27 June 2017 playlist

The Deep Dark Woods Drifting on a summer’s night digital download single (2017 Six Shooter Records)


Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson Drifting through the days from Industry (1997 Parlophone Records)


The Small Glories Fast turning world from Wondrous Traveller (2017 MFM)


Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith Something good from Night Hours (2016 Fellside Records)


Joan Shelley We’d be home from Joan Shelley (2017 No Quarter Records)


Erin Rae and the Meanwhiles Pretty thing from Soon Enough (2016 Clubhouse Records)


Ags Connolly I should’ve closed the book from Nothin’ Unexpected (2017 At the Helm Records)


Emily Portman Borrowed and blue from Coracle (2015 Furrow Music)


Neil McSweeney Old Glory Blues from A Coat Worth Wearing (2017 Hudson Records)


Benjamin Folke Thomas Rhythm and blues from Copenhagen (2017 Louvio)


Peter James Millson Green from Mobile (2017 Haven Records)


Reg Meuross Faraway people from Faraway People (2017 Hatsongs)


Yorkston Thorne Khan Bales from Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars (2017 Domino Records)


Charlie Dore Two thousand hour lightbulb from Dark Matter (2017 Black Ink Music)


The Harmed Brothers A life in progress from The Harmed Brothers (2017 Fluff and Gravy Records)


Mary Chapin Carpenter Late for your life from Time Sex Love (2001 Columbia Records)


Iris DeMent My life from My Life (1994 Warner Brothers)


Sam Amidon Juma Mountain from The Following Mountain (2017 Nonesuch Records)


India Electric Co Parachutes from EC1M EP (2017 India Electric Co)


Jake Xerxes Fussell Have you ever seen peaches growing on a sweet potato vine? from What in the natural world (2017 Paradise of Bachelors)


Hannah Aldridge Goldrush from Goldrush (2017 Hannah Aldridge)


Luke Tuchsherer Outside looking in from Always be true (2017 Clubhouse Records)


Juana Molina Lentisimo halo from Halo (2017 Crammed Discs)


Sophia Marshall Bye bye from Bye Bye (2017 Sophia Marshall)


Favourite releases of the first 6 months of 2017 – part one

2016 was in my view an excellent year for music in the folk, americana, alt-country, blues and world music genres. Six months in and 2017 is proving to be an equally fine year musically.  So it felt an appropriate juncture to start blogging about some of my personal favourite record releases from January to June. This is the first instalment.

Ned Roberts Outside My Mind

Ned was something of a new discovery for me. I’d heard his name but until this year hadn’t had the good fortune to actually hear his music. From the evidence of Outside My Mind I’ve been missing out and have some catching up to do. He’s based in London, has a folk-inflected sound, elements of americana and a strong sense of singer songwriters form Laurel Canyon, California circa the 1970’s. There’s perhaps a hint of James Taylor in the mix. All positive as far as I’m concerned. Do check out his music. Here’s a track from his album to whet your musical appetite.


Amelia Curran Watershed

I’ve enjoyed Amelia Curran’s thoughtful and lyrically compelling music for some time now. So I was delighted when her new album Watershed came out earlier in the year on Six Shooter Records. Amelia is further evidence that there is a massive amount of talent in Canada. And when I think about it an amazing number of my favourite singer songwriters are from that country.

Amelia’s website bio describes the album thus “From the opening notes of the title track throughout the album, waves of distorted guitar batter Watershed’s softer shores. The surges of electric riffs create a strong undertow, churning and roiling as Curran’s lyrics express agitation, frustration and exhaustion with fighting the currents”.

If you’ve not encountered Amelia Curran’s music before, Watershed is a very good starting point. And then work backwards through her previous releases. Rich rewards await.


Neil McSweeney A Coat Worth Wearing

Last year if I had to choose my song of the year it would have been Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater By The Tides. In 2017 my song of the year arrived in the first 3 months, Neil McSweeney’s Land of Cockayne.

Rather like Ned Roberts I really feel I have been late to the party in discovering Neil’s music. Since A Coat Worth Wearing arrived in my mail at the station however I’ve found myself going back again and again to this mesmerising and intriguing album. Intriguing in that whilst if you had to try and pin a genre to Neil’s music folk would probably be the best fit, yet there are flourishes of electronica, little beeps and samples in the musical mix courtesy of producer Andy Bell, who also runs Hudson Records, the label Neil records for.

Neil’s fantastic live too, he played a superb session at The Musician in Leicester in the spring alongside the excellent Vera Van Heeringen. He also came into the studio on 16 March to chat and play some live songs. Well worth catching up with on MixCloud if you haven’t heard it. I suspect you’ll instantly become a fan. And when Neil came in he chose some brilliant tracks by other artists for me to play, including an EP that has become a massive hit with me – Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell’s EP The North Farm Sessions. Tracks from it, along with those from Neil’s own album, have been gracing my show playlists for some time now!


