Viewing entries in
Folk

New album from The Unthanks, "Mount The Air", set for February release

The Unthanks

Album release: Mount The Air by The Unthanks
Release date: 9 February 2015 (pre-orders from 11 November 2014)
Label: Rabble Rouser Music / Cadiz
Listen / more information: on official The Unthanks website

The Unthanks invite you to Mount the Air. An invitation to be free, weightless, airborne, to transcend reality, to enter your imagination, to raise the possibilities above the ordinary, to become one with nature, to give yourself up to nature !and let the wind carry you to new places. To fly.

Or, perhaps you prefer a more objective, bullet-point summary!

  • "Mount The Air" is the first studio album by The Unthanks since Last was released four years ago.
  • "Mount The Air"has been two years in the making and the first to be made in their own makeshift studio in Northumberland, set up in an old granary building, 200 yards from where Rachel Unthank and Adrian McNally live with their 2 sons, 1 and 3 years old.
  • "Mount The Air" is released on their own label, RabbleRouser, despite offers of continuation with major labels.
  • It is the first Unthanks record to feature writing from all 5 core members, including debut contributions from both Rachel and Becky Unthank, as well as continued and more extensive writing from pianist and producer Adrian McNally, including the opening 10 minute title track.
  • Musically more ambitious than ever, the Mercury nominated Geordies are still a combination of grounded tradition and filmic orchestration, but with Mount The Air, they take on flavours from traditions as diverse as Spain, India, Blue Note and er, Trip Hop.
  • While "Mount The Air" has all the hallmarks of a band working in heightened isolation, since releasing Last in 2011, The Unthanks have collaborated with Orbital, Adrian Utley (Portishead), Martin Green (Lau), Martin Hayes, The Voice Squad, Sting, Charles Hazlewood, The Moulettes and German composer Werner Cee, while also producing a film soundtrack,a orchestral scale commission for a brass band collaboration with the National Champions of Great Britain, a WW1 project with Sam Lee, explorations of the work of both Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons, and a children’s song commission. And Rachel Unthank and Adrian McNally had two children and Becky Unthank got married!

When The Unthanks released Last in 2011, Uncut wrote that “The Unthanks seem to regard folk music the same way Miles Davis regarded jazz: as a launch pad for exploring the wider possibilities”. The Unthanks have taken that analogy a step further on Mount The Air, with a beautiful 10 minute opening title track that has echoes of Miles Davis and Gill Evans in their Sketches of Spain period. Written by Rachel Unthank’s husband and pianist/producer/arranger Adrian McNally (based on the themes of a one-verse traditional ditty from a book of Dorset songs in Cecil Sharp House by Becky Unthank), the piece features the trumpet playing of the world-class Tom Arthurs; a former BBC New Generation Artist and Elysian Quartet collaborator, now immersed in the Berlin improv scene.

With a classic transformation folk tale at it’s heart, "Mount The Air" introduces the album with one seductive layer of texture after another, giving way eventually to driving Blue Note stylings and finally a climax reminiscent of Arcade Fire’s euphoria or Elbow’s anthemic power, but here the power is spectacular, not created conventionally with guitars, but with breathtaking musical colour and beauty.

You can download a more extensive press release here, which features a track-by-track summary of the album.

Tour dates

The album will be accompanied by a UK and Ireland tour - full details are on the tour section of The Unthanks website.

 

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Hall of Famer Gretchen Peters to release 'Blackbirds' on 9 February 2015

Gretchen Peters 'Blackbirds' cover

Album release: 'Blackbirds' by Gretchen Peters
Release date: 9 February 2015
Label: Proper
Listen / more information: on official website

Fresh off her induction into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Gretchen Peters has confirmed the 9th February release of her new album 'Blackbirds.' Co-produced with Doug Lancio and Barry Walsh and recorded in Nashville, the album features a who's who of modern American roots music: Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave, Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey, Suzy Bogguss and more. But it's not the guests that make 'Blackbirds' the most poignant and moving album of the GRAMMY-nominee's storied career; it’s the impeccable craftsmanship, her ability to capture the kind of complex, conflicting, and overwhelming emotional moments we might otherwise try to hide and instead shine a light of truth and understanding onto them.

The eleven tracks on 'Blackbirds' face down death with a dark grit and delicate beauty. "During the summer of 2013 when I began writing songs for 'Blackbirds,' there was one week when I went to three memorial services and a wedding," remembers Peters. "It dawned on me that this is the way it goes as you get older - the memorial services start coming with alarming frequency and the weddings are infrequent and thus somehow more moving."

She found herself drawn to artists courageous enough to face their own aging and mortality in their work (Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Lowe), but noticed all the material was coming from a male perspective. "As brave an artistic risk as it may be for a man, it’s much riskier for a woman to speak about it," says Peters, whose incredible catalogue of songs—including "Independence Day" and "On A Bus To St. Cloud"—have been recorded by everyone from Martina McBride and Neil Diamond to Etta James and Trisha Yearwood. "Aging seems to be a taboo subject for female singer-songwriters, in part because our value has depended so much on our youth and sexuality. I want to write about that stuff because it’s real, it’s there, and so few women seem to be talking about it."

In an atypical and unexpectedly rewarding move, Peters teamed with frequent tour-mate Ben Glover to co-write several tunes on the new album, which evokes the kind of 1970's folk rock of Neil Young, David Crosby, and Joni Mitchell that Peters grew up on, albeit with a more haunted, country-noir vibe simmering just below the surface.

Geographically, the album leaps around the country, with particularly heartrending stops in southern Louisiana at the scene of a crime ("Blackbirds"), Pelham, New York, where Peters probes the hidden darkness of the leafy suburbia in which she grew up ("The House On Auburn Street"), and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where a fisherman lays his wife to rest after losing everything in the BP oil spill ("Black Ribbons"). "When All You Got Is A Hammer" is the story of a veteran struggling to adjust to life at home after fighting overseas, while "The Cure For The Pain" takes place in the waning days of illness in a hospital, and "Nashville" brings us back to Peters' adopted hometown.

Despite the varied locations, the songs on 'Blackbirds' are all inextricably tied together through their characters, whom Peters paints with extraordinary empathy and vivid detail.

'Blackbirds' follows Peters' 2012 album 'Hello Cruel World,' which NPR called "the album of her career" and Uncut said "establishes her as the natural successor to Lucinda Williams." If anything, though, 'Blackbirds' truly establishes Peters as a one-of-a-kind singer and songwriter, one in possession of a fearless and endlessly creative voice.

'Blackbirds' Tracklisting

1. Blackbirds
2. Pretty Things
3. When All You Got Is A Hammer
4. Everything Falls Away
5. The House on Auburn Street
6. When You Comin’ Home
7. Jubilee
8. Black Ribbons 
9. Nashville
10. The Cure For The Pain
11. Blackbirds (reprise)

Tour dates

For latest dates, please visit the Gretchen Peters website.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Special edition of Boho Dancer's 'Gemini' to be released

Album release: Gemini - Special Edition by Boho Dancer
Release date: May 2014
Label: Slow Shark Records
Listen on: official Boho Dancer site 

‘Boho Dancer’s music is so sweet yet so sad… it’s tempered by a childlike fragility that makes the songs sound like whimsical folk for fairy tales with a sinister undertow.’ – The Guardian

‘Bewitching Acid Folk with a deeply personal edge, their intertwining harmonies, their intricate song structures are matched to an unusual directness.’ – Clash

‘Banjos chatter and Ida Wenøe’s juvenile coo trembles atop toe-tap rhythms before a moody acid-folk blow-out at the close. Gorgeous boy/girl harmonies evoke clear comparisons to Band Of Skulls’ acoustic ballads, but there’s something darker here: something more fanciful and affecting.’ – The Line Of Best Fit

Danish trio Boho Dancer are to announce the release of a special extended version of their acclaimed debut album ‘Gemini’, featuring the addition of three brand new bonus tracks. The offering is scheduled for UK release in May 2014

The addition of three bonus tracks for UK audiences, ‘Me & Your God’, ‘Pistols’ and ‘Good Vibrations’, constitutes a significant furthering of the themes present throughout ‘Gemini’ and considerably adds to the natural progression and organic culmination of the album.

