E.P. Review: Rachel Baiman – Thanksgiving

Rachel Baiman released one of my favourite songs of last year, the stunning Shame from the album of the same name, which exposed the hypocrisy of men and religion in a fiery three minutes. On this follow EP, Thanksgiving, she continues to explore modern life and ideas, in an old timey folk style. The honesty and urgency of her message and music is as engaging as ever. Continue reading “E.P. Review: Rachel Baiman – Thanksgiving”

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: Kendl Winter – Stumbler’s Business

To stumble is to almost make a mistake, to fall towards the wrong direction but save yourself just before it’s too late. In Stumbler’s Business, the new album by The Lowest Pair’s Kendl Winter, potential mistakes become moments of learning and growth. Musically the album is full of atmospheric banjo strumming which creates a dreamy folk sound. Continue reading “Album Review: Kendl Winter – Stumbler’s Business”

Live Review – Amythyst Kiah @ Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

Hailing from Johnson City, Tennessee Amythyst Kiah is a contemporary blues and folk singer, with a real connection to the history of Appalachian music. This was the second of her two shows at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival where she has successfully performed for the last three years. The audience in the Piccolo venue were treated to an evening of stories and songs from a troubadour of the highest quality. Continue reading “Live Review – Amythyst Kiah @ Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival”

Download ‘Dead Horses – Live From The Vinyl Emergency Podcast’ & Raise Money for a Worthy Cause

I wrote a little about the excellent podcast Vinyl Emergency last year when they released their first ‘Live From…’ E.P. featuring the awesome Lydia Loveless. Each podcast episode includes an interview with an artist or someone in the music industry where they discuss their relationship with vinyl as a format, as well as their careers in general. Some of the previous guests include Lilly Hiatt, Rosanne Cash and an interesting recent episode featured the head of Discogs vinyl community. The latest instalment is a chat with duo Dead Horses, who have also released this short but sweet live E.P. recorded during their Vinyl Emergency interview. Continue reading “Download ‘Dead Horses – Live From The Vinyl Emergency Podcast’ & Raise Money for a Worthy Cause”

Album Review: Erin Rae – Putting on Airs

The cover of Erin Rae’s new album is a painting by Nashville artist Harry Underwood, depicting a barroom scene – in it a woman puts a song on the jukebox, a man sits at the bar and the space between them is both small and vast at the same time. The painting, and the songs contained within, capture that sense of alienation and sadness which exist in everyday moments. ‘Putting on Airs’ is an album of breathtaking beauty, an intimate impression of American life. Continue reading “Album Review: Erin Rae – Putting on Airs”

Album Review: Jennifer Castle – Angels of Death

Recorded in a church near Lake Eerie, Jennifer Castle’s new album Angels of Death certainly has the feel of a twilight evening by the water, where you sit on a porch swing and just watch the darkness descend. The infinite mysteries of nature are everywhere in Castle’s music, which is inspired by folk, country, the blues – music of the dirt rich earth and yet she sounds more like she belongs in the air, whispering her sweet melodies into the wind. Continue reading “Album Review: Jennifer Castle – Angels of Death”

Album Review: Faustina Masigat – Faustina Masigat

On her self-titled debut album Portland’s Faustina Masigat works with only minimal instrumentation – an old beat up guitar, pedal steel, some strings. Such choices might suggest this is going to be a starkly sad record but instead there’s unexpected light in her vocal delivery. Each song breathes slowly, letting a hush fall so you have to stop, move your ear a little closer and really listen to this captivating performer. Continue reading “Album Review: Faustina Masigat – Faustina Masigat”

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