fri 28/04/2017

folk music

CD: Ray Davies - Americana

From Muswell Hillbilly to Beverly Hillbilly, Ray Davies – Sir Ray – has long been infatuated with America and it must have been a great disappointment when the Kinks were banned from touring there in the mid-1960s. Then in the 1970s and Eighties...

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CD: Sharon Shannon - Sacred Earth

Sharon Shannon’s not yet 50 – and she’s been performing for more than 40 years, joining a band at home in County Clare when she was eight and touring the US with them at 14. Since then she’s worked with an impressive array of artists, from the...

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The Winter's Tale, Barbican review - Cheek by Jowl's latest wavers in tone

This is a well-travelled Winter’s Tale. Declan Donnellan has long been a director who's as much at home abroad as he is in the UK, and with co-production support here coming pronouncedly from Europe (there's American backing, too), Cheek by Jowl...

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Radio 2 Folk Awards, Royal Albert Hall

One thing was very clear at Wednesday night’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, held at the Royal Albert Hall – at the moment at least, Scotland has something of a monopoly when it comes to folk music talent. While Desert Island Discs suggests the current...

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CD: Imelda May - Life. Love. Flesh. Blood

As Imelda May releases her fifth CD, it can’t but help that Bob Dylan has come out as a fan – it was, she wrote, "like being kissed by Apollo himself". No doubt his buddy T Bone Burnett passed him a copy of the album, for he produced it in Los...

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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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