A double helping from our new Artist of the Month this week Karine Polwart as well music from new Featured Albums of the Month from Blue Rose Code, ALAW and Bob Delyn A’r Ebillion. This show came together beautifully with the tone set very much by the first song, Lark in the Clear Air.
Folk Show Playlist
Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – Lark in the Clear Air
From Karine’s new album with Pippa Murphy, A Pocket Of Wind Resistance. You can read our recent album review here. Order A Pocket of Wind Resistance here: https://karinepolwart.lnk.to/windresistanceTW
The Wailin’ Jennys – Wildflowers
From The Wailin’ Jennys first new recording in six years. Fifteen (Red House Records, October 27) finds the trio covering some of their favourite songs including songs by Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and this one by the late Tom Petty. Order it here.
Luke Daniels – Better the Devil You Know
This winter, Luke returns with Singing Ways To Feel More Junior (out 24 November 2017), an intriguingly varied selection of smart new songs. Beautifully crafted for “grown ups everywhere” each track on Singing Ways To Feel More Junior carves out its own unique space through the clever use of children’s rhymes and female allegory. Issues of gender equality, addiction, upgraded humans, child consumerism and President Trump’s childhood, are all explored via masterful acoustic folk encompassing humble wood notes to syrupy synthesised twists. A salutatory reminder that folk songs can be inspirational, comforting even and needn’t be the preserve of the exponents of authenticity. Pre-Order it here: http://www.lukedanielsmusic.com/
Blue Rose Code – Love Is…
From The Water Of Leith, another Featured Album of the Month which we reviewed here. Ross is joined by Julie Fowlis on this number – “an upbeat celebration of love with Seonaid Aitken’s jubilant fiddle to the fore.” Out now on Navigator Records. Order it here http://smarturl.it/thewaterofleith
Adam Holmes And The Embers – No Man Is An Island
From the Midnight Milk, the new album from Edinburgh outfit Adam Holmes & The Embers. The third album from the 26-year-old singer-songwriter is out now on Gogar Records. They are touring the album now across the UK. Dates and ticket links here: https://adamholmesandtheembers.com/live/
Jim Page – As The Wheel Spins
I featured a track from Jim Page’s new album on Episode 12, it’s such a strong album that it get’s another gentle push this week. His latest CD A Hand Full Of Songs (Release date: Oct. 5th, 2017) is a poignant collection of songs, which continues Page’s keen observation of the world around him. As Page tells it, “I had a handful of songs that I wanted to record and all the musicians and the studio time was booked. Then Trump was elected and the world shifted and I wrote a few songs in response to that. I believe that artists have an obligation to speak out, to not be silent. I put the political pieces in the middle so that the listener could walk into a room full of music, get into the stories, and then have the reality get real, then emerge slowly back into the daylight. In that sense, it’s like a journey through our times.”
ALAW – Santiana
This is from our latest Featured Album of the Month which Neil McFadyen reviewed today (read it here) – on this track he said “Traditional Welsh song seems to have a voice all of its own, though. On Dead Man’s Dance that voice comes from Gwilym Bowen Rhys (Y Bandana), who seems to relish the chance to explore traditions from both sides of Offa’s Dyke for a fiery, spirited Welsh translation of J Glyn Davies’ sea shanty Santiana. Antwn Owen Hicks of Cardiff tradition-bearers Carreg Lafar stokes the fire with a mesmerising bagpipe.” Dead Man’s Dance is out now. Order via ALAW | ProperMusic | Amazon
The Owl Service – Katie Cruel
The Stairwell Sisters – Hangman Tree
From the sisters 2008 album Get Off Your Money – if you haven’t got it in your music collection then you should have.
Jim Kweskin – Days Of ’49
Hornbeam Recordings, the good folks who brought us new music from Bonnie Dobson in 2014 as well as the late Tom Paley and Spider John Koerner, have released this new album from the legendary Jim Kweskin called Unjugged. Read about it here and order a copy here: https://jimkweskin.bandcamp.com/album/unjugged
Steph Cameron – Daybreak Over Jackson Street
Another album that recently featured on a recent Folk Show (Episode 13). This is the title track of Steph Cameron’s second album, Daybreak Over Jackson Street, set for release on At The Helm Records on November 10. It is the first to see a formal release outside of her native Canada which I hope will bring her a wider European audience. We’ll have more on this release soon.
