Review Archive

Should a review-link from your site or another website display a 'Page not found' message, that probably means the review has moved here from 'FolkWords Reviews' and requires a new link. Older reviews stay here for a while, however there is limited room for all the reviews that have appeared on FolkWords so from time to time we 'clear out the attic'

‘The New Line’ - Boys of the Lough - faultlessly mixes old and new June 29, 2015
There cannot be many in the traditional music world that don’t know Boys of the Lough. Long-time exponents of traditional Celtic music, with a... [MORE]

'Dreamer’s Witness' - Richard Lanahan - country-edged, blues-tinged Americana folk rock June 29, 2015
Richard Lanahan has been around for a while now, playing with various musicians and bands including New York-based alternative country band, The Wel... [MORE]

‘Double Mind’ - David Celia - looking at life at she is lived June 29, 2015
Moving through laid back Canadiana to punchy rock-driven folk, the songs of David Celia has always held a ‘reality’ that looks at life a... [MORE]

‘Wing of Evening’ The Dovetail Trio - folk music grown from deep roots June 22, 2015
The continued journeying through traditional folk and preservation of our folk heritage has long-continued in the safe hands of artists, who althoug... [MORE]

‘Happy Land’ from Renata & Trev - intense presence and rich warmth June 21, 2015
The matter-of-factly titled duo, Renata & Trev release their third CD entitled 'Happy Land' - a mixed collection of self-penned compositions and... [MORE]

'Northern Common’ debut album from Spoil The Dance – you feel the presence of the band June 21, 2015
For a debut album, there’s lots to commend ‘Northern Common’ from Spoil The Dance … through it’s twelve tracks chosen... [MORE]

‘Fryd’ from Norwegian folk band SVER ­- mixing heritage with freedom of innovation June 17, 2015
There’s something individual and somewhat idiosyncratic about Norwegian folk music. Perhaps it’s engendered by its isolation. Possibly t... [MORE]

'Skorsa: The Riddle Of The Earth' by Susan Grace Bates - a gathering of sources and cultural influences June 17, 2015
The ability to extract new messages and take different directions with ‘the tradition’ and then blend that combination precisely with se... [MORE]

‘Burn the Tapes’ by Norma MacDonald - reaches into your soul June 14, 2015
There are some constants in this world of constant change ... one of them is the deep-meaning soulful music that comes from Norma MacDonald. If you&... [MORE]

‘Bright As You Can’ from The Mike + Ruthy Band - roots flavours mix with invention and innovation June 14, 2015
For those that know the Mike + Ruthy Band, there’s a certain privilege in feeling part of a family band, that’s what they deliver, a fee... [MORE]

‘Decade’ from Skerryvore - celebrating ten years spent ‘twisting the roots of tradition’ June 13, 2015
The latest release from Skerryvore is a celebration of ten years spent ‘twisting the roots of tradition around their own inventions and crossi... [MORE]

‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’ from The Blossom - classic folk lore fare June 13, 2015
The myriad sources of this twelve-song folk pastoral idyll take their inspiration from the artist’s personal muse, paganism, woodland memories... [MORE]

‘Fairy Lights' from Jenny Lascelles - lyrical quality, outstanding musicianship and melodic opulence June 13, 2015
There’s a dreaming wistfulness to ‘Fairy Lights’ the debut album from Newcastle Upon Tyne-based singer songwriter Jenny Lascelle... [MORE]

‘Here & Gone Again’ by The Resonant Rogues - grabs tradition and introduces invention June 03, 2015
There’s a certain confidence coupled with brash individuality to some folk music. Respect for tradition combined with a fearlessness to move f... [MORE]

‘Back and Forth’ Luke Armstrong - folk heritage, rapid fingerpicking, warmly inviting voice June 03, 2015
There’s an evident cultural richness to Luke Armstrong's music, driven by traditional English folk roots and augmented by wider folk influence... [MORE]

‘UCLU Folk and World Music Society Compilation Album Volume One’ – various artists June 02, 2015
Among the myriad of definitions for eclectic is ‘selecting or choosing from various sources’, which sums u... [MORE]

'The Pedestrian' from Steep Ravine - polished, tightly crafted tunes awash with catchy hooks June 02, 2015
Moving on from their debut album ‘Trampin’ On’ to their latest offering ‘The Pedestrian’, the San Francisco-based Stee... [MORE]

‘Already Are’ John Coinman - vital observations, direct assessments and harsh realities May 29, 2015
Mention the name John Coinman this side of the pond and it’s a fair bet a lot of folk will say ‘Who?’ And that’s quite surpr... [MORE]

‘Burn The Plan’ - from Good Lovelies - warm melodies and delicious vocals May 29, 2015
Intricate harmonies, soulful music, fearless exploration and one simple truth - good is always good. ‘Burn The Plan’ the new album from ... [MORE]

'A Fresh Pot Of Mustard’ Poor Old Dogs - a wicked amalgam of musical influence May 29, 2015
Mustard is distinctive. Varieties are varied – Dijon, English, French, American, beer, hot pepper, spirit, whole grain – to mention a fe... [MORE]

‘Balance’ by Funke and the Two Tone Baby “ …ground-breaking and category-shattering” May 27, 2015
“All you have to do is ask.” How many times have you heard that but discovered disappointment? Prepare to be fulfilled by Funke and... [MORE]

‘Fields Of Eden’ from Magna Carta - an album looking back and moving forwards May 27, 2015
Changes, they’re inevitable, often un-called for and unexpected. Times gone by rarely return, then sometimes the years fall away. Strangely en... [MORE]

‘Shadowlands’ from Linda Em - strengths of tradition woven with threads of innovation May 26, 2015
Take elements of Celtic tradition, blending them within a web of folk and blues, add overtones of rock with touches of soulful energy, then deliver ... [MORE]

‘The Shaman’s Call’ by Sandy Kilpatrick - expressing life and experience May 26, 2015
Laid back is not often a term applied to folk music, then again, Sandy Kilpatrick isn’t just any folk musician. His album, ‘The Shaman&r... [MORE]

‘Mother Tongue’ - a musical project from Jonathan Byrd and the The Sentimentals May 22, 2015
A Danish-American music collaboration exploring the work of Søren Kierkegaard and Bob Dylan – on the face of it somewhere between prete... [MORE]

‘Proper Brew’ by Vera van Heeringen – a polished and thoroughly beautiful album May 22, 2015
It’s a couple of years since I heard ‘Standing Tall’ the debut album from Vera van Heeringen, and now there’s the follow up,... [MORE]

‘The Untied Knot’ from Shooglenifty - inventive spirit that resists restrictive classification May 22, 2015
Traditionally pioneers are those that take the first steps, however in music as is often the way with geographic discovery, those that gain the medi... [MORE]

‘Rainbow Man’ from Eddy Morton - laden with iconic hooks and melodies that remain May 19, 2015
Across his music, solo or in bands, Eddy Morton has always adopted a singular stance and his solo album, ‘Rainbow Man’, reflects exactly... [MORE]

‘Stripped to the Bone’ from Ian Rooke - taking a different route to get there May 19, 2015
There’s a radical change of direction for Ian Rooke with his album ‘Stripped to the Bone’ – a course that leads away from th... [MORE]

‘When The Sun Ate The Moon’ debut EP from Ben River - ‘folk rock in a velvet coat’ May 19, 2015
It’s always a pleasure when a debut recording has something different to offer, and then promises more. Singer-songwriter Ben River has rele... [MORE]

‘Steer by the Stars’ from Telling the Bees “… musical theatre for your ears” May 15, 2015
The strangely ethereal, darkly explorative folk purveyed by Telling the Bees returns once more with their latest album, ‘Steer By The Stars&rs... [MORE]

‘Two Ravens’ debut EP from Stolen Horse - a clearly distinctive soun May 14, 2015
There’s a certain vibrancy to the debut EP from Hertford-based folk trio Stolen Horse, who are Teddy Pester (lead vocal, mandolin, tenor clari... [MORE]

'Seasons & Time' from Robert Barnett - something waiting to develo May 14, 2015
One acid measure of an EP is does it leave you wanting more. Well, with 'Seasons & Time' from Robert Barnett the answer is yes and no, or possib... [MORE]

‘The EP’ from Connla – an extraordinary debut that promises much May 12, 2015
The last few days have been occupied listening to a newly released recording ‘The EP’ from a Derry/ Armagh-based band called Connla - ma... [MORE]

‘Blackhouse’ from Peatbog Faeries - music that force-feeds tradition a dose of invention May 12, 2015
‘Blackhouse’, the seventh studio album from Peatbog Faeries, is eclectic with a capital ‘E’. There are influences galore cou... [MORE]

‘Tradition’ latest solo from Stuart Mason - a vital connection with America’s musical heritage May 11, 2015
There’s no fear for the continuance of tradition. Times and fashions in music may come and go but with albums like'Tradition', the latest solo... [MORE]

‘Fall is a Good Time to Die’ by Jami Lynn – a voice that gets close to you May 10, 2015
There’s something about the Great Plains of eastern South Dakota - the trek, the hardship, the space, the myths – everywhere there&... [MORE]

‘How That Dust Jumps’ - Ian Roland - gentle rocky folk, softly edged with Americana May 09, 2015
The first impression is pastoral acoustic songs, filled with catchy hooks. There’s a tiny touch of retro-acoustic, perhaps folk from another t... [MORE]

‘Tangled Country’ from The Honey Dewdrops - classic original American roots music May 09, 2015
The Honey Dewdrops duo first arrived on my radar with ‘Silver Lining’ in 2012, now they’ve released ‘Tangled Country’ ... [MORE]

A Long March Home’ from Mike Reinstein - creates images, evokes places and builds characters May 04, 2015
There’s an assured attraction to music and songs from Mike Reinstein, they come with a magnetism that’s built around alluring melodies s... [MORE]

‘Live on The Ley’ - Alastair Caplin, Jez Hellard, Nathan Ball, Nye Parsons & Scott Cook - simply stunning May 04, 2015
Opening with the sound of talking a dog (yes really) introducing the band ‘Live On The Lay’ features the talents of Alastair Caplin, Jez... [MORE]

‘Fickle Fortune’ by Robyn Stapleton – an instinctive and distinctive voice May 03, 2015
In 2014, Robyn Stapleton deservedly won BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician, since then her gloriously listenable, pure and incred... [MORE]

‘Manannan’s Cloak’ from Barrule - mixing traditional and contemporary Manx music April 30, 2015
Manx music isn’t readily recognised for its cultural richness although that’s steadily changing. Among the leading proponents of that ch... [MORE]

'James J Turner, Singer-Songwriter’ EP from James J Turner - bardic qualities weaving narrative April 29, 2015
The music of James J Turner has an immediacy that demands attention, the combination of biting lyric and a richly powerful vocal give his acoustic r... [MORE]

Tinderbox Tour 2015 - The Stables’ Stage 2 “… an evening of giving and sharing" April 24, 2015
So you haven’t seen Tinderbox live. Then do yourself a huge favour, trust me (I know, difficult request coming from a journalist) check o... [MORE]

‘Shoeless In The Desert’ Trevor Midgley - heartfelt compassion and irreverent humour April 23, 2015
There’s no doubt about it, Trevor Midgley (aka Beau) writes wickedly sharp lyrics that never fail to make their point, whether he’s look... [MORE]

‘Grassy Roads, Wandering Feet’ from The Bombadils - a wholly organic album April 23, 2015
There are moments, sometimes few and far between, when an album grabs you from the outset, and when that happens it’s thrilling. One listen to... [MORE]

‘Wildebeests’ - EP from Andrea Kempson - uncommonly compassionate and tranquil April 22, 2015
There’s a guileless freshness about ‘Wildebeests’ an EP from Andrea Kempson. Although it comes with a certain amount of naivety, i... [MORE]

‘Brighter Every Day’ from Trout Steak Revival - music from a heart that’s beating strong and true April 21, 2015
Here we go again, a new album from Trout Steak Revival – ‘Brighter Every Day’ – tight as a tick, sharp as a straight razor a... [MORE]

‘The RCA Sessions’ - Malcolm Holcombe “… a long hard ride that simply oozes experience” April 21, 2015
Doubtless pulling together tracks from ten albums took some time and equally without question, there will be somebody’s favourite that didn&rs... [MORE]

‘This Family Tree’ from Luke Jackson - leaves a profound impression April 20, 2015
Luke Jackson possess a remarkable instrument - his voice - from the promise of his debut, ‘More Than Boys’ through the obvious fulfilmen... [MORE]

‘A Day Like Tomorrow’ from Fabian Holland - a rounded sumptuous album April 20, 2015
There’s so much more depth to the latest album, ‘A Day Like Tomorrow’ from Fabian Holland. The eloquently warm vocals remain, as d... [MORE]

‘Another Man’s Ground’ The Young’uns - outstanding harmonies, poignant stories and social commentary April 19, 2015
The Young’uns have gained a deserved reputation for delivering songs rich with outstanding harmonies, poignant storytelling and biting social ... [MORE]

‘Chatterbox’ by Hannah James and Tuulikki Bartosik - a wholly original and mesmeric album April 18, 2015
This album takes a little while to work its magic … and when it does the hypnosis is complete and lasting. ‘Chatterbox’ features ... [MORE]

‘Despite the Dark’ from RURA - intricate instrumentals and profound songs April 13, 2015
Music offers an invocation to summon memory, conjure images or charm the soul, ‘Despite the Dark’ the second album from Scottish band RU... [MORE]

‘Hope You’re Happy Now’ by Grant Langston – well-written songs that cut deep April 13, 2015
Americana describes much, often a mix of folk, blues and country, roots brushing shoulders with innovation, heritage and contemporary - make your ch... [MORE]

‘Singing Out’ a folk narrative by David Burke "... well worth your hard-earned cash" April 06, 2015
The postman delivers another package to FolkWords, and ‘Hurrah!’ it’s another publication from Soundcheck Books, purveyors of the ... [MORE]

'Almost All' from Bob Ebdon - eclecticism unchained, roaming free across a musical landscape April 04, 2015
'Almost All', the second album from recognised auto harpist Bob Ebdon, is an eclectic piece that spreads its reach across a gamut of performance fro... [MORE]

‘Empty Fields’ by Ian Bailey - an unassuming live recording by an accomplished singer songwriter April 04, 2015
The first time I heard singer-songwriter Ian Bailey was on the album ‘Tower Songs’ and that was a while ago now. The man in question h... [MORE]

‘Phoenix Rising’ from Elaine Samuels and Kindred Spirit progressive folk transitioning through style and feel April 03, 2015
Trying to ‘pin down’ the album ‘Phoenix Rising’ from Elaine Samuels and Kindred Spirit is something of a task, when you thin... [MORE]

Ballad Of Crows – strides confidently across bridge-spanning music April 03, 2015
There’s a rare subtly at work in the music of Ballad Of Crows. Blending tradition and innovation, mixing elements of both Celtic and Americana... [MORE]

‘One’ from Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy - a clear and evident symbiosis of souls March 30, 2015
Spanning the sensations from joyful and effervescent to reflective and sober, the first collaborative album from Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Lea... [MORE]

‘Owls’ from Danny Schmidt "... so close you reach out and touch it" March 29, 2015
I’m not known for making snap decisions, more the long-time deliberating type. Then occasionally something changes that. This time, that &lsqu... [MORE]

‘The Song Crowned King’ by Cath & Phil Tyler - deserves a place of recognition in folk music March 29, 2015
Take narrative traditions from both sides of the Atlantic, mix slender threads of instrumentation, gently ethereal vocals and you have ‘The So... [MORE]

‘A Wanderer I'll Stay’ from Pharis & Jason Romero - the progression continues March 23, 2015
Writing about their album Long Gone Out West Blues, I remarked that the music produced by Pharis and Jason Romero exhibits a ‘measured fe... [MORE]

‘Spinning Yarns’ by Norah Rendell - an important custodian of heritage March 23, 2015
This lady has pursued her musical trade as a singer, flute and whistle player, worked with bands, in trios and duos, and built a solid reputati... [MORE]

‘East of Alexandria’ from Kadia “…tight-as-you-like close harmony singing” March 20, 2015
The debut album, ‘East of Alexandria’ from Kadia includes eight original songs and four traditional arrangements spanning classic tradit... [MORE]

‘The Garden’ from Robin Adams - an undaunted delivery of truth March 20, 2015
Melancholy is a strong word, often interpreted to only mean ‘miserable’ and ‘gloomy’, however it also reflects as ‘tho... [MORE]

‘The McCartneys of Pennyburn 1865-1912’ – Brendan McAuley – a rare privilege March 20, 2015
The opportunity to delve deeply into family history is a privilege not accorded to everyone, the ability to translate that history into a living t... [MORE]

Self-titled album from Breda Mayock - evokes a host of powerful images March 18, 2015
From the first moments, the self-titled album from Breda Mayock, lifts you into an altogether imagined realm, reality is suspended and you’re ... [MORE]

‘We’ll See A Beautiful Day’ from KC Barber - the calibre of an accomplished songwriter March 16, 2015
Singer-songwriter Kevin Barber, can be found plying his trade in various incarnations - Barber, Taylor & Reed and Barber & Armer, and w... [MORE]

‘17th Century Japanese Aviary’ debut album from Inti Rowland - hard to categorise March 16, 2015
This album from Inti Rowland is a musical outing called ‘17th Century Japanese Aviary’. Its wraithlike blend could be described as indie... [MORE]

Duncan Stagg and The Threadbare Band – wholly ‘at home’ Americana March 16, 2015
UK-grown Americana still slides across the entire spectrum from 'why did they bother?' to 'indistinguishable from genuine'. Now that ... [MORE]

'Striking Matches In The Wind' by Steve Pledger - observing what we don’t immediately see March 14, 2015
There’s an album due for release on 2nd April 2015 that should make waves. It’s full of keen observations, private and public, bringing ... [MORE]

‘Long Way Home’ Pete Davies - disguises the iron fist of its messages in a velvet glove March 14, 2015
Sometimes singer songwriters wander off into their own heads – they create songs through introverted imaginings, move in ethereal worlds or ma... [MORE]

‘Songs for Mother's Day’ from Joanna Drummond - written to be a gift for mothers March 14, 2015
There’s always a little corner inside each of us, no matter where, how old or who we are, that’s occupied by mothers. The latest al... [MORE]

‘The Ghost in Our House’ from Merry Hell - a large dose of observant commentary March 14, 2015
The singularly individualistic sound generated by Merry Hell is English folk rock for sure, more accurately it’s folk rock with spirit, insigh... [MORE]

‘Long Before Light’ from The Onlies “… heritage coupled with originality of delivery” March 11, 2015
There’s something unique in the sound of traditional American fiddle music - often emulated but rarely delivering the 100% purity of the origi... [MORE]

‘Unseen Highway’ Two Coats Colder “… experience of becoming one with the music’ March 11, 2015
I heard Two Coats Colder play at the Folkstock festival in 2013, and they made an immediate impression with their individual style and sel... [MORE]

‘These Gathered Branches’ The Foxglove Trio ­ “…delightful collection of traditional and contemporary folk songs” March 08, 2015
The debut album from The Foxglove Trio will give them a problem, because one day they’ll have to follow it, and that could be a task and hal... [MORE]

‘Up Heaval’ by Roving Crows - moving into different directions March 08, 2015
Well known folk-fusion rockers Roving Crows, with their roots reaching into Celtic music, jazz, blues and Europe-wide rhythms, have undergone someth... [MORE]

‘Fox Tales’ from Foxes Faux - nothing mild, delicate or understated March 07, 2015
There’s times when cordon bleu cookery simply isn't up to it, only a chunk of rare steak will do. That’s pretty much how it goes with th... [MORE]

‘The Tempest of Old’ from Gabrielle Papillon - powerful and eminently memorable March 07, 2015
Certain albums make an instant mark. Then they stay with you. Their messages involve you. Their instrumentation holds you. ‘The Tempest o... [MORE]

‘Sweet Surrender – Live Acoustic’ from Donnie Munro “… an atmosphere you can touch” March 05, 2015
Recognised as the distinctive ‘voice’ of legendary Scottish band Runrig, Donnie Munro needs no introduction, neither does the band. In t... [MORE]

‘This House of Mine’ Matt Lax and Nearly Beloved - folk, blues and country sliding together March 04, 2015
When you listen to certain albums there are those 'special moments’ when you find you’ve slipped into the magic of the music, it has sim... [MORE]

‘At 2 in the Morning’ - Hat Check Girl - an intimate first-hand feel March 04, 2015
Sometimes I wonder how albums acquire their titles. What sparked the headline in the artist’s mind? Usually, it’s a case of who kno... [MORE]

‘Let Your Heart Sing’ from Kath Reade - a thoroughly uplifting, feel-good album March 01, 2015
The human compassion and implicit understanding that exudes from ‘Let Your Heart Sing’, the latest album from Kath Reade is enough ... [MORE]

‘Songs Of Exile, Love & Dissent’ Rich McMahon “… connects with its spirit” February 28, 2015
There’s long been a special character that works through the music and literature of Ireland – dealing with conflict, rebellion, indepen... [MORE]

‘Love’s Bonfire’ Lotte Mullan - spirit-touching revelations February 27, 2015
This is definitely the month for fusion, it's also another outing for fine UK-generated Americana. Look into ‘Love’s Bonfire&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Seeds of Evergreen’ from Domenic DeCicco - inventive, pluralistic, expressive and diverse February 27, 2015
‘Seeds of Evergreen’ from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Domenic DeCicco is not an easy album to categorise, nor should you... [MORE]

‘St Giles Bowl’ debut album from Tim Jones & The Dark Lanterns - classic folk-narrative fare February 25, 2015
The threads of traditional English folk run shining and clear through every track on ‘St Giles Bowl’, the debut album from Tim Jone... [MORE]

‘West’ from The Kennedys - setting scenes and enticing you to join the journey February 25, 2015
The Kennedys, have carved a twenty-year career that has seen them take their brand of rocky folk-pop further into their musical soundscape increasin... [MORE]

Devil In The Seat’ - The Foghorn Stringband - fresh as tomorrow’s sunrise with equal sparkle February 24, 2015
The effervescent energy that pours through ‘Devil In The Seat’ from The Foghorn Stringband draws its energy from the deep... [MORE]

‘In A Dream’ The Sky Colony – music that occupies its own place and that's important February 23, 2015
The music of The Sky Colony might originate in the Cascade mountain foothills in Washington State but from time to time it recalls music I... [MORE]

'Geography' by Roseanna Ball - an elusive and subtle vibrancy February 22, 2015
There’s much to be said for simplicity, listen to ‘Geography’ by Roseanna Ball and you can’t help but feel the&nbs... [MORE]

‘First Aid for the Drowning’ by Matthew The Oxx - wholly distinctive February 20, 2015
The latest release from Matthew The Oxx, unconventional purveyor of thoughtful-folk, is another wholly distinctive album. Called ‘First Aid fo... [MORE]

The Sea Kings – intricate three-part vocal harmony February 19, 2015
Just finished another run through the debut album from The Sea Kings – and one question springs to mind: ‘How did this much talent ... [MORE]