Boho Dancer’s enchanting folk-pop, with its quirkily appealing vocals and intricate melodies, has gained them a considerable following in their native Denmark and is rapidly winning them fans across the rest of the world. The music is highly emotional yet accessible, and there are dark, almost gothic overtones, “a melancholic Nordic vibe”, as Ida puts it. Meanwhile, the singing is equally cute and cutting and the lyrics express a worldview that is childlike yet weary. Like fairytales for adults. Influenced by the classic songwriting of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake and by more contemporary exponents of folk-inflected pop such as Local Natives, Fleet Foxes and First Aid Kit, Boho Dancer also bring a certain indefinable Nordic quality to bear on their songwriting.

The album is a haunting delight, with songs about good friends and bad weather, love in general and the local landscape, that, even at their most delicate, have the power to haunt long after they’ve finished.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Beverley Martyn's 'The Phoenix and the Turtle' out 22 April

Beverley Martyn's The Phoenix and the Turtle

Album release: The Phoenix and the Turtle by Beverley Martyn
Release date: April 22nd 2014
Label: released by Les Cousins (distributed by Proper)
Listen on: official Beverly Martyn website 

Beverley Martyn started her musical career at just 16 with the jug band The Levee Breakers and recorded her first single Babe I’m Leaving You in 1965. In 1966 she was chosen to launch Deram Records and released a single, Happy New Year written by Randy Newman. She contributed to the Simon & Garfunkel album Bookends, toured America with the duo and later appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival on 16 June 1967.

In 1969 she met John Martyn, whom she later married. As a duo they issued two albums, Stormbringer! and The Road to Ruin. Although she was spending more time with her children, Beverley continued to contribute to John’s solo projects until the breakdown of their marriage.

At various times, Martyn has worked with Levon Helm, Jimmy Page, Dave Pegg, Richard Thompson, John Renbourn, Ralph McTell, Davy Graham, and Sandy Denny. She appeared in the photograph on the album sleeve of Bert Jansch’s 1965 album It Don’t Bother Me; where she can be seen lounging in the background. In December 2013, Beverley appeared at the Royal Festival Hall as part of a celebration of Bert Jansch, alongside friends and contemporaries such as Donovan, Martin Carthy, Pentangle and Robert Plant. Her powerhouse performance of When The Levee Breaks was described by Mojo as ‘sounding almost Janis Joplin-esque’. A film of the event is due to be shown by the BBC in the spring.

In 2004, Fat Boy Slim sampled Beverley Martyn’s song Primrose Hill for the track North West Three which is on his album Palookaville. Beverley still performs the song live along with Auntie Aviator, also from The Road The Ruin.

April 2014 will see the release of her new album entitled The Phoenix and the Turtle. Described by Beverley as a very personal album, it features songs written throughout her entire career, from her very first song, Sweet Joy, to the previously unrecorded Nick Drake & Beverley Martyn song Reckless Jane which was started in 1974 when Drake lived nearby Beverley in Hampstead. “We started writing the song as a bit of a joke,” she says, “I couldn’t look at it for a long time after he died, but then finally I decided to finish it.”

When The Levee Breaks and Going To Germany are songs Beverley used to sing with The Levee Breakers. Another song, Women And Malt Whiskey is, in part, about John Martyn and other friends from the scene back then.

The Phoenix and the Turtle is Beverley’s first album in fourteen years and was recorded in Wales with guitarist and producer Mark Pavey; it also features contributions from bass player Matt Malley, ex-Counting Crows and drummer Victor Bisetti, ex-Los Lobos which were recorded “by the magic of computer” in California. The album “still has that in-a-room feel,” said Beverley recently, “it sounds like an old style analogue record. It’s very me, very transatlantic.”

Beverley Martyn and her full band will be playing Bush Hall, London, April 29th, 2014.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

EP and tour from country-pop duo Ward Thomas

EP release: Footnotes by Ward Thomas
Release date: 7 April 2014
Listen: on Youtube

“Young, country-pop duo with terrific original songs, and the delivery to make them unforgettable” – Alan Cackett, Maverick Magazine

Ward Thomas are a Country / Americana duo from Hampshire, comprised of 19-year old twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas who release their first UK EP on 7th April with a debut full length album to follow this Summer.

Hampshire and Country music may not be obvious bed fellows but these girls, brought up on a rural live stock farm from a family line that included artists and authors, have had Country music in their blood ever since they were introduced to the music of Carrie Underwood, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks and Alison Krauss by a cousin in their early teens. “We fell hard for Country”, as Catherine puts it. One listen to the vocal cadences and close harmonies on their ‘Footnotes’ EP and Nashville and Hampshire suddenly don’t seem all that far apart.

Since a demo recording of the song “Footnotes” found its way into the hands of top Nashville session musician Bobby Blazier, the girls have spent much of the last two years recording in Nashville with Blazier and other top Country players including Dan Dugmore and Chris Rodriquez. The resulting Ward Thomas album will feature guest appearances from Grammy Award winner Michael Omartian (who appears on the EP track “Take That Train”) and Country Music superstar Vince Gill, winner of 18 CMA awards and 20 Grammys. 2014 will now see Ward Thomas turning their attention to their home country with a first UK release.

The 4-song EP features three original songs co-written by the girls and recorded out in Nashville and a cover of Dougie MacLean’s classic ‘Caledonia’. The lead track, a song about the bittersweet relationship with technology entitled ‘The Good & The Right’, is the perfect barn-storming showcase for the girls’ song-writing and vocal talents. This is backed by ‘Footnotes’, (“writing “Footnotes” was the first time we felt we were not just singers but songwriters too” says Lizzy), which highlights their beguiling harmonies and a vocal blend perhaps only twins can possess. Their easy way with story telling is perfectly encapsulated in ‘Take That Train’, a true-life story about love lost and a chance for redemption, inspired by Lizzy’s brief encounter with a complete stranger on a train who confided in her, recounting her whole life story.

Ward Thomas’s own life story has also helped them define their sound and own brand of Country music. “Our parents went through a divorce, so our father built his London business and our Mom went back to school to get her art degree,” says Catherine, “Lizzy had a bad riding accident and many more ups and downs helped us grow to consider life beyond the farm. It might seem unusual for two British 19-year olds to be so into Country music but we love the sound and the stories – and cows, chickens and goats have the same language in rural Hampshire as they do below the Mason-Dixon line!”

Ward Thomas will be embarking on a UK tour from February 2014. Please see full dates below:

Friday 7th - Miland, The Rising Sun
Sunday 9th - Preston, The Ferret
Monday 10th - Liverpool, The Caledonia
Wednesday 12th - Leeds, Oporto
Thursday 13th - Blackpool, The Blue Room
Friday 14th - Sowerby Bridge, The Blind Pig
Saturday 15th - Exeter, The Tobacco House
Sunday 16th - London, 12 Bar Club
Tuesday 18th - Bristol, The Canteen (w/ Sam Green & The Midnight Heist)
Thursday 20th - Perranporth (Cornwall), The Watering Hole
Friday 21st - Teignmouth, Cellars Bar
Sunday 23rd - Harrogate, The Blues Cafe Bar (6pm)
Sunday 23rd - Manchester, Matt & Phreds (10pm)
Wednesday 26th - Plymouth, The B-Bar (at the Barbican)
Friday 28th - Sandford, The Lamb Inn

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Oysterband: Diamonds On The Water

Album release: Diamonds On The Water by Oysterband
Label: Navigator
Release date: February 17 2013
Listen on: official website.

