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T.Rose (UK)

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That's Where I Belong
That's Where I Belong
Price: £13.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Two cd deluxe set includes live in studio CD2, 20 Sept. 2016
This review is from: That's Where I Belong (Audio CD)
The songwriting is classy, observational lyrics and imagined stories are
soundtracked by an original take on modern folk /Americana - Black Country Soul if you will. Political stories of displacement and refugees (Close Up) and lyrics dealing with anxiety
and mental health (CCC, Little Left Unsaid), sit beside more personal reflections and universal themes of family and love, loss and compassion (Work).
Recorded at Reservoir Studios in London and Kyoti in Glasgow, the album was produced in the main by Chris Clarke (The Rockingbirds) and Danny George Wilson (Danny & The Champions of the World). It features the legendary pedal and lap steel player B.J.Cole
and folk/trance singer Jess Morgan.
The first disc of the double album closes with a beautifully sparse, solo electric version of cult underground songwriter , Geoff Farina's (Karate) Left Handed Way, the perfect surprise that leads into a full second disc of solo live in the studio versions of album tracks. Another fairly obscure (but essential) cover opens disc two, Dan's version Two Widows written by English folk songwriter Chris Wood. This is Dan's best album yet, a major artistic statement that shows where he's been and hints at what might follow. Great songs, well played with melody and space. Deserved of a wide audience.

Price: £10.24

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vagabond is the one, 9 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Vagabond (Audio CD)
As good as those earlier records are (and they really are), Vagabond is the one I play and play and will continue to do so. There was just something that grabbed me. I thought it was the sense of maturity, much like a premium single malt, or perhaps the easy jazzy lit to some of the songs, the sublime arrangements and playing. Yet the more I listened, the more I started to feel that this was a deeply personal record for Eddi and all the more involving for it. Perhaps they all are, but this one seemed to be more about her taking stock of her life, her family, her music and career therein. Then there was that title…

Vagabond is defined both as wandering from place to place, being nomadic with no fixed home, but also living a carefree and easy come, easy go life. The title track uses a poem by John Masefield for the lyric, which neatly seems to bisect those two definitions.
There are familiar faces  and new names gathered together. It’s Mark Freegard who has moved the metaphorical mountain, actually his Kyoti studio, to Eddi’s. Also Roy Dodds (Drums), Alan Kelly (accordion), Ian Carr (guitar), Ewan Vernal (bass), and John McCusker are all familiar names from Eddi’s recent records. Boo Hewerdine is of course involved and Declan O’Rourke once again makes the song writers selection. Newer names are Gustaf Ljundggern who has outstanding multi-instrumental skills and has worked with Boo’s State Of The Union and pianist Steve Hamilton.

The overall sound is quite lush and that adds to that feeling of maturity. It’s a grown up sound that isn’t afraid to delve into a classic palate, but benefits from impeccable taste, borrowing only what is worth preserving. Add some absolutely fantastic playing, as the orchestration shimmers with really clever use of pedal and lap steel guitars, there are little details, a line picked out by accordion, guitar, piano, even mandolin and ukulele that suddenly take the attention. Every track sparkles instrumentally in one way or another. Above all it’s the vocal performances –  Eddi has never sounded better but the ensemble’s voices are used brilliantly throughout – luxuriant, like crushed velvet, with the odd cheeky twist such as Macushla (My Darling).

The CD ends in the same relaxed style, but with a trio of songs that all have an upbeat message. Pray The Devil Back To Hell is about defeating your inner demons, built around a blue note piano line that picks out the title. Here Comes The Bells, is dedicated to her friend, the musician, Phil Cunningham, who by inviting Eddi to perform with him at Christmas has brought the season to life again. The closer, It’s A Beautiful Night, is about seizing the moment. It’s a song written by Boo Hewerdine, whose collaboration with Eddi down the years have created some memorable moments and this is another.

