However, you define folk ... acoustic or electric; traditional or nu, medieval or folk rock; Americana, bluegrass or country; progressive, psychedelic, punk or thrash ... we'll listen. Take folk influences from the West, the East and any points in between, however you approach folk music ... we'll listen. That doesn't mean we review everything we receive but we do promise to listen. Please take a quick look at our Review Policy before you send anything to us.

Each month we recognise‘Album of the Month’   Older reviews move to: 'Review Archive'

‘Blazing’ – Mean Mary - impossible to ignore May 23, 2018
Words like visceral, inimitable and distinctive are often applied without due thought or relevance – not so when you’re talking about th... [MORE]

‘Live and Never learn’ – I See Hawks In L.A. - on top form on all counts May 22, 2018
The alternative folk/ country Americana world would be a darker place without I See Hawks In L.A. – it’s unlikely that anyone else could... [MORE]

‘To Belfast...’ Conor Caldwell - incorporating and moulding explorative imaginings May 21, 2018
The story behind any album is often known only to the artists involved, however the story that generated ‘To Belfast ... ‘ from Conor Ca... [MORE]

‘EVO’ from Skerryvore - synthesis of folk and rock, tradition and innovation May 20, 2018
There’s a musical delight coming along in June 2018 – ‘EVO’ the sixth studio album from Skerryvore. The pleasure lies in the... [MORE]

‘We All Share The Same Sky’ by Jon Budworth - immediate communion of artist with listener May 15, 2018
The prime elements of a Jon Budworth song remain unchanged ... the distinctive voice that pours presence into his words, the skilful touch on guitar... [MORE]

‘Flat as the Earth’ from Lonesome George - fusion of music with symbiotic interdependence May 15, 2018
The name Lonesome George may be familiar as the ancient Pinta Island tortoise that surviving into the modern world, died the last of his species in ... [MORE]

‘By The Night’ - Alden, Patterson and Dashwood - infectious hooks, memorable melodies, finely tuned harmonies May 14, 2018
Band names are interesting, strange and obscure things with their genesis coming from anywhere and everywhere. The latest name to come my way sounds... [MORE]

‘Midnight Sun’ from The Gothard Sisters - amplifying tradition and createing original pathways May 11, 2018
Many musical genres and styles reflect the distance of traveling, loss of  homeland, journeying from family and the call of adventure, however ... [MORE]

‘Horizon Lines’ by Matthew Byrne - always a place for a singer with songs to steal your soul May 11, 2018
Delivering engaging narrative through song has long been the heart of folk music, wherever it originates. The best exponents of the ‘storytell... [MORE]

‘Shivelight’ from Mishaped Pearls - a progressive tour-de-force of highly creative and innovative originality May 11, 2018
Unique is a much-abused word. Often qualified with ‘totally’ or ‘absolutely’, which in itself is ridiculous because somethin... [MORE]

‘The Pipe Slang’ - Jamie MacDonald and Christian Gamauf - outstanding debut from two talented musicians May 10, 2018
Search for a blend of Scottish pipes and fiddle and you’ll probably come up with two possible answers, the first is music that’s charact... [MORE]

Steve Dawson – ‘Lucky Hand’ - “... woven into the absorbing web formed by this music” May 08, 2018
Another album that’s going to hit the UK this June is ‘Lucky Hand’ another outing from the endlessly creative and highly prolific ... [MORE]

‘I Want Blood’ from Suburban Dirts - demands and deserves the widest of exposure May 08, 2018
The overall feel of this album opens with strangely ominous darkness, goes on to reveal an enigmatic and at times bizarre feel as songs deep with fo... [MORE]

‘Queen City Jubilee’ - The Slocan Ramblers - drives bluegrass onto new roads May 07, 2018
Tearing out of Canada with the throttle wide open and the engine screaming that’s The Slocan Ramblers, a band that drives bluegrass onto new r... [MORE]

‘Swallowed By The New’ - Glen Phillips '... personal ‘baring of the soul’ May 02, 2018
Known more widely as front man of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Glen Phillips also has a burgeoning career as a solo artist, his latest album ‘Swallo... [MORE]

‘By Way Of Night’ Odette Michell - gently engrossing collection of original work May 02, 2018
As female folk voices go this one will stay with you. There’s a warm sincerity to the interpretation of the songs, a heartfelt involvement tha... [MORE]

‘Punch’ from The Poozies - a multiplicity of facets to reflect their unique style May 01, 2018
The restrictive categorising and classification of bands and musicians is a pastime that I avoid ... and with the mesmeric sound of The Poozies that... [MORE]

‘Topspin’ from Cardboard Fox - a thoroughly gorgeous listening experience April 27, 2018
Occasionally, an album arrives that demands your undivided attention and for a while you really cannot concentrate on anything else. The latest, hig... [MORE]

‘This Time’ – SugaTree – a multi-layered mix of inspiration April 26, 2018
Original, pop-driven folk with multiple influencing overtones, that best describes the album ‘This Time’ from the Australian trio, SugaT... [MORE]

‘The Rough Bounds’ – Dàimh - instant and lasting magnetism April 23, 2018
There’s always a strong involvement with an album from Dàimh – the inspired musicianship, the haunting vocals, the mix of traditi... [MORE]

‘Down In The Mine’ - Amy Goddard - a work of considerable significance April 22, 2018
Listening to the incredibly touching songs on ‘Down In The Mine’ is a deeply moving experience. Taking inspiration from the lives and ha... [MORE]

‘Live From Art Farm’ – The Fretless - vision applied to tradition and the result scintillates April 21, 2018
The word inventive is frequently misused, however in this case invention is there by the bucket-load. In fact, the level of sparkling creativity and... [MORE]

‘Anger Management’ by Gerry Spehar - protest and dissent - a musical remonstration April 20, 2018
When the story of your journey makes people shake their head in disbelief you know in your heart that most of them think the stories about you are j... [MORE]

‘Through The Seasons’ - Will Pound - dance music as it should be heard April 14, 2018
There’s a sense of imminent excitement about this album, from reading the sub-title ‘A Year in Morris and Folk Dance’ through the ... [MORE]

‘Awake’ - Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage - music that breathes the essence of peaceful understanding April 14, 2018
This album turns a mellow, sympathetic blend of American roots and English folk into something that’s soul-soothing and absolutely sublime.&nb... [MORE]

‘Between The Golden Age & The Promised Land’ – Ray Cooper - an album awash with atmosphere April 13, 2018
Legendary is a word oft-cheapened by inappropriate overuse, its status conferred without true reason. Although, when used to describe artists whose ... [MORE]

‘The Waters & the Wild’ from Ninebarrow - enthralling, captivating and ultimately triumphant April 13, 2018
There’s no more perplexity that Dorset-based duo, Ninebarrow produce outstanding folk music. It’s no longer extraordinary they deliver o... [MORE]

‘After You’ – Cold Tone Harvest - nothing to get in the way of its primal delivery April 12, 2018
There’s a visceral feel to this album, primitive and simple, with the messages and music laid out ‘as it comes’ nothing added to g... [MORE]

‘Symbiosis II’ - Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton - unmatched aural experience April 12, 2018
First there was ‘Symbiosis’ an album of considerable enchantment, different with a capital ‘D’ and responsible for creating ... [MORE]

‘Dead Reckoning’ - The Jellyman's Daughter - luscious harmonies, evocative melodies, sensuous lyrics April 12, 2018
Another slice of bluesy, soulful folk is served up by Edinburgh's own, The Jellyman’s Duaghter in their forthcoming album ‘Dead Reckonin... [MORE]

‘A Colourful Journey’ – Roger Pugh - a life-line travelogue of memories and experiences April 09, 2018
Anyone with more than a few years in the ‘folk world’ is more than likely to know Roger Pugh – perhaps as singer songwriter, long-... [MORE]

‘The Promise Of Strangers’ - The Fugitives - seamless mixing of reality with imagination April 09, 2018
An album comprised of songs dedicated to individuals real and imaginary is unusual. The concept of ‘The Promise Of Strangers’ takes The ... [MORE]

‘Sunshiner’ - The Mammals - a perfect confluence of folk and rock April 08, 2018
Take some time off for whatever reason, and the return is always subject to debate, ‘Where did they go?’ ‘Why did they go?’ ... [MORE]

‘Little Fish’ - Milton Hide - high melodic quality, perfectly-matched voices and rich storytelling April 07, 2018
New bands always benefit from an indefinable ‘something’ that differentiates them from that huge raft of musical expression usually call... [MORE]

‘Light The Evening Fire’ from Glymjack - a classic piece of contemporary English folk April 05, 2018
The English folk universe is expanding, perhaps not with the same cataclysmic result as that other Big Bang, however it’s still extending the ... [MORE]

‘Longest Shadow’ by Ivan Moult - spark of hope that refuses to be extinguished April 05, 2018
It’s entirely possible that ‘Longest Shadow’ from Ivan Moult is one of the most profoundly moving albums you will hear – dar... [MORE]

‘Ghost Of The Untraveled Road’ Annie Keating – forged into an outstanding piece of work April 04, 2018
There’s absolutely no doubt who you’re hearing when Annie Keating starts to sing – that voice – its slightly husky warmth, t... [MORE]

‘Love in Wartime’ from Birds of Chicago - faultless engagement April 04, 2018
Start a conversation about Americana and frequently you’ll find yourself drawn into a pointless need for classification, pointless because &ls... [MORE]

‘texas, etc..’ - Jeb Barry and The Pawn Shop Saints - gutsy, straight-to-the-point, no pulled punches April 04, 2018
I can hear it now: "Why don't we release a double CD?" I can also hear the reaction from a potential audience, which might go something like: "... [MORE]

‘Brave’ The Salts - folk music can change its coat and become a different animal March 27, 2018
One enduring strength of folk music is its ability to be both malleable and ductile, it can be forged and warped, bent and amalgamated, and yet it r... [MORE]

‘Solid Ground’ – Shane Mulchrone – imaginative expression and creation March 27, 2018
I can hear many saying; “An album of banjo music?” No need for the question. The answer is: “Yes it is.” And it’s also... [MORE]

‘fly beyond the border’ Marina Florance - striking originals and equally outstanding collaborations March 26, 2018
Some while ago now, Tim Carroll introduced me to the music of Marina Florance, and the discovery of her music was something that made a special mark... [MORE]

‘Utopia And Wasteland’ - Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar “... incredibly powerful musical statement” March 23, 2018
Frequently called ‘coincidence’ the seemingly unrelated coming together of sequences, places, actions and people, which on occasion gene... [MORE]

‘The Next Chapter’ – Connla - a multi-faceted journey March 22, 2018
Combining through a heritage gained in the cities of Armagh and Derry, adding a freedom to absorb tradition from many sources, involving moments of ... [MORE]

‘Personae’ - Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman - explorations of tradition, interpretation of originality March 19, 2018
Needing no introduction whatsoever, the sound is distinctive, original and immediately identifiable.... not words you could use to describe just any... [MORE]

‘Bright Field’ - The Rheingans Sisters - a bold album full of light and space March 18, 2018
Include the word experimental in an album review and you run all sorts of risks as people make snap decisions with regard to ‘experimental&rsq... [MORE]

‘Brother Wind’ from Gnoss - the album, which hopefully follows must be waited with anticipation March 18, 2018
Gnoss are a four-piece that have released an EP called ‘Brother Wind’ and as with all EPs the acid test is passed. Which is: Do you want... [MORE]

‘Albion’ from Alan Catton - studied beauty and considered splendour March 18, 2018
A solo album of guitar music (with a smattering of flute) that’s ‘Albion’ from Alan Catton (he of Hull-based folk band Beggar&rsqu... [MORE]

Self-titled EP - The Often Herd – traditional, inventive, tight and sharp March 17, 2018
For my taste, bluegrass, traditional or inventive needs to be tight and sharp, that goes for both instrumentation and vocals. Anything less always l... [MORE]

‘A Bright Ray Of Sunshine’ – Barry Nisbet - an album worthy of serious consideration March 17, 2018
Confession time – the name Barry Nisbet is new to me and until this album arrived, his music was unknown too. Thankfully, with ‘A Bright... [MORE]

‘Never Say Goodbye, Say Good Luck’ – Caroline Keane & Tom Delany - fresh as springtime’s dawn mists March 07, 2018
It’s a truism that Irish traditional music, sparkling jig or sentimental air, provides a vital connection and vibrancy between musician and au... [MORE]

‘The Key To A Happy Life’ – Maurice Baker – a certain quirky but engaging eccentricity March 06, 2018
There are folk wandering around this world for whom the word ‘idiosyncratic’ is surely written. These folk find their own peculiar path ... [MORE]

‘Beacon’ from Anne Sumner - simply constructed and simply beautiful March 03, 2018
With this album, there’s a distinct impression of another time and place, specifically sometime back in the late sixties or perhaps early seve... [MORE]

‘The Dark’ from Darwin’s Daughter – fresh, pure and memorable March 03, 2018
The title might be ‘The Dark’ but there’s considerable light shining through this EP. Sure, there’s clearly some influence f... [MORE]

‘Liberty Ship’ - Wildwood Jack “... scintillating instrumentation and rich, warm lead vocals” February 21, 2018
The immediate impact and overriding memory of this acoustic guitar and ukulele duo are scintillating instrumentation and rich, warm lead vocals. On ... [MORE]

'Big Red Bridge' – Niall Teague & The Fast Company - laid back warmth and lyrical richness February 20, 2018
The influence of Irish tradition is strong, as is the presence of Americana folk, include subtle bluegrass touches and some country overtones and yo... [MORE]

'Glory Of The West' from Boldwood - pure listening pleasure February 20, 2018
Sourcing much of their music from 'little-known publications and hand-written manuscripts' Boldwood add a slice of originality with no pretence... [MORE]

The Good Earth – Stuart Forester - traditional emphasis through contemporary invention February 19, 2018
Some songwriters are blessed with a voice that brands their songs with a distinctive mark, there’s no need to investigate who writes their mus... [MORE]

‘Wood For The Trees’ by Fran Wyburn - an elegant and refined album February 18, 2018
When the EP ‘Postcards’ from Fran Wyburn arrived and revealed a delicate yet exquisite voice, meandering softly across gently delivered ... [MORE]

‘The Ox and the Ax’ - Cath & Phil Tyler - seamless blend of Anglo-American folk tradition February 14, 2018
The roots of tradition still retain the ability to sprout in manifold variations, some grow from the far side of innovation others thrive closer to ... [MORE]

‘Celticana’ from The Sweet Sorrows – traditional Celtic influence poured over rock-tinged Americana February 14, 2018
Although the arrival of yet another ‘definition’ usually puts my cynicism radar on high gain, the album ‘Celticana’ from The... [MORE]

‘Open Road’ – Diane Patterson - drives and pulses, soothes and caresses February 13, 2018
The words 'sacred' and 'spiritual' have little to do with religion. I learned that in the southern Rocky Mountains finding out about spirtualit... [MORE]

‘Lord Of The Desert’ - 3hattrio - a soundscape that makes you become a traveller February 13, 2018
There’s a strange other-worldly feel to this music, the taste of another time, a reflection of a place long-visited, and of spirit and life-fo... [MORE]

‘songs of the hollow’ from cua - uncompromising and innovative February 12, 2018
The point about anything that’s truly ‘different’ is finding that moment when unusual becomes singular rather than strange. The la... [MORE]

‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ - The Vagaband - the difference that makes the difference February 11, 2018
Another slice of British-built,  ‘home-grown’ Americana comes ripping from The Vagaband, following up on ‘Medicine For The So... [MORE]

'If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous' - Sarah McQuaid - a flow that is wholly contiguous February 07, 2018
A sense of expectation pervades the spirit when a Sarah McQuaid album arrives ... innovation, delicious vocals, emphastic lyrics, richness of observ... [MORE]

‘Mockingbird Gallows’ - Andrew D. Huber - thoroughly accomplished album February 06, 2018
First came across this rock-tinged folk when I heard the album ‘Mercury Gets A Moon’ somewhere back in 2014 when this ‘folk touche... [MORE]

‘Carry Me Along’ – Dave Richardson - engrossing narratives and rearranging of tradition February 06, 2018
Despite the initial strangeness of an opening song about a giant squid, this mix of contemporary folk Americana and original versions on traditional... [MORE]

‘Between Wind and Water’ - String Sisters - a considerable and enduring delight February 06, 2018
A brilliant blend of traditional tunes and songs from Sweden, Shetland, Ireland and the United States, sounds like a recipe for boundless invention ... [MORE]

‘Tales From Home’ – Brian Hassan - a style that’s all his own February 06, 2018
Another ‘man with guitar’ album, although it's actualy more than that - this one also features some fine guest musicians adding cello, l... [MORE]

‘Yarrow Acoustic Sessions’ - Lori Watson – Innovative and imaginative, traditional and contemporary February 01, 2018
Haunting, lingering, memorable. Dark, ominous, mysterious. Words of powerful emphasis and extreme expectation ... in this case, the emphasis is on p... [MORE]

‘The Morning Tempest’ - Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafuente - a considerable triumph February 01, 2018
As debut albums go this one is right up there with the best. This collection of self-penned and traditional songs from Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafu... [MORE]

‘Autumn Winds’ - Niall Hanna – tradition treated to invention, originals following tradition February 01, 2018
A warm, richness of voice and a deft touch of composition, Niall Hanna has released ‘Autumn Winds, an album that proves the man has a long suc... [MORE]

‘Fire’ from Midnight Skyracer - tradition and contemporary working hand in hand January 27, 2018
'Fire' is one of those albums that falls squarely into the ‘play it again’ bracket because from first to last, the moment it finishes, y... [MORE]

‘Music In The Glen’ “... excellent Irish traditional music" January 26, 2018
Take three outstanding exponents of traditional Irish music ... musicians with pedigrees as long as the proverbial arm, add a subliminal understandi... [MORE]

‘Undersong’ from Salt House - vital interaction between the musicians January 26, 2018
Way back in 2013 FolkWords reviewed ‘Lay Your Dark Low’ the debut album from Salt House and described it as: "... replete with lilting s... [MORE]

‘For’ - Una Monaghan - tradition coupled with musical experimentation January 26, 2018
The word ‘innovative’ describes this album, there’s also tradition coupled with musical experimentation. Without doubt, this album... [MORE]

‘Nae Sweets for Shy Bairns’ by Heather Downie - thoroughly captivating January 24, 2018
There’s more than a certain magic to the harp ... it’s capable of producing a multitude of moods and reflecting an abundance of imagery.... [MORE]

