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Monday 27 May 2013

ReviewShine Time

For no good reason, we are long overdue a round-up of releases sent to me through the ReviewShine service. Let's put that right.

First up is Deborah Holland with her new album "Vancouver", out on 4 June on RageOn Records. She is a new name to me, which does me no credit at all as she has quite a pedigree, having played with Stanley Clarke and Stewart Copeland in Animal Logic among other things. The new album is more rootsy than that. It is a strong all-round set but the two tracks that stood out for me on first listen were the title track and this one, both of which have the ring of true stories.

"My Happy Ending" - Deborah Holland

We follow that with some more "veterans" I had never heard of before. Fiddleworms have apparently been around on and off since 1995. Their new album, "See The Light", is definitely more on than off. They describe it as a mixture of Southern folk music, Muscle Shoals R&B, the Beatles and sixties psychedelia, which sounds about right. They are from Muscle Shoals so that influence is not to hard to understand, and it's the more soulful and mildly funky tracks that I like the best.

The title track is the one that stands out most immediately, but before you listen to it I should the repeat the "FCC Notes" that came with their blurb: "Ass is in "100 Watt Suicide Drinker", Bitch is in "Johnny Rotten Cash", Shit is in "See the Light"." You have been warned.

"See The Light" - Fiddleworms

Also mixing a bit of soul in with the country, at least through the emotion in her voice - the tunes are fairly straight country - is Sara Petite. Yet another name new to me, "Circus Comes To Town" is her fourth album. As with Deborah Holland, there are a lot of good songs here, but it is her voice that makes the album stand apart from the competition. I suspect it may not be for everyone, but for me it is like a mix between Lucinda Williams and Iris Dement, which can't be a bad thing.

"Forever Blue" - Sara Petite

Finally, someone familiar - well, sort of. Jesse and Noah Bellamy are the sons of one of the Bellamy Brothers, a duo who have always been high on my list of not-so-guilty pleasures. By an amazing coincidence, they are also the nephews of the other Bellamy Brother! There are times on their newly released third album, "Driven Back", when you can detect the influence of their Dad and uncle - "Florida Water" for example. But they cover the whole spectrum of country music, from trad to alt, and do it all well. Today's selection is not particularly typical but it's bloody good.

"Lilly Vereen" - Jesse & Noah

And for today's vintage video clip... come on, who else is it going to be?

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