It’s 25 years since Fairground Attraction first hit the heights, but to borrow from them and joining up Eddi’s past with a song she still plays live, “Too many people take second best, but I won’t take anything less, it’s got to be, yeah, perfect.” I’m not going to tell you that Vagabond is, but for me it gets close enough not to mind the gap.

Black Water & Live (Remastered Deluxe Edition)
Black Water & Live (Remastered Deluxe Edition)
Price: £7.43

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2007 Landmark album re-mastered and expanded with live album (full band), 21 Nov. 2012

Lightweights & Gentlemen + Live (Remastered Deluxe Edition)
Lightweights & Gentlemen + Live (Remastered Deluxe Edition)

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Studio Album & Live Treat, 21 Nov. 2012
Sublime anarchic folk music.
Lau redefine how a trio can sound, arming
themselves with both highly original repertoire and
superb takes on traditional material. What strikes you is
their fearless appetite for improv, some tunes dig deep
into a wild array of genres taking in their influnece from around the world and spitting them out in a near perfect folk -pysche stew !
Lau's sophisticated arrangements add genuine emotion to their instrumentals whilst Kris Drever's singing on the three songs included " Butcher Boy" , " Unquiet Grave"and " Freeborn Man" match any song on his classic " Black Water" Lau won the BBC Folk Award for Best Group 2008,2009 and 2010 setting a new bench mark for innovation within instrumental and traditional music, surely one of the greatest folk releases of the last decade, if not all time!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2013 8:48 PM GMT

Race The Loser
Race The Loser
Price: £11.21

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-folk !, 8 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Race The Loser (Audio CD)
'Lau are a remarkable band - the most musically adventurous trio in British folk
- exquisite and hypnotic, musicianship at its best '


'A classy, beguiling creation'
UNCUT 8/10

'The world's first Post-folk group - Lau continually break new ground'


'Race the Loser - a confident, assured record from a group stretching themselves and achieving great things'


'Leagues ahead of the crowd - worthy of a David Lynch movie
expansive sonic landscapes - it's time to ring some changes - may frighten a few horses'

'an innovative, beautifully realised album'

`This is music of such stunning creativity - one of most thrilling live bands, now one of most thrilling studio bands as well - what phrase, what note can possibly be coming next? '

`Lau are cutting edge renegades, super-charged with confident, free-thinking music that will enthrall'

`Echoes of Penguin Café Orchestra and later Beatles' recordings'

`Buzzes full of natural light from which the band derives it's name'