Walking into White’ from Sarah McQuaid - completeness and unity pervades February 19, 2015
The echoing magic of ‘Walking into White’ the latest album from Sarah McQuaid, seizes you from the first and holds you captured long aft... [MORE]

'With The Dawn’ by Bella Hardy - an intimate, deeply-focused album February 18, 2015
The clarity of voice and sharpness of composition improve with every outing. ‘Night Visiting’ and ‘In The Shadow of... [MORE]

'Calling Card' - Anna Fuschia Scott and Richard A Levens - thoroughly memorable and lush February 17, 2015
This duo is new to me. Perhaps they’re new to many other people as well.  However, their debut album 'Calling Card' should change th... [MORE]

‘Stories Sung, Truths Told’ by Tir Eolas - perceptive and sensitive invention February 16, 2015
Blending the eternally deep-reaching and ever-spreading roots of Celtic and English folk music, Tir Eolas have created a distinctive, innovativ... [MORE]

‘Incidents & Accidents’ by Dan Walsh – an outpouring of expansion and innovation February 13, 2015
Maybe I’m cynical (not much maybe about it) but when I read the term ‘master’ I wait for hype or hyperbole to appear. A similar fo... [MORE]

‘So Far’ by Emily Snee “…revealing frankness, fearlessness and sincerity” February 13, 2015
Writing this website offers the chance to hear startling new music, sometimes from an unknown artist and often long before an EP or album hits ... [MORE]

'Alone On The World Stage’ from Cameron Blake - gives everything expected February 12, 2015
The simple magic of ‘lone performer with guitar’ endures, and with this album it works once again, ‘Alone On The World Stage&... [MORE]

'To & Fro’ by Liz de Lise - a necessary intense edge February 11, 2015
Something grabs you when ‘To & Fro’ by Liz de Lise begins to play –songs with narratives that move between a se... [MORE]

Down to Believing from Allison Moorer - revelations close to many personal voyages February 10, 2015
When artists write intensely personal songs there’s a slight temptation to consider what and how much they reveal. Perhaps to protect themselv... [MORE]

‘More Songs’ Myles Manly - sullen starkness and shadowy, ephemeral strangeness February 09, 2015
This is one of those pieces of work that either will or won’t reach the listener - there’s nothing ‘in-between’. Understandi... [MORE]

‘Oh Boy!’ from JigJam “… bluegrass and Irish folk forging something splendid” February 08, 2015
The ever-evolving miasma of folk music has spawned yet one more definition, and for once it’s arrived with a point of unequivocal accuracy - i... [MORE]

‘Stones’ from Tom Mitchell - atmospheric folk with depth and presence February 08, 2015
There are more vagaries in music than certainties. One reassurance is an album from Tom Mitchell. He uncompromisingly ‘hit the spot’ wit... [MORE]

'Tomorrow, then’ by Conrad Vingoe - reveals much and delivers more February 07, 2015
The blurred lines between folk and just about everything else continue to distort and obscure, especially when people try to force boxes around musi... [MORE]

The Lost Art – a debut album that offers a certain magnetism February 07, 2015
The eight songs on The Lost Art’s eponymous debut are a tenuous collection of harmony-rich, subtly crafted and intimately instrumented so... [MORE]

‘Interloper' by Tom Kitching - an entirely beguiling whole February 04, 2015
I can think of few more pleasant ways to ‘while away the vacant hour’ than listening to Tom Kitching’s forthcoming album &lsq... [MORE]

‘Harlequins’ from Russell Joslin “… darkness and despair, edgy and dangerous” February 03, 2015
Anyone describing ‘Harlequins’ from singer-songwriter Russell Joslin, as folk music should admit, if asked, that their taste is wid... [MORE]

Ynana Rose – a debut album that asks questions and offers reassurance February 02, 2015
Listen to the debut album from Ynana Rose and you’re hit with a wealth of impressions – a superbly dynamic voice ranging across the emot... [MORE]

‘A Little Light’ - EP from Gareth Lee & Annie Baylis - enough leave you wanting more(January 27, 2015) January 27, 2015
There’s a strangely addictive magnetism about the EP ‘A Little Light’ by acoustic folk duo Gareth Lee & Annie Baylis ... [MORE]

‘Little Hinges’ by Qristina & Quinn Bachand - an altogether enthralling soundscape January 27, 2015
The discernible and deliberate schism half way through this album will either pull rabid ‘folk is sacrosanct’ traditionalists into ... [MORE]

‘Swim’ by Alice DiMicele - an absorbing power it’s hard to ignore January 26, 2015
My apprciation of Alice DiMicele’s music goes back to her 1990 album, ‘Too Controversial’, continued through ‘By Ebb and Flo... [MORE]

‘Rise’ from Skinner & T’witch - this duo has a lot to offer January 26, 2015
One of the hardest parts about making music is, in the words of one of my colleagues, ‘making it different’ and as I began to listen to&... [MORE]

‘Almost Home’ from Mad Dog Mcrea - limitless freedom of expression January 24, 2015
So there’s a new album on the way from Mad Dog Mcrea – bloody good! By the way, that’s an expression of delight rather than a cons... [MORE]

‘Charms Against Sorrow’ by Hannah Sanders - nothing short of sheer indulgence January 23, 2015
I first encountered the archetypal folk voice owned by Hannah Sanders when I wrote about her EP Warning Bells, now her album ‘Charms Against S... [MORE]

‘The Wild One’ by Awna Teixeira - music to absorb with nothing else to interfere January 23, 2015
This took a little while to get under my skin but when it did it stayed there, ‘The Wild One’ from Canadian singer-songwriter Awna ... [MORE]

‘Ain’t Like ‘Em’ debut EP from Anielle Reid - the difference is stunning January 21, 2015
One listen to the debut EP ‘Ain’t Like ‘Em’ from Anielle Reid is all that’s needed to know you’re listening... [MORE]

Life Is All Checkered’ from Nathan Gourley and Laura Feddersen with Brian Miller(January 21, 2015) January 21, 2015
Irish music has an unerring habit of percolating its way throughout nations and cultures. No surprises there. Few countries have spread their childr... [MORE]

Ethan Jano – ‘I’ll Be Fine’ - looking outwards with understanding driven inwards January 19, 2015
No matter how regularly I hear a young artist deliver music with the level of bite you would expect from a time-seasoned veteran there’... [MORE]

‘Carry the Fire’ by Jeremy Tuplin - a slow working, lingering magic January 19, 2015
There’s an attention-grabbing and lasting impression cast by the songs on ‘Carry the Fire’ the debut EP from Jeremy Tuplin, and th... [MORE]

‘Seven Hour Storm’ – Misner & Smith - haunting melodies and softly engaging hooks January 15, 2015
Released in the USA, Misner & Smith now release ‘Seven Hour Storm’ in the UK and Europe on 1 February 2015. It’s an album... [MORE]

‘Sticks & Stones’ – Little Red – fragile, understated and sparse yet it grows on you January 15, 2015
Folk-acoustic trio Little Red release their debut album ‘Sticks and Stones’, and from first listen there’s defini... [MORE]

‘Little Lights’ from Ailie Robertson ... never a moment when you’re not completely absorbed January 12, 2015
Listening to Ailie Robertson play the harp is as close as I expect to come to hearing ‘heavenly music’. Her album ‘Little Lights&r... [MORE]

‘Ten years on’ by Ian Carmichael – “You simply have to hear this music …” January 11, 2015
So there you are living in the Highlands of Scotland and you’re enthralled by the music of Earl Scruggs, not easy to find musicians with a sim... [MORE]

‘Live’ with Paul Tiernan & John Lester - the unique alchemy of a live set captured January 10, 2015
The partnership between Paul Tiernan & John Lester is one of those ‘happenstances’ that came about by accident but led to somet... [MORE]

The Tall Trees from Nick Edward Harris - you should really take time to investigate January 10, 2015
Strong percussive acoustic guitar, warm searching vocals and enigmatically arranged instrumentation - ‘The Tall Trees’ is something you ... [MORE]

'Eternal Child' by Daria Kulesh “…powerful and intensely direct narratives” January 07, 2015
The ‘first-person’ album is nothing new. Personal albums range from snapshots of incident and experience to utterly exposing chronicles ... [MORE]

Debut album from The Jellyman's Daughter - hooked, totally captivated, ensconced in its sound January 05, 2015
There are certain times that you find yourself truly surprised. Times when the unexpected takes you and holds you. Those times of realisation w... [MORE]

‘West Side Stories’ - The Westies - darkness that lures and seduces January 05, 2015
Scruff of the neck, hard living, gutsy folk Americana – that’s ‘West Side Stories’ from The Westies - an intriguing darkness... [MORE]

‘Blanco County Nights’ from Brant Croucher - encounters, incidents and experience December 30, 2014
I found something inspirational and attractive about ‘Blanco County Nights’ from Brant Croucher. This is an album thatstands testimony... [MORE]

‘Everything’s Beautiful Now’ from Christine Albert - tribute to friends and loved ones December 30, 2014
Music offers powerful dialogues about life, love, peace and beauty. It also reaches those places where sorrow, loss and death reside. There’s ... [MORE]

'Rags and Bones' Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls – unconventional attitude and eccentric style December 27, 2014
Don’t you just love it when something totally unexpected yet ultimately attractive arrives with the post? The latest surprise is the EP from J... [MORE]

‘Never Mind the Rain’ from Steve Mednick - laid back, melody-rich American folk December 27, 2014
Before someone tells me this album has been out for a while, yeah, I know. I could have sworn I’d written about it here before. Guess wha... [MORE]

Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World - a fine piece of folk America December 19, 2014
Listening to the self-titled album from Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World is like taking a folk-rock trip back in time. Part ... [MORE]

‘The Fall Of Eden’ by Kenneth J Nash - scars to prove endurance, memories to take their toll December 19, 2014
Sometimes you hear an album that expresses so much within its music and lyrics that you know the artist concerned has plumbed wells of darkness, wal... [MORE]

‘Out Of The Blue’ by Colin Deady - pragmatic, emotional, profound and nostalgic December 18, 2014
Categorising music is not a habit of mine, but if someone defines a category for ‘unwound ardent intensity’ then the debut alb... [MORE]

‘Branching Out’ from Kings & Folk - ‘… branching out’ perfectly encapsulates their music’ December 14, 2014
The symbiosis between siblings often forges an amalgam of voices that delivers striking vocals - some memorable combinations have resulted. Equally,... [MORE]

‘Silent Night Songs for a Cold Winter's Evening’ - Angeline Morrison & The Rowan Amber Mill December 13, 2014
Noted for their many and intriguing excursions through the darker, supernatural and mystical sides of bucolicfolkadelia, The Rowan Amber Mill with A... [MORE]

‘Fields’ by Rob McHale - says things that need to be said December 12, 2014
Music of a hundred years ago, from yesterday or today - whenever you place them the songs of Rob McHale should be taughtin school, be... [MORE]

‘Blackbirds’ from Gretchen Peters “This is truth undressed and naked …” December 11, 2014
When February rolls around next year, Gretchen Peters releases her new album ‘Blackbirds’ and having spent the last few days listen... [MORE]

‘Myths and Muses’ from Serpentyne - creates a powerful atmosphere December 09, 2014
They’re called Serpentyne and their album ‘Myths and Muses’ delivers a curious blend of sweeping mediaeval, renaissance-... [MORE]

‘Mount The Air’ from The Unthanks - soaring, free-flowing atmospheric songs December 09, 2014
Two years in arriving, ‘Mount The Air’ is the first studio album by The Unthanks for four years, and it holds an elusive magic all ... [MORE]

'Take Yo Time’ - roots music duo Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons December 08, 2014
If ever there was an album that presents an all-involving ‘feel-good’ edge to it then this one is right up there with the best of t... [MORE]

‘Like Noah’s Dove’ by Mariénne Kreitlow – a discriminating magic December 08, 2014
Some things just do you good, simple as that. Some artists touch your soul. Some songs just have to be heard, you’re poorer without them, and&... [MORE]

'All The Waiting While’ from Wookalily – engages, start to finish December 03, 2014
Listening to ‘All the Waiting While’ from Wookalily, Belfast’s contribution to Americana, there’s an immediat... [MORE]

‘Traces’ by Deborah Henriksson – an entirely fulfilling spectrum of music December 02, 2014
You know how it goes, you've never heard an artist and when you do the result makes you wonder how you could have missed their work. That's especial... [MORE]

‘Admissions’ from Any O’Neil and CeeCee – original, unusual and strangely compelling December 01, 2014
The debut EP ‘Admissions’ from Any O’Neil and CeeCee, proves my long-held contention that these islands have a bottomless wel... [MORE]

‘That’s Life’ from Have Mercy Las Vegas - hits ‘different’ squarely between the eyes November 28, 2014
It’s an infrequent occurrence, but when a previously unheard-of band comes to my attention with an iridescent, unique sound it’s definit... [MORE]

‘Soltarello’ from Magicfolk - a mesmerising magnet that draws you November 28, 2014
Summer a memory, recollections of autumn fading, winter returning, Yule awaits. The clock of the year turns and with it comes a new album from ... [MORE]

‘Medicine’ - Drew Holcombe & The Neighbours - intensive melodies, tight riffs, lyrically rich November 26, 2014
Anyone not heard of Drew Holcombe this side of the pond? Well if you haven’t you’re going to, simple as that. The man describes himself ... [MORE]

Tinderbox – ‘Live At The Cottage’ pulls you into its atmosphere November 25, 2014
Live albums range from ‘off the desk’ recordings that sound as if you’re listening to a band playing in a giant bucket to sup... [MORE]

‘The Christmas Present’ Various Artists - a sparkling compilation from Folkstock Records November 25, 2014
As someone wholly dedicated to both the spirit and season of Christmas in all its atmosphere and substance, the words ‘Christmas album’ ... [MORE]

‘Still a Real World’ by Joanne Rand - ‘incredible aural illustrations’ November 24, 2014
Some albums always remain with you, something about them endures long after the music fades. They become albums you always return to - one exam... [MORE]

‘Keep Right Away’ from Daniel Meade - you’re going to be at one with this November 21, 2014
Here we go again, another outing into Americana by an artist from these islands, Glasgow to be precise. And it’s another example of how to mak... [MORE]

‘Seven Tides’ from Apple of My Eye - an enticing mixture into intriguing realms November 20, 2014
The band calls it “Folk music for the drunks, the drowned and the lost at sea” … that may be, it’s also folk ... [MORE]

The Don Darlings brand of dark southern Americana - definitely an acquired taste November 19, 2014
Certain albums offer an ‘open-armed’ welcome. Some actually make engagement difficult. Others obscure understanding or present a bl... [MORE]

‘No sense of time’ from Hollow – intriguing, distinctive and a touch of left-field November 19, 2014
Options residing within the description ‘alternative folk’ are wide and varied, they have been since such unbounded classification was f... [MORE]

'The Paper Grenade' from Chris Tye - an indefinable ‘something’ November 16, 2014
It’s a deep-rooted certainty that some artists will always make a difference and cut through the ‘background noise’. You hear the ... [MORE]

‘The Red Hot Chilli Pipers – Live At The Lake 2014’ - energy of raw musical muscle November 16, 2014
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have forged a reputation for a delivering a wild, frenetic folk-rock fusion they call ‘Bagrock’ - high-energy ... [MORE]

‘In A Strange Slumber’ from Dodson and Fogg - complete and accomplished November 12, 2014
With a nod to Herman Melville and to paraphrase Ishmael, “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp... [MORE]

‘Woody Guthrie And The Dust Bowl Ballads’ by Nick Hayes - a true pictorial experience November 12, 2014
If ever a singer-songwriter needed no introduction to anyone remotely aware of folk music it’s Woodrow (better known as ‘Woody’) G... [MORE]

‘Run For Your Life’ new EP from The Show Ponies November 11, 2014
A while ago now FolkWords described The Show Ponies as offering ‘the drive and passion of red hot bluegrass-folk driving a distinctl... [MORE]

‘Make Believing’ by Annie Keating - folk Americana as it should be heard November 11, 2014
An opportunity not to be missed, ‘Make Believing’ is an impressive album from Annie Keating, overflowing with poignant and revealin... [MORE]

‘Plays Guitar and Fiddle, Sings a bit’ from Phil Beer – simply as good as you would expect November 06, 2014
The phrase ‘needs no introduction’ is regularly applied, unfortunately often times when that’s exactly what’s need... [MORE]

‘Nameless EP’ by James Frost - layers of acoustic folk and hazy electronica November 05, 2014
There has always been alt-folk, nothing like current material described as alt-folk but alt-folk nonetheless. Over time it has morphed and mo... [MORE]

‘Little Glass Box’ from Fraser Anderson “… an intimacy that’s wholly apparent” November 05, 2014
There’s no way to mistake the music of Fraser Anderson, guitar, voice, lyrics. On the album ‘Little Glass Box’ they combine to del... [MORE]

‘Hoverhill’ from Dan Yurkofsky - voyaging through folk-rock, ambient, new age music November 04, 2014
Listening to the genre-mix that reveals through ‘Hoverhill’ from singer, songwriter and composer Dan Yurkofsky you’re ex... [MORE]

'Chasing Ghosts' – The Colin Holt Band - spirit of tranquillity, reflection and resilience November 03, 2014
One result of ‘musical fusion’ is the predominance of one influence, not necessarily to the detriment of others, it’s just ... [MORE]

‘Escape from Clinch Mountain’ from The Bara Bara Band - nothing by halves November 03, 2014
This album offers an eclectic mix of traditional British influence mixed with a heavy dose of heritage Americana. It comes from London-based Th... [MORE]

‘A Tale of Sailors’ - Heg and The Wolf Chorus – theatrically expressive lyrics October 31, 2014
Replete with echoes of unearthly atmospheres suspended through wavering mists, the music of Heg & The Wolf Chorus creates a surreal spectrum of ... [MORE]

‘White Horse’ - The Oly Mountain Boys – expressive bluegrass concept album October 28, 2014
Now here’s a first for me and for many I suspect, a bluegrass concept album. Such notions are more usually considered the province of pro... [MORE]

‘Random Acts of Kindness’ from Martin Stirrup - wicked lyrics and winning hooks October 28, 2014
The attraction of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ from Martin Stirrup lies in its combination of styles and arrangements together wi... [MORE]

'The Morning Tree' self-titled album – tradition bound with innovation October 28, 2014
The abiding strength in the roots of folk music, from whichever shores it originates, is its unfailing ability to engender bands that move with... [MORE]

‘Tangle Of Trees’ by Sheila MacDonald - sensitive, meaning-rich lush lyrics October 25, 2014
This is an album that offers modest poetry-driven songs delivered by one voice over gentle melodies. ‘Tangle Of Trees’ by Shei... [MORE]

‘This Band Is Sick’ - Steve White and The Protest Family - ‘folk punk without a safety net’ October 25, 2014
‘This Band Is Sick’ - an album with all the delicacy of a cornered rat coupled with the fearsome bite of a rabid hyena. Steve White... [MORE]

‘Medicine for the Soul’ from The Vagaband - Americana with tinges of jazz, blues and rock October 24, 2014
More a steady increasing flow than a headlong rush, home-grown Americana continues to develop and thrive, and this ex-pat Coloradan finds con... [MORE]

‘VIP (Very Interesting Persons)’ from Findlay Napier - an album of considerable charism October 24, 2014
Possibly more readily recognised by those that extend their folk ‘north of the border’, Findlay Napier remains a highly regarded singer-... [MORE]

‘Cold Old Fire’ from Lynched - ‘tradition with an edge’ October 24, 2014
Here’s another band we haven’t heard before – Lynched, a four-piece from Dublin, with their album ‘Cold Old Fire’ of t... [MORE]

‘This Land’ by Kelly Oliver - an exceptional debut album October 20, 2014
I cannot recall how many times I’ve predicted success for a new artist only to find that justice appears not to be done. Then again, just occa... [MORE]

‘The Parts Of Us That Still Remain’ by Michelle Lewis - deep and shared understanding October 17, 2014
Singer-songwriter Michelle Lewis writes songs that touch with the softness of a dream yet pierce with the sharpness of a needle. Throughout her albu... [MORE]

‘A River Runs Between’ from The Changing Room – ‘swiftly seizes and grips your attention’ October 17, 2014
An EP that directly heralds a follow-up album, ‘A River Runs Between’ from The Changing Room only offers three songs but tha... [MORE]

‘Something To Someone’ - Run Boy Run - expertly mixing bluegrass, folk and old time American October 16, 2014
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself - every time I hear the phrase: There ain’t nothing new in bluegras... [MORE]

‘Songs from the Well’ - Marca Cassity - mileposts on journeys, moments of learning and wisdom-forging encounters October 16, 2014
There’s tangible spirit running through ‘Songs from the Well’ by Marca Cassity, a deep earthy feel that echoes roads travelle... [MORE]

'Speak, Brother' self-titled debut EP of carefully crafted songs October 14, 2014
There’s a band called ‘Speak, Brother’ that call themselves an indie folk trio … speaking as someone reviewing their self-t... [MORE]

‘Hand Me Down Miracles’ - The Mascot Theory - ‘a complete album’ October 10, 2014
Ever wondered what a mix of pure-blood Americana folk overlaid with punchy rock in conjunction with surefooted songwriting suffused with razor ... [MORE]

‘Swimmings of the Head’ from Kate in the Kettle - 'fascinating allure that enthrals and captivates' October 10, 2014
‘Swimmings of the Head’ from Kate in the Kettle evokes a sense of deep mystery, delicate invention and expressive manifestation, there&r... [MORE]

‘Whispering Hills, Tangled Hair’ by Crow Puppets - evocative and wraithlike October 07, 2014
This duo has successfully operated under my radar until now. Since I heard their debut album that will change. There’s something evocat... [MORE]

‘Slow Down the Days’ from Forty Elephant Gang - contemporary string-driven folk October 07, 2014
There’s nothing like a bizarre name to get you noticed. However, there’s a potential pitfall when a band decides to go down that road &n... [MORE]

‘Broken Biscuits’ new album from Maurice Baker - a songwriter telling elemental tales October 06, 2014
You know how it goes - read a book, hear a song, see a play and sometimes there’s an immediate connection. Occasionally, the same thing h... [MORE]

‘While This Planet Spins Beneath Our Feet’ - Heather Styka - share the journey October 06, 2014
Listening to ‘While This Planet Spins Beneath Our Feet’, the new album from Heather Styka, I’m once again struck by the power of t... [MORE]

‘Best Medicine’ from The Stray Birds - inspired and original folk Americana October 05, 2014
First heard The Stray Birds through their EP ‘Echo Sessions’ and now here comes the album ‘Best Medicine’ rel... [MORE]

‘North Star’ by Kyle Carey - a special album with an inherent magic October 03, 2014
Kyle Carey is one of a unique group of artists whose work spans the Celtic-American bridge with consummate skill and dexterity, combining genuine fe... [MORE]

Lainie & The Crows - new EP ‘Chemical Rest’ - something good going on here October 01, 2014
This EP is an intro to Edinburgh-based five-piece Lainie & The Crows. It touches on their scope but I would like to hear more. Four sh... [MORE]

