In our latest Folk Show – Singing from the Floor, we have an abundance of new folk and acoustic music in which traditional and contemporary mingle side by side. It opens with IMLÉ who won best album, song and band at the 2017 Gradaim Cheoil NÓS. Some other highlights include new music from Scottish fiddle player Ryan Young whose self-titled debut album was launched yesterday with Dennis Cahill at the Feakle Festival, County Clare, Ireland. It’s also one of our Featured Albums of the Month; you can read Neil McFadyen’s review here. We also have new music from Seamus Fogarty, Alice Howe, Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton, David Rawlings, Steel Sheep, Rachael McShane & The Cartographers and more. Enjoy.
Tracklisting and notes for Singing from the Floor Ep. 4
IMLÉ – Go Deo, Go Deo
IMLÉ won best album, song and band at the 2017 Gradaim Cheoil NÓS -their sound mixes diverse elements in the Irish language, there’s nothing quite like them.
Skipper’s Alley – Boys From Home
Taken from the innovative and highly-talented 7-piece traditional Irish band Skipper’s Alley‘s eponymous debut which Johnny Whalley reviewed here.
Alice Howe – Nothing But You
Taken from Boston singer-songwriter Alice Howe‘s new EP, You’ve Been Away So Long. That soulful, impeccably
tuned voice stood out immediately as you can hear on this beautiful track. The EP is released in the UK on 21 August.
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton – You are not needed (Radio Edit)
Taken from WildFlower Blues, the gorgeous new album by Jolie Holland and Samantha Parton which is due for release in September on the duo’s own label, Cinquefoil Records. The duo first met nearly twenty years ago on an East Vancouver street corner; the conversation inevitably turned to music. Very soon they co-founded The Be Good Tanya’s, the ground breaking roots act that used traditional folk, country, and blues music to explore a range of different styles and sounds, a theme that has continued into this new album, over a decade later.
It’s a diverse album wandering from rural blues to folk and ragtime, from smoky jazz to emotive R&B and fearless rock & roll. “I really like going at things from a lot of diverse angles,” says Holland. “The idea of genre is really unattractive to me.” She and Parton cover Townes Van Zandt’s “You Are Not Needed Now” and Michael Hurley’s “Jocko’s Lament,” and Holland rewrites Dylan’s “Minstrel Boy,” adding verses about two poets—William Blake and Steven Jesse Bernstein—whose work “helped me crystallize my view of the world.” The duo have an extensive 12 date UK tour in October to support the release of the album.
David Rawlings – Come on Over My House
From David Rawlings new album Poor David’s Almanack, which is released today on Acony Records. He leaves the Dave Rawlings Machine moniker behind and serves up a wry mixture of acoustic and electric music rich in ageless American vernacular. This release marks the 8th studio collaboration between Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
Bully’s Acre – “7”
From Bully’s Acre 2015 album The Twelve Pins which was also a Featured Album of the Month (reviewed here). The trio that makes up Bully’s Acre are Peter Browne (button accordion), Lucas Gonzáles (guitar and whistle) and Robbie Harris who does percussive things with a bodhrán that few could imagine. More recently you may have caught him in the Afro Celt Soundsystem or Jiggy.
Seamus Fogarty – Carlow Town (Radio Edit)
A great track from Irish alt-folk and electronica alchemist Seamus Fogarty. This is from his new album The Curious Hand, due for release on Domino Records on October 6th. The song recounts with a Homerian flourish, a night spent sleeping in a church backed by a squelching electronic beat, dirty analogue bassline and various synthesiser wheezes, vocal glitches and other sounds from Seamus’ sandbox of strange noises.
Steel Sheep – Trucker’s Tan
From Steel Sheep’s sophomore release, “Trucker’s Tan,” (out 12 August) which I received this week. It’s a rare hybrid in modern music: an album that effortlessly superimposes adventurous improvisations, complex original compositions, and a broad palette of sound and style over the familiar configuration of an acoustic string trio.
