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Sunday 18 August 2013

ReviewShine Round-Up

This is catch-up month. In between all the Tsonga Disco, here is a quick plug for some of the better records to have come my way via ReviewShine over the last couple of months.

We start with a man (and band) that can rightly be described as bluegrass legends - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. With over 40 albums and countless Grammies and other awards to their name, they are  renowned for their superb playing and fantastic harmonies. Both of those are prominently on display on their latest album, "Roads Well Traveled", out now on Mountain Home Records. If you know anything about bluegrass you'll know that a Doyle Lawson album is as close to a guarantee of quality as you can get. If you don't know anything about bluegrass, this would be a good place to start.

"Fiddlin' Will" - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

A rather different take on the old mountain music comes from Isobel Anderson & Ruby Colley, both of whom hail from the foothills of the mountainous Sussex Downs. They have each made albums in the past, but have been playing together for the last couple of years. The "Sussex Sessions" EP, which is available now from their Bandcamp page, is their first release, and very good it is too. "Down in Adairsville" is my personal favourite.

As there are only three tracks on the EP I'm not going to give you a free download. If you like it - and you should - you can stump up the £3 needed for the whole thing.

Also available on Bandcamp is "Whisper & Holler", the debut album from Steph Casey, a singer-songwriter from Wellington, New Zealand. There is a slightly bluesy edge to both her voice and her music which I really like. Here is an alternate version of the lead off track.

"Nice To Almost Know You (Alternate)" - Steph Casey

We will finish off with what is probably my favourite of all the albums ReviewShine has sent my way over the last couple of months, "Fifty Shades of Yellow" by The Yellow Hope Project (or, as he's known by his family, Arnold Kim). Basically, it's a great Southern soul record - if, like me, you consider Hiss Golden Messenger and the good bits of Lambchop to be Southern soul. It's all about love and loss, as all great soul records are, and some of it is played fairly straight. There is a rewrite of "Mignight Train to Georgia" from the man's perspective, for example, which sticks pretty closely to the classic sound. But my favourite moments are probably when he approaches it from a slightly different angle. Like this one.

"A Final Plea To A New Prescription" - The Yellow Hope Project

You've probably guessed the clip by now.

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