EVAN CARSON – Ocipinski (Evan Carson Music – ECMCD001)

OcipinskiOcipinski is percussionist Evan Carson’s first solo album inspired by Jerzy Ocipinski and the Polish Resistance Movements of the Second World War. Why this subject matter you ask? It just so happens that Jerzy Ocipinski was Evan’s grandfather.

The album has taken somewhat longer to complete that originally planned, but as we all know Evan is a busy man recording and/or performing with The Willows, Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys, Carousel and more recently The Tweed Project, to name just a few. It was also recorded in places as far afield as the UK, Russia, Iceland and Australia so it was somewhat logistically challenging.

The music was co-written by Evan and Gleb Kolyadin, who also plays piano on the album masterfully. The lyrics are credited to Evan, Georgia Lewis, Jim Grey and Hannah Sanders who also provide their highly impressive vocal talents along with Evan himself and Ben Savage. Other musicians involved are Karl James Pestka (violin & viola), Graham Coe (cello), Toby Shaer (flutes), Chris Heales (electric guitars and bass), Josh Franklin (bass and synths), Chris Cawood (acoustic guitar and bass) and Archie Churchill Moss (melodian). You are probably already getting the feeling this is something you have to listen to.

The way the album flows is like a prog folk version of Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, albeit shorter and without all the psychedelic imagery. Four of the seven tracks are over six minutes long and all are filled with intricate percussion, piano and vocals. The album is obviously percussion driven and those of you who have seen Evan with any of his bands will know he is not one to stick with a standard drum kit and 4/4 beat.

‘Sky’, the opening track is the shortest on the album and it creeps up on you like an instrumental dawn, it builds gently and then leads into ‘Shards’ (for me the best track on the album) with it’s syncopated drum beat and frenetic piano and wonderful lead vocals from Georgia (someone I must find out more about). This leads into ‘Chrysalis’ with more haunting vocal which has an Eastern feel to it.

‘Otriad’ starts with more great piano from Gleb, features Evan/Jim on lead vocal and has the strings from Karl and flutes from Toby which come to the fore in a middle instrumental section. ‘Bloodlines’ starts slower, but then there is more of that driving percussion with Hannah on lead vocals and Ben’s warming backing vocals. This leads into ‘The Fireflies Of Falaise’ which is mainly instrumental with a multi-vocal chant to take it to the end. The final track ‘Anders Prayer’, has an industrial feel to it with Georgia again on lead vocal and it closes out the album in fine fashion.

This is a truly original piece of work brilliantly produced by Joshua Franklin, which I encourage you to take 43 minutes out of your day to sit down and listen to from start to finish. If you’re at the more open-minded end of the folk world, you will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

Duncan Chappell

Artist’s website: www.evancarsondrums.com

‘Shards’ – in rehearsal:

Evan Carson releases the first installment of a long story

Evan Carson

‘Shards’ is part of an ongoing story inspired by George Ocipinski and members of the various Polish Resistance Units across Europe during 1939 – 1945 now being reconstructed in music by Evan Carson.

A collaboration between musicians from the UK, Iceland and Russia blending, folk, progressive and classical elements. This particular track highlights only one small part of Evan’s grandfather’s journey through the Second World War from escaping a labour camp in Eastern Europe, to joining the French Resistance during the Allied Landings in Normandy and beyond. The purpose of this project is to fill in the gaps and bring the whole story of both his grandfather and other Poles to life. Musically, this song focuses on piano, strings and bodhran influenced by eastern European time signatures.

Evan explained a little more. “The initial idea was just for me to put out a series of tracks that used a lot of ideas that I couldn’t get away with in the other bands I work for. This particular release is all about my family and others in Poland during the second world war. It’s an ongoing story that we are still tracking down all the parts to.”

Looking to the future Evan hopes to continue telling stories and combining styles and musicians from very different scenes and genres.

“I’ve had a very close working relationship with the pianist Gleb Kolyadin and the others so I’m looking forward to finishing the rest of the story with them all. Hopefully I’ll put together a live set as soon as I can get them all in one country.”

