I don't know if it is Autumn release schedule time in Record Label Land, but for whatever reason my inbox has been flooded with fantastic freebies over the last couple of weeks. Some of them are from our reliable friends at Reviewshine, and we'll get to them later in the week (including at least one real treat). Today we have the best of the rest.
We'll start with some very welcome re-releases. I am sure many of you are fans of Swedish pop titans Acid House Kings. They celebrate twenty years of melodic marvellousness this year and to mark the event Labrador Records have today reissued three of their albums: "Advantage Acid House" (1997), "Mondays are like Tuesdays and Tuesdays are like Wednesdays" (2002) and "Sing Along With Acid House Kings" (2005). From that last album here is "This Heart Is A Stone". You'll want to get all three of them though.
"This Heart Is A Stone" - Acid House Kings
Next an even older reissue courtesy of Tompkins Square who, if I had a Label of the Year Award, would be the front-runners for the title. They have put some great stuff out this year - His Golden Messenger, the Michael Chapman tribute "Oh Michael, Look What You've Done", and now this. "This" being "Ever Changing Minstrel" by Bill Wilson, available for the first time since 1973. If you read Uncut you may have seen the review which explains the alleged circumstances in which it was made (in brief Bill turned up uninvited at Bob Johnston's house one night, played him some songs and Bob rang up the cream of Nashville session men and said "Let's do the show right here"). I am not sure I entirely believe the story but it doesn't really matter. It's a very good record.
"The Good Ship Society" - Bill Wilson
Another regular source of goodies is Noisetrade, and right now you can pick up some fine free samplers from a couple of old favourites of mine. Tift Merritt has her new album "Travelling Alone" coming out in early October, which is also when Iris Dement releases "Sing The Delta", her first album for eight years. Judging by the samplers it sounds like both albums are going to be well up to their usual standards.
"Sweet Spot" - Tift Merritt
"Go On Ahead And Go Home" - Iris Dement
We'll finish off with an act that is new to me, and fairly new to the world generally I would guess. They are from down Bristol way and they are called Tidy Street. They have recently put their first demos up on Bandcamp and they are not bad at all. Who they remind you of rather depends on what I will pompously call your cultural frame of reference. They tell me they have been compared to Willy Mason and Noah & The Whale, which means nothing to an old fart like me. This track sounds to me like the resurrection of The Chefs, which probably means nothing to young whippersnappers like them.
"Love Is A Verb" - Tidy Street
Speaking of Bristol, here's Johnny of that ilk.