When it comes to vintage, classic country music you would have to place traditional country music stalwart, Jean Shepard alongside the likes of Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff —her pure, clear as spring water vocals have few if any peers of the idiom.
Taken from her recordings of the 1950s, Beautiful Lies capture Shepard at her brilliant best. While, apart from ‘Satisfied Mind’ and ‘Beautiful Lie’s she saw little chart success the standard is… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on August 7, 2009 at 9:14 —
East Nashville singer-songwriter Todd Snider conforms to little other than that of being a creative talent and a talent. Produced by Don Was he sounds as good if not better than ever before. His music is spare with Snider on guitar, harp and piano, Greg Leisz on steel guitar and dobro, Jim Keltner, drums and Was on upright bass as he eases out an evocative set of tunes. Snider’s work on the couple or so occasions he plays piano is likewise superb… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on August 7, 2009 at 9:00 —
Co. Clare diva, Maura O’Connell is arguably the finest female vocalist Ireland has ever produced —although fans of Dolores Keane may well dispute this. However, we had best keep that argument for another day it could go on for hours, days even.
Naked gives the pure toned O’Connell, a singer period, the opportunity to express herself without the distraction of players, and document some of the material she has been attracted to… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on July 29, 2009 at 20:11 —
As a follow-up to his acclaimed album, Dirt Farmer recorded as Helm’s own studio ((The Barn) of the Band has done it again, made a true blue roots music record. His vocals are stronger than ever, and with his music fitting the Americana tag as if it were made for him he hits the road with a potent brand of gritty, funky fashioned country, blues, gospel and rock.
Electric Dirt is extension of Dirt Farmer… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on July 21, 2009 at 7:00 —
Singer-songwriter Sam Baker has a tale or two to tell, and with Cotton the third album of a trilogy it has Baker more than at any other time though still spare and intimate, broaden his sound.
Apart from playing guitar left handed after losing use in his fingers he adapted to performing the other way round, and though restricted like his scratchy vocals compliment his spare style of writing. That often as not are like prose set to music. Stories, that like subtle… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on July 19, 2009 at 18:27 —
It is forty years since man walked on the moon and longer since JFK was the American president, and like in his song ‘Cold War Country Blues’ took the music of Hank Williams to the moon! Kennedy has always impressed me, right from when he was the lead singer (and songwriter) in Energy Orchard and then when turning solo. That saw him under the guidance of producers Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy and Nashville pickers debut with the fabulous Domestic Blues. A bunch of them had played on Earle’s… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on July 14, 2009 at 21:01 —
When it comes to extraordinary talent, it pumps through the veins of Canadian singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan like a piston of stoked-up steam train. She is good al-right, and, with Water In The Ground joined by her debut record Dark Dream Midnight previously only available mail order as a bonus disc you just can’t go wrong. For it alone is well worth the asking price!
With a voice smooth as silk, and lyrics like poetry… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on July 14, 2009 at 20:37 —
Guitar blues, country, jazz and rock veteran JJ Cale has made a host of recordings over the years and is a master of crafting a killer groove of which his latest album has a health selection.
With Cale playing all the instruments on all cuts apart from four, there is a remarkable tightness to the… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on July 8, 2009 at 7:30 —
Top bluegrass act, Rhonda Vincent isn‘t only a terrific mandolin picker and vocalist, but a bandleader. Such is the wealth of talent on offer in her band, The Rage they take bluegrass music to another level a remarkable feat when taking into consideration the pickers that there has been and, still doing the business. On scouring not only bluegrass writers for material but reaching back in time for the old country standard ‘Stop The World And Let… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on July 8, 2009 at 7:24 —
Co-produced by Gurf Morlix, this is Slaid Cleaves first album in quite some time (regards songs from his own hand, 2004 and his album, Wishbones) — and, like with all his other records the wait has been worth it. With regulars Rick Richards, Charles Arthur, Billy Harvey, Michael O’Connor and of course, Gurf himself aided by guest slots from Gene Elders and vocalist Trish Murphy Cleaves’ songs are as sharp as ever. Hence, the music races out of the chute in exciting fashion.… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on June 28, 2009 at 17:32 —
Rich in emotive edge, honesty this selection of fare from the late Johnny Cash may for the main part be familiar to his followers but there are a handful of songs seeing daylight for the first time. We are talking about rousing live versions of ‘Children, Go Where I Send Thee’ (featuring Carl Perkins), Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and the previously unreleased studio tracks ‘Come Along And Ride This Train’ —that, marked with typical chicka-boom rhythm… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on June 28, 2009 at 17:09 —
If the music of Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen are part of your diet then now you now have another flavour to spice up your life! Since, young aspiring Texas singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham is straight out of the same stable, honest and ragged, vocally he is capable of going the distance.
Following on from his debut album Mescalito, Bingham has come up with a strong collection of tunes, and he wrote them all. Yes, he does on occasions become a little too… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on June 28, 2009 at 16:00 —
Coming undiluted straight from the bottle (‘an organic road record that may as well have soil falling off it’s roots’), J.B Beverley and his band, the Wayward Drifters produce a sound that takes me back years! Since JB’s lead vocals possess a great likeness to one-time 1970s top country music earner Roy Clark, and then there are the pickers who, in donating huge slices of dobro, steel guitar,… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on June 28, 2009 at 15:51 —
EILEN JEWELL —SEA OF TEARS (SIGNATURE SOUNDS / CRS)
Built around a tight, easy to define band of four including her self, Eilen Jewell goes back to the basics for this album. That is if she had ever strayed in the first place.
Accompanied by Jason beck (drums, percussion, vocals), Jerry Miller (various guitars,… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on June 12, 2009 at 20:30 —
GRETCHEN PETERS with TOM RUSSELL —ONE TO THE HEART, ONE TO THE HEAD (Scarlet Letter)
Now here is an interesting project. Not only because it combines the talent of singer-songwriters Gretchen Peters and Tom Russell (percussion, vocals and co-producer) but also due to the fact it is apart from Russell’s own Guadalupe an album… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on June 9, 2009 at 7:00 —
NANCI GRIFFITH —THE LOVING KIND (ROUNDER)
Nanci Griffith after a little wandering in the songwriting wilderness and not being able to or posses the hunger to write, and previously loose her spark The Loving Kind sees her return to music of the people. Covering aspects of life and of the country itself with an affection and simplicity… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on June 7, 2009 at 17:30 —
Originally, Dave Alvin had intended to record and release this album while his friend, Chris Gaffney (1950 – 2008) was still around.
Unfortunately, it failed… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on May 16, 2009 at 7:30 —
After many years playing in front of the Guilty Men that featured Dave long time friend, the recently deceased Chris Gaffney he found the old memories too hard to shake, hence he has changed direction a little and formed an all-woman band.…
Added by Maurice Hope on May 16, 2009 at 7:00 —
The instant I heard the melodic tones of Wyatt Easterling
I was taken by both the guile of his songwriting, and his vocal styling possessing hints of… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on May 9, 2009 at 16:30 —
Brim full of political rooted treasures, www.properuk.com
The Little Red Box
features three cds of 20 tracks each and the DVD ‘Talking Protest’. Featuring Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Leadbelly among others and, with many songs possessing… Continue
Added by Maurice Hope on May 9, 2009 at 13:00 —