Like any band, Steel Sheep is a melting pot of influences from its three members: Bela Horvat (violin), Virxilio da Silva (guitar) and Matt Adomeit (upright bass). Formed in 2015 with the intention of performing original 21st-century folk compositions with an egalitarian approach towards melodic and rhythmic roles, Steel Sheep soon evolved to encompass much more than its original stated goal, with compositions becoming increasingly intricate and improvisations increasingly prominent.
Leo James – Autumn
Leo James is an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and music tutor. This is from his new album Some Shade of Blue which was produced by and features Sid Goldsmith. He draws on influences from both sides of the Atlantic; you should definitely check him out as he’s an exceptional singer and guitarist: http://leojames.co.uk/
Ryan Young – Traditional Reel / Smilin’ Katie / The White Houses Of Shieldaig (Reels)
Scottish fiddle player Ryan Young has multiple nominations for both BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 2 awards. As Neil mentioned in his recent review – His imaginative use of traditional melodies and a playing style that references a wide range of influences have also earned him a Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award. At the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards in December 2016, the audience was delighted to see Ryan named ‘Up and Coming Artist of the Year’. This month, Ryan continues to build on his reputation as a musician of impressive calibre with his eponymously titled debut album.
It’s tempting to say that we can expect great things from Ryan Young in the future. His quiet success to date and open, exploratory style is evidence of an impressive, budding talent. That future has already begun to open up, though. Ryan Young’s debut is a remarkable and fascinating album that no fan of traditional fiddle should miss.
Ösp Eldjárn – Sisters of the valley
From Ösp Eldjárn‘s debut album ‘Tales from a Poplar Tree’ (released in March this year). Ösp grew up in a valley in North of Iceland with her musical family. Together they would play folk and traditional music and perform professionally together across the country. In 2010, along with her brother and close friends, they took to the stage as a band called Brother Grass. The folk/Americana/bluegrass group released two albums together and have gained a loyal following and have had airplay on BBC Radio.
Inspired by the vocals of Ella Fitzgerald, the stories of Joni Mitchell and by her own nordic folk roots, she began to write her own songs and for the past 3 years she has been performing with her band in various music venues and festivals in the UK and Iceland, such as Cambridge Folk Festival, Festival No6, UnampliFire and Reykjavik Folk Festival.
Rachael McShane & The Cartographers – Green Broom
This is taken from Rachael McShane‘s (Bellowhead, The Transports) new solo project – Rachael McShane & The Cartographers.We recently premiered her video for Sylvie after which she very kindly sent this track for inclusion in our show. Her new project finds her reworking traditional songs with a brand new band, featuring guitarist Matthew Ord (Assembly Lane), melodeon player Julian Sutton (Kathryn Tickell, Sting) and Dan Rogers (The Unthanks) on double bass. Rachael is heading into the studio later this year and will be releasing her new album in 2018.
Eithne Ní Uallacháin – Óró
Taken from Bilingua – This solo album of song and music is a tour de force and an enduring testament to the marvellously-talented Eithne Ní Uallacháin (1957-1999). Musicians featuring on the album include Gerry O’Connor, Dónal O’Connor, Giles Le Bigot, with string quartet arrangements by John Fitzpatrick.
From the aching beauty of her voice to the innovative layering of voices and world-music inspired sounds, it is a joy to listen to and a reminder of a great talent. Karen Matheson (Capercaillie)
.. a voice that is rich, passionate and full of emotion. This innovative album has a fresh, contemporary feel while still remaining true to the tradition: a long-awaited treasure. Mary Black
Téada – Reels: Dinny O’Brien’s / The Sweetheart Reel / Paddy Kenny’s
From Irish traditional band Téada’s 2013 album In Spite of the Storm. Their name means strings and their numbers have grown since they formed way back in 2001, as has their global audience and musical vision.
Mix cover Photo Credit: Skippers Alley by Ste Murray