fringes of society.”

Sometimes folk, sometimes not, the material is certainly inspired by roots themes from Eastern Europe to Africa, through to Latin America. Gregarious gypsy jazz sidles alongside the influence of lively Irish reels, fresh arrangements of 18th century sea shanties and beguiling self-penned songs of winsome emotion. Timeless, classy and life affirming this is something of a roller coaster ride as it dips and dives, lilts and flows with a nod to artists as diverse as The XX, Thomas Bartlett, Joanna Newsome and the Buena Vista Social Club and literary touchstones including Auden and Marvell.

Artists’ website: http://indiaelectricco.com

“Hypnotic melodies, syncopated rhythms and pop hooks immediately grab your attention. O’Keefe is a bewilderingly talented multi instrumentalist; Stacey has a rich young voice and a turn of phrase that gives the album its other key dimension” – 4* review Songlines Magazine

“Difficult to pigeonhole, the pair seem to be able to pull off just about anything that comes their way – you can’t help wondering where they’ll go next”- Acoustic Magazine

‘My Friends Are Rich’ (audio only):

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.