‘Fern and Leave’ by Rusty Boxx - the original distinctive essence remains October 01, 2014
There’s an axiom that goes ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ and although that primarily derives from mechani... [MORE]

'Fiddle Tune X’ by Billy Strings and Don Julin - keeps you wanting more September 30, 2014
There ain’t nothing new in bluegrass, hear one you’ve heard ‘em all. Yeah right. There’s so much depth and breadth that&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Afterimage’ from The Kenn Morr Band - sit down, switch mics on and go for it September 30, 2014
Since the day I heard ‘New Moon Rising’, I’ve been a fan of Kenn Morr’s melody-rich music. This man writes songs with... [MORE]

‘Songs for the Voiceless’ – Various Artists “…emotional and profoundly stirring” September 28, 2014
A few weeks before this album arrived I read an article commenting on plans for First World War remembrances, among its observations it stated: &ldq... [MORE]

‘Pantomime Cannon’ from Threepenny Bit – ‘more than casual toe-tapping it’s full-on engagement' September 27, 2014
There’s an oft-quoted phrase about judgement regarding ‘books and covers’ – for those that know eight-piece folk b... [MORE]

Self-titled album by ‘The Alt’ - sympathetic, sensitive and engrossing September 27, 2014
It’s only a small step of imagination combining the skills of guitarist and singer John Doyle, vocalist, bouzouki and guitar player Eamon... [MORE]

‘Amidst Fiery Skies’ from The Willows - a collection of eloquent interpretations September 23, 2014
The Willows have a reputation for blending and winding the threads of multiple influences tocreate their distinctive music. As always, with their la... [MORE]

'A Sound Of Christmas Past' - Vicki Swann and Jonny Dyer - unfailingly wonderful September 23, 2014
“I’ve always thought of Christmas-time when it comes round, as a good time, a kindly, forgiving charitable time. A time when men and wom... [MORE]

‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ by The Hut People - ‘the epitome of eclectic’ September 20, 2014
‘Since first hearing these guys back in 2010, I’ve heard phrases like ‘quirky bordering on bonkers’ or &lsquo... [MORE]

‘Triple ‘A’ Side’ from Marina Florance - one of folk’s most emotive voices September 17, 2014
Pay attention when Marina Florance sings. You’ll hear songs delivered by one of folk’s most emotive voices, combine precisely craft... [MORE]

‘Gambit’ from Ollie King - remarkable talent and essential Englishness September 17, 2014
Ollie King is a melodeon player and singer – that much is true, however that simple statement misses out so much. There’s the way he han... [MORE]

‘Muster’ from Headsticks - music to make a difference September 15, 2014
After all these years, when I receive an album from an unknown (to me) band, there still remains that sense of eagerness yet always tinged with a ce... [MORE]

‘Let The Wind Blow High Or Low’ - Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith - utterly absorbing, undeniably English voices September 15, 2014
The essence of traditional folk music and song lies in its heritage, its malleability and resilience. The depth of tradition endures, remains f... [MORE]

‘Sake of the Sound’ by Front Country - unafraid to push the boundaries September 14, 2014
As much as my colleagues despise hearing traditional Irish music described as ‘dum-dee-diddle-ee' music I hate references to bluegrass as &lsq... [MORE]

Self-titled album ‘Sunjay’ from Sunjay Brayne - completely engaging, highly listenable September 11, 2014
Spend long enough writing about folk and acoustic music in all their various guises and it gets harder to find something that makes you sit up and t... [MORE]

‘Long Garden’ - Crooked Weather - textures of sound entwined with shadowy vocal meanderings September 08, 2014
This album evoked a time in the early alt-folk years when we were prone to sitting in candle-lit rooms, windows draped in coloured material, wr... [MORE]

‘The Unravelling’ by Red Bird Sky - makes you sit up and take notice September 08, 2014
For some time now there’s been a rise in the calibre of 'homegrown' Americana influence from these shores. Naturally, the imported variety sti... [MORE]

‘Greatest Hits’ from Levellers - it really is all there September 07, 2014
Levellers launch a new album on 29 September - 'Greatest Hits' - and anyone who has ever raged and seethed along with the band will l... [MORE]

'England Green & England Grey' from Reg Meuross ­ - an English folk milestone September 05, 2014
For many, the songs of Reg Meuross are the hinges upon which swing the doors of perceptive English folk. We have accompanied him along paths less&nb... [MORE]

‘New Lady on the Prairie’ from Canadian singer-songwriter Lizzy Hoyt September 05, 2014
Canadian singer-songwriter Lizzy Hoyt has a voice that slips gently into your ears, tantalises you to listen, then once you do you’re h... [MORE]

‘The Defiant’ - The Men They Couldn’t Hang - music to tear down walls or bring a tear to your eye September 02, 2014
“So what is thirty years when all is said and done?” Actually, if you’re part and parcel of those disrespecters of ‘might is... [MORE]

High Times and Bad Weather’ from Leo James - music that makes you want to listen September 01, 2014
The quiet understated intensity that suffuses ‘High Times and Bad Weather’ from Leo James has to be heard. It comes through a music... [MORE]

‘Tall Tales and Misadventures’ from Goitse - an effervescent flow of expression September 01, 2014
There’s something incredibly infectious about Irish music. Whoever you are, part of you cannot help but pick up on the energy and passion that... [MORE]

‘Love We Are Love’- breath taking debut from The Sea The Sea August 28, 2014
The press release profiles this music as alternative folk-pop, be that as it may, singer-songwriter duo Chuck E. Costa and Mira Stanley, known ... [MORE]

‘Foreign Shore’ by Hanz Araki - pure exhilaration for the ears August 28, 2014
Hanz Araki is a master of his art – of that there is no doubt. His stunning musicianship and mind-spinning delivery of traditional tunes is a ... [MORE]

‘Half Hands Round’ from Alison Frosdick and Jack Barnaby - English folk remains perpetual August 26, 2014
Whenever I hear bands like this I know the roots of English folk remain perpetual. Whatever changes and developments, twist and tangles ravel t... [MORE]

'Sonder' from Papaphone – songs with oceans of passion August 24, 2014
Long the staple of folk and acoustic music, the ‘man-with-guitar’ format has run the gamut from ‘deluded persistence’ t... [MORE]

‘Social Justice & Peace’ by Shane Jacob Philips - songs that cannot fail to reach you August 24, 2014
So an artist releases three albums deeply rooted in the traditions of soul, makes a handbrake turn and decides to branch out into folk. Interesting.... [MORE]

‘Thundercloud’ debut album from Michelle Plum and Nick B Hall - enveloping involvement August 23, 2014
Listening to ‘Thundercloud’ for the last few days this album consistently prompts the same feeling. A distinctive yet ephemeral flow of ... [MORE]

‘Stories Still Untold’ by Ewan McLennan - bringing each different story to life August 19, 2014
Take two years to follow your previous album and some might suggest the causes as pressure of work, lethargy or a search for perfection. One li... [MORE]

‘Sweet Billy Caution’ by Si Barron - a richness of voice that is eminently listenable August 18, 2014
A sizeable slice of folk magic comes through the human voice. Folk’s age-old vehicle essential for storytelling and delivering the messag... [MORE]

‘Day Before the War’ by Ian Rooke - simple compositions that make the point strike home August 17, 2014
Ian Rooke sent us an EP, then another arrived a few days later, same artist different songs. Never heard the man before and then two EPs arri... [MORE]

‘September Road’ from Jane Thomason - image-forging lyrics laid across steel-stringed soundscapes August 17, 2014
Distinctive voice, singular phrasing and engaging songs, that’s ‘September Road’ from Jane Thomason – an album tha... [MORE]

‘What’s Here, What’s Gone’ - Luke Daniels – songs of essential truths and fearlessness August 13, 2014
Anyone familiar with folk music probably recognises the name Luke Daniels – stunning melodeon with De Dannan and Riverdance, albums like &lsqu... [MORE]

‘Dear Bastards’ from Ethan Collister - a powerful album that pulls no punches August 13, 2014
Nothing like returning to the UK and running straight into ‘Dear Bastards’ the new album from Canadian singer-songwriter Ethan... [MORE]

'Say’ from Andrew Wiltshire - an album that improves each time you hear it August 12, 2014
This one moves with assured footsteps among touches of brilliance and uniqueness – yet there are moments of overload, which cause confusi... [MORE]

‘Highland Strands’ from Kevin Macleod (and friends) - ceaselessly uplifting August 10, 2014
Certain things are as constant as the sunrise, the enduring attraction of lovingly-delivered Scottish traditional music is one of them. &l... [MORE]

‘Live in Calstock’ - Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin - a hypnotic, almost mesmerising power August 10, 2014
Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin are adept at leading their audience through their worlds of musical creation into somewhere altogether extraordinary... [MORE]

‘Chasing the Sun’ from Skerryvore - eminently listenable and highly memorable August 09, 2014
The music of Skerryvore twists the roots of tradition around their own inventions crossing the threads with a rock-infused pulse to create a so... [MORE]

‘Wayfarers All’ from Green Diesel - folk rock with an innovative, confident singular edge August 05, 2014
English folk rock has over the years acquired enough heritage to attain ‘classic’ status. To find a fine example of the genre, you need ... [MORE]

‘Tales of the Ancestors’ - Ian Rooke - songs that makes their point August 04, 2014
Some concept albums ‘hit it’ many don’t. Highly personal albums ‘connect’ or leave you cold. An album that combines bo... [MORE]

'You Got This’ from Haas Kowert Tice - steeped in tradition with an edge of innovation July 31, 2014
An album of exceptional individuality and considerable attraction ‘You Got This’ from Haas Kowert Tice - that is Brittany Haas (fid... [MORE]

‘Probably Me’ from Polly Barrett - songs that tell absorbing tales July 30, 2014
Releasing in September 2014, ‘Probably Me’ from Polly Barrett will delight those familiar with her simple melodies... [MORE]

‘Daydreams and Departures’ by Corran Raa - an album of enchantment and fascination July 30, 2014
Corran Raa play music that drinks deep from the well of tradition and sups from the bowl of invention. Music that’s equally ‘at home&rsq... [MORE]

‘Cultural Envelope’ from Slight Birching … essentially elusive July 29, 2014
I tried hard to engage with this album. No matter how hard I tried, and believe me I did try, it remained essentially elusive. That may of course be... [MORE]

‘Hand Full of Seeds’ by Brian Lalor - an intangible magic of words and music July 26, 2014
This is an EP that you really should hear. It’s also, with luck, the precursor to an album. Brian Lalor belongs to that incredible tradit... [MORE]

The Mothers - refreshing self-titled debut album July 25, 2014
Another hard-to-classify album. And another refreshing sound. Drifting through narrative folk fused with touches of soft rock into a balladic s... [MORE]

‘The Raven’s Song’ by Catherine MacLellan - unassuming frankness and pure sincerity July 25, 2014
Catherine MacLellan is an exceedingly blessed singer-songwriter - she possess an unforgettable voice that simply breathes depth of feeling into her ... [MORE]

‘She Lost Her Head’ - Juana Ghani "... no boundaries and fewer restrictions, recognised or accepted" July 23, 2014
There’s an English phrase that entirely sums up any ‘love it or hate it’ instance with nothing in between – i... [MORE]

‘So Long Joan Fontaine’ from Bend The River - a band moving onwards and upwards July 23, 2014
The second album from Bend The River delivers more of their unique mixing of folk, country and rock plus whatever else their collective experie... [MORE]

‘Break & Bloom’ from Jane Kramer - profound statements and searching questions July 22, 2014
The first thing that strikes with ‘Break & Bloom’ the new album from Jane Kramer is a voice that compels you to listen to ... [MORE]

'Braeburn’ by Kathy Barwick - beautiful piece of American music July 18, 2014
Kathy Barwick has long-served as a stalwart of American roots music, her musical pedigree takes in a consummate level of skill as a multi-instr... [MORE]

‘Ever After Land’ by Firedaze - ever-expanding directions of folk rock July 18, 2014
Firedaze released their first album, ‘Triality’ back in 2008 and delivered a thumping, driving dose of folk rock … and then there... [MORE]

‘Waters So Deep’ debut album from KARA - a startling mix of expression July 18, 2014
An enigmatic concoction of musical influences and enchanting narratives make up the debut album ‘Waters So Deep’ from KARA, as it b... [MORE]

‘Acoustic Classics’ by Richard Thompson - iconic tracks from a master July 14, 2014
So, one of the masters of English folk music releases an acoustic album of back-catalogue and ‘Acoustic Classics’ is the resul... [MORE]

‘Current Affairs’ from RUNA - something special July 14, 2014
The ebb and flow between Ireland and America has existed for years, time has blurred the boundaries and distance forged eternal links. This to-and-f... [MORE]

‘Elephant’ from Matthew The Oxx - instrumental and lyrical meanderings July 11, 2014
 As always, something different attracts. And different is definitely ‘Elephant’ from Matthew The Oxx (yes double x). Take the idio... [MORE]

‘Cutthorpe Hill’ from David Harbottle & Freya Jonas - an absorbing, tempting edge July 11, 2014
New albums can be intriguing, occasionally peculiar, downright different or something of an endurance test. ‘Cutthorpe Hill’ from D... [MORE]

'Femmes Fatales of Folk' – Various Artists "a showcase of young female talent" July 11, 2014
Folkstock steadily toils away through the folk world, breaking boundaries, refusing to pause and importantly, taking the work of lesser-known artist... [MORE]

Self-titled debut solo album from Jose Contreras July 07, 2014
There’s a definite ‘something’ about the self-titled debut solo album from Jose Contreras. Once it bites, it holds tight. The... [MORE]

‘The Elusive Highland Beauty’ from The Elephant Sessions “… unbounded spectrum of shimmering music” July 07, 2014
There’s that instant when you hear something and you know it’s going to stay with you for a long time to come. It’s that ofte... [MORE]

‘Wrap Your Bones' from Arcelia - lushness and understated opulence July 02, 2014
Arcelia’s combination of voices creates a subtle, soulful folk-tinted sound filled with a richness and intensity you can almost feel. They del... [MORE]

‘Naomi Randall with Tom Gaskell’ - blending tradition, myth and history with otherworldly folklore July 02, 2014
Those absorbed with peaceful questing and imagined explorations, pastoral psych-folk overlaid with lashings of fey meandering or pathways leadi... [MORE]

‘Cabin Fever’ from James Delarre and Saul Rose simply radiates class June 30, 2014
The second this album opens you’re hooked. ‘Cabin Fever’ from James Delarre and Saul Rose builds upon the simple combina... [MORE]

‘Louder Than Your Drum’ by Louise Petit - songs that make you care June 30, 2014
There’s something elementally attractive about Louise Petit’s voice and music. It’s not easy to classify and while you’... [MORE]

‘A Curious Tale’ the debut album from Said The Maiden - sensuous voices and captivating harmonies June 29, 2014
Sometimes you hear about a band without actually hearing the band. Their reputation precedes them, yet despite trying hard, you just don’... [MORE]

‘Something in the Ether’ from Fish & Bird - vital and inventive June 25, 2014
‘Something in the Ether’ from Fish & Bird – an album from a band unafraid to throw a rich variety of influences an... [MORE]

‘The Call’ from Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar - fundamental folk essence June 25, 2014
There's a guileless nature to bucolic folk that holds a simple attraction all its own. However, giving the lie to any perceived minimal easiness, to... [MORE]

‘The Red Album’ - Red Molly - "... assured vocals, touching uncertainty and palpable presence" June 23, 2014
No doubt about it, an album from Red Molly is always enervating – raw and ready folk, Americana edge, allied with country passion – no p... [MORE]

‘The Wreckage’ by Betty and The Boy - extensive genre-free musical scope June 22, 2014
There’s nothing better to hear the boundaries of Americana, folk, bluegrass, rock or anything else for that matter being pushed, transcended o... [MORE]

‘Tides’ from Second Hand Heart - haunting atmospheric music June 22, 2014
Otherworldly folk or ambient rock? Well it all depends on your view, where your musical compass points and how desperate you are for definiti... [MORE]

‘A Brief Introduction To Failure’ by Daudi Matsiko - an EP that begs to be an album June 20, 2014
If ever a recording had a misleading title, it’s this one - ‘A Brief Introduction To Failure’ by Daudi Matsiko is far removed... [MORE]

‘Workshop’ from Joanna Drummond - pure-as-crystal voice, softly engaging lyrics, seductive melodies June 20, 2014
The website asks: “What happens when an opera singer falls in love with folk music and decides to start over, pick up a guitar and... [MORE]

‘The Boardroom’ from Monkey’s Fist – an incredible musical melange June 18, 2014
Monkey's Fist is apparently a ‘Celtic fusion band’. Be that as it may, the unbridled innovation and eclecticism that flows through ... [MORE]

‘Stick or Twist’ from Elliot Hall and Rapunzel - its essence will linger in your head June 18, 2014
I’ve spent the last few days listening to an album called ‘Stick or Twist’ from Bristol-based duo, Elliot Hall and Rapunzel... [MORE]

‘To Miss Something So Beautiful’ by Dom Robinson - dreamy, wistful music June 17, 2014
So what do you include when you assemble a new EP? One tactic is use it to take listeners as far as you can across the depth and breadth of y... [MORE]

‘Pitiful Blues’ from Malcolm Holcombe - 100% proof June 17, 2014
Caustic observation made so by experience, weary understanding achieved through living and a tenacious refusal to accept anything and just ro... [MORE]

‘Blood Test’ from Kris Delmhorst - songs of singular attraction June 13, 2014
Kris Delmhorst writes songs that sit in those spaces we all occupy from time to time - reflective, pensive, musing and thoughtful. Her album &l... [MORE]

‘Menagerie’ from Kaela Rowan - a warm balm of sound around your troubles June 13, 2014
There’s a moment in time we all find peace. That tiny moment before we sleep, when the fall into that replenishing condition is about t... [MORE]

‘Desire Lines’ by David Newberry - lyrics that linger June 12, 2014
With the EP ‘Desire Lines’ Canadian singer-songwriter David Newberry lays down something of a teaser. By the time it en... [MORE]

The Greenbeans - ‘a heady blend of Americana, Irish heritage and contemporary folk June 11, 2014
There’s no decaffeinated, diluted, alcohol-free, zero-calories here. This is raw, pure spirit, eyes-wide-open, pin back your ears, viscer... [MORE]

Ange Hardy – ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ - another striking collection of self-penned songs June 11, 2014
Listening to Ange Hardy’s songs always seems to evoke some distant memories. Times and places once faded away return to life again. At once yo... [MORE]

‘Pilgrim’ the new album from acoustic duo Oka Vanga is wholly engrossing June 10, 2014
Rarely does an album entrance so deeply that I hit 'replay' the second it ends. I gave this one three straight replays. Before I wax lyrical there&r... [MORE]

Self-titled album from Bright Season - pure and simple folk June 02, 2014
Pedigree usually marks out a difference - listen to the self-titled debut album from Bright Season to find the truth in that statement. Blend... [MORE]

Pocket-sized folk ‘taster’ EP - ‘The f Spot’ from Folkstock June 02, 2014
Their mission statement includes the phrase ‘Opening opportunities for aspiring acoustic artists to fulfil their dreams’ &hell... [MORE]

‘World of Strangers’ by Zoe Muth - country, folk and rock in equal measure June 02, 2014
There’s always a level of certainty with an album from Zoe Muth, and ‘World of Strangers’ delivers as expected. Alt... [MORE]

‘Small Defeats’ from Broken Boat – an absorbing of eminently memorable songs June 01, 2014
Another hard-to-define band - Broken Boat and their debut album ‘Small Defeats’ defies restrictive definition. Folk is there in car... [MORE]

‘On Seeds and Shoes’ by Jim Evans - music from the heart June 01, 2014
There’s a stripped back simplicity to this powerful coming together of gut-felt words and instinctive music from Jim Evans, singer, songw... [MORE]

‘Rock River’ from Deena Shoshkes “…magnetism that never wavers.” May 27, 2014
“We’re going to generate some criticism from the folk purists with this one … then again, what the hell.” That&rs... [MORE]

‘Can You Hear Me?’ by The Hillbenders - enormously listenable and almost irresistible May 27, 2014
Sure, bluegrass is an acceptable description but to be fair in this case it misses the mark by a country mile. There’s overtones of rock, coun... [MORE]

‘Let It Slide’ - new EP from Sarah Proudfoot - promise worth keeping in mind May 23, 2014
Listen to ‘Let It Slide’ the new EP Sarah Proudfoot, and you’ll hear an artist combining the ability to write moving songs wi... [MORE]

‘After The Fall’ from Dodson and Fogg “… deep-thinking lyrics, multiple levels of music.” May 23, 2014
Minutes after the CD begins it’s patently obvious that no one else could be piloting the controls of ‘After The Fall’ other t... [MORE]

‘ADIRONDACK’ by John Michael Hersey - raw, hard, observant and thought provoking May 23, 2014
They do say that there’s nothing like adversity to drive the strength of lyrics. Having spent time becoming familiar with the harder side of f... [MORE]

‘Rexford Bedlo’ self-titled album mixing folk, rock and progressive touches May 21, 2014
The abundant output and undiluted creativity of multi-instrumentalist Chris Wade exceeds ‘prolific’ and verges on ‘inexhausti... [MORE]

‘Borderlands’ from Haddo - bringing together music from both sides of the border May 21, 2014
The combination of talents is not always a recipe for success. Empathy has to go hand in hand with skill. One listen to ‘Borderlands&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Housewarming’ by The Mae Trio - fascinating edge bathed in the depths of tradition May 21, 2014
The Mae Trio is a Melbourne, Australia-based band – Maggie Rigby (vocals, banjo, ukulele, guitar, marimba), Elsie Rigby (vocals, ukulele,... [MORE]

‘The Heavy Mind Sessions’ - a live-recorded EP from Daniel Glover May 19, 2014
‘Possibly the toughest trade in the world and probably the hardest. No not bomb disposal or shark repellent testing. It’s belongi... [MORE]

‘Gemini City: A Folk Gazetteer’ by Nigel of Bermondsey “…strangely enthralling” May 19, 2014
Many of the uninitiated incorrectly categorise folk music. Too often such ignorance conjures images focusing on rustic idylls and pastoral pastimes,... [MORE]

‘Hazy Sunshine’, Dennis Ellsworth – an album of considerable presence May 18, 2014
I first came across Dennis Ellsworth through Dusk Dreams back in 2012, and now here comes ‘Hazy Sunshine’, released here 6th J... [MORE]

‘Thamesis’ from Mishaped Pearls “…empathy, talent and a singular vision” May 14, 2014
The band that is ‘Mishaped Pearls’ came to life through a collaboration between songwriter and musician Ged Flood and mezzo soprano Manu... [MORE]

‘Country Mile' from American Nomad is a comprehensively fine album May 14, 2014
When your first reaction is ‘these guys have really got something’ it’s a fair bet the album is set to become a semi-permanen... [MORE]