‘Far Off on the Horizon’ from Winter Wilson - levels of tenderness easy to understand January 16, 2018
There were incredibly positive possibilities from ‘Milestones’ and ‘Cutting Free’, then with the next album ‘Ashes and... [MORE]

‘Shakespeare Songs’ - The Company of Players - original music and songs inspired Shakespeare’s themes January 16, 2018
The works of the bard set to music ... not the first time but this time executed with considerable skill and panache.The latest concept ‘Shake... [MORE]

‘WILDE ROSES’ from Wilde Roses - a delicate fabric of instruments and voices January 16, 2018
Medieval and renaissance music exerts a haunting and enduring attraction, often melancholy, always evocative. Wilde Roses, singers and multi-instrum... [MORE]

‘Reverie’ from Stables - hovering around a mistiness of genres January 12, 2018
Accepted wisdom holds it’s the second album that’s the hard one. Fair enough, but ‘Reverie’ from Matthew Lowe and Daniel Tre... [MORE]

‘Devils and Doxies’ – Greenman Rising - fixed firmly ‘in the tradition’ January 12, 2018
Greenman Rising is among those bands that form the staple diet of Englsih folk - absorbed in their rendition of songs and tunes, fixed firmly &lsquo... [MORE]

‘Daybreak’ - Richard Gilbert - sharing personal and private recollections January 11, 2018
Even though his songs come with a particular charisma determined by deep-seated memories of moments good and times bad, Richard Gilberts songs have ... [MORE]

Self-titled album by Anna Mitchell – poignant, punchy lyrics and wealth of magical hooks January 11, 2018
Far closer to rock than folk, yet retaining some definite folk rock nuances and flavours, the second album from Anna Mitchell builds on the foundati... [MORE]

‘Metanoia’ from Yvonne Lyon - sometime reflecting sorrow, often revealing hope January 11, 2018
The arrival of a new studio album from Yvonne Lyon is always guaranteed to deliver something stunning – sharp as razor lyrics, delivered by a ... [MORE]

Self-titled album - The Recollective - overflowing with irresistible flair January 10, 2018
There’s always a place for artists that blend original and traditional material, they are both the foundation and the potential of folk music ... [MORE]

‘Things Heard’ from Gerry Tully - an evocative edge of individuality January 09, 2018
The rich warmth of a voice designed to bring lyrics to life defines the music of Gerry Tully, add a simplicity of arrangement that gives the essence... [MORE]

‘Cold Rooms’ - Ben Morgan-Brown - open-tuned approach, sensitively elusive vocals January 09, 2018
Don’t you just love it when you play an album for the first time, especially from an artist you’re not familiar with, and you discover y... [MORE]

‘Haneen’ - Brickwork Lizards - “You really haven’t heard anything quite like this” January 08, 2018
Take an Egyptian vocalist, include oud, trumpet, saxophone drums and cello, mix together with a touch of rap, weave in the distinctive flavour of a ... [MORE]

‘Before The Sun’ from The Friel Sisters - one to savour and relish December 27, 2017
Allow this mix of tunes and songs to soak into your soul and carry you away ... that’s a pleasure that should be enjoyed to the full. Immerse ... [MORE]

‘All My Swim’ - Faeland - distinct and attractive folk-pop edge December 27, 2017
New to me, perhaps not so to some, there’s a duo (granted their album pulls in a host of other musicians) called Faeland that with their debut... [MORE]

‘Mountscribe’ from Rowan Piggott - a debut long waited for December 18, 2017
The arrival of a debut album always sparks interest. Doubly so when the artist’s lineage stretches from the foothills of the Burren on the Wes... [MORE]

‘Collected Short Stories’ - The Tin Heart Troubadours - home town narrative Americana December 18, 2017
A memory stirred when I heard this music. A memory over fifty years old. A memory thousands of miles away. A recollection of sitting listening with ... [MORE]

‘Bring Back Home’ - Ange Hardy "Deeply rooted in folk tradition - bursting with originality and invention" December 13, 2017
Incidents and accidents have a way of just happening ... they also have a way of shaping our world, or at least how we view it. You can look askance... [MORE]

‘High Fences’ - James Edwyn & The Borrowed Band - as sharp as it needs to be December 12, 2017
Another slice of original folk/ country/ rock continues to reinforce my view that these islands, my adoptive home, are steadily becoming the place t... [MORE]

‘New Clouds In Motion’ – Willie Campbell & The Open Day Rotation - pretty much a permanent aural resident December 11, 2017
Call it folk, country, Americana, rock, pop, indie – it matters not. The influences are all in there somewhere, and they’re all infectio... [MORE]

One With The Tide’ – Alice DiMicele - comes immediately into focus December 11, 2017
From the first moment, ‘One With The Tide’, the new album form Alice DiMicele is a clear-cut, precise treat, especially if rootsy-edged ... [MORE]

‘Sanctuary’ - Ross Ainslie - an incredibly potent piece of work December 07, 2017
Listening to this evocative, expressive and at times almost otherworldly and theatrical album is quite an experience. It’s a voyage of explora... [MORE]

‘Avenging & Bright’ by Damien O’Kane - effortless precision, melding tradition with innovation December 07, 2017
Folk-fusion proliferates to a degree that will soon have the union of folk roots with almost any other genre established as a classification all its... [MORE]

‘Fifteen’ - The Wailin’ Jennys - enduring, gogeously performed songs December 06, 2017
As expected, the latest album from Canadian trio The Wailin’ Jennys is once again overflowing with luscious melodies and sublime harmonies. Th... [MORE]

‘Good Old Fashioned Protest’ - Keegan McInroe - one man protesting about issues that affect us all December 05, 2017
With the ability to use an acerbic, overtly left-field and sombrely sarcastic lyrical delivery, Keegan McInroe writes songs of keen observation, aci... [MORE]

‘Bare Knuckle’ Chris Stout - Catriona McKay startling combination of talent and expertise December 04, 2017
There’s little doubt that this inspired pairing created something rather special, the only tinge of regret is the time we’ve had to wait... [MORE]

‘Here’s A Health’ from Said The Maiden ... stokes a roaring fire of jubilation November 29, 2017
The new album from Said The Maiden is best described as an occasion for joyous celebration. That’s because the unique and intricate combinatio... [MORE]

‘A Note Let Go’ - Ulaid and Duke Special - palpable synergy and symbiosis November 28, 2017
There’s a combination of effects working here ... a theatrical edge, a poetic storytelling, an essence of tradition, the spark of innovation .... [MORE]

‘Laguna’ - Tom Moore and Archie Churchill-Moss - perseverance will deliver rewards November 25, 2017
There’s a point where artists must decide who they are playing for – themselves or an audience. There’s also another choice &ndash... [MORE]

‘Tales, Trials, Truths’ from Kristin Rebecca - evoking timeless narratives November 24, 2017
Sometimes albums come from a place that makes them difficult to categorise. They exist in many worlds and combine many influences. Sometimes they ma... [MORE]

‘An Invitation To Dance’ by Purcell's Polyphonic Party – ‘an absolute delight’ November 18, 2017
Were there ever such thing as a ‘feel-good’ album, then this is it. I cannot conceive of how anyone could listen to ‘An Invitation... [MORE]

‘Dominion’ by Melrose Quartet - deep roots and expansive branches November 18, 2017
Luscious four-part harmonies, multitudinous dance-inspired hooks, effervescent vitality and interaction, an impressive mingling of tradition with se... [MORE]

‘The Distance’ by The Phil Langran Band - a crispness that ensures messages break through November 17, 2017
There’s a subtle understanding verging on tenderness permeating this album, combined with a quiet authority that allows the songs to come to y... [MORE]

‘Angels and Men’ from Kate Rusby - nothing less than pure spiritual joy November 15, 2017
Always slightly suspicious of ‘the Christmas album’, I now feel like Scrooge following his encounter with spirits and Christmas-morning ... [MORE]

‘North’ from Ben Robertson ... leaves you wanting to hear more November 15, 2017
From time to time new artists contact FolkWords, sometimes what I hear grabs my attention. Not only is it something of an achievement to catch the e... [MORE]

‘Goodbye Prairie Girl’ – Plant & Taylor - all-pervading musicianship, laid-back, richly delivered vocals November 14, 2017
As debut albums go this one sounds anything but a debut. The duo Plant & Taylor sound as though they’ve been singing their heartfelt songs... [MORE]

‘More Songs To Sing’ by Thomas Johnston - a ‘voyage of narratives’ November 13, 2017
The roots of Americana spread far and wide. The reach encompasses various styles and approaches. However, one aspect always remains. That’s on... [MORE]

‘The Poacher’s Fate’ - Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp "... full-bodied, close-knit engaging, uncomplicated" November 12, 2017
This is an album of folk song that delivers everything the genre requires ... nothing more, nothing less. Whatever styles and trends come and go thr... [MORE]

‘Drive Away Dull Care’ from Lowp - fine musicians producing a fine album November 12, 2017
Describing their material as: "... a mix of native and imported tradition", Lowp are unafraid to augment their repertoire with influences far a... [MORE]

‘She and I’ from Kirsty Merryn - touching and memorable piece of work November 11, 2017
Not quite a concept album but definitely one with a theme, ‘She and I’ from Kirsty Merryn expounds a group of narratives focusing on the... [MORE]

‘Northbound’ from Assembly Lane - a statement not be ignored November 10, 2017
Hybrid, eclectic and fusion are frequently used in folk music to describe in a word a melange of influences. ‘Northbound’ the debut albu... [MORE]

‘The Birth of Industry’ - The Deportees - strong narrative, emotive vocals November 10, 2017
The Celtic roots are obvious, as is the rockier side of folk rock. There’s also memorable melodies, a wealth of hooks plus an outstanding acou... [MORE]

‘Fairer Skies’ - Spoil The Dance - doing what they do and doing it rather well November 09, 2017
First coming across the band Spoil The Dance in 2015 with their album ‘Northern Common’, I recall saying: ‘... it’s like lis... [MORE]

‘Live In Tullamore' by Jig Jam – something both stirring and dramatic November 03, 2017
There’s a recipe that blends traditional Irish music with bluegrass and Americana, and that could only generate something both stirring and dr... [MORE]

The Empty Pages self-titled debut album - a fusion of genres that’s wholly addictive November 02, 2017
The undiminished rise and rise of home-grown Americana from these shores continues to make this particular US native feel at home - although the UK ... [MORE]

‘The Turn Of The Tide’ by Peter Fergus McClelland - with an elemental attraction November 02, 2017
Whenever you find yourself hankering for some raw and unadulterated folk, traditional or contemporary, or like Melville’s narrator Ishmael "..... [MORE]

‘The Wife of Urban Law’ from Gigspanner - exudes improvisation and originality October 28, 2017
Being referred to as a long-time protagonist of folk rock implies someone that’s ‘been around a long time’, well that much is true... [MORE]

‘A Christmas Carol - A Folk Opera’ – Green Matthews - pure festive enjoyment October 28, 2017
When Charles Dickens wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ I doubt he had the remotest idea his story would forever encapsulate the spirit of season... [MORE]

‘Night & Day’ - Saskia - standing apart from the crowd October 27, 2017
Defining pop music in absolute terms is as pointless as classifying folk music. A term that originated somewhere in the late-50s and early-60s, &lsq... [MORE]

‘Lit Up With Sorrow’ - Rebecca Clamp' - intense and presence-packed October 26, 2017
Frequently the phrase ‘new is easy different is difficult’ appears on this site ... and it remains true. So when both come together it&r... [MORE]

‘Baked in a Pie’ from The Stoned Cherries - energy to rival a power station October 26, 2017
Assemble a collection original songs, some well-played original and traditional tunes, throw in some ribald and double entendre lyrics, add black hu... [MORE]

‘Anarchy and Love’ – Adrian Nation - an album of truth and sincerity October 22, 2017
Think of a powerfully emotive voice, softly honest and richly listenable, couple that to a consummate skill on guitar, with perceptive lyrical deliv... [MORE]

‘Homegrown’ from Searson - a superb and brilliantly crafted album October 19, 2017
Many folk in the UK are unaware that this year Canada celebrates 150 years since confederation, its sesquicentennial anniversary. In homage to ... [MORE]

‘Start Believing’ from Thunder and Rain - music you just want to listen to October 18, 2017
Here we go again, desperatley trying to pigeonhole music that really doesn’t need any rigid classification. Listening to ‘Start Believin... [MORE]

‘Rainbow Crow’ - Shankara Andy Bole - sometimes ethereal, sometimes distant October 16, 2017
With many albums there’s a ‘feel’, with this one it’s a feeling of expression it's also a feeling of looking for something t... [MORE]

‘Stand & Deliver’ - Pilgrims' Way - folk music from the heterogeneous side October 13, 2017
Devoid of rules, utterly resilient, infinitely eclectic and resistant to pointless proscription, folk music comes in more guises than a heavily disg... [MORE]

‘Artichokes & Cauliflowers’ – Patricia De Mayo - deeply effective and atmospheric October 12, 2017
There’s a cultural blend to these songs, there’s varied sources of influence, there’s haunting music and there’s Patricia De... [MORE]

‘Hares On A Mountain’ – Fish Out Of Water ... nothing is as it first seems October 12, 2017
Following their debut album ‘Carp Diem’, Fish Out Of Water release a four-track EP ‘Hares On A Mountain’ ... the result is a... [MORE]

‘Glasgow’ – Findlay Napier - a lyrical reverence to his adopted hometown October 12, 2017
There’s little doubt that Findlay Napier is a songwriter of considerable talent, the latest example of this is his album ‘Glasgow’... [MORE]

‘One Go Round’ - Jeffrey Martin - a distinctive feel that’s different and memorable October 11, 2017
There’s usually a certain truth in the phrase: ‘deserves wider recognition’ – in this case, it’s a definitive truth. T... [MORE]

‘Squirrel Hunting’ from Hot Rock Pilgrims - sets the bar pretty damn high October 10, 2017
Mix a mash of old-time and bluegrass, add some outstanding singing and flat picking, subtle Dobro playing and razor-sharp fiddle and you‘ve ma... [MORE]

‘Headwaters’ – Misner & Smith - pitch-perfect harmonies, clear-as-crystal voices October 02, 2017
The first point that strikes you about Misner & Smith is the perfect vocal blend that carries through their music. Whether you’re entrance... [MORE]

‘The Conversation’ - Pete’s Posse - tradition mixed with innovation September 28, 2017
The dictionary definition explains all: "a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people in which news and ideas are exchanged"- ... [MORE]

‘A Hand Full of Songs’ - Jim Page - stories that make you sit up and listen September 28, 2017
If there’s something to say about Jim Page’s music it’s the vital relevance of the man’s lyrics. This raw and visceral Ameri... [MORE]

‘A303’ from Greg Hancock - something both beautiful and powerful September 25, 2017
Many lyrics are referred to as ‘thoughtful’ either describing the messages they convey or in reference to the ‘thought’ the ... [MORE]

‘Pockets’ from Iona Lane - simply exquisite songs September 25, 2017
The disc starts to spin and a delicately fragile yet startling clear voice, softly combining with violin and guitar, takes you straight to the heart... [MORE]

‘Potions And Poisons’ by Head For The Hills - concoctions and mixtures September 24, 2017
The fourth album from Head For The Hills is called ‘Potions and Poisons’ and in a way that’s the topic of the songs, the conc... [MORE]

‘California Calling’ Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards - a comprehensively fine album September 23, 2017
A closeness to pop and rooted in folk – that’s a quick summary of ‘California Calling’ from Laura Cortese & The Dance Ca... [MORE]

‘Kindling’ from Jigfoot - music for dancing, music for listening September 22, 2017
There are many purveyors of classic English traditional dance tunes, some are good, some are outstanding ... Jigfoot fall squarely into the latter c... [MORE]

‘Funeral, Home, Lizard’ from Laura Mulcahy - musical exploration and discovery September 22, 2017
Somewhere close to progressive, touched by avant garde, with essences of experimental and innovative (and a bizarre title) ‘Funeral, Home, Liz... [MORE]

‘It Isn’t Over Yet’ from Red Shoes - utterly involving and intensely affecting September 14, 2017
With the new album arrived from Red Shoes, response here ranged from: “At long last, it’s been a long wait” to “Hopefully no... [MORE]

‘Right At Home’ - Alistair Anderson & Dan Walsh - incredible talents across a musical concoction September 13, 2017
The phrase ‘... needs to introduction’ is in this instance wholly appropriate because Alistair Anderson and Dan Walsh need no introducti... [MORE]

‘Noise Machine’ - Jim McHugh - energy, passion, drive and expression September 11, 2017
This music clearly has deep-seated roots - cultural, musical and social - and like all music with roots, it takes many forms. There's abrasive folk ... [MORE]

‘Now Then’ from Simon Taylor - music of multiple textures September 10, 2017
The sound-scape created by ‘Now Then’ from Simon Taylor could be described as haunting or perhaps embracing, maybe enthralling or possib... [MORE]

‘Blossom & Fruit’ Tim Jones and the Dark Lanterns - an essential difference that simply works September 06, 2017
There’s a maxim that ‘new is easy different is difficult’, oft-countered by a truism that ‘if it works don’t fix it&rs... [MORE]

‘Alchemy’ from The Emily Askew Band - a consummate work by accomplished musicians September 06, 2017
Before writing a single word I will confess to an enduring passion for medieval and renaissance music, so bias declared. However, the fusion of medi... [MORE]

‘Along The Way’ The Kenn Morr Band - let the music wind you down September 05, 2017
Among its many vagaries life offers some certainties – they include the flow of memorable melodies and deeply-thought themes that permeate Ken... [MORE]

‘Emperor of Oranges’ – Boathouse Keepers - worth taking time to know September 04, 2017
Recently listened to an extension to the ‘man with guitar’ concept, that’s ‘man with guitar plus voice’ - and that's a... [MORE]

‘Harbour’ from Ryan McKasson and Eric McDonald - tradition held in safe hands August 31, 2017
However you envisage it, ‘the tradition’ endures, it expands and contracts, rises and falls, it changes, morphs into hundreds of styles ... [MORE]

‘Reggish Paddy’ from Tiarnán O Duinnchinn - an undoubted master of the uilleann pipes August 30, 2017
For aficionados of the uilleann pipes the name Tiarnán O Duinnchinn will be familiar, unfortunately, there will be a great many that although... [MORE]

