Hemifrån

week.42

Alex Lopez "Slowdown" (MarEmil Records)

"Alex Lopez' new release ‘Slowdown’ is not only an impressive collection of memorable songs, but an emotional story of loss and redemption, set to a compelling musical soundtrack, a dozen of powerful rock, funk and blues songs, highly recommended....."

- Philip Verhaege / Keys & Chords -


"Florida based singer songwriter Alex Lopez has released an album that is dealing with the problems related to addiction, and the difficult struggle to get back on the right path, 'Slow Down' contains 14 self penned rock and blues tracks that will guide the listeners to the light at the end of the long and dark tunnel, which everyone's life sometimes can be."

- Eric Schuurmans / Rootstime -


"A really great rock and blues album, vocally convincing and solid instrumentally....."

- Mike Penard / Radio I.S.A. FM -

"Some 70’s bluesy pastiches can be heard on Alex Lopez' ' Slowdown', with some positive retro approach, as well, Alexis offering up some really pretty listenable material, very well produced and recorded....."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -


"The sound of the week!"

- Benny Sörensen / Musik Fra Kyst Til Kyst -

 

week.41

Neila Dar  "Son Of The Stars"  (Neila Dar)

"'This is an overwhelmingly comfortable cool and jazzy experience, perfect muzak for an 'in the clubs, late night, deep crimson velvet, end of the evening' vibe, dare we say seduction music? If the album is as they say, 'all about love, freedom and adventure', then mission accomplished....."

-Mike Ainscoe/Fatea Magazine -


"Neila Dar's 'Son Of The Stars'  is a very pleasing and promising start, and hopefully predicts a lot more to come....."

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


"Neila Dar’s sound brings unity to the complexity of reality, using music as a medium to describe it in the simplest way, the soothing textures, enchanting vocals, and captivating grooves give birth to a sound they call vintage avantgarde, where the known and the unpredictable sit together in consonance."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"Brand new album 'Son Of The Stars' is a very strong debut of this promising singer songwriter duo....."

- Patrick van de Wiele/Keys & Chords -


week.40

Craig Cassler  "Find My Way"  (Craig Cassler Music)

"Boston based, San Diego born, singer songwriter, Craig Cassler embraces a variety of influences, from reggae and motown, folk and punk, the end result being an often moody and bluesy americana stew, recalling The Eagles, southern boogie, and even touches of appalachian territory....."

- Mike Davies / Fatea Magazine -


"Boston based singer songwriter Craig Cassler does not really surprise us anymore with his 5th album ‘Find My Way’, as he delivers very professionally performed folk, country and americana tunes that once again demonstrate his excellent skills and talents as singer and composer of timeless songs.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Many musical influences can be heard in Craig Cassler's music, but in the end, we surely find his own musical signature....."

- Mike Penard / Radio I.S.A. FM -

 

week.39

Geoff Alpert  "Open Your Heart"  (Geoff Alpert Music)

"The sound of smooth jazz just got a whole lot smoother with the release of ’Open Your Heart’ by jazz trombone ace Geoff Alpert, who makes his trombone sing sweetly, and it almost sounds like a trumpet…..”

- Robert S Silverstein /mwe3.com - 


"Geoff Alpert’s 'Open Your Heart' is a 10 tune tapestry which lovingly places the trombone in a front and center position it rarely enjoys in the present musical landscape."

Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


”Very, very pleasing 10 track smooth jazz album from US trombonist, composer, arranger and band leader Geoff Alpert, it’s is debut solo release, and judging by the quality of the music this man makes here, doubtfully his last.”

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


”This is an excellent debut, and I wonder why Geoff hasn’t released this before!”

- Patrick van de Wiele / Keys & Chords -


“The sound of Geoff Alpert‘s trombone in the 10 laid back played, jazzy tracks on his album ‘Open Your Heart’ will give you a feeling and mood of relaxation and joy. There are 2 excellent, into jazz, converted covers on this record with Michael Jackson’s song ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and the 70's hit song ‘Don’t Ask My Neighbors’ from soul sisters trio The Emotions.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Geoff Alpert’s 'Open Your Heart' is a 10 tune tapestry which lovingly places the trombone in a front and center position it rarely enjoys in the present musical landscape."

- Arnaud Leger / Westcoast Rendezvous -


"Geoff Alpert is  strong arranger, and it's also evident that most of the 10 songs from this album posseses enough melodic lines and phrases."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -

 

week.38

Lesley Kernochan  "A Calm Sun"  (Maple Syrup Music/Make My Day Records)

"I was captivated within about 30 seconds of this album, where Lesley Kernochan sounds a little bit like Nanci Griffith getting jazzy, or maybe Madeleine Peyroux, and has not only written all the songs here, she also lays down some terrific groves over the course of the album....."

