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Mr. Thomas L. Bromley (England)

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Archive Series Volume No. 1
Archive Series Volume No. 1
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Tranquil, subtle beauty, 23 Feb. 2015
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Sam Beam is a great songwriter in my opinion, and this reunites fans with how the project begun, with just Sam alone usual backing himself and the songs stripped down to the bare minimum. Like all the best songwriters you end up question how he didn't use this material on the creek drank the candle it shows you how prolific he was/is as a writer.

After the Creek Drank the Cradle, Sam moved onto recording his songs with full backing, so after Shepherd's dog, Kiss Each other clean, and Ghost on Ghost, Sam Beam and Iron and Wine are in a different place musically. You may think that but I caught Sam live in November with just him and his guitar, where even the newer material from these later albums were performed by just him, taking these later songs back to a day when he recorded his material more sparingly. I've seen him both on his own and with a band and have to admit I preferred him and the power of his solitary guitar. He also comes across as a guy who appreciates both his audience and his craft.

Archives may hark back to a day when Iron and Wine was much simpler, and there was a tranquil beauty in these early performances but even if Sam has left that time behind, and here we get to celebrate it. Sam for me is still a songwriter who captivates me and my ears and there's hope theres plenty more Iron and wine archived for us to enjoy.

Tomorrow Is My Turn
Tomorrow Is My Turn
Price: £14.85

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Her turn has come, 9 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Tomorrow Is My Turn (Audio CD)
I can't really top the first review of the album, but what a voice having had a passing interest in the Carolina Chocholate Drops it always struck me that while CCD was a collaborative affair, Rhiannon was the member with the voice and while it was great to hear her working as part of a team maybe selfishly weve always wanted to hear her on her own. She is also really impressive on the New Basement Tapes a project where alongside Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith and a few others she helped bring unfinished Bob Dylan songs to life.

If there is any criticism to be made of what Ive heard of this album its that she doesnt really write a lot of her own stuff theres only one original song on the album but the voice is so great that like the best interpreters of songs she makes them her own.

Shadows In The Night
Shadows In The Night
Price: £9.99

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Key is Frank, 2 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Shadows In The Night (Audio CD)
Whether this works for you or not, depends on how much you understand Bob Dylan I guess. Here is an artist that even in the later stages of his career is never afraid to take chances and challenge his fans. I guess that's what geniuses do.

If an album of this quality were released at the time of Self Portrait while it would take a while for fans to digest it would not have suffered the backlash SP did. And as with some of Bob's less immediate albums like Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait itself, Planet Waves or Together Through Life fans often warmed to these albums given time even if they werent to touch some of his accepted classics.

Fans should know that as a visionary no Bob Dylan album ever sounds like the last one, but while some regard this as a tribute to Frank Sinatra it is really just a standards album. While Frank may have recorded these songs, they really aren't songs he was famous for. Fans also have complained that this album is too downbeat, well so was the glorious Time Out Of Mind. It's really the inward struggle of Dylan fans accepting him singing other people's songs (yet alone "Sinatra" songs) that will stop them enjoying this album. Bob's run of really good albums started off after the really poor Under The Red Sky where Bob recorded two acoustic albums Good As I Been To You and World Gone Wrong which were also both cover versions.

For some also a big shock may be recording an album of covers after something as majestic as "Tempest" but also its the nakedness of the album when Bob said that no one has ever recorded his voice like that he isn't fooling (whether thats a good thing or not he he) Bob's voice has minimal backing on it and is in the forefront of each song (a complete contrast to how Lanois mixed Toom) and this makes it stark, powerful and nostalgic and a positive triumph for most.

Look out for "That Lucky Old Sun" if Bob doesnt hit you emotionally with that one then you need to check youve got a heartbeat.There are rumours that another 13 songs were recorded at these sessions and I hope they see the light of day. As for highlights it works as an entire piece and has Bob's personality stamped over it not Frank's. Bob could milk this sort of stuff like Johnny Cash did with the "American Recordings". But call me greedy I also hope he hasn't stopped writing his own songs and theres a rumour he was back in the studio in the fall so let's hope we see the birth of some more original songs from the master.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2015 7:23 PM GMT

Single Mothers
Single Mothers
Price: £8.81

4.0 out of 5 stars Mama's Eyes, Daddy's Genes and a another grower of an album!!!, 29 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Single Mothers (Audio CD)
I've struggled with this album for awhile but truth is Justin's music has changed since Harlem River Blues and so if you've listened to him since the beginning of his career every album has been more challenging. One day though I just put it on and listened to it all the way through (without interuptions) and it just sort of clicked. We should be used to change I mean his father has never stayed in the same place either and has constantly challenged the listener on every album and we should expect Justin to do the same. Also when you see JTE in the flesh it helps you understand the music and songs better. I was challenged by his fourth album Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Fee; About Me Now because it wasnt as instantly likeable as Harlem RIver Blues but I still saw Justin on that tour and the new songs were delightful in the flesh. I really do think Justin is as good as ever its just that the music he is making is challenging to the listener and requires repeated plays. Only critisicm I have is that he always brings up his childhood relationship with his father in interviews when he has reached a stage in his career where his music should be doing the talking. He has 50 per cent of his Daddy's genes in him whether he has his mama's eyes and it's those genes that give him his talent even if he may find it a bit of a curse sometimes.

Price: £10.07

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cure for all ills, 30 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Remedy (Audio CD)
There are some that say Old Crow havent been the same since Willie Watson left, but even if you feel that (Ien dont) its gonna be hard not to enjoy this album, the muscianship is superb. I dont think there's a bad song on here either it's very hard not to feel like stomping along to the up tempo numbers or even to forget yourself and find yourself doing a little jig whilst listening to it on your ipod in public.
It's hard to pinpoint highlights theres at least 8 up tempo, bluegrass frenzies that are difficult not to like eg eight dogs, eight banjos. Dearly Departed Friend tackles a similar subject to Bootleggers Boy (off the last album) but slowed down and more reverent. Sweet Amarillo (like Wagon Wheel) written by Ketch using some lyrics sent to him by the living legend Bob Dylan. Like most songwriters Ketch acknowledges Bob as a huge inspiration.
If your feeling ill or just down in mood then this album and this band is the cure.
Looking forward to the roundhouse gig theres 6 of us going and three have yet to see the awesomeness of OCMS live they are just bloody superb, Im hoping I convert 3 new fans to the wonders of this band and old timey music (eg old crow, Pokey Lafarge)

Turn Blue
Turn Blue
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars some fans might turn blue, 12 May 2014
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
If youve been a Black Keys fan from the start and cant accept change (I havent) then you may not like where the band has evoloved too, if you believe that if the band is to have any longevity they cant stay in the same place you might be ok. I didnt like either of the two singles until i made my way through the record in its entirety. Its gonna be a grower for some or too mainstream for others but real music is meant to challenge you, and each album you make should be unique.

Fair Warning [Digipack]
Fair Warning [Digipack]

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leaving the station, 5 May 2014
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This review is from: Fair Warning [Digipack] (Audio CD)
I first noticed James Walbourne's talents when he opened up at a couple of Justin Townes Earle gigs. Justin the son of American singer songwriter Steve Earle could possibly offer Kami Thompson some advice on how to follow famous parents into the music business.

Some say theres no place for nostalgia in music, I say the best modern music being made today has one foot in the past and just having the ability to write your own material makes you a traditionalist to start with these days . Yes the music here does echo the music of Kami's parents Richard and Linda Thompson but Kami's voice blended with James does have an identity and versatility of its own. On one playing there is enough to suggest that The Rails can forge their own path. If this review seems short its because Ive only listened to this offering once, there are many highlights though but on first listen Breakneck Speed is incredibly catchy. The Rails on this offering should have many people joining them on their journey.

Pokey Lafarge
Pokey Lafarge
Price: £11.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars authentic retro music, 5 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Pokey Lafarge (Audio CD)
If you like live music Pokey Lafarge and his South City Three will blow you away and win you over even if your ears have been corroded by the harmful affects of modern manufactured "music". Pokey's music is timeless and genuine,ent It can make you tap your feet and move or simply break your heart, In the flesh he is so much fun and this translates onto this record.

The first two tracks "central time" and "Devil AInt lazy" are really catchy tunes the latter shows up how the band plays off each other with great guitar and harmonica solos and some of Pokey's best vocals. They then slow the pace down and wonder "what the rain may bring" complete with the newly added horn section and some backing vocals from Caitlin Rose who makes a couple of appearances on this record. Another one-two hits you with the foot tapping "Wontcha' please dont do it" and an ode to live on the road "One time at a time". Pokey carries on boasting with a song dedicated to his girlfriend "Kentucky Mae" as he brags about how lucky he is, and gently pokes fun at other men who cant have her. I dont really think theres a track worth skipping on this album with all the other songs being as good as the rest. I have one advantage over some in that I heard most of this album on their last uk tour and have already booked to see them.