‘In the Shadow of a Small Mountain’ - Sally Barker and Vicki Genfan - overflowing with presence and meaning August 28, 2017
Sometimes, admittedly not often, it’s a struggle to convert into words the singularly blissful reaction an album can produce. To express the s... [MORE]

‘Taproom’ from Screaming Orphans - utterly listenable and decidedly different August 28, 2017
Screaming Orphans are four sisters that write and play music together. Natives of County Donegal, Ireland, their music reflects the heritage of the ... [MORE]

‘Small Believer’ - Anna Tivel - living life with all its caprices August 27, 2017
The first I heard of Portland, Oregon singer-songwriter Anna Tivel was the album ‘Before Machines’, she followed that with ‘Heroes... [MORE]

‘Turmoil & Tinfoil’ – Billy Strings - mercilessness intensity, powerhouse drive August 27, 2017
No matter what styles come and go there’s always a place for blistering picking, and Billy Strings rattles the strings faster than many. His n... [MORE]

‘Wild & Wicked Youth’ from Kim Lowings and The Greenwood - dynamic, invigorating, different and exceptional August 22, 2017
Some albums take time to grow on you. Some never make a connection. This one takes no time at all and the connection is instantaneous. Take any aspe... [MORE]

‘The Seeds Inside (The Grapes Upon The Vine)’ - The Bara Bara Band - an exciting experience August 21, 2017
Listening to this music is an exciting experience. Clear and obvious roots of tradition feed its creation, with freshness of innovation and the infl... [MORE]

'A Day A Month’ – Mairearad Green and Mike Vass - iridescent collection of traditional melodies August 21, 2017
Apparently, the pairing between Mairearad Green and Mike Vass came about through their decision decided to meet one day a month to write and play mu... [MORE]

‘American Echoes’ – Bob Bradshaw - songs written with a deep understanding August 16, 2017
I’ll come clean right at the start, ever since I first heard that sparse minimalist music and those distinctive, laid back rangy vocals, I&rsq... [MORE]

'Spirits EP’ – The Tired Sunday Choir - distilled, blended and aged to perfection August 15, 2017
Sitting somewhere between country and folk with some alt-folk expression added for good measure is the domain of The Tired Sunday Choir and their EP... [MORE]

‘My Lovely Mountain Home’ by David Ingerson - traditional Irish songs August 15, 2017
Songs endure when so many other forms of communication fade. That truth is emphasised by traditional Irish songs that seem to live longer than most.... [MORE]

‘Shake The Chains’ – Various Artists - incredibly powerful, soul-moving August 09, 2017
Opposition, dissent, campaign, struggle... words built around the need to create a ‘voice’ and be heard. The voices of common people rou... [MORE]

‘Underdogs Live’ - Headsticks ‘...and don’t think about sitting down’ August 09, 2017
Folk and punk have a natural affinity ... railing against oppression, giving voice to those never heard, poking acidic ribaldry at ‘establishm... [MORE]

‘Land And Sea’ – Bob Leslie ‘... comes with a guarantee that you’ll listen and enjoy’ August 08, 2017
Craft a perceptive lyric, possess a voice suffused with richness and write tunes that linger in the mind, and there’s a fair chance your work ... [MORE]

‘The High Summit’ by Paul Anderson “... raising your soul as its tunes take flight” August 08, 2017
Rightly recognised as one of Scotland’s finest traditional fiddle players, the third album from Paul Anderson is an original collection of mus... [MORE]

‘Spokeswoman of The Bright Sun’ - Mark Olson - taking turns you don’t expect August 07, 2017
Some time ago I heard ‘Many Colored Kite’ and then ‘Good-bye Lizelle’ now there’s ‘Spokeswoman of The Bright Sun... [MORE]

‘Tro’ from Gwyneth Glyn - an exceptional aural delight August 06, 2017
Sliding its seductive way into your ears with the sinuousness of a whispered dream, ‘Tro’ (Welsh for ‘turn’) from Gwyneth Gl... [MORE]

‘Nachtvlucht’ from duo Plaisir d’amour - transfixed by this exquisite music July 26, 2017
Someone once remarked: “Simple pleasures remain when sophistication fades.” That observation speaks volumes, especially when you listen ... [MORE]

‘Liberty’ from Rivers Meet - will touch with a subtle seduction July 25, 2017
When an album includes cover tracks that make you think ‘those are versions I’ve been waiting for’ you know you’re on to som... [MORE]

‘Broke Beyond Tomorrow’ by Liam Merrigan - musically and lyrically attractive July 25, 2017
It’s been a while since I reviewed a ‘man-with-guitar’ album, it’s also been a while since I received an album from someone ... [MORE]

‘Captain Glen’s Comfort’ from Pons Aelius - intricate, expansive and wholly engaging July 23, 2017
Aside from being a fort and Roman settlement on Hadrian's Wall, the name Pons Aelius also belongs to a band that is taking tradition to places ... [MORE]

'Soul for a Compass’ by Amy Henderson - engages and entrances first to last July 22, 2017
The ability to craft a connected blend of heritage and contemporary, involving both traditional songs, covers and originals, into an album that's al... [MORE]

‘Ryan Young’ self-titled debut album - the widest range of emotions and illustrations July 21, 2017
Before I begin the review ‘proper’, let's explore two words, the first is ‘expressive’, the second is ‘gifted&rsq... [MORE]

‘Home’ by Janet Dowd - songs with the quality to touch all who hear them July 21, 2017
Listening to Janet Dowd, whether singing her own songs or covering the work of other writers, the experience is always one of gentle reflection as s... [MORE]

‘Inventions’ from Leveret – a signpost that shows the way for English folk July 15, 2017
Take three of ‘England's best’ when it comes to folk musicians, allow them the freedom to compose in their own inimitable way, produce a... [MORE]

‘Heaven Knows’ from Bella Gaffney – a difference and sets it apart from ‘the rest’ July 15, 2017
Just sometimes there’s that moment when an album opens that you know you’re compelled to listen at the expense of anything else. Everyth... [MORE]

‘You’ve Been Away So Long’ from Alice Howe - touching the spirit of the moment July 12, 2017
There’s a rawness to the music of Alice Howe, that doesn’t mean any rough edges, it’s more that this music is visceral, real and s... [MORE]

‘Shipwreck In A Bottle’ – Eric Barnett - penetratingly sharp observations July 12, 2017
This is a debut album. Recorded in a basement, backed by a Kickstarter project. The songs are deeply personal, revealing 'life-as-lived'. The artist... [MORE]

‘Inclined To Be Red’ - Greg Russell – an accomplished folk musician doing what he does best July 11, 2017
Widely recognised for his work with Ciaran Algar, the solo album ‘Inclined To Be Red’ by Greg Russell is a collection of traditionals, c... [MORE]

‘Gràdh is Gonadh - Guth ag aithris’ Christine Primrose - a supremely beautiful experience July 10, 2017
It matters not one jot if you don’t have an understanding of Scottish Gaelic, listening to Christine Primrose, native speaker of Scottish Gael... [MORE]

‘The Bird Who Sings Freedom’ by Georgia Lewis ­- another milestone of English folk music July 05, 2017
In many ways Georgia Lewis possess what might well be described as a classic English folk voice, while that is undoubtedly true there’s far mo... [MORE]

‘Windrose’ from ​​The Routes Quartet - different and exceptional in approach and scope July 05, 2017
Creating something new in terms of style, approach and instrumentation and integrating it to any genre could be considered something of a long shot.... [MORE]

‘Some Distant Shore’ Bill Booth - Americana folk rock, observational poetry and Celtic-influenced narrative June 29, 2017
The musical menu created by Bill Booth has been on my radar for many years. And in all that time his mix of Americana folk rock, observational poetr... [MORE]

‘Circles EP’ by Alex Seel - an intriguing and absorbing listen June 29, 2017
There’s sometimes a fine point where voice, music and lyrics come together in a perfect symbiosis, feeding off each other in a unique way. Fin... [MORE]

‘String on String’ by Amy McAllister - understands the wealth of tradition and innovation June 28, 2017
To my ears, there’s something deeply elemental to harp music ... coming from deep origins, evoking ancient mysteries. Opening the doors of anc... [MORE]

‘Adzooks!’ from Alison & Jack - idiosyncratic delivery with distinctive interpretations June 28, 2017
In 2014 Alison & Jack released an album called ‘Half Hands Round’, which took a gentle meander through the traditions of English fol... [MORE]

‘Alight & Adrift’ by Tilly Moses - an accomplished debut album June 27, 2017
The anticipation of reviewing a debut album is sometimes rewarded, sometimes not. The prize can be singularly different, stand out or set both artis... [MORE]

‘No Heaven’ from Chapin-Wickwar - nakedly revealing and sensitive soul-baring songs June 23, 2017
This music doesn’t come from the head, it comes from the heart. And that’s where ‘No Heaven’ from Chapin-Wickwar hits you, i... [MORE]

‘We Happy Few’ from The Drystones - stays long after the last note fades June 23, 2017
Mix tradition with original and not the sign of a seam in sight, do that and something’s going right. The Drystones, have done just that with ... [MORE]

‘Flying Fish’ from Nick Dellar - softly enthralling and rich in imagery June 22, 2017
Release an album of finger picked guitar music ... yourself, the wood and the wire ... that stands or falls on its own recognisances, and there&rsqu... [MORE]

‘The Beautiful & The Actual’ from Rosie Hood – simply a beautiful album June 19, 2017
Rarely does a word encapsulate the essence of an album. There’s always the need to expound more to express the nuances of what you’re he... [MORE]

‘Them Old Bones’ - Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls - a sultry mix and an angry presence June 19, 2017
The pulsating core of ‘Them Old Bones’, the debut album from Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls, takes pretty much all the preconceptions ... [MORE]

‘In Buenos Aires’ – Fraser Fifield – originality, inspiration, invention June 17, 2017
To call a musician’s work ‘unique’ is a bold statement. However, if any musicians come close, then Fraser Fifield would be among t... [MORE]

‘Against All Tides’ – Harpeth Rising - a fusion they call ‘chamberfolk’ June 16, 2017
There are many interpretations of folk. The thought of another definition stretches belief. At least it did prior to the arrival of Harpeth Rising. ... [MORE]

‘Foothills’ from Robbie Bankes - stunningly crafted, poetic lyrics, emotion-rich, evocative vocals June 11, 2017
There are albums with the immediacy of innovation and the longevity of tradition. With some albums, from first hearing you know you’re listeni... [MORE]

‘Interesting Times’ from Basco - a gamut of musical vocabularies June 11, 2017
There’s distinct and intense enticement within this music ... complex construction, pioneering approaches and expressive invention ... all fus... [MORE]

‘Shine A Light In The Dark’ from Fly Yeti Fly - a delicate, dreamy resonance June 06, 2017
Once upon a time, a little piece of acoustic magic formed down in Devon and called itself Fly Yeti Fly. Comprised of intricately close, somewhat eth... [MORE]

‘Lost & Found’ by Elliot Morris - multi-layered mix of folk, rock, blues and country June 05, 2017
A debut album tends to stick with an artist, no matter how they develop and progress. That’s why the debut is a crucial piece of work - &lsquo... [MORE]

‘Rise Aurora’ from Rosie Hodgson - a striking album with something essential wrapped in its folds May 30, 2017
The traditions of folk music have passed through both good and troubled times ... waxing and waning rising and falling in popular positioning with t... [MORE]

‘Les Objets Trouvés’ from Kate & Raphaël - spirit of personal expression and individuality May 30, 2017
Leading the ‘original’ to somewhere different can come close to unconventional, perhaps heading towards far-reaching, sometimes too clos... [MORE]

‘Threshold’ from Schwa - styles blend and influences arrive from far and wide May 29, 2017
Some people will not find this an easy album to take in and that’s a shame because there’s much to absorb. There are folk dirges, mixes ... [MORE]

'The Fairest Flower of Womankind’ by Lindsay Straw - a freshness that’s completely involving May 24, 2017
Blessed with a distinctive and eminently listenable voice, Lindsay Straw first drew my attention in 2015 with ‘My Mind From Love Being Free&rs... [MORE]

‘Riddles and Love Songs’ - Avon Faire - balanced voices with an entrancing level of attraction May 24, 2017
Take three voices that together make a beautiful sound. Focus that sound on three-part harmony arrangements of traditional British and Irish songs, ... [MORE]

‘Bho m’ Chridhe’ by Donald Black - a virtuoso musician displaying total mastery May 23, 2017
Describing a musical style as ‘unique’ immediately sets a pretty high standard, it also places instant demands on any musician. Safe to ... [MORE]

‘While Rome Burns’ - Bellevue Rendezvous - no limitations to their inventive expression May 23, 2017
From the success of ‘Salamander’, Bellevue Rendezvous have grown and matured their sound into the fascination of ‘While Rome Burns... [MORE]

‘Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire’ – Nik Barrell - acoustic refinement, reflective blues, touches of folk May 22, 2017
According to the intro-sheet, ‘Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire’ is Nik Barrell’s, “... brave attempt to return to the unasham... [MORE]

‘The Seventh Wave’ from Skipinnish - tight as you like and full to the brim May 18, 2017
This sound could come from nowhere else. Its presence undeniable. Its attraction powerful. From the minute the anthemic ‘Alive’ opens th... [MORE]

‘The Tin Fiddle’ - Damien McGeehan - as distinctive as it is intriguing May 17, 2017
The tin fiddle is, unsurprisingly a little known instrument. The result is a unique both in appearance and sound. Donegal fiddler of some repute, Da... [MORE]

‘Fiddle & Guitar’ Ross Couper and Tom Oakes - two musicians clearly loving every second May 17, 2017
Take a Shetland fiddler, a Devon guitarist, mix an album and you have ‘Fiddle & Guitar’ from Ross Couper and Tom Oakes. A simple tit... [MORE]

‘All We Have Is Now’ - Elephant Sessions - traditional roots with the rampant freedom of invention May 10, 2017
Following and possibly surpassing something utterly different and ground-breaking is less than easy, especially when it includes the potential spect... [MORE]

‘The Fallow Cry of the Jupiter Owls’ by Jupiter Owls - straight-jacket of definition is not for this album May 10, 2017
Here’s another sound that’s only restricted by artificially cramming what you’re hearing into a restricting superfluous classifica... [MORE]

‘Off By Heart’ from Kevin Dempsey and Joe Broughton - ‘getting it just right’ May 09, 2017
There’s always interest in a new album from Dempsey Broughton. Will they retain that well-known disposition or move onto something new? The an... [MORE]

‘Still Gannin’ Canny’ by Canny Fettle - this music remains forever young May 09, 2017
Releasing an album 30 years after your last outing might be seen as rather a gap. However, for Canny Fettle who disbanded in the early 80’s on... [MORE]

‘Anna is a Dancer’ by Harbottle & Jonas – music deserving of a long hard listen May 06, 2017
I’m not a gambling man, if I were I would stake money on a bright future for Harbottle & Jonas. Possibly, some of the folk world hasn&rsqu... [MORE]

‘A Place In Time’ from Vair - wave after wave of imaginative drive May 06, 2017
Shetland, or more accurately the Shetland Islands and part of Scotland since the 15th century, is a rugged archipelago that echoes bo... [MORE]

‘Northern Lights’ by Axum - eight musicians in perfect step May 06, 2017
Succinctly, Axum is an eight-piece UK-based folk band playing traditional tunes from the British Isles and beyond. More accurately, they produce stu... [MORE]

‘The Spiral Sky’ from Marvin B. Naylor - characteristic individuality May 05, 2017
Inventive, idiosyncratic, inspirational - the work of Marvin B. Naylor has always beaten its own path through the expansive corridors of this thing ... [MORE]

‘The Outlandish Collection’ from Kadia - the English folk tradition in rude health April 26, 2017
New EPs are often an introduction to a band or precursor to an album, this one however is a follow up to Kadia’s much lauded album, ‘Eas... [MORE]

‘Here Comes Tomorrow’ - David Hershaw and Sandie Forbes - wonderfully beguiling piece of work April 26, 2017
Blending tradition with innovation, seeding Scottish heritage with touches of Americana, matching contemporary songwriting with time-honoured influe... [MORE]

‘The Snows They Melt The Soonest’ Karin Grandal-Park and Karl Robbins - penetratingly poignant narratives April 24, 2017
This is an album that quietly creeps up on you, and then steadily, you become increasingly absorbed by its penetratingly poignant narratives. And as... [MORE]

‘Verging On The Perpendicular’ by Dan Walsh - ability to draw so much from the banjo April 24, 2017
Referring to Dan Walsh a banjo player is somewhat similar to calling Eric Clapton a guitarist ... mostly accurate but way wide of the mark. Of cours... [MORE]

Self-titled debut from Meet George Brown - crosses and interlaces with so many genres April 21, 2017
Here’s another album that evokes another time ... certainly, the music of Meet George Brown is of its day but each time I listen I can’t... [MORE]

Debut album – The Medlars - remains with you and leaves you wanting more April 21, 2017
Long have I championed the maxim ‘new is easy – different is difficult’, and still few folk bands come at the genre from somewhere... [MORE]

‘The Silences In Between’ from Jon Palmer Acoustic Band - enthusiastic, energetic and outstanding April 21, 2017
There’s not a lot that needs to be said about Jon Palmer Acoustic Band that hasn’t been said already – and all of it rather good. ... [MORE]

Cormac Begley - thoroughly splendid, virtuoso concertina playing April 20, 2017
Rarely, if ever can I recall being so enthralled by concertina playing ... the self-titled debut album from Cormac Begley changed that in the most d... [MORE]

‘The Fool’s Journey’ - Skinner and T’witch - influences range far and wide as do the styles April 11, 2017
Decide to entitle an album ‘The Fool’s Journey’, then choose a release date of 1st April ... seems entirely appropriate to me. The... [MORE]

‘Amaranthine’ from Christy Scott - a strongly appealing proposition April 11, 2017
Take it different places, come at it from different angles, Scottish heritage always remains a powerful force. Although Christy Scott’s music ... [MORE]

‘Diffractions’ by Ollie King – different, absorbing and intriguing April 11, 2017
It has been two years since Ollie King released ‘Gambit’, and now he follows with ‘Diffractions’ ... with one foot firmly pl... [MORE]

‘Inver’ from HAV - intense atmosphere-generating music April 10, 2017
Music described as ‘ambient’ tends towards background rather than music listened to with intent. Frequently, the flow of sound is simply... [MORE]