- Duncan Warwick / Country Music People -


"Lesley Kernochan has the looks of a joyful and happy person, but on her latest album, 'A Calm Sun', she explores country and folk songs in which the lyrics are ranging from very serious to joyful, heartfelt emotional and intensely sad, her voice reminds me of other female country stars like Eilen Jewell and Tift Merritt, a comparison that Lesley will for sure be happy about, she deserves a permanent place amongst such top artists and she will hopefully stick to this lovely music style."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


”I love this album, the irristible charm of Lesley Kernochan’s voice on these killing melodies, so, so good, makes me feel like I’m in heaven…..”

- Mike Penard / Radio I.S.A. FM


week.37

Rob Jungklas  "Blackbirds"  (Madjack Records)

"This remarkable album might not earn Rob Jungklas a seat on the pew in the congregation, but it certainly warrants a prayer cushion in the church of your CD collection....."

- Mike Davies / Fatea Magazine -


"This is a special artist with either a skewed view of the universe or just pure originality in the songwriting, I choose the latter, a very impressive release and highly recommended."

- Paul McGee / Lonesome Highway -

”Rob Jungklas’ ’Blackbirds” has a rich soundscape and a voice that makes you daydream, its kind of a musical romanticism, a subtile beauty…..”

- Mike Penard / Radio I.S.A. FM -

 

week.36

Russell Joslin  "Hey Mathematician"  (2+2 Records)

"4 releases since 2007 for this English songwriter who has written all 14 songs on this latest album, the sound varies from rock to folk, and this is certainly an angry artist in the lyrics on some of the numbers....."

- Paul McGee / Lonesome Highway -


"London based Russell Joslin affords engaging listening on his often politically driven songs of the digitalised world around him, here addressing notions of love and dissent."

- Mike Davies / Fatea Magazine -


"Russell Joslin is a cool artist with something to say and he says it very well, indeed!"

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


"In 'Hey Mathematician', Russell Joslin has created a personal folk album which truly speaks about its wider time and place, using the best of London's assets to create the sound and modern society's darkness for material."

- David Vousden / Red Guitar Music -


"This is a highly recommended folkrock album to check out!"

- Gabor Kleinbloesem / Strutterzine -


"Russell Joslin connects in 14 folk songs, in his very own way, love and rebellion....."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


"4th album from London based singer songwriter Russell Joslin, contains 14 alternative folk tracks, combining social engagement with pure love songs, of which the latter were merely meant for Sarah McCaig, his partner in crime and the love of his life, she provides harmony vocals on half of the tracks on this album, that balances gently between protest songs and emotional declarations of eternal love."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

 


week.35

Aaron English  "American [Fever] Dream"  (Eroni Songs)

"Seattle based piano man Aaron English has been steadily building a buzz in Europe and the US, thanks to 4 self released albums and regular touring, both as a solo artist and with The Aaron English Band....."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"A very quirky mix of pop, soul and light rock wrapped in gorgeous melodies, an album that stimulates your musical taste, really one to discover!"

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


"Seattle based piano man Aaron English has been steadily building a buzz in Europe and the US, thanks to 4 self released albums and regular touring, both as a solo artist and with The Aaron English Band."

- Arnaud Leger / Westcoast Rendezvous -


"“Aaron English is a musician that succeeds to reconcile melodies and song lyrics in a unique way with melancholy and catchy musicality, he is a promising talent that should quickly be discovered by the comtemporary music industry, through his latest album ‘American [Fever] Dream."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Seattle based piano man Aaron English has been steadily building a buzz in Europe and the US, thanks to 4 self released albums and regular touring, both as a solo artist and with The Aaron English Band."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -


week.34

Kaurna Cronin  "Euphoria, Delirium & Loneliness"  (Songs & Whispers)

"Kaurna Cronin's 'Euphoria, Delirium & Loneliness' is a very pleasing and varied, poetic collection of moods, ideas and tales, this is an artist well worth discovering or getting reacquainted with.....

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


"The 10 songs on this fine album do largely fall into the cited folk tradition of storytelling and Kaurna Cronin paints detailed pictures of his characters, their situations and their woes."

- Mark Nenadic / Americana UK -


"Apparently Kaurna Cronin is very successful in Australia, and with the right exposure and touring, the world could easily join in."

