I thought it'd be a great idea to put the latest albums up from the artists playing at Bluesfest - so those of you lucky enough to go can check out what you want to see. And for those of you overseas who, I'm sure, will be extremely jealous. So check back here over the next week or so to check it out, and of course any more new announcements of performers will be added also.AND REMEMBER - POSTS ARE RUNNING FROM TOP TO BOTTOM - SO YOU'LL HAVE TO SCROLL DOWN AND GO THRU THE PAGES TO FIND THE NEWER POSTS
TORRENT FILE ONLY FOUND
King Cannons – The Brightest Light (2012)
01. Stand Right Up 3:03
02. Too Young 3:29
03. The Brightest Light 3:34
04. Too Hot To Handle 3:18
05. Call For Help 4:25
06. Shot To Kill 3:49
07. Ride Again 3:50
08. Charlie O 2:55
09. The Cool Change 2:34
10. On Our Own 2:56
11. Everyman’s Tale 3:52
12. The Last Post 4:30
13. 131 Bop 2:49
14. Take The Rock 2:58
Matt Andersen – Coal Mining Blues (2011)
Matt Andersen seems like someone who, long ago, would have been the subject of folk songs rather than someone who sang them. A giant of a man, with a voice to match, the New Brunswick native (now based in Cape Breton) has firmly established himself over the past year as one of Canada’s brightest new roots music stars. In 2010 alone, he became the first Canadian to win the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, which quickly led to an opening stint for Old Crow Medicine Show. The increasing hype surrounding him has been justified with this new full-length, produced by Colin Linden and recorded at Levon Helm’s Woodstock, NY studio. Coal Mining Blues showcases all of Andersen’s many strengths, both as a singer and guitarist, from funky country blues workout “Make You Stay” to the gospel-tinged “Baby I’ll Be There.” But the album’s underlying theme is best summed up by the title track, a workingman’s anthem that also reflects Andersen’s approach to his career up to this point. There’s nothing fancy about what Andersen does, but his passion and commitment continue to win over loyal fans with each show. Coal Mining Blues is sure to satisfy all of them, and attract many more.
TORRENT FILE ONLY FOUND
Seth Lakeman – Tales From The Barrel House (2011)
Folk singer-songwriter and virtuoso fiddler Seth Lakeman could not have dug deeper into his roots for his 6th album, “Tales from the Barrel House.” He went down a disused West Country copper mine to record one track. The rest of the songs on this “experimental” CD were laid down in the cooperage (The Barrel House of the title), old smithy and other workshops at the ghostly Morwellham mining port on the Devon bank of the River Tamar. In his boldest musical statement yet, Seth, has not only written the songs, but played everything produced and mixed the album. His bow-shredding violin riffs are there, together with his driving tenor guitar rhythms. But it’s the primitive new sounds he’s conjured up that give this album it’s atmospheric vibe – loads of what Seth calls “dirty viola,” banjo, bouzouki, a booming bass heartbeat from an old Salvation Army drum he rescued from a junkshop, and a jangling array of percussion made up from bits of old iron or discarded tools found down the mine and around the Morwellham workshops. The album opens with blissful birdsong from the idyllic Tamar Valley. Then a rasping viola sound that makes the hair stand on end, and a dynamic song (“More than Money”) that is fiercely evocative of the hardships of the men working underground. This album is like the granite bedrock of Seth’s West Country stamping ground – solid, hard and uncompromising.
Seth says he has enjoyed this solo project like no other.
“I’ve been aching to do something musically experimental like this for some time, to get right back to the basics of Kitty Jay – and beyond” (The £300 kitchen-table album that shot him to fame). “To be blunt, this is a concept album I could never have done with a major label” (He has now left Relentless/EMI/Virgin after three records). “I’m grateful for having worked in some of the best-equipped studios and with top producers, but with this record I feel free. I’ve not had A&R men looking over my shoulder or record bosses influencing me in any way.” “It was an extraordinary freedom to explore my music in this magical valley, which is close to my Devon home. And I determined from the outset to do it as simply as possible, with just one recording engineer and as little multi-tracking and overdubs as possible. We used just one sound field microphone.” He joked “There wasn’t room for much more gear down the mine anyway. But I think we managed to get the most authentic, truly’ live’ sound.” “I want listeners to feel they are down that mine, or in the barrel house, immersed in this living history while hearing the stories of the people who inhabit the songs. I’d like fans to literally feel the atmosphere in which the album was recorded. The theme I was seeking was to pay homage to hard-working miners, sailors, skilled craftsmen and artisans, who worked for little reward but took a pride in what they did. “I couldn’t wait to get back to Morwellham everyday, it was such a unique experience. I know the CD will be judged as experimental and perhaps harsh and raw, but that’s the whole point of “Tales from the Barrel House”
Experimental it may be, but Seth’s trademark soaring vocals are at the forefront of this album. They demonstrate his knack for writing, foot-stomping, sing-along hooks but there are more tender, thoughtful moments too. The haunting songs give voice to people from the past. Charismatic and full of passionate energy, “Tales from the Barrel House” will entrance and enthral a growing army of present-day fans and, hopefully, be discovered by discerning music lovers of the future.
NO DOWNLOAD FOUND FOR GREY GHOST:
Chris Smither – Hundred Dollar Valentine (2012)
Before rock music found a way to make listeners sad in novel ways, there was country and the blues. Chris Smither has been making quietly successful, powerful songs to make you wistful since 1970. Morrissey and countless Emo bands could learn a thing or two by listening to Smither’s entire catalog, and Hundred Dollar Valentine’s is as good a place as any to start. Here, he sings about life, loss, and regret just like he’s successfully done for the past 30 years.
