Category Archives: Festivals

The Besnard Lakes – The Golden Lion

The Besnard Lakes The Golden Lion is my first vinyl of 2016. It’s a 12″ EP released on the Jagjaguwar label.

Besnard Lakes - The Golden Lion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a three track EP, released in advance of their album, A Coliseum Complex Museum. The three tracks being:

A side – Golden Lion, which appears on A Coliseum Complex Museum

B side – The Motorway & In the Forest

There’s a cool review of The Golden Lion EP on Pitchfork. I love it, but I’m biased. I’ve got three of their earlier albums, all of which I play on a regular basis.

I’m going to make The Golden Lion by The Besnard Lakes my first Track of the Day for 2016.

Here it is:

And if you like it, here’s a link to Amazon The Golden Lion 12″

And, have I ever told you…Yes, I’ve seen The Besnard Lakes live. I saw them at the Midpoint Music Festival, here in Cincinnati last year. They played on the Saturday afternoon, and for me were the highlight of the day.

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Midpoint Music Festival – Day One, and the verdict is……

Pretty damned awesome! This was my first Midpoint Music Festival and my second festival since crossing the pond from the UK. And I have to say it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There were so many highlights it’s hard to know where to start, so in time honored tradition, I’ll start at the beginning!

Day One – Friday

I kicked off my festival in Washington Park, where I caught the tail end of Nick Diamonds‘ set, followed by a mesmerizing performance by HANA. Here’s a video of her performing one the two tracks she’s released.

I then took a stroll down to the Christian Moerline brewery, mainly to catch the Heartless Bastards, who I’d been hearing on a regular basis since moving to Cincinnati. But before they hit the stage, Alberta Cross played a stonking set, really rocking the joint. I’ve just been reading about the band and it appears they’re fellow Englishmen, get in! Here’s their track Get Up High

As for the Heartless Bastards, what can I say, they more than lived up to expectations. From start to finish they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. They sound great from the tracks I’ve heard on the radio, but they sound so much better live, with vocalist, Erika Wennerstrom, sounding less smoother live. I wanted to say grittier, but that didn’t sound too good! The rest of the band sounded pretty awesome too!  They played a lot of songs from their latest album, Restless Ones, which I liked so much that, on getting home after the gig, I downloaded it and listened to it throughout the weekend.

Here’s Gates of Dawn from the Heartless Bastards

That was the first of many wallet emptiers over the weekend! So that as my first day at Midpoint Music Festival, not a bad start, but it got better on Saturday……

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Midpoint Music Festival

Okay, I’m more than a little excited, I’ve just bought my ticket for the Midpoint Music Festival, being held on 25-27 September in Cincinnati. The reasons for the excitement, well firstly, one of my favorite live acts, Pokey LaFarge is appearing at Washington Park on the Sunday evening. This will be my fourth time seeing Pokey LaFarge, I first saw him in Leeds, England at Brudenell Social Club. As well as a brilliant performance from Pokey LaFarge, the night was memorable due to a great performance from the support band, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra and also for me protecting my date, and future wife, from a group of drunken Yorkshiremen!

By the time we saw Pokey LaFarge the second time, we’d moved to Columbus, Georgia. We made a 100 mile trip to see him at a great venue, just outside Atlanta, called Eddie’s Attic. This was another great evening’s entertainment,and one which was thoroughly enjoyed by our two sons. The last time, we saw Pokey LaFarge was on his Central Time Tour,at Middletown, Ohio. By this time, we’d moved to Cincinnati, so this was virtually on our doorstep. Once again this was a great evening, featuring another favorite of mine, Dom Flemons, and a group that soon became favorites, The Tillers.

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So needless to say I’m looking forward to seeing Pokey LaFarge!

My second reason for getting so stoked is that I finally get to see The Besnard Lakes, I’ve been dying to see The Besnard Lakes for a few years now. I’ve got a couple of their albums, The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse and The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night , and they’re both brilliant and I can’t wait to see them live. They’re appearing at Washington Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Besnard Lakes - are the Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Besnard Lakes - are the Roaring Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are just two reasons for getting my ticket to the Midpoint Music Festival and I’m sure you’ll be hearing alot more from me about it over the next few weeks!