- David Hintz / FolkWorld -


"Merely 24 years young, the Australian singer songwriter Kaurna Cronin has just delivered his 4th full length CD since his official debut album ‘Glass Fool’ in 2015. ‘Euphoria, Delirium & Loneliness’ is without any doubt his best record yet, with beautiful songs in which he describes with touching poetic lyrics the emotions and the moods that are appearing in the album title. Our expectations about his future work are very high, but that is mainly due to the excellent songs that this promising artist has placed on this splendid record".

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"With a strong emphasis on grand storytelling, Kaurna Cronin creates a unique blend of narrative style folk songs, coupled with group harmonies, catchy hooks and energetic folk jams, which have won him accolades and audiences all over the world."

- Arnaud Leger / Westcoast Rendezvous -


week.33

Sandra Marielle  "Six Stories, Seven Years"  (S.A.M.A. 2016)

"Sandra Marielle has more than achieved her goals with the 20 minutes of 'Six Stories, Seven Years', and I very much welcome a full album as soon as possible, this is a real singer with a true gift....."

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -

"A mix of light poppy songs and beautiful acoustic serene songs....."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


"If she really needed 7 years to write these 6 songs for her EP ‘Six Stories, Seven Years’, then it will take quiet a while before we can expect to see the release of a full length CD from Malmö’s singer songwriter Sandra Marielle, but only time can tell!"

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Sandra Marielle is an exceptional artist and singer who with her deep sense of expression, and emotion and feeling to the music, and the ability to move the listener, to reach out to and connect with her audience at live performances."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -


week.32

June Star  "Sleeping With The Lights On"  (Andrew Grimm)

"This Baltimore outfit make a wonderful noise, Andrew Grimm sounds too cool for school as a singer, and this material fits him like a glove, and I say it again, he is an exceptional songwriter, I am amazed that this man and this band are not filling stadiums and selling lorry loads of albums, I really am, a real find....."

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


"June Star is a great band that reflects a lot of variation between its musical style, what a pleasant surprise!"

- Philip Verhaege / Keys & Chords -


“Baltimore’s altcountry and americana band June Star is the alter ego of singer songwriter Andrew Grimm since almost 20 years, and on their 12th album ‘Sleeping With The Lights On’ we can hear reworked versions of some of the old hit songs of this band, complemented by new songs penned by the special voiced band leader.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


week.31

Ani DiFranco  "Binary"  (Righteous Babe Records)

A new album from Ani DiFranco has to be cause for celebration, not least because she is one of the most creative songwriters out there, and her music always engages and informs, this lastest release, ’Binary’ is right up there with some of her best work, folkfunk at its best…..”

- Rick Bayles / Americana UK -

”’Binary’ is a confident and mature record, which never loses that righteous anger that gives much of Ani DiFranco's music its vibrant edge, frankly, the world could do with more great records like this.”

- Adam Jenkins / Fatea Magazine-

"The most remarkable thing about an album like 'Binary' is that Ani DiFranco still does all of those things, 20 albums later and has never let up, she’s still right about everything but, even after all this time, she isn’t at all jaded or ready to give in."

- David Vousden / Red Guitar Music -

"'Binary' is an album that both builds on Ani DiFranco’s established strengths and takes them to a new level."

- Mike Davies / Roots & Branches -

”Ani DiFranco continues to push forward with creative efforts that defy simple categorization, the usual combination of playfulness and thoughtfulness makes this record a real pleasure to be with.”

- David Hintz / FolkWorld -

“The records from american artist Ani DiFranco are usally not easy listening, but the quality of her albums is constantly of the highest level, and that is now also valid for her 20th release, ‘Binary’, on which she got the help from famous artists like Maceo Parker, Gail Ann Dorsey and Justin Vernon, a.k.a. Bon Iver."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


week.30

Lynne Hanson  "Uneven Ground" (Song Shop Records/Continental Record Services)

Without a doubt, this is beautiful music that everyone will enjoy, which is mostly thanks to the strong vocals of Lynne Hanson, fans of singer songwriter pop rock music will love this for sure, definitely recommended.....”

- Gabor Kleinbloesem / Strutterzine -


“There are jazzy songs, emotional folk ballads, blues rock tracks and americana rock songs assembled on 'Uneven Ground', the 6th album from Canadian singer songwriter Lynne Hanson, more than enough choice options for every music fan, and all to be found on what may at a later stage be recalled as one of the highlights in the successful musical career of this artist.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


”When I opened this package and saw the new CD of Lynne Hanson, it made my day, so good to get this, a real musical gem, she is a treasure, a profilic artist, everything is so perfect for me, as I am a real fan…..”

