Folking.com’s favourite Radio 2 moment…

The Radio 2 Folk Awards are chosen and voted for by a panel of professionals (broadcasters, promoters, festival organisers and record companies) who all work in the world of folk, acoustic and roots music. These people (now in their hundreds) are asked to nominate and vote for the people that they consider to have produced and performed the most outstanding work during the past 12 months. Continue reading Folking.com’s favourite Radio 2 moment…

RALPH McTELL – Somewhere Down The Road (Leola Music TPGCD31)

Ralph is obviously as proud of London as any man can be (with the possible exception of Peter Ackroyd) and in his opening track sums up his love of the city with the light-hearted “London Apprentice” and by adding Chris Parkinson on accordion conjures memories of a bygone era as opposed to the stark realities of life conveyed in ‘that’ more famous London ballad. Evoking memories of early recordings where he showed how creative he could be capturing instrumentally his love of rag-time guitar picking and featured in the “Reverend Thunder (Blind Faith)” with a cheeky homage to the reverend Gary Davis and Continue reading RALPH McTELL – Somewhere Down The Road (Leola Music TPGCD31)

Ralph McTell – Right Side Up

Ralph McTell - Right Side UpHere’s another superb offering to swell the ever-extending Ralph McTell back catalogue. His songs fit so comfortably – like a well-settled pair of slippers.

‘Naomi’, ‘Tequila Sunset’, ‘Weather The Storm’ and his cover of John Martyn’s ‘May You Never’ are all here. It brings a smile to my face just listening to how well structured the arrangements were.

Nothing too cluttered, from the simple guitar picking and backing vocals on ‘Weather…’ to the beautiful vibraphone, sleazy saxophone and wonderful Danny Thompson on double bass accompaniment on the smokey ‘River Rising Moon High’. Possibly the best known track ‘From Clare To Here’ surprises with the line ‘…perhaps I hear a fiddler play…’ for instead of the fiddle (as you’d expect) recorders are used.

A nice touch as fiddle is utilised throughout the rest of the track performed by Graham Preskett. For the completists among you there is the addition of ‘Song for Ireland’ originally recorded for his Irish audience. As I said, classic McTell.

Original Posting date – 4-June-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

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Ralph McTell – Red Sky

Ralph McTell Red SkyThe wind whips and moves the stale air from those who only remember “Streets of London” as “Red Sky” dawns into a fresh collection of 19 new songs.

Here are a few examples to whet your appetite: “Up” a strong song with a catchy chorus, steady pace and meandering guitar solo – “Dreamtime” a soft timeless ballad – “Wagon on the Motorway”, a reflective travelling song – “Bicker and Rue”, Dylanesque in delivery with lyrics that most people will relate to – “Lost Boys” an upbeat number with a feisty fiddle piece which contrasts beautifully with the slower ballads of “Now This Has Started” and “Easter Lilies” – “Icarus Survived”, a calypso structured lighthearted look at attitude – “Raining in My Heart” fits well with the slower mellow Delta Blues of “When Love Has Gone” – The lyrical excellence of “Let Me Fly or Let Me Fall” and the nostalgic flashback of “Fin” – All reinforce why Ralph Mctell is one of the finest exports of the UK.

Original Posting date – 1-June-2001

Reviewers Name – The folkmaster – folkmaster@folking.com

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.

Ralph McTell – Ralph Albert & Sydney

Ralph Albert and SydneyI’m never more comfortable than when listening to a Ralph McTell record. Maybe it’s because he writes songs that envelope you in their Englishness that you can associate with so much of his lyrical content. I’m one of those people who prefers to hear Ralph in a solo acoustic setting than surrounded by a band. Like ‘Nana’s Song’, ‘First Song’ and ‘When I Was A Cowboy’ which sets the hairs standing on the back of my head. He’s also a consummate entertainer and always tells you how he came to write the songs. Listening to ‘Maginot Waltz’ transports me back to when I first saw Ralph perform at the Imperial College at the back of the Royal Albert Hall (a venue he was to fill a short time later!). To me there was no-one more justified in earning a place at that auspicious dome. OK, so his stride piano playing on ‘Five Knuckle Shuffle’ might be a little suspect but that’s what warms him to his audience. Recorded in 1976 this album remains as fresh now as it was then.

Reviewed by – Pete Fyfe 18-May-2001

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.

Artist website – http://www.ralphmctell.co.uk/

Bob Fox – Dreams Never Leave You

Bob Fox Dreams Never Leave YouBob Fox’s latest album “Dreams Never Leave You” is like an old friend. “The Road to the North” welcomes you in and leads very nicely into “The White Cockade”. The album is very well constructed and every track seems to fit well with the next, like Ewan MacColl’s “Champion at Keeping them Rolling” which features some marvelous flute playing by Norman Holmes. The two songs that follow are about the river Tyne in Newcastle, UK: the first, a love song, and the second, Jimmy Nail’s “Big River”. Bob also covers Jez Lowe’s touching tale “Greek Lightning”, about a dream that lets you down which features some inspired fiddle playing by Ric Sanders. Another highlight is Ralph McTell’s “From Claire to Here”, a simply beautiful version. Bob offers some great tips on the fairer sex in “Take Her in Your Arms” and the last track “The Galway Shawl” completes this collection of carefully chosen tracks. The Folkmaster – 17-May-2001 Continue reading Bob Fox – Dreams Never Leave You