More about Lau

Brilliant musicians, thrilling performers, free-thinking visionaries and all-round good chaps as well...small wonder Lau are regarded as the epicentre of the new folk boom . And they've got shelves groaning with awards, a forest's worth of ecstatic reviews and breathless plaudits from excited audiences in various outposts of the world ringing in their ears to prove it...
Indeed, the republic of Lau-land has acquired almost empirical status as a journey which started with three blokes sitting down to play a few tunes on fiddle, guitar and squeeze-box at a kitchen table in Edinburgh one day in 2004. Lau quickly burst out of the undergrowth into groundbreaking terrain. Since then Lau has not merely become one of the great success stories of the last decade - and a barometer of the fast-changing and increasingly all-embracing face of British folk music - it is now a by-word for an exceptionally creative community, inspiring a boldly varied and richly colourful array of offshoot bands and projects wielding daring ideas with a myriad of musical styles and unlikely collaborators. Lau's burgeoning CV now encompasses EPs with the exceptional singer songwriter Karine Polwart and electronica innovator Adem; concerts with everyone from Cream rock legend Jack Bruce to Northern Sinfonia; and an open-minded approach to recording that ranges from their own complex but eminently accessible tune-making to the startling re-working of Dear Prudence included on an all-star re-make of The Beatles' classic White Album (and the De-Luxe edition of Arc Light).
"We've never wanted to repeat ourselves," says Aidan O'Rourke, master fiddler from Oban, whose extra-curricular exploits include two majestic solo albums, founding membership of the big band Blazin' Fiddles, trailblazing excursions into jazz, world, Gaelic and classical music and fiddling to the fore of another magnificent supergroup, Kan. "We're folk musicians but firstly we're musicians with a love of different styles and we don't think we're cheating on anybody by drawing on that. We all love and play a wide range of music but what we have in common is a deep love of hardcore traditional music."
Martin Green - fearless, techno curious accordion innovator, general livewire and token East Anglian - also has a long and admirable track record that includes working with the likes of Eliza Carthy, Joan Baez, Linda Thompson, a string of commissioned compositions and the production of a show for England's Opera North featuring Becky Unthank.His explosive handiwork affords scant respect for any of the artificially imposed boundaries that habitually strangle innovation.
"Paul McCartney said he never spent more than three hours on a song. With Lau we never spend less than three weeks. Everything we do now is a real collaborative effort and we love rehearsing...it's one of the joys of this band."
The third and, by some distance, tallest member of Lau is Kris Drever, the dark-haired , winsome voiced, rock-loving guitarist/singer/songwriter from Orkney. Drever, who says he thought he'd died and gone to heaven when he got to play Sunshine Of Your Love on stage with Jack Bruce at Celtic Connections in 2012, achieved something of a cult success recording and touring with Roddy Woomble and John McCusker and won many admirers - not to mention a clutch of award nominations - for his gently affecting solo albums Black Water and Mark The Hard Earth.
With all three involved in so many different projects - and constant demand for their services on other people's records - you wonder that they can maintain focus on Lau. Yet, as one, they describe Lau as "the motherband"...and one that carries such a unique spirit borne of the intuitive understanding and mutual respect between them that they are intensely proud of their achievements so far. And eager to pursue lots more...
"We've been proud of our music from day one," say the band "Before we started Lau the three of us were all busy doing other things and we said then that unless we could do something dynamic we'd keep it to ourselves. Now the gigs feel amazing. We're on fire right now and we're ready for the next level and putting on a show that's spectacular and dynamic. "
Dynamic is certainly the word. From almost the first moment they ventured out into public (after a year solid rehearsing) audiences reacted joyously to their thrilling ensemble playing and the freshness of ideas and arrangements that constantly leap and dip in unexpected contours, with sharp mood swings and subtle nods to rock, jazz improvisation and other areas beyond the beyond.
Debut album Lightweights and Gentlemen, released in 2007 - mixing original tunes with inspired arrangements of songs like the traditional Unquiet Grave and Ewan MacColl's Freeborn Man -instantly rocketed them into the fore of the burgeoning new folk scene, triggering an onslaught of awards that includes an unprecedented three consecutive wins as Best Group at the BBC Folk Awards. Such was their reputation as a blistering stage act that they followed Lightweights and Gentlemen with the Lau Live album and then, in 2009, came the equally well-received Arc Light, with a grander setting that even produced a heavily played single, Winter Moon.
Cue more awards, triumphant tours, a proud catalogue of stomping headline festival appearances, splinter bands and a string of intriguing collaborations that we now find flavouring the new sound of Lau, as revealed on fourth album, Race The Loser. One of those collaborators, ambient electro pioneer Adem - who worked with Lau on the Ghosts EP with its themes of social migration and refugees - has certainly encouraged them to explore the potential of technology, resulting in Martin Green now juggling his accordion wizardry with an element of knob-twiddling.
"We learned an awful lot from Adem," says Green. "Folk music can be quite conservative at times, but he worked in such a different way it opened a lot of things up and gave us permission to do anything. That has stayed with us. We have a great love for electronic music and some of it works with Lau and some of it doesn't, you just have to keep your ears open and keep it tasteful. "
At the other extreme, another major influence has been contemporary composer Brian Irvine, who roped Lau into Strange Attractors, commissioned by the Sage in Gateshead as an orchestral piece, pitching Lau with the Northern Sinfonia. This, too, had a big effect on them, allowing them license to explore a sonic approach and experiment with a more spatial sound.
"These collaborations felt like they were giving us a new palate to work with," says Martin. "Karine Polwart, Jack Bruce, Brian Irvine, Adem...they've all helped us and inspired a lot of pieces and we all feel really confident as a result."
Having worked closely with Calum Malcolm on the previous albums, they've adopted a different tack on Race The Loser, enlisting the production services of Nashville's Tucker Martine, noted for his work with Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, R.E.M and Laura Veirs. "We loved the sound he got on the Abigail Washburn album, it's so creative." says Aidan O'Rourke. "
And the loyal Lau family - increasingly aligned to the group through the online Lau-land community - needn't worry about the band they know and love turning into a techno orgy driven by beats and computers....
"Noooo," says Aidan. "It's just that we have these additional tools and writing compositions that include laptop, effects and loops has become part of the process. We write with those things in mind and they can be as important as instruments. It all adds to the sparkle and widens what we do as a trio. But we're not going to become an electronic band. We're a folk trio and always will be..."

