EP out now – ‘The Ones That We Left Behind’ – Calming River

It seems to have been a while since Glen Hansard, Damien Rice and Jose Gonzalez have released a notable record, and of course Elliot Smith is dearly departed. However, dark acoustic folk fans shouldn’t despair. New artist Calming River is proving to be a more than adequate fit for this gap in the market, and he proves it with new EP ‘The Ones That We Left Behind’.

The lead single ‘Solemn Witness’ can be heard above and is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of quality. To hear the rest (and why wouldn’t you?), head over to http://www.calmingrivermusic.com/

Pete Townshend teams with Des Horsfall (Kuschty Rye) for stunning single ‘Chameleon’

If ever there was a single made for lovers of folk music, then new track ‘Chameleon’ might just be it. Written by Katy Lane – ex-wife and muse of Ronnie Lane (The Small Faces/The Faces) – and performed by Des Horsfall’s Kuschty Rye and The Who’s Pete Townshend, the single is out on Friday.

It comes from a new Kuschty Rye album (in three volumes no less) which celebrates the life and work of Ronnie Lane. Clearly something of a passion project for Des Horsfall, the collaboration with Townshend came about because the legendary Who guitarist heard about the triple album and wanted to be involved.

The result is the delicate, beautiful single above.

New EP out on November 23rd – Elliot Porter, ‘Keep Going’

When it comes to great roots music, there’s often a lot of poetry that goes into the lyric writing. By its nature, the acoustic stylings of folk allow lyrics room to breathe and be heard in a way few other genres offer, so it’s a particularly demanding genre for songwriters to work in effectively.

Fortunately, song writer Elliot Porter has more than enough lyrical skill to stand out in this arena. ‘Keep Going’ is his new EP, released with Matchbox Recordings on November 23rd, and the video to the lead track (above) shows exactly why he’s being widely tipped as a new contender for the likes of Damien Rice and Glen Hansard.

Those two artists in particular have found a niche and fanbase over their careers which have allowed them the freedom to write more and more great music. On current form, there’s no reason why Elliot Porter can’t do the same thing.

Folk artist Philip Murray Warson releases debut EP

With some lovely folk touches and a subtle take on haunting melody, Philip Murray Warson has released his debut EP ‘Last of the Hunted’.

Out now, the EP is one of solid harmonies, impressive guitar work and traditional folk rhythms. The vocal is also noteworthy – not because it’s flawless, but because in its occasional flaw there’s a rawness to be found. All to rare in this day of editing and packaging.

It lends the whole thing a sense of rare authenticity, something that’s vital in great roots music.

‘Last of the Hunted’ on Bandcamp

New folk music alert! Folkstock Records set for ‘Downtown’ compilation release

Available from tomorrow on their website, Folkstock Records are releasing their brand new folk compilation album ‘Downtown’. Putting together a ten song collection from eight different artists, the album pulls together new music from some of their most promising finds of the last year or so.

The album is being released in celebration of those eight artists, who will all be playing a part in this year’s London Folk and Roots Festival with the help of the Folkstock label.

Both ‘Emerging Artist’ events will be held on successive Tuesdays at The Islington venue in London, and should be in the diary of any London based folk fan. November 4th sees Folkstock host an alternative country evening, with Fred’s House, Marina Florance, Kaity Rae and Ben Smith. One week later, they will be celebrating talented female songwriters with Kelly Oliver, Minnie Birch, Daria Kulesh and Zoe Wren on November 11th.

If you can’t wait that long, then you can get the album from tomorrow from £7. However, if you can make it along to the gigs, you will be able to pick up a copy for free. Not a bad reward for simply supporting independent folk.

Tickets: November 4th / November 11th

More info on claiming your free album: Click here

Buy the album: Click here

Kelly Moneymaker – ‘Stone’ album out now

Some of the finest offshoots of roots music – gospel, country, rock and roll, and particularly soul – stand front and center of this great new album from vocalist Kelly Moneymaker.

Out now, ‘Stone’ finds Moneymaker on really fine form, growling out her powerful vocal over a range of genres, all given a consistency by the clean production and that unique voice.

On top of those solid foundations, Moneymaker sparkles throughout – 13 tracks of varying styles, all adding up to a very solid and consistent release.

http://www.kellymoneymaker.com/

Leo Sayer – ‘Restless Years’ album

Straight up pop laced with folky touches of harmonica, blues, and even a touch of jazz, the new album from Leo Sayer is out now. A million miles from the stomping folk style currently popular in the charts, this is subtle, effective and mellow, but just as uplifting in its own way.

Packed with songs in which Sayer looks back on life with something of a contented smile, the album shows off a songwriter who knows his hit making days are behind him, but still loves what he does. Just look at the production – all taken care of by the man himself – for the proof. Meticulous, clean, and well captured, every note is clear as a bell and perfectly placed.

The lyrics are those of an artist ruminating on the latter years of a legendary career, sharing his thoughts on later life, the state of the world, the music industry and more. Hugely pleasant company you will want to return to time and again.