Ragged Kingdom, Oysterband’s reunion collaboration, with the English folk legend June Tabor, was fROOTS Critics’ Poll Album of the Year, Mojo Folk Album of the Year, won three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and saw the group featured on Later… With Jools (BBC2 TV).

After two years touring that project, Oysterband is now very happy to announce a new studio Oysterband album, DIAMONDS ON THE WATER, to be released on 17 February 2014 - their first new collection of original songs in seven years.

“It was time”, says fiddler Ian Telfer, “to get back to some of the other things we do best - make new music and get out there on the road.” And in fact they will be touring full-on in UK through November 2013 and February/March 2014 (see pages 3-4 of this press release).

Singer John Jones took time from the studio to talk here about the new album:

“After Ragged Kingdom, which was a kind of re-immersion in traditional song”, he says, “it seemed so important to us to get back to working on our song-writing skills in the light of that. We’ve loved every bit of the collaborative projects - which include the Big Session Festival too, of course - but the writing is a vital part of our growth and continuity as a band. And if we can give a little back to the folk tradition, so much the better”.

These are the first Oysterband recordings since the departure of Ray “Chopper” Cooper to pursue a solo career. Al Scott, the band’s long-time producer, has stepped in on bass and mandolin, and, says John, “with the power and inventiveness of Dil [Davies]’s drumming, our sound has become simpler and punchier, as it was in the early days. Over a summer of great festivals, including Glastonbury, we stripped the sound down and went for it, with Al and Ian singing more to support guitarist Alan Prosser’s backing vocals. We all had to dig deep to make something new. And it has had a great reaction”.

“The song-writing has certainly begun to flow. We’re searching as usual for uplift in the melodies and insight in the words… and there’s maybe an element of the autobiographical this time round. The writing has had the effect of throwing Alan, Ian and myself back together again as the main creative focus of the group. Not an easy thing when, after so many years, the cushioning and supportive mortar of Chopper and June is taken away from between three sharp‐edged stones! Thankfully there was little sound of grinding - we do understand where each other’s songs come from”.

“As usual we recorded in Brighton, where we can draw on the skills of many friends, quite an impressive bunch actually” - including Adrian Oxaal, “a Brighton mate”, former lead guitarist with the band James, but also a fine cellist. Adrian will be appearing on the album tours. Rowan Godel, who often sings on John’s ‘walking tours’, came in and added “an emotional vulnerability” to some songs as well as “an uninhibited quality when she soars”. Lindsey Oliver played double bass “to give us that warmth and swing at the bottom end”. Ex-Oysterband drummer Lee Partis even dropped in and added his distinctive high harmonies to a couple of tracks, and Pete Davison (trumpet), Eira Owen (French horn) and Sarah Leeves (euphonium) contributed splashes of brass.

What has emerged with these new recordings is a feeling of warmth, both musical and personal, that makes the songs come alive. “We had sessions where we all just gathered around two microphones. It has a wonderful sound and this ‘choir’ of varied voices has become an essential part of the album.”

More by John on some of the new songs:

A Clown’s Heart comes from our first session in a coastguard’s cottage above Portland Bill. I sang the chorus to Alan and Ian and we knew instantly it was about ourselves… but from all sorts of oblique directions.

Steal Away is addressed to a child, about overcoming that fear of darkness and the unknown. Ian picked up on the theme and it became a kind of hymn to the power of solitude.

A River Runs - the turbulence of a relationship that flows with all the power of a river, but never actually reaches the sea. Chopper’s last musical contribution to the band was co-writing this.

The Wilderness is essentially a true story. The band went for a trek in the Rockies on a day off, up to Stanley Glacier. The Canmore Festival crew was reluctant to let us do it but finally (armed with rattles and pepper sprays in case we met a bear, and the warning from local resident Sharon “Remember – you’re not the Masters here!”) we went. I watched Ian panting up the scree slope and we sat in this tiny alpine meadow under the overhang of the glacier….until a cloud came over, and a cold wind. Some time then or over the many pitchers of beer that night this lyric must have taken shape in Ian’s mind.

“Lay Your Dreams down gently by me” was a line that sat in my notebook for years. Alan arrived one day with the whole song written and ready to go.

Spirit of Dust and No Ordinary Girl derive from my home landscape and experience of small towns. The Girl in question is partly real and partly imaginary. I’m fascinated by flawed beauty. The Spirit of Dust is what might drive (or inspire) you to get up and leave a place.

Once I Had A Sweetheart is one of Alan’s favourite trad songs. He heard it performed so badly one night he went straight home and rearranged it like this and played it to me next day. It pleased me to reclaim this as a ‘male’ song after all the female versions down the years.

“It was always going to be a challenge emerging from Ragged Kingdom. It became our mission to feature, on this album, what is missing from Ragged Kingdom but is characteristically ‘us’. We have a strong core identity, and we flatter ourselves that we’ve been one of the most consistently creative folk and rock bands over a long period. DIAMONDS ON THE WATER certainly feels like the start of a new chapter.”

Tour dates

For tour dates please see the touring section of the band's offical website.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Mona & Maria release debut album, 'My Sun'

Album release: My Sun by Mona & Maria
Release date: 21 October 2013
Label: Jansen Plateproduksjon
Listen: on Soundcloud

Mona & Maria are a fantastic new duo from Oslo. They are now here with their debut album My Sun - music which can be described as harmony-based pop with folk elements and great, and often grand, arrangements, but still with an acoustic feel. Their debut consists of 10 self-written songs.

Mona & Maria tell us about the debut: “Something was let loose after we started working on songs that did not fit the sound of the band we were in. We strongly felt the need to create something more personal, and we started making melodies to something obscure that had been lying dormant in both of us. After a band breakdown, came a new musical need that we found in each other. We both were terrified of singing alone, but together we sort of found a third person to make us feel secure. We began experimenting with harmonies. It became our way of being together. After several rounds and recordings of these songs, the record started to take shape, and we found our soundscape by working with dynamics. We wanted to have both the low-key and intimate, and the grandiose and dramatic, to have both darkness and light at once. We wanted to make unpretentious arrangements that enhanced the lyrics and the melodies, and not buried them. The result was My Sun.”

Mona Andersen (27) and Maria Knudsen (28) have already written songs together for many years, and both were central parts of the band Bazooka Boppers, with which they released two albums. After the band’s break-up in 2010, Mona and Maria continued playing together, and it worked out so well that they decided to move forward as a duo. The album was recorded at Engfelt & Forsgren Studio with Christian Engfelt (Cato Salsa Experience, Apricot and Turns, and as a producer Lionheart Brothers, Cheaters and more) as a producer, along with the girls themselves. Engfelt also plays the bass on a few of the songs.

Also participating on the album are some of Norway’s very best musicians:

  • Martin Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist, The National Bank, Jonas Alaska) - percussion
  • David Wallumrød (Jonas Alaska, Bjørn Eidsvåg med flere) - keys
  • Eivind Staxrud (Raga Rockers) - guitars
  • Olaf Olsen (Big Bang) - drums
  • Knut Schreiner (Turboneger, Mirror Lakes, Kåre & The Cavemen) – guest guitar
  • Marcus Bror Forsgren (Lionheart Brothers) – guest guitar
  • Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen (Karpe Diem, Jens Carelius, Siri Nilsen) - cello
  • Bendik Brænne (Dum Dum Boys, Los Plantronics) – saxophone and flute
  • Henning Sansdalen (Le Corbeau, Hanne Hukkelberg) - bass
  • Hans Friis (Dum Dum Boys, Los Plantronics) - trombone
  • Members of KORK also participate on strings and bassoon.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Lisa Knapp to release 'Hidden Seam' album on Navigator Records

Album release: Hidden Seam by Lisa Knapp
Release date: 14 September 2013
Label: Navigator
Listen: on official website

'It's easy to see why this singer is the toast of the folk scene. Her vocals, like those of Anne Briggs, come across as strange and stirring as a spring day.' - The Observer

'A major discovery' - Mojo

Lisa Knapp first emerged in 2007 with a remarkable debut album, Wild And Undaunted and quickly established herself as a highly distinctive, creative artist, merging a radiant style of traditional folk and self-penned song with vocal, fiddle, hammer dulcimer, strings, banjo and contemporary production.