Colin Irwin

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2012 6:55 PM BST

Simone Felice
Simone Felice
Price: £4.80

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars **** 4/5 MOJO, **** 4/5 UNCUT, **** 4.5/5 THE SUN, **** THE INDEPENDENT, 7 April 2012
This review is from: Simone Felice (Audio CD)
Great debut from former Duke & The King / Felice Brothers Songwriter.

Already getting some lovely reviews such as :

**** 4/5 MOJO
****.5 /5 THE SUN
**** 4/5 TELEGRAPH

'Simone Felice has the poetic gifts and fearless aesthetic to rank among the all-time greats, from Cohen to Cave' - The Telegraph

'These are songs of memory and regret, of reminiscence and desire, songs that reflect on love and childhood and Americanness and, more than anything, on time passing... each song somehow sounds like a classic, each live performance suggesting we are in the presence of a rare, fiery brilliance' - The Guardian

'Spellbinding' - Uncut

When you sit in a room with Simone Felice you can hear a subtle metallic ticking noise. If you hunt for the source of the sound you'll find a scar bisecting the entire length of his chest, a visceral reminder of the open-heart surgery he was forced to undergo in the summer of 2010 after a childhood congenital defect brought him to the brink of death. Felice's heart is his metronome, his divining rod, and the life source of his self-titled solo debut, set for release on April 2nd, 2012 via Reveal Records.

Former drummer, writer and vocalist of Catskill Mountain troubadours The Felice Brothers, and the creator of folk-soul outfit The Duke & The King, Simone Felice steps into the spotlight to begin his journey as a lone artist, bearing the fruits of a lifetime of song-writing. Largely self-produced with help from Ben Lovett (Mumford & Sons), the album was recorded in deeply resonant places, settings that were as haunted in their rafters as Felice felt in his bones: a barn near his house in the woods, an old church in London, an abandoned high school building by the Hudson River. What he created in these hushed, hallowed places is music that could be called folk but that has running through it a ghostly gospel-like feel.

Simone Felice is strikingly simple in its arrangements while extravagant in its emotional impact. Each track is rife with intricate imagery and captivating storytelling, not surprisingly, as Simone is an acclaimed wordsmith, published poet and novelist. As with his prose, Felice conveys his often mournful tales of star-crossed lovers and beautiful losers with remarkable empathy, giving each a deeply personal feeling.

"Courtney Love" is less recrimination than rumination on the loneliness in all of us that can lead to reckless, desperate behavior. Lead single "You & I Belong" (with friends from Mumford & Sons) finds Felice praising each new morning, an increasingly difficult chore in today's pixilated world of seven billion distractions. The darkly exquisite "New York Times" presents a commanding lyrical onslaught about the dire state of the front page news.

The album is available on LP VINYL WITH CD INSIDE or CD.