‘High and Dry’ – Melissa Payne, rootsy folk Canadiana with rock-infused energy May 13, 2014
  The first thing that strikes you about Melissa Payne is the piercingly beautiful quality of her vocals,next you ‘feel’ the conne... [MORE]

‘In the Air or the Earth’ - The Askew Sisters “… an album of singular and iconic beauty” May 13, 2014
Tradition withstands neglect, desertion and the grinding pace of time. Despite whatever afflicts it, the depth of tradition endures, and as long as ... [MORE]

MÄNGLEIK from Duo Jansen/Jüssi - understated, elusive magic May 13, 2014
Despite my rather limited knowledge of traditional music from Estonia and Norway, I found MÄNGLEIK from Duo Jansen/Jüssi a sparkling ... [MORE]

‘Behind the Scenes’ from singer-songwriter James O’Connor - 'profound lyrical potency May 07, 2014
There’s a certain lyrical intensity that flows through ‘Behind the Scenes’ from singer-songwriter James O’Connor, and t... [MORE]

‘Heart of Steele’ - EP by David Diers - wide ranging style and idiosyncratic delivery May 06, 2014
‘Heart of Steele’ from David Diers of Austin, Texas - nothing if not unexpected. A combination of wide ranging musical style a... [MORE]

‘Attuned’ by Gillian Boucher - elemental vibrancy and unadorned simplicity May 06, 2014
Cape Breton fiddler Gillian Boucher has long-ranked on my list of favourite artists. There’s an elemental vibrancy to her music, aug... [MORE]

‘Bottlefed’ from Noam Weinstein - an engrossing journey May 06, 2014
Noam Weinstein may not be a name readily known to everyone, but once you hear his music it’s a fair bet you won’t forget him. There... [MORE]

‘The Last Thing We’ll See Is The Sea’ by Funke and The Two Tone Baby – solidly original May 06, 2014
The latest release from Funke and The Two Tone Baby (the somewhat eccentric yet distinctive performing name of Daniel Turnbull) is a four-track... [MORE]

‘The Moon Loses Its Memory’ from Cormac O Caoimh - music with a personal touch May 01, 2014
When you hear an album sometimes something magical reveals itself, even so there remains a fear the follow up album might not scale the heights... [MORE]

'Cenotaph Tapes' by John Carroll – high calibre sentiment and expression April 28, 2014
When I first heard John Carroll’s music I immediately identified with the calibre of both its sentiment and expression. His new album 'Ce... [MORE]

‘Metta’ from Damian Helliwell - wholly consuming, verging on addictive April 28, 2014
There’s nothing about Damian Helliwell’s album ‘Metta’ that isn’t totally engaging. It's wholly consuming, verging on ... [MORE]

‘In A Box’ from Megson - arresting vocals, delicious harmonies, intricate musical tapestry April 26, 2014
With a combined ocean of talent between them, Debbie and Stu Hanna, aka Megson, continue to represent yet another bastion of English folk mus... [MORE]

‘Trees Turn to Fire’ by Jon Budworth - individual voice and a deftness of touch April 26, 2014
There’s an axiom that delivery can make or break a song, you only have to listen to a million ‘covers’ that don’t quite... [MORE]

'Earth And All The Universes' - Marvin B. Naylor, delve into fantasy tales to discover their depths April 21, 2014
One way to ensure you convey the scope of your album is an all-encompassing title. How about ‘Earth And All The Universes’? Doesn&r... [MORE]

‘Late At Night’ from Alanna Gurr and The Greatest State - an album of pure delight April 21, 2014
Has the day delivered a hard time, is the tension too much, need to unwind? Then slide softly into the gentle embrace of ‘Late At Night&r... [MORE]

‘Helicopter EP’ from Ian Roland - absorbing, warm and gentle acoustic sound April 20, 2014
Despite the years I’ve been writing about folk music I still get an occasional surprise. Often from unknown or little known individuals writin... [MORE]

‘The Night Ferry EP’ by The Men They Couldn't Hang - waiting with bated breath April 17, 2014
There’s not a hell of a lot left to say about The Men They Couldn't Hang. From the dark depths of of Camden's alternative music festival ... [MORE]

‘Carolina’ from Redleg Husky ‘… working in the tradition and unafraid to innovate’ April 17, 2014
Americana folk has a long history of telling stories from both the depths of tradition and the creation of contemporary tales, recording lives ... [MORE]

‘Can't Hold the Wheel’ by The New Line ‘taking traditional music somewhere rather special’ April 15, 2014
If there was ever an unlikely marriage it has to be that between African influences from Zimbabwe and old-time Appalachian culture from the USA... [MORE]

‘Quick Sparrows Over the Black Earth’ by Laura Cannell "... something wonderful awaits" April 11, 2014
I first discovered Laura Cannell’s music through experimental folk and early music duo Horses Brawl, since then she has embarked on a solo car... [MORE]

‘Marek's Camp’ from Supine Orchestra - distinctive style, lyrically superb, laconic edge April 09, 2014
There’s something to be said for grafting away at your art without undue screaming and shouting, then again it doesn’t hurt to give your... [MORE]

‘Here Between’ - Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys - a ‘taster’ and the ‘taste’ will appeal April 09, 2014
  familiar with their style then this could take you by surprise. Many bands write original music and self-penned songs ‘in the traditio... [MORE]

‘Wenlock Hill’ from Merrymouth - a remarkable album April 07, 2014
Back in early 2012 Simon Fowler formed Merrymouth and released an eponymous folk album, now there’s the follow up on the way called ‘Wen... [MORE]

‘Strings Attached’ by 3 Boxes - a musical melange by masters of their art April 07, 2014
  there’s always a chance … and have you ever noticed just sometimes what you expect turns out to be anything but what you expect... [MORE]

‘House of Jacks’ by Blair Dunlop - unmistakeable guitar and songwriting April 05, 2014
Rather than dramatic changes or setting off down untrodden roads, ‘House of Jacks’, the second album by Blair Dunlop, quite si... [MORE]

'Gemini' from Boho Dancer - impressions of lurking shadows April 01, 2014
There’s an echoing memory about Boho Dancer’s brand of folk on ‘Gemini’, it’s not quite ‘heard this be... [MORE]

‘Songs of a Roving Blade’ from Dónal Clancy - timeless songs from an enduring tradition April 01, 2014
My grandpa had a saying to cover anything that was so good it always lived up to and usually exceeded your expectations. “Tim,”&nbs... [MORE]

'Turn the Corner' from Colum Sands - entwining heritage and tradition March 31, 2014
The wandering Irish troubadour is as constant as the North Star and as welcome as the sunrise, and as long as sun and stars shine in the sky su... [MORE]

‘BOLD’ by Canadian trio NUA - freshness thriving on spontaneity and innovation March 31, 2014
Instrumental albums always run the risk of ‘sameness’. It’s not so much a case of running out of ideas it’s the often the li... [MORE]

‘Waking’ from Lucy Kitchen - secure in its independence March 30, 2014
‘Waking’ from Lucy Kitchen has a defined attraction, part of its allure is its wealth of contradiction. Softly sung, almost fragile... [MORE]

‘Amhráin Nua i nGaeilge’ or ‘New Songs In Irish’ from Enda Reilly March 27, 2014
Singer-songwriter Enda Reilly is an artist that has always walked a singular path of expression. Pouring spirit and emotion into music and songs or ... [MORE]

'Reunited’ by Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes - one seriously superb EP March 27, 2014
There’s a tour starting in April and at least one date, if not more, really does belong in your diary. It combines the enduring talents o... [MORE]

‘Stardust’ from Bronwynne Brent – self-penned songs with a wholly enfolding style March 26, 2014
Following on from her debut ‘Deep Black Water’, Mississippi delta native and idiosyncratic folk singer, Bronwynne Brent now offers ... [MORE]

‘While the Blackthorn Burns’ from Ninebarrow - a landmark folk album of its time March 25, 2014
The essential spirit of folk music has an enduring resilience that persists through the roots of tradition to the flowerings of innovation, growing ... [MORE]

‘When The Ink Dries’ from the beguilingly named, West My Friend March 24, 2014
That’s what I like to read ‘… conceived in a Victoria café’ bands need a particular point of genesis. ... [MORE]

‘The Phoenix and the Turtle’ from Beverley Martin - entirely distinctive March 23, 2014
‘The minute some albums open you know who it is without looking for the cover, hearing ‘that’ lyric hook or waiting for a mem... [MORE]

‘Borderland’ from Johnny Coppin “… will reach out to stir you.” March 20, 2014
There’s an album from Johnny Coppin you must hear – it’s called ‘Borderland’. If you haven’t heard it I sug... [MORE]

‘Last Day On Earth’ – Tom Ovans - one man’s view of his world March 18, 2014
I’ve followed the music of Tom Ovans for many years, from the early-nineties album ‘Industrial Days’ to ‘Dead Sout... [MORE]

‘Strangers’ from Simone Felice, poet, songwriter, musician March 18, 2014
Simone Felice has walked along paths of experience that can profoundly alter a man. Those paths impart their incidents and occurrences into the fabr... [MORE]

‘A Language Within’ from the O' Carolan Family - a rich slice of an eternal genre March 17, 2014
Rarely does Irish traditional music fail to touch your soul. ‘A Language Within’ from the O' Carolan Family follows suit and delive... [MORE]

‘Tea and Confidences’ from Fearing and White, '... an album of presence' March 17, 2014
There’s an alchemy at work here. The symbiosis between singer-songwriters Canadian Stephen Fearing and Belfast native Andy White, moves beyond... [MORE]

‘I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands’ from Cahalen Morrison & Eli West March 13, 2014
Following a successful debut album can sometimes be a tough call, especially when your debut gained pretty much universal approval. Then again, ... [MORE]

‘Farm Sessions’ from Old Horned Sheep - exploration and experimentation March 13, 2014
One of the best aspects of this task is coming across ‘new’ and ‘different’. The former is easier, the latter can be difficu... [MORE]

‘Quaternity’ from Sabbath Assembly - strangeness from the far side of weird March 12, 2014
An album titled ‘Quaternity’ from a band called Sabbath Assembly recently came my way  – an accompanying pre... [MORE]

‘More Love and Happiness’ Clela Errington - a startlingly pure amalgam March 10, 2014
Folk fusion of any variety offers the potential for perfect blend or flawed dissonance, ‘More Love and Happiness’ the latest album from&... [MORE]

‘Judas’ - Gary Fulton - sharply observant lyrics that bite March 10, 2014
I like Gary Fulton’s songs. He writes lyrics that bite. Somewhat understated, without fuss or furore his songs are nonetheless sha... [MORE]

‘Always Remember Your Dreams’ - stripped back, unplugged acoustic - Peter Conway and his band March 07, 2014
Last night I was immersed in magic. Not the incantation and ritual kind.different character. The lights were low, the atmosphere special, enchantm... [MORE]

‘Octave Fiddle Baritone Violin’ - Gavin Pennycook ‘a masterwork of octave-strung fiddle’ March 06, 2014
Returning to FolkWords is made all the more pleasurable when sitting on the top of your review pile is Gavin Pennycook’s new album &lsquo... [MORE]

‘Fly The Bluebird’ from Beau (aka Trevor Midgley) - an album of considerable individuality March 06, 2014
Now I’ll freely admit that this album may not be for everyone – incidentally, a huge loss to those that decide it's not, because in my v... [MORE]

‘Things That I Need To Undo’ Tom Mitchell - profound musical and lyrical depth March 04, 2014
Standing alone as a singer songwriter demands a certain amount of resilience … putting your work out there for the comments of a cruel world ... [MORE]

‘Last Leaf’ from Peter Lacey – refreshing, inspiring and different February 24, 2014
Another pop-tinted contemporary folk album … but this one is refreshing and what’s more, inspiringly different. This one exudes th... [MORE]

‘This Love’, the first album from House of Hats February 23, 2014
When this album started, the opener invoked thoughts of sixties California folk, the general consensus around the office was the same but that was a... [MORE]

Fiona Hunter debut solo album – Scottish song to captivate February 22, 2014
Fiona Hunter has one of those stunningly attractive voices made all the more alluring by an irresistible accent and faultless interpretation of trad... [MORE]

'Live At Crossroads’ Adrian Nation - achingly observant lyrics, lingering memorable melodies February 22, 2014
Live albums prompt one of two reactions – wondering why because it’s so badly recorded or wondering why you’ve been waiting... [MORE]

‘Between Two Lights’ by Jeff Stockton - original traditional music observing the turning year February 18, 2014
Whenever I experience this time of year it always engenders powerful feelings of natural forces pulling in opposing directions, the dark winter... [MORE]

‘Here This Is Home’ from Colleen Raney - considering tradition and reflecting its presence February 17, 2014
Tradition endures while chronicles record its value, the present respects its heritage and when culture refreshes its existence. Does that so... [MORE]

‘What If’ from Lone Star State native Jessica Clemmons February 17, 2014
Yeah, I know it’s not folk as such. On the other hand it’s not pure country. Neither is it unadulterated rock. And I know I’m goin... [MORE]

‘The Book of the Lost’ - Emily Jones and The Rowan Amber Mill February 14, 2014
Vincent Price would love the opening of this album. ‘The Book of the Lost’ from Emily Jones and The Rowan Amber Mill&nb... [MORE]

‘Scattered Keeses’ debut EP from Rusty Boxx - acoustic, alternative explorative folk February 13, 2014
Have you heard Rusty Boxx (with double x)? Well you’re probably going to. Their distinctly interesting debut EP ‘Scattered Keeses&r... [MORE]

‘Robt Sarazin Blake’ solo album from Robert Sarazin Blake February 13, 2014
American folk singer Robert Sarazin Blake is one more link in a chain of American folk legacy that stretches back beyond today to moments lost in ti... [MORE]

‘It’s All Good – The Best of Damien Dempsey’ “… unbridled intensity” February 11, 2014
My experience of Damien Dempsey runs from ‘They Don’t Teach This Shit in School’ through ‘Shots’ to ‘Almigh... [MORE]

Self-titled album from ItsAcoustica – easy folk, blues and country mix February 10, 2014
Sometimes an album opens with a decidedly intriguing and instantly engaging track, when it does it’s always a bonus. Some ignore the opener, o... [MORE]

‘The Frappin’ and Ramblin’ Pete Morton’ - acerbic humour, irony, indignation and observation February 06, 2014
Pete Morton writes sharp, acid-etched songs that overflow with charisma and implication. He wields heavy doses of acerbic humour, sizeable slic... [MORE]

‘Strangers We Meet’ debut EP from The Black Feathers February 05, 2014
Singer/songwriters Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler are The Black Feathers, together they combine essential essences of English folk with Am... [MORE]

‘How Things Are’ from singer-songwriter Andy White – telling tales of truth February 05, 2014
So you devote an entire album to answer the question ‘How are things?’  There’s a thousand ways that could go wrong. Not... [MORE]

'Fumes and Faith' by Luke Jackson - a meaningful milestone on an expressive journey February 01, 2014
Luke Jackson is without doubt one of the most promising young artist we’ve heard in a long time. His second album 'Fumes and Faith' builds on ... [MORE]

‘Remember This’ from Nudie, themes that are personal, real-world and acutely focused January 31, 2014
   The overriding essence generated through ‘Remember This’ from Nudie is authentic performance. Listening to this ... [MORE]

‘And Now…’ from The Moonshine "... the edges of heritage and innovation" January 29, 2014
There’s an intersection somewhere in the USA where the roads of new and tradition cross each other and forge a meld that makes more of bo... [MORE]

‘Wide Open’ from Ross Ainslie, fusing styles and shapes without fear or constraint January 29, 2014
On his latest album, Ross Ainslie delivers a diverse mix of influence, inspiration and impression that defines much of the man’s skill and tal... [MORE]

‘All Life is Here’ - Harp and a Monkey - diverse, memorable folk narratives January 27, 2014
Whenever the despair of dull music oppresses there’s always Harp and a Monkey as they move through their intricate world of folk electronica w... [MORE]

‘To Evangeline’ Alister Atkin and The Ghost Line Carnival - essential intensity and energy January 23, 2014
People flourish in a career and all the time there’s another bubbling inside. Alister Atkin is one of those. Internationally recognised a... [MORE]

'The Brightest Path' from Patsy Reid … ‘delicate, almost fragile melodies’ January 23, 2014
   Describing Patsy Reid a fiddle player is a little like calling Renoir a painter … the description is correct but it leaves... [MORE]

‘Word Of Mouth’ by Seth Lakeman - heritage, history, tradition and innovation combined January 23, 2014
The press release calls ‘Word Of Mouth’ – ‘a defining album for Seth Lakeman’s storied career and for the landsca... [MORE]

‘Take My Hand’ by Grady Kelneck - songs you’ll want to hear January 22, 2014
Grady Kelneck possesses one of those clear voices that you’d swear you’ve heard before, the essence of his vocals are timeless and ... [MORE]

‘Newsprint Sky’ from Dave Thompson - the rocky edge of folk and as ‘gutsy’ as they come January 22, 2014
The anticipation of hearing an artist for the first time persists. Sadly the reality can fail the potential … then sometimes, well suffice to... [MORE]

‘Vagabond’ from Eddi Reader - a personal journey shared January 21, 2014
Listening to Eddi Reader sing always reveals a personal journey – both hers and yours. The songs she sings turn into personal records of ... [MORE]

‘Turas’ by Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie stays with you long after the last notes fade January 20, 2014
Too often, blending styles and influences dilutes both. Sometimes the result works well, other times the blend feels forced with the’ joins&rs... [MORE]

'Live@Paper Stone 2013’ by The Idolins “… something erupting in Nottingham” January 17, 2014
There’s something erupting in Nottingham … nope not a fracking protest but a band called The  Idolins. They’ve stuck a ... [MORE]

‘Sunshine Street’ from The Men With Strong Arms - an intriguing mix January 15, 2014
There’s a pervading sense of serious well-being that seeps through the music of The Men With Strong Arms when you listen to their mini-al... [MORE]

‘Live in Vienna’ The Dublin Legends - stirring stories, relentless humour, wild songs January 15, 2014
Musicians may come and go. Some masters of their art grace our ears for many years, others for a briefer span. Bands are much the same, through... [MORE]

‘Dance If You Can’ from Roland Digh - genial, tender yet thought provoking January 14, 2014
Roland Digh describes himself as ‘a scribe of melodie & rhyme’ and I’d say that’s a pretty fair summary. His latest... [MORE]

‘New Road’ from Leonard Barry ‘… to wholly beguile the listener’ January 11, 2014
An English poet and playwright of considerable repute once wrote: ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions&... [MORE]

‘Songs of Love and Murder’ captivating album from Hanz Araki & Kathryn Claire January 10, 2014
Any album from Irish flute player Hanz Araki and guitarist, vocalist and fiddle-player Kathryn Claire deserves your ear. There’s little more c... [MORE]

‘Trampin’ On’ from Steep Ravine - a fresh wind blowing January 09, 2014
There’s a fresh wind blowing through American folk and bluegrass that’s inspiring many bands to push the boundaries and stir up the... [MORE]

‘Six’ from Blazin’ Fiddles - "both tantalizing and intoxicating" January 06, 2014
This is visceral music. Possessed of life and energy, passion and sympathy, steeped in culture and heritage to evoke deep-seated sentiment. The spar... [MORE]

‘Echo Sessions’ – The Stray Birds - yearning harmonies and unadorned acoustic simplicity January 05, 2014
There is (thankfully) an increasing number of bands that keep intensity of American folk music alive and well, among them are The Stray Bi... [MORE]

'Hearts' Desires' by Andy Shearer - encompassing wide and varied, and beyond December 30, 2013
You would be hard-pressed to describe the album 'Hearts' Desires' by multi-instrumentalist Andy Shearer as folk music. Then again, there&r... [MORE]

‘East Anglian Girl’ from Holly Johnston – profoundly individual, emotional songs December 23, 2013
I must confess, the album ‘East Anglian Girl’ is the first I’ve heard of Holly Johnston, and I cannot imagine why. With her o... [MORE]

‘Hunter’s Moon’ by Calum Stewart and Heikki Bourgault – simply breath-taking December 19, 2013
Music inspires a whole range of thoughts – happy, sad, good, bad – whatever memories you have locked away it’s a fair bet that mus... [MORE]

‘The Call’ from Dodson and Fogg - the latest pause on the journey December 12, 2013
  musical inventor, Chris Wade, I’ve feel I’ve participated in a mesmerising adventure. With each successive release the extended ... [MORE]

‘Wooden Castles’ from Gerard and The Watchmen - deserves time to make its presence felt December 12, 2013
Certain albums take time to work their magic – sometimes it’s so understated you don’t notice it happening. Then when it arrives t... [MORE]

‘These Changing Skies’ from Elephant Revival - evocative, reflective, melodious December 12, 2013
In the event that you haven’t come across Elephant Revival, a five-piece alt-folk band from Colorado, USA, I suggest that you pick u... [MORE]

‘Let’s Start Again’ from Bap Kennedy – a compelling, soothing melodic lure December 10, 2013
Bap Kennedy is one of those gifted singer-songwriters seemingly able to morph their talent at will drifting into and across a range of genres, ... [MORE]

‘Clearing’ from Arlet - care-free and down-right different December 10, 2013
A strange characteristic of ‘folk fusion’ is the ease with which ‘folk and …’ (insert whatever word you fan... [MORE]

‘The Last Mad Surge of Youth’ - Henry Priestman “…getting better all the time” December 09, 2013
From the Yachts, through It’s Immaterial, to The Christians, singer-songwriter Henry Priestman has travelled a long road and come far. I&... [MORE]

‘Diamonds On The Water’ - Oysterband - soak it up, every word, every note December 09, 2013
Deliberate on the mainstays of this country's electric folk, folk rock or folk punk and it’s a certainty that Oysterband will be up there... [MORE]

‘Echoes’ by Emily Smith - unadorned and unpretentious splendour December 05, 2013
Emily Smith sings traditional Scottish songs. She does so with a heart-touching voice that commands complete attention - each song given life a... [MORE]

The Railsplitters - rocky tinge, soul-deep writing and warm bluesy edge December 02, 2013
Were bluegrass to be classed as a communicable infection it would be right up there with something like bubonic plague. Devastatingly infectious and... [MORE]

‘Far From Home’ debut EP from Kelly Oliver – definitely one to watch November 29, 2013
Singer-songwriter Kelly Oliver delivers traditional and self-penned songs across a combination of guitar and harmonica-led tunes. With themes r... [MORE]

'Juego de Siempre' from Anna Hoffman & Romancero Sefardi November 27, 2013
Another album from our friends at the Russian folk music label Sketis Music, this time it’s Anna Hoffman & Romancero Sefardi’s haunt... [MORE]

‘Come What May’ from Clutching At Straws – you will certainly want more November 26, 2013
The first time you listen to ‘Come What May’ a ‘mini-album’ from Clutching At Straws there’s little doubt you&rsq... [MORE]

‘Early European Dance’ performed by Avis Dei - echoes of magic and mystery November 24, 2013
The Russian band Avis Dei perform music composed over five centuries ago. Their album ‘Early European Dance’ on the Sketis Music folk la... [MORE]

