BROOKS WILLIAMS – NEW EVERYTHING

NEW EVERYTHING is the highly anticipated new release from roots singer-songwriter and guitarist Brooks Williams. Audience favourites long before its release, the songs on NEW EVERYTHING feature Brooks’ voice and guitar centre stage. With the help of a few friends – chiefly Martin Simpson, State of The Union collaborator Boo Hewerdine, John Wheeler, Neil McSweeney, Steve Lockwood, Kevin McGuire, Keith Angel and Andy Seward – the resulting sound is upbeat, jubilant and soulful.

Included on the 13-track CD are Carry On (an ode to live music), One Step (a high-stepping love song), Prosperity (an ironic look at political promises) and Time 4 Love (a sultry, sexy slow-burner), alongside the classic King Of California (about finding – and losing – gold), Mercury Blues (about love and auto-mobiles) and Deep River Blues (featuring both Williams and Martin Simpson on resonator guitars).

From Statesboro Georgia USA, Williams is ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists and is one of the most versatile and entertaining performers touring today. Recent appearances include Shrewsbury Festival, Celtic Connections, London’s prestigious Green Note, and The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh. NEW EVERYTHING walks the line between blues and Americana. Imagine Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, Lonnie Johnson and Blind Boy Fuller sitting in a bar having a jam – and you’re just about there!

I’ve known Brooks for many years. He’s a lovely player, a lovely singer, and a great writer and a lovely man. The real thing” Martin Simpson

“How soulful a solo guitarist can be when he has talent, taste and astonishing technique” Blues Revue

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For more information and the latest tour news, please visit http://www.brookswilliams.com/

Martin Barre – Away With Words

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre released his fourth solo album AWAY WITH WORDS, through RSK’s new label, Edifying Records on 30th September. The record features new arrangements of Tull material together with some brand new compositions by Barre. Having been tipped off about his faultless performance at London’s Borderline we felt it was high time we showcased his excellent new release.

With the seminal prog outfit still on indefinite hiatus, Martin Barre brings back to life some of Jethro Tull’s classics but also less known gems, with the invaluable help of engineer James Bragg. The track list features RequiemFrom a Deadbeat to an Old GreaserMothsHome and Fire at Midnight amongst others.

 “Re-arranging and representing the Tull songs featured on this album became a very pleasant and rewarding task. These lesser known songs have always been amongst my favourite pieces of music and reworking them brought back many good memories” – he confides enthusiastically. Talking about his new compositions included in the album, he says “I have written the rest of the music, hopefully with sympathy and taste. Composing and re-arranging is my passion.  Bringing together the many acoustic instruments was a delight for me, but of course the electric guitar couldn’t be totally left out of the picture!”  He goes on to say “This album is a fusion of my writing blended together with Ian (Anderson’s) in a continual movement of music.”  

 On Away With Words, multi-talented Barre plays Acoustic/Classic/Electric Guitars, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Bass, Flute & Bass Clarinet, with Dan Crisp taking care of vocals. Completing the line up are Frank Mead on Blackwood Flute, Whistles, Bodhran and Blues Harp, Jonathan Noyce on bass and George Lindsay on drums & percussion.

Track listing:

1.  First Light/Moths
2.  It’s My Round
3.  One Brown Mouse/Fatcat
4.  All Bars Hold
5.  Air: Lament Of the Spalpeen/Martin’s Jig/Hymn
6.  Pussy Willow
7.  Snapshot/Paparazzi
8.  Long Ago/Home
9.  Fire At Midnight/From The Ashes
10. Protect & Survive
11. Spare A Thought/From A Dead Beat To An Old Greaser
12. Sundown

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Martin Barre started his music career in the early 60s playing saxophone. He audition for Jethro Tull in 1969 and was handpicked by Ian Anderson to take on guitar duties from Mick Abrahams. Today he’s the longest standing member after Anderson himself, having appeared on all of their albums apart from their first.  Barre is also a talented flautist, both live and on record, with Jethro Tull and solo. The quality and uniqueness of his work and a series of high profile collaborations contributed to make him one of the world’s most rated rock musicians, with his signature ‘Aqualung’ solo voted as one of the top guitar solos of all times (Guitar Player Magazine).

Artist’s website: http://www.martinbarre.com/

Still a favourite JT song: and what a classic rocked out version it is…

MARTIN HARLEY – Mojo Fix – 60/20 Records 7 21762 97054 6

MojoFixMartin Harley plays guitar. All sorts of guitar: acoustic, lap slide, Weissenborn, you name it. He also plays harmonica and stylophone but a man’s got to have a hobby, right? Mojo Fix is his fifth album, three of them released as The Martin Harley Band.