Buy the album now:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/restless-years/id1021586520

http://www.amazon.co.uk/69/dp/B00XZQIWZ6/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_8?ie=UTF8&refRID=148R02WGNENHYGG285VC

 

UK TOUR DATES 2015

With special guest, singer/songwriter, Michael Armstrong

 

September

Wednesday 9thBIRMINGHAM JAM HOUSE

Thursday 10thMANCHESTER LOWRY

Friday 11thWORTHING ASSEMBLY HALL

Saturday 12thEAST GRINSTEAD MEAD THEATRE

Monday 14thLANCASTER GRAND THEATRE

Tuesday 15thHUNSTANTON PRINCESS THEATRE

Thursday 17thNORWICH ST ANDREWS HALL

Friday 18thBUXTON OPERA HOUSE

Saturday 19thMUSSELBURGH BRUNTON

Sunday 20th GLENROTHES ROTHES HALL

Tuesday 22ndLEEDS CITY VARIETIES

Wednesday 23rdPORTHCAWL GRAND PAVILLION

Friday 25thLONDON HIPPODROME

Saturday 26thHARLOW PLAYHOUSE

Sunday 27thMILTON KEYNES STABLES

Tuesday 29thDURHAM GALA THEATRE

 

October

Thursday 1stISLE OF WIGHT SHANKLIN THEATRE

Friday 2ndSOUTHAMPTON CONCORDE

Saturday 3rdWIMBORNE TIVOLI THEATRE

Sunday 4thBURY ST EDMUNDS APEX

Tuesday 6thLONDON HIPPODROME

Thursday 8thWOLVERHAMPTON ROBIN 2

Saturday 10thHOLMFIRTH PICTUREDOME

Sunday 11thWARRINGTON PYRAMID & PARR HALL

Rachel Ann Crowned TeenStar Singing Competition Winner

The national singing competition TeenStar has found its latest winner! Joining a long line of prestigious Future Music competition winners, Rachel Ann from Bournemouth, Dorset has been crowned the champion of the national TeenStar competition at The NEC in Birmingham!

Singing Competition Winner

 

Rachel Ann was crowned champion in front of a capacity crowd and a prestigious music industry judging panel at The NEC in Birmingham on Saturday night. Her unique performance of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” won over the competition industry judges making her the overall winner of TeenStar. She will now be offered a recording and development deal including a £5,000 advance to spend on the development of her music.

The national singing competition is brought to you by Future Music – the company behind the discovery of artists such as such as Luke Friend and Karen Hardy both of which have had chart success this year, Jacob Banks, Warner Music’s Birdy, Columbia Record’s Lucy Spraggan, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Jahmene Douglas, both of which are now signed to Sony Music.

Music industry judges at the National Singing Competition Grand Final

 

After impressing the judging panel at the auditions, Rachel Ann battled against more than 9,000 acts who entered for TeenStar this year across the UK. She went on to perform in the TeenStar live showcases, battling through both Regional and Area Final heats to make it to the national Grand Final.

 

The judging panel for the Grand Final included record label representatives from Universal, as well representatives from music management companies, recording studios, professional musicians, national press representatives and the examination board, Rock School.

 

Rachel Ann has now won a comprehensive consultation package with Future Music, an extensive winner’s publicity package, and an amazing £5,000 advance to spend on the development of her music. On winning the prizes Rachel said, “I’m literally speechless, overjoyed with happiness. Thank you to everyone for all the support!”

 

Chris Grayston, Head Judge and Director of Future Music has said, “Rachel Ann has been a stand out act throughout the TeenStar competition. Her unique vocal range and emotive performances make her a clear winner!” Check out more information about the TeenStar Champion on the website here.

Future Music is also about to start singing auditions for Open Mic UK, find more information and enter music competition Open Mic UK now. Also check out the Future Music Songwriting Contest, which is specifically for songwriters of any age and genre.

Video: ‘Live on Love’ by Jess Thristan – EP out now

With a lovely, lilting rhythm that strays into a nice country feel, ‘Live on Love’ is the new video from rising star Jess Thristan. It’s the lead track from a new EP of the same names and keeps up the great momentum Jess Thristan has been showing in recent months.

Be it support from Radio 2, writing alongside established hit-making songwriters, or featuring on countless online acoustic sessions, Thristan is clearly building quite the following. Hopefully, it won’t be long before that following becomes too big for the mainstream media to ignore.

 

Jerry Lawson – ‘Just a Mortal Man’ album out now – debut solo album, AGE 71!

Out now through Red Beet Records, ‘Just a Mortal Man’ is a very special album for two reasons. Not only is it a great listen, but it’s the very first solo album ever released by 71 year old Jerry Lawson. Lawson, who has worked at the top of showbusiness for over 40 years, has always been part of hit making groups, but never stepped out on his own. Until now.

The result is this 13 track collection of laid back, low octane but high quality set of tracks with a real rootsy feel.  Charming throughout, Lawson’s smooth baritone moves like warm treacle over the classy backing, taking in folk, gospel, country, pop, soul, funk and so much more. It’s a fitting first album from a man who has clearly still got enough talent to flaunt it, but does it here in humble, low-key fashion.

The only taste you can find online at the moment seems to be the video below, a nice little rock’n’roll number. But trust me when I say there’s plenty more where that came from.