sat 25/03/2017

folk music

The Best Albums of 2017

Disc of the Day reviews new albums, week in, week out, all year. Below are the albums that our writers gave four or five stars, the ones they think are a cut above the rest. Click on any one of them to find out why.Brian Eno: Reflection ★★★★★ Slow-...

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Josh Ritter, St Stephen's Church

The only British gig in Josh Ritter’s so-called work-in-progress tour took place in the somewhat unlikely venue of St Stephen’s Church, Shepherd’s Bush, a rather fine example of gothic revival style. It’s almost opposite Bush Hall, which would have...

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Barbara Dickson, Union Chapel

Mention the name “Barbara Dickson” and everyone remembers “I Know Him so Well”, the duet with Elaine Paige which hit the top spot in 1985, the era of big hair, shoulders pads and dry ice. That song didn’t feature in Dickson’s concert at Union Chapel...

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CD: Six Organs of Admittance - Burning the Threshold

The keeper on Burning the Threshold is “Around the Axis”, a glistening, three-minute instrumental rooted in the finger-picking of Davy Graham’s classic 1961 arrangement of “Anji”. Building from its inspiration, “Around the Axis” deftly interweaves...

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Martha Wainwright & Ed Harcourt, Roundhouse

The creative partnership between Ed Harcourt and Martha Wainwright is an intriguing one. He is an out and out showman, full of stage presence, bravado and tinged with thespiness. She is an introverted, quirky creative, flanked by the comfort of a...

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CD: Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band - Big Machine

Recorded more or less live at those venerable studios with a great big sound, Rockfield and Real World, Eliza Carthy’s Big Machine is a monster of an album, big, brassy, and bendy. She has a monster of a group with her too, the 12-piece Wayward band...

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CD: Wolf People - Ruins

At 15 seconds in, it becomes obvious Ruins means business. A brief snatch of acoustic guitar lays the table for a hard-edged, groove-driven slab of melodic guitar psych immediately bringing to mind the heavier moments of Sun Dial’s classic 1990...

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Loudon Wainwright III, London Palladium

Loudon Wainwright III, a going concern as a singer-songwriter since the start of the Seventies, has long since been occluded by the commercial success of his brood, Martha and Rufus. Their old man is still enough of a draw to pack out the Palladium...

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On the road with Bob Dylan: the mother of all rockumentaries

Dont Look Back is the Ur-rockumentary, the template for hundreds of hand-held rock tour films, a source of inspiration as well as a model to aspire to.When director DA Pennebaker went on the road with Bob Dylan as he played a number of English gigs...

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CD: Katie Melua - In Winter

Readers of a certain type of lifestyle blog will be familiar with the concept of hygge. The Danish word, which refers to a state of cosiness and good cheer in which to survive the winter months, is nothing new – but this year, it’s popping up...

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CD: Norah Jones - Day Breaks

The human voice is as individual as a fingerprint: the emotional, melancholic pull of Billie Holiday; the slightly nasal, always ironic quality of Donald Fagen; the overheated melismas of Mariah Carey; and Michael Bolton, the aural equivalent of the...

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CD: Billy Bragg & Joe Henry - Shine a Light

In 1983, on the raucous punk-a-billy number “A13, Trunk Road to the Sea”, Billy Bragg affectionately sent up the parochial nature of Britain as compared to the USA (“If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness/Take the A-road, the okay road, that’s the...

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