fri 22/03/2019

folk music

Joan Baez, London Palladium review - fare-thee-well generosity

“If you look at music, you see theme, variation, you see symmetry, asymmetry, you see structure,” observed Dave van Ronk, the late folk musician known as “the Mayor of MacDougal Street” in Greenwich Village.He was doubtless talking about composition...

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CD: Dido - Still On My Mind

Twenty years on from No Angel, the most successful debut ever by a British woman which went on to become the top-selling album, worldwide, of 2001, Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong releases her fifth album. Spare output by most...

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CD: Hozier - Wasteland Baby!

In the summer of 2014, there was little getting away from Hozier's "Take Me to Church". Whenever you turned on the TV or the radio there it was. It wasn't just in this country. Eventually, the song became number one in 12 countries and number 2 in...

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Lau, Cheese & Grain, Frome review - the dangerous charm of electronica

Back in 2017, The Foo Fighters did a surprise pre-Glastonbury gig at Frome’s Cheese & Grain, a rather soulless shed near the equally soulless Westway Shopping Centre. So much for Frome being the heart of a new alternative Britain, almost a...

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Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The striking cover for the Brighton Festival 2019 programme shouts out loud who this year’s Guest Director is. Silhouetted in flowers, in stunning artwork by Simon Prades, is the unmistakeable profile of Malian musician Rokia Traoré. Taking place...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Robert MacFarlane's Spell Songs

With books including Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks, Robert MacFarlane has established himself as one of the leading writers on landscape in the English language, continuing a literary tradition that contains...

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CD: Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center

In recent weeks, you may have noticed signs for the Better Oblivion Community Center, from billboards to park benches, all displaying a mysterious helpline telephone number. This was not some new community support project, but a surprise...

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Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - celebrating the Irish in England

Last spring, Imagining Ireland took a fresh, shamrock-free look at contemporary Ireland’s cultural scene, with spoken word and alt-folk mixing with indie rock and jazz, classical, gospel and rap, with the line-up led by Bell X1’s Paul Noonan and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Shirley Collins - 'There was no way I could ever sing to be popular'

When Shirley Collins appears at The Roundhouse next week, it will be 50 years since she last played there. On 30 May 1969, she and her sister Dolly were on a bill promoting their then label Harvest Records. When she plays there on 31 January, she is...

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CD: Katie Doherty & The Navigators - And Then

It’s more than 10 years since Katie Doherty, a new-minted music grad championed by the Sage-based Folkworks collective, was named Newcomer of the Year and released Bridges, her debut album. And Then is only her second – which is not to suggest she’s...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Mari Kalkun - Ilmamõtsan

Any of the individual elements making up Ilmamõtsan would be enough. Unified, they imbue Ilmamõtsan with beauty and an understated power. That questing Estonian singer-songwriter Mari Kalkun does not sing in English is no barrier to being affected....

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Albums of the Year 2018: Ry Cooder - The Prodigal Son

Rudderless, and under the unpredictable and self-interested leadership of crazy and authoritarian populists, the world finds, as ever, some solace from music.  I’ve spent a lot of time exploring '90s Dub Techno this year, not least the work of...

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