- Mike Penard / Radio I.S.A. FM -


week.29

Ad Vanderveen  "Worlds Within"  (SongSense) 

"'Worlds Within' represents the latest chapter in a 40 year career that’s seen Ad Vanderveen quietly plying his craft for a dedicated group of fans and devotees, suffice to say that those looking for a calming respite from a chaotic world could do no better than to allow Vanderveen’s songs to serve as the soundtrack....."

- Lee Zimmerman / No Depression -

"Ad Vanderveen has earned a reputation as one of the finest singer songwriters in the contemporary folk and roots genre....."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"It must be said that this 30th album by Ad Vanderveen will once again bear witness to his great workmanship and professionalism, and certainly also as a beautiful addition to your ever growing record collection....."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

 

week.28

Born 53  "A Talent Unrecognized"  (Big Note Production)

"The sound of the week!"

- Benny Sörensen / Musik Fra Kyst Til Kyst -


"Over the years, Born 53 has developed its own style, rooted in blues, with a mixture of various pop, rock and folk influences, from different parts of the world."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"Born 53's previous album was a Bob Dylan covers album, but now they present us a collection of great originals, the music is rootsy rock with americana influences, sometimes quite diverse actually, but always bringing strong melodies."

- Gabor Kleinbloesem / Strutterzine -


"The album title ‘A Talent Unrecognized’ certainly does not refer to the musical skills of Swedish Born 53, it is already their 5th album, and maybe also their best performance until now, with 10 original compositions and 2 nicely selected cover versions of songs from Bob Dylan and Prefab Sprout, this album has become very dynamic and enjoyable.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


week.27

Elliott Murphy  "Prodigal Son"  (Blue Rose Records/Route 61 Music)

"In short, 'Prodigal Son' is one of the finest and most intense albums of  these last years, on which Elliott Murphy confirms all his uniqueness in mixing rock and poetry".....

- Salvatore Esposito / Blogfoolk -


“'Prodigal Son' looks immediately as his most sparkling and inspired album in many, many years, Elliott Murphy makes a feline jump and, thanks to  the production of his son Gaspard, gives a sudden reversal with these 9 songs, rich of electric an acoustic nuances , more ambitious in sound and arrangements."

- Andrea Furlan / Mescalina -


“'Prodigal  Son' and these new 9 original songs completely satisfy the expectation that natually comes at each of Murphy’s releases, this one  finds  him in a state of grace, inspired, passionate and romantic like ever before, his classic style of accomplished balladeer, his way of writing, the framework on which he builds his songs, are by now a trademark, unique and recognizable, adding to them a great sound and valuable arrangements, that easily enlarge his talent of storyteller in music."

- Fabio Cerbone / Roots Highway -

 

week.26

Annie Gallup  "Lucy Remembers Her Father"  (Gallway Bay Music)

"In what is, unquestionably, her finest solo work to date, Annie Gallup, one half of Hat Check Girl, has crafted an intimate, conceptual storytelling album about the past, mortality and the power and value of memory....."

- Mike Davies / folking.com -

"With minimal musical accompaniment, the sometimes declaimed lyrics and the mysteriously created sound, Annie Gallup draws attention to her sublime songwriting talent."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


"The mysterious aspect in the singing and the spoken word songs from Californian singer songwriter Annie Gallup grabs the listeners attention from start to end, her latest album ‘Lucy Remembers Her Father’ is once again an album to cherish and it will provide you with ease, modesty and intimacy.“ 

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"'Lucy Remembers Her Father' is the 11th solo recording from accomplished song poet Annie Gallup. Gallup layers her vocals, guitars lapsteel, Peter Gallway’s bass, and very little else, to give this album a shimmering beauty and smoldering immediacy."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -



week.25

West Of Eden  "No Time Like The Past - A Collection"  (West Of Music)

"West Of Eden, with the magnificent voices of Jenny and Martin Schaub, has become representative for non British bands that can both compose and perform this typical British folk music in a marvellous way, our sincere congratulations and cheers for another 20 years of great entertainment and fun for the band and their many fans....."

Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Here it is, 20 years of music making in one package, highly recommended, the cover and the book inside alone is worth the price of the record."

- Lars Nilsson / Green Man Review -


"There's something really honest, passionate and unpretentious about this superb band and these excellent songs, a great taster if you do not know their music already, and an essential addition to your collection if you do."

