mon 21/01/2019

folk music

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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Albums of the Year 2018: The Gloaming - Live at the NCH

The Irish American supergroup was only meant to be a one-off, but the fervour of their audiences’ passion for the music – across two studio albums from Real World, and some magnificent concerts in the UK, Ireland and the US – has given The Gloaming...

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CD: The Albion Christmas Band - Under the Christmas Tree

The Albion Christmas Band is as much of a fixture as Yuletide itself and their tour runs right through till Christmas – and of course there’s an album, Under the Christmas Tree. Specially formed for the festive period and featuring Simon Nicol (...

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CD: Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner – The Music From Bagpuss

In 1974, a saggy old cloth cat and his rag-tag bunch of friends managed, in just 13 episodes, to influence a generation. Ask pretty much anyone who watched Bagpuss what their first experience of traditional folk music was and the answer is unlikely...

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Orphy Robinson’s Astral Weeks, London Jazz Festival 2018 review - reimagining a masterpiece

After failing to make the charts on its release 50 years ago this month, Astral Weeks has long since passed into pop mythology, its unique amalgam of jazz, folk and soul influences inspiring musicians, writers and filmmakers alike.Martin Scorsese...

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Florence + The Machine, Genting Arena, Birmingham review - flying the flag for a hopeful future

Many established artists, when out on tour, can get all a bit bashful about their new material. In fact, it’s not unusual for bands to hide a couple of new tunes in the middle of their live set with embarrassed mumbling about “you don’t really want...

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CD: Josephine Foster - Faithful Fairy Harmony

Faithful Fairy Harmony is in the tradition of The Beatles’ White Album, Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard, a True Star and The Clash’s London Calling, all double albums because an outpouring of songs couldn’t be stemmed. Also like these, Josephine Foster’s...

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Hadestown, National Theatre review - new folk musical is hotter than hell

The road to full musical theatre production has been a long one for Hadestown. It began back in 2006, with Anaïs Mitchell’s song cycle – a folk/jazz take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth – toured around Vermont in a school bus, then grew into an...

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The Ballads of Child Migration, St James's Church, Clerkenwell review - into the heart of darkness

What adjectives best describe a performance of The Ballads of Child Migration? None of those you’d normally expect to see applied to an evening of superlative music-making, for the song cycle chronicles the deprivations suffered by child migrants...

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The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Vaudeville Theatre review - more tribute act than theatre piece

What to make of The Simon & Garfunkel Story, which began a week-long residency at London’s Vaudeville Theatre last night and which tours in the new year? A success “from Sydney to Seattle” apparently, with Elaine Paige having called it “amazing...

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