‘The Cauld Wind’ from fiddle and pipes duo Chris Stout and Finlay MacDonald November 20, 2013
These are moments to treasure’ - that’s the lasting impression prompted by listening to ‘The Cauld Wind’ from fiddle and pip... [MORE]

‘Celtic-American’ - The Stubby Shillelaghs – limitless enthusiasm, no compromise November 20, 2013
Here’s a question for you: What do you have if you blend elements of Irish, Scots and American? Ten points for anyone who answered T... [MORE]

‘Time and Tide’ from Phil Lyons - an album worth getting to know November 18, 2013
Here we are again, man-with-guitar – often maligned, sometimes lauded, frequently judged - yet still a staple and backbone of English fol... [MORE]

‘Tributaries 2’ by Tom Rennie - the enchantment continues November 18, 2013
When Tom Rennie recorded the album Tributaries, he presented stirring, impassioned traditional Scottish melodies and created an intricate musical ta... [MORE]

‘Charge!’ from The Monster Celidh Band - bizarre and intriguing directions November 18, 2013
‘Charge!’ definitely does not fit into the standard ‘cup of folk tea’ bracket, indeed many folkies, trad or otherwise, ... [MORE]

‘Endless Serenade’ by Norwegian singer-songwriter Silje Leirvik November 14, 2013
This is an unusual album replete with mood-filled, expressive vocals, delivered by a seductive voice across a complex tapestry of sound woven w... [MORE]

‘Into The Dark’ from Laura Cortese - truly idiosyncratic and eminently different November 14, 2013
There’s a powerful string-driven richness that surrounds the perceptively unrelenting lyrics of ‘Into The Dark’ from Laura Co... [MORE]

‘Sing Walter de la Mare’ - The Lancashire Hustlers – songs to leave a mark November 11, 2013
Naturally - Walter de la Mare’s poems of set to music. And why not? Benjamin Britten had a go and so have a few others. For time immemorial fo... [MORE]

‘Corner Of My Eye’ from Lowri Evans ­– nothing rushed November 11, 2013
There’s a subtle and endearing beauty, that despite the melancholy, surrounds the songs on ‘Corner Of My Eye’ from Lowri... [MORE]

‘Pickin’ n Clickin’’ - Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys - leaves you wanting more November 11, 2013
Mention any music style and opinions become predictable. Roots or folk, bluegrass or country, rock or blues, each one forms an image, visual or aura... [MORE]

‘To Each and Everyone Tour’ - Barbara Dickson at Union Chapel November 08, 2013
Last night - 7 November - the spiritually rich and enthralling music venue that is Union Chapel in Islington radiated an even more intense atmo... [MORE]

‘My First Mistake’ from Burnt Tomorrow - folk rock with a difference November 07, 2013
Some bands arrive with a bang while others burn slow. Some are comfortable with a ‘me-too’ stance, others cut their own furrow. However ... [MORE]

‘Silver Bell’ by Patty Griffin – album lost and found November 04, 2013
Speculation about whys and wherefores of long-lost albums continues and the regular exhumation of those often considered buried by time and incident... [MORE]

‘The Witches Recall’ from Darvra’s Wave - dipping into a wide-ranging mix November 04, 2013
Yet again the true eclecticism that is folk music shines through – and I’m talking about the debut album ‘The Witches Re... [MORE]

‘Nowhere Is The Place For Me’ by Alec Morrison - raw, gutsy and as tough as it gets November 02, 2013
I’ve always been fascinated to music that pushes or breaks boundaries, it’s an integral part of my ‘nothing is fixed’ a... [MORE]

‘Little Village’ from Banded Stilts - carefully constructed storytelling songs November 01, 2013
Banded Stilts clearly possess a deep-seated love of expressive narrative – that’s amply evident in their latest album ‘Little... [MORE]

‘A Tiny Little Island In The Big Bad Sea’ from Suburban Dirts - worth exploring November 01, 2013
The number of British bands delivering creditable slices of voracious Americana folk is slowly increasing and Suburban Dirts are right up there (tha... [MORE]

'Ainneoin na stoirme' / 'In spite of the storm' - vitality and feeling from Téada October 30, 2013
There’s a rare and precious feeling of intimacy that comes with Téada’s music. The tireless vivacity, engaging fervour, enduring ... [MORE]

‘Hearth & Home’ from 4Square - unafraid to experiment October 25, 2013
Fusion and folk have long resided together – blending styles, mixing instruments, moving across genres - begging, borrowing or stealing. ... [MORE]

‘Tuneship’ from Dàimh - all the unmistakeable Dàimh hallmarks October 24, 2013
The previous album from Dàimh was almost played to death in our house and there’s every reason to believe that their latest offering &l... [MORE]

‘Air-Fix’ - Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson continue to extend their musical reach October 23, 2013
The more you listen to ‘Air-Fix’ from Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson, the more you embrace their blend of Scottish and Iri... [MORE]

‘Master of the Game’ by Des Wade – Irish myth, legend and history October 22, 2013
Des Wade is an expatriate Irishman, living in Australia for over 30 years of self-imposed exile – and still he writes music that retains the l... [MORE]

'CE MONDE ICI-BAS’ - De Temps Antan - enough power to drive a nuclear furnace October 20, 2013
When I first came across De Temps Antan way back in 2005, I remarked to a friend that if you could remain seated during their performance you w... [MORE]

Better Days’ from The Harmed Brothers - infinitely listenable October 19, 2013
Perhaps at first an unlikely review for an online folk resource, The Harmed Brothers album ‘Better Days’ on initial listen, tu... [MORE]

‘Friday Night Train Home’ from Liz Simcock - sheer simplicity and precise poise October 17, 2013
Sometimes an unnervingly pure piece of music reaches out to a part of you, equally there can be voices that touch you with their delivery, and then ... [MORE]

‘We’re Not Lost’ - The Show Ponies - red hot bluegrass-folk driving a distinctly rocky edge October 17, 2013
The new album ‘We’re Not Lost’ from The Show Ponies arrives with a charge that would do credit to roused thoroughbr... [MORE]

‘Lay Your Dark Low’ - striking debut album from SALT HOUSE October 16, 2013
An album replete with lilting seductive vocals, captivating melody-intense tunes built around outstanding musicianship, imaginative and strikin... [MORE]

‘The Border Sessions’ EP from Land’s End - bluegrass with a touch more October 13, 2013
Bluegrass music is American-rooted, combining elements of old-time and traditional music from Appalachia, a cultural region of the eastern United St... [MORE]

Ùrlar from Breabach - living heritage and fresh innovation October 13, 2013
An enlivening of the soul always accompanies the skirl of the pipes – even for a sassenach, and the latest release Ùrlar ... [MORE]

‘The Dance Goes On’ - Blanche Rowen and Mike Gulston – echoing the passage of the year October 13, 2013
Wandering through medieval heritage, grafting pagan and Christian joy to English and Welsh tradition and expounding those mysteries through the Wels... [MORE]

‘Red House’ from Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer - flawless interpretation of musical heritage October 10, 2013
The measure of quality has been defined by economists, playwrights, scholars and philosophers, my definition is much simpler – listen to ... [MORE]

‘Second Chances’ from Slow Leaves - melody-intense, rock-tinged Americana folk October 08, 2013
Just listened to a short EP ‘Second Chances’ (only three tracks) that exudes melody-intense, rock-tinged Americana folk; ... [MORE]

‘We Made It Home’ from Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman - supremely seductive October 08, 2013
From the moment I started listening to ‘We Made It Home’ from Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman, I knew I was heading into a ... [MORE]

‘Skipping Rocks’ from Ken and Brad Kolodner - unperturbed peace October 07, 2013
There’s a warm glow that comes from some music. It offers an enveloping calm that makes life just that little bit easier. The frenetic ru... [MORE]

Sarah-Jane Summers and Juhani Silvola - a unique partnership October 07, 2013
When Sarah-Jane Summers joined forces with Juhani Silvola and Morten Kvam to create ‘Mala Fama’ the result was entrancing. Thi... [MORE]

‘Tales from Jackson Bridge’ from Harpeth Rising - continue cutting their own path October 04, 2013
There’s constant freshness to music from Harpeth Rising – an American four-piece band that brings a sharp cutting edge to their distinct... [MORE]

‘Live in KwaZulu’ from South African finger-style guitarist Guy Buttery October 03, 2013
  I’ve spent the last few days listening to a new album. A live recording of scintillating guitarplaying - possibly the most amazing aco... [MORE]

‘3 Penny Postcard’ from Sugardrum - picturesque narrative-intense songs October 01, 2013
Nigel Bunner writes and performs poetic, picturesque narrative-intense songs built on delicate, almost fragile melodies that hover ar... [MORE]

‘Kiss The Shore’ from Ragged Staff - an album that cannot fail to engage October 01, 2013
There’s an enduring malleability about traditional folk music that freely allows adaptation, innovation and interpretation. Indeed, the applic... [MORE]

‘Quadrants’ from Two Coats Colder - powerful songs to make you think September 29, 2013
It takes a lot for a song to ‘reach’ me so profoundly. Now, I freely admit to not bawling my eyes out but listening to ‘Six Thousa... [MORE]

‘Finding Love’ from Sunny and Boo-Boo - unafraid to experiment September 29, 2013
Pinning down the music of Sunny and Boo-Boo is somewhat like trying to catch squirrels under a blanket – just when you think you have it, it&r... [MORE]

‘Longbows’ - Australian singer-songwriter Lucy Roleff’s debut EP September 29, 2013
Listening to Australian artist Lucy Roleff’s debut EP ‘Longbows’ evokes a host of images. There’s a powerful dramatic qualit... [MORE]

‘Ribbons and Letters’ by Melody Causton - tender down-to-earth reflections September 28, 2013
Currently, studying a song writing degree at London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, Melody Causton describes herself as an &lsq... [MORE]

‘Stay’ from Peter Conway - an album that delivers on so many levels September 25, 2013
Peter Conway possess one of those richly moody voices exuding obsession and sensitivity both, that just gets under your skin (in a good way that is)... [MORE]

‘Of Stones and Bones’ from 3 Daft Monkeys – a diversity of influence, style and approach September 24, 2013
There’s energised folk, smatterings of jazziness, layered harmonies, invention and innovation on the studio album ‘Of Stones and Bones&r... [MORE]

KARA - “… spirited acoustic folk with a Russian twist” September 24, 2013
A tall young lady approached me at Folkstock, asked if I would listen to her band KARA and offered their eponymous EP. As one of the abiding tenets ... [MORE]

‘Crystal Ball Re-Mastered’ from Sandwitch - blending old themes and new September 23, 2013
Time has a relentless habit of getting away from you, changing everything in the process – then again, sometimes when you meet old friends the... [MORE]

‘Tires Rushing By In The Rain’ by Martyn Joseph - waiting to become a classic September 22, 2013
If you’re going to cover some artists you’ve got to do more than listen. You have to understand them, know what they’re saying and... [MORE]

‘Find an Arrow’ from Troubadour Rose - humour and sadness, longing and loss September 19, 2013
With some music there’s an unexpected intimacy that provokes immediate feelings of remembrance. So strong is the familiar feel to the songs, t... [MORE]

‘Sailing Over The 7th String’ from Tim Edey - perfect symbiosis between artist and instruments September 19, 2013
Listening to Tim Edey playing always has the same effect – his music takes me from wherever I happen to be to somewhere that’s peacefu... [MORE]

‘Chasing Tales’ from Jo Bywater - delicious, laid-back blues inspired, folk-tinged Americana September 16, 2013
The enticing but fleeting ‘Chasing Tales’ EP from Jo Bywater is a delicious, laid-back piece of blues inspired, folk-tinged Americana th... [MORE]

‘Deliberate Distractions’ from Roving Crows - innovation and progression September 16, 2013
Folk fusion – but fusing what? Well it seems like pretty much anything they feel like throwing into the mix, and with unerring accuracy Roving... [MORE]

‘False Starts’ from On the Water – self-described ‘oddball folk collective’ September 15, 2013
There’s a school of thought that regards anything avant garde as the ‘last refuge of inability’, that lonely place ‘where yo... [MORE]

‘I Don’t Want Love You Won’t Give Until I Cry’ from Finnders and Youngberg September 13, 2013
During the mid-eighties I lived in Colorado Springs - and I still miss it. This music brought those days back in a rush. ‘I Don’t Want L... [MORE]

‘A Cut Above’ by Will Pound - jaw-dropping, outstanding harmonica September 11, 2013
Harmonica, blues harp, French harp, mouth organ,whatever name you hang on it, it’s a free reed wind instrument. Over the years it’s be... [MORE]

‘Chase the Night’ from Sean Taylor - packed with gutsy music September 07, 2013
'Gutsy music' – music with attitude and presence. Loud or soft, heavy or gentle; some music just has guts. Through vocals, instrumentation, de... [MORE]

‘Stay True’ from Danny & The Champions Of The World - an intense soulful collection September 07, 2013
From the fields of Cropredy Festival in England, with hot August sunshine, good company and great vibes to rolling along on summertime roads with a ... [MORE]

‘The Crooked Mountain Road’ from Chris Corrigan - captivating and hypnotising September 06, 2013
The wealth of traditional Irish music is legend, mix in some new compositions, add sparkling tunes from Scandinavia, with innovative approaches and ... [MORE]

The Ballad of Losing You' from Zachary Lucky – splendidly heartfelt songs September 04, 2013
When I’m in that certain frame of mind, there’s little to surpass personal, reflective examinations of love, loss and life provided by a... [MORE]

‘Rising for the Moon’ - Fairport Convention - deluxe edition, double-album September 03, 2013
From time to time Fairport Convention has come in for some unfair comment. There were rumblings that after ‘Liege and Leif’ Fairport had... [MORE]

Old Buck - red-hot interpretations of old time traditions September 02, 2013
There’s a distinctive 'oneness' that emanates from red-hot interpretations of old time traditions, it’s an almost spiritual experience a... [MORE]

‘In Time’ from Pete Robinson and Dave Mather - captivating melodies and compelling hooks September 02, 2013
Salford natives Pete Robinson and Dave Mather possess a musical heritage that stretches across the years. Now they've released ‘In Time’... [MORE]

‘The Bones’ from Rusty Shackle - original folk rock washed in a multitude of influences September 01, 2013
There it is, that distinct feeling: ‘I’ve heard these tunes before.’ That can mean you’re hearing a selection of close cover... [MORE]

‘American Fiction’ by Pat LePoidevin - songs of persons and places August 28, 2013
The longer you listen to ‘American Fiction’ by Pat LePoidevin the more you realise that here is a songwriter that picks on the ‘li... [MORE]

‘VII’ from Blitzen Trapper - hook-laden, infectious and always recognisable August 28, 2013
Things come and go, change is the only certainty, then again the latest album from Blitzen Trapper ‘VII’ (their seventh) gives the lie t... [MORE]

‘Some Part Of Something’ from North Atlantic Trio - sublimely melodic and intensely gorgeous August 27, 2013
If ever there was a flawless coming together of cross-genre, mixed influence, multicultural music then the sublimely melodic and intensely gorgeous ... [MORE]

‘Mynd’ - Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin - magic and mystery are not far away August 27, 2013
As the book said: “The curtain shook and moved aside. I looked and found myself somewhere I did not know but magic and mystery were all around... [MORE]

‘My Sun’ from Mona Andersen and Maria Knudsen - charismatic music August 22, 2013
This week it’s obviously my turn to review the albums and bands that defy classification, and ‘My Sun’ from Mona Andersen and Mari... [MORE]

‘Sing An Honest Song’ from Gawkey - fine English folk August 22, 2013
Whenever I read that a debut album was recorded ‘in a few days’ my quality radar goes onto high-gain. Perhaps it shouldn’t but it ... [MORE]

‘Surf The River Lee’ by Txütxükan - a whirling carousel of sounds August 21, 2013
I’ve just stumbled across an intriguing French folk (ish) band called Txütxükan (pronounced 'TshooTshooKan' – it means ‘... [MORE]

Self-titled debut from Fabian Holland - classy finger picking, edgy charismatic vocals August 17, 2013
Some first albums fall into the ‘not bad, likely to improve’ category, others sparkle from the first, and with some you have to check th... [MORE]

‘Timing is Everything’ – debut album from Siobhán Smith, fusing eternal lines of tradition August 17, 2013
When I heard the opening track of ‘Timing is Everything’ my first impression was of more than a touch of Americana, later to realis... [MORE]

‘Hidden Seam’ by Lisa Knapp - something rare and wraithlike August 15, 2013
There’s a fey quality to Lisa Knapp’s music echoing other worlds and other times. It hints at spectral places that you dare only dream a... [MORE]

‘To Each and Everyone – the songs of Gerry Rafferty’ from Barbara Dickson August 15, 2013
There’s no doubting the compelling presence and prodigious talent of Barbara Dickson – renowned recording artist, wide-ranging theatre a... [MORE]

‘New Everything’ from Brooks Williams - high-grade soulful Americana August 14, 2013
Some singer-songwriters can seize an audience and hold them, through live performance or through their recordings. When it comes to expressing that ... [MORE]

‘One More Time Around’ from Scott Cook – songs of meaning August 12, 2013
‘One More Time Around’ is a meditative album from Alberta-based singer-songwriter Scott Cook – and it’s an album that stands... [MORE]

‘Roadtrip Confessions’ from Buffalo Tales - country-spiced folk music August 12, 2013
There’s something eternally engaging about hard-hitting songs that pull no punches and vocals that sound as though they could dish out a few. ... [MORE]

‘Twelve Strings to the Beau’ from Beau – ‘after all these years’ August 08, 2013
There is a sense of privelidge in listening to this album. It’s a bit like discovering treasure in a long-sealed tomb or opening the secrets o... [MORE]

‘New World’ Tom Mitchell’s debut album - fulfilling the promise August 07, 2013
It’s an oft-repeated question: “Fine for an EP but does the music have enough guts to deliver an album?” No question with this art... [MORE]

‘Travel in the Shadows’ from Noctambule - sparkling innovation and poetic expression August 06, 2013
When you first hear some albums you find an unlooked-for and exquisite experience. Noctambule are San Francisco folk musicians Marla Fibish and Bruc... [MORE]

‘Highway Signs and Highway Lines’ from Thomas Johnston - gentle, poignant, reflective folk August 02, 2013
I’ve just spent time listening to an album of gentle, poignant, reflective folk from Thomas Johnston called ‘Highway Signs and Highway L... [MORE]

‘Reclaimed’ from Adrian Roye and the Exiles – liquid music on the mellow side July 29, 2013
This year there’s one album you really should hear, it’s called ‘Reclaimed’ from Adrian Roye and the Exiles. They describe t... [MORE]

‘Ferocious Dog’ ­ - straight from the heart and not for the faint hearted July 29, 2013
Folk punk says it all. Consider the band’s name’, Ferocious Dog leaves little room for doubt. Then again, there’s a lot to be said... [MORE]

‘Notes After Dark’ from Full Set - vitality, skill and passion July 25, 2013
Perhaps it’s my ancestors calling to me or maybe it’s just an inherent love of Irish music, whatever the catalyst, every time I hear mus... [MORE]

'Over the Edge' - new album from the Carrivick Sisters July 25, 2013
One of the perks of this job is you get to hear good music ahead of everyone else. Then you can spend however long before the release date telling a... [MORE]

'Caldera' by Raina Rose - something intangible yet accessible July 23, 2013
There’s undeniable warmth, relaxed understanding and something rather special that mixes poetic lyrics and gentle melodies – that’... [MORE]

‘Drawn by the Flood’ by Jonathan Torgrimsen - a ‘close encounter’ we can relate to July 18, 2013
There we go, faith in the world restored, there is still a place for guitar-driven Americana, clean and unadulterated, especially when the music eng... [MORE]

‘Winter’s End’ from Oxfordshire-based alternative, dark-folk band Samuel Zasada July 18, 2013
Have you heard the ‘Winter’s End’ EP from Oxfordshire-based alternative, dark-folk band Samuel Zasada? Not sure? Then you haven&rs... [MORE]

‘Never too late to come home’ latest album from Brendan Monaghan July 17, 2013
Brendan Monaghan possesses the classic lyrical quintessence and melodic appreciation of an Irish singer-songwriter. Perhaps less known that a song... [MORE]

‘Soolo’ by Estonian violinist and singer Maarja Nuut - delicate simplicity July 16, 2013
The delicate simplicity of ‘Soolo’ by Estonian violinist and singer Maarja Nuut evokes primeval peace, mystical folklore and an elementa... [MORE]

‘The Crocodile’ by Mathew Gray - somewhat quirky and discerningly different July 16, 2013
According to the publicity blurb the crocodile is the earth’s largest living reptile, largely unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs, supre... [MORE]

‘Sounds of Day and Night’ - the most accessible and ‘complete’ Dodson and Fogg work to date July 12, 2013
Just finished listening to ‘Sounds of Day and Night’, the third progressive-acid-pysch-space-folk-rock offering (you choose the word com... [MORE]

‘Portraits’ by Niamh Dunne delivers all you would expect and more July 12, 2013
A solo album by Niamh Dunne, lead singer with Beoga and daughter of piper Mickey Dunne, would always attract attention. Her debut ‘Portraits&r... [MORE]

‘Shamrock City’ from Solas - powerful musicianship and expressive narratives July 11, 2013
The history of Ireland and its people breeds tales of emigration to escape injustice, famine and oppression. These are stories of people forced from... [MORE]

‘Breathe’ - The Red Hot Chilli Pipers - a fusion that defies classification July 10, 2013
Who would consider an amalgamation of scything synths, air-cleaving guitars, power-bass lines, blazing brass, shattering drums and percussion overla... [MORE]

‘GWYLLT’ - engaging melodies, soft harmonies and lyrical Welsh language July 08, 2013
Gwyllt are a Cardiff-based band and ‘GWYLLT’ is their first release … and it’s in the Welsh language (Gwyllt means ‘w... [MORE]

‘A Short Stay in Longevity’ from Simon Beavis - theatre for your ears July 08, 2013
Listening to ‘A Short Stay in Longevity’ from Simon Beavis is listening to theatre for your ears … images, characters and scenes ... [MORE]

‘Oldies and Old Time’ from Ivan Rosenberg mixes just the right the ingredients July 07, 2013
Ivan Rosenberg holds an honoured place among the legions of bluegrass, folk, and old time Dobro and banjo players. His touch and empathy with tradit... [MORE]

‘Six Songs’ a memorable EP from Andi Butler July 04, 2013
Styles in folk come and go - innovation and experimentation vie with tradition, the scope of instrumentation constantly expands - but the primal qui... [MORE]

‘A Travelling Band’ from Batleurs - tight-as-teeth, mellow as distilled spirit July 03, 2013
Music always falls where it may - from neither loved nor hated, never to set the world alight; through so dire you have to vacate the room; to music... [MORE]

James Duncan Mackenzie - self-titled solo album from inspirational piper and composer July 03, 2013
There is something compulsively haunting, mysterious and passionate about the skirl of the pipes – even to an Englishman’s ears. Rarely ... [MORE]