Chris Smither doesn’t sing about a happy life, but that’s not really what he’s really about (the blues aren’t about sunshine, and country isn’t about happy relationships). Hundred Dollar Valentine is the embodiment of melancholia. Smither has sung about times gone by and regrets before now—see his previous thirteen albums—but there’s something about this particular one that cuts.
Saskwatch – Leave It All Behind (2012)
The opening track of Saskwatch’s debut LP, Leave It All Behind, has to be one of the coolest to be heard in a long time. The Delinquent instantly brings to mind a James Bond-esque montage, complete with armed tuxedoed men flying through the air over cars and bedding women like there’s no tomorrow. The following tracks swap the action-packed guitars for a soul-drenched feel and the powerful voice of Nkechi Anele, providing a beat for the Bond girls to swill their martinis and avoid misogynists to.
Anele’s vocals are a welcome change to the whispery female tones that have been the trend of late, the only potential fault being that her voice may be too powerful, as there isn’t a whole lot of light and shade on the album. The instrumental component rescues this almost non-existent flaw, with keyboards and brass making Saskwatch as supreme as The Supremes themselves. There’s even an instrumental cover of the Robbie and Kylie’s ‘90s gem Kids, and it’s testament to their talents that the track sounds 100% more kickass than the original. These guys are retro in the best way possible, and not in the terrible cultural-cringe way that’s given nostalgia a bad name. Saskwatch have even received praise from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and are quite the hypnotic brass ensemble themselves.
The phrases ‘the next big thing’ or ‘the ones to watch’ are over-used to the point of nausea, but in this case this Melbourne nine-piece couldn’t be more deserving of such accolades. There’s surely some potential wordplay about Saskwatch and ‘sass’ and the ones to ‘watch’ but you get the idea without that train-wreck coming to life.
NO POST FOUND FOR GO JANE GO - BUT A SOLO ALBUM FROM KIERAN KANE HERE:
Kieran Kane: Somewhere Beyond the Roses (2009)
Roots fans frustrated by the lack of banjo and baritone sax folk albums now have their dreams come true. Kieran Kane's first solo release (away from the Kane Welch Kaplin collaboration) since 2002's Shadows on the Ground pushes acoustic music in dynamic new directions with the addition of baritone saxophonist Deanna Varagona (Lambchop). Her contributions to every track are nearly as integral to this project's success as Kane's honest vocals, impressive melodies, and thought-provoking, often dark lyrics. The brittle, plunking qualities of the banjo are perfectly offset by the horn's deep mellifluous tone, making this a match made in folk heaven. Kane may not have been the first folksinger to add sax, but there aren't many who do it this successfully. Electric guitar from Richard Bennett along with Kane's son Lucas' sparse percussion beef up the approach, yet this is still raw and stripped down. The material would be memorable with a typical instrumental lineup, but Varagona's husky sax lines, somewhat similar to those of Morphine's Dana Colley, bring an unusual and compelling jazz tinge to the material. Her vocals also provide shimmering harmonies to choruses such as the bluegrass-influenced title track. Songs like "Unfaithful Heart" might have commercial possibilities if they were sold to a contemporary country star, but Kane's naked, emotional readings are soulful, heartfelt, and raw. It would have been easy, even natural, to feature the saxophone prominently in the arrangements, but Kane and Varagona don't force that issue, preferring to let her solos coexist naturally by underpinning the melodies, never dominating them. David Olney, who has mixed horns with unplugged folk on his own albums, guests on call-and-response vocals during "Don't Try to Fight It," bringing a gospel groove to the proceedings. Certainly Little Walter never envisioned that his "Tell Me Mama" (the set's only cover) would ever sound quite as homey as it does closing out this challenging and genre-expanding release. Interestingly, Kane, who is also an accomplished painter, had his daughter Lucy contribute the evocative cover painting.
SORRY - PASSWORD FOR KIERAN KANE IS:
NO DOWNLOAD FOUND FOR SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR:
ALLEN STONE (2011)
2. Celebrate Tonight
3. What I've Seen
4. Say So
5. The Wind
7. Contact High
8. Nothing To Prove
9. Your Eyes
Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers – In the Time of the Great Remembering (2011)
Ben Caplan is an East Coast singer/songwriter with a storyteller’s pen, a flair for the dramatic and a talented Gypsy-influenced team called the Casual Smokers. His theatrical lyrics, barroom arrangements and bushy, unkempt beard practically beg for descriptors like “gruff,” “raw” and “bourbon-soaked,” but his eclectic, European blues-folk is held together by vocals that channel Tom Jones as much as Waits. Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan’s stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury.
Flawlessly mixing banjo, clarinets, violins, beards and vocals into a smoother shot of Canadian Whiskey than ever before, Ben Caplan premier album In the Time of the Great Remembering is a shot of refreshing material.
Caplan’s lyrical genius comes out in songs like “Beautiful” and “Rest your Head,” being some of the softer tracks on the album as well. Songs like “Drift Apart” and “Leave me Longing” contiune on in this tradtion, having a more sombre tone to them. Consider these the “chaser” part of the album.
Songs like “Conduit” and “Stranger” are the scraggly, whisker-like songs of the album, with Caplan howling through the night at the moon. Heftier and rougher than his beard, this is the ‘whiskey’ portion, leaving a sweet burn in your ears after listening. If you combine the Boogie man from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Bourbon whiskey, you’ve got the vocals on these tracks.
There’s no chaser required with this shot, as Caplan manages to combine his harsh, raspy voice perfectly with the music of The Casual Smokers, moving from soft to harsher songs all throughout the album. In the Time of the Great Remembering is like a musical Yin and Yang, the perfect balance between the harsh burn and the softness that comes afterwards.