Niamh Boadle’s Maid on the Shore

Britain is full of young talented folk singers and players. Niamh Boadle is one of them. She first came onto my radar some years ago when I shared a spot at Warwick Folk Music Festival with her band Tri. Since then she has made two albums including this one, and studied Irish Folk Music at . . . → Read More: Niamh Boadle’s Maid on the Shore

Woody Pines’ self-titled release

This self-titled album is, I think, the fifth release under the Woody Pines moniker (a follow-up to 2013’s stellar Rabbits Motel), and his first on the underground Nashville label Muddy Roots. On this outing the band consists of the versatile Skip Frontz, Jr., on doghouse bass, and Brad Tucker on guitars. Woody himself plays guitar . . . → Read More: Woody Pines’ self-titled release

Leonard Cohen’s Take This Waltz

I’ve said before that I like the voice of this musician much better as he grew older than when he was young, as it’s got a gravitas that it didn’t have when he was younger. And it’s perfect for such songs of his as ‘Take Take Waltz’ which I’m discussing here.

It was originally released . . . → Read More: Leonard Cohen’s Take This Waltz

Riley Walker’s Primrose Green

At a time when lots of musicians are reviving the glories of the analog synthesizer (including both Calexico and the Decemberists this year), Ryley Walker is going even farther back into the depths of rock history. This Rockville, Illinois, native now based in Chicago is churning out psychedelic folk-rock that calls to mind the restless . . . → Read More: Riley Walker’s Primrose Green

The Iron Horse, A Retrospective Look

The Iron Horse was a Scottish band founded in 1990. I heard them in Edinburgh several times over the ten years they existed as a touring group and they were as great live as they are recorded.

During the decade that the band existed, it performed mostly Scottish music but merged in other material as well. If . . . → Read More: The Iron Horse, A Retrospective Look

Himmerland’s The Spider in the Fiddle

Why was I taken by surprise by Himmerland’s The Spider in the Fiddle? Firstly, Denmark is full of good music, and Danish groups are constantly producing lovely music. Secondly, I have twice before discovered new favourite groups with Ditte Fromseier in. First there was Flax in Bloom, a group that never recorded but in concert . . . → Read More: Himmerland’s The Spider in the Fiddle

Todd Grebe & Cold Country: Citizen

It’s pretty common for a classic or even alternative country musician to make an occasional (or even permanent) foray into bluegrass. Think of Dolly Parton on the one hand and Robert Earl Keen on the other. But it’s a little more unusual for a musician to go the other way, from the ranks of bluegrass . . . → Read More: Todd Grebe & Cold Country: Citizen

Music matters: Steeleye Span: Wintersmith

This recording is the last one by Steeleye Span before violinist Peter Knight left in November 2013, prior to Jessie May Smart becoming the new violinist. This leaves vocalist Maddy Prior as the only founding member still with the band.

Wintersmith is a novel by the late and much missed Terry Pratchett who passed on earlier this year. . . . → Read More: Music matters: Steeleye Span: Wintersmith

Sound Bites — Francophone folk and rock roundup

Le Vent du Nord: Têtu

For its eighth studio release in 13 years, the contemporary Québécois folk ensemble Le Vent du Nord (The North Wind) presents a sprawling opus of 15 songs and tunes. Entitled Têtu or Determined, it comprises a variety of topics and styles, from a capella songs to stripped-down arrangements to a . . . → Read More: Sound Bites — Francophone folk and rock roundup

Music Matters: Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning

If you’re like me and mostly familiar with Wes Montgomery from his smooth, professional later work—such as his delightful duet albums with organist Jimmy Smith or his late-’60s pop work with Don Sebesky, or even his powerful early work on Riverside such as his 1961 breakthrough So Much Guitar—then you’re in for a treat with . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning