Category Archives: New Music

The Gloaming – 2

I know it’s been a while since my lost post, but I’ve a good excuse, I’ve been on my holidays, or vacation, as they call it this side of the Atlantic. I spent the second week of my holiday in Ireland and while I was there I paid a visit to a cool record store in Cork, called Plugd, the cafe in the same building was called Gulpd which I thought was pretty neat.

One of the albums I bought was The Gloaming’s second album, 2. Not the most original title, but it’s a cracking album.

The Gloaming - 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gloaming have two major factors in their favor as far as I’m concerned, firstly their albums are released by Real World Records, one of my favorite labels and secondly, their vocalist, Iarla O Lionaird, used to be a member of Afro-Celt Sound System, who I love! Have I ever told you I’ve seen them live? It was at a Fleadh in Finsbury Park, back in 2001, if memory serves me right.

As for the album itself, one word, beautiful. I’ve just read a review from the Guardian, who call it “an exquisite album from a virtuoso band”. I can’t argue with that!

I’ve just found another reason to love this band, here in America, they’re signed to Brassland Records, a record label started by the Dessner Brothers of The National, another of my favorite bands. Have I ever told you….

The Brassland Records website has a page devoted to notes on the album’s songs by Iarla O Lionaird. One of the notes which particularly appealed to me was about the song  Fainleog (Wanderer), which is about a “superhero of the ancient gaelic world Fionn Ma Cumhail, who apparently coined the phrase, that the most valuable thing in all of creation was The Music of What happens. Now I’ve never heard that phrase before, but again I can’t argue with that!

 

 

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S Carey – Supermoon

Supermoon by S Carey is the latest addition to my collection. I noticed this EP a few weeks ago when I was on the Jagjaguwar site ordering the latest releases by The Besnard Lakes. Then earlier this week I came across the album at my local record store, Plaid Room Records, and decided to take the plunge.

S Carey - Supermoon

 

 

 

 

 

And I’m so glad I did, it’s simply beautiful.

I shouldn’t be surprised, I’ve already got the first release by S Carey, All We Grow, which I love. In fact, Supermoon, features stripped down version of three of the songs from All We Grow. There’s also a great version of Radiohead’s Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was.

But my favorite track is Neverending Fountain, just check this out….

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Track of the Day – Dreams and Consequences by Nicholas and the Pessimists

My Track of the Day today is Dreams and Consequences by Nicholas and the Pessimists. I came across this bands last week after they started following me on Twitter. I checked their album out last night on their website and have just downloaded it.

nicholas and the pessimistics - nicholas and the pessimistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams and Consequences is the taken from their self titled debut album. I could have picked any of the tracks off the album for my Track of the Day because they’re all great songs.

And best of all, they’re a local band from the Ohio Valley!

Check out this video of Nicholas and the Pessimists performing Dreams and Consequences

 

How good is that!?

And that’s why Dreams and Consequences by Nicholas and the Pessimists is today’s Track of the Day

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Track of the Day – Crybaby by Happenstance

It’s been a while since  I posted a Track of the Day, so thought it was about time for a new Track of the Day. So my Track of the Day is Crybaby by Happenstance.

Happenstance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happenstance have just started following me on Twitter, so I thought I’d check them out. I visited their Bandcamp site and the first track I came across was Crybaby. It’s taken from their third album, Everything Changes.

Happenstance - Everything Changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check it out here..

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WNKU Member!

Since moving to the USA from the UK, I’ve struggled to find a radio station to match those I listened to in the UK. Most of the stations both in Georgia, where I lived for nearly a year, and in and around the Cincinnati area were either packed with commercials and/or were niche stations featuring one genre of music. But that has now changed, I’ve discovered WNKU! I’ve listened to the station at various times of the day and week, and have always come across some great music. In fact at the end of June, I became a sustaining member of WNKU, donating $50 per month,which entitles me to receive their CD of the month.

This last week on WNKU I’ve come across and downloaded two great tracks, which I know I would probably not have heard on any of the other stations I’d listened to in the past.

The first was The Eye – Brandi Carlile , an artist I’d never heard of before. On first listening to it, I thought it was Holly Williams, one of my favorite artists. I’ve just noticed from her twitter feed that The Eye – Brandi Carlile has just been selected as one of NPR‘s best songs of 2015 so far!

Here’s the official video for The Eye – Brandi Carlile:-

The Eye is taken from , The Firewatcher’s Daughter – Brandi Carlile, which is definitely on my wishlist!

The second new track I downloaded this week, after listening to it on WNKU, was Falling from the Sky – Calexico. Now I have heard of Calexico and have heard a few of their tracks on Bob Harris’s radio show back in the UK. Falling from the Sky – Calexico is taken from their latest album, Edge of the Sun

Here’s the official video for Falling from the Sky – Calexico:-

I’ve just read Pitchfork’s review of the album and I’ve found out that Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses, one of my favorite groups, appears on Falling from the Sky, which probably explain why I’ve played this track a dozen times already this week!