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


"The Sound Of The Week!"

- Benny Sörensen / Musik Fra Kyst Til Kyst -


"Just outside the mainstream limelight, but with a faithful and growing audience, West Of Eden have stubbornly continued carving out their own brand of music with strong influences from British and Irish folk music."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -

 

week.24

John Statz  "The Fire Sermon"  (John Statz)

"This is a truly stunning singer songwriter release, John Statz, a new name to me and I am really, really, really pleased to make his acquaintance, the quality never dips across these 10 sublime cuts....."

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


"Very nice singer songwriter songs, and catchy americana, with the fire of love as subject....."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


“Please let me know if you can find 1 weak song amongst the 10 tracks on the latest album ‘The Fire Sermon’, by singer songwriter John Statz from Denver, Colorado, because I can’t think of any such track, I would, however, like to highlight some absolute favourite songs like ‘We Never Talked’, ‘Long Time’ and his great cover version of Caitlin Harnett’s song ‘Bad Man’.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


week.23

Kenny White  "Long List Of Priors"  (Continental Record Services)

"'Long List Of Priors', Kenny White's aptly named new album, is the latest collection of original songs, indelible snapshots of the human condition, from heart wrenching to hilarious, and observed with the precision of a diamond cutter."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"The sound of the week!"

- Benny Sörensen / Musik Fra Kyst Til Kyst -


"This album is released on the Dutch label Continental Records Services, and that can only be positive for an artist like Kenny White!"

- Philip Verhaege / Keys & Chords -


"Long List Of Priors“ is a refreshingly original and multi layered singer songwriter recording."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -


week.22

Erik Lundgren  "Door Dwellers"  (Kebe Music/Misty Music)

"Beautiful musical landscape with a voice that seems to float over these delicate, subtile and beautiful arrangements, a stunning musicality, and the words seem to be more complex, more sophiticated, than on the surface….."

- Mike Penard / Radio I.S.A. -


"As a singing and guitar playing troubadour, Swedish singer songwriter Erk Lundgren has delivered 10 relaxing songs on his latest album ‘Door Dweller’, it's a mood setting record that is ideally playable in the late twilight hours, with a nice glass of wine nearby."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"An impressive voice and 10 very enjoyable, melodic songs, containing both folk and americana....."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


”Now here we have a super sensational singer songwriter record! Erik Lundgren has a fantastic voice, and accompanied by a guitar and some keys he belts out some amazing melodic singer songwriter music. This is a wonderful album you must check out, because of it's simplicity, honesty and beautiful melodies. Indie folk pop is a possible description, but it's the voice that says it all, and Erik has got such a clean picture perfect melodic voice you can listen to for hours.”

- Gabor Kleinbloesem / Strutterzine -


"Erik Lundgren has made music for 2 decades and his albums have had many different moods and even genres over the years, but one thing is always apparent, he is always rooted in nature, heavily inspired by the Scandinavian wilderness."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -

 

week.21

Cary Morin  "Cradle To The Grave"  (Cary Morin)

"Cary Morin's 'Cradle To The Grave' is the sound of a greatly skilled musician, one man and one guitar, in complete harmony....."

- Mark Nenadic / Americana UK -


"Cary Morin has the chops and is one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today, his performances would stand out, variously, among the old school delta blues pliers, the Greenwich Village folk crowd at the end of the 50's, the back to nature bards of the late 60's, or today's thriving singer songwriter scene, Morin references all these styles, they're in his vocabulary, but he's no dilettante, his engaging sound is his alone."

- Tom Keller / FolkWorld -


"Native crow tribe member, singer and guitarist Cary Morin, offers us an album with 9 terrific blues and folk songs, the cover of Prince's 'Nothing Compares To You' is a succesful surprise, 'Cradle To The Grave' is a warm and authentic blue salbum, those who love fingerpicking and pre-war blues have to have this CD immediately!"

- Peter Jacobs / Keys & Chords -


"Cary Morin, aka Dylan of Durango, is a fingerstyle guitarist who juggles in his songs with simple words, in his style, he weaves acoustic roots and americana with other styles, such as blues and folk, Cary Morin's music is timeless and is not only composed for the acoustic music lovers, Cary Morin is worth exploring."

- Eric Schuurmans / Rootstime -

 

week.20

Hometown Marie  "Wild Side"  (Hometown Marie)

"'Wild Side' as a whole is certainly one of the more pleasing releases so far this year to these ears, Hometown Marie have some great songs to share with the world, and the americana scene in particular, and it would be a massive shame if they're not heard by a wider audience....."

