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Why not invite your favourite independent musician to play for your friends family and his fans in your front room, I’ll be surprised if he/she won’t show up sometime this year and play for you, let me know about it and if The Medicine Show Radio Moose Mobile is loose is near enough we’ll come and broadcast it too. If you would like to help keep the wheels on the Hub and on The Moose become a patron at

Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen


ERIC BRACE, PETER COOPER and THOMM JUTZ - RIVERLAND (Red Beet Records) and Dates in March

East Nashville musicians, singer-songwriters Eric Brace, Peter Cooper and bluegrass award winning songwriter and more, Thomm Jutz have been back in the recording studio. Riverland follows their 2017 release Profiles In Courage, Frailty , And Discomfort with a concept album about Mississippi. It’s troubled history regards segregation, the American Civil War plus its writers, and the mighty, often written about and revered, Mississippi River. Backing up their craft as excellent songwriters and lyrics as neat as tightly woven fabric they are supported by production (their own) where less can often mean more, Brace, Cooper and Jutz have another masterful record.

Pickers on the record other than Brace, Cooper on acoustic guitar, and Jutz on resonator guitar include Mark Fain (acoustic bass), Lynn Williams (drums), Tammy Rogers (fiddle) and Mike Compton (mandolin). While on banjo the duties are by Terry Baucom and Justin Moses. There’s numerous songs I could, and have in part wax lyrical on. As a good a place as any to start is the hugely evocative Steamboat Man. It is one of thirteen new songs by the trio, they also enjoy a little help from prolific writer John Hadley and fiddle player Rogers. To go with a special song from late Mississippi preacher, Will D Campbell. Campbell was a good friend of a man with whom Cooper, Brace and Jutz likewise have a special relationship and great admiration, the Nashville Storyteller Tom T. Hall. Will and Tom T. would spend many an hour discussing life, and the enchanting heritage of Mississippi over a glass (or two) of whiskey while travelling to gigs on Hall’s tour bus. I imagine there’s a song or two in his catalogue that were inspired by those long discussions. Back to Steamboat Man, it is a song a man with a lifetime fascination of the Mississippi River and its people would have loved to have for his own. I am talking about multi picker, John Hartford. The production is typical of the record. With more than ample space for the vocals and musicians breathe, it eases along effortlessly. There is nothing worse than to look through the list of musicians or harmony vocalists on an album sleeve, and are not allowed to be heard. Thankfully the trio don’t belong to the club.

Steamboat Man is far from isolated highlight for it has the likes of Drowned And Washed Away for company. Built around the destruction caused by the great Mississippi River flood of 1927 Brace shines on lead vocals. As he does on the equally impressive It Might Be Hollywood (warmed in fiddle and mandolin the music is heavenly), and you have Jutz spin his magic on the trio’s collaboration In The Presence Of The River. An uneasy affair it jolts the listener, such are the lyrics and resonator guitar of Jutz. His vocal style is reminiscent of Seldom Scene vocalist, John Starling. The engaging piece also contains some of the album’s crispest harmony vocals. A real treat.

Others of top class quality include the Cooper led, Uneasy Does It. Written by Cooper like with all songs he sings lead his performance couldn’t be better. Nor could the acoustic guitar work sound better. On giving mention to Mississippi veteran, rock’n’roll legend Jerry Lee (Lewis) he lends a little more magic to the record as he eases through the story in seamless fashion. Nothing sounds contrived, or ill fitting on the record. Cooper, Brace and Jutz not only gell as songwriters but with a greater confidence heard in the lead vocals the listener is spolit. Mississippi, Rest My Soul closes the album in melancholy fashion as Jutz retraces more of Mississippi’s troubles. More flowing, is bluegrass tune Old Tom T And Brother Will as Jutz sings a mighty lead vocal as everyone falls in alongside with their stellar support. So good is the track I can imagine Tom T listening to this while toasting the trio the success the project deserves. 

Fort Defiance is another gem. Here it is Brace who excels on lead vocals, and with it enjoying wonderful fiddle and banjo support acoustic Americana country, singer songwriter music is heard at its best! Last but not least you have Mississippi Magic. With genuine hurt ooze from his Cooper’s voice the haunting tale written by Campbell (the first half of the song features spoken word from him) has all the hallmarks of one of Eric Taylor’s finest. Let’s not forget Cooper recorded an album in 2015, Depot Light ; Songs Of Eric Taylor. Riverland is the kind of album where the more you listen to it and, study the lyrics the more you will get out of a record. One that never falters or lacks in any department. Well done boys. Plus, the artwork and notes couldn’t be better; each worthy of the other. Don’t be surprised to see Riverland gain an award or two before the year is out. 

Footnote. The trio are soon going to be touring not only US but the UK.

Maurice Hope

 The Dates 





Location & Venue


Feb 08

Severna Park MD

 Get Tickets 

House concert

Feb 09

Vienna VA 

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Jammin Java (DC area)





Location & Venue


Mar 01

Southport ENG 

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House concert

Mar 02

Haile ENG 

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Haile Village Hall

Mar 03

Cockermouth ENG 

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Wild Zucchinis Bistro

Mar 04

Dunoon SCOT

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Dunoon Burgh Hall

Mar 05

Limekilns SCOT 

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Limekilns Parish Church

Mar 06

Limekilns SCOT 

 Get Tickets 

The Bruce Arms Pub

Mar 07

Tynemouth ENG 

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Surf Cafe

Mar 08

Beverley ENG 

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The Monk's Walk Pub

Mar 09

Scarborough ENG 

 Get Tickets 

Woodend Creative Workspace

Mar 10

Twickenham ENG 

 Get Tickets 

Cabbage Patch Pub


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