Singer-songwriter Edie Carey recorded twelve songs on her sixth solo album in 2022 that she wrote around the theme of the unexpected removal of everyday life’s veil by major events.
The title track opens the album symbolically: she sings how her father put her to bed as a small child, how her own child needs her less and less, how a car accident literally and figuratively turned her life upside down and how American society becomes more divided than ever, but:
Blue Corn Music/Suburban
belated business card
American singer-guitarist Jeff Pankenhorn has been playing for others in and around Austin for more than twenty years, but has made four solo albums since 2003, none of which were released here.
The ten songs on his new one prove how unjustified that is: the first chords of opener ‘Bird Out On 9th’ form an acoustic riff that is as intriguing as it is unrelenting, supported by hypnotic drums, while he sings in a melancholic and enchanting way. After that he combines
You can hardly speak of a career in the case of the now 74-year-old singer-songwriter Greg Copeland: his debut ‘Revenge will come’ received very good reviews in 1982, but despite the role of school friend Jackson Browne, it got no support from his label, after which Copeland, who also worked as a lawyer, disappeared into anonymity for 26 years.
In 2008 the good, country-influenced album ‘Diana and James’ was released with guitar player Greg Leisz as producer and Browne as executive producer, and recently Copeland’s third album was released.
Leisz and Val McCallum are the distinctive guitarists and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Chester serves as producer,but Copeland holds the reins tightly. Otherwise, it is incomprehensible that Continue reading
Must Have Music/Continental Music LC03396
The eleven songs of vocalist guitarist Jim Weider, vocalist-keyboardist-saxophonist Marty Grebb, drummer Michael Bramm, bassist Albert Rodgers and keyboardist Brian Mitchell on this 2018 debut breathe the spirit of The Band from Weider’s first mandolin notes. Weider was a member from 1985 to 2000 of a late version of the legendary group that invented americana without knowing it and then in The Band drummer Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band. Mitchell was also in it, while Grebb and Rogers played in a group with keyboardist Garth Hudson.
The four compositions that Weider and Webb each wrote breathe the spirit of The Band with their equally stubborn and naturally sounding tempo changes and the characteristic polyphonic background vocals. Grebb’s voice is very similar in tone and emotionality to Richard Manuel’s, while the two songs written by Weider with Levon Helm Continue reading
Tiny Mountain Records TMRCD101
Joe Edwards’ first album begins with a declaration of love to Beth, the woman he loves. Almost in a whisper he sings about the emptiness he experienced and the fulfillment she gives him. The country influences of pedal steel come back later twice, but the other eight songs are rootsy through and through.
Edwards, who was a student at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and played drums(!)on tour with Australian folk rockers The Wishing Well, was able to interest Steve Dawson for his songs.
He produced and played his plethora of string instruments with Joe’s brother Alex on drums, keyboardist Chris Gestrin and bassist Jeremy Holmes.
They recorded the well-structured songs of singer-guitarist Edwards live in the studio, a method that Dawson swears by. This time too that resulted in a Continue reading
Smoked Recordings/Continental Europe CECD86
Australian-born singer-songwriter Dan Tuffy is a veteran who has been making music for 35 years. Since 1993 he has been doing this from the Netherlands in groups like Big Low and Parne Gadje. Although he founded his Smoked Recordings in 2002 and released all albums of his first band Wild Pumpkins at Midnight on it as well as albums by Lucie Thorne amongst others, he also remained a well-kept secret after the release of ‘Songs from Dan’ in 2017.
These eight new songs make it abundantly clear that this is an injustice: Continue reading
two minds but a single thought.
On ‘7 deadly spins’ and ‘Uneven ground’, the two previous albums by Canadian singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson, the country influences of her four earlier discs had disappeared and rootsy guitars dominated in often evocative melodies that effectively underlined her ominous lyrics.
This was also caused by her somewhat hoarse voice and the phlegmatic way in which she sang the many ballads, creating a intriguing distance between content and form.
Because of that it is surprising that Hanson again combines Continue reading
On their eighth album singer-guitarist Tom Mank and cellist Sera Smolen put nine songs, which are musically and lyrically directly linked to the songs on predecessors like ‘Unlock the sky’, ‘Swimming in the dark’ and ‘Paper kisses’.
Again the duo invited musicians such as percussionist Manuel Quintana, guitarist Rich DePaolo, singers Kimbley Claeys and Ellen Shae plus harmonica player Gait Klein Kromhof for accents in Mank’s melodically rich, folky songs, which also have jazzy and classical influences due to Smolen’s defining accompaniment and solos.
While the Belgian Claeys and the Dutch Shae complement the songs, Americans Quintana and DePaolo and Dutchman Klein Kromhof create welcome extra contrasts.
Mank’s restrainedly sung lyrics also contain them, although they start from anecdotes. In ‘1966’ for instance he doubts the conclusions Continue reading
Bojack Records BJR2221960-3
The American singer-songwriter Jude Johnstone also remained relatively unknown in her home country for five consecutive CD’s. Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks and Trisha Yearwood, among others, recorded her songs and Johnstone sometimes scored an indirect hit that way.
Despite the obvious quality of her compositions and her voice, she never broke through with her own records to a large audience, although she could also be heard in various TV series.
Her sixth CD again implicitly asks why not, because Johnstone, once discovered by the now deceased E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons, proves remarkably inspired on it.
She explores unexpectedly new terrain in eleven songs with influences from Continue reading
That Canadian blues singer and harmonica player Big Dave McLean is a big name in his own country, is evident from the fact that he received the Order of Canada because of his merits for national culture. That producer, label owner and guitarist Steve Dawson took him under his wing in 2014 and that this is their third joint album, is perhaps even more convincing proof of his talent.
MacLean proves it abundantly on his seventh album. For him, that is groundbreaking, because he mainly recorded his own songs for the first time. He wrote nine out of twelve and also selected ‘Midnight Rider’ from the Allman Brothers, J.B. Lenoir’s ‘Voodoo Music’ and Muddy Waters ‘Just to be with you’, thus once again honoring his influences.
Yet this is not a traditional blues album, because behind McLean, Dawson and drummer Gary Craig, bass player Jerermy Holmes, keyboard player Chris Gestrin play blues just as enthusiastically as they play rhythm and blues, country or rock and roll.
They recorded the songs live in the studio together with baritone saxophonist Jerry Cook, tenor saxophonist Dominic Conway and trumpet player Malcolm Aiken. With their extra layer they add a lot of swing to the sound and they are therefore just as defining as Dawson’s always recognizable, lyrical solos and Gestrin’s whooping Hammond B-3.
McLean proves to be a somewhat unpolished blues shouter in the best tradition in this tightly playing ensemble. He sings his own songs and covers with just as much enthusiasm as he sings them with feeling and proves himself to be a convincing frontman.