Wednesday
Sep082010

Southern Tenant Folk Union 'The New Farming Scene' JohnnyRock

On there new album, with a revised line-up, this acoustic band draw as much from traditional folk songs that were at the heart of the music that became bluegrass in America as from the original songs. Songs written in the main by Pat McGarvey who has been central to the band and its development since they founded. A former member of the Coal Porters this project is darker and rooted in the life of working communities. McGarvey's banjo is the key and leading instrument on many of these songs. Previously they were seen as a bluegrass styled band but here the folk tradition of parts of the UK would seem to be a viable influence. The acapella Those Little Grains Of Sand would be a case in point. Indeed the vocals are a vital and primary component of the music here. It always has , of course but here it seems to have become earthier and less tied to a outside source. A direct tie to the land is expressed in songs Like TA9. This is undoubtably the best album they have produced and one where they further their own identity and sound. The album was recorded in a more spontaneous setting which gives the music an edge a vibrancy that is both simple and ruggedly realistic. A new play for today. The musical skills of these musicians many who have come from a legacy of folk bands is never in doubt. Rather it is a potent mix of all the elements that brings together numerous strand in a potent whole. I may be a dark whole but its is one that resonates.

Wednesday
Sep082010

Tony McLouhglin 'Ride The Wind' Self-Released

This new album find the Irish songwriter in the capable production hands of fellow artist Ben Reel. Have made previous album in the US this album was recorder in Monaghan. The end result is a slice of powerful roots rock. Songs with a kick and some substance. The title song was co-written by McLoughlin with Tommy Womack, while other songs were written with Reel and the closing Treeline is a co-write with Sergio Webb. All are topped with a hearty vocal delivery by McLoughlin over a soild backing that includes Ben Reel on acoustic and electric guitars with locals Ronnie O'Flynn on bass, Michael Black on drums, John McCullogh on keyboards. McLoughlin also shares the guitar playing duties. This is grown up robust music that draws from several music forms to create an album that has balls. The songs are memorable, the more so with repeated play. Tony McLouhglin has been around for some time making albums that his fans love but have never really made waves outside of that which is a pity as he is an artist with quite a bit to offer. He may not be as know as Henry McCullough and heaven knows Henry flies under the radar too but this album will likely appeal to those who like Henry's similar blend of blues, r 'n'b and country. A healthy roots stew that should give satisfaction to those who like the music with some age and dirt on it.

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