It's been a long wait but evidently worth it - the South Londoner's much-anticipated 2nd full-length album, Hidden Seam, is finally due for release by Navigator Records on 16th September 2013.

Far from being idle, Lisa has spent the years between albums exploring her increasing fascination with the elements and our fragile, volatile environment. Though greatly inspired by husband/musical partner Gerry Diver's own creative journey with his 2011 Speech Project album (music based on the speech patterns of Irish traditional singers), Lisa was equally motivated by a love of language - partly through a meeting with Seamus Heaney but also a healthy obsession with the old English text of Beowulf.

Shipping Song, the album's opening track, arises from Lisa's fascination with the Met Office's somnambulant, poetic late night shipping forecast; its strange and far-away sounding place names: Utsire, Viking, Fastnet and Lundy. A recording of American Marine sound testing from the 1950s was seamlessly sewn into the track, alongside the sounds of sea creatures and spinning motors.

Black Horse is a song by the great, late English singer/songwriter, Lal Waterson, which Lisa was originally invited to perform on tour with Scottish singer and guitarist James Yorkston. Not only does James guest on this recording but Lisa was also thrilled to be joined by Lal's daughter, Marry Waterson. Lisa plucked up courage to invite Martin Carthy, one of her musical heroes, to accompany her on Two Ravens, a touching song about Alzheimers disease. Seagiver is a visceral song of death and the elements. The penultimate track on Hidden Seam, Hunt the Hare Pt 1, features acclaimed Scottish folk musician, Alasdair Robert and was originally based on the well known Irish song Rocky Road to Dublin. It evolved into a song about the month of May. On Hushabye, a lullaby style song which she regularly sang to her daughter, Lisa is accompanied by celebrated singer/songwriter, Kathryn Williams.

Hidden Seam is a substantial sonic tapestry. It will swiftly re-establish Lisa Knapp as not only one of the most compelling voices of her generation in British folk music but one of the most innovative. Her roots may be embedded in the great folk revival of the 50s and 60s but with this new album, she is setting sail for unchartered horizons.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

UMC / Island release two-disc deluxe edition of Fairport Convention's 'Rising For The Moon'

Album reissue: Rising for the Moon, Deluxe Two-Disc Edition by Fairport Convention
Release date: August 26 2013
Label: UMC / Island 

UMC is pleased to announce a new deluxe edition of Fairport Convention’s 1975 album, Rising For The Moon, which marked the only studio recordings by the line-up which saw Sandy Denny return to the group in 1974.

In 1969 the “classic” Fairport line-up recorded and released three albums (What We Did On Our Holidays, Unhalfbricking, Liege & Lief) all within a single year, and at the end of that frenetic period Sandy Denny quit the band. Following a spell with the short-lived Fotheringay, Sandy embarked on a distinguished solo career before being drawn back into Fairport. She ‘officially’ re-joined in February 1974 during a four night stint at LA’s Troubadour. A remarkable live recording by Fairport with Sandy from those legendary shows is finally released for the first time as the second disc on this new edition of Rising For The Moon.

By 26 January 1974, when Fairport became the first rock band to play the Sydney Opera House, the Nine line-up (Dave Swarbrick, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks, Trevor Lucas, and Jerry Donahue) had been augmented by Sandy Denny, now married to Lucas.  The resultant Fairport Live Convention (released in America as A Moveable Feast) confirmed how much the band had benefited from having Sandy back on board. Yet only weeks later, Sandy was more fully integrated into the band and the LA Troubadour dates present Fairport are at the top of their game. Such was the band’s parlous financial situation, they couldn’t afford to purchase the tapes from Wally Heider’s Mobile. Over the years odd selections trickled out but it was only on 2010’s definitive 19CD Sandy Denny box-set that the tracks featuring Sandy were properly mixed. Now, with the additional performances by Trevor Lucas and Dave Swarbrick included, fans can enjoy this brief but memorable line-up at its absolute best.

The setlist at The Troubadour is also unusual in that it was substantially different to the songs performed on Fairport Live Convention. In fact the recording features several songs the band never performed again including: Trevor Lucas’ Ballad Of Ned Kelly originally on the Fotheringay album, and Down Where The Drunkards Roll (Trevor had sung background vocals on the original version on Richard and Linda Thompson’s I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight). Sandy performs a passionate version of Dylan’s Knocking On Heaven’s Door and her own Crazy Lady Blues performed here with an added verse. And, dipping into the Fairport back-catalogue, a haunting She Moves Through The Fair.

Further highlights include Solo and Like An Old Fashioned Waltz from Sandy’s third album, a spirited cover of Dylan’s Down In The Flood. Swarb delivers an effortless The Hens March through the Midden and a spirited The Hexamshire Lass. Sandy’s signature Who Knows Where The Time Goes; a magisterial Matty Groves; plus the band rocking out on Six Days On The Road and That’ll Be The Day.

With Sandy back in the band, Island Records made a greater commitment to Fairport’s next studio recording and, to that end, Glyn Johns was brought in as producer for Fairport’s 10th studio album. Johns’ pedigree was impeccable: Rolling Stones, Beatles, the Who, the Eagles…and he was emphatic that he wanted the new sessions to include only original material and no covers or traditional material for the first and only time on a Fairport album.

The album was recorded at Olympic Studios in two blocks. The first sessions began in December 1974, but during a break in January, Dave Mattacks quit and was replaced by ex-Grease Band drummer Bruce Rowland, who played on the remaining tracks and stayed on for the tours following the album release in June 1975.

The album included songs from all members of the band although seven of the album’s eleven tracks were penned in whole or partly by Sandy. Johns made them rehearse the new material, then sifted through to find the best and, on many levels, Rising For The Moon was indeed a triumph. Sandy is in fine vocal form; the band gels instrumentally and songs like the title track, Stranger To Himself and ‘One More Chance’ (featuring blistering guitar from Jerry Donahue) are among Fairport’s best ever. Swarb’s ‘White Dress’ was sufficiently strong to be chosen as the album’s only 7” single.

Even Sandy - though happy with the finished album - recognised that the financial and personal strain it had put on the band made a split inevitable and by the end of 1975, first guitarist Jerry Donahue, then Sandy and Trevor decided to leave the group. The original Rising For The Moon is now ripe for reappraisal whereas at the time it raised the question was it a Sandy Denny album or a Fairport album? Of course it’s both and, whichever way you look at it, one of Fairport’s and Sandy’s best and most underrated records.

Now enriched on this Deluxe edition by 21 additional tracks - including a beautiful, previously unreleased performance of ‘White Dress’ discovered in the LWT archive, there is also an alternate mix of ‘Dawn’; a studio demo with Sandy and Trevor of ‘What Is True’; and Sandy’s home demos of ‘After Halloween’, and ‘King And Queen Of England’, the latter written for the album but never recorded.

The album reviews at the time were largely positive. The Guardian judged the album “their best for six years… it ought to re-establish Fairport as a significant British band.” In the end it wasn’t to be, the rigours of touring and financial problems essentially driving the band to split. A truncated Fairport went on to record their final album for Island, Gottle O’ Gear, in 1976, Jerry Donahue went off to work with Joan Armatrading; Trevor produced Sandy’s 1977 album, Rendezvous; but within a year Sandy was dead. Despite her solo success, the Sandy many of her admirers remember with most fondness is the lady who fronted Fairport Convention during their glory years. So here then, are the beautiful songs she wrote and the music she made with the band second time around.

