ADRIAN NATION – new album: Live At Crossroads

Adrian NationGuitarist, singer, writer of songs, are just some of things that go to make up the man Adrian Nation. Guitar builder, rugby player, carpenter, martial artist, climber, the list goes on and is reflected in his musical catalogue. Here is an artist who can’t sit at home waiting for imagination to create the songs, rather he goes and finds the places in life where songs can be found. 2014 will see Adrian release his first ever live recording and after a special night in the Netherlands opening the Crossroads Sessions it was decided to release this superb album. Who better to describe how the album came about than Adrian himself.

Continue reading ADRIAN NATION – new album: Live At Crossroads

Prince opens his UK tour dates with a cover of Jo Hamilton’s ‘Liathach’.

jo-hamilton_dan-burwoodBack in January 2013 several mysterious comments started cropping up on the video to Liathach saying ‘3rdEyeGirl sent me here’.

Four months later we’ve just discovered that Prince and his brand new all-girl backing band 3rd Eye Girl who have just launched their first US/Canada tour together to sold out venues – are performing an instrumental cover of Liathach with Prince on piano.  After a day of disbelief Jo has now accepted that this is actually true… and is extremely honoured and thrilled that the song from her latest album “Gown” is seeing a new audience in the hands of such a master musician.

Wind things on to 2014 and the intimate gigs Prince is playing around the UK and to Jo’s immense pride, Prince has been opening his UK shows with the same track.

You can see the video to Jo Hamilton’s original version below…

If you would like to order a copy of an album (in CD or Vinyl format), download one or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click 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 web link: http://news.johamilton.com

THE ACCIDENTALS – Bitter Sweet (Self Released)

AccidentalsNot to be confused with the New York a capella choir (or indeed several others) of the same music terminology name, Katie Larson and Savannah Buist are a pair of Michigan high school multi-instrumentalists (cello, violin, piano, ukulele and glockenspiel all loom large) who share lead (both have an engagingly sweet trill, though Susannah’s is possibly the huskier) and harmonies on an infectious, upbeat 15 track collection of indie folk.

This is their second album in as many years and, while most of the tracks are fleshed out by a variety of other musicians providing the likes of bass, drums and keys, it’s the girls, who also arrange their own material, who hold everything together.

If you’re seeking comparisons, then perhaps a cocktail of The Roches, First Aid Kit, early Indigo Girls, Regina Spektor  and Juliana Hatfield might be a reasonable description; as both the finding love in the grocery aisle tale, Miso Soup (one of the two tracks featuring just the duo), and clattery stomp Grisly Bear show, they certainly share the sense of playfulness and fun that characterises all of the above.

They offer plenty of variety too, opening with the bustling ‘The Silence’ and fluidly flitting from the breathy  title track’s jazzy shaker percussion sway and the swampy blues ‘Ghost Of A Lie’ to the pizzicato folk pop of ‘Brake’, the sparse acoustic ‘Golden Lantern’’s cobwebby mood and the languidly narcotic, slow waltzing ‘Lemons In Chamomile’.

As if their musical talents weren’t precocious enough for their young age (both come from musical families), they’re also accomplished songwriters, although Buist’s more melancholic, reflective offers take the lion’s share of the credits with particular highlights being the emotional vulnerability of  the strings-brushed ‘Bulletproof Glass’, the anti-war themed ‘Blessed’ and ‘City Of Cardboard’ where she sings “One day it’ll burn and the lesson you’ll learn is your paper holds nothing but words and records.”

They graduate in May, after which time they’ll be setting off to spread the word with a summer tour of Europe. I’d recommend keeping a sharp eye out for the dates, these girls are going to become very much in demand.

Mike Davies

Artist website: www.moreaccidentals.com

MERRY HELL PREMIERE NEW ‘LOVING THE SKIN YOU’RE IN’ VIDEO

Merry Hell feb14Merry Hell have released a new video and download single to tie in with their forthcoming spring tour.

‘Loving The Skin You’re In’ is taken from the folk-rock outfit’s critically-acclaimed second album ‘Head Full Of Magic, Shoes Full Of Rain’ (Mrs Casey Records) which saw them land a series of high-profile festival dates in 2013.

Filmed in part at Flecky’s Tattoos in Wigan and Standish Unity Club, the video takes a light-hearted approach to emphasising the powerful message of the song’s lyrics: ‘be yourself, no matter what’.

Singer/songwriter Virginia Kettle, who oversaw the concept, explains: “So much has happened to the band since we made the last video. Our musical journey has taken us into a second album, live festival appearances down the length and across the breadth of the country; little gigs, big gigs, radio interviews, friendships forged with legends such as Dave Swarbrick, Gordon Giltrap and Mike Harding.

“Everywhere we’ve been, however grand or humble the venue, we have met such inspiring people, from amazingly talented musicians to those who make incredibly weird and wonderful things: real ale, jewellery, wines, breads, cheeses, ice cream! People of all ages, sizes, class and creed, all with their stories written on their faces, in their eyes, in their deep love of music.”

The video features friends the band have made during their current career and in their previous incarnation as The Tansads.

Virginia adds: “We all agreed that we wanted it to try and create a ‘festival of diversity’ so we invited some of our most colourful and unique friends to help us. From the moment they all turned up, we knew they were going to be just brilliant.

“It’s a mixed group of people with a shared intention: to let the commercial world know that the air-brushed puppet with the perfect mannequin smile doesn’t really do it for us anymore.”

Finally, Merry Hell have also announced the recruitment of two new members, multi-instrumentalist Neil McCartney and bass player Nick Davies.

Neil, best known as a fiddle player, is a long term associate of several Merry Hell members and has lived and made music in London, Galway, Dublin, New York and Thailand. He formed Big Geraniums, who enjoyed success on the global festival circuit, playing alongside the likes of The Wailers, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.

Nick, formerly of Sound Marshals and Jesus In India, replaces outgoing bassist Andrew Dawson, who has left with the band’s love and best wishes due to external factors.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (in CD or Vinyl format), download one or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click 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: www.merryhell.co.uk.

Canadian Trio, The Once

Photograph by Renita Fillatre
Photograph by Renita Fillatre

From their beginnings as three actors who also loved to sing together, The Once has embraced a different vision of Newfoundland music. Their sounds do not come from the noisy pubs and dockside taverns that fuel so much of the Island’s energy. Instead, their inspiration comes from a quieter and more thoughtful place. Hope and tragedy are intertwined in their music, whether they are singing an old lament from World War I, original songs that speak of love defeated, or tasteful songs from the artists whose music inspires them.
Continue reading Canadian Trio, The Once

FAY HIELD & The Hurricane Party

fay-hield-the-hurricane-party-the-met-bury

Fay Hield is a singer who seems to have been born knowing how to carry a tune but with the rarer gift of knowing how to go straight to the heart of a song. A good example of this is Orfeo (the last FAY HIELD & The Hurricane Party album release) which features 11 superbly arranged traditional songs, including lead track, ‘Sir Orfeo’, based on a 13th Century retelling of the epic supernatural Greek fable, Orpheus and Eurydice. Fay’s gift for unearthing rare and interesting material is well represented throughout, including the obscure but beguiling nursery rhyme.

Many will know that Fay picked up 2 awards at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 on Wednesday night with the Full English. They received the award for Best Group, and also the public vote for Best Album. Continue reading FAY HIELD & The Hurricane Party