- Ken Brown / Fatea Magazine -


"This is another solid example of how Sweden can take on americana at its own game, hopefully, a full album won’t be too far down the line."

- Mike Davies / Roots & Branches -


“Arising from Swedish town Mariestad, the countryrockband Hometown Marie delivers their 2nd EP with ‘Wild Side’, a 4 track disc that is very promising, as far as their soon expected full length CD is concerned.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


”Wild Side” is Hometown Marie’s  new 4 track EP, done in an americana, country, rock mood, with a  strong melodic sense and their songs posseses repeatable and fine harmonies.”

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -


week.19

Lowlands & Friends Play Townes Van Zandt's Last Set
 (Route 61 Music)

"This is a unique and heartfelt tribute to the late Townes Van Zandt from those who were there on his last night, it’s a superb album, excellently packaged and delivered with love....."

- Paul Kerr / Americana UK -

"This would have been a fascinating project even if it had only been one singer re-enacting the Concert, but by featuring such a variety of bands, singers and musicians to cover each song in their own inimitable way is very nearly genius, and every one concerned, especially Edward Abbiati should be incredibly proud of themselves.

- Alan Harrison / The Rocking Magpie -

" A truly great idea and original concept, and while a bit morbid if you ask me, the end result is a great album that certainly delivers, so don’t hesitate to pick this one up!

- Mr Blue Boogie / BillyBop -

"20 years after the death of Townes Van Zandt, Lowlands honors the master singer songwriter by playing the setlist of Townes' last concert in London on December 3rd, 1996, Sid Griffin, Rod Picott, Richard Lindgren and many others appear as guest musicians.

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -

“So many artists have admired the songs that have been written and sung by legendary country and blues icon Townes Van Zandt, the Italian roots rock band Lowlands invited several equally minded artists to replay Townes last set that he played merely 4 weeks before he died on January 1st, 1997, at the age of only 52 years old, this is a sincere and excellent tribute album that without any doubt belongs to be found in your private record collection.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

 

week.18

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion  "This Is The Life I Choose"
(33 Records)

"With ‘This Is the Life I Choose’, Zoe Schwarz reaffirms her qualities as music chameleon, together with guitarist and songwriter Rob Koral, she rocks, swings and jams through the new album, the grooves they let go over the listeners are irresistible....."

- Eric Schuurmans / Rootstime -

"British singer Zoe Schwarz approaches in her own way blues, jazz and rock, she is well on her way to become the leading lady of the female blues artists, highly recommended!"

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -

"Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion have made a name and reputation for consummate musicianship, stylish delivery, and a deep rooted, rich and diverse musical vocabulary."

- Arnaud Leger / Westcoast Rendezvous -

"Zoe Schwarz and her band are getting noticed, the blues is distinctive, fresh and modern, without gimmicks and bells, but some excellent guitar work from Rob Koral, the pairing of Pete and Paul on b3 and drums respectively, providing the deep grooves that allow Zoe’s vocals to sparkle."

- Liz Aiken / Blues Doodles -

"‘This Is The Life I Choose’ is Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion's 4th studio album, all of which are full of potent and diverse original songs.

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -

 

week.17

Jon Strider  "Soul Reunion"  (New Sky Records)

"On his latest album ‘Soul Reunion’, deviates somewhat from his previously released records, with excellent contributions on hammond b3 by Skip Edwards and highly qualified backing vocals from Mariam Ucharu, ‘Soul Reunion’ may be classified as one of his best records from his long lasting career.....“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Sometimes Jon Strider sounds just too sweet and corny, but he makes up for those dull and boring moments with a few genius songs where he sounds like Billy Joel at his best, if he can leave the cloyingly sweet songs out of it, he just might make a modern classic in the genre."

- Peter Jacobs / Keys & Chords -


"Unlike many of Jon Strider’s albums, 'Soul Reunion' is keyboards and vocals driven, rather than guitar driven, this gives the record a beautifully warm, yet still powerful and soulful sonic texture."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


week.16

Son Of The Velvet Rat  "Dorado"  (Fluff & Gravy/Mint 400)

"There’s an immediacy to the songs, almost as if they’re emerging into the world fully formed from some other place, some dark well of the unsettling, out in the desert, 'Dorado' is the dry gothic spectre haunting americana....."

- Jonathan Aird / Americana UK -

"'Dorado' is a dark trip into the american psyche and should delight those who admire The Handsome Family and The Walkabouts, a band who infused a dark European feel into their lonesome laments."