DISC ONE

  • 01: RISING FOR THE MOON  ( 4.08 )
  • 02: RESTLESS   ( 4.01 )
  • 03: WHITE DRESS   ( 3.44 )
  • 04: LET IT GO  ( 2.00 )
  • 05: STRANGER TO HIMSELF  ( 2.51 )
  • 06: WHAT IS TRUE ?   ( 3.33 )
  • 07: IRON LION   ( 3.27 )
  • 08: DAWN   ( 3.42 )
  • 09: AFTER HALLOWEEN   ( 3.38 )
  • 10: NIGHT-TIME GIRL   ( 2.56 )
  • 11: ONE MORE CHANCE   ( 7.58 )

BONUS TRACKS

  • 12: WHITE DRESS ( 3:24 ) Live on LWT – 9/8/1975
  • 13: DAWN – ALTERNATE VERSION ( 4:11 )
  • 14: WHAT IS TRUE ? -  STUDIO DEMO ( 3:16 )
  • 15: AFTER HALLOWEEN – DEMO ( 3:00 )
  • 16: THE KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND – HOME DEMO ( 3:12 ) 

DISC TWO – LIVE AT THE LA TROUBADOUR

  • 01: DOWN IN THE FLOOD    ( 3:13 )
  • 02: BALLAD OF NED KELLY ( 3:59 )
  • 03: SOLO ( 5:40 )
  • 04: IT’LL TAKE A LONG TIME ( 5:35 )
  • 05: SHE MOVES THROUGH THE FAIR ( 4:09 )
  • 06: THE HENS MARCH THROUGH THE MIDDEN & THE FOUR POSTER BED (3:17 )
  • 07: THE HEXAMSHIRE LASS ( 2:44 )
  • 08: KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVENS DOOR ( 4:33 )
  • 09: SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD ( 3:38 )
  • 10: LIKE AN OLD FASHIONED WALTZ ( 4:19 )
  • 11: JOHN THE GUN ( 5:10 )
  • 12: DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL ( 4:14 )
  • 13: CRAZY LADY BLUES ( 3:54 )
  • 14: WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES ( 6:54 )
  • 15: MATTY GROVES ( 7:05 )
  • 16: THAT’LL BE THE DAY

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Lucy Ward: Brit folk's "most vibrant and forthright new young talent" (Mojo)

Album release: Single Flame by Lucy Ward (**** Robin Denselow, The Guardian)
Label: Navigator
Release date: 19 August 2013 
Listen: on official website 

Some things change, some remain the same. For her much-anticipated second album (the follow up to the 2011 debut Adelphi Has To Fly), the 23-year old singer, guitarist, ukulele and concertina player Lucy Ward delivers a finely-tuned synthesis of original and traditionally arranged material. Production is again by Stu Hanna (of acclaimed folk duo Megson, both of whom also sing and play here). There, however, the similarities end as the new album - Single Flame - finds Lucy organically broadening her musical palette whilst remaining firmly rooted in a folk tradition that gives shape and form to her sound. Balancing the contemporary and the traditional is never an easy act to achieve but Lucy does it with a natural gift and flair. Her songwriting creates the kind of original songs that you think you’ve heard somewhere before – on an old folk recording or the radio; a testament to the quality of her lyrics, melodies and ‘hooks’.

As a child and in her early teens, Ward grew up in a household where she heard recordings by the likes of Melanie and Bob Dylan and absorbed their lyrics and impact. The album opener I Cannot Say, I Will Not Speak has the lines “they sang the songs of Safka / Candles in the rain”. “The idea behind this song” she says “was how a generation of people sung songs of peace and protest in the 1960’s and yet peace has still to come. The lyrics”, she continues, “were born out of imagining there was just a candle left in the rain, a single flame, a ray of hope that we must protect because it only takes one flame to start a fire”.

Her song For The Dead Men made a first appearance as a single in January 2012 and was subsequently used in the soundtrack to the award winning director Kim Hopkins’ documentary film Folie a Deux ("Madness Made of Two"), which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam in November 2012. It’s a moving song and performance. “I wrote this song for the dead men” she says. “The dead men are all the people who marched before us, campaigning for justice. The dead men are also those who are apathetic to what is happening around them and their power to affect it. Lastly, the dead men are all those who are left to fall off the thin end of the wedge.” It’s a song about time passing; how we react to it, how we shape our history or allow it to shape us. What we do to stand up for the rights of ordinary people. “Stand up and take to the streets / they can’t ignore us if we all choose to speak”.

Shellback she says “is the first song I ever wrote. Its inspired by a generation of men, my grandfather included, who were conscripted, lost sight of what was at home and in some cases found vices to fill the void of what they had left behind.”

Ward’s songs are compassionate and insightful. They’re also capable of seeing beyond a single event, no matter how emotional and traumatic, to the wider context. One of the most striking original works here does that: it’s called The Consequence and its about violence within the domestic environment and how it destroys and changes the nature of family and home forever.  “Shame, Shame, Shame / upon this house” - the words  echo  in  this  spare  and  simple but  beautifully  sung  piece.  “I wrote this song after Shafilea  Ahmed’s parents were imprisoned for life for murdering their daughter.  In the sleeve notes I haven’t said this as I feel that it could be read in different ways; honour killing, murder of a partner”. These kinds of acts are not confined to any one community.

Moving to the upbeat, Marching Through The Green Grass is a Ward and Hanna arrangement of a song also known as the Soldier Boy or Sailor Boy. Collected in the Appalachians by the folklorists Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles, the song comes from a time long before the birth of the modern army and the advent of combat soldiers of both sexes.“ The recording includes a tune that Stu and I wrote together”. The performance is a feisty, strident comment on soldiering.

Lord I Don’t Want To Die In The Storm is a traditional song, collected in America by Cortez Reece. After struggling to source a tune for this song, Lucy and Stu decided to write their own. The results are a haunting, doleful piece of minimalist Americana.

Lucy’s song melodies are as memorable and engaging as her lyrics. Songs like For The Dead Men, Honey(about pure and natural beauty), The Last Pirouette (a song on the end of the world, based on a poem written by Lucy’s father in 1983), Rites Of Man (a lament for Mother Nature) and Ink (a lyric based on the life of Stuart Shorter and the book written by Alexander Masters Stuart: A Life Backwards), all have melodies that stay with the listener from first play. None more so, though, than Icarus, a languid, dreamy work containing some of Lucy’s most expressive singing, her vocals floating over the ethereal instrumental soundscape. Lucy says, in her matter of fact way “Icarus’s lover is left to drown as he chooses his aspirations over her”.

Lastly, there is Velvet Sky, an anthem, almost symphonic in nature for a piece of music just 4.13 long, with a labyrinthine lyric full of word delights.

Collectively, the songs here showcase Lucy Ward‘s consummate performance and creative songwriting abilities, her genuine and sparkling personality and stunning voice. The new album Single Flame is a shining statement of how far her talent has grown and developed in such a short time. 

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Will Varley to release new album on 2 September - "Powerful, political and pertinent" (The Independent)

Album release: As The Crow Flies by Will Varley
Release date: 2 September 2013
Label: Smugglers Records
Listen: on official Will Varley website

July 2013 will see the release of As The Crow Flies, the second album by fiercely independent folk singer, novelist, and filmmaker Will Varley. The album was recorded in the old smuggling tunnels that riddle the basements of the cottages beneath the seaside town of Deal, Kent. It is released on DIY label Smugglers Records that Varley runs alongside a co-operative of fellow southeast based musicians. Over the last five years Smugglers has helped a plethora of artists further their musical endeavours, as well as organising their own sell-out festival deep in the Kent countryside.