Jo Mango – Send in the Crows
This is from Jo’s 2013 EP ‘When We Lived In A Crook Of A Tree’, released on Olive Grove.
Jo’s alluring and delicate vocals weave amongst sparse melodic arrangements that cast you adrift…shadows and dream-like strands of verses inspired by Angela Carter’s Book of Fairytales create a tantalising world that you wish could continue long after the four songs have ended.
Commissioned for a special Celtic Connections show in 2012 in support of Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) the songs of When We Lived In A Crook Of A Tree were written and recorded within a month and Jo wanted to draw on the idea of speed, to mirror the creative process of these enchanting songs. As Jo explains,
“It becomes just like a capture of fleeting moments of inspiration with a lot of fragility about them.”
James Yorkston – A Short Blues
From Jame’s 2012 album I Was a Cat From a Book which I interviewed James on here. It’s a gorgeous album and I still find this song incredibly moving after all these years. Certainly one of my Yorkston favourites. You can order it here.
Dick Gaughan – The Snows They Melt The Soonest
From a classic album: A Handful of Earth, released on Topic Records in 1981 and considered by many to be Gaughan’s masterwork. Another song that never fails to move me.
Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – Molly Sime’s Welcome to Salter’s Road
The second offering from our Artist of the Month – Karine Polwart…”Molly Sime’s Welcome to Salter’s Road sees the significance of Karine’s song Salter’s Road evolve, just as the story of Molly’s parents has.” From A Pocket Of Wind Resistance, you can read our recent album review here.
The Gentle Good – Suffer the Small Birds
From Gareth’s 2016 album Ruins/Adfeilion which was a Featured Album of the Month – reviewed here. Steeped in the folk traditions of Wales yet fully attuned to the present day, Ruins/Adfeilion is an absorbing, thoughtful and ultimately forward-looking collection of songs which perfectly showcase Gareth’s flawless musicianship and creative vision. The opening birdsong on this track blends perfectly alongside Karine’s track. Blissful.
May Erlewine – Hurricane
Also feature on our Folk Show recently (Episode 13). Again, a strong album that deserved another re-visit. From Mother Lion, UK self-release – November 1st. May Erlewine, now one of the Midwest’s most beloved songwriters, embarked on her career as a teenager, hitchhiking all across North America playing in small and large towns, riding freight trains and busking on the streets. In those travels, she came to know the land and understand the pulse of the people, and her songs show a very real connection and concern with everyday folk as you can hear on this track.
Bob Delyn A’r Ebillion – Cân Begw
A Featured Album of the Month – Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion return with their first album in fourteen years. Twm Morys and his band offer melodic inventiveness and lyrical panache on Dal i ‘Redig Dipyn Bach which summons images of the slate and moss of the Welsh landscape and lays bare the Welsh psyche. It is an impressive and moving piece of songwriting, in any language. Read our review here. Dal i ‘redig dipyn bach is released on 24 November via Sain / Proper Music Distribution
Ralph McTell and Wizz Jones – Long Black Veil
Summer 2016 saw the release of Ralph McTell and Wizz Jones’ first recording together after a 50-year musical friendship, aptly titled, “About Time”. They had such a great time playing and performing together, they decided to go back into the studio, and the result is, “About Time Too”, due for release on Friday 17 November with an album launch at Cecil Sharp House on Wednesday 15 November.
On this particular song, Ralph recalls his first professional group – a Bluegrass band called The Hickory Nuts. This was one of the songs they performed. He adds an interesting snippet: the chorus is from the true story that a lone female mourner wearing a long black veil visited the grave of Rudolf Valentino and on it placed a single red rose every year after his death.
John Martyn – Spencer The Rover
From the Transatlantic Sessions (Series 1: Vol 3) – a top album. Order it here.
The photo is from a recent coastal walk between Blue Anchor and Dunster in Somerset.