Opener "Hey Bobby Ray" is a stunning choral track about abuse and retribution featuring The Felice Brothers and a girls' choir from Simone's hometown, the Catskill High School Trebleaires.

Simone Felice is on tour in the UK/IRE through April and returns in September 2011.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2012 12:03 PM BST

Work Harder & One Day You'll Find Her
Work Harder & One Day You'll Find Her
Offered by trec002
Price: £17.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album, subtle acoustica,delicate strings & truly great songs., 22 Nov. 2009
Since first picking up the cello at the age of seven, Barney has gone onto performing internationally with bands such as the Eliza Carthy Band, Chris Wood, and Folk award winning band the Imagined Village alongside Billy Bragg, Eliza and Martin Carthy.

Barney Studied both classical and baroque cello at the Royal Collage of Music and Drama in Cardiff and went onto win a scholarship to study baroque cello performance at the Royal Collage of Music with Jennifer Ward-Clarke.

During his time in London, Barney also ventured into song writing and teaching himself guitar, which led to forming a band made up of other collage students and recorded his debut album at the Royal Collage studios with Toni Castells (Momo Project).

This change of direction continued after leaving collage and since 2007, been performing under the name `Duotone' using live loops combining both the cello and guitar producing carefully crafted songs with a clever use of timing and dynamics, creating the sound of anything from a single voice and guitar, to carefully layered guitars backed by a full string ensemble.

Duotone has gone onto perform `Katherine's Wheel', an original composition live on tour with the Imagined Village around the UK and is currently supporting the Eliza Carthy Band on her tour of the UK and Ireland.

On February 21st Kate Garrett and Barney Morse-Brown launched their joint musical venture, Garrett Brown Music, in Oxford. At the time of the launch, Kate had been battling with breast cancer for some 18 months. Setting up this new business was very close to her heart and getting the Garret Brown Music show on the road while she was still able to work became her aim. The launch evening was a very special event and brought her much joy and satisfaction. Sadly, after this her condition worsened significantly and she passed away in Dorset, her home county, on 22nd May.

GBM was set up as an online home for up to date news and info on Kate and Barney's diverse work across the music world. Since Kate's death, some things have of course had to change. Information about Kate's work can still be found on the site, and her CDs are still for sale. You can still find out about Barney's current projects, look at both Kate and Barney's past work and browse their shop, or book Barney for an event that you are involved in.... Both Kate and Barney grew up in families of craftspeople, from cabinet and instrument makers, to artists and milliners. The musical skills you will read about here continue this tradition. They both crafted music for many years and Barney aims to continue to provide the quality they both aspired to in all that he offers.

Price: £17.31

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Album Yet.. Colonia is a gem., 22 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Colonia (Audio CD)
Cardigans singer and band, inhabit a strange world of magical realism, vintage New York and ABBA, making COLONIA her best album yet.




Nina Persson, to many of us, will always be the sweetly icy blonde from Swedish indie darlings The Cardigans, singing skewed pop songs about Lovefools and Favourite Games. A Camp is her side-project with fellow countryman Niclas Frisk, a friend who, like her, secretly loved classic American songs. Their 2001 self-titled debut album came dappled with Deep South sunshine, but their 2009 follow-up is another creature entirely. Absurdly ambitious and glamorous, it travels from Victorian Manhattan to the 1970s Bowery, across continental roadtrips and through mystical landscapes, and takes radio-friendly sounds into bold, new dimensions.

Although this record is instantly catchy, it's also mesmerically odd. Its far-reaching intentions are clear from the opening track, a colossal, silvery epic called The Crowning. A tinkling piano summons the `perfect pop' of The Carpenters' Close To You and the shimmer of Phil Spector; Persson brings us into a room brightened with flowers in rose and maroon where fires are lit and swines are seasoned, and then, out of nowhere, curtains open, and someone's bloody head is born. It's both alarming and rather sublime, and the chorus captures the glitz and melancholy of ABBA's best ballads; here's art and pop making strange and seductive new bedfellows.