It’s also something of a departure. Martin has moved from the Surrey delta to Texas to write and record with producer Bob Parr, his wife Claire and a distinguished cast of musicians. His style of Americana ranges from the blues’n’boogie of the title track to a gentle ballad like ‘Treading Water’. In fact the album switches moods at a bewildering rate. It opens with the title track and distorted vocals reminiscent of Tom Waits’ megaphone style with just drums and bass in support, a style repeated in the closing ‘Mean Old City’. ‘Cardboard King’ is one the record’s production numbers with a string quartet and a decidedly Slambovian feel. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is another rocker with violin and brass and ‘Rum Shack’ has the feel of a thirties’ tune brought into the 21st century and roughed up a bit.

Mojo Fix is an album that I enjoy more and more each time I listen to it. It feels like a square peg in the round hole of the music business and that’s great. Martin is touring extensively in the UK in March and that has to be a good night out. 

Dai Jeffries

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Artist’s website: https://www.facebook.com/martinharleymusic/

LE VENT DU NORD – Symphonique (TRCD 3029)

Now, here’s a band that, although ‘folk’ based aren’t too worried to put a slightly commercial twist to their performance. Incorporating a bit of jazz and with the help of a (predominantly) strings based orchestra this is a seriously well produced recording. With the component parts of the band Nicolas Boulerice (hurdy-gurdy), Olivier Demers (fiddle), Simon Beaudry (guitar) and Rejean Brunet (accordion) and the addition of Tom Myron’s orchestral arrangements Le Vent Du Nord stray into territory previously explored by the likes of Shaun Davey and Bill Whelan. Not hoping to sound rude, this is the kind of grand statement I enjoy listening to (preferably armed with a decent set of headphones!). Hailing from Quebec and with the vocals sung in French you might think this would be a distraction to an anglophile like me but when the performance is presented with such passion the language barrier is soon forgotten. OK, so I might not understand a word of it but the driving determination of these musicians/singers has to be admired and when you’re given free reign to indulge (if that’s the right word?) this wildly expansive sound proves very impressive! There’s no getting away from it…if you thought you might not enjoy a recording you can’t understand lyrically…think again and you’ll find yourself invigorated and with a beaming smile on your face!

PETE FYFE

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Artist Web link: http://leventdunord.com/en/the-band/

THE CARRIVICK SISTERS – FROM THE FIELDS

The Carrivick Sisters are twins Laura and Charlotte Carrivick from South Devon. Both are skilled multi-instrumentalists and between them they play a variety of bluegrass-associated instruments – guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro and fiddle. Though just 21 years old, Laura and Charlotte are already accomplished songwriters, fine individual singers, and they harmonise hauntingly, as often only siblings can, their beguiling voices blending together irresistibly. Although their principle influence is bluegrass, their music also has a strong folk influence, with many of their original songs inspired by their local landscape and stories.

The Carrivick Sisters are experienced performers, having played all over the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. They have released three previous CDs – My Own Two Feet (2006), Better Than 6 Cakes (2007) and Jupiter’s Corner (2009) and have just completed their fourth album, From The Fields.

Produced and recorded by Joe Rusby (brother of Kate) at Pure Records Studio, From the Fields comprises eleven originals; ten songs and one instrumental, and one traditional song ‘Early, Early In The Spring’ and features contributions from guest musicians: John Breese (Banjo), BJ Cole (Pedal Steel), Eleanor Cross (Double Bass), Matt Crum (Melodeon) and David Kosky (Guitar),

The Carrivick Sisters first started performing as a duo in 2006, originally as buskers before starting to play more and more proper gigs, turning professional when they left school in 2007. As well as performing as ‘The Carrivick Sisters’, Laura and Charlotte have also played with a number of other bands – Blue South, Miles Apart, Banjo Accelerator; Kick Up the Grass and currently ‘Andsome and Some.

In 2007 they won the South West Busker’s and Street Entertainer’s Competition, gaining themselves their first spot at Glastonbury Festival. In 2008 Laura achieved 2nd place at the RockyGrass Fiddle Contest in America. More recently, The Carrivick Sisters were finalists in the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2010.

I am very impressed by The Carrivick Sisters, one of the best young duos I’ve heard. The girls sing and play as one and their work is characterised by great musicality. They are not only very talented instrumentalists and singers but they write really good songs as well.” Ralph McTell

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Artist Web link: http://thecarrivicksisters.wordpress.com/