13 June 2017 playlist

Nathan Bell What did you do today? from Love to fear (24 hours in traitor land) (2017 Stone Barn Records)


Quiet Loner Don’t despair from Greedy Magicians (Little Rabbit Records)


Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit The last of my kind from The Nashville Sound (2017 Southeastern Records)


Luke Daniels If this town that we love from Revolve and Rotate (2016 Gael Productions)


Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin Taxis from Watershed (2015 Dragonfly Roots)


Martha Tilston Taxi light from Nomad (2017 Squiggly Records)


Daniel Gadd Someways down a highway from As if in a dream I drifted at sea (2017 Daniel Gadd)


Rhiannon Giddens Freedom highway from Freedom Highway (2017 Nonesuch Records)


David Hosking Someone will catch you from Butterfly Net (2017 David Hosking)


Tom Waits Kentucky Avenue from Blue Valentine (1978 Elektra Records)


Her Crooked Heart Loving you from To Gentlemen EP (2017 SoDak Records)


Penguin Cafe Ricercar from The Imperfect Sea (2017 Erased Tapes Records)


Sarah Jane Scouten When the bloom falls from the rose from When the bloom falls from the rose (2017 Light Organ Records)


The August List Old Rip from Ramshackle Tabernacle (2017 Ubiquity Project Records)


Rachel Baiman Thinkin’ on you from Shame (2017 Free Dirt Records)


Ocotillo The Free Life from Songs from the city and the desert (2017 Ocotillo)


Winter Wilson Doreen and Joe from Ashes and Dust (2015 Winter Wilson)


Katy Rose Bennett Jack and Ivy from Songs of the River Rea (2016 Katy Rose Bennett)


Rosie Hood A furlong of flight from The Beautiful and the actual (2017 Rootbeat Records)


Dan Clews House that is my heart from When Middle England mows its lawn (2017 Vista Music)


Slaid Cleaves If I had a heart from Ghost on the radio (2017 Candy House Media)


Fraser Anderson Crying from my heart from Under the cover of lightness (2016 Membran Media)


Roving Crows Riverside from Bury me naked (2017 Roving Crows)


Joan Shelley Isn’t that enough from Joan Shelley (2017 No Quarter Records)


30 May 2017 playlist

Amy Speace “How to sleep in a stormy boat” from “How to sleep in a stormy boat” (2013 Windbone Records)


Sarah Jane Scouten “Poland” from “When the bloom falls from the rose’ (2017 Light Organ Records)


Chip Taylor “Till it hurts” from “Songs I Can Live With” (2017 Train Wreck Records)


Martha Tilston “Ribbons for John” from “Nomad” (2017 Squiggly Records)


Dan Whitehouse “They care for you” from “That’s where I belong” CD 2 Live (2016 Reveal Records)


King Creosote and Jon Hopkins “Bats in the attic” from “Diamond Mine” (2014 Domino Records)


Richard Thompson “Waltzing’s for dreamers” from “Amensia” (1998 Capitol Records)


The Unthanks “What can a song do to you?” from “Diversions Volume 4: the songs and poems of Molly Drake” (2017 Rabble Rouser Records)


Boo Hewerdine “The year that I was born” from “Swimming in Mercury” (2017 Reveal Records)


Penguin Cafe “Franz Schubert” from “The Imperfect Sea” (2017 Erased Tapes Records)


The Memory Band “Catch as catch can” from “The Memory Band” (2004 Hungry Hill Records)


Celtus “Jigsaw” from “What goes around..comes around” (2001 Evangeline Records)

Karine Polwart “The sun’s comin’ over the hill” from “Faultines” (2003 Neon Productions)


Joan Shelley “Where I’ll find you” from “Joan Shelley” (2017 No Quarter Records)


Jake Xerxes Fussell “Furniture man” from “What in the natural world” (2017 Paradise of Bachelors)


Sam Baker “Land of doubt” from “Land of doubt” (2017 Sam Baker Music)


Nathan Bell “Traitorland (rules for living in)” from “Love to fear” (2017 Stone Barn Records)


Ani Di Franco “Pacifist’s lament” from “Binary” (2017 Righteous Babe/Aveline Records)


Elliott Morris “Sirens” from “Lost and found” (2017 Dominoes Club Records)


Southern Tenant Folk Union “What kind of worker do you want to be?” from “Join Forces” (2016 Johnny Rock Records)


Ewan McLennan and George Monbiot “Such a thing as society” from “Breaking the spell of loneliness” (2016 Fellside Recordings)


Fraser Anderson “Simple guidance” from “Under the cover of lightness” (2016 Membran Records)


Michael Chapman “Sometimes you just drive” from “50” (2017 Paradise of Bachelors)