Friday
Oct082010

Lilly Drumeva 'Loving You' Music Author

Proving that music crosses many borders Bulgarian Lilly Drumeva and her band Lilly of the West (and guests Monogram from the Czech Republic) are playing quality bluegrass and acoustic country. The songs are from the pen of such traditional stalwarts as Bill Monroe, Hank Williams Snr, Jimmie Rodgers as well as from Tim O'Brien, Townes Zan Vandt as well as contemporary writes like Gillian Welch. The versions here are not pushing any envelopes but are delivered with skill, verve and understanding. Drumeva, in her sleeve note, say her passion for this music came from hearing Emmylou Harris' Live At The Ryman album and that is a pretty good compass point for what's happening here. She also mixes thins up a little by choosing to cover a 1930's jazz standard Pennies From Heaven in a way that nods to it's source. While the closing song, her take on Tennessee Waltz shows that her range could easily extend to traditional country as easily as the acoustic bluegrass base of much of the material. What comes across is a singer and set of musicians enjoying what they are doing and exploring the music they love. It shows that in the future that if it was decided to seek out some less well know choices and expanding on original writing abilities that Lily Drumeva should be able to take her music to another level. In the meantime Loving You is here to be enjoyed. 

Friday
Oct082010

Tim O'Connell 'It's My Song Dammit' Tall Man  

The title refers to the fact that O'Connell wrote a song he wrote was recorded by Johnny Cash but only got a release on the Unearthed box set. Rick Rubin commented that it was a song that Johnny Cash had brought in but didn't know who wrote it, Rubin felt it summed up Cash. That song A Singer Of Songs is not included here instead we get ten new songs that range from acoustic styled country to the full bluesy rock riffing of Little Radio, a song that sums up O'Connell approach to life, family and music. About finding his love for music on a little radio and about finding something you love to do. Other songs run from the uptempo upfront Thank You For Being A Friend to the duet with Jill Walsh on Talkin' About Love, a theme that permiates the album with other titles like This Must Be Love, Without You and There's Nothing You Can Do. There's a soulful track That Rightous Road that features the Vanderbilt University's Voices of Praise

Gospel Choir that is another uplifting song. O'Connell produced the album with P.G. Banker in Nashville but other than that there are no musician details. Overall O'Connell has a warm and expressive voice the music is a mix of rootish music, mainly uptempo with a full band and is a good listen that will please many with it's positive attitude and catchy song craft.

Friday
Oct082010

Mark Wayne Glasmire 'Life Goes On' Traceway Music

A singer songwriter who plays music that hints of 70's crossover country/folk storytelling that was epitomized by the likes of John Denver or Dan Fogelberg. In other words gentle, easy listening tales that are melodic and musical. It's produced by Glasmire and John Albani in Nashville and features a selection of players including Wanda Vick who brings a folky, bluegrass element to the easy-on-the-ear proceedings. On occasions the song take on a harder theme as on Everything Is Gonna Be Alright a song that deals with job loss and a father's protective title mantra to his worried family, but one that turns out to have a positive message. Positivity is a key element of the music on offer here, an undemanding, life-affirming set of songs that would find favour with many who were fans of the aforementioned Denver and Fogelberg's style of music. Glasmire does what he does well but some of us may be looking for something with a harder edge and deeper roots but there are many others looking for the kind of lighter relief that Mark Wayne Glasmire so obviously delivers with style. 

Friday
Oct082010

Lynn Miles 'Black Flowers (volumes 1-2)' True North

The convincing voice and the strong sons of Lynn Miles are the core of this album which features Miles accompanied only by her guitar or her piano playing on a set of new and old songs delivered in their rawest and purest setting highlighting the songs in the fashion that they were, doubtless, first conceived and played. The effect is that of listening to Miles in an intimate setting and hearing the songs in that light. There are 20 songs featured on the two CD which makes it a pleasurable listen for those acquainted with her music or those who like their songs of love, life and location straight up. Otherwise it may be a little too much for new listeners who may find any of her previous, well received and fuller sounding albums a better place to start but either way these songs testify to Miles' talent and her take on human traits. wwwlynnmilesmusic.com

Friday
Oct082010

Emil Friis 'The Road To Nashville' Southern Imperial

This Danish artist is releasing his third album of Americana styled original songs. The album opens with a voice and piano track that is, in truth non to enticing, but starts proper with the title track a compelling song that features some mariachi styled trumpet that adds much to the atmosphere. Recorded in a studio in southern Sweden over a two-day period which results in a lose and effective mood across the entire album. The overall sound might be described, loosely as David Gray singing alt-country, but that only gives a superficial idea of his music. Friis has produced the album with a tight set of like-minded musicians who give Friis' self-written songs the depth they require. This could easily have emerged from the USA, or even from the fringes of the city of the title track. Friis writes and sings in English and if you weren't aware you not know that this was not his native language. But that the language of roots American music is pretty universal and travels well as evidenced here. It is a strong and intriguing album that makes you want to hear Friis' earlier efforts but this, by all accounts is a looser more soulful take on the music he makes a perfect introduction to his muse. www.myspace.com/emilfriis