But while Colonia is all about grand expressions of emotion, it rarely crosses over into extravagance or, indeed, camp. Persson's voice is the key to this magic. There is a delicate resignation in that line "luck can do you like a shotgun", in Stronger Than Jesus, a paean to the broken woman. And there's the smallest hint of vulnerability when she tells us It's Not Easy To Be Human, adding a touch of warmth to the wild, icy string accompaniment. On I Signed The Line, a wry meditation on broken marriage set to an incongrously bouncy organ, her rounded notes give these clashing worlds a real sense of togetherness.

The most immediate moment here is My America, a song full of powerful metaphors about a cold-hearted world and a starstruck inhabitant who is "yours to knock around". Full of clout that recalls the voice of Jenny Lewis at its best, this is the huge, brilliant single that Rilo Kiley never made. For what A Camp have - and what Rilo Kiley lost, all too quickly - is reserves of imagination. Bear On The Beach talks of Iris climbing a ladder to the sky: you'll think of Kate Bush and Bjork, and how their bizarre brand of magical realism turns feelings into things, bold and breathing. When you hear how A Camp treat the simple idea behind Love Has Left The Room, you'll just want to chase love and bring it back. This record, all about humanity, is just a little bit superhuman. JUDE ROGERS WORD FEB 09
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 21, 2010 10:07 PM GMT

First Sighting
First Sighting
Price: £5.73

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lau member makes mind bendingly inventive folkjazztronicarocktradpoetryfusionavant album !!!!! (new genre then), 17 Jan. 2009
This review is from: First Sighting (Audio CD)
The first pressing of this comes in a nice digi pack package with a folk out poster booklet featuring some original artwork by one of the judge dred comic illustrator's Ben Cook.. well worth buying early to get that...

"Pulls together a plethora of stylistic references: folk, avant rock, dance, global, jazz, sampling, you name it- in an original and exciting way that is all his own." (the scotsman)

The Sound of a powerful yet beautiful hangover resulting from a night out dancing with Frank Zappa and Astor Piazzolla, each with a girl on their arm and Duke Ellington buying chasers at the bar....

The Green Machine started life as Lau accordionist Martin Green's commission piece for last year's Celtic Connections' New Voices series. Wild noise carvings, voices of unspoilt beauty and a brass band shrunken and mutated during their trip through time and space sit atop a backline of broken beat and ferocious groove. Girls, Brass, Beats and Accordions, they've got it all !
"Tirelessly effervescent and creative with outstanding solo features" (The Herald)
Green brings together some of the most prestigious and eclectic talent from England and Scotland to form a new collective: Edinburgh jazzer Sophie Bancroft shares vocal duties with recent Bonnie Prince Billy collaborator, Inge Thomson (also of Karine Polwart Band /Harem Scarem). Brass living legend Rick Taylor with Fergus Kerr (french horn) and Andy McKreel (tuba), both regular players with the SNO and other leading orchestras. Back-line is provided by Barnaby Stradling (Eliza Carthy, Blowzabella) and Ayrshire rhythm master Alyn Cosker. The many terrifying talents of Tom Cook include electronics, guitars, sound manipulation and live sampling (Tom is a producer of drum'n'bass and electronica, working out of his native Brighton under the name "Manni"). Add to this mix accordion problem child Martin Green playing accordion, samplers and more and you have the formidable new album "First Sighting".

Gramercy Arms
Gramercy Arms

5.0 out of 5 stars West Coast sounding gem from cool East Cost Collective, 25 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Gramercy Arms (Audio CD)
Snappy,New York pop rock with classic hooks,heartfelt lyricism and some stunning collaborations from members of Joan Apw, Luna, Dead Air ,Lloyd Cole, Sarah Silverman, Guided By Voices, Nada Surf and Shudder To Think and A Camp .. x

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