‘Moment In Time’ from Two Coats Colder – their best work to date April 08, 2017
When you hear a new album from artists that you‘ve known for a while and you’re hearing the fulfilment of promise ... that moment comes ... [MORE]

The ‘All Grown Up’ tour – Tinderbox " ... the involving experience of their company never disappoints" April 07, 2017
Empathy is an embracing word ... it encompasses understanding, responsiveness, sympathy and compassion ... all were evidenced in profusion on Stage ... [MORE]

‘Stripped Down Gussied Up’ from Pierce Edens - certainly a statement of intent April 07, 2017
I’ve been hearing songs like these all my life. Mostly, in my head I’ll admit. Sometimes in the heart of a storm or lost in mountain dar... [MORE]

‘Roses in the Snow & Drought’ Joanne Rand – moments of time caught in little capsules April 06, 2017
Another outing for Joanne Rand’s idiosyncratic brand of Americana folk-rock - following hard on the heels of ‘Southern Girl’ comes... [MORE]

‘All Grown Up’ from Tinderbox “... a five star album, no question.” April 03, 2017
Growing old isn’t optional it’s a fact of life, growing up is a decision ... nothing more. Eventually, a time comes when the former make... [MORE]

'Long Way From Home' - Madam Tsunami – could well ensure some enduring recognition April 03, 2017
Some gently expressive acoustic folk augmented by a highly-listenable folk-pop feel with touches of pastoral meanderings and faintly wistful longing... [MORE]

‘Love > Fear’ (48 hours in traitorland)’ by Nathan Bell – rough, raw and intensely real April 03, 2017
There’s a reliability to a new album from Nathan Bell  - it will always cut deep and hard, and ‘Love > Fear’ (48 hours in ... [MORE]

‘ANTIDOTE’ by Amy Duncan - listening to musically personal moments March 30, 2017
The overall impression of ‘ANTIDOTE’ is of privilege, of being permitted to come closer to an artist than many are inclined to allow. Am... [MORE]

'Soundtracks Volume One' - Peter Conway “... reaches the listener both aurally and visually” March 23, 2017
That voice, so distinctive. Words dragged from the soul. The presence powerful, the manifestation of feeling gut-wrenching ... visceral, undiluted a... [MORE]

‘Further Down The Line’ by Scott Cook - songs can change your life, your life can change the world March 23, 2017
When lyrics create stories that hit home, when voice conveys human warmth, when themes and expressions make an indelible mark, and when they come to... [MORE]

‘Souvenir’ by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbours - songs overflowing with meaning March 21, 2017
No matter how you throw the dice, I will always reach out to the music of Drew Holcomb. He has the uncanny ability to write a personal song that tou... [MORE]

‘A Stranger In This Time’ - Tim Grimm And The Family Band - looking at life as it’s lived March 21, 2017
Call yourself a ‘family band’ and the chances are there’s family involvement in the music. Tim Grimm And The Family Band have rele... [MORE]

‘Holy Smoke’ from Steepways - stands on its own merits and does it very well March 21, 2017
The rise and rise of home-grown British-Americana continues. Mixing influences from both origins, intertwining their roots and bringing out the inno... [MORE]

‘Bury Me Naked’ from Roving Crows “...innovative, vivacious, pulsating Celtic folk rock” March 20, 2017
Hard on the heels of their first outing ‘Bacchanalia, an album entitled ‘Deliberate Distractions’ created something of a stir, the... [MORE]

‘Mutation’ from Monster Ceilidh Band “... a hypnotic, almost addictive presence” March 19, 2017
For those that know, ‘Mutation’ offers as expected, yet with something new, for those that don’t, the latest album from Monster Ce... [MORE]

‘Dance Of The Copper Trail’ by Oka Vanga - early expectations wholly justified March 19, 2017
From their debut, ‘Pilgrim’, a vocal-free album of virtuoso acoustic guitar music, to the outstanding and moving narrative EP, ‘Ta... [MORE]

‘Lost Legions’ - Phil Riley & Neil Mercer - engaging, reflective and thoroughly laid back March 17, 2017
These two are new to me – yet somehow this music isn’t. There are overtones of other voices and other styles and even other times, a rem... [MORE]

‘The Gathering’ by Toby Hay “...a work of virtuosity” March 16, 2017
It's rarely that one describes an album as ‘overwhelmingly stunning’, however the delicate melodies and soul-touching tunes woven by Tob... [MORE]

‘Shiny Silvery Things’ by Cormac O Caoimh - varied, finely painted, ever-widening illustrations March 15, 2017
In time of constant change, certainties remain. Among them is the music of Cormac O Caoimh, although that does not indicate any point of stasis, sim... [MORE]

‘Home/ Lives’ by Harri Endersby – music that exists on many levels March 15, 2017
Without doubt ‘Homes/Lives’ is a singular piece of work, distinct and original. It delivers softly articulated, sometimes faint mixes of... [MORE]

‘Room With A View’ - Old Blind Dogs “... utterly absorbing, perfectly-formed” March 08, 2017
Define an oft-used word like 'dynamic' ... constant change, activity, or progress; positive in attitude, full of energy and new ideas; a force that ... [MORE]

‘Self-titled debut EP’ - The Trials of Cato - perhaps an album lurks in the wings March 08, 2017
It’s not often a British traditional folk band begins life in Beirut but I guess stranger things have happened. The Trials of Cato were formed... [MORE]

‘The Inbetween’ from Conor O’Sullivan - stories of sadness and experiences of life lived March 07, 2017
This is an album that takes its time – nothing rushed, nothing hurried – crafted with care and patience. It’s also a piece of work... [MORE]

‘Stories To Tell’ - Megan And The Common Threads - a recipe for memorable music March 07, 2017
The amalgamation of a distinctly felt Irish heritage overlaid with strong shades of Americana, expounded through self-penned songs suffused with tou... [MORE]

‘A Delicate Game’ Top Floor Taivers – a definite ‘one to watch' March 03, 2017
A great song is always a great song ... although sometimes a new interpretation can offer less than expected, on occasion the result is spectacular.... [MORE]

‘Westward’ by Éilís Kennedy - attracts, engages and holds February 28, 2017
If a blend of tradition and contemporary songs delivered by a voice that’s both delicately fragile and powerfully insistent is your desire. Th... [MORE]

‘ERA’ from Gary Innes “... view into the world of a master at work” February 28, 2017
There are certain musicians whose music falls squarely into the ‘reliable as the sunrise’ yet at the same time ‘fresh as the morni... [MORE]

‘Hard Ground’ from The Rachel Hamer Band - a fine first album February 24, 2017
The Newcastle University folk degree course has consistently proved a catalyst for outstanding folk music, musicians and bands. One of the latest ex... [MORE]

‘Bound’ from Jenn and Laura-Beth - "... an album of elegance and flair" February 24, 2017
There’s one album that you really should take time to hear, because it’s an utterly absorbing experience and you’ll love every min... [MORE]

‘Routes’ - The Hut People “...entirely exceptional” February 15, 2017
It’s not every day that you hear something unique. Something so unlike anything else that your brain takes a start and you have to check that ... [MORE]

‘Day Became You’ Ian Roland - leaves you wanting more, a lot more February 15, 2017
There are many exponents of the catchy hook, some good, some outstanding ... one of the latter is Ian Roland who, together with Simon Yapp and Nigel... [MORE]

‘The Frozen North’ from Loreley - one foot in tradition the other on innovation February 14, 2017
The latest album from Loreley is ‘The Frozen North’ a collection of traditional folk lyrics added to fresh tunes composed Simon James Ch... [MORE]

‘Tugboats’ from The Brother Brothers - put these two together and magic happens February 13, 2017
Listening to the EP ‘Tugboats’ from The Brother Brothers is an experience that could belong to today or come from many years ago. There&... [MORE]

‘The Penny Collector’ from Carrie Elkin - makes so many connections on so many levels February 13, 2017
Cutting deep with a raw righteousness born of experience, pushing hard to take each song to the heart of its audience, delivered by a voice that&rsq... [MORE]

‘Bare Along The Branches’ Norrie McCulloch - needs no defining - just listening February 05, 2017
When I started listening to this album someone said, ‘you know that’s not folk don’t you’ – here we go again, put a bo... [MORE]

‘Let Out The Dark’ from Adriana Spina - comes at you from a place of originality February 05, 2017
There are distinct pluses and minuses to this job – the minuses involve wading through a lot of music, often hearing so much that sounds the s... [MORE]

‘Strata’ from Siobhan Miller - a classic piece of folk music February 04, 2017
When you possess a voice with the clarity and purity of Siobhan Miller, you have the right to take the songs you choose to interpret in your own sty... [MORE]

Self-titled release from Elfin Bow - a countrified idyll with ominous essence February 03, 2017
The press release states: ‘... pastoral psych-folk’ and ‘... 21st century folk’, I tend to agree with the former but I remai... [MORE]

‘The Hangman’s Fee’ from Green Diesel - portentous, brooding and sometimes ill-omened February 01, 2017
It’s always a delight when new bands make progress with their art, equally it’s just as rewarding to hear an established band simply get... [MORE]

‘After All These Years’ by Geoff Lakeman - wide, varied and compelling fare February 01, 2017
Some might consider it fairly daunting to come out with your first solo album when you’re already widely referred to as ‘stalwart of Wes... [MORE]

’Too Many Ghosts’ from Mike Grogan - songs that drive home their message and remain a long time January 27, 2017
The latest album, ’Too Many Ghosts’  from Mike Grogan (releases on 10 February 2107) is as expected ... a blend of folk and rock, w... [MORE]

‘Far From The Tree’ by Teyr - sparkling and iridescent display of accomplished musicianship January 26, 2017
Finding the correct words to convey what you hear is sometimes more of a challenge than first expected ... with the debut album from folk trio Teyr,... [MORE]

’Beginnings’ from Hannah Rarity - decidedly beautiful and captivating January 26, 2017
Listening to Hannah Rarity's gently intoxicating voice is one of those simple pleasures that you’ll want to repeat, safe in the knowledge that... [MORE]

‘On the Lonesome Plain’ - Dónal Clancy - a master at work January 26, 2017
Some musicians need no introduction. Dónal Clancy is one of those musicians. Widely recognised as virtuoso guitarist and accomplished si... [MORE]

‘Long Lost Home’ from Daria Kulesh “... an indisputable privilege to fall into its embrace” January 23, 2017
Some singers have the ability to pour their being into song. Those that possess that talent, combined with the strength and vulnerability to do so, ... [MORE]

​‘Tricks Of The Trade’ - Dipper Malkin - a rich and arresting piece of work January 23, 2017
Taking its essence from the roots of tradition and raising it through inventive and inspired directions to forge new and expansive branches, is a pr... [MORE]

‘Dorado’ by Son Of The Velvet Rat - mix of haunting lyrics, smooth-as-silk melodies, aching vocals January 17, 2017
The interaction of husband and wife duo Georg and Heike is, if their album ‘Dorado’ is anything to go by, charged with emotion and prime... [MORE]

‘Night Thief’ from Levi Cuss – tough and uncompromising January 16, 2017
There’s a visceral feel to ‘Night Thief’ from Levi Cuss that gives this album an insistent edge that’s difficult to ignore. ... [MORE]

‘More Than A Little’ - Adrian + Meredith - Americana with added edge January 15, 2017
Hard as it may be to imagine old-time folk mashed together with a strong essence of punk, moulded with touches of jumping rock and roll, then augmen... [MORE]

‘So Much To Defend’ Chris Wood “... raw, unblinking honesty, social commentary, personal reflection” January 10, 2017
There’s something intense working its way through the songs Chris Wood writes ... each one close enough in its commentary to be part of your o... [MORE]

‘Bluebirds’ by Cup O’Joe - I would bet the album can’t be far behind January 09, 2017
The distinct and powerful influence of solid bluegrass added to a healthy dose of folk, combines with a strong streak of innovation to flow decidedl... [MORE]

'An Dà Là’ (The Two Days) from Mànran - now stronger than ever January 09, 2017
There is and has always been, a feeling of latent energy flowing through the music of Mànran, sometimes it’s restrained, sometimes give... [MORE]

‘Solace’ from Iona Lane – a voice with an intriguing timbre that’s both ‘different’ and alluring January 08, 2017
Around a year ago I wrote that Iona Lane possesses a ‘distinctive, alluring, honest, and above all, original’ voice. That was in a revie... [MORE]

‘Objects’ from The Nightjar - requires attention and demands focus January 08, 2017
There’s an otherworldly strangeness to this music that makes it hard to grasp on first hearing. To come away with any feeling of understanding... [MORE]

‘The Right Path’ - students of the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music January 06, 2017
The heritage of any traditional music lives and breathes through respect for its origins, its continuance also requires a certain amount of fearless... [MORE]

Alistair Anderson & Northlands – self-titled, all-encompassing album January 05, 2017
Long acknowledged a virtuoso of the English concertina and outstanding exponent of the Northumbrian pipes, Alistair Anderson has embarked on a new v... [MORE]

‘10 Years Live’ from The Carrivick Sisters - reflects every nuance of their bluegrass Appalachian folk January 05, 2017
Live albums always run the risk of duplicating the live environment ‘warts and all’, which although doubtless ‘authentic’ fr... [MORE]

‘Live’ from Startijenn - Breton music, vibrant, powerful and pulsing with life January 04, 2017
Meaning ‘energy’ in the Breton language, Startijenn is certainly aptly named, because their driving Breton music is vibrant, powerful an... [MORE]

‘Songs Of Robert Burns' by Robyn Stapleton – a voice to touch an audience December 28, 2016
This quite simply your opportunity to listen to beauty. There’s essential simplicity here. Nothing too much, nothing missing. Softly powerful ... [MORE]

‘Forge’ from Inlay - heritage and innovation brought together without a visible seam December 28, 2016
The merging of tradition with innovation and adding disparate influences can create both positive and negative results. Such intermingling can be so... [MORE]

‘An Exploration of Irish Traditional Music on Piano’ from Caoimhín Vallely - a variety forms, structures and styles December 27, 2016
On the face of it an album that consists solely of piano music could to some, be a daunting prospect. Never fear, for if you know his music already ... [MORE]

Police Dog Hogan - ‘Wild By The Side Of The Road’ - ‘how to do it right' December 22, 2016
The expansion of the once ‘stock’ folk acoustic instrument line up to include electric guitar, drums and bass is nothing new, unless fol... [MORE]

All We Have In Common by Thursday’s Band – an album to take you on a journey December 22, 2016
There’s something about Thursday’s Band that adds up to a ‘whole’ that to paraphrase the magical ‘essentially English&... [MORE]

‘The Tinker’s Dream’ from Chris Murphy - infused with a singular drive December 17, 2016
There’s a freshness and vivacity to the music of Chris Murphy ... and his latest album, ‘The Tinker’s Dream’ fairly flies al... [MORE]

‘Protest For Dummies’ - Steve White & The Protest Family - alive and kicking, mostly kicking December 16, 2016
Acerbic, cynical, sarcastic and predominantly pissed off with what they see around them, Steve White and The Protest family have released their thir... [MORE]

‘All In Always’ by Laura Cortese - inspired by enigmatic international meetings December 15, 2016
I’m not always a fan of entirely instrumental albums, somehow the inclusion of songs or narrative breaks up the flow and allows you time to ab... [MORE]

‘Tide Take Him’ from Various Guises - unusual and captivating musical web December 15, 2016
The arrival of an EP from a previously unknown band is always tempting. What does it offer, Where will it take you? The darkly mystical and at times... [MORE]

‘Every Soul’s A Sailor’ – Stephen Fearing – experience of the voyage, the people, places December 14, 2016
Sometimes an album will take you on a journey, through that time when travelling is somehow more important than arriving. The experience of the voya... [MORE]

‘Night Hours’ - Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith - masterful story-telling and musicianship December 09, 2016
It seems a long time since their debut album, ‘Let The Wind Blow High Or Low’ introduced their music and voices to the wider folk world.... [MORE]

‘Tirade’ from Eddie and Luc “... fine piece of work, worth taking the time to appreciate” December 08, 2016
Sometimes the stars synchronise and moments fall into place with startling yet not unexpected results. The coming together of Eddie Seaman and Luc M... [MORE]

‘Yours for Eternity’ Steve Dagleish - tales that reach the listener December 03, 2016
The essential ‘man with guitar’ album will never go out of style, it’s just that some do it so much better than others. To hear ho... [MORE]

‘The Miller Girl’ from Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy - powerful songwriting and musicianship November 26, 2016
Speaking as a long-time lover of all things that fall into that catch-all net of Americana, blues to country, bluegrass to folk, I’ve long tho... [MORE]

‘Across The Water’ - Nicola Beazley and Alex Cumming - classic folk with a distinctive edge November 26, 2016
Mixing scintillating self-penned tunes from the inspired fiddle of Nicola Beazley and traditional songs from England, America and Australia with Ale... [MORE]

‘Raising The Fires’ - Heg & the Wolf Chorus - expansive, mysterious narrative as strong as ever November 21, 2016
A while ago now, FolkWords described the output from Heg & the Wolf Chorus as ‘surreal spectrum of fascination-filled sound’ ... lis... [MORE]

‘Songs For Christmas’ by Emily Smith –beautifully rendered tradition and self-penned originals November 20, 2016
There’s something about the words ‘Christmas songs’ that fill me with dread ... that's because in the main they are outpourings of... [MORE]

‘Fly’ by Danielle Lewis - a lightness of touch that verges on fragility November 20, 2016
The overriding impression left by this EP is the absolute purity of the vocals. Danielle Lewis not only has a fine ear for a melody to craft engross... [MORE]

‘Ifs’ from UNA - an amalgam of musical textures and consistencies November 20, 2016
Any project that pulls into focus a diverse group of musicians, and joining their collective creativity into an album could be fraught with difficul... [MORE]

‘Somewhere Between’ from Steve Pledger ­ - music with presence that commands attention November 18, 2016
Listening to a Steve Pledger is a personal and close experience because he’s one of those artists with a preciously intimate delivery ... from... [MORE]

‘Tall Tales And Rumours’ - Luke Jackson - pervading darkness broken by moments of hope November 18, 2016
The latest album from Luke Jackson is yet one more outing for that distinctive voice, with narrative skill and the ability to craft songs of diverse... [MORE]

‘Fetch’ from Ewan MacPherson - a blend of influence, culture and outstanding musicianship November 17, 2016
This is a long expected album. A master sharing his personal musical heritage. A fine selection of original tunes created through encounters and inc... [MORE]

