Michael MacLennan – Wolves

Michael MacLennan is a Scottish pianist, singer and songwriter. Brought up in the small village of Nethy Bridge in the Scottish highlands, he began playing the piano at seven years of age. Having won his place at the Royal College of Music, playing gigs 7 days a week, and writing two songs each day for a year, Michael MacLennan’s passion for producing awe-inspiring compositions cries out in his debut album ‘Wolves.’ Released February 20th 2012

Prior to moving back to Scotland, Michael supported himself by playing gigs across London where he caught the attention of Rod Stewart. Laying down his own interpretation of the classic Kriss Kristofersson track ‘For The Good Times’, Stewart tapped his shoulder and said ‘Bloody good job son!’ dropping him a £50 note. His songwriting skill is akin to the greats like Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen but harmoniously blends with the sounds of contemporaries like Damien Rice and Paolo Nutini.

While recording ‘Wolves’ from 2010 till 2011 and playing gigs all over Scotland and through out Edinburgh, Michael worked with many rising producers in the area, including Craig Ross and Garry Boyle. Together the trio found something unique, and their genuine collaboration is apparent in the finished work.Wolves’ is a timelessly brilliant album that could have been plucked from a California recording studio in the 70’s. Mesmerizingly talented beyond his years, MacLennan’s lyricism and instrumentation coalesce wonderfully. The first single on the album ‘To the Fire‘ is catchy, evocative, and relatable and is featured in the video below. Perhaps it is because the piano tracks were recorded amid heavy storms and fear of being snowed in but, ‘Wolves’ is the perfect album to drink a nice stout by the fireplace to on a cold winter night.

Tracks from his EP ‘History’ and recent single ‘To The Fire‘ have gained radio play on BBC Radio Gloucestershire BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Nottingham, Blast 1386, Moray Firth Radio, Leith FM and Q Radio network. With many songs in his backlog and much more music to create yet, Michael MacLennan is a rising star and ‘Wolves’, set to release in February 2012, is a must listen for music fans of all backgrounds!

We at folking.com believe that this could be one of the most important debut release of 2012!

“Michael MacLennan’s songs are as timeless as they are heartfelt, an old school piano-fighter who allies true craft to infectious passion in his music. I often stick one or two of his tracks on my compilation CD’s so I can kid on I’m sophisticated.” – Christopher BrookmyreScottish best-selling author.

“Jaw-droppingly good on the show. I had to stop what I was doing and turn the radio up. Stunning!” –Pennie LatinSenior Producer and Presenter, BBC Radio Scotland.

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Ady Johnson – TELL THE WORRY DOLLS

Having fronted Colchester’s organ driven rock ‘n’ roll band FuzzFace for some years, Ady Johnson now embarks on a solo acoustic project with the launch of his debut album TELL THE WORRY DOLLS. This self-released album has already been recognised as a possible “first contender for album of the year… deserves to be massive” in a glowing 9/10 review by James Robinson for the Press Association: “This low-key, no-label release by Colchester singer-songwriter Ady Johnson might well be the first contender for album of the year. Johnson’s voice and face are both similar to Harry Nilsson’s, while the sound, an acoustic guitar-led barroom skiffle, is resonant of Badly Drawn Boy’s first record – plus, he has fantastic tunes to match. It’s refreshing to hear music in the folk genre being so dynamic and upbeat. Tell The Worry Dolls deserves to be massive. An excellent start to 2011”

Ady Johnson performs live regularly and has played numerous festivals, including headlining the Castle stage at the 2010 Colchester Free Festival and has supported bands such as Cornershop, The Godfathers, the Telescopes, Tom Hingley, Chris Helm and Ben Howard and even played live in the middle of a pop up maze in London’s Trafalgar Square!  A particular highlight came last year when Ady was busking at 6Fest, the London festival organised to celebrate the successful campaign to save BBC 6 Music from closure. While busking, Ady was asked to open 6Fest after one of the acts had not turned up; an opportunity not to be missed.

This experience was summed up on the day by DJ Shaun Keaveny who said “What a story that is… that’s typical of 6 Music.” The following week the London Metro ran a story ‘Busker bags festival gig after band cancel appearance!’

Tell The Worry Dolls is not your usual bland acoustic, ‘woe is me’, introspective fair. Johnson writes dynamic songs which range from heartfelt whispers to aggressive, soulful hollers! His distinctive vocals, deft guitar work and a sympathetic backing band, make Johnson’s recent recordings sound like Graham Coxon’s Spinning Top colliding with Tom Waits’ Bone Machine. Add some Steve Marriot vocals to the mix and you’re someway to describing Ady Johnson’s sound. This stunning solo debut release was recorded live where possible with a backing band at Long Track Studios through an old Neve mixing console John Peel used at Maida Vale Studios

The album is inspired from Johnson’s personal life experiences and deal with a range of subjects and emotions that we are all confronted by, or can relate to. This is reflected in the song writing and the honesty and conviction of his performances. Johnson’s songs are dynamic and diverse; he can pull on the heart strings but also brings balls to the acoustic cannon. Johnson explains, “Each of the songs express some kind of worry, concern or angst, and in committing these songs to the album, I like to think I’ve finally completed the cathartic process you go though as a singer/songwriter- much like the folklore which surrounds the Guatemalan Worry Dolls; you tell the dolls your worries before you go to sleep and in the morning you find that they’ve taken them away.”

Stand out tracks on the album include the glorious opener 20,000 Miles From Home, reminiscent of the writings of Stephen Duffy in his Lilac Time period, the superb Pink Flamingos and his crooning rendition of Jewelly Box is truly outstanding. If you want a comparison of Johnson’s vocal delivery, Paolo Nutini would be fairly close. All ten tracks are self composed and to be honest there is not a filler track to be found.

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For more information and the latest tour dates please visit www.adyjohnson.co.uk