fri 22/01/2021

New Music Features

Garifuna Blues: Aurelio Martinez and Andy Palacio

Peter Culshaw Aurelio Martinez (right) with mentor Youssou N'Dour

The new album of Honduran singer Aurelio Martinez hasn’t got a title yet, or a record label, and will probably come out next year. But already there’s enough buzz about him and it for his UK debut to bring out the great and good from the world music scene. Editors, PRs, DJs, record company types, promoters and journalists were out in force on a rainy December night last Friday in the decidedly un-fiesta-like atmosphere of Islington’s Union Chapel.

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PBS6: launch of Geordie supergroup

Alice Vincent Getting to know you: first rehearsal of Geordie folk pioneers PBS6

Common assumptions about the folk scene in Newcastle would conjure up images of regulars at busker’s night in the pubs around Ouseburn valley. Not so far from the truth, perhaps. But a new project started by Will Lang, who happens to be a tutor at Newcastle Universit, is revitalising the North-East’s traditional association with the genre. PBS6, a supergroup - if you will - of young, exuberant musicians from backgrounds varying from jazz to Irish accordion mastery, are launching their new tour...

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Thea Gilmore Rediscovers Christmas

Adam Sweeting

As Bob Dylan has reminded us recently, The Christmas Album is one of those music industry traditions more likely to deserve an ignominious burial rather than praise. Fortunately, Thea Gilmore has galloped to the rescue with Strange Communion, an artfully shaped collection of songs that shines flickering light into the mystical roots of the Yuletide season.

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The Moon and Tom Waits

howard Male

This week sees the much antipicated release of the Tom Waits live album Glitter and Doom - which almost rhymes with moon. Much has been written about the seismic change in Tom Waits’ music that occurred around 1983 with Swordfishtrombones. Before that date Waits was just a bar-room blues kind of guy: double bass, brushed snare, and fumbled piano were the accessible backdrop to songs of unfulfilled love and drowned Saturday nights. This Tom was always hunched over the...

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Brett Dennen, interview

Adam Sweeting

Astonishingly tall and surmounted by a luxuriant clump of dramatic red hair, Brett Dennen couldn't be mistaken for any other singer-songwriter. It's possible to detect any number of musical echoes in his songs - Neil Young, Dylan, Paul Simon - but thanks to his huskily soulful voice and a gift for conveying complicated sentiments in a resonant phrase, he manages to stand apart from the crowd here too.

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The Seckerson Tapes: Nigel Richards

Edward Seckerson

Edward Seckerson talks to actor/singer Nigel Richards about his new album A Shining Truth - a handsome compendium of 14 hitherto unrecorded musical theatre songs by major talents as Howard Goodall, Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, Conor Mitchell, Richard Taylor, and others no less significant. Musical Theatre aficionados will recall Nigel's unforgettable performance in the title role of Adam Guettel's masterpiece Floyd Collins at London's Bridewell Theatre and will...

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The Seckerson Tapes: Jamie Bernstein on Leonard Bernstein

Edward Seckerson

theartsdesk.com presents The Seckerson Tapes, a series of live and uncut audio interviews from acclaimed broadcaster Edward Seckerson. We start with Jamie Bernstein - Leonard Bernstein's eldest daughter - who has been in London launching the year-long Bernstein Project at the South Bank. Seckerson, a long-standing Bernstein devotee and disciple, sat down for a frank and open discussion about exactly who her "dad" was.

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Magma, Barbican, the Cosmos

Peter Culshaw

I am not that objective about Magma. For one thing, when I saw them as a 16-year-old in the Seventies the intensity of the band caused me to have an out-of-body experience, something that has happened neither before or since. It’s the kind of thing you remember. It’s hard to formulate balanced critical opinions when you are floating up near the ceiling, looking down on your body. I met the leader and creative visionary behind the band, Christian Vander, a couple of weeks before last night’s...

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Mott The Hoople Reunion Interview

Robert Sandall

Reputations, it seems, can grow in ways that elude even their owners. When the original five members of Mott The Hoople finally decided to re-form, 35 years after they drifted apart, they booked two shows at the Hammersmith Apollo in October and crossed their fingers. According to their 70-year-old vocalist Ian Hunter, “we realised if we were ever going to do it, it was now or never, but we still thought we’d be lucky to fill the second night.”...

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Tom Russell's Juarez Journal

Tom Russell

To mark the release of Tom Russell's superb new album Blood and Candle Smoke this week,  the cowboy singer-songwriter reports on his trip earlier this month to the Mexican city of Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, just over the border from where he lives in El Paso, Texas.

"Down below El Paso lies Juarez, / Mexico is different, like the travel poster says…"
Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard, "Mexican Divorce"

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