So that’s two albums on my wishlist!

 

Calexico - Edge of the Sun

Brandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter

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Karnataka – Secrets of Angels

Up until about a week ago I’d never heard of Karnataka, then their new album, Secrets of Angels, started getting mentioned a lot in the Big Big Train Facebook group I belong too. A lot of my purchases over the past year have been on the recommendation of fellow members of the group, or Passengers as they prefer to be called. To date each purchase has turned out to be a good buy, and Secrets of Angels by Karnataka is no exception.

Karnataka - Secrets of Angels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since receiving the download on Wednesday, I’ve been listening to this album constantly. It supposedly comes under the label of prog, but in my world, there are only two labels, “Music I like” and “Music I don’t like”. Secrets of Angels most definitely comes under the first category!

As mentioned, I knew nothing about this group whatsoever. Their website, Karnataka.org.uk, has a comprehensive history of the band, including a section on their new vocalist Hayley Griffiths, who is probably the main reason I like this album so much. She’s a classically trained soprano with years of experience gained from extensive touring with Michael Flatley’s Riverdance and Lord of the Dance productions. And it’s the classical vocals that make this such an outstanding album. That’s not to decry the rest of the band, who sound excellent and will certainly lead me to explore their back catalogue.

Another plus point for the album is that it was recorded in Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios, never a bad thing in my view!

The album has an orchestral and operatic feel to it as well, which adds to it’s appeal in my opinion.

Anyway enough of me waffling, there’s a superb review of Secrets of Angels by Karnakata on the Progradar website here, which describes this excellent album far better than I ever could!

And just to wet your appetite, check this out….

How good does that sound?

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TW3 – Week 8

And we’re into March already,time for another TW3 and we’re now onto TW3 – Week 8.  So what have I been up to on the music front.  Well the highlight of the week was seeing JJ Grey & Mofro at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati on Friday (27th February).

JJ Grey & Mofro flyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up until a couple of weeks ago, when my wife Tara bought the tickets, I’d never heard of JJ Grey & Mofro. Apparently they’re quite big on this side of the Atlantic, but back in the UK they hadn’t registered on my radar.

It was also our first time at the Taft Theater, and I have to say it’s a great venue, with great acoustics and a great bar, selling local craft beers!

The support for the night were London Souls and although the Cincinnati crowd seemed to enjoy them, I’m afraid I couldn’t get into them at all.

As for JJ Grey & Mofro, I definitely got into them. For a band I’ve never seen or heard before, they kept me entertained from start to finish. The band were simply amazing, all of them being supremely gifted musicians. They’ve obviously got quite a loyal following, as the crowd were singing along to a lot of the numbers.Being my first time, I didn’t recognize the old songs,and as most of them weren’t introduced I can’t name them. JJ Grey did introduce the songs they played from his new album  Ol’ Glory,all of which were very good, my favorite being The Island, which they performed at the start of their encore.

I purchased ,Ol’ Glory on vinyl, from the merchandise song and was well impressed that it came with a download code for the album as well. As this is the first new vinyl album I’ve bought for quite a while, I don’t know if this is the norm, but fair play to the Mascot Label Group for doing this.

JJ Grey & Mofro - Ol' Glory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the album Ol’ Glory, I love it! but not as much as Tara!

Ol’ Glory is currently in the top ten of the Americana charts and Americana features heavily on my other purchase last week. And I got it from Cracker Barrel of all places! We were there a few days ago and on the way out we noticed the featured artist CD they were promoting was Man of Constant Sorrow by Ralph Stanley & Friends. And what friends they are! I won’t name them all, just those I’ve seen live, Robert Plant, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale and Old Crow Medicine Show. Seeing that guest list I had to buy it! And it’s superb, every track is brilliant.

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Talking of Old Crow Medicine Show, check out their latest video, Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer, featuring Dom Flemons

I came across that via a link on Dom Flemons‘ Facebook feed, which is a mine of great music and information. He recently had a link to an interview he did for the Oxford American magazine with a guy called Chris Strachwitz, founder of Arhoolie Records. It’s a fascinating piece, entitled It’s got a Hold of me, and it led me to taking out a subscription for the Oxford American and then buying a DVD,  This Ain’t No Mouse Music! The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records.

Finally I picked up a couple of new followers on Twitter, firstly Arc and Stones, who sound pretty damned good, check this out:

And then there’s RadioRomance, again another cracking band, have a listen to this:

So that’s TW3 Week 8 done with!

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New West/Normaltown Records 2015 Spring Sampler

I downloaded New West/Normaltown Records 2015 Spring Sampler on Wednesday and I have to say it’s excellent. Every single track is well worth a listen. Usually I’ll listen to a sampler album once all the way through and then start skipping tracks, but I’ve played this sampler three times already.