- Paul Kerr / Blabber'N'Smoke -


"This is an americana 'Blue Lines' by Massive Attack, and you might not know it now, but in 10 years this will be the best record you ever heard in 2017."

- Rudie Humphrey / Fatea Magazine -


"Dark songs reminiscent of the work of Tom Waits and Nick Cave, a very clever album!"

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


"Son Of The Velvet Rat consists of Austrian husband and wife duo Georg Altziebler and Heike Binder, after 5 European album releases, they decided to move to Joshua Tree in California where they found top producer Joe Henry ready to help them out with their new record ‘Dorado’, this band and their album is a very pleasant discovery and it will motivate you to go and search for their previous work, but please don’t forget to first buy their newest CD."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

 

week.15

Johanna Lillvik  "Johanna Lillvik"  (Paraply Records)

"There is such variety in these 5 songs that frankly I'm fascinated to see what Johanna Lillvik would produce from a full length album, this could be the start of something very remarkable indeed....."

- Adam Jenkins / Fatea Magazine -


"Ever get the feeling that an artist is capable of much, much more, and 'you ain’t seen nothin’ yet', I very much look forward to a full length album from Johanna Lillvik, and will be following her career with great interest.

- Simon Redley / Music Republic Magazine -


"Johanna Lillvik is hard to pinpoint musically,  her voice is sharp and acute, and this EP is a great start for her."

- Anna Maria Stjärnell / Luna Kafé -


"There’s a new wind blowing in from Sweden, and if any clever talent scout of a major label could have a closer look, they should find potential enough to get Johanna Lillvik known across the Swedish border."

- Wolfgang Giese / Musik An Sich -


“This mini album introduces the Swedish singer songwriter through 5 self penned songs that are very different in style and melodies, h er vocal range is fully explored in each and every track on the album, which is probably to be seen as a first step towards a soon following full length CD.”

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Johanna Lillvik is a singer songwriter with respectable artistic career behind, but her 1st EP with 5 tracks is something quite new for a worldwide audience."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -

 

week.14

Citizen K "Second Thoughts" (Paraply Records)

"‘Second Thoughts’ contains 23 self penned songs from Klas Qvist aka Citizen K, his strong focus on good melodies and nice vocal contributions are the main features of the songs that appear on this very enjoyable double CD.....”

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"This is pop music of the finest order, with sources in the 60’s and 70’s, music which is bound to be discovered, lend it both of your ears, and you will hear excellent, extremely fine harmonious and melodic pop music with partly psychedelic attempts, every now and then in a fantastic atmosphere, with great compositions, fantastic hooklines, finest arrangements and professional playing, bound for the charts, Klas, you deserve to be a true pop star, this is first class!”

- Wolfgang Giese / Musik An Sich -


"I thought my musical tastes were eclectic, but they are nothing like those of my friends at Hemifran in Sweden, who keep sending me parcels of eclectic CD’s that cover the musical spectrum in ways not seen since the heady days of Volume and Oz Records in the backstreets of Newcastle, during my formative teenage years, the absolute gem this month is the double album, 'Second Thoughts' from Sweden’s very own Klas Qvist aka Citizen K."

- Alan Harrison / The Rocking Magpie -


"The sound of the week!"

- Benny Sörensen / Musik Fra Kyst Til Kyst -

 

week.13

Deni Bonet "Bright Shiny Objects" (Zip Records/PIAS/Rough Trade)

”'Bright Shiny Objects' is the new release from New York based violinist, singer and songwriter, Deni Bonet, and it’s no secret that Deni can rock a violin like nobody’s business, or that she writes memorable songs that make you want to listen again and again and again....."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"Deni Bonet's 'Bright Shiny Objects' is refreshing, melodic, timeless and highly recommended, indeed."

- Declan Culliton / Lonesome Highway -


“When the name of Deni Bonet is mentioned, at the same time the word ‘fiddle’ is to be said. This New York based classically educated instrumentalist is a true reference in the world of pop and rock music when the sound of a fiddle needs to be added to the instrumentation of the songs from amomg otheres Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M. or Sarah McLachlan. Her own new completely instrumental album ‘Bright Shiny Objects’ combines solid rock tracks with romantic tunes that would be fitting perfectly as soundtrack for movies and dramatic scenes.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Deni Bonet left the Mountain Stage radio show to pursue a solo career, with a mission to prove that there is more to the violin than concertos and hoedowns."

