February 4 2018 is the 1st International House Concert Day, The European House Concert Hub and FSR are celebrating by organising the 1st International House Concert Festival. Talk to Rob Ellen if you would like to be involved.

 

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Presenting Davy Cowan's "Little Town" our 2017  Christmas Song

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AMBER CROSS —SAVAGE ON THE DOWNHILL (Self-released)

ALBUM OF THE MONTH 

 www.ambercrossmusic.com

With Savage On The Downhill produced by esteemed musician (guitar, harmonica) singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville Amber Cross’ music could not be in better hands. She may not be the biggest act, physically, but is one of the most dynamic forces of her field. The field in question being that of singer-songwriter (acoustic based).  

 

Born and raised over in New England her first taste of singing was at the church. Where her father was a minister. Now raising a family of her own out in California she embraces a bunch of nuances and does it with authoritative edge. Her lyrics and voice dig deep into one’s soul. The word compromise doesn’t figure in her musical vocabulary. Such is the honesty, grit and determination that accompanies it! Cross is cut from a special cloth. Tough and resolute as a knotty pine she performs a form of the folk country past masters of the craft would be proud to be associated with. Present day talent Tim O’Brien (fiddle), Gurf Morlix (bass, electric, baritone guitar) and Bonneville (harmonica, electric, acoustic guitar) coupled with sessionmen Rick Richards (drums), David Carroll (bass), Mike Hardwick (pedal steel) and Chris Searle (drums) give steadfast support to Cross’ deeply etched lyrics. No better example of her moving, gritty approach is “Savage On The Downhill”. It is here she speaks of understanding of nature, and it isn’t the only occasion the plucky singer-songwriter puts to use her knowledge as she embraces the natural surroundings of rural California to go with her stories of love and family.  

 

All but three songs are solo efforts. Those on which she calls on others you have two co-writers with Bonneville. She was put in touch with him by another earthy, no punches pulled country singer-songwriter Chuck Hawthorne. He also gets to lend some impressive harmony vocals on “Eagle & Blue”. As for Bonneville he co-wrote rhythmic ode “Tracey Joe” and the title-track “Savage On The Downhill”, and solo effort “Lone Freighter’s Wail”. All are stirring tracks. Such is the steely passion of her singing the listener may well feel the need to pause between songs (due to the intensity of Cross' music). She gets inside one’s heart as she strips the music, and lyrics down to the bone. and they don’t come any finer than the pedal steel guitar warmed “Echoes”. While she goes one further on stripping down the instrumental side on plaintive ode “Trinity Gold Mine”, and with O’Brien’s fiddle colouring her lyrics and powerful vocals “Storms of Scarcity” produces a yearning feel strong enough to bend steel. 

 

“One Last Look” is in many ways, less intense to give both artist and listener a break from the more muscular fare. Nice it is too. Otherwise from the opening gem “Pack of Lies” (loaded in a powerhouse rhythm it well and truly opens the flood gates to one’s heart and soul) to the lonesome “Lone Freighter’s Wail” there’s no let up. If anyone is looking for an artist to bring over for a festival or tour dates Cross is loaded in talent; she is one of those honest performers to transfix an audience with her music. Going back to the opening track it displays incredible strength, all round. Not least comes in the form of the rhythmic work of drummer supreme Richards and Carroll (bass) and pitch perfect guitar (electric and acoustic) of Bonneville who did gain one concession from Cross, he got her to travel down to Austin, Texas to record the album. I hope we don't have too long a wait, before she returns to the Lonestar State to repeat to record another ground moving set of work.   

 

                                                            Maurice Hope               

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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

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www.euroamericanachart.eu

1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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