Album Review: Bella White – Among Other Things

Brought up on bluegrass and folk music by her musical parents 22 year old Canadian songwriter Bella White is already releasing her second album, which is maybe not surprising considering she’s a precocious talent who wrote her first song aged 7. Her debut album was self-released in 2020 and led to her signing for Rounder records. She recorded this new collection ‘Among Other Things’ with producer Jonathan Wilson (who has been working with many Americana-leaning artists lately like Erin Rae, Margo Price and Angel Olsen).

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Album Review: Rachel Baiman – Common Nation of Sorrow

Earlier this year Rachel Baiman previewed some of these songs during her set at Celtic Connections, and on the strength of that performance I’ve been looking forward to hearing this new album ever since. ‘Common Nation of Sorrow’ offers thoughtful, state of the world folk music – a rallying call to unite against the suffering caused by economic and political oppression.

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Album Review: Margo Price – Strays

To stray is to go off the beaten path, wandering without a home, scratching survival on your own terms.

No surprise then that Margo Price would name her new album ‘Strays’, since she has embraced that identity since the beginning of her career. In her recent memoir Maybe We’ll Make It she underlined how hard she’d worked to remain a stray – to never compromise the vision she had for her music.

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Live Review: Sierra Hull & Rachel Baiman @ Celtic Connections

On a freezing January evening there is nothing more restoring to the soul and the spirit than a night of brilliant music, courtesy of the wonderful Celtic Connections festival. Returning to Glasgow after many covid postponements Sierra Hull and Rachel Baiman brought the best of Nashville musicianship to Scottish shores and were greeted warmly by a sold-out and appreciative crowd of folk music lovers.

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Album Review: Miko Marks & the Resurrectors – Feel Like Going Home

Miko Marks’s last release ‘Our Country’ was a welcome return for an artist who had suffered setbacks in her country music career, never finding the opportunities or success her talent deserved. That album was a classic mix of country, soul and gospel influences showcasing an artist who had renewed hope for a late career resurrection.

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Album Review: S.G. Goodman – Teeth Marks

S.G. Goodman was born and raised in Kentucky, a place which burns through her voice and her words. But her music isn’t of the mountains and the wide open countryside, it’s in the grime of these places, the claustrophobia, the endless emptiness of the void. Emotional pain and destruction thrives in these darkened backwaters, quiet hope trying to find a way to appear among the rolling clouds.

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Book Review: ‘Maybe We’ll Make It’ by Margo Price

Margo Price’s debut album ‘Mid-West Farmer’s Daughter’ told the story of a harrowing, hard-fought struggle to make it in the music industry, exploring grief, marriage, poverty, addiction, prison and the desperation of depression.

That story is recounted in her stunning new memoir ‘Maybe We’ll Make It’, an unflinching and unapologetic manifesto of personal and artistic freedom.

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Album Recommendation: Caitlin Rose – Cazimi

Reading the recent Guardian interview with Caitlin Rose was revealing, but not in the way you might expect. Here was an artist refusing to share her trauma or explain the personal reasons for the nine year gap between records. In an online world where oversharing is normalised (and monetised) the statement: I don’t think artists owe their stories, I think they owe music is radical and refreshing.

What Caitlin did share was that she has felt ‘stuck’ in her career. You can imagine then, how hard it must be to come back after a long time away. Seeing the endless, constant success of others paraded on social media can only add more doubt. Stasis is no surprise.

To break out Caitlin did something simple: she gave herself permission to stay in her ‘comfort zone’, connecting with friends who made her want to enjoy music again rather than aiming for something radically different. Old fans will recognise this artist immediately, with Cazimi reminding us what made her such an engaging voice in the first place.

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