sat 24/07/2021

folk music

Shadow Kingdom: The Early Songs of Bob Dylan review - noir settings for classic numbers

What is the Shadow Kingdom and how do you gain access to it? In Bob Dylan’s case, it may be found in the film noir classics of his birth – 1941’s The Maltese Falcon onward – and it’s those noir settings, artfully condensed and reduced to a signature...

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Album: Craig Fortnam - Ark

Craig Fortnam’s music – solo or in the bands North Sea Radio Orchestra and Arch Garrison – sounds like a lot of things. It sounds like the 70s prog-folk-jazz interface of Kevin Ayres and Robert Wyatt as its influence feeds on into Kate Bush. When he...

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Album: Kings of Convenience - Peace or Love

The first release that brought folk-pop duo Kings of Convenience to prominence outside of their native Norway was their Live in a Room EP, released in 2000. Recorded, as the title suggests, with a minimum of fuss, the cuts include pre-song count-ins...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 64: Chet Baker, Lava La Rue, Bob Mould, Krust, The Yardbirds, The Fratellis and more

Things got out of hand at theartsdesk on Vinyl this month and these reviews run to 10,000 words. That's around a fifth of The Great Gatsby. It's because there's so much good music that deserves the words, from jazz to metal to pure electronic...

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Music books to end lockdown: Sam Lee, Hawkwind, Dylan, Richard Thompson, and the Electric Muses

It won’t be long now before concert halls and back rooms, arts centres and festival grounds fill with people again, and live music, undistanced, unmasked, and in your face, comes back to us. In expectation of this gradual reopening of the stage...

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Singer-songwriter Peggy Seeger: still in the vanguard of her musical dynasty

If American music has a royal family, it’s surely the Seeger clan. Charles, the patriarch, the composer, musicologist and teacher who could be said to have invented ethnomusicology, married first to Constance de Clyver Edson, a violinist and teacher...

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Album: Lady Dan - I Am the Prophet

There’s a line in “No Home”, the staggering centrepiece of Lady Dan’s debut album, that perhaps sums up the project. “Wolves will never be my masters again,” the artist, real name Tyler Dozier, sings as the strings swell, in a voice like the...

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Album: They're Calling Me Home - Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi

Now we are at the beginning of lockdown’s end and the gradual loosening of the pandemic’s grip on pretty well every aspect of our lives, what is perhaps one of the warmest and most uplifting of albums recorded under Covid conditions comes in the...

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Album: Caoilfhionn Rose - Truly

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t spent more time alone with their thoughts than they otherwise would have liked over the past 12 months. Manchester musician Caoilfhionn Rose has been confined a little longer: forced to take a year off...

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Album: Ted Barnes - 17 Postcards

Ted Barnes is an outsider by design. Not in the sense of being wilfully awkward or outré – the music on his first solo album in almost 13 years years is gentle, harmonically rich, extremely accessible – but in that he has sidestepped standard career...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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