Flyinshoes Review

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Introducing our annual Festive Collection! Again we thank our friends and Medicine Show Family fold for a wonderful eclectic selection of different takes on Christmas. Please do share and enjoy 

The album is free to download (pay what you want) Listen Here 

The Medicine Show Festive Collection 2015 (Free Christmas Gift) The Medicine Show Presents - Christmas Times A' Coming 
Released November 2015, featuring various Medicine Show artists singing their unique blend of Christmas songs.


Stephanie Urbina Jones, Charlie Roth, Ed Romanoff, Brian Ashley Jones, Beth Wimmer, Dark Green Tree, The Kitty Black Band, Dougie Burns, Dick LeMasters, Kevin Dooley, Brigid Kaelin. 

Album Artwork by Mark Gerking

Our Festive Collection "Christmas Times A'Coming" is now available on CD exclusively from Fish Record for £2 + P&P , with all funds going to help the refugees. The CD will also be given away free with all purchases over £20 from Fish Records

(for all your folk roots music requirements this Christmas)

On his myspace site, Mark Bates seems such a sweet, gently spoken young man, it's hard to believe that this is the same person who has produced an album that so melodramatically deals with all the darker sides of life, as chronicled by generation after generation of folk song writers. His liner notes suggest a troubled personal past - no details - for which this explosion of music has been a catharsis; indeed there is the suggestion that these dark tales of murder, pain and depression are directly inspired by his own life. Well if so, he seems to have seen way too much of that sort of thing for one lifetime. Mind you, sometimes it's the cheeriest of people who focus on these things in their imaginative lives.

Teaching himself guitar and piano to give himself the tools with which to express himself he has paid close enough attention to his masters - Townes van Zandt, Tom Waits, Neil Young, to name three - to show he has learnt how to put a song together, to give it a flow and a hook that will lodge in the brain. Clearly, too, there is a degree of experimentation as different forms and arrangements are tried out. Clean Through, which opens the album and tells of devotion in the face of emotional pain, sounds like white soul, Steve Dawson style. Mark has a good voice for it, the stretch for the high notes sounding like emotional intensity. Forbidden Love, also quite a soulful track, has a modern alt-country feel to it but the guitar break for the middle eight could have been lifted from Guns'nRoses or some such band and sounds slightly bizarre. Daisy is a blues amble with a country lyric: "I got the blues/ If your wife was a whore/ Well wouldn't you?", whilst Death Sucks has a vaudevillian air with the banjo, trumpet and clarinet fronting the arrangement. That arrangement in itself suggests he's laughing at his own morbid obsessions, but make of it what you will. His one cover here is Townes Van Zandts's Flyin Shoes ("won't be long/till I'm trying on/my flyin shoes"). It's not a bad cover at all, but all this gloom makes me want to put an arm round his shoulders and encourage him to find the bright side.

The absolute stand-out track is A Drunkard's Holiday; the drunkard in question has his life fall apart around him and this song is his declaration of intention to make a dramatic public demonstration of his anguish. I'd be surprised if you don't wince the first time you hear this, as I did, at the unflinching bitterness of it all. Often , in song, you're hearing the voice of an observer but this is the voice of a man seeking out how far down he can go, and it's remarkable stuff for a young fellow to write. I suppose when you're young you're more able to see the world in all or nothing terms; as you get older, no matter what life has dealt you, you're more likely to see the world in a steadier, day after day, sort of a way.

There's loads of good, interesting stuff going on, here on Down The Narrow. I like Mark Bates' soulful singing, his use of piano based songs and his intensely personal and honest approach to writing; he's serious about his art, which bodes really well for the future; I'd say that Down The Narrow is too disparate for me to love it in it's entirety but I reckon he's around for the long haul and I'm already looking forward to what comes next.

John Davy

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The House Concert Hub was founded by (me) Rob Ellen of Medicine Music; Publicist, Promoter, Presenter. Here are some of the artists Medicine Music and I have the privilege to work with, and links to their music and our mailing list. Please consider joining, be first to know what's happening. All of our artists are confirmed House Concert fans and available for your consideration. Also follow our rolling news below in this column.

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You are very welcome to this community; all feedback is very much appreciated ...  Rob Ellen.
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Artists If you want to connect directly with hosts promoters, DJ's and publications who are really active on this site and FSR and off. I can help, have a look at our enhanced membership group, I can connect you with and help you maintain your support structure here in Europe, thats what I do.

 I have introduced to Europe with the help of many of the members here and on FlyinShoes Review and the broad/podcasters and reviewers of Europe the likes of I See Hawks In LA, AJ Roach, Nels Andrews, Carry Elkin, Drew Nelson, Robby Hecht, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper, John Byrd, Phil Lee, Tom Mason, Charlie Roth, the list goes on and on and grows by the week.

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The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news


booking House Concerts

Joseph Parsons (USA) - UK April 2016

Hi Folks!

Joseph Parsons here. I'm finally coming to the UK for a short run of shows in Southern and Northern UK, April 2016. I'm looking to add a few House Concerts in between or some other ideas.  Any help is much appreciated!  I've been making records and touring Europe & the USA for years and it's been such a great adventure. Thankfully, I've had so much support. I'm hoping I can find a 'home' in the UK!

I have a private website for booking info that can…

Got LIVE if you want it?...

Singer songwriter Gary O’Dea…booking for 2016 solo acoustic or with additional musicians. Brand new album FLY out now Perfect vibe for intimate friendly pubs / restaurants / clubs / bars / house parties / get togethers / bbqs / barmitzvahs / weddings and even the occasional wake smile…

Pistol Pete Wearn - Acoustic Blues Artist looking to add some house concerts to 2016 Scottish tour

Hi - I'm Pete, a Midlands based acoustic blues act. I'm going to be in Scotland for a tour this forthcoming March & I would really like to include some house concerts in the proceedings.  At the minute I'm looking to fill 5th, 7th & 9th March. 

about pistol pete…

Dumb Instrument - Looking for house concerts in the UK

Hi Folks,

We are Dumb Instrument and come from Ayrshire in Scotland and are looking to play house concerts anywhere in the UK. We actually perform as anything from a 2 piece up to an 8 piece and play a variety of musical styles however the main focus of our material is definitely Tom Murray's lyrics. Much like hamsters we are very low maintenance, don't require much food and like to keep ourselves clean.....

Please get in touch to let us entertain you at…


To Book Kete Bowers


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