The 26 year old plays an explosive brand of contemporary British folk music which scales the full spectrum of storytelling, from farcical ‘shaggy dog stories’ about the self checkout machines at the supermarket, to beautifully-crafted allegorical songs such as the real life tale of Khulekani Khumalo, a South African folk singer who supposedly rose from the dead in 2012. His live shows dance effortlessly between sharp humour, scathing social commentary and raw heart-breaking emotion.

Varley moved to the seaside from London in 2010, seeking like-minded musicians, cheap rent, and a new way of doing things. After releasing his politically charged debut album Advert Soundtracks in 2011, he set out on the road and walked a hundred and forty miles with a guitar and tent on his back. Starting his walking tour at London Bridge he headed southeast, strolling through the rolling hills and towns, singing songs to whoever would listen. This began to build a fan base that has since grown to sell out the first album and seen festival tents bursting with followers. The record received a number of excellent reviews, and his self-directed music video for ‘King For A King’ has enjoyed almost 20,000 views on YouTube.

After self-publishing his first novel in the winter and almost two years of relentless gigging, including shows at the Occupy London protests & The Bank of Ideas, the young troubadour has recorded his second album with the help of David Hatton Jnr. (Cocos Lovers). Though still littered with his trademark humour, As The Crow Flies is a darker, more mature album which sees Varley’s poetry take centre stage, from the brutal honesty of the album’s title track, to the swaying cynicism of Weddings and Wars in which he attempts a history of the world in under four minutes. 

Reaction to date

“Certain to turn ears his way… Varley feels very much a voice for what could soon become the 21st Century’s lost generation” Folk Radio UK

“Powerful, Political & Pertinent” The Independent

“A simple line like “the big bang doesn’t care if I pray” is laden with the kind of meaning other artists would take whole albums to say.” Rock Kent

“It's the antithesis of all that Simon Cowell creates, and it's fantastic” Contact Music 

More information

For more information about Will Varley and ‘As The Crow Flies’ please email chris@prescriptionpr.co.uk

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Winter Mountain to release debut EP 'Find, Follow' on Charcoal Records

EP Release: Find, Follow by Winter Mountain
Release date: 20 May 2013
Label: Charcoal Road
Listen: on Youtube

They have an extraordinary backstory straight out of a movie screenplay for which their songs would make the perfect soundtrack. How Joseph Francis and Martin Smyth met and were discovered is remarkable and goes a little like this...

An Englishman and an Irishman step onto the same train at Chicago's Union station and meet for the first time. Both singers, both songwriters...both broke, but intent on making their way by rail to Memphis, TN, the birthplace of Rock n Roll.

That night, the two strangers began a conversation that lasted until the early hours. A conversation centered on their mutual love of the sounds of the 60s and 70s, of great albums and great artists, and great harmony singing: The Band, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were all discussed. By morning they had named themselves Winter Mountain and committed to travel together, swapping stories, exchanging lyrics and singing together in the bars and clubs of the deep south. From their first performance it was impossible to ignore the rare magic of their natural vocal blend as heads turned whenever they sang.

On their return the guys spent a fortnight songwriting in Ireland which led to a chance entry in a Battle of the Bands competition. Winter Mountain competed against the best unsigned talent in Northern Ireland, and won! It was enough to capture the heart of a local theatre owner who booked them to open for Irish singing luminary Cara Dillon. After hearing Joseph and Martin’s performance Cara and husband/producer Sam Lakeman immediately signed Winter Mountain to their independent label, Charcoal Records and set about assembling a team of experienced musicians who could help realise the vision that Joseph and Martin had for their music.

With contributions from Robbie McIntosh (guitarist with McCartney, The Pretenders, John Mayer), Audrey Riley (string arranger for Coldplay, Nick Cave) and Leo Abrahams (guitarist for Brian Eno, Florence And The Machine), the songs were recorded in a host of vintage studios which echo the authenticity of their sound and the resulting EP, Find, Follow, blends exquisite melodies, heartfelt lyrics and above all else, compelling harmonies.

The final, perhaps most striking touch to the EP was made when the highly acclaimed Mike Crossey (Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, The Arctic Monkeys), stepped up in the midst of his hectic schedule and mixed all three tracks.  

There have been the obvious comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel, The Fleet Foxes and The Everly Brothers and when you hear and see them perform you’ll understand why. Yet Winter Mountain bring something new to their vocal delivery, echoing  those legendary harmony acts, but adding a vital, contemporary edge that is uniquely their own. Their vocals blend as if they’ve been harmonising for a lifetime. And although Martin’s from Donegal, Ireland and Joseph hails from West Cornwall, you get the impression they were born to sing together.

Winter Mountain’s debut EP Find, Follow is now due for release on iTunes and other online outlets on 20th May 2013 on Charcoal Records.

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker: Fire and Fortune

Album release: Fire and Fortune by Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
Release date: 22 July 2013
Label: Navigator 
Listen: on Josienne Clarke website 

In a town full of songs and singers, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker give you the real thing. Both classically trained, their musical proficiency is beyond doubt. But this isn't about technical accomplishment. This is about a song, first and foremost. Whether interpreting words centuries old, or singing her own authentic lyrics, Josienne's jewel-like voice finds the nuance and melancholy in the simplest phrase and effortlessly sends it straight to your heart.

Ben's musical tact and mastery of the guitar provide the perfect setting and allow the song centre-stage. Josienne was born in Sussex and Ben, in Evesham. It was after studying in London, and utterly by chance, that they met in July 2009. They have been working together ever since. Critical acclaim soon followed, along with the Isambard Folk Award and the FATEA award for Female vocalist of the year. Their work together combines an exquisite command of their instruments with lyrics steeped in the tradition of English songwriting, and in ageless stories of love and loss.

Two joint releases later, they've played as a duo alongside many of the living legends including Martin Simpson and Steve Tilston, and have just completed tour dates in Germany, the Netherlands and UK with more planned for 2013.

Navigator Records, home of Bellowhead, Bella Hardy, Heidi Talbot and many other gifted musicians, will be releasing their new album Fire and Fortune on 22 July 2013.

Though influenced by greats such as Sandy Denny, Richard and Linda Thompson, Nick Drake, Bert Jansch and June Tabor, Fire and Fortune marks two musicians who have resolutely found their own path through traditional English music.

Their new album contains twelve tracks, some carefully selected traditional songs re-imagined; others equally carefully picked original compositions. This is timeless stuff, and its purity will stay with you long after the last note fades.

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Diana Jones: Museum of Appalachia Recordings - out July 8th on Proper Records

Album release: Museum of Appalachia Recordings by Diana Jones
Release date: 8 July 2013
Label: Proper
Listen: on official website 

Singer-songwriter Diana Jones brings the inspiring sounds of old-time Appalachia music to her new CD, recorded at The Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, Tennessee.

Featuring 11 original songs recorded live with two musicians and a crackling fireplace in the background, Museum of Appalachia Recordings harkens back to a day when music was played and recorded live, and not adorned with the latest tricks in recording technology.

Accompanied by fellow musicians Matt Combs and Shad Cobb, Diana Jones offers an astonishing set of original material. Widely known for her songwriting expertise (Pony, Henry Russell’s Last Words), Diana Jones’s storytelling reaches new heights as she explores timeless subjects that are as relevant today as they were in the last century. And her singing is that rarest of gifts: a pure and original voice that is unmistakably her own.

Artist’s Notes

"Songs tell us how they need to be arranged and recorded if we listen closely. Some need a studio with isolation booths for a variety of musicians to overdub parts and some need a cabin with a few good pickers and a fireplace big enough to sit in. The songs I recorded at the Peters Homestead Cabin at the Museum of Appalachia were scratched out of my head and mined from my heart over the years since my grandfather passed on his love and tradition of old time mountain music to me. They were insistent and came to me during a busy few years on tour buses, in airplanes, hotel rooms and back stage dressing rooms. These songs had been waiting patiently for a quiet room with old time musicians gathered to let their simplicity shine in real time. Bringing them to The Museum of Appalachia in east Tennesse, an institution sanctioned by the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, guardian of the recordings that had changed my musical life, was a full circle for me.