‘Bloodlines’ from Merry Hell - socio-political comment, rage against injustice and enduring hope November 12, 2016
By any measure Merry Hell are classic proponents of classic English folk rock ... the music, the songs, the themes and lyrics place this band firmly... [MORE]

‘Visionaries 1916’ - Lorcán Mac Mathúna - a work of theatrical narrative November 11, 2016
The facts state The Easter Rising, was an armed uprising that took place in Ireland during Easter Week, April 1916. Th... [MORE]

‘Picking Up The Pieces’ - The Changing Room - an individual style that is instantly attractive November 11, 2016
There are parts of these islands that have a distinctive enchantment all their own ... culture, tradition, language, legend ... many of these places... [MORE]

‘Vortex’ from Methera - spiralling, patterned waves of music November 10, 2016
English traditional music clearly lies in numerous safe hands as musicians of skill and innovation continue to ensure it thrives while at the same t... [MORE]

‘Hidden Gems’ from Captain of The Lost Waves - too much remained too deeply hidden November 10, 2016
I tried hard with this album. I waited for the hook of ‘Hidden Gems’ from Captain of The Lost Waves to catch but despite hearing so... [MORE]

‘Nearly Man' by Jack Blackman - seriously good music November 10, 2016
Read the word ‘blues’ in a review and an immediate audio-image forms - having listened to ‘Nearly Man’ from Jack Blackman it... [MORE]

‘A New Ground’ by Home Service - continuing a tradition that is all their own November 02, 2016
Disbanding, reuniting, moving on, reuniting once again, a mix of projects, adding brass to folk, coming together and drifting apart, long-time depar... [MORE]

‘Gossamer’ from Pauline Scanlon – a voice of presence and distinction October 28, 2016
Sometimes one encounters spiritually uplifting albums. That’s not to infer any overtly sacred overtones, it’s just that occasionally lis... [MORE]

‘Seamount’ from Birlinn Jiarg - different and attention-grabbing October 28, 2016
As a long-time campaigner of ‘new is easier than different’, here comes something that sweeps all before it on both counts ... new and d... [MORE]

‘Go Together’ - Two’s Company - eminently listenable October 27, 2016
A folk duo is hardly likely to break new ground, after all the formula is well-tried, so there’s nowhere else to go - well perhaps. The combin... [MORE]

‘Hello World’ from JigJam - infectious for all the right reasons October 24, 2016
Alittle over a year ago, I was introduced to 'Celtgrass' - a fusion of Celtic and Appalachian music from an Irish band called JigJam. A year on from... [MORE]

‘Crossing Borders’ by Graham Mackenzie - an introduction that promises much October 24, 2016
Open the album cover and you find tracks sectioned into ‘Scotland, Manchester, Cape Breton and Scotland’. Not necessarily descriptive of... [MORE]

‘Findings’ by Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater - destined to become a classic pairing October 20, 2016
It’s an undeniable fact, certain things simply belong together. There may be a ‘traditional’ connection: bacon and eggs, cheese an... [MORE]

‘Half Heard’ by Rob Finlay - sensitive, engrossing narrative songs October 20, 2016
There must be little more devastating for a musician than hearing loss. That’s the experience of singer songwriter Rob Finlay. The title of hi... [MORE]

‘Waves Rise From Quiet Water’ from Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach - innovation and improvisation October 19, 2016
The essence of this album is an all-pervading sense of working through the depths of tradition with the added spice of innovation and improvisation,... [MORE]

‘The Seas Between Us’ from Sophie Ramsay - ethereal beauty translated into song October 19, 2016
Search out a dozen old Scots and Gaelic songs that move through facets of tradition, deliver them with gently reflective caressing vocals, involve a... [MORE]

‘Linen’ from Carol Fieldhouse - an overwhelming sense of intimacy October 19, 2016
The capacity for an album to embrace the listener enough to prompt a feeling of that much-maligned yet usually apposite, American-engendered phrase,... [MORE]

‘Life In A Paper Boat’ from Kate Rusby “...a ‘triumph’” October 12, 2016
Few original words, if any, remain to be written about Kate Rusby and her music. There are not many without running out of plaudits or risking disso... [MORE]

‘Slide to the Side’ from MoltenAmba - more than a musical fusion October 11, 2016
Different is becoming increasingly prevalent in folk music. “About time too”, I hear many people cry, and I know one of those is Tim Car... [MORE]

‘Circling The Square’ from Mitchell and Vincent - a clear and obvious enticement to listen October 11, 2016
I’ve often heard the expression ‘folk duos are two a penny’, in some cases that might hold water but when it comes down to it ther... [MORE]

‘Call Me Home’ from Alden, Patterson and Dashwood - softly delicious, crystal clear harmonies October 10, 2016
I’m writing this in the City of Colorado Springs, USA, nestled at the base of Pikes Peak and listening to ‘Call Me Home’ the debut... [MORE]

‘Sorrows and Glories’ from Red Moon Road - originality with flair October 10, 2016
There’s a new album from Red Moon Road called ‘Sorrows and Glories’ and I must confess that until now the band has been missing fr... [MORE]

‘Mirabilia’ from Whalebone – “... an amalgam of alchemy” October 01, 2016
One more time I can see the definition pedants pulling their hair out ... this is music that simply will not fit into a comfortable box. That’... [MORE]

‘Northern Sky’ by Pete Coutts - songwriter and tunesmith of considerable calibre September 30, 2016
It’s incredibly hard not to fall into the wide and open depths of ‘Northern Sky’, the debut solo album from Pete Coutts. With its ... [MORE]

‘Sweet Liberties’ – Various Artists - deserves all the accolades it will undoubtedly receive September 26, 2016
Musical collaborations and concept albums have the potential to become landmark classics or pedigree-free mongrels ... ‘Sweet Liberties’... [MORE]

‘Fine ‘n Rosy’ from Liz Mulholland - something you really should experience September 23, 2016
With her wistful, almost fragile voice and a fine ear for a melody, Liza Mulholland pours raw emotion into the songs on her debut solo album, &lsquo... [MORE]

‘Voices’ from Ranagri - an essential symbiotic interaction between the musicians September 23, 2016
There’s little to use as a point of reference when you discuss the sound create by Ranagri ... stunning, dazzling, remarkable ... any of those... [MORE]

‘The Fox’ - Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow - inspired musicianship and interwoven harmonies September 22, 2016
The debut album from Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow, recognised as the virtuoso guitar and fiddle presence from Sheelanagig, is as fine a piece of outst... [MORE]

‘The Dream of Animals’ from Neil Cousin - ominous shades, sorrowful echoes, deep-felt memories September 21, 2016
There’s a sombre darkness running through ‘The Dream of Animals’, the latest album from Neil Cousin. Listeners will find ominous s... [MORE]

‘Straight Line Talking’ The Savage Prunes - inventive, expressive and above all different September 13, 2016
Take three soloists from diverse musical backgrounds, add a large dose of experimentation, put them together without accompaniment and wait for the ... [MORE]

‘Widdershins’ by Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola - a benchmark album of cutting-edge folk music September 13, 2016
There’s a mesmerising edge to ‘Widdershins’ the latest album from Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola, due for release on 12 O... [MORE]

‘Meteorites’ from Magic Car - songs to caress the listener’s ear September 13, 2016
The essence of homegrown folk Americana is no longer solely the province of the home of the brave and land of the free, in fact for many years it ha... [MORE]

‘The Doll’s House’ by Holly Johnston - leaves an audience begging for more September 12, 2016
One could never accuse Holly Johnston of flooding the market with her recordings - a debut album in 2001, a follow up in January 2014 with the album... [MORE]

‘Written in Salt’ from The Longest Johns “... boundless energy, enthusiasm and faultless harmonies September 09, 2016
Shanty singing is rarely regarded as ‘middle of the road’, it’s either loved or hated, which is a shame because it’s a long-... [MORE]

‘One Day, A Flood’ from The Eastern Swell - potential definitely fulfilled September 09, 2016
Back in 2014 I reviewed a short EP from Edinburgh-based Lainie and The Crows, and described what I heard as: "... obvious touches of Americana, a ti... [MORE]

‘No Petticoats Here’ by Louise Jordan - “...a landmark album that is engrossing and entrancing” September 08, 2016
An ocean of words has been expended on the criminal, profligate waste of life and the far reaching, cataclysmic social changes brought about by the ... [MORE]

‘Wolves A-Howlin’’ from Kieran Towers and Charlotte Carrivick - a perfect pairing of virtuosity and skill September 07, 2016
There’s something incomparably infectious about old time fiddle tunes, that’s one reason they endure. The other reason is those talented... [MORE]

’Immortal’ from Hicks and Gouldburn - an album of considerable intriguing attractiveness September 07, 2016
Strangely, I find myself increasingly drawn to music that refuses to sit comfortably into defining boxes. Perhaps that’s why I gravitate towar... [MORE]

‘NEWiD’ from Allan Yn Y Fan - strikingly beautiful music played by accomplished musicians September 07, 2016
There’s a new album from Welsh band Allan Yn Y Fan, called ‘NEWiD’, which serves its purpose in both Welsh and English (Newid... [MORE]

‘Continuum’ from The Shee - expressing a mix of musical mood and character September 04, 2016
‘Continuum’ the latest album from The Shee comes with origins that fall squarely into the ‘must buy just to find out’ catego... [MORE]

‘The Pilot and the Flying Machine’ Ben Bedford - impressions, experience and sharp examination September 03, 2016
The fourth in an occasional series of albums, ‘The Pilot and the Flying Machine’ shows the continuing development of Ben Bedford as a so... [MORE]

‘Cycle’ from Lady Maisery - a mesh of meticulous vocal arrangements August 29, 2016
Bringing together the combined talents of Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans, Lady Maisery have redefined folk from the perspective of in... [MORE]

Bottle Bank Band - an album that promises much and delivers exactly as expected August 27, 2016
There’s a way to invest £12 that will pay you back in dividends ... no, I haven’t decided to forego my journalistic profession and... [MORE]

‘Stone Walls and Street Lights’ New Road - fresh as today’s sunrise, sharp as a butcher’s knife August 26, 2016
The roots of tradition run wide, deep and far, crossing boundaries and finding common ground all over the world. Proof if any were needed of this as... [MORE]

‘Fairweather’ by Roger Roger - sweet-as-honey harmonies and perfectly matched voices August 21, 2016
Folk roots duo Roger Roger takes me away from today to somewhere deep in my folk and folk rock past, where I first found music and began writing abo... [MORE]

‘Borrowed Time’ by Birte Pualsen - places the human condition under close scrutiny August 21, 2016
Originally from Northern Germany, now based in Brighton, Birte Pualsen has released her debut album ‘Borrowed Time’ – with its int... [MORE]

‘Scheherazade’ from Freakwater - tradition respected, innovation unleashed August 18, 2016
Band names are intensely personal. They are also sometimes perfect descriptions. Freakwater is such a name. Although you could change ‘freak&r... [MORE]

‘The Angel’s Share’ - Dana and Susan Robinson - lose yourself in this timeless music August 18, 2016
‘The Angel’s Share’, the latest album from Dana and Susan Robinson takes me back to places I’ve visited and makes me want to... [MORE]

‘Little Girl’ from Sera - through an eclectic presentation of expression August 17, 2016
Another album that refuses to fit into a convenient box. ‘Little Girl’ from Sera moves effortlessly through country-folk to folk-pop. It... [MORE]

‘Smokey Joe’ from Folklaw - will move you both physically and emotionally August 13, 2016
Folklaw is one of those bands for whom live performances its bread and butter, gigging relentlessly across the UK, Europe and North America. Folklaw... [MORE]

‘Leaf an’ Thorn’ from Barbara Dymock - offers all that heritage demands August 12, 2016
The Scottish singing tradition is a rare and precious treasure that should be preserved and those singers that uphold its beauty deserve the widest ... [MORE]

‘Circle Round the Signs’ by Al Scorch - no holds barred blend of attitude and heritage August 12, 2016
The ‘first-listen’ process of review often judges an album unfairly and sometimes incorrectly. There’s no such fear with ‘Ci... [MORE]

‘Instar’ by Nancy Kerr - present-day folk with the richness of tradition at its core August 09, 2016
Poetic lyrics, warmly embracing vocals, intricate instrumentation, subtly observed pastoral influences, engrossing narratives ... ‘Instar&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Hunter & The Hunted’ by Fellow Pynins - heartfelt intimacy through original songs August 09, 2016
The name Fellow Pynins may not be readily familiar to many people but Patchy Saunders might well be. The former is Dani Aubert and Ian Van Ornum, wh... [MORE]

‘Rescattermastered’ from Trail West - mindboggling musicianship August 08, 2016
There’s nothing like the high-energy zip and flourish of a good ceilidh band - that much is true. What is also true, is that Trail West are fa... [MORE]

‘Symbiosis’ from Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton - interdependence and faultless collaboration August 08, 2016
Rarely has an album been so aptly named, ‘Symbiosis’ from Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton takes the considerable skills of both and joins th... [MORE]

‘Something To Say’ Damian Clarke - contemplative personal narratives, finely cast observations August 08, 2016
There is something supremely listenable about ‘Something To Say’ Damian Clarke’s third solo album ... tenderly contemplative perso... [MORE]

‘No Smaller Than The World’ by Broom Bezzums - tradition with originality, histories with narratives August 02, 2016
Released almost a year ago in Germany, Broom Bezzums, aka Mark Bloomer and Andrew Cadie release their album ‘No Smaller Than The World’ ... [MORE]

‘Fixing My Head’ by Simon Linsteadt - more expansive, the ‘look’ wider, the reach further August 01, 2016
A self-titled debut solo album from Simon Linsteadt arrived at the start of the year, and now mid-year a second solo album makes an appearance. Sing... [MORE]

‘Wire & Wool’ – original Celtic and Bluegrass fusion July 31, 2016
Maybe it’s my imagination or do bluegrass and Americana bands increasingly appear from thousands of miles outside the US of A? The truth of th... [MORE]

‘Cactus’ from Ruth Theodore - intriguing, dramatic, absorbing and bemusing July 31, 2016
Idiosyncratic – the music from Ruth Theodore fits perfectly. However, you define it, that word keeps returning to your mind. For variation you... [MORE]

‘Suitcase’ - Ian Roland & Simon Yapp - Americana tinged with English folk July 26, 2016
The music of singer-songwriter Ian Roland drew my attention from the first. His blend of softly rocking Americana tinged with overtones of English f... [MORE]

‘Beyond Brushes’ - Stables - an invitation that’s hard to resist July 26, 2016
Here we go, another description that works, yet manages to miss the mark. Stables are referenced as an ‘alt-folk duo’, which may be how ... [MORE]

‘String Theory’ from We Banjo 3 - revitalised rhythms, mesmerising melodies, inventive tunes July 21, 2016
Take a large pinch of Irish tradition, mix with a similar portion of American heritage, pour in a large slice of innovation, then blend in strong ti... [MORE]

‘Along The Old Straight Track’ debut album from The Leylines - powerful meaning by the bucket-full July 21, 2016
Folk rock has splintered into as many primarily pointless definitions as any other form of musical expression. Folk punk defines slightly tighter bu... [MORE]

‘Trig’ by Tannara - patterns of the past overlaid with innovation July 20, 2016
The musical web created by Tannara mixes ancient and modern with such dexterity there is no discernible point of mating. This is also one of those r... [MORE]

‘Timeline’ - Donald MacNeill and Roberto Diana - powerful and encompassing intensity July 19, 2016
Donald MacNeill proved with his 2011 album ‘Fathers and Sons’ that he is a musician with a keenly observant eye and an impressive s... [MORE]

‘False Deceiver’ from Kern - a force to be reckoned with in contemporary folk July 13, 2016
Breaking through the 'background noise’ in any form of music is never easy, coming at your chosen genre from a ‘different angle’ c... [MORE]

‘Garvellach Isles’ from Head North - quality always works and this works very well July 11, 2016
Sited in The Minch off the West Coast of Scotland, the Garvellach are an isolated group of outlying Scottish islands, it’s also the second alb... [MORE]

‘Rise Up’ by Erika Kulnys - depths of engrossing story-telling July 10, 2016
Sometimes an artist possesses a voice that reaches out and seduces your senses, Erika Kulnys has one of those voices. Her album, ‘Rise Up&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Say That Now’ from Ana Egge and The Sentimentals - a journey through emotions July 10, 2016
The album ‘Say That Now’ brings together the easily recognised, sultry voice, sensitive musicianship, poignant story telling and involvi... [MORE]

‘For The Moon’ from The Driftwood Manor - synthesises its own amalgam of styles July 06, 2016
Much as I despise ‘sounds like’ reviews, from time to time throughout ‘For The Moon’ from The Driftwood Manor I kept hearing... [MORE]

Turpentine’ from Mark Harrison - maintains its intense presence July 06, 2016
Holding a reputation for both genuine old-time rootsy feel augmented by writing songs with ‘messages for today’ themes, Mark Harrison ta... [MORE]

‘After The Sherry Went Round’ by The Eskies - jazz-encircled, gypsy-folk from the dark side July 06, 2016
Abandon preconceptions, pour boundless energy, add buckets of passion, and you have the unrelenting maelstrom of sound that is The Eskies. Imagine m... [MORE]

'Back to the Yellow Hills' from Richard Moss – an album of visceral honesty July 03, 2016
There are at least two reasons to listen to the debut solo album 'Back to the Yellow Hills' from Richard Moss ... outstanding guitar work and a rich... [MORE]

‘Hodmadod Meets Gogmagog’ by Hodmadoddery - precise music and voices July 02, 2016
First encountering the musical murmurings of Tony Carter and Steve Henwood, better known as Hodmadoddery (although not as well-known as they deserve... [MORE]

‘East’ from Iona Fyfe Band - leaves you wanting more July 01, 2016
Drawing deeply from the well of folksong that comes from the east of Scotland, ‘East’ the debut EP by Iona Fyfe Band rises like the morn... [MORE]

‘Road Soda’ from Cheyenne Brown and Tory Duggan - significant presence and limitless expression July 01, 2016
The creation of a partnership between Cheyenne Brown and Tory Duggan is one of those synchronicity moments that occasionally appear to ‘just h... [MORE]

