It’s been multiple years now since hearing Australian troubadour Rory Ellis for the first time. I was in a car listening to the latest batch of CD’s through for review when suddenly this tornado of a voice ripped through the stereo speakers and exploded in my face. Since then – every single release I’ve anticipated with huge excitement. This new one then was no exception.Ellis’s productivity over the last few years has been both blistering and brilliant. Slowly but surely carving a name for himself on the UK roots scene, the hard work is paying off, and it’s with consistently quality records like this that keeps people coming back to his shows.
With a voice like a freight train one minute and soothing lullaby the next, along with great acoustic guitar accompaniment and decorative lap steel flurries throughout, you can hear the quality in the record right from the start. It is however after a few listens when the album really starts to reward you. A slow burner usually turns in to a brilliant piece of work, and slow burners are something Ellis has a habit of producing.
Stand-out tracks on this record include the brilliantly infectious ‘Jesus Lane’, and the almost rag-time sound on ‘Street Angel House Devil’ – however as usual with this man’s work I’m finding new favourite tracks on every listen, which again is something Rory’s songs just have an uncanny knack of doing.
The standard of songwriting is first class, both witty and poignant – and something else that stands out on this record is the fact the artist has taken the time in the sleeve notes to comment on each song, and the reason behind writing it. It gives each song that bit more depth of understanding, which is something lost in the digital age.
This guy truly is the real deal as far as musicians go. It goes without saying this record comes recommended, but then so does his entire back catalogue. Do yourself a favour and go and buy the album @ http://www.roryellis.com/Phil Daniels
I can’t remember where I first heard of this staging of Fairport Convention’s celebrated folk-rock opera but it proved irresistible enough for me to obtain a copy of this trimmed down ‘sampler’ DVD from a 2 hour show to 30 minutes. For those of us that were lucky (and old) enough to have witnessed the National Theatre’s excellent Lark Rise To Candleford in the late 1970’s will much appreciate that folk tales such as ‘Babbacombe’ Lee should adapt well to the stage and by utilising the strengths of predominantly Dave Swarbrick’s original songs and tunes employing a diverse array of talent from the ‘house band’ Little Johnny England and the ‘cast’ writer/director Kevin Burke should be proud of his efforts in conveying this tragic tale. With inventive use of aerial acrobatics (think Cirque Du Soleil) particularly on the effective “Dream Song” sequence, dance, magic lantern style puppetry and screen projected images the production would appear to move at a reasonably brisk pace. With only (to my knowledge) one production of the show it would be a great injustice to the ‘folk scene’ to be deprived of more outings and if there are any festival organisers reading this review could I suggest that you check out the following links below:
I had the utter delight of seeing this duo play at the Ho at Anchor, in Leigh-on-Sea and they wove magic for me that night. The magic was in the stories that they told before and during playing. It made me listen harder and instilled a greater understanding of the legends they were creating.
At the time I bought “The Silverlode” and played it non-stop and still refer back to it regularly. Because every time I listen to it I’m reminded of the enchantment that’s still there, created in my mind and reinforced in the music.
So (you knew we’d get round to eventually – right?) The Kelping! Wow! Suddenly I remember loads more of the songs they’d played that January night in Essex. Instantly captivated not just by their amazing talent on the mandolin/mandola/guitar/banjo, which in itself is stuff made of legends.
There are some really haunting tracks on this album and a bit of a sea-theme running throughout and as with The Silverlode they have interspersed the selection with rearranged traditional tunes and Bliss’s conjuring song writing.
You really need to listen to God Speed (the snow goose), a song by Tom based on Paul Galico’s book, The Snowgoose (in itself a beautiful book). I heard it in February first and it still moves me in the way only well told and good yarns do.
In fact do more… go visit the Amazon link below and get a copy.
Original Posting date – 26-May-2005
Reviewers Name – Lins
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Bob 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-2001Continue reading Bob Fox – Dreams Never Leave You
This album bays loudly and stampedes the listener with a sound that has been created by the fusion of a classic Rock technique thrust into a delicate layer of traditional folk. Liz Prendergast’s vibrant electric fiddle and gritty vocal control works beautifully on tracks like “Rabbit in the Headlights” and “Dragons, Milk and Coal”. Nic Waulker hammers out the funky drum parts, Rob Khoo keeps it all pinned together with his thumping bass line, while Martyn Standing’s provides trail blazing guitar antics in “Liberty”. Another gem from the album is “Barbara Allen” a high-energy tale of treachery and love with foot stomping fiddle and guitar parts. Continue reading Bluehorses – Dragons Milk and Coal
Flook are like a well-oiled machine, with the many parts working in harmonious precision. Driving the sound is the flute interplay of Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen, supported by the deft rhythm section of guitar and bodhran. ‘Flatfish’ is full of vitality and energy, from the outset the track ‘Calico’ sets the scene with it’s flutey fruity antics. ‘Eb reels’ moves the sound into overdrive, with a frantic cascade of intricate flute parts. Slower and more reflective moods are captured in ‘The Gentle Giant’ and ‘Flatfish’. ‘Happy Jigs’ is uplifting and sprightly, while ‘Flutopia’ is a rich cornucopia of European styles which twist and turn at every corner. This album’s unique flute based sound gives it a cutting edge, which holds your attention from start to finish.