• Tag Archives acoustic
  • Tom Waits

    2015 Artist of the year.

    Tom Waits

    Tom Waits

    My interest in music rarely comes through simply listening to an artist and buying their album, instead I participate in an organic process of familiarising myself with a personality. Tom Waits is an atypical celebrity, which is to say somebody without the celebrity ego. He conveys a high level of empathy and belief that to others may seem eccentric.


  • Featured site

    English folk music, and folk music in general, dates back to the time of witches, warlocks, the green man and the sea nymph. Finding information on that elusive local clan of folk artists or trying to research the band that the world forgot can be difficult. However the great minds at www.progarchives.com have created a precious resource for just such an occasion – and thanks to them I have a little more information on Diabolus:

    Diabolus biography
    Although very little known – ‘the band that the world forgot’, says Max von Seibold, drummer’s son, in a memory website (www.diabolustheband.net) -, Oxford band DIABOLUS is an early predecessor for symphonic rock to come in the middle 70’s. Members: John Hadfield (lead guitar, vocals), Anthony Hadfield (bass, vocals), Philip Howard (flute, tenor sax, organ, piano, vocals), Ellwood von Seibold (drums, percussion) and Peter Cornel (role unknown). Band was considered not comercial. Disbandments and reunions keep the band playing under the name SUNFLY.

    Their only LP, “High Tones”, was recorded in 1971, in London, produced by Hugh Murphy and Shel Talmy (THE WHO); but never released because of ‘comercial’ reasons. An unauthorized edition was released in Germany by Bellaphon. When the members found out about this, in the mid 1990’s, they legally fought back property and re-released the album with Sunrise Records, Europe). Music runs from folk tunes to excessive instrumentation, including flute, sax and chorus sang by three of the members of the band, passing through jazz-fusion and complex time composing. GENTLE GIANT’s choruses run similarly to DIABOLUS’; flute sound takes them close to JETHRO TULL. Sax prefigures later PINK FLOYD sound, but while in PF sax is “invited” in DIABOLUS it comes as part of the whole. Some of the tunes approach electric jazz through the use of broken times and an open drumming, with moments of total free improvisation.

     


  • Who knows where the time goes?

    A suitable birthday tribute then was made for my mum’s 55th birthday. A child of the 60s and avid fan of English folk my mum has followed the Fairport Convention since their conception in 1967. 16th May 2015 saw my mother’s live reunion with Fairport Conventions, along with her my sister experienced her first experience of live folk music. Cropredy Festival 1996 was my first formal introduction and since then I too have become a firm appreciator of folk. Fond memories are often had of the tents, fields and fair folk who may be found among the merrymaking that is Cropredy.

    I hope to feature more folk and folk rock music as time goes on. Some notable folk bands and artists I enjoy are:

    Karine Polwart

    Diabolus – Witch & Warlock

    Dibjack – northamptonshire folk

    Early Fleetwood Mac (1967 – 1970)

    Joni Mitchell

    Clannad

    King Crimson (early)

     


  • Karine Polwart

    Karine Polwart – This Earthly Spell

    This Scottish philosopher come talented folk artist first caught my attention back in March 2008, she was featured on the now sadly discontinued HMV Choice magazine (March 08 issue).

    Having earned a Masters in Philosophical Enquiry at Glasgow Karine Polwart’s writing certainly covers many of life’s great topics, with a beautiful poetic intelligence her lyrics often delve into worldly arguments and dark matters, ranging from the physical, the emotional, questions of the heart and those of the metaphysical.

    Karine has been around since the late 90s Folk boom, with a background in music she first followed an academic path in philosophy, with her first solo album release Faultlines in 2003. My first album purchase was of This Earthly Spell – Karine’s follow up album to Scribbled In Chalk. The album is a beautifully delicate mixture of traditional songs featuring a simple collaboration of only 2 to 3 musicians, keeping the sound folky and crisp. Her elegant vocals, those expressive Scottish inflections and her country jazz flavours produce wonderfully elegant songs that carry the thought provoking lyrics straight to the soul.

    What is unique to Karine’s song writing is her method of combining dark, often depressing themes, with an angelic uplifting voice, she constantly weaves opposites together in her material. Her writing plays with contradiction to produce beautifully lyrical metaphor and oxymoron.   The end result is a humbling journey of hope and morality in the face of conflict and trail. After her academic studies she became a philosophy tutor, and in a way her lessons continue today through her music.

    Useful Related Links:

    Karine Polwart – This Earthly Spell

    Malinky – Scotlands Finest Folksong Group (Karine Polwart joined the group as lead singer between 1998 and 2005)


  • Rachel Sermanni

    Rachel Sermanni – Under Mountains

    During my exploration on Half Moon Run I decided to check out their video Full Circle – played live for the Mahogany Sessions.  Within the suggested videos section was an interesting titled song – Marshmallow Unicorn played by Rachel Sermanni  – somebody I had not, at the time, encountered.

    Rachel Sermanni

    I was instantly captivated with her velvety vocals and her intricately layered emotional inflections, the video itself sees her sitting on a busy street (images of Brighton Lanes came to mind), delivering a beautiful poetic piece accompanied with soft acoustic guitar. Her delivery is dreamy, almost introspective, her vocal delicacy is beautiful, with haunting romantic whispering and heart felt rhythm.  – It terms of genre she falls within the folk fairy-tale flavour, a space well known to the likes of Emiliana Torrini and Karine Polwart.

    Useful Related Links:

    * Rachel Sermanni home (good place for tour and venue dates – she is a busy busy lass)

    * Folk Radio UK review (featuring some free track samples)

    * YouTube home of the Mahogany Sessions

     


  • Emiliana Torrini

    After years of Enya, Eva Cassidy and Sinead Oconnor, sometime in 2001 I found my new female lead singer, her name Emiliana Torrini. Her first masterstroke to grace my ears – Gollum’s Song from Lord of The Rings – The Two Towers (which oddly enough does not appear in any of her albums – to my knowledge). Alluring and seductive, once she takes hold, hypnotism ensues. This is chillout 101 baby. Lyrics are beautifully crafted, her writing is something of daydreams and long nothings by the sea. Endlessly deep and expressive her vocals carry those mystical Icelandic tones. The voice of Emiliana Torrini is what I imagine my dream lover to sound as she whispers in my ear. She is an often unacknowledged treasure who has been in the industry for many years and is secretly responsible for many of the great chart-topping hits, having written many songs (cor how many times did I just say many – quite a few I think!)

     

    Favourite artist of 2006 Emiliana Torrini:

    Love in the Time of Science

    Fisherman’s Woman

    Me And Armini

    Tookah (new for 2013)

     

    Related Posts:

    Karine Polwart – – Rachel Sermanni – – Emily Maguire

  • Emily Maguire – Keep Walking

    I am not entirely sure how I discovered this artist, but I remember reading about her, there was a lovely story about her – living in a small wooden hut somewhere in the outback of Australia just in tranquillity writing songs and being at peace. It took me a long time to acquire this album and I have been unable to get her other albums (having only 2 or three), I found it hard to find her works in typical mass-music shops such as HMV and landed up purchasing through Amazon. It’s a melodic mixture of folky warmth, beautiful acoustics, and haunting emotive vocals.
    Other titles include:

    Emily Maguire – Keep Walking 2007 (featured)

    Emily Maguire – Stranger Place 2008

    Emily Maguire – Bird Inside A Cage 2013

     

    Related Posts:

    Emiliana Torrini – – Rachel Sermanni – – Karine Polwart