The fire at the Peter’s cabin was lit the morning of December 3rd, 2012 as sound engineer Joe DeJarenette set up his equipment and the mikes were set in place. Matt Combs, Shad Cobb and I took our seats in a circle facing each other and began to play the first song in my black and white marble composition book.  Fiddles, mandolins, guitars, banjos and a mandola were strewn around the room. We traveled from song to song and trusted that the feeling was there, along with the crackling sound of the wood burning in the fireplace. After two days of playing these special songs it was hard to imagine all that had happened as the last of the fire died down. We had made a record of the time we spent in the Peters Cabin on Dec 3rd and 4th at the Museum of Appalachia. I hope you enjoy listening as much as we did recording it." Diana Jones 

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Nick Drake's 'Bryter Later' is reissued by Island Records

Album reissue: Bryter Later by Nick Drake - remastered and boxed vinyl edition
Release date: 13 April 2013
Label: Island  

Continuing the ReDISCovered boxed vinyl series of Nick Drake’s albums, Island Records presents Nick Drake's second album, Bryter Later, in a format similar to that used for the release of Pink Moon in 2012. The album itself is a near exact replica of the original 1970 release, pressed on heavyweight audiophile vinyl, and remastered at Abbey Road from master tapes by the album's original engineer John Wood.  Although the first generation master tapes were found to be unusable, Wood had made a safety copy of the album in 1970 and it is from this that the new album has been struck.

The vinyl comes in an Island card inner bag in a single pocket textured sleeve, just as the original release would have done. In addition it is housed in a box containing a copy of the original shop poster, a smaller 'Live' poster/brochure and a reprint of Nick's handwritten set list together with reproductions of the master tape reel and tape box lids.

The album also comes with a selection of downloadable electronic formats, including either high-resolution files, the usual MP3 files or unique Dubbed-From-Disc files for an authentic playback experience.

About Bryter Later

First released in November 1970, Bryter Layter expands on themes introduced by Drake in his debut album Five Leaves Left (1969). Principally featuring Nick on vocals and guitar performing his own original material, and using the same production team of Joe Boyd, John Wood, and orchestrator Robert Kirby, Bryter Layter is unusual in that it contains three instrumentals. Musicians on the album include members of Fairport Convention, The Beach Boys and John Cale. Fresh from producing former Velvet Underground bandmate Nico, Cale played on and arranged two songs, including Northern Sky – the song described by NME in 2004 as “the greatest English love song of modern times”.

Though Bryter Layter met with an indifferent set of media reviews when it was released, it went on to be included in the Rolling Stone top 500 albums of all time and reached 23 in Q magazine’s 100 Greatest British Albums Ever chart.

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Fuchsia: From Pyschedelia...To A Distant Place

Album release: From Psychedelia…To A Distant Place by Fuchsia
Release date: June 10 2013 
Listen: on official site 
Follow: on Facebook 

Fuchsia is a British progressive folk rock band formed in 1970. Named after Fuchsia Groan, they released one album before disbanding. Their self titled album was featured as one of Mojo's Forgotten Classics. Formed while a student at Exeter University, and comprised of Michael Day (bass guitar), Michael Gregory (drums, percussion). The trio was soon augmented by Janet Rogers (violin, backing vocals), Madeleine Bland (cello, piano, harmonium, backing vocals) and Vanessa Hall-Smith (violin, backing vocals) so that Durant could explore his musical ideas. Stylistically they drew comparisons to contemporaries, Jade and Comus.

Over forty years later, band leader Durant (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lead vocals) has put together a record of brand new material that picks up where Fuchsia V 1.0 left off. In his own words, “Fuchsia was a work of love unfinished, abandoned, left for dead,  but then it would appear some projects can take on a life of their own. My return to writing for Fuchsia has been due to the personal response I have had to that strange little album I recorded so long ago. When I abandoned it, it seemed to go off and do its own thing.. I was totally blown away when Gianpaolo Banelli (Nightwings) first tracked me down in about 2003 and let me know that it had many fans out there and was now living online, making new friends, and selling through various pirate labels. John O’Regan, who became a huge fan, said he had stumbled across the album in a junk shop in the 1980’s, and later wrote a glowing review in Mojo Magazine.”

From Psychedelia… came together, initially, very slowly. Many elder rock statesmen will often say they have nothing to communicate anymore. But as is evidenced on this new record, when the music came together, it guided the band to new directions and to new ideas. Slowly but surely they evolved. Jotted down half-ideas for drum programming and electronic string sequences soon became fully fledged band arrangements as more musicians became part of the family.

Fuchsia now welcome listeners old and new to (re)join them in celebrating a new chapter in their existence. As with all the best bands, they are fluid, full of motion, purpose and direction. But for too long Fuchsia have lain dormant. From Psychedelia… marks an intriguing return from a truly re-invigorated songwriter. 

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Faustus: new album and tour from the award-winning supergroup

Faustus

Album release: Broken Down Gentlemen by Faustus
Release date: 11 March
Label: Navigator Records
Album tour: 11-27 April 2013 – including The Green Note, London 
Listen: on official website 

‘Frill-free folk music, superbly and tastefully performed . . . a folk essential’ **** Sunday Times
‘A considered album of exceptional class’ ***** Daily Telegraph

Nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the Faustus triumvirate are three of the leading lights of English folk music of their generation: Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweasel), Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast).

Specialising in powerful delivery, faultless harmonies, inspired arrangements and a sprinkling of some of the earthiest songs in the folk cannon, they are men on a mission to banish all that is anodyne and fey in the delivery of folk music. Their plethora of experience is brought together in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone.

Faustus came together in 2006 as an evolution of the award-winning band Dr. Faustus.  They made an eponymous debut album in 2008, produced by Stu Hanna (also of Megson) and released by Navigator Records, which saw them nominated as the Best Group in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  Subsequent touring saw them headlining at festivals, as well as playing sell-out concerts at arts centres and clubs.  Rooted deeply in the English tradition, in 2007 they received a 75th Anniversary Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

The band members:

Benji: Scion of a noted folk dynasty, and very firmly rooted in the tradition, Benji Kirkpatrick is a key member of folk big band and BBC Award winners Bellowhead.  Member of the Seth Lakeman Band who shot to fame when 'Kitty Jay', featuring Benji, nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2005, Benji has also performed with numerous other noted artists including Oysterband, John Jones and Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), and has found time to release three acclaimed solo albums.

Saul: Saul Rose was a long time member of Waterson:Carthy, winning two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with the album 'Broken Ground' and forming a duo with Eliza Carthy.  The double album Red Rice, of which Saul was an integral part of the 'Rice' half, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 1998.  More recently Saul has joined Whapweasel, played in Ruth Notman's and Jim Moray’s bands, and re-launched his own duo with hammered dulcimer player, Maclaine Colston. In demand not only as a touring band member, but also an incredibly popular session musician, he has played on numerous albums, including Jackie Oates's album Hyperboreans, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy's album The Gift and the soundtrack for the film Morris - A Life With Bells On. He was nominated for the Musician of The Year award in the 2010 BBC Folk Awards and in 2011 took the part of Songman in the West End play War Horse.

Paul: Paul Sartin is also a member of Bellowhead, as well as BBC Folk Award-nominated duo Belshazzar’s Feast and is a BASC nominated composer. He is Director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers, consultant for the charity Live Music Now and is a composer of note with recent works including The Hartlepool Monkey for Streetwise Opera, Anthony and Cleopatra for the Central School of Speech and Drama, and ‘Changing Landscapes’ for Broadstairs Folk Week.

In Autumn 2012 Faustus returned to touring after a two year break to enthusiastic reviews while simultaneously putting the finishing touches to a brand new album, working once again with producer Stu Hanna. 

March 2013 will see the release of the album Broken Down Gentlemen on Navigator Records followed by an album tour in April.  For full tour dates see the Faustus website.

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

BBC Folk Awards 2013 - compilation of tracks by nominees released on 28 January

BBC Folk Awards 2013

Album release: BBC Folk Awards 2013
Release date: 28 January 2013
Label: Proper Records
More info / tracks: on Proper Records website 

This year, for the first time, the Folk Awards will take place in Glasgow during the Celtic Connections festival. It will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and streamed via the BBC Red Button service on Wednesday 30 January 2013, 7.30pm - 10pm.

28 January 2013 sees the release of an annual compilation featuring the nominees for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards plus bonus disc of the 10 semi-finalists in the BBC Young Folk Awards. This is the most comprehensive collection of the current favourite, rising and, as yet, unsung stars of the folk world. See below for track listing.

CD 1: Bellowhead - Roll The Woodpile Down / Hannah James & Sam Sweeney - The Farmer's Cursed Wife / Anaïs Mitchell - Tailor / Duncan Chisholm - Unknown Air / Kathleen Macinnes - Tha Sneach'd Air Druim Uachdair / Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts - Doctor James / Nic Jones  - Texas Girl's Lament At The Funeral Of Her Father / Emily Portman - Hatchlings / Rura - Mary / Kathryn Tickell - Small Coals 

CD 2: Lau - The Bird That Winds The Spring / Maz O'connor - Caw The Yowes / Ross Ainslie -- Lullaby For Mel / O'hooley & Tidow - Gentleman Jack / Luke Jackson - Last Train / Karine Polwart - King Of Birds / Blair Dunlop - Billy In The Lowground / Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman - The Ballad Of Andy Jacobs / The Unthanks - Black Trade / Sam Lee - Wild Wood Amber / Treacherous Orchestra - Sea Of Okhotsk 

CD 3: Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar - Working On The New Railroad / Thalla - St. Andrew's Flight / Last Tango In Harris / Luke Jackson - More Than Boys / Graham Mackenzie & Ciorstaidh Beaton - Father Eugene's Welcome To Cape North; St Kilda's Wedding / Mae Bradbury - Shiver / Jack Pout - Breaking Of Old Branches / Matt Tighe - Were You At The Rock?;  The College Groves / Rosie Hodgson - Liverpool Lullaby / The Crosstown Trio - My Heart Is Holding Up A Shield / Hugh Sheehan & Jack Mccaugherty - The Night Before

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

New album from Heidi Talbot

Album release: Angels Without Wings by Heidi Talbot
Release date: 18 February 2013
Label: Navigator Records
Listen: Official website 

‘Angels Without Wings’ is an album of original compositions glowing with special guests from the worlds of folk, pop, rock and bluegrass. Featuring collaborations with Mark Knopfler, King Creosote, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Karine Polwart, Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow) Julie Fowlis and more

“A voice that’s both awestruck and tender” - The New York Times

US Indie Acoustic Award, twice BBC Folk Awards nominee

When Mark Knopfler and Jerry Douglas offered to play on Heidi Talbot’s new album, they thoughtfully recorded their parts in several different styles – some were instantly recognisable, others more low-key. Talbot’s husband, producer and bandmate John McCusker joked, “you’ve got the best guitar players in the world and we’re blending them in?” But both musicians knew that for Talbot, the song always comes before the name.

Subtlety is Talbot’s magic ingredient – from her gossamer voice to the delicate re-working of traditional and contemporary material that earned her rave reviews for her 2008 breakthrough In Love And Light. The girl from Ireland’s Co. Kildare, who spent several years in New York as a member of the Irish-American supergroup Cherish The Ladies, slips effortlessly between musical worlds but retains a personal modesty rooted in traditional folk.

Talbot began writing songs on her 2010 album The Last Star. In just two years she’s become a master of the art, sometimes composing alone, sometimes with McCusker and Boo Hewerdine (who form her touring band). Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) became a new creative foil after the pair discovered a mutual admiration:

“He was asked to pick his fantasy band for The Independent and he picked me and Morten Harket from A-ha on joint lead vocals,” Heidi laughs. She conceived the melody for Button Up – a brooding, urgent acoustic love song – with Anderson in mind, and he sent back his own lyrics. 

“At home we listen to Belle And Sebastian and Teenage Fan Club as much as we do The Fureys and Mary Black,” she says, of her song-writing’s broad appeal. The best modern folk music gets right to the heart of human drama while remaining oblique about time and place: Wine & Roses is a poignant contemporary reminiscence about young lovers “holding hands and rubbing noses”; I’m Not Sorry is a mini-psychodrama written from a single moment of reflection – “I felt it so it can’t be wrong to sing about it.”

And while the timeless language of traditional folk will always be an inspiration, there are traces of Americana in When The Roses Come Again (feat. Mark Knopfler), a delicate country-tinged duet with bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien, and Parisian romance in the unforgettable title track by Boo Hewerdine, laced with vintage accordion.

Talbot and McCusker were keen to capture the spontaneity of performance: the album was recorded live in Glasgow’s new Gorbals Sound Studios with her regular team Ian Carr (guitars), Phil Cunningham (accordion), Michael McGoldrick (flutes/whistles), James Mackintosh (percussion), Boo Hewerdine (acoustic guitar) and Ewan Vernal (bass). “If people made mistakes we’d just keep going,” says Heidi. “On some of the tracks you can even hear the harmonium creaking. These guys are friends, they all give their opinion. They’ll say, “that’s it! That’s the take!’”

Talbot’s close-knit creative environment has fostered her confidence as a songwriter while allowing her to welcome in surprising new collaborators. These ever-evolving musical relationships can be heard on this, her most sophisticated and vibrant recording to date.

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.

Sukh - debut single 'Kings'

Single release: Kings by Sukh
Release date: January 14 2013
Listen: on Soundcloud or on official website 

Introducing Sukhdeep Krishan, or simply Sukh, the new folk tinged singer/songwriter based in Manchester. Like his medical career, Sukh’s debut Kings is a labour of love and precision, which he has written, performed produced all himself.

Sukh began writing music at the age of 16 when he was scoring a film for school. What followed was years of playing in bands, after which he found his natural aptitude lies in solo work. Although his interest in moving pictures remains prevalent (he currently has a short film in post production), his inspirations have extended to the literary, from Russian authors Tolstoy and Turgenev through to the more theatrical and poetic Henrik Ibsen. These influences of course impact on his music but it’s his scientific mind set that particularly affects Kings, a result of his day job as a doctor. 

Sukh admits that there are elements of Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s "mans search for meaning" in his thought process. Frankl’s speech about aiming higher than reality is partially where the notion of Kings came from – ‘And your conscious it grows / Like a root through a stone / A professor in the zone / Cooking chicken at home / Biting down to the bone’. 

With such clinical influences it is surprising that the track exudes such warmth, charm and grace reminiscent of Sufjan or Cat Stevens. Sukh is a singer/songwriter with a true capability to bring feeling via music, while avoiding the morose mood of many labelled the same. Not to deny that there are self-reflective moments and elements of sadness in his music - but a certain objectivity and hope is the chief characteristic.

More information / press enquiries

For all enquiries, please contact us. If you feature this story in your publication, blog or site, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know.

Don't miss great Prescription stories and content

Get our press releases delivered to your inbox
Follow us on Twitter 
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe via RSS
Get our free must-have tips and advice on music promotion
- Visit our website to find out more about our music PRband promotion and music website design services.

More information

If you would like some more information about this release, or would like to contact us about interview opportunities / review copies, just contact us via our press enquiries form.

Subscribe to our press releases

You can click here to subscribe to our press releases - we'll send you a weekly digest of all our latest releases.