‘All Dressed’ from Dark for Dark - folk-pop past anchored in the present July 01, 2016
The jangly-guitars and three-part harmonies echo a time when the sixties were still happening, rather than starting to fade, and the world was yet t... [MORE]

‘Someday The Heart Will Trouble The Mind’ - The High Bar Gang - delicious harmonies and slick strings July 01, 2016
With The High Bar Gang you’re hearing a contemporary take on old-time bluegrass with outstanding vocal harmony and polished instrumentation. T... [MORE]

‘Some Other Shore’ by KARA - conflagration of cultures, miasma of melodies, rush of innovation June 23, 2016
The distinctive sound that KARA generates is far more than a blend of East and West, it’s a conflagration of cultures, a miasma of melodies, a... [MORE]

‘River Waiting’ from Connla - innovative composing reflecting the tradition June 23, 2016
From time to time a band follows up its debut release and utterly realises all expectations as to their future. This is so with Derry/ Armagh-based ... [MORE]

‘Adroneline’ from Homebound - breath-taking in its scope and astonishing in its delivery June 22, 2016
“Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts”... that statement could easily have been writ... [MORE]

‘Into The Green’ by Joshua Burnell - Tolkienesque darkness, Andersenian morality and Jordanian mythics June 22, 2016
Honestly, it took some getting into this album. The mix of convoluted, fantasy storytelling, lyrically complex, involved songs and juxtaposition bet... [MORE]

‘Varieties’ from Alma - variety delivered exactly as promised June 22, 2016
The recipe sounds simple, bring together three highly accomplished musicians and let the magic happen, unfortunately such groupings can result in a ... [MORE]

‘Paper of Pins’ by Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer “... a solid gold, five-star album” June 20, 2016
A wholly unique blending of tradition and contemporary with unrivalled empathy for an exceptional tune, sensitive arrangements and dazzling melodies... [MORE]

‘Poor Strange Girl’ from Alice Jones - traditional songs interweaved with original tunes June 20, 2016
If you want to hear the English folk tradition delivered as it should be then take time with the debut solo album from singer, multi-instrumentalist... [MORE]

‘Love & Promises’ from Auburn - let it seep into your soul June 19, 2016
Americana, like Folk is a label that encompass the widest of definitions. Across its categories it moves, morphs and expands, and since ‘India... [MORE]

‘Postcards’ from Fran Wyburn and the Indigos - beautiful voice, intricate harmonies, polished instrumentation June 19, 2016
Don’t you just love it when an EP from an artist that you’ve never heard before turns out to be something that not only makes you glad y... [MORE]

‘Words’ by Falling From Trees - folk with touches of blues and jazzy influence June 15, 2016
There’s a theory, well proven, that siblings’ voices blend in a seamless way that few vocal collectives can achieve. The two brothers an... [MORE]

‘The Albino Peacock’ from Bonfire Radicals - uninhibited gathering of inspired originality June 15, 2016
‘The Albino Peacock’ from Bonfire Radicals is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before ... imagine folk interwoven with rock, ... [MORE]

‘Fern Girl & Ice Man’ The Lowest Pair - an eccentric quality June 14, 2016
Traditional banjo, guitar and roots music has from time to time enjoyed less than enthusiastic press. Its idiosyncrasies slide by some folk while ot... [MORE]

‘War Stories’ from Harp and a Monkey - intricate and touching storytelling June 13, 2016
The idiosyncratic sound of Harp and a Monkey is utterly distinctive ... within seconds of hearing, it could be no other band. And each time Messers ... [MORE]

‘The Fruited Thorn’ - Kaela Rowan - simmering power of emotion June 12, 2016
Listening to Kaela Rowan is cathartic, stimulating and inspirational. The beauty of her voice, tremulous yet presence-packed, an edge of original de... [MORE]

‘Locks and Bolts’ from Solarference – inventing an entirely original facet of folk June 12, 2016
Listening to ‘Locks and Bolts’ the first live album from Solarference, who are Nick Janaway and Sarah Owen, is an experience both enligh... [MORE]

‘Before We Change Our Mind’ by Beoga - deserves to gain the widest possible praise June 07, 2016
Beoga have established themselves as both custodians of their slice of the Irish tradition and recognised innovators that remain unafraid to incorpo... [MORE]

‘Robbie Greig & Friends’ from Robbie Greig - an album sparkles from start to finish June 06, 2016
There are without doubt many fine fiddlers across these isles, the calibre of care for tradition and inventive composition never ceases to fill me w... [MORE]

‘Orkney Folk Festival: Fiddle Gathering’ - a glorious record of an outstanding event June 04, 2016
Take a selection of Orkney’s finest musicians, record them doing what they do best to celebrate the isles’ enduring fiddle tradition and... [MORE]

‘Down To The River’ - Angela Paterson “...warm, rich and expressive voice” June 01, 2016
The phrase ‘feel good music’ is regularly thrown out by reviewers. Sometimes with a cavalier carelessness that fails to describe the mus... [MORE]

‘Willow Springs’ by Michael McDermott - real, revealing and scarily authentic June 01, 2016
There’s an edge to Michael McDermott’s music that takes me back to the heady days of the sixties when life seemed to offer a young man e... [MORE]

‘Inspired By Chance’ from Goitse - driving originality into tradition June 01, 2016
The latest album from Goitse is called ‘Inspired By Chance’ and continues to follow that inspired vein of invention and innovation that ... [MORE]

‘Burn The Tapes’ by Norma MacDonald - something rare and precious June 01, 2016
I first heard Norma MacDonald with her album, ‘Morning You Wake’ and that left me with the abiding memory of a voice overflowing with em... [MORE]

‘Carry The Day’ from Aoife Scott - once you listen the rapture is complete May 31, 2016
Folk singer-songwriter Aoife Scott has an indefinable quality to her luscious voice that simply compels you to listen ... and once you lis... [MORE]

‘In The Park’ from Pennyless - memorable tunes, warm vocals, and hooks a-plenty May 30, 2016
How long does a good band remain under your radar? Perhaps it’s a reflection on the number of hard working bands that now grace the wide and e... [MORE]

‘Upon A Painted Ocean’ by Admirals Hard - shanties and maritime songs with inimitable style May 30, 2016
There are numerous bands ripping out English sea shanties, some add their own take to the genre, while others are content to replay the standard &ls... [MORE]

‘Statues of Everything’ by Stolen Horse - your attention is held and you’re absorbed May 29, 2016
Time and again I listen to bands and wonder exactly which bushel they’ve hiding their light under. Tim Carroll often says: ‘New is easy,... [MORE]

‘Alone With History’ Alastair Savage - spectacular in simplicity, scope and delivery May 25, 2016
Referring to Alastair Savage as a fiddle player is somewhat like calling Vermeer a painter, both descriptions are true yet both miss the point by so... [MORE]

‘From The Skein’ by Jenny Sturgeon - a whole that holds you in its embrace May 23, 2016
The name will be familiar across a variety of creative outlets, with bands such as Clype and Old Blind Dogs or projects including Primary School mus... [MORE]

‘I Jumped Ship’ by Paddy Garrigan and the Stroller Priests - idiosyncratic attraction pours through May 23, 2016
Apart from the decidedly macabre masked faces on the album cover, the first thing that strikes you about ‘I Jumped Ship’ by Paddy Garrig... [MORE]

‘Good Times Will Come Again’ by Megson - destined to become a classic contemporary folk album May 18, 2016
The minute this album begins you’re instantly in tune with the splendid talents of Debbie and Stu Hanna, aka Megson. Their latest offering &ls... [MORE]

‘The Butcher’ from Paul Mosley and The Red Meat Orchestra “ ... theatre for your ears” May 18, 2016
This is an album that must be heard as a whole. Touch it in sections and you risk losing the flow. And that is verging on criminal with a work of th... [MORE]

‘Give and Receive’ from The Danberrys - a mix of blues, touches of gospel, an edge of old time May 17, 2016
Listening to The Danberrys is always a cathartic experience. The rich warmth of the vocals and harmonies, intricate weave of instrumentation coupled... [MORE]

‘Songs From The Boarwood’ - Euan Drysdale - memorable tunes, compelling hooks, lingering melodies May 11, 2016
Perhaps more balladic than folk, bluesy sections, possibly even touches of rock, yet folk essences evident too. However you want to classify the mus... [MORE]

‘Back to the 1780’s’ from Wör - you will be surprised and wholly captivated May 11, 2016
From a contemporary perspective, it would be hard by any stretch of the imagination to call 18th-century music ‘modern’, however Flemish... [MORE]

‘The Counsel of Owls’ from Mikey Kenney - fundamentally soul-soothing May 09, 2016
Another album from Mikey Kenney reveals a uniqueness shaped through the interaction between precarious, tremulous vocals, wandering expansive instru... [MORE]

‘Reverie’ from Rant - a ‘perfect storm’ of talent and skill May 09, 2016
There’s meaningful date that should be in collective diaries, it’s 13 May 2016, don’t forget it, because that’s when Rant, t... [MORE]

‘From The Stillhouse’ by Murder, Murder - blowing hard, darkening-skies, tinged with lightning May 08, 2016
According to the press release, Murder, Murder is a 'bloodgrass' band, which for the uninitiated among us and according to them is: 'bluegrass ... [MORE]

‘Radiant’ from Wild Ponies - sharing the journey and living the involvement May 08, 2016
There’s a level of connection that increases the longer you listen, ranging from intimate gently sonorous reflections to rocking out with an u... [MORE]

‘Milk Teeth’ from Jim Evans - listen to this just once and you will be addicted April 29, 2016
The first album from folk singer Jim Evans, appeared in 2014, called ‘On Seeds and Shoes’, it was a minimalist piece of work, yet the de... [MORE]

‘Clear Skies’ from Réalta - a wash of musical heritage riding a wave of invention April 28, 2016
The album ‘Clear Skies’ from Réalta offers a collection of songs, reels, jigs, slides and airs each delivered with the verve and ... [MORE]

‘Quiet Hum’ from West My Friend - startling fresh acoustic blend with sparkling four-part harmonies April 26, 2016
When a press release punches together a selection of words that at first appear highly incongruous, my critical radar moves into high gain, will the... [MORE]

‘These Boys’ - Keith Burke and the Little Black Book – a fine touch with both lyric and melody April 25, 2016
This is the first I’ve heard of Keith Burke and listening to his album ‘These Boys’ ensures I want to hear more. This album overfl... [MORE]

‘Strangely Blue’ from Tinlin - a long, rich musical road to travel April 25, 2016
The duo known as Tinlin, brothers Alex and Rolf Tinlin, already have a reputation for creating finely composed songs that faultlessly blend folk ove... [MORE]

‘The Oyster Girl’ Tim Jones & The Dark Lanterns - wholly deserving of a place in English folk April 18, 2016
There’s no doubt about their heritage ... Tim Jones and the Dark Lanterns could come from no other place on this planet than England. Often be... [MORE]

‘Modal Citizen’ from Josie Nugent - expressive music with a beating heart April 18, 2016
Listening to ‘Modal Citizen’ the debut solo album from Josie Nugent strikes an impression that you’re moving close to the art... [MORE]

‘Six On The Out’ from The Westies - songs with a visceral rawness April 18, 2016
When we first reviewed the work of Chicago-based duo Michael McDermott and Heather Horton better known as The Westies, we described it as: “Sc... [MORE]

‘Motorcycle Heart’ from Rob Lear - fervour overflows the songs April 13, 2016
Immediate attraction is a rare and wonderful thing - ‘Motorcycle Heart’ an album of powerful Americana from Rob Lear appeals from the fi... [MORE]

‘My Turn Now’ from Brooks Williams - a man sitting at the top of his game April 13, 2016
Another album from Brooks Williams is always worth taking time with, and ‘My Turn Now’ ranks among the finest with more high-g... [MORE]

‘Storied Sounds’ from Tuulikki Bartosik - fascinating melange of music and sound April 11, 2016
Ranging from delicately soporific through weirdly atmospheric to strangely unsettling, the fascinating melange of music and sounds on ‘Storied... [MORE]

‘Songs Of Our Years’ from Gill Sandell - delicate melodies and penetrating poetry April 11, 2016
Many albums are described as ‘beautiful’ and ‘poetic’, sometimes with good reason, sometimes due to a paucity of adjectives.... [MORE]

‘Hello, Goodbye’ from John McCusker - most certainly worth the wait April 08, 2016
There isn’t really a great deal to say about Scottish musician John McCusker that hasn’t already been said. A consummate master of the&n... [MORE]

‘Long Time Leaving’ by Christa Couture - melodies that fold around your ears like silk April 07, 2016
As a native of the ‘Centennial State’, living in the UK and writing about music from North America (severally defined, depending positio... [MORE]

‘Uncouth Pilgrims’ Keegan McInroe - a distinctive desirable ‘rootsy’ feel that ‘rocks’ April 07, 2016
With a somewhat laconic style and languid vocal delivery, even when he’s driving his music hard, Keegan McInroe interprets a mix of American c... [MORE]

‘Swingin’ Night’ - Mark J. Nyvlt - narratives of experience and expression April 07, 2016
There’s a Canadiana sound that pulls its energy from deep roots then overlays that heritage with the vitality of a folk-rock contemporary edge... [MORE]

‘Preternatural’ from Moulettes – their most impressive work to date April 05, 2016
There’s something about the bite of salt-filled air and a certain wildness of geography combined with cultural freedom that creates an individ... [MORE]

‘Bellowhead Live’ - two-CD and one-DVD package and a fine tribute to the band April 05, 2016
Announcements of band break ups can be greeted with sighs of relief as there was clearly nothing more to give, often with tinges of sadness that som... [MORE]

'Another Beautiful Tuesday' by Jan - take time to soak up its messages April 04, 2016
I've listened to 'Another Beautiful Tuesday' by Jan several times now, and there are clearly two ways to hear this album ... at a superficial level ... [MORE]

‘Scattered Notes and Rhymes’ Arthur Wilson – songs that feel like old friends April 04, 2016
There’s comforting warmth about Arthur Wilson’s music - it’s that music you listened to in those ‘growing up years’, a... [MORE]

‘Here's My Heart Come Take It’ from Rachel Newton - incredibly distinctive and individual April 04, 2016
With an enviable musical pedigree that includes The Shee, The Emily Portman Trio and The Furrow Collective to name but a few,&nb... [MORE]

‘Ignite’ by Will Pound & Eddy Jay “... maelstrom of enthusiasm and exhilaration” March 29, 2016
Within the maelstrom of enthusiasm and exhilaration created by Will Pound & Eddy Jay on ‘Ignite’, their first album as a duo, there ... [MORE]

‘Vårdroppar’ from Rydvall and Mjelva – music to sweep you away March 29, 2016
This new album, ‘Vårdroppar’ from Rydvall and Mjelva is a superb piece of work, together these two outstanding musicians have take... [MORE]

‘The Quietened Village’ A Year In The Country - examining this land’s derelict and vanished villages March 26, 2016
Sometimes one should not delve too deeply. Accept things for what they are. Go along the path they lead. Let the darkness and the light become one a... [MORE]

‘Confession Note’ by Mahoney & The Moment - an irresistible edge to this music March 25, 2016
Engaging touches of Americana, mixed with a distinct pop feel, elements of contemporary folk, edges of country all existing with an immediacy at a p... [MORE]

‘When Sorrow Calls’ from Hope In High Water - unfussed acoustic Americana folk March 25, 2016
There’s something simplistically vibrant about the EP ‘When Sorrow Calls’ from Hope In High Water, who are Josh Chandler Morris an... [MORE]

‘Fuel’ from 4 Square - a unique combination of both delicacy and robustness March 21, 2016
Folk-fusion is a much-used couplet, occasionally inaccurately. Sometimes unions described as such are more forced than they should be and more hamme... [MORE]

‘The Road to the Rainbow’s End’ by Chris Flegg - a narcotic for stress March 21, 2016
There’s something relaxing, soothing almost soporific about Chris Flegg’s music – mellow vocal delivery, gently engaging instrumen... [MORE]

‘Spirit, Soul & a Handful of Mud’ – James J Turner “...a potent piece of folk rock” March 17, 2016
I first encountered the music of James J Turner back in 2012 when I heard ‘How Could We Be Wrong?’ and in my opinion it was: “So r... [MORE]

‘Dust and Snow’ by Joseph Tonelli - tranquillity born out of experience March 17, 2016
Just finished listening to Joseph Tonelli’s new album, ‘Dust and Snow’, due for release in June 2016, and its minimalistic, laid-b... [MORE]

‘Islands’ from The Cosmic Array - a ‘Marmite album’ if ever there was one March 16, 2016
Multiple spins downrange and I’m still confused by 'Islands' from The Cosmic Array. There's certainly a sizeable slice of prog-psych soundscap... [MORE]

‘Releasing the Leaves’ from Ninebarrow “...storytelling craft once more demonstrated” March 16, 2016
Folk duo Ninebarrow have in relatively a short time become renowned for their faultless vocal harmonies and intricate musicality, they’ve also... [MORE]

‘Secret Garden’ by Amy Goddard “... moves you closer to the artist" March 16, 2016
There are songwriters that reveal themselves through their songs, those that observe world about them, while some expound folk lore and legends and ... [MORE]

‘Dusk’ from Rusty Shackle - overflowing with presence and chock full of raw power March 14, 2016
There’s folk with elements of rock conveniently called folk rock, then again, there’s rock with a touch of folk that’s more accura... [MORE]

‘The Longing Kind’ by Maz O’Connor “... an album to hear, absorb and savour” March 14, 2016
Moving away from ‘singing the tradition’ with her debut album ‘This Willowed Light’, Maz O’Connorhas spread her creati... [MORE]

‘Feather and Flame’ from Headsticks - fireball-frantic, heavy-engine, pedal-to-the-metal drive March 14, 2016
In early September 2014 an album arrived at FolkWords with a photograph of a peacock’s head on the cover, the band was called Headsticks, the ... [MORE]

‘Red Diesel’ from Pilgrims' Way - reverence for tradition, flair for creativity March 10, 2016
This is clearly the year for artists taking significant breaks between debut album and its follow up. Between the seriously good ‘Wayside Cour... [MORE]

‘Between River and Railway’ by Claire Hastings - enduring sense of beauty, both vocals and music March 10, 2016
Pure is an oft-used word to describe the human voice, listen to the debut album ‘Between River and Railway’ from Scottish folk singer so... [MORE]

‘The Silent Majority’ - Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar - poignant narratives and meaningful messages March 10, 2016
Seldom does an album make its mark as surely and swiftly as ‘The Silent Majority’ from Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, with its poignant ... [MORE]

'Wasted And Wounded' by Charlie Harrigan - messages that strike home, every time March 08, 2016
An absence from making music has done nothing to diminish the lyrical power and gift for narrative possessed by Charlie Harrigan, and should there b... [MORE]

‘Battlestorm’ from the Rosie Eade Band “... substantial depth and equally considerable appeal” March 07, 2016
The distance between a debut album in 2012 as an individual with a collection of musicians to a full-band follow up in 2016 might seem like a long t... [MORE]

‘Today Is A Good Day’ from Brendan Monaghan - soul-touching songs of particular resonance March 07, 2016
Writing about the music of Brendan Monaghan is always a perfect pleasure because you’re writing about a man who has thoroughly mastered every ... [MORE]

‘Deliverance’ from The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc - expansive and vital expression March 07, 2016
Combine the rich music heritage of Norway, Sweden and the Shetland Islands with sparkling touches of innovation, add a swathe of talent and consumma... [MORE]

‘Whispered’ by Jonas and Jane - a perfect example of the art March 01, 2016
After many years as a UK-based American I’m no longer surprised at the calibre and quality of Americana that lives and breathes this side of t... [MORE]

‘Paths that Wind’ by The Paul McKenna Band - an album with distinctive appeal March 01, 2016
With each successive album The Paul McKenna Band reinforces my view that their brand of folk combines bold invention and folk tradition in a seamles... [MORE]

‘The Ebony Trail’ from Ciara O’Neill - folk from the dark side February 29, 2016
Haunting is a good word to begin describing ‘The Ebony Trail’ from Ciara O’Neill, The title track opens with ghostly footsteps on ... [MORE]

‘Sometimes Your Face Don’t Fit’ - Terence Blacker - charismatic stories, comments and examinations February 22, 2016
Singer, songwriter, author and columnist Terence Blacker is one of those rare souls that take acerbic humour and lace it with finely honed expressio... [MORE]

‘The Storm’ debut EP from Velvet & Stone “...attractive and hauntingly persistent” February 22, 2016
When you first listen to ‘The Storm’ from Velvet & Stone you hear softly meandering music reflecting a faintly searching melancholy ... [MORE]

‘Jump The Fire’ from Evie Laden Band - tradition and innovation, new-style and old-time holding hands February 22, 2016
Recognised as a banjo-ace and owner of one of the most sultry moody voices in American folk, Evie Ladin writes and delivers some wicked songs, and o... [MORE]

‘Astar’ from Breabach “... a treat for your ears” February 19, 2016
A new album from Breabach is cause for celebration, those of us ‘in the know’ are ready for another blast of inspirational music and son... [MORE]

‘In America’ by Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby - takes you into its narratives February 19, 2016
Introduction is superfluous with artist like Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby ... a catalogue of milestone albums, a pedigree born out of years pe... [MORE]

‘Matter Of Time’ by Dallahan - both engaging and arresting February 18, 2016
Should there ever be a prescription for inspired enjoyment then it would include the music of Dallahan, and their second album, ‘Matter Of Tim... [MORE]

Self-titled album - The James Brothers - mixing musical virtuosity and seemingly boundless energy February 15, 2016
There’s something about a good press release having a killer first line, well opening with: “The James Brothers are not really outlaws, ... [MORE]

'Heavy Wood’ from Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra ... a thoroughbred album February 15, 2016
A combination of savagely poignant lyrics, a staggering jigsaw of musical invention and a sonorous voice that drags you into every song that's &lsqu... [MORE]

‘The Watchmaker’s Wife’ - Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston - an emotional waterfall breaks free February 14, 2016
If anyone is setting the signposts for the progression on English folk then up among the leaders are Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston with their latest... [MORE]

‘Holding On’ by Josh Harty - a profound mix of storytelling and musicianship February 14, 2016
With solo albums like ‘Long List of Lies’ and ‘Nowhere’, Josh Harty laid down markers as a singer and songwriter of American... [MORE]

‘Of Maids And Mariners’ from Said The Maiden - distinctive voices lacing intricate harmonies February 07, 2016
It’s fair to say that without much fear of contradiction that once heard, Said The Maiden are not easily forgotten. And it’s also true t... [MORE]

Self-titled EP from the duo ‘The Lion’s Share’ - honest English folk February 07, 2016
As long as there are folk musicians beavering away inventing new and protecting old, realising origination while respecting tradition, then folk mus... [MORE]

‘Astrophysics Saved My Life’ from Rivers of England - looks outward as much as it looks inward February 06, 2016
Attempting to describe what you hear to other people through words is always a challenge, although sometimes it approaches a trial too far. Without ... [MORE]

‘I Don’t Do This For Love, I Do This For Love’ - Nathan Bell - songs that tell it how it is February 06, 2016
Back in the day, ‘Blood Like A River’ was one of those albums that hit me like a steam hammer and left an indelible mark, then there was... [MORE]

‘Melody Cycle’ by Jack and The’ - sweeping complicated symphonic eccentricity February 05, 2016
Three times all the way through in two days and I’m still having trouble pinning down what I’ve heard. Herding cats springs to mind beca... [MORE]

‘Tide, Timber and Grain’ by Paul Handyside - songs that will stay with you for a long time February 03, 2016
The third solo album from Paul Handyside has all the elements required to become wholly memorable. Whether he’s writing with touches of Englis... [MORE]

The River’ by Hamish Napier - paints vivid pictures-in-sound February 03, 2016
So the idea behind the debut solo album from Hamish Napier is inspired by growing up next to the fast flowing River Spey in the northeast of Sc... [MORE]

‘Flock & Fly’ from Rob Harbron & Emma Reid - an album of remarkable magnetism February 02, 2016
Renowned instrumentalists Rob Harbron and Emma Reid have combined their talents, influences and roots to create ‘Flock & Fly’, blend... [MORE]

‘Whorls’ by Enda Reilly - blending Yeats’ powerful, searching poetry with emotive music February 01, 2016
Across the years, the poems of W.B. Yeats have been interpreted and performed in many ways by numerous artists through the spoken word, drama and mu... [MORE]

Self-titled solo album from Simon Linsteadt - gentle, reflective American folk January 30, 2016
More widely known as singer-songwriter and guitarist with San Francisco band Steep Ravine, Simon Linsteadt has released his debut self-titled solo a... [MORE]

‘Game of Life’ from Pete Morton - another trip along his travels through this life January 27, 2016
Certain writers and singers of folk songs have that combination of lyrical perspicacity and clear-sighted delivery that set them apart from all othe... [MORE]

‘NW’ from Niteworks - tradition mixes with invention January 27, 2016
Rarely in my wildest dreams, well perhaps only the really outlandish ones, did I expect to write about a ‘traditional folk-Gaelic language-ele... [MORE]

‘Bedlam’ from Kelly Oliver - songs that touch you deep inside, cause eyes to water and hearts to rise January 26, 2016
Some artists arrive with the force of a tornado, their music hits somewhere you always wanted to go but the burnout can be equally spectacular, with... [MORE]

‘These Mountain Blues’ - Norrie McCulloch - strange places, old friends, arriving and leaving January 26, 2016
Without doubt ‘These Mountain Blues’ has a heart driven by incidents and encounters. Long roads, strange places, old friends, arriving a... [MORE]

‘This, That & The Other’ - Marina Florance - sumptuous, softly engaging and pure emotion January 25, 2016
A while ago I wrote: “Pay attention when Marina Florance sings. You’ll hear songs delivered by one of folk’s most emotive voi... [MORE]

‘His Pride. No Spear. No Friend’ - The Owl Service - liberal doses of innovation and invention January 25, 2016
From the early EPs ‘Wake the Vaulted Echo’ and ‘Rise Me Lads’ to the albums, ‘A Garland of Song’ and ‘The ... [MORE]

‘Never More Together’ by Oliver Swain - a richness of melody and musical expression January 24, 2016
Alternative-edged Canadian folk with rock influences, touches of Americana spirit and chock full of innovative touches and experiments, that’s... [MORE]

‘Songs and Stories From the Border’ - O’Hanlon’s Horsebox , gutsy, rough-edged music with attitude January 19, 2016
There’s nothing remotely understated about ‘Songs and Stories From the Border’ from Armagh folk punk rockers O&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Five Songs’ from Crumbling Ghost - thrashing folk edge that cuts through the air like a buzz-saw January 19, 2016
Opening with ripping guitar chords, ‘Five Songs’ from Crumbling Ghost lays down a distinctive marker on the darker side of folk. To avoi... [MORE]

‘Elvis’ from The Equatorial Group - touches of Americana seeded with the essence of acoustic English folk January 18, 2016
After listening to the EP ‘Elvis’ from The Equatorial Group their music certainly deserves a wider exposure. However, it remains difficu... [MORE]

‘Ahoy Hoy’ from Boreas - a marker of talent, skill and excellence January 18, 2016
Listening to ‘Ahoy Hoy’ from Boreas is an enchanting, almost mystical experience. Immerse yourself in this explorative melange of music ... [MORE]

‘Time’ by Roseanna Ball - songs that make you ‘feel’ every word January 18, 2016
Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter Roseanna Ball released an album in 2014 called ‘Geography’, which attracted from the first... [MORE]

‘Behave the Bravest’ from Nuala Kennedy - a voice that pulls emotion from thin air January 10, 2016
‘Behave the Bravest’ is the latest solo offering from Nuala Kennedy, and if after the possibility of Christmas excesses you are in posse... [MORE]

‘The Final Waltz’ from Ciaran Algar - awash with interpretations and inventiveness January 10, 2016
Perhaps more readily recognised as one half of an award-winning duo with Greg Russell, with ‘The Final Waltz’ Ciaran Algar has released ... [MORE]

‘Sex & Politics’ from Cam Penner - a latent force that’s waiting to break free January 09, 2016
A kind of shock reverberates through your head when you hear Cam Penner’s album ‘To Build a Fire’ nothing that has gone before cou... [MORE]

‘Summer Leaves’ from aerynn - richly expressive vocals and a softly, subtle guitar January 09, 2016
Listening to ‘Summer Leaves’, a mini-album or EP, from singer songwriter aerynn, is essentially a positive warming experience, this is d... [MORE]

‘These Are The Days’ from Burning Bridget Cleary - creating something different January 07, 2016
‘New is easy, different is difficult’ - long have I adopted that view and often used it to set the difference between bands. Those that ... [MORE]

‘Another Fragile Year’ by Robin Mitchell - filled to the brim with depth and meaning January 07, 2016
Listening to ‘Another Fragile Year’ leaves you with the distinct impression of gently intimate poetry put to softly shimmering music. Cr... [MORE]

‘The Essential Gretchen Peters’ from Gretchen Peters - an essential songwriter and artist January 07, 2016
I reviewed 'Blackbirds' from Gretchen Peters back in December 2014 and called it: “... powerful, poignant and profoundly moving ... full of pe... [MORE]

‘Another Black Hole’ from Malcolm Holcombe - songs that hold a ruthless honesty January 02, 2016
There are certain constants in life, things happen and you can be sure of the outcome. A new album from Malcolm Holcombe delivers precisely that cer... [MORE]

‘Memory Box - Archive Treasures (2005-2010)’ from The Unthanks - something unheard, well-loved, different December 31, 2015
If you decide to dig through your back catalogue for both published and unpublished work, then it’s a fair bet that the collection will includ... [MORE]

‘The Huntsman’ from Little Red - leaves you wanting more December 30, 2015
In my view, ‘The Huntsman’ from folk trio Little Red, who are Ian Mitchell, Ben Gosling and Hayley Bell, ticks the key boxes required fo... [MORE]

‘78rpm’ from Sheesham & Lotus & Son - an experience not to be missed December 30, 2015
It takes but one listen to ‘78rpm’ from Sheesham & Lotus & Son to realise that you’re on the receiving end of something th... [MORE]

‘You Don’t Know’ by Hilary James - an eclectic blend overflowing with ‘listenability’ December 28, 2015
Listening to Hilary James sing is like applying a balm for your ears, that crystal clear, supremely listenable, and lusciously mellow voice washes o... [MORE]

‘Snowbound’ by Susanna Rose "... delicacy of a falling snowflake" December 28, 2015
The infinity of album titles often bewilders. How many titles wholly reflect the content? Not too many. Well, listening to ‘Snowbound’ b... [MORE]

‘The Long Way Home’ from Show of Hands - custodians of England’s musical heritage and culture December 22, 2015
There’s not much that hasn’t been written about Show of Hands, and equally there’s little more that needs to be said. Icons of Eng... [MORE]

‘Dry Stone Walls’ by Iona Lane "... destined for success" December 22, 2015
One of the most rewarding aspects of this profession is hearing new music from new artists that simply makes you sit up and pay attention. That&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Never Let Me Cross Your Mind’ by Locust Honey String Band - old time remains very much alive December 17, 2015
Taking their expressive music from the roots of old time America and bringing to it a surging freshness, Locust Honey String Band release their albu... [MORE]

‘Fortune’ by Rod Picott – songs that strike a chord that cannot be ignored December 16, 2015
I first came across the songs of Rod Picott back in 2002, since then through the albums ‘Sew Your Heart With Wires’ and ‘Welding B... [MORE]

‘Ingrained’ from Carly Dow - Canadian folk suffused with soul December 16, 2015
There’s something utterly elemental about Carly Dow’s music, the echoing melodies that soar around your head, the deeply authentic voice... [MORE]

‘The Square & Compass’ by G.F. Philips with music from John Bushby December 15, 2015
Take a collection of poems, give them to a musician and commit the product to an album. There is always a chance the result could be something of a ... [MORE]

‘Songs of Separation’ by Various Artists - a significant treat December 09, 2015
Never mind how frequently we are separated from people and places that mean so much to us, every time separation and sadness go hand in hand. Now th... [MORE]

‘Unprepared To Die’ by Paul Slade - a fascinating, though obviously grisly read December 09, 2015
The ‘murder ballad’ … a staple diet of folk music for more years than anyone cares to recall. Whichever side of the ‘pond&r... [MORE]

‘Old Adam’ from Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party - utterly distinctive and meaningful December 08, 2015
There’s something profoundly natural and organic about ‘Old Adam’ from Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party, due for release in Janua... [MORE]

‘Carnival of Hopes’ by Jane Kramer - personal emotions shared and understood December 07, 2015
Once you deliver an album that reaches considerable heights it’s can be a big ask to get back up there one more time. To exceed the presence o... [MORE]

‘Palimpsest’ from Madame Česki - free-ranging, experimental improvisation December 06, 2015
There’s an impression of ‘widening gyres’ that makes grasping and comprehending something of a task with ‘Palimpsest’ ... [MORE]

‘Downtown’ compilation by Various Artists from Folkstock Records November 30, 2015
In a relatively short time Folkstock Records has established itself as the ‘go to’ place for those folk artists that many other labels i... [MORE]

‘Home’ by Rosa Rebecka - achingly pure vocals, simple pared-back instrumentation November 30, 2015
Despite all the music that comes our way, Swedish/ American singer songwriter, Rosa Rebecka has successfully operated under our radar … up un... [MORE]

‘Undercurrents’ by Amy Duncan - melodies that haunt and lyrics that touch the soul November 27, 2015
For the last few days I’ve been devoted to Amy Duncan’s forthcoming album ‘Undercurrents’, due for release in February ... [MORE]

‘Freehand’ by Rich Osborn - a musical weave that expands the longer you listen November 23, 2015
Search for a definition of ‘raga’ and you’ll find words such as ‘colour’ and ‘hue', you will also find... [MORE]

‘Wilderness End’ from Bearpark - decidedly different and distinct November 22, 2015
Bearpark, the latest solo project of multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Hirst, has released ‘Wilderness End’ a mixture of acoustic and ... [MORE]

‘Another Time Around’ from Silver Shoes “… you’re right there with them” November 22, 2015
After listening to the liquid harmonies and intricate, yet highly accessible instrumentation, of ‘Another Time Around’ from Texas-based ... [MORE]

‘Another Door’ from Brandon Grafius - reflection and contemplation mixed with meditation November 21, 2015
The press info that accompanied ‘Another Door’, the new album from Brandon Grafius states: “There are too many breakup albums in t... [MORE]

‘The Hebridean Sessions’ from Dàimh - classic dance tunes and songs November 16, 2015
There are some albums, and this is one of them, that utterly captivate with their absorbing presence. They have the power to move you from wherever ... [MORE]

‘Open Airs’ by Kyrre Slind - an eclectic and haunting presence November 16, 2015
Translating the atmospheres of places and the vibe of experiences gained along a journey into a musical travelogue, can if not carefully constructed... [MORE]

‘Woven’ by Jenna Moynihan - tradition with startling inventiveness and creativity November 15, 2015
There is something magical about the music made by Jenna Moynihan. Her new album, ‘Woven’ seamlessly blends the roots of Scottish f... [MORE]

‘Spaceships There Are’ - Marvin B. Naylor - an EP to give Salvador Dali a run for his money November 14, 2015
That somewhat eccentric exponent of left-field psych-influenced jazz-touched alternative folk, Marvin B. Naylor, has released a new EP. That it... [MORE]

‘Somebody’s Always Leaving’ – Sue Harlow - reflective smiles and realised tears November 14, 2015
Sue Harlow sings deeply emotive, heart-touching songs that lay down the essence acoustic Americana folk, and to find out just how fundamentally her ... [MORE]

‘From Without’ from Ferocious Dog - gut-wrenchingly powerful music November 06, 2015
Anytime you feel aurally constipated through constantly hearing variations on the same old theme, then treat yourself to a musical enema - and take ... [MORE]

‘Areas of High Traffic’ by Damien O’Kane “…destined to become a classic” November 06, 2015
With a fine understanding of tradition and an equally fine ability to expand with a contemporary touch, Damien O’Kane creates an ancient and m... [MORE]

‘Songs I Wrote’ by Papaphone - delivers on every level November 04, 2015
Around a year ago I first reviewed the work of Papaphone (Russell Perkins to his friends) and his album ‘Sonder’, now once again exercis... [MORE]

‘Ulaid’ – self titled album of sparkling Irish music November 04, 2015
Established musicians John McSherry, Dónal O’Connor and Seán Óg Graham have finally (about time many would say) pooled th... [MORE]

‘Dunt, Dunt, Dunt, Dunt’ by Gordon Duthie ­ - something interesting going on November 04, 2015
There’s no way to, nor any need to classify this music. Accepted for what it is, an alternative look through one man’s eyes and ears at ... [MORE]

‘Beg & Borrow’ – Battlefield Band - an album you should go out and buy November 03, 2015
So what’s there to say about Battlefield band that hasn’t already been said, well the answer is not much. Having been around so lon... [MORE]

‘Karma’ from Bellstop …alternative folk rock with Americana touches November 02, 2015
Plugged in folk, alternative folk rock, folked-up rock – call it what you will (they call it ‘folk and roll’) ‘Karma’ ... [MORE]

‘Sibling Revelry’ from The Casey Sisters “…will simply sweep you away” October 31, 2015
The intriguingly titled ‘Sibling Revelry’, the debut album from the class act that is The Casey Sisters, exudes the highest levels of ta... [MORE]

‘The Kingdom Belongs to a Child’ by Cashavelly Morrison - an album deserving recognition October 31, 2015
This is a profoundly moving and heart-rending piece of Americana folk. Deeply set in American roots traditions coupled with Appalachian balladic her... [MORE]

‘Already Home’ by The Rheingans Sisters - music of one mind October 30, 2015
Following their 2013 debut album ’Glad Gold Hearts’, The Rheingans Sisters, Rowan and Anna will release ‘Already Home’ in No... [MORE]

‘Reprobates’ from Blackbeard’s Tea Party "... heavy folk at its glorious best" October 21, 2015
With more bite than a cornered sewer-rat and the drive of a Detroit diesel, Blackbeard’s Tea Party turn out folk music that rocks, their album... [MORE]

‘Best Day’ by Mairearad and Anna - the heart of this album lies in the hearts of its creators October 21, 2015
Scotland has a delightful propensity for turning out musicians with the inspiration, technical wizardry and sumptuous talent to deliver musical expe... [MORE]

‘On Your Wings’ by The Seagulls - engenders a feeling of peace and tranquillity October 20, 2015
There’s an enigmatic, unworldly feel about ‘On Your Wings’ by The Seagulls (acoustic duo Nowell and Annette) that engenders a feel... [MORE]

‘Tales Of Eyam’ from Oka Vanga - adding vocals to the threads of an intricate musical web October 15, 2015
The utterly mesmerising guitar work that personifies folk and roots duo Oka Vanga (Angela Meyer and William Cox) produced ‘Pilgrim’ one ... [MORE]

‘Facebook Friend’ by Dave Ellis & Boo Howard - a ‘friendship’ you’ll want to continue October 15, 2015
The long-time partnership between Dave Ellis and Boo Howard consistently exudes high-quality musicianship, whatever genre or style they choose to ab... [MORE]

‘Coffee Creek’ from Slocan Ramblers - bluegrass with style October 14, 2015
Despite traditional images, nothing says that bluegrass pickers have to be wizened, bib and brace wearing old men from the Eastern United States. Af... [MORE]

‘Half Way Up’ debut EP from Rob Richings - the sense that you’re sharing something special October 13, 2015
There are are few more life-changing events than a close call with death. Three life-saving operations later, Rob Richings is, in his own words, &ls... [MORE]

‘Down The Line’ - Johny Corrigan - a distinct feel-good feeling flows through every track October 13, 2015
Certainly more rock than folk the eclectic ‘Down The Line’ from singer-songwriter Johny Corrigan clearly combines a myriad of influences... [MORE]

‘Better Late’ from Paul Davy – a wait well worth the waiting October 12, 2015
Deciding to title your album ‘Better Late’ implies a fairly long gestation. So, no surprise when you find out that Leeds-based singer so... [MORE]

‘Dark Desert Night’ by 3 hat trio - "Rare and endangered American Desert Music" October 12, 2015
3 hat trio declare on their web site ‘Rare and endangered American Desert Music’ well it’s certainly rare, but not meaning nearing... [MORE]

‘The Land of Time’ by Pete Morton “… lyrical edge that cuts like a knife” October 06, 2015
Certainly deserving a place among the definitively ‘different’ folk albums of 2014 was ‘The Frappin and Ramblin’ Pete Morton... [MORE]

‘About Time’ debut album from Andy May Trio - leading you through a maze of enchantment October 06, 2015
The website states: “High energy traditional music from Northumberland.” It’s certainly that and more. Three musicians playing wit... [MORE]

‘Save me A Seat’ from Kate Burkart - reflecting on the spaces and links between people September 30, 2015
There’s a mystic place I go to when music moves me. It’s a dreamlike condition where everything is certain. ‘Save me A Seat’... [MORE]

‘No One Knows That You’re Lost’ from Tina Refsnes - pure and rare gems scattered throughout September 29, 2015
The first album from Norwegian folk singer, Tina Refsnes, doesn’t sound too much like a debut album.  There’s competency of composi... [MORE]

‘I Love The Night’ by Richard Gilbert - a perfect soundtrack for a ‘road movie’ September 29, 2015
Richard Gilbert’s songs are image-rich narratives built around insightful lyrics and perfectly placed melodies that reflect on a range of emot... [MORE]

Self-titled EP from Jake Aaron – the complexity and involvement is dramatic September 29, 2015
Take a look at Jake Aaron’s website and you’ll find he calls himself “… a British guitarist, singer songwriter” &hell... [MORE]

‘Confessions of the Seasons’ from Liz and the Lofty Things - idiosyncratic yet fundamentally alluring September 28, 2015
Here’s an honest confession, until now I had not heard of Liz and the Lofty Things, now that could mean I’ve simply not had my radar tun... [MORE]

‘The Daemon & The Eidolon’ by Alex Roberts - classy original folk September 27, 2015
The depth of Alex Roberts’ songs is deceptive. There’s a man with laconic, almost world-weary vocal that ranges from endearing through s... [MORE]

'Pandemonium - The Essential Bellowhead' - absolutely everything you would expect September 27, 2015
Back in June this year, to pretty much widespread sorrow, Bellowhead announced the frenetic 11-year party was over. To ensure the farewell is memora... [MORE]

‘Watershed’ from Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin - inventive and imaginative September 27, 2015
There’s an essential and enduring beauty seeping through the music of Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. It’s driven by an inventive compo... [MORE]

‘Blow Out the Moon’ by The Furrow Collective - a rare slice of beauty September 24, 2015
Take four well-known British folk musicians, each with their own pedigrees of solo and band work, bring them together in an EP of quaintly entrancin... [MORE]

‘Short Stories and Tall Tales’ from Beggars Bridge - weave of tradition and edge of invention September 24, 2015
It seems an age, October 2012 in fact, since we reviewed the first album from Hull-based band, Beggar’s Bridge. Back then there were four of t... [MORE]

‘Magnificent Creatures’ by Gren Bartley - creates an enduring impression September 23, 2015
The latest album from Gren Bartley falls squarely into the ‘once heard stays forever’ bracket; and although perhaps not forever, this wi... [MORE]

'I Dreamt I Was A Bird’ by Lucy Ward - iridescent interpretations with a touch of theatre September 23, 2015
The iridescent interpretations that Lucy Ward brings to her compositions adds a touch of theatre that perfectly exhibits the aura of her songs. Whet... [MORE]

‘Didn’t He Ramble On’ - Glen Hansard - an intensity that’s impossible to ignore September 11, 2015
There are some artists that possess voices that express their songs in a way that takes them beyond the aural experience where most songs operate in... [MORE]

‘Wood Witch’ from The Hare and The Moon - an edge between menacing and entrancing September 11, 2015
There are only a few bands that get the spooky meanderings and otherworldly wanderings that raise the spectre of ‘dark psych-folk’ absol... [MORE]

‘Bricks & Dust’ by Greg Harper - songs that simply ‘hit the spot’ September 10, 2015
When he released ‘Well Spun Lies’ a friend told me to listen to the music of Greg Harper – the result was an album of penetratingl... [MORE]

Iron and Wood’ from Old Hannah - ‘leaves you wanting more’ September 10, 2015
Ireland has long produced music bathed in its history, then there’s Irish music that escapes the bounds of tradition or re-invents its own her... [MORE]

‘Shifted’ by Harpeth Rising - let the music carry you with its flow September 06, 2015
Don’t you just love it when a band simply gets better and better? Well, the latest album from Harpeth Rising proves this is a band steadily ex... [MORE]

‘The Bold Kerryman’ by Séamus Begley “… a voice that brings ‘life’ to every song” September 06, 2015
There’s not much to write about accordion player and singer Séamus Begley that hasn’t already been written. One of Ireland’... [MORE]

‘Southern Girl’ from Joanne Rand - distinctive and highly recognisable September 05, 2015
There’s a certainty about ‘Southern Girl’ from Joanne Rand - once you hear it there’s only one voice that could deliver the ... [MORE]

‘Into The Greenwood’ by GentleFolk - a spoken, sung and musical journey through ‘the old woods of England’ September 01, 2015
Nigel Hoyle (aka Nigel of Bermondsey) approaches folk from an independent, slightly left-field perspective blending folklore, history, story and son... [MORE]

‘The Lower Road’ from Paul Meehan – a language that everyone can understand September 01, 2015
The name Paul Meehan might not be immediately familiar, however there’s a long career behind him playing with a variety of bands such as The K... [MORE]

‘Frankie And The No Go Road’ – Rita Hosking - an involvement that will live with you a long time August 31, 2015
Albums like ‘Burn’ and Little Boat’ first drew me to Rita Hosking’s blend of American folk, and I’m pleased to tell yo... [MORE]

‘Glory Bound’ from The Grahams – “… drives with the power of a heavy locomotive” August 31, 2015
Americana, like folk, has enough definitions to make your head swim. The ‘what is’ and ‘what isn’t’ Americana debate r... [MORE]

‘Lions And Butterflies’ by The Portraits - thoughtful harmonies, sensitive instrumentation, subtle melodies August 31, 2015
Calling themselves an ‘independent alternative folk band’ The Portraits, release their 'home-made' album ‘Lions And Butterflies&rs... [MORE]

’Broken By Design’ from Kathleen Taylor - a fine piece of American folk August 29, 2015
There’s an immediate closeness to Kathleen Taylor’s music, driven by an unadorned approach and a simplicity of style that enables her so... [MORE]

‘Overground’ from Root and Branch - folk as it is known and folk as it evolves August 29, 2015
As long as new artists continue to flow into the folk stream the genre remains alive and well, it also exhibits a powerful vitality that reflects th... [MORE]

‘Papers In My Shoe’ by Kelly and Woolley – doing honor to Cajun roots August 26, 2015
As an American, I’m always wary of making statements like ‘these guys are new to me’ in case I receive a flood of complaints about... [MORE]

‘Upsurge’ by The Scott Wood Band – Scottish musical invention and freedom August 26, 2015
An EP released in 2012 first caught my attention, now The Scott Wood Band have increased from the original trio to a five-piece, widened and expande... [MORE]

‘Esteesee’ by Ange Hardy – taking poetry, lyric and music somewhere essentially wonderful August 24, 2015
There’s a tendency for ‘concept albums’ to have a short life, they stand a few ‘repeats’ but as their originality fade... [MORE]

‘I’m Walkin’ Here’ from Rab Noakes - all you need is precisely what you get August 24, 2015
Rab Noakes has what you could call a ‘lived in’ face. He also has a voice that could be termed ‘lived through’. In either ca... [MORE]

’Mountain Meeting’ Bridget Marsden & Leif Ottosson - a fascinating experience August 23, 2015
’Mountain Meeting’ evokes atmospheres and images, soundcsapes wash over as music creates pictures rising and falling though original com... [MORE]

‘An Seisiún’ from Marie Fielding - rejoicing in the musical intimacy of ‘the session’ August 19, 2015
The feeling of connected closeness created by ‘An Seisiún’ (‘The Session’) is strong, its enveloping involvement is t... [MORE]

‘From Here’ - Stick In The Wheel - ‘full-fat folk dished out in double-strength doses’ August 19, 2015
Folk without a safety net, rough as it comes and brimming with life. Not a fine filter in sight, then thinking about it, not a coarse filter either.... [MORE]

‘Remembering’ Ross Ainslie – fashioning utterly mood enhancing music August 18, 2015
It’s not unusual for an artist to reflect themselves through their music – directions, experiences, changes, memories - sometimes such r... [MORE]

‘Terre Rouge’ by Vishtèn - musicianship that personifies ‘style’ August 14, 2015
Vishtèn take a rich slice of Canadian roots music driven by the influences of the French-Canadian regions of Eastern Canada, add their o... [MORE]

‘The Arrow and The Song’ from Jerome Taheny – distinctive guitar and warm toned vocals August 13, 2015
The road of the long-travelled voyager, the Irish troubadour, is marked with the music of the great, the good and the well known. It’s also a ... [MORE]

‘The Waking’ from Noctambule – poetry and music that exerts a powerful hold August 12, 2015
There’s a certain bravery in exploring the whims and capriciousness of time, a subject with limitless vastness and an unconquerable dispositio... [MORE]

‘I Crossed The Sea’ - an EP of note from Storywheel August 12, 2015
A little bit of enlightenment for the uninitiated – there’s a stringed instrument called the ‘oud’, that traces into Europe ... [MORE]

‘A Carousel for Fools’ The Mather Robinson Band “… prime cut of unadulterated English folk rock” August 04, 2015
Most of what could or should be said about the album ‘A Carousel for Fools’ from The Mather Robinson Band, has been committed to print. ... [MORE]

‘Time Ashore’ by Kirsty Bromley - roots run deep while shoots grow strong August 03, 2015
The enduring span of the English folk tradition continues to reveal young musicians ready to interpret their heritage, expand on their inspirations ... [MORE]

‘Long Time Gone’ from Kinfolk - words to make you sit up and pay attention August 03, 2015
Kinfolk are Brian McDaid and Gerry Power with fiddler Michael Sanderson, and their album ‘Long Time Gone’ is an amalgam of contemporary ... [MORE]

‘Comfortable Hatred’ by Greg Hancock - eccentricities, let-downs, expectations and regrets July 27, 2015
According to the PR blurb Greg Hancock is a regular performer on the Exeter music scene, be that as it may, with his brand of lush, intricate finger... [MORE]

‘Conflict Tourism’ Gilmore & Roberts - a sound that remains unquestionably their own July 27, 2015
‘Conflict Tourism’, the fourth album from Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts is due for release on 18 September 2015 and it’s some... [MORE]

‘If …’ by Chapin-Wickwar - so close to gorgeous the result is exquisite July 21, 2015
There’s a subtle attraction to the debut album ‘If…’ from acoustic duo Chapin-Wickwar. Within it’s lusciously deliver... [MORE]

‘Let It Be’ from Simon Murphy - an accomplished album from a talented artist July 21, 2015
Don’t you just love it when an album carries you along on a wave of innate energy, passion and commitment – well that’s what you g... [MORE]

‘A Good American Life’ by Ed Dupas - songs from nowhere other than the spirit of Americana July 21, 2015
Certain songwriters encompass all there is to hear about personal experiences, places they’ve lived and what life feels like to them, then whe... [MORE]

‘Deck’ from folk musician Mark Gamon - this is poetry added to music July 20, 2015
As a term ‘contemporary folk’ irks with me, as does the overused ‘folk fusion’, however to describe music there’s a ne... [MORE]

‘August in December’ by Vicky Harris - there’s a point these songs have to make July 20, 2015
Vicky Harris has released ‘August in December’ and it’s the warmest, most endearing composition I’ve heard in a long time. W... [MORE]

‘Waiting On You’ from Sam Lewis - immerse yourself in its embrace July 18, 2015
The first thing that strikes you about Sam Lewis is the voice, a laid back sound that evokes cream sliding over black coffee, dark bourbon rippling ... [MORE]

‘Domestic Eccentric’- Old Man Luedecke - their stories will always stand solid July 18, 2015
There’s a new album ‘Domestic Eccentric’ from Canadian singer-songwriter Chris Luedecke, better known as Old Man Luedecke. It&rsqu... [MORE]

‘Land of Hope and Fury’ – Various Artists - songs that hit hard, precisely as intended July 14, 2015
'Land of Hope and Fury’ is both a project and an album from Union Music Store, focusing on the power of music and song to unite people. Inevit... [MORE]

‘Under The Rose’ from The Albion Band – a lost gem unearthed July 14, 2015
Talking Elephant have released another ‘classic’ with the remastered ‘Under The Rose’ from The Albion Band. Now, it’s ... [MORE]

‘Danger’ from Swinging The Lead - originals steering comfortably alongside tradition July 14, 2015
Built on the Clyde in 1869, ‘Cutty Sark’ is one of the last and fastest tea clippers before sails gave way to steam,... [MORE]

‘Bridges’ from The Idolins - a band with a sound that’s indisputably their own July 08, 2015
A couple of years ago, I reviewed an EP called ‘Live At Paper Stone’ as “… beguiling contemporary folk”, and followin... [MORE]

‘Tender Gold & Gentle Blue’ from Red River Dialect - supremely expansive and eminently listenable July 06, 2015
From first to last, the forthcoming album from Red River Dialect (due for release 31 July) takes you back to a time when psychedelic folk was someth... [MORE]

‘Spanker Boom’ by She Shanties - an entirely different look at a great heritage July 06, 2015
Wherever they dwell in this country most people have heard shanty-men plying their wares across this nation’s musical landscape. These exclusi... [MORE]

'Mountain Rose' from The Gothard Sisters “… enduring line of heritage and advance to the future” July 06, 2015
Celtic music travels well. The natural roving instinct in the Celtic blood has sent its generations across the world. Along with their restless spir... [MORE]

‘Pop Songs for Elk’ - Hill Folk Noir - words don’t exist to describe this musical explosion July 05, 2015
Traditional American folk on speed, grunge hillbilly swamp music, psychedelic delta blues or maybe punk fuelled old-time – at this point I&rsq... [MORE]

‘Hold You Like a Harness’ from Hip Hatchet - everyman songs that tell everyday tales July 05, 2015
The first time I heard Hip Hatchet was a while ago now in another country, a local radio station playing a track off the ‘Joy and Better Days&... [MORE]

‘Old Paint’ from Adam Hill - build new directions on old foundations July 01, 2015
Making a distinction between ‘old and ‘new’ is usually down to one being as ‘fresh as paint’ while the other has a dow... [MORE]

‘Clype’ - self titled debut album with a meditative magic at work throughout July 01, 2015
Now, pay attention, no snap decisions, this one will grow on you. When it does, and it will, you’re going to find yourself rewarded with some ... [MORE]