‘Squall’ - debut solo album from Adam Sutherland July 03, 2013
Mention the name Adam Sutherland and many people and they will think of the fiddle player with such stalwarts of innovative Scottish folk as Peatbog... [MORE]

‘Under the Sky’ from Lazibyrd - perceptive, carefully crafted observations July 01, 2013
The combination of Sharon Martin (songwriter, vocals, violin, ukulele, viola) and Tom Chapman (vocals, guitar) makes Lazibyrd, it also makes for obs... [MORE]

‘Fists of Violets’ from Sarah Alden - a musical travelogue around her art June 28, 2013
There it is, the impossible has been achieved – someone has taken the energy of New York City, added tradition-soaked Appalachian mountain mus... [MORE]

‘If Only I Could Fly’ by Emerald Rae - an inimitable performance June 28, 2013
‘If Only I Could Fly’ is an enticing blend of vibrant Americana and ancient Celtic inspiration that brews up an infusion of innovation i... [MORE]

‘Just Rivers’ – debut album from Beams - rich harmonies and engaging melodies June 28, 2013
‘Just Rivers’ is the debut album from Toronto-based band Beams – and aside from the rich harmonies and engaging melodies on offe... [MORE]

‘Silver Threads’ - delicious debut album by Yvonne Bolton and Alan Jordan June 24, 2013
Yvonne Bolton (concertina, fiddle) and Alan Jordan (guitar, vocals, low F whistle, electric bass) have with their delicious debut album ‘Silve... [MORE]

‘Gold or Dust’ - something rich and magical from Cocos Lovers June 24, 2013
A steadily developing vein of commonly-called alt-folk diffuses through British folk music. I’m not one for ring-fencing definitions but as al... [MORE]

‘Aztec Jazz’ from Tom Russell - recorded live - destined to become a classic June 20, 2013
There are album titles that convey exactly what you get, others mislead often deliberately, while some leave you wondering. The latest album ‘... [MORE]

‘Single Flame’ by Lucy Ward - folk of its time forged from its heritage June 20, 2013
With ‘Single Flame’ Lucy Ward, another of Derby’s singing daughters (and you can hear that in her voice) allows her brand of fol... [MORE]

‘Morchella’ - new EP by Hannalee - finely tuned harmonie June 14, 2013
Something just grabbed me and dragged me back into the embrace of late sixties ethereal West-Coast folk. This tumble back to my youth was engendered... [MORE]

‘Come Home To Me’ by The Gloria Darlings - richness of history and impulse of revolution June 14, 2013
The Gloria Darlings are Pandi and Milly (aka Melissa Jane Pandiani and Amelia Boksenbaum) an enchanting folk-grass duo from Seattle, and listening... [MORE]

‘Warboats’ from Dark for Dark - innovative, haunting multi-layered vocals June 13, 2013
The somewhat enigmatically named Dark for Dark are Rebecca Zolkower, Melanie Stone and Jess Lewis and should innovative, haunting multi-layered vo... [MORE]

‘Northern Soul’ from John and Sheila Ludgate - an essentially tranquil experience June 12, 2013
Listening to ‘Northern Soul’ from John and Sheila Ludgate is an essentially tranquil experience that combines folk and rock in equal mea... [MORE]

‘Night Time Rallies’ from The Day of the Rabblement - an idiosyncratic mix June 11, 2013
Aside from being an essay by Irish novelist and poet James Joyce, The Day of the Rabblement is a six-piece indie-folk band that plays what you may s... [MORE]

Chris Ricketts - latest album ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ June 07, 2013
Now here’s a man that’s clearly in the process of a poetic sea change. With a powerful reputation as one of this country’s foremos... [MORE]

‘Cartography’ from Threepenny Bit - hot and sweaty strides to gentle and languid steps June 06, 2013
However you decide to pronounce their name – Thrupenny or Three Penny the new album ‘Cartography’ from Threepenny Bit is a joyous,... [MORE]

'Late Riser' - The Abramson Singers June 03, 2013
There’s a new album from Canadian singer-songwriter Leah Abramson and her band The Abramson Singers, it’s called ‘Late Riser&rsquo... [MORE]

‘A Chattering of Birds’ from Paul Mosley - builds in poise each time you listen May 29, 2013
There’s something supremely calming about ‘A Chattering of Birds’ from Paul Mosley - perhaps it’s the chilled vocals, the ge... [MORE]

‘Not The Last Act’ The Bara Bara Band May 29, 2013
On their EP ‘Not The Last Act’ The Bara Bara Band deliver an eclectic mix, meandering through the  convoluted paths of alternative ... [MORE]

‘Masters Of Their Craft’ - compilation album from Various Artists May 26, 2013
‘Masters Of Their Craft’ pretty much sums up what you get with this compilation album from Various Artists on the Tara Music label. It&r... [MORE]

The Longest Johns - debut album ‘Bones in the Ocean’ May 26, 2013
The shanty is a staple of English folk tradition and has been for hundreds of years. Currently, shanty singing is undergoing something of a resurgen... [MORE]

‘A Place To Be’ from Linda Scanlon May 25, 2013
I’ve been entranced by a new release from another of those wandering Irish souls, Linda Scanlon - a native of County Wicklow, Ireland and now ... [MORE]

‘For The Many’ from Wingin' It - startlingly original, crisp and vibrant May 25, 2013
There’s always a slight feeling of trepidation when I receive press releases for ‘guitar duo’ albums - often average, sometimes go... [MORE]

‘Ontario’ from Express and Company - precise blend, chock-full of earthy richness May 22, 2013
Recently, we’ve received an increasing number of albums from Canada, and the latest offering, the album ‘Ontario’ from Express and... [MORE]

'Bare Foot Folk' - collection of English folk in classic style from Ange Hardy May 20, 2013
'Bare Foot Folk' is quite simply a delightful collection of English folk in classic style from Ange Hardy. The melodies are unadulterated, the guita... [MORE]

‘Wake The Union’ from acoustic-duo (latterly trio) Show of Hands May 19, 2013
A resident of this planet for over 60 years I’ve learnt some lessons - there are constants beyond an ancient cliché about bread, butter... [MORE]

Battles’ from Funke and the Two Tone Baby May 19, 2013
It’s a perpetual truth – I’m a sucker for new and different; often I hear the former, more infrequently the latter, sometimes they... [MORE]

‘Fire and Fortune’ - Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker May 16, 2013
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker release a new album in July, called ‘Fire and Fortune’ it is a true folk jewel – a gathering of fin... [MORE]

‘Museum of Appalachia Recordings’ - Diana Jones May 14, 2013
As a long-time fan of Diana Jones, for me her new album ‘Museum of Appalachia Recordings’ – appropriately recorded at the Museum o... [MORE]

'Wits End' from Ahab - feel good music May 11, 2013
I can’t help it, no matter how hard I try, whenever I listen to Ahab a miniscule echo of early CSNY wanders into the frame. The latest Ahab al... [MORE]

'Find Follow' debut EP from Winter Mountain May 11, 2013
There’s always feelings of both love and hate engendered by EPs. When there’s enough, there’s enough. Then again, when an EP leave... [MORE]

'Yes Please' from The Bills - roots tradition with a soupcon of something different May 10, 2013
Ordinarily, I'm no fan of reviews packed out with ‘sounds-like’ references but I have to use a few here – this band delivers a cro... [MORE]

‘Seeing Things’ the new album from Kevin Doherty May 09, 2013
I have just listened to one panacea for life’s vagaries. There you are struggling with the pressures … and what’s the remedy? Sim... [MORE]

‘Yelling at Me’ - singer-songwriter and storyteller Jim Crawford May 02, 2013
Laid back to the point of horizontal, that’s singer-songwriter and storyteller Jim Crawford, he of the languid vocals and tranquil guitar. The... [MORE]

'Introducing' from The Waggon Tales April 28, 2013
The Wagon Tales appeared on my radar at the tail end of 2011 with their ‘tradition-steeped’ but ‘unafraid-to-venture’ brand ... [MORE]

‘A Yard of Ale’ from Stuart Forester April 26, 2013
Stuart Forester is blessed with a resonant, classic English-folk voice ... he can also write, play and sing touching, searching and pointedly percep... [MORE]

‘Goodnight Moonshine’ from Molly Venter and Eben Pariser April 25, 2013
Some albums catch your ear, some steadily bring you around, others allure you from the first instant - like love at first sight - listen once to &ls... [MORE]

‘Distant Empires’ the new album from Derrin Nauendorf April 25, 2013
April is struggling to escape the grip of winter, yet already May is in mind - that’s because 28th May 2013 is the release date for ‘Dis... [MORE]

VAMM - Patsy Reid, Catriona Macdonald and Marit Fält - rich with beauty April 22, 2013
There’s something to be said about ‘the whole being greater than the sum of the parts’ well when applied to this band the whole ha... [MORE]

The latest Jed Grimes solo output ‘Heart & Hand’ - destined to become a folk essential April 18, 2013
Sounds, like smells, return you to places and restore forgotten images. When I listen to Jed Grimes’s rich and sonorous voice it always conjur... [MORE]

‘Early for a Thursday’ from Jaywalkers April 16, 2013
Whether or not white men can sing the blues – there’s a band in England’s ‘green and pleasant’ that plays bluegrass-ti... [MORE]

‘Watch Over Me’ the debut EP from Hanne Jøstensen April 16, 2013
The ‘shock of the new’ is not confined to the development of modern art it also describes the sensation when a previously unheard-of-art... [MORE]

‘Scorpion Moon’ from Sora - inexorable passion and ‘siren-song’ temptation April 14, 2013
I first heard Sora’s dazzling voice back in 2009 on the album Heartwood – and thought it would be hard for her to outshine that album fo... [MORE]

‘The Cleggan Bay Disaster’ fron Fleadh April 10, 2013
Working with the endearing Irish folk tradition, blending original arrangements and compositions, Fleadh are in many ways an archetypal Irish folk b... [MORE]

‘Frugal Puritan’ released by Folk Police Recordings ... or maybe not April 10, 2013
There was a period when time meant nothing. Days with clouds in our heads. Bodies somewhere else. Today, that quasi-paranoid, sixties life-slice is ... [MORE]

‘When Will You Come Home?’ from The Webb Sisters - sanctuary and serenity April 08, 2013
The voices of Charley and Hattie Webb are eye wateringly beautiful. With their latest EP, ‘When Will You Come Home?’ recorded in a break... [MORE]

‘Bright Mainland’ by Jenny Ritter - more than meets the eye April 08, 2013
There’s a certain frailty to Jenny Ritter's vocals that once absorbed makes them all the more appealing. Add to that some well-crafted lyrics,... [MORE]

‘Celtic Fragments' from Whisky Trail - a rare and beautiful reward April 06, 2013
The faithful beauty of this album is in the way the band arranges its fragments – amalgamating elements from the past with contemporary interp... [MORE]

‘The Same Way Down’, the new album from Annalivia April 03, 2013
Listening to ‘The Same Way Down’, the new album from Annalivia places your soul somewhere between luxuriating in a lyrically soothing ba... [MORE]

‘Cycles of Life’ - shared experiences from Amy Duncan April 02, 2013
When Amy Duncan sings there’s a feeling that her emotionally charged songs are a reflection of a life-lived. There’s a level of experien... [MORE]

‘Real World’ from acoustic duo Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby March 30, 2013
Take your time with this and it will return you to places you hoped you would never leave and bring back memories you thought gone forever. ‘R... [MORE]

‘To Build A Fire’, Cam Penner March 30, 2013
Hearing this album takes you wherever your imagination will roam - Captain Beefheart experimenting with folk, David Crosby unleashed, Woody Guthrie ... [MORE]

‘Every Lesson in its Turn’ from Red Bird Sk March 29, 2013
The ephemeral distinctions between Celtic folk and folk Americana flow, blend and coalesce within the freshness of ‘Every Lesson in its Turn&r... [MORE]

‘Warning Bells’ from Hannah Sanders March 29, 2013
This is simply lovely, no debate, no argument. ‘Warning Bells’ from Hannah Sanders is a carefully crafted compilation of songs that incl... [MORE]

‘Alcatraz’ from Franc Cinelli - inspired by Alcatraz legends March 29, 2013
Listen to the EP ‘Alcatraz’ from Franc Cinelli and before long before you’re right there – sucked into the wave of emotions ... [MORE]

‘Tether & Twine’ - makes clear what Common Tongues has to offer March 28, 2013
Common Tongues is five-piece that combines slices of hook-laden, melodic, attractive lyricism delivered across attention-grabbing vocals to produce ... [MORE]

Re-release of ‘Sean-Nós Nua’ from Sinéad O'Connor March 26, 2013
There’s something endearingly wonderful about dusting down well-loved treasures, scurrying away the residue of familiarity and bringing their ... [MORE]

‘World of Possibility’ from Arlon Bennett March 25, 2013
These personal, perceptive and eloquent songs will put a smile on your face. There’s feel-good factor in the lyrics and infectious melodies th... [MORE]

'Glad Gold Hearts' from The Rheingans Sisters March 21, 2013
Thanks to the almost magical interaction between two exemplary exponents of their art 'Glad Gold Hearts' from The Rheingans Sisters adds a piece of ... [MORE]

‘Distant Lights’ from The Pine Hearts - this music is good for your health March 21, 2013
The Pine Hearts drive out original breakneck American bluegrass influenced, rock-tinged folk that should come with a health warning: ‘Warning:... [MORE]

‘Broken Conversations’ from The Hard Ground - folk, rock and a bluesy edge March 20, 2013
The album ‘Broken Conversations’ from The Hard Ground exudes a mix of images that makes you want to share the experiences because you kn... [MORE]

‘Derring Do’ by Chris Wade’s folk project Dodson and Fogg March 19, 2013
Here's another 'folk' album to prompt contention. Not sure if acid-folk is the right description; try space-folk, psych-folk or perhaps progressive-... [MORE]

‘Riddles & Rhymes’ from Pepper Proud – original American folk March 18, 2013
Listening to ‘Riddles & Rhymes’ from Pepper Proud is engaging with a collection of encounters and experiences – aching simple ... [MORE]

‘With Fire In Mind’ - second album from Dan Wilde March 18, 2013
There are songwriters that master melody, some write poetic lyrics, others deliver devastating vocals. Dan Wilde comes pretty damn close on all thre... [MORE]

‘Those Precious Things’ from singer-songwriter Arthur Wilson March 16, 2013
It’s tough for ‘unknown’ singer-songwriters to offer up their work for review. Often, they've no benchmark apart from the support ... [MORE]

The John Langan Band and ‘Bones of Contention’. March 14, 2013
When the line drawing on the cover is three naked musicians with their instruments, followed by more illustrations of the naked trio spread across t... [MORE]

‘The Bone Orchard’ from Gavin Davenport - destined to rank among seminal English folk albums March 14, 2013
The English folk tradition remains safe in many hands. With ‘The Bone Orchard’, his second solo album, Gavin Davenport proves that he is... [MORE]

‘My Dearest Dear’ from Lumiere March 13, 2013
There comes that moment when you hear voices that transcend whatever occupies your mind as they wash away the present and beckon you into the tales ... [MORE]

‘Long Gone Out West Blues’ - the new album from Pharis and Jason Romero March 12, 2013
Here’s another slice of exceptional, top-draw American ‘traditional’ folk - ‘Long Gone Out West Blues’ - the new album... [MORE]

‘Tender Is The Night’ from Canadian singer-songwriter and banjo player, Chris Luedecke March 12, 2013
‘Tender Is The Night’is the new album from Old Man Luedecke, the recording name of Canadian singer-songwriter and banjo player, Chris Lu... [MORE]

Fairport Convention at Union Chapel March 11, 2013
A special night within the stunningly awesome Victorian Gothic interior of Islington’s unique Union Chapel – Saturday 9th March 2013 Fai... [MORE]

‘Dance Through The Storm’, the second studio album from All Things Considered March 09, 2013
There’s a warm feeling of familiarity to ‘Dance Through The Storm’, the second studio album from All Things Considered. That in no... [MORE]

‘Little Letters’ - an intense narrative-driven album from the duo Paper Aeroplanes March 09, 2013
Here we go I can hear it now: ‘That’s not strictly folk music!’ Yes well, each to their own and that includes choices and definiti... [MORE]

'Winterman' from Broom Bezzums March 07, 2013
'Blissful' is the first word that comes to mind when reviewing anything by Andrew Cadie (vocals, fiddle, guitar, Northumbrian pipes, percussion and ... [MORE]

‘Box of Frogs’ from Tony Morris - part theatre, part aural illusion, part intense drama March 06, 2013
Tony Morris describes himself as ‘more of a folk performer than a folk singer’ - his latest ‘folk’ album ‘Box of Frogs... [MORE]

‘Behind the Door’ from acoustic duo Stonecraft March 04, 2013
Slightly ethereal, threadlike folk whispering engaging tales through gentle vocals and inspired scintillating strings - that’s the new album &... [MORE]

The Chair and ‘The Road To Hammer Junkie’ March 04, 2013
I know this great joke about a chair…but I couldn’t possibly tell it here so instead I’ll tell this great story about a band full... [MORE]

‘Bridge The Roads’ from Franka De Mille - anthology of imaginative songs March 01, 2013
Franka De Mille’s voice exudes expression. Its essence floods through the stories told in her self-penned songs. Its dramatic quality augments... [MORE]

‘Toras Dans’ by Djonne & Borsheim February 27, 2013
Well, what do you know an album of which I can’t understand a word lyrically…or, more importantly need to – that’s ‘T... [MORE]

‘Transformed’ by Celtic band Goitse February 26, 2013
‘Feel’ is an apt word to use when describing the Celtic band Goitse. From the opening track ‘Dowd’s No. 10’ featuring ... [MORE]

‘My Friend Hafiz’ from The Levins - musical tales and beautifully fused, engaging harmonies February 25, 2013
My ears hear a ghostly memory of ‘White Bird’ by The Incredible String Band or perhaps a faint resonance of ‘The End’ by The... [MORE]

‘Swarbtricks' - from Duncan Wood - a labour of love February 22, 2013
Any CD that features the name Swarbrick in the title is bound to get the saliva juices flowing, particularly if you’re a fiddle or mandolin pl... [MORE]

Where Once Were Roads’ from Sugardrum (aka Nigel Bunner) February 21, 2013
Just recently it seems I’ve reviewed an increasing number of singer/songwriter albums and sometimes no matter how hard you try, it can be diff... [MORE]

‘An Tra`’ - - Marie Fielding, Tom Orr and Donogh Hennessy February 20, 2013
There’s a promise here that instantly fulfils - ‘An Tra`’ - a project and an album reflecting a unique alliance between the fiddle... [MORE]

‘As I Roved Out: Songs of Spring’ - Hanz Araki & Kathryn Claire February 13, 2013
Having listened to previous albums from Hanz Araki & Kathryn Claire, those superb exponents of Irish-inspired folk from across the Atlantic, the... [MORE]

‘The Way Home’ from Dan Aston February 12, 2013
Dan Aston hails from Cornwall, teaches guitar and writes songs. This may cause you to respond with ‘so what’ – well I’ll let... [MORE]

James Scott Fant - 'Pig Iron: The Blue Room Sessions I’ February 12, 2013
The instant James Scott Fant kicks off 'Pig Iron: The Blue Room Sessions I’ you’re immediately inside the humanity his songs describe &n... [MORE]

‘Lullabies’ from Jackie Oates February 12, 2013
Covertly perhaps the ‘folk music’ world has taken out shares in Mothercare but then again, maybe it’s just had a case of the &lsqu... [MORE]

‘All The Good Friends’ the second album from Red Shoes February 08, 2013
Watch, or more precisely, hear a band go from ‘developing a following’ to taking time-out (for family life) then from the vestiges enkin... [MORE]

‘Time On My Own’ from Broker Johnathan February 07, 2013
Relationship-inspired songs range from joyous to maudlin, angry to sympathetic ... the problem is the rest of the world often doesn’t give a d... [MORE]

‘Ruthless Thing' by Tom Mitchell February 06, 2013
There’s an confident freshness to Tom Mitchell’s music that I find engaging and the EP ‘Ruthless Thing’ proves the point. Su... [MORE]

‘One Eye Open One Eye Closed’ from Jimmy Livingstone - images, encounters, intimates and places February 06, 2013
Yearning to experience the American Dream? Fascinated by the enticement of ‘road movies’? Entranced by a sunrise over the promise of a n... [MORE]

‘Storymap’ from Eamonn Coyne & Kris Drever February 04, 2013
Eamonn Coyne & Kris Drever are in no rush to go anywhere fast with ‘Storymap’ at least if you accept the speed of the first set of t... [MORE]

‘The Clarke’s Tale - A journey from London to Canterbury’ from Martin Clarke February 04, 2013
OK so you choose to take a long (very long) walk to follow the ancient line of pilgrim footsteps from London to Canterbury – and then decide t... [MORE]

30th Anniversary Celebration: The Best Of Live’ from Brass Monkey January 30, 2013
I just knew from the moment the little silver disk(s) arrived on my doormat that here indeed was folk celebrity worth celebrating. The glorious nois... [MORE]

‘Broken Down Gentlemen’ from the trio Faustus January 29, 2013
Ah yes, Faustus – the collaboration between Saul Rose, Benji Kirkpatrick and Paul Sartin – a trio of English folk luminaries that has pr... [MORE]

‘Scarecrow’ from David Hope - draws a line in the sand and dares you to cross January 28, 2013
First notice the voice – the kind generated through hours singing through the early hours in smoke-filled whisky bars; a Jack Daniels, oak-age... [MORE]

‘Boat and I’ from Heg & The Wolf Chorus - choralesque, medieval-tinged vocals January 27, 2013
Have you heard of Heg & The Wolf Chorus? If not, you’re going to, trust me. And if you want a quick taster of their brand of drama-filled,... [MORE]

‘Electric’ from Richard Thompson - a feast for Thompson fans January 26, 2013
There isn’t much that hasn’t been written about Richard Thompson and not much that hasn’t been done or won ... listed in the Rolli... [MORE]

Dubl Handi - Brian Geltner and Hilary Hawke - ‘Up Like The Clouds’ January 25, 2013
So this album arrives from a duo called Dubl Handi – a name to get your attention for a start. As old  (and some not so old) guys know, t... [MORE]

‘Shameless Winter’ from Daisy Chapman - intensely personal stories January 24, 2013
Sometimes a voice not only reaches deep into your being that voice also produces intricately woven songs with multifaceted wandering narratives and ... [MORE]

Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band with ‘White Swan’ January 23, 2013
I’ve said it before, ‘new is easy different is hard’ – many artists achieve the former, some the latter, few manage both. We... [MORE]

‘Beauty In Chaos’ from Fay & Latta – ‘sensuous vocals and absorbing lyrics’ January 18, 2013
There’s an emotive voice (belonging to Anneka Latta) and memorable melodies at the heart of the duo Fay & Latta, which on their album &lsq... [MORE]

‘Angels Without Wings’ from Heidi Talbot - carving out a path straight to your heart January 16, 2013
 Heidi Talbot released ‘Angels Without Wings’ an album of original compositions featuring  contributions from some outstanding... [MORE]

