Live Review: Kacey Musgraves, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Golden Hour may have divided the country music purists but one glance around the crowd entering the building on this chilly Glasgow evening proves that Kacey Musgraves’s move towards the mainstream is paying off. She has managed to keep the more mature country music fans and brought in a mix of younger, mainly female and LGBT fans, whose energy and glitter are welcome additions to any audience. Continue reading “Live Review: Kacey Musgraves, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow”

Album Review: Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel

Five long years have passed since the Pistol Annies’ second album Annie Up and in that time Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley have all released critically acclaimed solo albums and been through some serious living. Thankfully Holler, Hippie and Lone Star Annie have finally found time in their busy and dramatic lives to reunite and record this new album, Interstate Gospel. And thank God they did because we need women’s voices in music, specifically country music, more than ever. Continue reading “Album Review: Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel”

Album Review: Karine Polwart – Laws of Motion

Following a project as powerful and successful as Wind Resistance might have been daunting to some, but the success of that work seems instead to have given Karine Polwart continued confidence and freedom to fully realise her artistic vision. On this new album ‘Laws of Motion’ she confronts the modern world and its destructive forces with an unflinching eye. In the music and the message there is much quiet empathy to admire. Continue reading “Album Review: Karine Polwart – Laws of Motion”

Album Review – Martha L. Healy – Keep The Flame Alight

With the nights starting to draw in and the clocks soon to go back we all could do with some warmth on the stereo to help us coorie doon for winter (as we say in Scotland). Step forward Scottish singer-songwriter Martha L. Healy and her engaging new album ‘Keep The Flame Alight’, which is the perfect soundtrack to whisky-tinged evenings in front of glowing fires. Continue reading “Album Review – Martha L. Healy – Keep The Flame Alight”

Film Review: A Star is Born

**Please Note This Discussion Contains Spoilers**

Looking at the most popular movies of recent times you would have to conclude that most of us don’t want to see a tragedy set in the modern world. Maybe we feel safer, more reassured if the potential horrors are set in a post apocalyptic landscape or a world populated by superheroes. Telling the truth about the nasty struggles of everyday people is a tougher sell. Thankfully that fact did not deter Bradley Cooper from remaking A Star is Born, refusing to shy away from addressing some of the all too real complexities of life as a famous musician and an addict. Anyone who enters the theatre expecting a lightweight tale of the rise of a pop star will be surely shocked at the depths of despair this film is prepared to reach.

Tragedy on such an epic scale could only be set in the world of show business, where it seems even the biggest stars lurch from one inexplicable personal horror to another, with many dying young or in desperate circumstances. Another tragic element of the industry, and of life I guess, is that eventually your time runs out and another younger, fresher talent is waiting to step into your spotlight. To balance the downfall A Star is Born, as the title suggests, will also brings us the rise of a superstar, with music so good it will crush your heart in two. Continue reading “Film Review: A Star is Born”

Album Review: Amy Helm – This Too Shall Light

On the cover of her new album Amy Helm stands strong surrounded by the majesty of nature, the colour green, the cloudy sky and imminent light, suggesting this will be an album concerning the reality of the world around us. Musically the album is rooted in the rustic outdoor world where songs are sung to fight against approaching storms. With a varied mix of covers and originals This Too Shall Light offers a natural haven for the listener, a place of shelter, faith and community togetherness. Continue reading “Album Review: Amy Helm – This Too Shall Light”

Album Review: Loretta Lynn – Wouldn’t It Be Great

Having suffered a stroke and a broken hip in the last few years, you might expect living legend Loretta Lynn to be taking it easy now she is in her eighties. Instead, after a little delay for her recovery, she is releasing her third of five planned new albums produced by John Carter Cash and her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell. Loretta’s music remains steadfastly traditional and ‘Wouldn’t It Be Great’ contains a mix of re-recorded songs and new material in the classic country style which made her name. Continue reading “Album Review: Loretta Lynn – Wouldn’t It Be Great”

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