“The joyous, ebullient music of Matuto merges the forro folkloric music of Brazil with the sounds of all-American bluegrass. Violin, accordion and a range of Brazilian percussion give this band, founded by South Carolina native Clay Ross, a seductively cross-cultural appeal.”
— Chicago Tribune
There’s something so reassuringly cosy about the music of Alex Highton, the singer-songwriter who briefly flirted with fame three years ago when movie star Ashton Kutcher emerged as an unlikely fan.
His latest album Woodditton Wives Club, loosely based on his own move from the city to the village of Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, is as English as, well, a visit to a Cambridgeshire village.Like an aspiring Ray Davies the album charts Highton’s search for a Shangri-La away from the crime and loneliness of city life in rural Cambridgeshire. He even sings like Davies at times, but mostly in the folk tradition of Nick Drake or fellow Liverpudlian Paul McCartney.
Rob Young’s excellent study of British folk music Electric Eden is full of versions of Highton, who over the decades from Holst to Vaughn Williams to Richard Thompson and the Incredible String Band, searched for a quieter more traditional part of Britain away from the city. On the evidence of this album he is perhaps deserving of a mention in an updated version of the book. From instrumentation to songwriting to Highton’s endearing voice, this album is beautifully arranged.
Christina’s songwriting is exceptionally strong on this album. At first glance she appears to have abandoned her conceptual work for something a little more conventional. Unlike Masque Femine or A Blossom Fell, Texas is populated with familiar structures and strategies. There are chorus-like repetitions, strongly stated lyrics, virtuosic guitar solos, and big, muscular chords that echo with rhythmic urgency. These conventions make the music sound more communal and create a feeling of intimacy with Carter; instead of being driven by opaque personal references and conceptual schematics, Texas Blues Working moves under the impetus of familiar song-craft and plainly stated feelings.
Tracks: 01 – Tom’s Diner 02 – Luka 03 – Ironbound-Fancy Poultry 04 – In the Eye 05 – Night Vision 06 – Solitude Standing 07 – Calypso 08 – Language 09 – Gypsy 10 – Wooden Horse-Caspar Hauser’s Song 11 – Marlene on the Wall 12 – Left of Center 13 – Tombstone 14 […]
Three giants of music, Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash), Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg (Black Flag) have come together in the new blues-rock group The Rides. The album was inspired by and is an homage to the 1968 album Super Session recorded by Stills, Goldberg, Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, Harvey Brooks […]
A collection of Celtic traditional and original songs ranging from romantic and fanciful to dark and brooding. Faery lore, lively jigs, and haunting ballads of pirates, murder, love, death, and the quest for poetic inspiration, sung by a feisty redhead. Sharon Knight – Lead & Harmony Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, Bodhran. Djembe, Percussion Winter – […]
Prior to Loneliest in the Morning, Julie Doiron was part of the influential Canadian band Eric’s Trip. In the later days and eventually at the end of the band, Doiron released a 7″ and a full-length record of material on her own label, Sappy Records, under the name Broken Girl. Loneliest in the Morning is […]
On his songs for Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young had demonstrated an eclecticism that ranged from the rock of “Mr. Soul” to the complicated, multi-part arrangement of “Broken Arrow.” On his debut solo album, he continued to work with composer/arranger Jack Nitzsche, with whom he had made “Expecting to Fly” on the Buffalo Springfield Again album, […]