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

Music matters: Steeleye Span’s Mummers Play

Mummers plays are in essence medieval morality plays. Should that note leave you uninterested in anything further I’ve got to say, consider that they are staged with elaborate masks and other props. Now let’s further add Steeleye Span doing one in 1974 and you’ve got something that is, well, terribly silly, I’d say.

Michael Hunter . . . → Read More: Music matters: Steeleye Span’s Mummers Play

Music matters: Kathryn Tickell & The Side

Lars Nilsson says he’s seen two live performances by Kathryn Tickell. The first time was at Sidmouth Folk Festival in 1986. Then she was a new hope on the folk scene, playing acoustically in one of the small halls. The second was last summer at Folk by the Oak in Hatfield, just outside London, with . . . → Read More: Music matters: Kathryn Tickell & The Side

Music matters: Thelonious Monk: The Complete Riverside Recordings

The middle decades of the 20th Century were a golden age of jazz. Dozens of world-class musicians all over the United States produced music that defined the era, from bop to cool jazz to hard bop, free improvisation and fusion. Three names tower over all: Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Today, I’m talking . . . → Read More: Music matters: Thelonious Monk: The Complete Riverside Recordings

Music Matters: Jerry Lawson: Just a Mortal Man

The Persuasions made something like 40 albums in 22 years with Jerry Lawson as their lead singer and arranger, but until recently their album of Frank Zappa covers was pretty much all I knew of Mr. Lawson’s singing. They just didn’t play The Persuasions on the radio in the little town where I grew up, . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Jerry Lawson: Just a Mortal Man

Music Matters: Some Sunday Morning Music for You

I’m out in the Courtyard on this warm Scottish morning watching a pick-up football match on the Greensward between Iain’s all female Library apprentices and an all male group from the staff that works for Gus, the Estate Head Gardener. (Gus has a number of female staff but they declined to play as they had . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Some Sunday Morning Music for You

Music Matters: Steeleye Span

So let’s have some music from what I consider the best electrified folk band that Great Britain ever produced, Steeleye Span. Over forty years of live performances have produced a treasure trove of excellent soundboard recordings.

Let’s start off with a perennial favourite of fans:‘One Misty Moisty Morning’M as performed at Fairport Convention’s . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Steeleye Span

Music Matters: Loened Fall: The Complete Recordings

It won’t surprise any of you that I love hearing Breton music. Playing the fiddle myself, fiddle music of any sort draws my ear to pay attention. Add in an accordion, and you’ll see me tapping me toes in time to the music. If there happens to be a newly tapped cask of Old Boar . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Loened Fall: The Complete Recordings

Music Matters: Up in The Air: Moonshine / Gavin Marwick: The Long Road and The Far Horizon

I’ve seen Gavin perform a half dozen times both in his native Scotland and down London. He never fails to anything but a stellar musician, be he solo or performing with one of the bands that he’s been in.

So what does our reviewer say about his two latest music undertakings? Quite a bit actually. . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Up in The Air: Moonshine / Gavin Marwick: The Long Road and The Far Horizon