And to finish with, how about some Pokey LaFarge, here’s the title track from his latest album, Something in the Water….

 

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All the Girls are Complicated!

I came across a great video on my Facebook feed on Friday. It’s the first ever video by one my favorite female singers, Laura Cantrell. The video is of Laura’s All the Girls are Complicated song from her No Way There From Here album. It features Laura herself and her daughter, Isabella. Check this out, it’s great!

I’ve got two of Laura Cantrell‘s albums in my collection. I downloaded the No Way There From Here album last year. It’s a great album which opens with the All the Girls are Complicated, but it’s the second song, Starry Skies which is my favorite. Having said that, all the songs are great! It’s one of those albums which I play in it’s entirety from start to finish, which in these days of the iTunes shuffle is a bit of a rarity! I’m just listening to the album as I type this, and another favorite as just come on, Can’t Wait. Now that’s an ideal song to type to, I’m sure my typing speed tripled as that song was playing!

Laura Cantrell - No Way There From Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other Laura Cantrell album I have is Kitty Wells Dresses – Songs of the Queen of Country Music, which I have on CD.

Laura Cantrell - Kitty Wells Dresses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This holds a cherished place in my collection, as I purchased it after seeing Laura Cantrell and her band live at the legendary Ernest Tubbs Record Shop in Nashville, Tennessee.

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My wife, Tara, and I, were in Nashville for the Americana Music Festival and came across this gig by accident. I’m so glad we did, as it was one of the highlights of the festival, which is saying something, as there were so many great performances that week.

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Cincinnati Entertainment Awards

I cast my votes in the Cincinnati Music Awards for the first time last night. I’ve only been in Cincinnati four months, but during that time I’ve managed to catch The Tillers a couple of times, and both times they’ve been brilliant. The first time I saw them perform was as part of Pokey Lafarge‘s Central Time Tour. I’ll be doing a separate post about that superb evening, but The Tillers blew me away, so much so that I purchased their latest album, Hand on the Plow, straight after he gig.

The Tillers - Hand on the Plow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was on the strength of that performance that I decided to get tickets for the Cincy Groove Music Festival at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky. And I’m so glad I did!

First of all a word about the venue. The Southgate House Revival is located in the The Grace Episcopal Methodist Church, which dates back to 1866. The gig was taking place in The Sanctuary, one of three rooms in the building used for gigs. The first thing I noticed on entering the Sanctuary was an old pipe organ, which apparently is the original organ for the church. The next thing I noticed were the stained glass windows, which were simply stunning. I think I may well have to do some research on this building, both as a church and as a music venue. Anyway enough of the architecture, what about the music?

First up were Shiny and the Spoon who got the evening off to a great start, but for me it was the next band, Hickory Robot, who really got things going. The fiddle playing and vocals of Lauren Schloemer stood out amongst all four members of the group, who were excellent in their own right. The highlight of their set was a ten minute epic called Exhultation, from their latest album Sawyer, which reminded me of an old Lindisfarne song, Dingly Dell. I think it was partly due to the atmospheric nature of the song, but mainly due to the mandolin playing of Scott Carnder, that I connected them with Lindisfarne.

I was well impressed with Hickory Robot, which led to yet another CD purchase!

Hickory Robot-Sawyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next on stage was the only artist not from Cincinnati,Chicago Farmer, This is the name by which Cody Diekhoff goes by. He’s a folk singer in the Woody Guthrie style and kept the crowd well entertained despite an electrical hiccup at the start of his set. He was certainly topical, referencing the recent Ferguson murder in one of his songs.

He warmed the crowd up nicely for the headliners The Tillers, who from start to finish were simply superb. Having played the Hand on the Plow numerous times since buying it I was familiar with a lot of the songs in the set, but hearing them played live just took them to another dimension. Their interaction with the crowd created a great atmosphere and I can safely say this was one of my top gigs of the year.

And my wallet took a further hit when I purchased their live CD, Farewell to the Historic Southgate House, the title of which has made me more intrigued about this great venue.

The Tillers - Farewell to the Historic Southgate House

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tillers were nominated in three categories in the Cincinnati Music Awardsneedless to say they got my vote in all three!

 

 

 

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