Written by Evan Carson

Lyrics by Evan Carson and Georgia Lewis
Vocals – Georgia Lewis
Piano – Gleb Kolyadin
Strings – Karl James Pestka
Flutes – Toby Shaer
Percussion, Vocals – Evan Carson
Additional Sound Design, Production and Engineering – Joshua Franklin
Artwork – Todd Robinson
Mastered – Josh Clarke/Get Real Audio
Written and Recorded in the UK and Russia

Evan currently tours with folk acts Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Group Nominees), The Willows, Georgia Lewis (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Horizon Nominee) and has also performed with Seth Lakeman.

In 2016, Evan recorded percussion for Russian duo Iamthemorning’s Lighthouse (PROG AWARDS Album of the Year 2016) and has gone on to tour with them throughout Europe and Russia.

In 2018, Evan also guested on piano virtuoso Gleb Kolyadin’s (Iamthemorning) solo album opposite drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater).

Artist’s website: www.evancarsondrums.com

There will be an EP soon but here’s a short preview:

Hobgoblin Music celebrates its 40th anniversary with unique album

Hobgoblin Music

Founded in the autumn of 1976, Hobgoblin Music has turned 40! Hobgoblin Music has been trading in the UK for 40 years across many locations, both in their shops and on their travelling festival stall. Millions of musicians have passed through their doors, and they’ve been lucky enough to employ a great many of the most talented of them. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, they have compiled an album of music by past and present staff, as a follow-up to our 25th anniversary CD 15 years ago

PETE & MANNIE MCCLELLAND Founders of Hobgoblin, Pete and Mannie are still involved, but are now spending more time making music. Pete and Mannie worked in the barn and shop in Crawley, the market stall, the festivals, Pete currently works in the Worthing headquarters. Blackthorn features Pete on Bouzouki & vocals, Mannie on concertina, Sarah Mooney on flute & guitar & Alex Percy (Festivals) on Guitar.

MARK McCABE (Birmingham) Mark’s fine accordion work can be heard on two tracks from The Teds. He’s their Birmingham manager.

SARAH MALLINSON, NICK COLLINS, RUSS FLEMMING (Leeds) ‘Green Grows The Laurel’ was recorded for this album specially by the Leeds shop staff.

CRIS PIERSENNÉ (Bristol) Cris has contributed ‘Ja Vstretil Vas’ by Malarchy and ‘Up Down, Ka Kachar’ by RSVP

MARK WHITE (Crawley) Mark was one of the earliest employees of Hobgoblin, he worked with them from 1978 to 1991.

JACQUELYN HYNES (London) Jacqy worked with us in London in the 90s and 00s, she’s provided two great flute tracks.

NICOLA RAIN (Worthing, Crawley & Festivals) & SARAH MOONEY (Bristol & Festivals) ‘Letters From The Sea’ was written by Nicola and Sarah especially for this album.

GEORGIA LEWIS (Festivals) Georgia is a new arrival on the festival circuit both as an artist and with the Hobgoblin festival stall.

KEN THOMPSON (Manchester) Ken managed the Hobgoblin Manchester from 99 to recently and is a member of the Paddywhacks

DOGAN MEHMET (Worthing) Doe released two albums with Hobgoblin Records and from the first they have included his composition ‘The Raging Seas’.

NEIL CAMPBELL (Brighton) Neil recently joined the staff in Brighton and here we have his track ‘Haggard Rider’.

MIKE ROSS (Brighton) Hobgoblin Brighton manager Mike Ross joined in 2014 –featured is his blues number ‘Fixin’ To Die’.

OLLIE KING (Leeds) Ollie King has been a member of the Leeds team for the last few years and featured is one of his own compositions, ‘Polperro Bay’, from his first album.

JOHN RAIN (Worthing) John works with in the Worthing head office, and is a member of Montana Rain band along with Nicola Rain and Pete McClelland, this is the band’s signature song.

ALEX PERCY (Festivals) Alex Percy worked for the Hobgoblin festival team over a number of years from the 00’s till recently. He’s a member of The Long Notes and the Blackthorn Band among other projects.

PIP IVES (Canterbury) Pip is a stalwart of the Hobgoblin Canterbury shop; here he plays several instruments along with Bill Howarth’s dulcimer on two well-known traditional tunes, ‘Tip Top’ and ‘Redwing’.

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