‘Under the Borrowed Moon’ from The Mascot Theory – whipping up a storm January 15, 2013
‘Under The Borrowed Moon’ from The Mascot Theory offers a full-fat, high-energy dose of Americana-tinged, folk-country rock with lyrics ... [MORE]

‘Sonomama’ from Lucy Anne Sale - hidden depths that steadily emerge January 08, 2013
ry to put a defining line around this music or confine it within a specific genre box and that would be nothing short of an exercise in futility. It... [MORE]

Flight’ from Trout Steak Revival - thoroughly listenable January 07, 2013
Americana, Mid-West mountain-music, folk-based country, rocky-grass ... or any other combination of acoustic roots music definitions you want to fli... [MORE]

‘The Wrong Way’ and ‘Can A Poor Man Get A Fair Trial’ two albums from Kyp Harness January 06, 2013
To be fair I’m late writing this review but the tail end of 2012 vanished in flights and festivities. So here we are back in the UK in 2013 an... [MORE]

‘Musicke and Tunes’, a collection of early music and traditional Irish tunes from Sean Siegfried December 22, 2012
Don’t you just love it when an artist follows up a good album with something even better? I certainly do, especially when I’ve been bang... [MORE]

Bob Haughian’s new album ‘Home’ expansive Celtic-influenced country-folk-rock fusion December 13, 2012
There used to be a game based on finding out what people did for a living, called something like: ‘What do you do?’ Well, with Bob Haugh... [MORE]

'North' from Mary Dillon - ‘unadulterated purity’ December 12, 2012
There’s a genuine enchantment and precious quality to Mary Dillon’s voice that more than a decade away from performing has not diminishe... [MORE]

'Kings' from singer songwriter Sukh December 11, 2012
I suppose it depends on how wide you cast the ‘folk net’ and how coarse its thread as to what you find inside it. Well, whether you take... [MORE]

‘A Christmas Caper: The Best Of…’ from Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band. December 10, 2012
The main reason I enjoy Christmas isn’t so much for the presents or supposed ‘festive’ cheer (bah, humbug!) but to hear the carols... [MORE]

‘the olllam’ from John McSherry, Tyler Duncan and Michael Shimmin December 04, 2012
Take natives from Belfast and Detroit, cross the influences, talents and styles, add a dream and you have ‘the olllam’ from John McSherr... [MORE]

‘Tributaries’ from Tom Rennie - just magical December 04, 2012
With the album ‘Tributaries’, musician Tom Rennie delivers a gorgeously majestic selection of Scottish music played on guitar, viol... [MORE]

‘As If’ - EP from Norris-Brown December 03, 2012
Some voices just strike you - when you first hear them you’re captured by their charisma. And the late Ingrid Brown had one of those voices - ... [MORE]

‘Historic Events And Other Subjects’ - Ken Nicol November 30, 2012
For those that thought Ken Nicol was just the (ex) guitarist with Steeleye Span, think again. On his  latest solo recording ‘Historic Eve... [MORE]

‘Mala Fama’ from Summers : Silvola : Kvam - a collection of pure five-star tunes November 27, 2012
Before I heard a single note I knew this would be a treat. ‘Mala Fama’ from Summers : Silvola : Kvam is a new album based around the spe... [MORE]

’50 Years’ from The Dubliners November 26, 2012
Throughout my learning curve on the ‘folk’ scene one of the constants has been Irish band The Dubliners. Now into their 50th year and no... [MORE]

‘Open The Door For Three’ from Realta November 25, 2012
Now here’s a trio not in any rush to show how fast or flashy they can play. No, by taking things at a leisurely pace on ‘Open The Door F... [MORE]

‘Wintersong’ from One Star Awake - shadowy folk tales from an evocative voice November 23, 2012
Just listened to an EP called ‘Wintersong’ from One Star Awake - if you’re a fan of gloomy, shadowy folk tales delvievered by a vo... [MORE]

‘A Winter Solstice Celebration’ by Hanz Araki and Kathryn Claire November 22, 2012
The timing is perfect. Forget the rampant commercialism. Concentrate on the tradition. And if Celtic winter traditions are your delight then ‘... [MORE]

‘Faileasan’ by Joy Dunlop November 21, 2012
Before I get cracking on this review of ‘Faileasan’ by Joy Dunlop, I’d like to point out that I don’t understand a word of G... [MORE]

'Excalibur' from Alan Simon - a musical vision November 19, 2012
At the time of writing this review the BBC TV series ‘Merlin’ is riding high in the UK viewing charts and will also go some way in expla... [MORE]

‘I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today’ by Davy Cartwright - blend of folk-pop and rock November 16, 2012
Describing himself in rather self-deprecating terms as "I'm not really a folk singer, just an old hippy who writes his own songs" undersells the mus... [MORE]

Grandma’s Rules for Drinking’ from Annie Lou - blending old-time folk with individuality and originality November 14, 2012
Music evokes emotions, stories, people and places - that much is true. Often the strength of that feeling depends on where you hear the songs and wh... [MORE]

‘Money Isn’t Everything’ from Rob Heron and The Teapad Orchestra November 14, 2012
New Orleans-influenced style, overlaid with a toe-tapping groove, some Eastern vigour, a touch of scat vocals, rampant eclecticism and more than a l... [MORE]

'Let Every Tongue' from John Carroll November 10, 2012
There’s always a trace of the inveterate wanderer in the Irish sprit and John Carroll from Limerick (no relation), is no exception. Now living... [MORE]

‘Giving Voice: Guitar Explorations’ from ‘free raga style’ guitar player Rich Osborn November 09, 2012
The truly wonderful aspect of this occupation is from time to time something uniquely wonderful drops through the letterbox and I find myself intrig... [MORE]

‘Shade Of The Shadows’ from Tinlin November 08, 2012
Reminiscent of the days when rhythm mandolin was king within the ranks of Lindisfarne (performed by Ray Jackson) Tinlin utilise the double-strung co... [MORE]

‘Mancunia’ from Ducie November 05, 2012
Opening with a splendidly crisp ‘Dr Gilberts’ which I haven’t heard since the days of Five Hand Reel, the quartet of Andy Dinan (f... [MORE]

‘Race The Loser’ from Lau - innovative, unpredictable yet traditionally rooted October 31, 2012
Some bands come with a pedigree as long as your arm – both as individuals and collectively - and folk trio Lau has a pedigree to envy. There&r... [MORE]

‘Dig Where You Stand’ the debut album from Cornishman Richard Trethewey October 31, 2012
From the first song, an inviting, burnished voice takes your attention and as you delve further into ‘Dig Where You Stand’ the debut alb... [MORE]

‘To The Horizon, Sir’ from Iain Morrison is an album of soft seduction October 30, 2012
From its instantly engaging breathy vocals to its hauntingly attractive melodies ‘To The Horizon, Sir’ from Iain Morrison is an album of... [MORE]

Jason Haywood - ‘A Thousand Miles Since Yesterday’ - genuine, from-the-heart, deep-seated storytelling October 29, 2012
Within moments of listening to Jason Haywood’s album ‘A Thousand Miles Since Yesterday’ you know that you’ve tuned into some... [MORE]

‘Good Feeling’ from Paul Carrack October 28, 2012
As Foghorn Leghorn might say…”How long, n-n-now, I said, how long has this been going on?” Well, about forty years according to h... [MORE]

‘Devils’ the debut album from Apple of my Eye. October 25, 2012
There’s an elemental vagueness, a faint fragility and odd incongruity coupled with an unsettling uncertainty about ‘Devils’ the de... [MORE]

‘The Quest for Rest’ from Ottersgear - aka multi-instrumentalist Mikey Kenney October 24, 2012
‘The Quest for Rest’ is an original album from Ottersgear - aka multi-instrumentalist Mikey Kenney - who is at pains to point out that O... [MORE]

‘A Toad in the Hand’ from George Stevens -absorbing, intriguing and captivating October 18, 2012
It’s a strange phenomenon but when I first listened to ‘A Toad in the Hand’ from George Stevens a random thought emerged – w... [MORE]

‘Tomorrow Might Be Monday’ from Ewan D. Rodgers October 18, 2012
Yorkshire-born Ewan D. Rodgers is a veteran of the Leeds folk-music scene playing banjo and guitar with bands and solo gigs in and around West Yorks... [MORE]

‘The Traveller’s Journey’ from Kyle Fosburgh October 17, 2012
Anyone that doubts the capacity of a single steel-stringed acoustic guitar to tell myriad stories and convey countless moods should listen to &lsquo... [MORE]

‘Song of Joy’ from Nancy Cassidy, an album of quiet stillness October 16, 2012
During the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent some of my much-valued ‘quiet time’ luxuriating in ‘musical balm for the ears&rs... [MORE]

Riding East’ from Beggar’s Bridge - music that could only originate in England October 12, 2012
Many of England's counties offer an enduring legacy of turning out fine folk bands, and the album ‘Riding East’ from East Riding of York... [MORE]

FolkLaw and their second album ‘The Tales That They Tell’ October 11, 2012
One fact is certain, wherever folk wanders on its ever-changing journey there will always be room for the high-energy passion and singular presence ... [MORE]

‘Seinn’ - -Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy Maclsaac October 09, 2012
There is something enchanting about Cape Breton music, whatever the tempo or message it builds on arguably the most immediately infectious, exquisit... [MORE]

'Upbound' - acoustic duo, Just By Chance October 08, 2012
Many people prefer acoustic music ‘live as it comes’. They want an album to return them to the first time they heard a band. The presenc... [MORE]

'Northumbrian Voices' from Kathryn Tickell October 07, 2012
There can be nobody prouder than a father and raconteur (Mike Tickell) witnessing his daughter entertaining an audience from centre stage and in thi... [MORE]

The Demon Barbers folk/hip hop theatre production ‘The Lock-In’ October 06, 2012
Having witnessed the ‘Celtic’ hit Riverdance on its opening night in London in 1995 and being absolutely blown-away (as was the sold-out... [MORE]

‘Our Lady of the Tall Trees’ from Cahalen Morrison & Eli West October 06, 2012
There’s a measured certainty about some albums, those you know will fall into the ‘outstanding’ category long before you push the ... [MORE]

‘Stocking Fillers’ from Belshazzar’s Feast October 05, 2012
You can always guarantee quality from Paul Sartin (oboe/cor angais/violin and voice) and Paul Hutchinson (accordion) - that's ‘Stocking Filler... [MORE]

‘Haunting’ from Christina Stewart October 04, 2012
Now here’s something of a rarity - a folk concept-style double album - one CD of song, the other of spoken word. ‘Haunting’ from C... [MORE]

Jaime Leopold & The Short Stories October 03, 2012
From the moment this album opened I felt on home ground with Jaime Leopold & The Short Stories. There’s a well-worn, easy-going familiarit... [MORE]

Ma Muse (aka Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker) - ‘Integration of The Awkward’ October 03, 2012
There’s a faint redolence of 60’s psychedelia within the mystical other-worldly folk-ish music of duo Ma Muse (aka Sarah Nutting and Kar... [MORE]

‘Ae Fond Kiss’ from Linda Bandelier and David Campbell - captivating subtleties October 02, 2012
Now, I really like this album but where to place it categorically I’m not sure. It could be classified under ‘storytelling’ with t... [MORE]

'Cold Wind Blowing' from KC Barber September 27, 2012
No doubt about it, K C Barber writes songs that deliver a message. On his album 'Cold Wind Blowing' each one has its own particular presence, an att... [MORE]

‘Wooden Flute & Fiddle’ from Calum Stewart and Lauren MacColl September 25, 2012
Some may be some wary of an album simply titled ‘Wooden Flute & Fiddle’. Is there enough depth and expanse to hold your interest? Th... [MORE]

‘I Love the Noise it Makes’ the first solo vocal album from Irish musician Declan Sinnott September 25, 2012
There’s a reflective warmth that emanates from ‘I Love the Noise it Makes’ the first solo vocal album from Irish musician Declan S... [MORE]

‘Outshine the Sun’ from The Foghorn Stringband September 22, 2012
The Foghorn Stringband play old-time American string-band music - and they play it with all the passion, warmth, bite and fire of an illicit sp... [MORE]

‘Love’s Truck Stop’ by Matraca Berg September 21, 2012
Anytime you want to listen to mournful, thought-provoking songs with more than a little presence and a cartload of emotion locked in every single on... [MORE]

Mary Gauthier treats us to a live album – and ‘Live At Blue Rock’ September 18, 2012
Finally - at last - for the first time Mary Gauthier treats us to a live album – and ‘Live At Blue Rock’ is undiluted, unadulterat... [MORE]

Sandwitch with their latest album ‘Rise Up’ September 18, 2012
There’s an enduring strength in the veins of English folk. It’s a strength that allows innovation and variation to stand alongside tradi... [MORE]

‘Once Upon An Olive Branch’ from Maeve MacKinnon September 17, 2012
Maeve MacKinnon, she of the magical, striking voice, has a new album coming out in October 2012 – called ‘Once Upon An Olive Branch&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Shreds’ from singer-songwriter Ian Reynolds September 12, 2012
It’s not obligatory that musicians suffer for their art, personally or when tuned into wider human suffering – but when they do and thei... [MORE]

Logan Wilson & Martha Paton are The Ukuleles September 10, 2012
Logan Wilson & Martha Paton are The Ukuleles. Perhaps something in the title will give you a hint (and it isn’t the word ‘The’... [MORE]

‘Session A9’ from Session A9 September 10, 2012
‘Session A9’ from Session A9 – originally Charlie McKerron’s album project - presents a significant  slice of folk serv... [MORE]

Tim Graham and Rose Lippard - traditional British songs September 09, 2012
Tim Graham and Rose Lippard have recorded an eponymous EP of traditional British songs and the  highest praise I can give it is it leaves ... [MORE]

Skyewalker - a thing of beauty September 04, 2012
‘Now Luke ...’ (sorry about that…couldn’t resist it), with the title Skyewalker used for their latest CD release you’... [MORE]

‘They May Put Land Between Us’ - Joyce The Librarian September 04, 2012
Joyce The Librarian (great band name) deliver gentle, ethereal, atmospheric music. More accurately, they write innovative, alternative folk-inspired... [MORE]

‘Light In The Darkest Corners’ - Lorraine McCauley and The Borderlands September 02, 2012
From time to time a singer-songwriter comes along that takes a slice of the folk music pie, adds piquancy and creates a distinctly unique flavour of... [MORE]

‘The No Testament’ from Sam Carter - profoundly felt, deep-rooted emotion August 23, 2012
Song writers transfer some part of themselves into their songs, Sam Carter pours in heart and soul, which is why his almost spiritual songs touch th... [MORE]

‘Electric Eden’ by Rob Young - subtitled ‘Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music’ August 23, 2012
here’s a book anyone remotely interested in folk should read - it’s called ‘Electric Eden’ by Rob Young - subtitled ‘U... [MORE]

‘As The Waves Came In’ from guitarist and songwriter Elliott Morris August 22, 2012
A short EP ‘As The Waves Came In’ came my way just recently from Lincolnshire-born guitarist and songwriter Elliott Morris– and if... [MORE]

‘Broadside’ from Bellowhead - pretty much in a class of their own August 21, 2012
So what words does the humble reviewer need to describe this band? There cannot be many fans of broad-spectrum, brass flavoured, jazz-edeged English... [MORE]

‘The End Of The World’ - Harpeth Rising August 20, 2012
Harpeth Rising is another band that has ‘moved on’ from its previous albums with this latest offering, the somewhat apocalyptically titl... [MORE]

'Live' - Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle August 20, 2012
Like your jaw dropping open when you first saw Mo Farah or Usain Bolt at the Olympics you know you are witnessing something special given the combin... [MORE]

‘When Our Grandfathers Said No’ - The Young’uns August 17, 2012
There’s an undeniable freshness and creativity to The Young’uns – yes I know they’re singing traditional songs ‘in the... [MORE]

‘Road Songs for the Restless’ - Christopher Lockett August 17, 2012
‘If you’ve got it flaunt it’. True to that aphorism Christopher Lockett’s voicehas ‘it’ and he displays ‘i... [MORE]

‘Flash Company’ from The Outside Track August 16, 2012
Bands change – that’s a given. Some radically alter their sound, several chop and change the line up, while others evolve and craft thei... [MORE]

‘Thirteen Moons’ from Alycea and The X Isles August 15, 2012
No matter how hard you try, fusing an amalgam of styles and sounds the venture is fraught with the potential for disaster. Every now and then you ge... [MORE]

Karen Tweed and ‘Essentially Invisible To The Eye’ August 13, 2012
I’ve always found it quite difficult to review solely ‘instrumental’ albums as I admit to not being as knowledgeable as I’d ... [MORE]

'Lost and Found' Emily Levy’s expansive yet intimate musical world. August 10, 2012
From the moment you experience the enthralling mysteries of 'Lost and Found' they send you gliding mellifluously into Emily Levy’s expansive y... [MORE]

‘Now Is The Time’, the debut album from Kentish folk-rockers Green Diesel August 05, 2012
There’s an old cliché on judgement concerning ‘books’ and ‘covers’. Much as I try to avoid such opinions, when ... [MORE]

Eponymous album from The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc August 01, 2012
On the face of it an album composed entirely of fiddle music may give some people a slight pause – and it’s undeniably true some will fi... [MORE]

‘The Strength Of The Swell’ by Kimber’s Men July 30, 2012
For those of you that haven’t seen Kimber’s Men do yourselves a favour and rectify this at the earliest opportunity. Otherwise, you coul... [MORE]

‘Based On True Events’ from The Halton Quartet July 30, 2012
‘Based On True Events’ is a nicely structured album in that it reminds me of days gone by when bands such as Nightnoise were recording f... [MORE]

‘The Book of My Days’ from Des Wade July 26, 2012
There’s always a faint edge of longing, coupled with an overriding sense of separation and optimism in music written by Irish exiles – e... [MORE]

‘Florilegium’ from Louise Jordan July 23, 2012
There’s nothing like an obscure Medieval-Latin name to entice interest but ‘Florilegium’ from Louise Jordan lures far beyond its t... [MORE]

'The Queen's Lover' - Greg Russell and Ciaran Agar July 18, 2012
ur admiration and respect should go to Paul Adams at Fellside Recordings for yet another coup. Not only did he manage to promote and nurture a certa... [MORE]

The Emporers of Wyoming - distinctive, low down and dirty Americana July 18, 2012
Music can be delicate and gentle, sometimes powerful and evocative, occasionally inspirational and moving ... and then every so often it’s jus... [MORE]

'Hook' - Mary Macmaster and Donald Hay July 11, 2012
For the uninitiated, a duo using harps and drums, percussion and vocals is not on the face of it a guarantee for success. However the partnership be... [MORE]

‘The Beloved Country’ by singer-songwriter Kevin Brown July 11, 2012
Just listened to ‘The Beloved Country’ by singer-songwriter Kevin Brown and I’m here to tell you it’s a subtle blend of perf... [MORE]

‘Nature Recordings’ by Adam Leonard July 05, 2012
Now here’s a joy and a wonder. ‘Nature Recordings’ by Adam Leonard, originally only issued on vinyl by the London-located label Th... [MORE]

Ever Decreasing Circles’ from Juey July 05, 2012
This is an album of sparkling simplicity intermingling stark beauty – Ever Decreasing Circles’ from Juey. This lady tells an engaging st... [MORE]

‘Hand in Fire’, the debut album by Niall Kelly July 05, 2012
There’s a comfortable, unperturbed feel to this music that smacks of summer evenings, watching the sunset with a bottle and a glass. ‘Ha... [MORE]

In Good Company’ from Bill Evans July 03, 2012
Bill Evans does for the five-string banjo what Van Gogh did for colour ... treats it in a different way and then shares it with you. And his recent ... [MORE]

‘Pa’s Fiddle Primer' July 02, 2012
Although not given to watching much televisions these days, I will confess to spending some of the middle seventies with Little House on the Prairie... [MORE]

‘Josh Billings Voyage’ - Tim Eriksen June 29, 2012
There’s an enticement in Tim Eriksen’s voice – one of the most iconic in folk music – that pulls you into his songs. That wa... [MORE]

'American Hornpipe' June 28, 2012
Whether it was Robin Hood or the 18th century English Prime Minister Robert Walpole that provides the title character for the poem ‘Who Killed... [MORE]

Sonnet Cottage and their debut album ‘Another Time’ June 28, 2012
Two otherworldly voices like reflections in the same mirror, slide delicately over the songs on ‘Another Time’. They create a fragile, s... [MORE]

‘Hidden People’ from Hidden PeopleKathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman June 27, 2012
I’ll avoid references to partners or siblings, and tell you the enigmatically titled, ‘Hidden People’ from Kathryn Roberts and Sea... [MORE]

‘No Fairytale’ from Rosie Eade June 27, 2012
If the debut album ‘No Fairytale’ from Rosie Eade doesn’t find a place in folk rock fame then something is sadly wrong. There is e... [MORE]

Rachel Newton's debut solo album ‘The Shadow Side’ June 22, 2012
The post still generates a sense of expectation, some days it’s just a load of so what - other times the anticipation is rewarded. Today&rsquo... [MORE]

‘Songs From Bed’ by Dharma Arnavah June 22, 2012
“This music will take you out of yourself.” Often said - rarely achieved. Finding music that takes you to another place is, for some rea... [MORE]

‘Paper Flowers’ from Anna MacDonald June 22, 2012
There’s something about ‘Paper Flowers’ from Anna MacDonald that makes this small collection of superbly-delivered songs rather sp... [MORE]

‘Weirdlore’ - from the good people at Folk Police Recordings June 20, 2012
Should you find something elementally attractive about ‘Weirdlore’ the latest release from the good people at Folk Police Recordings the... [MORE]

'The Vintage Years' - The Bully Wee Band June 19, 2012
The saying: “…born at the right time…” couldn’t be more appropriate in describing this more than welcome trip down m... [MORE]

'Outlandish' from Dogan Mehmet - throwing caution to the wind June 18, 2012
Blimey mate…luv-a-duck…wotcher cock, it wouldn’t surprise me if these and many other colloquialisms were all thrown into Dogan M... [MORE]

‘Life has Not Finished With Me Yet’ from Piano Magic June 15, 2012
“Nope that’s definitely not folk music.” Fairly forthright statement that, given the increasingly wide latitude given to the genre... [MORE]

2-disk, 3-album set by that quintessential fiddler Dave Swarbrick June 15, 2012
This tremendous 2-disk, 3-album set by that quintessential fiddler Dave Swarbrick should be required listening and possibly one of the best boxed se... [MORE]

‘The Rookery’ - the latest work from Chris Helme June 15, 2012
Another ‘folk-not-folk’ album to review ... many will argue it lacks the required folk element to appear here ... be that as it may, the... [MORE]

‘The Platinum Collection’ - handsome 3-CD set from Tommy Fleming June 07, 2012
The first time I heard Tommy Fleming sing was probably around 1996 when he was the latest recruit to the ranks of De Dannan. Of course, the lads kic... [MORE]

