The Black Feathers – ‘Strangers We Meet’ video

Americana Folk duo The Black Feathers are excited to announce that their video
‘Strangers We Meet’ is now available to watch online. This follows the release of their critically acclaimed debut EP of the same name in February 2014, which gained plays on BBC Radio 2 and saw them appear in The Telegraph’s 51 Best Folk Albums of 2014 list, as well as feature in Sunday Times Culture.

The perfectly paired voices of Sian Chandler and Ray Hughes intertwine effortlessly to create a genre defying sound, combining elements of folk, roots, Americana, and southern rock. The duo have been touring all over the UK for the past 2 years, winning over new fans of all ages everywhere they go.

They have performed at festivals all over the country, including the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival, Stroud Folk Festival, and Maverick. They were awarded the 5 Valleys Folk Award in September of 2013, and the Folkstock Arts Foundation award for Best Live Performance in February the following year.

In May of 2014, they embarked on a 7-week tour in the US, including shows at Club Passim, Caffe Lena, the Red Clay Theatre, and a sell out show at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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.

Artists’ website: http://theblackfeathers.com

Dan Whitehouse – new album

Dan WhitehouseNew album, Raw State, released 1 December 2014

Singer-songwriter DAN WHITEHOUSE continues his upward climb with the release of his third album, Raw State.

Released on 1 December 2014, Raw State was recorded during a period of unprecedented creativity that came in the wake of second album, Reaching For A State Of Mind.

Following a string of UK and North American dates in late 2013/ early 2014 which saw the songwriter slowly rework the album’s songs for new situations, Dan returned to the studio keen to recapture the passion and energy of his new live sound.

Produced in collaboration with Danny George Wilson and Chris Clarke of British Americana / country soul act Danny And The Champions Of The World, Raw State embraces the power of change and new directions.

Aided by pedal steel and dobro legend BJ Cole (who has worked with such greats as Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, Elton John, Emmylou Harris, REM, Scott Walker, Beck, Bjork, Brian Eno, kd Lang and Dolly Parton), Dan revisited and re-imagined previously recorded material, with sparse, brave arrangements that expose the songs in their Raw State.

Much in demand, Dan has shared stages with such artists as Willy Mason, Joseph Arthur, Caitlin Rose and Josh Ritter, plus blues guitar legend Peter Green, chart-topper Maria McKee, folk star Jim Moray, ex-Teardrop Explodes Julian Cope and the Grammy winning World Party. He’s also performed sell-out headline shows throughout the UK.

The recent months have seen the West Midlands-based songwriter embark on two UK tours with Simone Felice, and close the Lunar Stage at Moseley Folk Festival (performing between The Felice Brothers and Richard Thompson).

Raw State (Heantun Recording Co) is available on CD and download via all major platforms on Monday 1 December 2014.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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’s website: www.dan-whitehouse.com

Official album trailer video:

“Really, really gorgeous songs… ” – Janice Long, BBC Radio 2
“Lyrics which involuntarily swerve your gaze to the sky”- Music Week
“Sensational!” – Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music

Hayseed Dixie new album – Hair Down To My Grass

Hayseed DixieHayseed Dixie began in the summer of 2000 in the fertile valley of Deer Lick Holler, deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee USA. In this area which was completely isolated from outside cultural and musical influence, the boys grew up playing the traditional music of their forefathers on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and acoustic bass.

All of this changed abruptly one afternoon when a stranger crashed his car into a stately old oak tree on a particularly dangerous curve, which the locals refer to as the “Devil’s Elbow.” Sadly, the stranger expired, but his legacy lives on! As the boys searched through the wreckage looking for identification, they discovered several vinyl AC/DC albums. After playing these back on an old Edison 78rpm Victrola, everyone agreed that the songs were rather fine country music . . . and that the ‘Lost Highway’ of Brother Hank Williams and this ‘Highway To Hell’ of AC/DC were indeed the exact same road!  And the rest is now enshrined in musical history.

Hayseed Dixie are now the acknowledged creators of the musical genre, Rockgrass. They have released 15 albums since 2001, consisting of both original material and reinterpretations of previously rendered songs, selling a combined total of over 500,000 copies. They have also performed over 1,000 live shows in 31 different countries.

Most recently, Hayseed Dixie are exploring the inspired catalogue of the stadium rock of the 1970’s and 1980’s. This interest began during a 2014 Spring tour of Germany, in which the band heard the song ‘Eye of the Tiger’ 6 different times on 6 different German radio stations in a single day while driving between Dortmund and Frankfurt. “As the seed is planted, so the tree shall grow” – this very quote appears on the inner sleeve of the 1980 album Escape by Journey. How true indeed.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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.

