Album Review / Ninebarrow: A Pocket Full of Acorns

”Let’s go back there, you and I, where the hills stretch high towards the sun / we’ll go walking in the rain, when the days don’t end the same” That’s from Come January, a beautiful song and the first track of A Pocket Full of Acorns. I may by now be slightly obsessed by the … Continue reading Album Review / Ninebarrow: A Pocket Full of Acorns

Album Review / Sam Sweeney: Unearth Repeat

Wood. Living, rough, hewn, shaped into houses, burned for warmth we need. People and their stories; villages and towns and other places they live in. People whose language I don’t always speak but we understand each other anyway. Those are the feelings and mental images I get from British fiddler Sam Sweeney’s new album Unearth … Continue reading Album Review / Sam Sweeney: Unearth Repeat

Album Review / Sam Carter: Home Waters

Times have changed... Four years after Sam Carter’s London-themed How The City Sings comes his new album, Home Waters. It tells a different kind of story: floods rise, storms both natural and political threaten to rip society’s fabric apart, disaster survivors try to cope. But there are also bittersweet memories, slow waves and domestic sanctuaries. … Continue reading Album Review / Sam Carter: Home Waters

Artist Intro: Emily Portman

Emily Portman (ENG) is, with the likes of Kate Rusby, Ange Hardy and Jackie Oates, in the top tier of contemporary British female folk singers/musicians who each stamp their own unique mark on the music. Her so far three solo albums document the art of a singular talent who marks her own boundaries in this … Continue reading Artist Intro: Emily Portman

Artist Intro: Eliza Carthy

Eliza Carthy (ENG) is a many-faceted, highly acknowledged (she's an MBE) and awarded folk singer and musician who has distinguished herself by her adventurous takes on British trad material. She has performed and recorded as a solo artis and in collaboration with other artists (including her folk musician parents Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson) and … Continue reading Artist Intro: Eliza Carthy

Quick Take Album Review / Jim Moray: The Outlander

The brilliant Jim Moray has injected fresh blood and ideas into English folk for over a decade now, but his new album The Outlander is a deliberate excursion to a batch of Ye Olde Songs - even the ancient John Barleycorn makes an appearance - with acoustic arrangements that are mostly fairly old school but … Continue reading Quick Take Album Review / Jim Moray: The Outlander

Quick Take album reviews: The Askew Sisters, MacDonald&Gamauf

The Askew Sisters continue their ”low-key but very intense” forays into the more shady forests of English folk. Enclosure is worthy of its name: a cosmos of it own, inhabited by songs mostly about various injustices, the minimal-yet-strangely-rich arrangements and the strong vocal performances by the sisters. As on their earlier albums, the overall mood … Continue reading Quick Take album reviews: The Askew Sisters, MacDonald&Gamauf

Album Review / Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening: Hollowbone

The year has reached only April and excellent albums keep poppin' up - brilliant! Even given the high quality of new Celtic and British folk/trad music, this one will climb very, very high on my year's best list, I'm sure. I have previously checked out Kathryn Tickell's solo work (she was previously a member of … Continue reading Album Review / Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening: Hollowbone

Artist Intro: The Changing Room

The Changing Room (ENG) are a very good folk band from Cornwall. Their sound and style is interesting and slyly original; I can't find a matching comparison, at least right off the bat. It's neither starry-eyed hippie old school English folk nor singer-songwriter balladeering or party hardy foot stompin’ stuff. They tend to have a … Continue reading Artist Intro: The Changing Room