Irish Songwriter Marc Carroll previews his 4th solo album, ‘Stone Beads & Silver’.Recorded in Los Angeles and Woodstock during the summer of 2012, Carroll drafted in a host of high ranking musicians to play on ‘Stone Beads & Silver’, and for the first time hired a defacto producer – Grammy Award winner Chris Testa (Jimmy Eat World, Band Of Horses, Dixie Chicks) to work alongside him on the sessions. “I liked Chris when I met him and I think we worked well together. I thought it would be interesting to let someone else in on the act. “
Filling the ranks of Marc’s studio band are amongst the best working in American music today, including Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket), Nelson Bragg & Probyn Gregory (Brian Wilson), McKenzie Smith (Midlake) as well as legendary former Bob Dylan sideman and Levon Helm band leader, Larry Campbell – the album marks another turning point in Carroll’s long and varied career.
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01. Hold On For Me (feat. Ashley Brooks)
04. No One Looks As Good as You in That (feat. Ashley Brooks)
05. Let It Out
06. What Changes Us
07. Starry Eyes
10. The Door
Originally starting out as alt-pop three piece, Dear Reader exists now as the solo project of South African born Cherilyn Macneil. Rivonia is technically the third album from Dear Reader, but this record is the first solely produced and recorded by Macneil herself. Mainly recorded in her apartment with friends and family supplying additional instrumentation, the end result of the project is one of raw and natural beauty. To describe the record as a simple alt-pop record would in all honestly not be justified. The album is more of an emotionally honest and heart felt tale of Macneil’s innocence as a child, growing up in the trouble ridden and violent surroundings of Johannesburg.
With the passionately played piano lines, epic trumpet inclusions and echoed, and at some points operatic vocals, middle of the record track ‘Back From The Dead’ offers an air of Regina Specktor’s musical poetry. This melodramatic sound is heard throughout the album. Album opener ‘Down Under, mining’ sets the scene for the rest of the album, the basic instrumentation of a drum beat, belled percussion, ominous monk like chanting and Macneil’s accentuated accent frames the unusual lyrical content, the song is simply like the title states, about her brother who used to mine for gold.
Track ‘Already Are’ hears the inclusion of an almost Willy Mason esque deep male vocal, this teamed with the harsh bursts of violins, creates a dark yet relaxing vibe. This dark energy is played upon throughout, specifically in the record finale ‘Victory’. This almost religious chanting sound is simplistic yet affective, a fitting way to end an honest, intimate and heartfelt look into Macneil’s thoughts.
The album is affective in its simplistic instrumentation, yet complicated, deep and diverse in its lyrical content. Macneil’s voice carries the record; the anger and emotion in the vocals derives from her own experience. Rivonia is simplistic and intimate; in essence, it’s everything it needs to be.
Wayne Hancock’s been making great albums since he introduced himself with 1995’s Thunderstorms and Neon Signs. His vocal similarity to Hank Sr. hasn’t abated a bit in the subsequent eighteen years, nor has his fealty to the basic elements of Williams’ brand of twangy honky-tonk and haunted sorrow. But Hancock is more a man out […]