Folking Feature for Police Dog Hogan From The Land Of Miracles

Police Dog Hogan From The Land Of MiraclesPolice Dog Hogan are a high-energy seven-piece (including fiddle, banjo, mandolin, drums and guitars) that fuses country-folk to a pop sensibility. The band is rapidly building a following through joyous, foot-stomping live performances, having received rapturous receptions at festivals including Cornbury, Larmer Tree, Camp Bestival and Kendal Calling, and in sellout shows in London venues such as Bush Hall, The Troubadour and The 100 Club.

Eliot James coaxes a sharp, electric and contemporary edge from the band’s folk, country and bluegrass-influenced line-up, adding some spectacular harmonies and marshalling the band’s wide-ranging musical passions and influences.

The songs of writers James Studholme and Pete Robinson range from the reflective to the flat-out foot-stomping, interleaved with flashes of rockabilly, blues and Americana. Tim Dowling’s banjo is a constant, surprisingly delicate presence, often mixed with mandolin to produce compelling soundscapes, not least in the “trancegrass” of Black Crow or the simple beauty of Jennifer, a gloriously sunny love song. Distant bluegrass echoes – with a very English twist – also appear in the fiddle-playing of Eddie Bishop, one minute driving the rollicking album opener, Better Go Now, the next weaving sparse, mournful figures in the enigmatic Matilda.

The album also has its anthemic numbers, though few bands can have had the courage – or the songwriting ingenuity – to produce a song like Fraserburgh Train, based on the story of a lone piper on the D-Day beaches.

Everything is welded together by the inventive rhythmic backing of bassist Adam Bennette and Michael Giri, former drummer with The Lilac Time.

FROM THE LAND OF MIRACLES was recorded in Eastcote Studios on tape – the better to capture the acoustic warmth of the band’s approach – and mixed at Abbey Road.

Police Dog Hogan are currently on tour the UK in support of the new CD. For more information and the latest tour news, please visit: http://www.policedoghogan.com/

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Changing Horses – The Nashville Sessions

Changing Horses are British Indie-Folk duo Richard Birtill (vocals and guitar) and Francesca Cullen (vocals, violin, mandolin and melodeon). Stylistically taking influence from the psychedelic likes of The Incredible String Band, and the experimental art-punk of The Fall, theirs is a patchwork of off-kilter folk that has drawn in the plaudits from numerous sources. After holing up in a Nashville studio with session musician / producer Chris Donohue (Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris) the track ‘Cut All Strings’ featured on an HBO documentary and went on to pick up multiple plays on both the Steve Lamacq and Bob Harris BBC radio shows. Last year’s festival season also saw the band grace stages at Kendal Calling, Solfest, Brampton, Crawley Folk Festival and SO festival.

It’s on the live circuit the Changing Horses’ reputation has been built. The last few months have seen them perform as main support to the likes of Jeffrey Lewis, Pat Sansone (Wilco), Ade Edmondson and Adam Green. Captured here on The Nashville Sessions however, is a band vying for the unconventional, yet still maintaining core melodies. Flitting between the wistful (Cut All Strings), the fragile (One Million Screaming Angels) and the macabre (‘Till Death), when things do take a more popular twist, Birtill’s wrought vocals still punctuate Cullen’s neat string play. In turn, I Don’t Need It’s discordant opening phrasing soon makes way for a wave of anthemic guitars.

“Truly original and delightful” – Robin Williamson, The Incredible String Band

Deeply personal songwriting, tongue-in-cheek moments, macabre themes and innovative string playing make up Changing Horses’ The Nashville Sessions; a strong debut from a band that lives to draw the listener into their own lovesick universe.

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