Sharron Kraus is a singer, musician and songwriter who both defiantly recasts and tenderly cherishes the folk tradition. Her songs tell intricate tales of rootless souls, dark secrets and earthy joys, the lyrics plucked as sonorously as her acoustic guitar. Utilising voice, field recordings and sparse instrumentation, her new project, ‘Pilgrim Chants & Pastoral Trails’ attempts to evoke the music embodied within the landscapes of Mid Wales. In Sharron’s own words :
“Driving along the Elan Valley from Rhayader to Aberystwyth one sunny day I had the overwhelming sense that there was music contained in the landscape, waiting to be discovered. I decided to move to Mid-Wales, to a quiet place just north of that valley and try to tap into that music and draw it out. Over a period of two years I walked and drove around the area, criss-crossing the landscape, stopping wherever the magic of the place was too strong to ignore. I took a minidisc recorder with me and recorded the birds, streams and waterfalls, the animals, the wind, and the jet planes that sliced through the quiet. I listened and absorbed as much as possible and then went home and recorded. My initial aim was to record a soundtrack for my own experiences, something to listen to as I drove along the winding mountain roads or walked out in the hills at night, but as the project developed and other musicians added to it, the pieces moved out of the realm of the purely personal and became soundscapes that captured something of this place, unlocked an enchanted world. Musical reference points include Eno’s ambient works, Richard Skelton’s landscape-inspired pieces, Mike Oldfield’s ‘Hergest Ridge’, Popol Vuh’s soundtrack to Herzog’s ‘Nosferatu’ and the music of the Third Ear Band, Fursaxa, Plinth, the latter two being people I’ve collaborated with.”
‘Unfinished Business’, the penultimate track on The Western Sizzlers ‘For Ol’ Times Sake’, neatly summarises self exiled British musical maverick Kevin Jennings’s situation. A former catalyst for the Georgia Satellites (he got them signed up in the UK) and briefly the manager of the Black Crowes (though that was subject to a legal challenge), he is a southern roots rocker at heart in search of a vehicle for his songs.
He’s a mover and shaker whose musical pedigree also includes Jason & The Scorchers, The Stray Cats and Kris Kristofferson. The question is how to bottle the genie? The country rock opener ‘One More Beer’ sets the standard for some fine rocking and wry lyrics on 11 self penned country roots rockers and one cover.
‘For Ol’ Times Sake’ is shot though with sledgehammer riffs and Nashville yearning, all loosely shaped by various guests including Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke, bassist Jeff Bakos (Jason & The Scorchers) and Georgia Satellites guitarist Rick Richards.
The band’s name apparently came from an early 80’s Satellites Monday night residency in Atlanta, where guitarist Rick Richards spontaneously christened the band. The name didn’t stick, but whether by design or alcohol fuelled creativity it struck the perfect balance between country and rock, pre-dating what was to become alt. country and the perfect choice for this crossover project.
The Western Sizzlers aren’t so much a lo-fi, garage combo as country tinged, bar room rockers with a live in the studio feel. 3 decades on from their famous residency and one song in, you could be forgiven for thinking the sizzling, slide-led rocker ‘Keep Smiling’ was a previously undiscovered Georgia Satellites outtake. The band launch into it with juggernaut intensity, up in the mix vocals and distorted slide.
Friends and fellow Grammy winners, Ricky Skaggs andBruce Hornsby together with Skaggs’ award winning band, Kentucky Thunder, unite on brand new tunes and traditional bluegrass classics. Live release features a mix of new tunes, Bluegrass treasures and an expansive version of Bruce Hornsby’s hit The Way It Is. Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby tour dates in October 2013.
The Red Dirt Rangers are pleased to announce delivery of their newest offering, Lone Chimney. The record features 12 original tunes, one very tasty cover, and a slew of talented friends to help them along the way. Blues, bluegrass, honky tonk, funk, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll are all present here, but the Rangers put […]
In 1998, Fantasy released Reckless Abandon/Bandit in a Bathing Suit, which contained two complete albums — Reckless Abandon (1977, originally released on Fantasy) and Bandit in a Bathing Suit (1978, originally released on Fantasy) — by David Bromberg on one compact disc. The song “Beware Brother Beware,” originally on Reckless Abandon, was omitted from this […]
The roller coaster ride that is being in a rock and roll band never ends. Hogjaw is about to take its fourth ride with its upcoming release, “If It Ain’t Broke” which will be released this summer June 18th, 2013. Expect the album to be just that – short for, “if it ain’t broke, don’t […]
The new Joni Harms CD called Harms Way is absolutely one of her best. You can tell she poured her heart and soul into making her latest creation. Just as if she nurtured it from its infant stage to its adult life ready to leave the nest. It’s not just another cowboy music CD. It’s […]
Steve Goodman was a special performer and songwriter. His unassuming manner, sterling musicianship, sense of humor and exquisite songwriting made him a standout both in concert and in the studio. This concert is a fine tribute from artists who loved him. From his bosom buddy John Prine comes John’s “Souvenirs,” Steve’s great “My Old Man,” […]