Artists’ website: www.hayseed-dixie.com

Classic Hayseed Dixie:

Press Quotes:

“The Hayseed’s berserk hedonism is indeed refreshing! ***** (5 Stars)” – The Guardian

“Hayseed Dixie highlights the worth of mountain music to all things rock: energy, dirt-punk rhythm, careening harmonies and the fundamental right of all no-good fuck-ups to raise hell come Saturday night.” – Uncut

“Superlative musicians with a deep love and understanding of the dynamics of both modern rock and ancient hillbilly music” – The Times

Brett Dennen – new album

Brett DennenNorthern California native Brett Dennen is pleased to announce details of his upcoming headline London show. Having performed at London’s Borderline earlier this year, the singer-songwriter will embark on a support slot with songstress, Paloma Faith, this month before rounding things off on 26 November at London’s St Pancras Old Church for an intimate headline date.

To coincide with the UK gigs, the pop folk singer will be releasing his new single ‘When We Were Young’ taken from the upcoming album Smoke & Mirrors out on 1 December.

Here’s the official video:

Smoke and Mirrors is a return to form for Dennen, taking him back to his roots both sonically and aesthetically yet with more confidence and maturity than ever before. He retreated to his mountain house in Northern California and began writing finding inspiration in his surroundings and the simplicity of nature.

Dennen then took the songs to Nashville to record with producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars), eschewing his L.A. comfort zone to work with virtual strangers. Peacock explains, “Brett and I spent a lot of time just building out the arrangements. From the production side, he encouraged me to make every song uniquely its own while keeping it cohesive – and I think we did it. His wonderful music aside, Brett is certainly one of the most whimsical people I’ve ever produced – a true original.” The resulting 10-song set features Dennen’s strongest and most cohesive collection to date.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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’s website: www.brettdennen.net

ST. AGNES FOUNTAIN – Christmas Is Not Far Away (Cuppity Records CUP007)

Layout 1It’s been 14-plus years since Fairport Convention’s chief songwriter, co-lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Leslie, songwriter-musician and all-around renaissance man David Hughes, and Chris While and Julie Matthews (the renowned folk duo While and Matthews) joined together for a holiday side project called St. Agnes Fountain, fondly dubbed the Aggies by loyalists.

The quartet and its fans will tell you their musical magic is only fully unleashed during their as-soon-as-they-are-announced sell out concerts across England. That is further reason to celebrate the artistry of their albums. Christmas Is Not Far Away, the Aggies’ just released ninth album, is now available online and at upcoming shows.

The album features the Aggies at their best – both individually and as a group. Chris Leslie’s bewitching musicianship (don’t miss ‘Old Time Christmas on the Front Porch’), Ms. While’s and Ms. Matthews’ enchanting harmonies (‘Shadows of the Past’) and Mr. Hughes’ amusingly irreverent word play (‘Immortal Irreverent’) combine to make this a stand out offering.

St. Agnes Fountain
St. Agnes Fountain

At first, I was disappointed by a few songs on this album including ‘The Heart of Christmas Day’ by Ms. Matthews.

Perhaps that’s because a disproportionate number of artists who released holiday albums this season have included several songs aimed toward the despondent. Over the Rhine’s Blood Oranges in the Snow, comes immediately to mind. But Over the Rhine acknowledges their holiday music is for those who struggle with the season.

When I originally heard the song penned by Ms. Matthews, I thought it was a bit of an outlier in an otherwise joyful album. I was wrong. The more I listened, the more I found that and other atypical Aggies’ songs intriguing, especially as they are sequenced.

Christmas is Not Far Away is a charming respite from the too jolly and too sorrowful holiday music that is readily available. Like the Aggies’ tour, expect this album to become a part of your holiday tradition.

Nancy Dunham

St. Agnes Fountain website: http://www.whileandmatthews.co.uk/aggie.php

The Aggie’s encore from last year’s tour:

 

HEG & THE WOLF CHORUS – A Tale Of Sailors (own label)

A Tale Of SailorsAfter two singles Heg & The Wolf Chorus stretch out to an EP. The band: Heg Brignall, who writes the songs, Stephanie Taylor, Richie Dobson, Vince Martin and double-bassist Joe Kelly live in Bristol and have links with Dartington College. Their previous release, Giant, explored folk tales from the Bristol area and A Tale Of Sailors comprises four songs of the sea.

For a band with avant-garde connections the songs on A Tale Of Sailors are quite traditional in construction. ‘Three Sailors’, for example, tells of the titular characters being picked off one by one by a sea serpent. The accompaniment is based around Heg’s piano, Vince’s violin and a string quartet with percussion from Stephanie and Richie. ‘Annie Of The Atlantic’ is the record’s big production number, a story taken from Heg’s family history, and ‘Boat And I’ is a reworking of their first single. ‘Sea Shanty For Bessie Harker’ is the story of a heroine who effected a hazardous rescue, although it doesn’t really conform to any shanty form – you might just about work the halyards on the ho’s, I guess.

Now, after tantalising us with three short offerings, I do think that it’s time that Heg presented us with a full album.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: http://www.hegandthewolfchorus.com

‘Three Sailors’ – the official video: