Monday, July 28, 2008

John Phillips - April Anne and Mississippi

Neil Halstead has a new album out sometime soon, there's a taster mp3 called Paint a face doing the rounds at all the best mp3blogs if you'd care to look. Listening to it (and admiring Neil's impressive facial hair) reminded me of John Phillips' April Anne - the first track on his John the Wolfking of LA album. Recorded just after the Mamas and Papas split with steel guitarist Buddy Emmons and guitar legend James Burton this beautifully wistful album offers a mix of steel guitar, Elton-like piano parts, confused beautiful people and images of the sea.

Listen: John Phillips - April Anne

Listen John Phillips - Malibu People

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dave Hosking - Apple

Dave Hosking is from Sydney, or at least he says that's where he is at the moment, but his accent makes it difficult to believe he's not english. This is from the debut Marmalade Hill EP, unfortunately Dave forgot to tell me how exactly you are supposed to actually get hold of it, but maybe he'll add it in the comments.
This is classy folk-pop, kind of like the Nizlopi in that there's definitely cross-over potential here, the sort that happens when Grey's Anatomy or something more hip picks up on a track. I was reading just the other day about the TV series and indie films that are proving better at launching smaller artists, something that I found out that Alexi Murdoch benefitted from, although I'm still waiting for the Shins to change my life Natalie, thanks.

Listen: Dave Hosking - Apple


I'm going to assume that this Dave Hoskings is not to be confused with the other Melbourne based Dave Hosking who I found whilst tryin to find something more to write, whose substantial body of work seems worth investigating in its own right - you can listen to some of his previous work on that website.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives

A man blessed with three first names is rare indeed, and this one is armed with what looks like a 52 telecaster a crack team of ace musicians and the kind of big love of honky tonk songwriting shared by lonesome favourites Two Dollar Pistols. Check the live session out on that link below, this is a band that I very much want to see if they make it to the UK.
They sent me an email informing me they were going to release a 7" record, you can buy it on that link down there. In an ideal world it would be one with a huge centre punch for a jukebox in a bar or diner somewhere dry.

Listen: John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives - Otherwise

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Live-in-the-studio set for

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Catherine Howe

This was the soundtrack as I walked into the centre of London. It was early, there were very few people around and the cool edge to the air had yet to be stifled by the July Sun. If it had been Paris people would have been hosing down the pavements and running into patisseries to buy croissants, and I'm sure they were doing that in the more swinging bits of London, but where I was they were collecting the bins and standing in doorways having a fag. I wonder if Catherine has to do that now...
Listen: Catherine Howe - On a misty morning

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Ed Laurie

This is the year of two revivals in my mind, Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen. Any song that brings both of these to mind has got to worth a little of your time surely? Add to that a little Jose Gonzalez and the fact that you'll need headphones to hear the various shifting textures going on underneath what I initially took to be a very simple arrangement, like recorders there's not enough clarinets in rock if you ask me.
A fellow survivor of the toilet circuit in London (or so his biog says), but you'd never know it to hear it.
Listen: Albert

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Felice Brothers

Beth and I watched a fantastic compilation of Johnny Cash's TV shows from the late sixties/seventies and the standout was undoubtedly the songs that felt like cowboy films in their own right. The Felice brothers new(ish) album is just like that, end to end, cinematic storytelling. This is seriously great music and lyrics, real art. The arrangements (check the piano intro), the instrumentation (great trombone) and the turn of phrase (I'm still being checked by the head hanging in the lobby).

Listen: The Greatest Show on Earth

and check this one too:

Listen: The Felice Brothers - Wonderful Life

and buy it

Friday, July 11, 2008

Euros Childs - Chops

I love Euros Childs. But I have it on good authority (Kate) that I'm not allowed to marry him and bear his children because the world isn't ready for that amount of curly hair. At the very least, apparently we'd have to have some sanction in place from some kind of higher power. Hey ho.

Chops passed me by a couple of years ago but I picked it up in the jumble-like Zavvi sale for a measly pound (yep, a whole one of your English pounds) a few weeks back and it's been in altenate rotation with Pacific Ocean Blue ever since. There is more than a hint of the lovelorn summer breeze about it, too.

Have a listen to Costa Rita - maybe it's growing up in a seaside town and knowing the winter emptiness, maybe it's the flute, but it something about it really gets to me. And it's possibly one of the best songs about a peanut seller I've ever heard, second only to Peanuts, Big Jumbo Ones (or at least that's what it was called in our house - let's hope someone out there knows what I'm on about other than you, Howard).

Circus Time is a winner too - Euros on piano and his sister on violin. It's enough to make you pack up for the hills of Wales, pronto. It can't be any wetter than here.

Listen: Euros Childs - Costa Rita

Listen: Euros Childs - Circus Time

Buy at Amazon for a fiver, or trawl the shelves at the dreaded Zavvi.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset

There has never been a better time to be a folk musician, a genre that thrives on the live circuit and word of mouth. In a world of mp3s and internet cottage industries there are an extraordinary set of artists making extraordinary music right now, and many of them are from one branch of folk or another. Artists that aren't afraid to make themselves available directly to not only their fans, but everyone with an internet connection. I have heard more excellent folk albums this year already than I have in the past five, and Rachel Unthank's is amongst the very, very best.

Listen - Rachel Unthank - Blackbird

Listen: Rachel Unthank - White Thorn


Buy it