‘North of Nowhere’ from Wing and Hollow June 01, 2012
If there’s a commodity called ‘gentle intensity’ then the duo Wing and Hollow deliver it in droves. They’ve released an EP c... [MORE]

'All's Well' from Jake Wilson - an imaginatively constructed suite of pieces May 28, 2012
The ironic title of 'All's Well' from Jake Wilson will not be lost on anyone who recollects the front cover photo of the ill fated Scott Expedition.... [MORE]

‘Halfmoon Fever’ from Rosary Beard May 27, 2012
There’s an all-pervading sense of calm emanating from ‘Halfmoon Fever’ from Rosary Beard – and not so much as a fever-raised... [MORE]

‘Outward Bound’ - from Chris Ricketts May 25, 2012
“Getting better all the time” – as a songwriter of some note once wrote – and that’s exactly what’s happening to... [MORE]

‘Sandy’ and ‘Rendezvous’ – deluxe two-disc editions remember Sandy Denny May 23, 2012
Folk archivists, ardent folkies and impassioned Sandy Denny fans take note - there's a special release of Sandy Denny’s last three solo albums... [MORE]

‘Mayflower’ from Wes Finch May 17, 2012
Sometimes, just sometimes you come across an album that incorporates a combination of instruments that despite possibilities of a potential clash, f... [MORE]

'Hug' from Peter Nardini May 15, 2012
The last time I saw a photo like that depicted on the sleeve of Peter Nardini’s ‘Hug’ CD was one of James Bond (in “Diamonds... [MORE]

Jen Ord’s debut release, ‘Many’s A Mile’ May 15, 2012
Have you heard of Jen Ord? If not, I wager you soon will. And once you do you’ll want to hear a lot more from this Cumbrian-born singer and mu... [MORE]

The Original Bushwackers & Bullockies Bush Band May 14, 2012
There was a time…the early 1970’s…when the world could be counted as priggish in its approach to British ‘folk’ musi... [MORE]

'The Adventures of John Paul Jones' May 14, 2012
No…not that John Paul Jones…the harmonica playing bluesman but this one is, in nautical terms at least a legend none the less. 'The Ad... [MORE]

Simon Fowler releases ‘Simon Fowler’s Merrymouth’ May 10, 2012
While Ocean Colour Scene takes a sabbatical, their front man Simon Fowler has released ‘Simon Fowler’s Merrymouth’ – a colle... [MORE]

’30 Years On’ The Fureys and Davey Arthur May 09, 2012
Blimey, a whole 30 seconds of clapping for this celebration of the Furey’s 30th year together – ’30 Years On’ The Fureys and... [MORE]

‘Wayward Daughter: An Official Biography Of Eliza Carthy May 07, 2012
‘Wayward Daughter: An Official Biography Of Eliza Carthy’ by Sophie Parkes - ISBN: 9780956642073. Published by Soundcheck Books: www.sou... [MORE]

Kristy Gallacher’s second studio album ‘Spinning Plates’ May 04, 2012
I’ll declare my partiality from the outset. I find Kristy Gallacher’s second studio album ‘Spinning Plates’ a complete and u... [MORE]

‘She’ - debut album from Billy Vincent May 04, 2012
There’s an album out this month that deserves your attention – new folk, folk rock or folk pop – call it what you will it matters ... [MORE]

‘The Dreamer’s Eye’ - debut album from Kyle Fosburgh May 03, 2012
From its somewhat understated, gentle opening ‘The Dreamer’s Eye’ - debut album from Kyle Fosburgh - steadily grows on you with it... [MORE]

Rachael Gladwin and her band The Red Socks, May 03, 2012
I’ve never actually swam with dolphins but I somehow get the feeling it would be very much like attending a concert by harpist/vocalist Rachae... [MORE]

‘At First Light’ from Idir May 03, 2012
The Uilleann pipes played an integral part in my passion for Irish music and much of that has stemmed from the masterful John McSherry who (it seems... [MORE]

'Chasing the Light' from The Old Dance School May 01, 2012
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the Old Dance School’s debut release and mentioned to anyone who’d care to listen ... [MORE]

Jez Hellard and The Djukella Orchestra - latest album ‘Blood & Honey’ May 01, 2012
Jez Hellard and The Djukella Orchestra use their latest album ‘Blood & Honey’ to deliver their ‘free-ranging’ take on tr... [MORE]

Ewan McLennan and his album ‘The Last Bird To Sing’ April 26, 2012
Indelibly etched in my mind are the many times I recollect seeing Dick Gaughan perform at folk clubs throughout the UK. His passion and at times see... [MORE]

Alison Krauss and Union Station April 24, 2012
It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me how Alison Krauss more or less single-handedly re-kindled my liking for all things bluegrass. OK... [MORE]

‘Latecomer’ from Mark Waistell April 24, 2012
Allegedly some bottled water or other brands itself as filtering through rocks for thousands of years to achieve its quality - that may be, but clea... [MORE]

Fairport Convention’s ‘Babbacombe Lee' - Revisited April 23, 2012
For many of us old enough to remember it the first time round Fairport Convention’s ‘Babbacombe Lee' was one of those albums with its ga... [MORE]

Nick Dow - ‘My Love You’ve Won To Keep’ April 20, 2012
I was listening to a radio programme a while ago when my ears pricked up on hearing the dulcet tones of Nick Dow on ‘My Love You’ve Won ... [MORE]

'Delicate Cages' from Jon Brooks April 20, 2012
There’ll be no banner waving or singing of ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ if the lyrics of Jon Brooks opening track ‘Because We&rsq... [MORE]

'Bending The Dark' latter-day Pythonesque originality from The Imagined Village April 19, 2012
There's a ground-breaking folk project that delves into varied cultural musical roots across the folk spectrum - from 'bathers in the limelight' to ... [MORE]

‘How Could We Be Wrong?’ from James J Turner April 18, 2012
There are some albums that evoke the past, some that touch the present and others that move effortlessly between the two – ‘How Could We... [MORE]

Bob Bradshaw’s eponymous album April 17, 2012
There’s a stirring edge to Bob Bradshaw’s new eponymous album - an edge doubtless reinforced by the experiences of the expedition from h... [MORE]

‘Leaves Sae Green’ by rising singer Alistair Ogilvy April 15, 2012
The evocative piano introduction to ‘Wars O’Germanie’ by rising singer Alistair Ogilvy puts me in mind of a young Sean Keane. No b... [MORE]

Pig Earth’s five Pig Earthtrack EP 14’x12’ April 15, 2012
I don’t know what the neighbours must have thought but from the photo on the insert of Pig Earth’s five track EP 14’x12’ I&r... [MORE]

‘Orfeo’ - Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party April 10, 2012
The nice thing about the opening track ‘The Lover’s Ghost’ on ‘Orfeo’ is that it leaves you in no doubt that Fay Hield... [MORE]

'Box And A Ribbon' from Marie-Claire Berreen April 10, 2012
The lush string sounds courtesy of Glenn Louis Pettit’s keyboard on the opening song ‘Honeypie’ is just right for that Sunday afte... [MORE]

‘The Singer Songwriter’s Last Stand’ by Maurice Baker April 04, 2012
Even a cursory listen to ‘The Singer Songwriter’s Last Stand’ album by Maurice Baker reinforces the overriding essence of his work... [MORE]

‘Old School Photograph’ from Richard Digance April 04, 2012
Anyone who can include sound-bites of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, In The Bleak Midwinter,  Ding Dong Merrily On High and We Wish You A Merry C... [MORE]

‘Danza de Andalucia’ from Asgeir Aarøen & Bjarte Mo April 03, 2012
My music appreciation is nothing if not diverse. However it’s fair to say that my knowledge of flamenco guitar music is limited. Then again as... [MORE]

‘The Nashville Sessions’ by Changing Horses April 03, 2012
Changing Horses may not have worldwide acclaim. Their name may not be on everyone’s lips. Some might even ask ‘who’? Their debut a... [MORE]

‘Go To The Devil And Shake Yourself’ - Sergeant Buzfuz April 02, 2012
The fascinating aspect of this job is winding your mind around the range of bizarre musical offerings that occasionally come your way. Sometimes you... [MORE]

‘The Minstrel’s Grave’ by Sproatly Smith - a definitive psych-folk album March 31, 2012
‘The Minstrel’s Grave’ by Sproatly Smith is right up there as a definitive psych-folk album. This is an uncanny journey that any l... [MORE]

Irish singer-songwriter Mossy Nolan March 29, 2012
The first lure that entices you when you listen to the album from Irish singer-songwriter Mossy Nolan is the soft intensity of his vocals. This man ... [MORE]

Tales From The Barrel House’ - Seth Lakeman March 28, 2012
I’ve long admired the chutzpah of The Lakeman Brothers and in particular Seth for his go-ahead attitude to the music business. Self-belief in ... [MORE]

‘The Oxenhope EP’ - Steve Tilston & The Durbevilles March 28, 2012
OK, so I nearly consigned this 5-track CD to the “don’t bother” pile. Perhaps I should explain…I hate half-cocked albums wi... [MORE]

‘Amongst The Green’ from The Churchfitters March 27, 2012
Brittany based The Churchfitters are that rare thing on the ‘folk’ circuit…a band that consistently hit a bull’s-eye (at le... [MORE]

‘Chasing The Sun’ from James Ross March 27, 2012
‘Chasing The Sun’ from James Ross on Trinkie Records TR001 - Sitting here in my flat with the gradually diminishing lights of the neighb... [MORE]

‘The Best Of Tim Edey’ March 26, 2012
Kaleidoscope may not be the coolest word to use at the moment thanks to John Bercow, Speaker Of The House Of Commons but it happens to be the way I ... [MORE]

Cowboy Junkies: ‘The Wilderness’ Volume 4 of The Nomad Series March 20, 2012
There’s something inspirational on the horizon – March 26 to be exact – it’s the latest work of genius from Cowboy Junkies: ... [MORE]

‘Hickory’ the first solo album from Mariel Vandersteel March 19, 2012
Thread ancient echoes of Norwegian fjords around the shadows of Blue Ridge mountains and entwine them with a precise and measured talent – you... [MORE]

Rura - creating something of a buzz with ‘Break It Up’ March 19, 2012
I don’t know what it is…maybe it’s the water…Highland Spring naturally (!) that they’re drinking in Scotland but the... [MORE]

‘Where To?’ from Rough Island Band March 19, 2012
There may be no indigenous music as such from the Isles of Scilly but that doesn’t stop members of the local community of St Agnes from expoun... [MORE]

The Roving Crows and ‘Bacchanalia’ March 14, 2012
Add the cultural depth pumping through Irish traditional music, stir in unrestrained influences from Eastern Europe to the Deep South; it’s ja... [MORE]

The Albion Band – ‘The Vice of The People’ March 13, 2012
The Albion Band – ‘The Vice of The People’ - the stark acapella ‘calling-on song’ - ‘A Quarter Hour Of Fame&rsqu... [MORE]

Gillian Fleetwood and Fraya Thomsen - The Duplets - ‘Leverage’ March 11, 2012
There’s a certain magic in the Highlands of Scotland, it’s a realm where mists, mountains and mystery combine to create a unique world. ... [MORE]

Duncan McCrone - ‘Colourblind’ March 10, 2012
Duncan McCrone - ‘Colourblind’- this CD had remained on my ‘to do’ list for quite a while so I’d like to take this opp... [MORE]

‘No Man’s Fool’ - Rachael McShane March 10, 2012
‘No Man’s Fool’ - better known as the only female member of Bellowhead the cellist and singer Rachael McShane will certainly turn ... [MORE]

‘Seed of a Pine’ - Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer March 08, 2012
Sometimes it’s the melody, perhaps the vocals, or maybe it’s a collection of ‘hooks’ that won’t let go or on occasion ... [MORE]

Maggie Boyle, Helen Hockenhull and Lynda Hardcastle - '20' March 08, 2012
Celebrating twenty years together as a trio Maggie Boyle, Helen Hockenhull and Lynda Hardcastle unwrap their latest Grace Notes album '20' which lik... [MORE]

‘No More Wings’ from Rachel Hair Trio March 08, 2012
One of my earliest experiences of performance harp was by ‘Harpo’ Marx in the film “A Day At The Races” and again in a film ... [MORE]

‘Remember Me’, from singer-songwriter Marc Reeves March 05, 2012
There is always something uncertain about listening to ‘man with guitar’ (electric or acoustic) – each individual embarks on that ... [MORE]

Inca - Latin American folk March 04, 2012
Folk music, from whatever part of the world holds some element of its origin. And when you listen you absorb some of its essence. That's what happen... [MORE]

Allan Yn Y Fan – ‘Pwnco’ March 02, 2012
Allan Yn Y Fan – ‘Pwnco’ - medieval…that’s how I’d describe the music of the Welsh band Allan Yn Y Fan on heari... [MORE]

Kyle Carey – ‘Monongah’ March 02, 2012
Kyle Carey – ‘Monongah’ - a bit like President Obama I feel that Ms Carey is a ‘nice’ person. It’s not that I kn... [MORE]

‘Rich Man Poor’ from accomplished roots bluesman Lewis Cohen February 24, 2012
There’s a new album that has to be in any blues collection, it’s ‘Rich Man Poor’ from accomplished roots bluesman Lewis Cohe... [MORE]

‘Boathouse Masters’ from Shiznitz February 23, 2012
Folk music has more quirky facets than a rough-cut diamond – and when you dig your way through the dross, some of them shine. Not everyone wil... [MORE]

The Hut People with ‘Picnic’ February 22, 2012
So, here it is a welcome return to my favourite drum and squeezebox duo The Hut People with ‘Picnic’ - (Fellside Recordings FECD248). Mi... [MORE]

Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham - ‘Well Dressed’ February 22, 2012
Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham - ‘Well Dressed’ - I count myself very lucky to work on occasions with Keith Kendrick & Sylvia N... [MORE]

‘Imeall' from Irish chanteuse Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh February 18, 2012
I first met the beautiful Irish chanteuse Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh in 1978 when she performed at St Mary’s Church Hall in Hastings (rather unchari... [MORE]

‘Scribe and Jester’ from Tom Hitt February 18, 2012
“Are all those mood changes on the same album?” I was asked that question more than once when listening to ‘Scribe and Jester&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Skulk’ from Jim Moray February 17, 2012
Perhaps its Jim Moray’s numerous tales of brushes with death on previous recordings that inspired him to use the collective noun for foxes &ls... [MORE]

‘Ruminantia’ from Horses Brawl February 14, 2012
There’s an unearthly, vaporous, almost elemental quality flowing through ‘Ruminantia’ from Horses Brawl, with contributing element... [MORE]

‘Brilliant Tease’ from Louise Killeen February 13, 2012
Absorb these songs as they wash over you. Relax while they pull you into the warm velvet embrace of pure, ecstatic, accomplished song writing. That&... [MORE]

IONA – ‘Another Realm’ February 09, 2012
IONA – ‘Another Realm’ - Open Sky Records (OPENSKY 16) - I’ll only mention it once (and believe me, it’s a compliment)... [MORE]

‘Rebirth’ the debut album from Nottingham-based singer-songwriter Anthony Greentree February 09, 2012
Is it acoustic folk or folk-rock? Is it pastoral folk with medieval influences? Although it is undoubtedly a fresh and eclectic mix of all the forme... [MORE]

‘On The Run’ from Texas-born Richard Allen Gilbert February 08, 2012
It’s ‘man with guitar’ time again (as a certain Mr Carroll often says) – that’s one man writing, singing and playing. ... [MORE]

Sunday Never Comes’ from Jackstraw February 02, 2012
My first encounter with Jackstraw was some years ago on hearing their album ‘Rubber Wheels’ so when their latest album arrived it was li... [MORE]

Waggon Tales - dirty-sweet American bluegrass February 01, 2012
There's nothing like gutsy, low-down, dirty-sweet American bluegrass ... from London - yep that’s right London, England. That's where you'll f... [MORE]

Bram Taylor - ‘Jokers And Rogues’ January 27, 2012
Bram Taylor - ‘Jokers And Rogues’ - with the current trend from younger artists trying to be cool by writing ultra-clever lyrics with in... [MORE]

Cormac O Caoimh - ‘A New Season for Love January 27, 2012
Sometime front-man of The Citadels, Cormac O Caoimh has released his second solo album - ‘A New Season for Love’. It’s a mellow wa... [MORE]

‘Clocked’ from Noam Weinstein January 26, 2012
Why do I love folk-Americana? Because it has teeth that bite, a raging-bull presence, intricate twists and turns, and all the expectant intrigue of ... [MORE]

Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston January 25, 2012
Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston - I declare I had more than a passing interest in this recording as soon as I saw the photograph of Rex Preston’... [MORE]

'London ReBorn' from Simon McKechnie - sweeping vistas and changing paces January 23, 2012
‘London ReBorn’ by Simon McKechnie is an intriguing collection of ‘old-new’ folk songs that encapsulate the variety of life ... [MORE]

‘One Fine Morning’ from Chris Chambers January 20, 2012
How do superb musicians remain hidden from me either by time, distance or accident? One such is Chris Chambers. I’ve listened to this powerful... [MORE]

‘Pieces of the Puzzle’ by Joanna Weston January 18, 2012
Listening to ‘Pieces of the Puzzle’ by Joanna Weston is an enjoyable and lyrically enchanting musical experience. The only downside is t... [MORE]

‘Nine and Fifty Swans’ from Norwegian progressive gothic-folk artist Tirill January 16, 2012
It takes nerve to base an album around the poems of WB Yeats. Not the easiest poetry to access – wrapped in allusive imagery, mysticism, symbo... [MORE]

Merlin's Keep - infectious, energetic folk rock January 15, 2012
Hailing from Grimsby on the English East Coast five-piece Merlin's Keep play infectious, energetic, thoughtful Celtic folk rock based around three, ... [MORE]

Mr. Bookshop’ a fine collection of self-penned songs January 12, 2012
The minute the opening track ‘Weak’ kicks-in, Polly Barrett’s voice reaches out to demand your undivided attention. There’s ... [MORE]

‘My Friend Marx’ the debut album from Irish folk-blues singer songwriter Marc O'Reilly January 11, 2012
Do the roots of Americana thrive in Ireland? Does the inspiration of Irish folk blend with the blues? Listen to ‘My Friend Marx’ the deb... [MORE]

‘Tales of Power’ from Magicfolk - a dazzling album January 06, 2012
The memories of the Winter Solstice and Yule fade. The expectations of the awakening of Imbolc beckon. However, there’s a guaranteed way to dr... [MORE]

‘Hundred Bars, A Thousand Cars’ - Robert Cooper December 07, 2011
Here’s an album that’s worth your time. It has the simplicity and authority of ‘man-with-guitar’ style despite the fact he a... [MORE]

'Now We Are Six Again' - Steeleye Span December 04, 2011
Who said you can’t re-live your youth? Well, I certainly have by going back to 1974. Was it really that long ago that Steeleye first release... [MORE]

Mary MacMaster and Donald Hay - ‘Love And Reason’ December 03, 2011
We in the ‘folk’ world are blessed with inventive musicians and although, it must be said that the coupling of vocals, harp and drums (o... [MORE]

‘A Sound In The Frosty Air’ by Albion Christmas Band November 27, 2011
‘A Sound In The Frosty Air’ by Albion Christmas Band - I’ve just had to slag off a certain ‘folk’(?) band for daring t... [MORE]

'Moonshee' - mix of Indian and British folk cultures November 27, 2011
I suppose the mark of any good CD is when you can play it to your mates (even those not remotely interested in ‘folk’) whilst grooving... [MORE]

‘American Songwriter’ from Danny Darst - poignant tales you’ll want to hear November 26, 2011
‘American Songwriter’ from Danny Darst holds a subtle yet inexorable power. I know, I’ve just spent three days of my life listeni... [MORE]

‘A Treasury Of Shanties And Songs Of The Sea’ from various artists November 21, 2011
‘A Treasury Of Shanties And Songs Of The Sea’ from various artists. Now don’t get me wrong, I suppose like many of the general pu... [MORE]

'Yoke' from The Existence of Harvey Lord November 20, 2011
Not everyone will know The Existence of Harvey Lord. They’re not exactly main stream. They blend strangely related stories in a wandering styl... [MORE]

The Woodbine & Ivy Band - traditional, innovative folk November 14, 2011
The Woodbine & Ivy Band, a collective with superlative musical flair, perform traditional songs in an innovative folk rock vein. They also emplo... [MORE]

‘In My Life’ from Kathy Barwick November 12, 2011
It’s all in the blend - a diverse mix of Americana, bluegrass and Irish folk, consummate skill, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and 30-... [MORE]

‘Arise And Go!’ from Stephen James Smith and Enda Reilly November 09, 2011
Occasionally, just occasionally something truly beautiful, original and enticing comes to your ears. And when it does it strikes deep and lingers ... [MORE]

‘Memory of Voices’ from singer-songwriter Andrew Wiltshire November 08, 2011
Infectious; outside of the medical definition, in·fec·tious means ‘easily or readily communicated’: such as an infectious ... [MORE]

Wooden Horse - ‘What Comes Around’ October 26, 2011
Take two guys, tightly-tempered gutsy guitars, seamlessly melded harmonic vocals, then wrap that around a folksy, bluesy mix of Americana and you&rs... [MORE]

‘Blink…And You Miss It’ from Merry Hell October 24, 2011
‘Blink…And You Miss It’ from Merry Hell - Guitar riffs, shouty, singable anthems…what more could you ask for on a trip d... [MORE]

‘Home Is Where Your Heartlands’ from Navaro October 20, 2011
‘Home Is Where Your Heartlands’ from Navaro, the follow up to their inspired 2008 album ‘Under Diamond Skies’ has been a l... [MORE]

Pharis & Jason Romero - ‘A Passing Glimpse’ October 19, 2011
I’m known to have a predilection for American music – folk, blues, country and bluegrass – especially old-time and early music. ... [MORE]

John Doyle - Shadow And Light’ October 18, 2011
John Doyle may, at first hearing appear an earnest, thought provoking artist but at least he cannot be accused of being dull. By that I mean he u... [MORE]

The Bad Shepherds - ‘By Hook or By Crook’ October 17, 2011
The Bad Shepherds new album - ‘By Hook or By Crook’ - at first the idea of ‘folk’ with a punk attitude didn’t appeal t... [MORE]

The Once – ‘Row Upon Row Of The People They Know’ October 10, 2011
The Once – ‘Row Upon Row Of The People They Know’ - Not many Internationally established Canadian folk artists immediately sprin... [MORE]

‘Nothing at All’ from Jigfoot October 10, 2011
There’s something uniquely reassuring about English dance tunes. Perhaps it’s their fragile resilience in an increasingly less-than-pe... [MORE]

Roy Harper - ‘Songs Of Love And Loss’ October 07, 2011
Few musicians reach ‘icon’ status in their genre, fewer still truly deserve the accolade, one who does is Roy Harper. Never compliant t... [MORE]

‘Doors At Eight’ from Peter Knight’s Gigspanner October 06, 2011
I must admit that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on ‘Doors At Eight’ from Peter Knight’s Gigspanner, a gem of a recording ... [MORE]