NewWestNormaltown Records - 2015 Spring Sampler

 

 

 

 

 

It opens with a Steve Earle and the Dukes track, Go Go Boots are Back, from his new album, Terraplane. I’ve not listened to any Steve Earle for quite a while, I have a greatest hits CD in my collection, but that’s quite a few years old. If Go Go Boots are Back is typical of his new stuff, I think I may need to listen to the new album, Terraplane. By the way, there’s a great review of Terraplane, by Terry Rowland, on the No Depression website.

The second track on the album is by Nikki Lane. It’s called All or Nothing, from the album of the same name,and I love it! I’ve just been on Nikki Lane’s website and found out that All or Nothing was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Have I ever told you I’ve seen him live? That’s a story for another post…

Miss Catalania 1992 by Buxton is the third track on the album and has got some wicked guitar on it. I’ve never heard of Buxton before this album. The only Buxton I know is a small town in Derbyshire, England, which has a great old theatre, where I’ve seen a few bands. The track is taken from their forthcoming album Half a Native, due out at the start of March.

The next track is Far Away by Lilly HiattCheck this out…

Another favourite on the album is Spinning like a Top by The Devil Makes Three. It’s a very catchy song and I’m sure I’ve heard it before, but I can’t think where or when! And here is Spinning Like a Top

Talking of hearing things before, No Surprise There by Floating Action sounds very similar to early Kings of Leon, no bad thing in my eyes, I hasten to add!

A couple of other tracks to mention before I sign off, firstly Forest Gum by New MadridI’m loving the chorus on this. There’s a review of their new album, Manners, on the Pitchfork website. I’m Sorry Baby (That’s Just the way it Goes) by Ronnie Fauss finishes the album, and in my humble opinion, they’ve saved the best till last! You can find a review of Ronnie Fauss’s latest album Built to Break, on American Songwriter

 

 

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Mishara Music – Artist Sampler 5

One of my favorite labels is Mishara Music I’ve been following them for a few years. Every now and again they release an Artist Sampler, featuring various artists on their label. Their latest Facebook post drew my attention to their latest sampler, Artist Sampler 5.
Mishara Music - Artist Sampler 5

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve listened to the album a couple of times now, and although there’s not a bad song amongst the 15 tracks, there are three that stand out for me.

Firstly, there’s the second song on the album, In the Middle of Heaven and Here by Ken Yates. This is one of the songs featured on his new album, Twenty Three. His album Twenty Three features a track called The One That Got Away, which won the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award last year, awarded by the Ontario Arts Council. I’ve just done a quick Google search on Colleen Peterson and I think I need to check out her music too. The One That Got Away is also available as a free download on the Mishara Music site. Apparently John Mayer, one of my favorite artists, is a big fan. Not a bad endorsement!

The second stand out track is by Connor Garvey, entitled Old House, which I just love! His website describes him as “Acoustic Funky-Folk-Rock for the Good Hearted”, which pretty much sums it up! He reminds me of Jason Mraz, another favorite of mine,particularly on Backroads the other song of his on the sampler.

My third and final stand out track is There’s a Rumor by The August Empire. This is probably my favorite track on the album. There’s a great description on their website,from Pitchfork, which pretty much sums up their music “ryan adams meets bryan adams..kate bush meets anhauser busch” . Whilst browsing on their website, I noticed that one of the tracks on their album, Before the Hereafter, is Comfortably Numb. Not sure if this is a cover of the Pink Floyd classic, so I’ll be checking that out. Also Trevor Rabin gets a mention in the credits for the album, on the website. I have an old 7 inch single by Trevor Rabin from the late 70s or early 80s. Again not sure if it’s the same guy, so something else to check out.

Here’s a YouTube video of There’s a Rumor

I usually buy an album from one of the artists whenever I download from Mishara Music, and I think Before the Hereafter by The August Empire could well be my next purchase!

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SideOneDummy Records

I’ve just come across SideOneDummy Records courtesy of NoiseTrade and their Weekend Edition which featured a Winter Sampler by SideOneDummy Records.

Side One Dummy - Winter-Sampler

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve just downloaded it, you can download it for free, but I like to leave a tip.Here’s the link  I was initially drawn to the sampler as it had a track by Chuck Ragan on it. I saw Chuck Ragan as part of the Revival Tour in 2011, when he was excellent, so thought I’d check this out.

The Revival Tour 2011

 

 

 

 

 

His track on this sampler, You and I Alone, was worth the price of the tip alone, it’s brilliant! And I’ve just found out that Chuck Ragan is playing the Southgate House Revival next Friday, so I could well be seeing him live

Just listening to the rest of the sampler and there’s a track called Gold by Jaws which I’m drawn to, together with a track by Superheaven called In On It.

I’ve just signed up for the SideOneDummy Records newsletter, so I’m sure I’ll be posting more about it. In the meantime, here’s a youtube video of Chuck Ragan

 

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