The album was produced by Ketch secor of Old Crow Medicine Show fame, another retro old timey band who you should check out if you havent seen them.

Pokey Lafarge's album deserves to be self titled as it demonstates him at his best and I challenge anyone who has an ear for real music not to be won over.I should give it five stars but lets challenge the boys to see how they follow it up.

The Low Highway
The Low Highway
Price: £16.80

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve shows his class here, 15 April 2013
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This review is from: The Low Highway (Audio CD)
I felt that whilst the last album he made with T Bone Burnett had some strong songs on it, they were all very similar in feel and kind of blended into each other. Making a "road" record as Steve describes it forced Steve to make a more instinctive record here and his fans are rewarded with probably the most musically versatile he has made in ages. Its always hard to assess where a Steve record will rank, he isnt capable of making a bad record although I do feel that the last album for the reasons I expressed was a bit lacklustre.

The album puts you in the unique position that only a major songwriter like Steve would put you in , where your favourite track changes almost daily. The power of good music is it catches up on you so initially hearing "Invisible" I was underwhelmed safe to say I love the song now , a song that deals with how you might feel as a homeless person. Steve will never claim to be a saint but he does write about things that matter to the common man the last song is a heartfelt plea to his very young son John Henry Earle for him to "Remember Me" as with Steve being a father in his fifties he deals with the fact that he may not see his son grow up.I think this may be the only song that may not work for some people, at least not straight away but the sentiments he expresses are sincere. John Henry also has autism another fight for the Earle's.

As soon as you hear the first chords of "Low Highway" where Steve imagines himself in the Depression, you know you are in for treat, and there are also songs that rock like Calico County or Is that All Youve got? (sang with his beautiful wife Alison Moorer)or Down the road (Part 2) to more heartfelt songs like "Burning It down" , After Mardi Gras and Love's Gonna Blow My Way are very different to anything he's tried before with a beautiful violin weaving itself in and out of both songs, as is the piano chord driven Pocketful of Rain- these songs best exemplifies how Steve was trying new things on this record. Warren Hellman's Banjo is less than 2 minutes long and sees him revisit the bluegrass roots we loved on "The Mountain". 21st Century Blues is the most "political" he gets and is it a political song in the usual sense you get With Steve, or just him expressing that we live in a world gone wrong?

This record has helped me rediscover Steve's music as I went back and listened to some older records that believe it or not never hit me that much on first listen namely Jerusalem and The Revolution Starts Now. Its a wonderful record and with his son Justin Townes hitting us with a new record later on this year to be a fan of the Earles is a very rewarding thing.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2013 1:19 AM BST

Harlem River Blues
Harlem River Blues
Price: £11.27

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lets hope he takes a long time drowning, 19 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Harlem River Blues (Audio CD)
I think your own reviewer does a huge diservice to the first two JTE records, but he's correct in saying that this is his best work so far and he sounds like a guy who knows it too. He sounds like he has new found confidence in his ability and is having the time of his life. justin doesnt muck about this album being recorded in 3 days and it sounds so fresh.

Justin sounds joyous in the title track as he talks of drowning himself in the Harlem river, it's an exciting vibrant track no matter how many times you play it. "One More Night In Brooklyn" was the first new track I heard but it's slowed down here and probably works better for it. "Move Over Mama" hits you over the head it rocks and sounds rather like it could have came from Sun Records. The consistency continues with "Working for the MTA" and the fabulous "Wanderin'" which is definately a toe tapper and a gospel feel to it. "Slippin' and Slidin'" sounds like a rock n roll ballad and there is nothing wrong with that.
"Learning To Cry" is for me the weakest track on the album BUT on an album as good as this thats a huge compliment. "Christchurch Woman" and "Ain't Willin'" are both great too and the album (apart from a reprise of the title track) closes with "Rogers Town" which too the unknown listener sounds like Justin has matured as a songwriter its a truly great song but Justin recently revealed that he wrote this when he was just 18.

If this doesn't win him more plaudits and get him more recognition than just being Steve Earle's son nothing will.

Justin is doing a seven date tour of the UK in November, Ive already seen him once live and he is awesome and the tickets are so cheap for such a great performer. Ill see you in Brighton JTE.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2010 9:47 PM BST

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