- Arnaud Leger / Westcoast Rendezvous -


"Deni Bonet's music has been described by the Wall Street Journal as 'Sheryl Crow meets the B-52’s'."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -

 

week.12

Kelly's Lot "Bittersweet" (Kelly's Lot)

"Since more than 20 years, it is Kelly Zirbes’ destiny to be the singer and songwriter of LA based band Kelly’s Lot, their new album 'Bittersweet' is their 8th studio record, and 3 live albums complete the extended discography of this americana, blues and folk band....."

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"‘About Her’, ‘Rise Above’, ‘Love Is Hard To Catch’ and ‘Happy’ are magnificent songs!"

- Peter Jacobs / Keys & Chords -


"Not having heard the band's past work, I can't say just how much this reportedly shows a different direction, but hopefully it's one that will turn a few more ears their way."

- Mike Davies / Fatea Magazine -


"The Sound of The Week!"

- Benny Sörensen / Musik Fra Kyst Til Kyst -

 

week.11

John Cee Stannard & Blues Horizon "To The River" (Castiron Recordings)

"With a jig in your step, you embark on John Cee Stannard's latest album that takes you 'To The River', the flow of music is fresh, free flowing, with the sparkling sunshine, and the fish leaping, with Stannard’s exploration of country blues with Blue Horizon....."

- Liz Aiken / BluesDoodles -


"John Cee is workman like throughout, and with the album peppered with tracks of notable value, the listener has ample to savour."

- Maurice Hope / Flyin' Shoes -


"'To The River' is a fun album, but it also has depth and character, and that will take it a long way."

- Dai Jeffries / folking.com -


"We keep an absolute mature feeling about this album, John Cee Stannard sure knows how to play the country blues."

- Philip Verhaege / Keys & Chords -


"John Cee Stannard has a very distinctive voice, and with the 1st notes of the songs, you hear directly that this is the work of Cee John Stannard. Influences of delta blues, ragtime, actually just like his earlier releases, but again and again, resulting in a fascinating result. Nothing new, but why change something you're good at? 'To The River' is another great album of a very talented musician".

- Luc Meert / Rootstime -

 

week.10

The Bob Cheevers Collection : Fifty Years - A Semi Century Of Songwriting
(Howlin' Dog Records)

"Celebrating his 50th year as a songwriter with over 3 000 songs to his credit, Bob Cheevers offers a 5 disc retrospective box set called 'Fifty Years – A Semi Century Of Songwriting', featuring 83 songs covering his 1st half century of songwriting....."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"This collection, culled from 10 CDs, a small sample of his incredible 3 000 song self penned repertoire, Bob Cheevers is a remarkable talent, and he can still cut it, and well capable of showing the young bucks a few pointers."

- Maurice Hope / Flyin' Shoes -


"This box set, which was released on the occasion of 50 years of songwriting of Bob Cheevers, combines in a sublime way, country, blues, rock, folk, and even a touch of pop."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


“During half a century, American singer songwriter Bob Cheevers has been composing over 3 000 songs, partly for himself to record, mostly for other American artists to shoot for success, and Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash have noticed the talent of this ‘éminence grise’ in the world of Americana music at a very early stage, and now Bob self selected the 83 best on 5 CD's in a box that is simply called ‘Fifty Years’, it could, or even better, should be yours!“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

 

week.09

Wendy Webb "Step Out Of Line" (Spooky Moon Records)

"Having a house in town made the recording more organic and convenient for studio players to stop by after their day sessions to play on what I thought were some artful demos, it was an extraordinary experience and very exciting.....”

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"There's a mellow, warm intimacy about the album that will wrap itself around you, invite it in and feel the glow....."

- Mike Davies / Fatea Magazine -


"Artist Of The Month!"

- Fred Pach /Muziekwereld -


"Wendy Webb impresses with her beautiful voice, the appropriate instrument for her ballads, this is surely an album that holds your attention."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


“Wendy Webb's previous album, ‘This Is The Moment’, made us write our best possible poetry to describe the beauty of the songs that Wendy Webb had collected on that CD, and similar, but maybe even more positive words can be used now to describe the quality of the songs on her new, 5th album “Step Out Of Line’, better, however, is that you get yourself convinced about this by listening to it and enjoying every single minute of this glorious experience.”

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

"Songs written under a Nashville skyline, with an urban attitude, attracted legendary musicians Wayne Jackson, David Grissom, Mark T Jordan, Willie Weeks and Dan Dugmore to record with Wendy Webb."

- Arnaud Leger / Westcoast Rendezvous -

 

week.08

Jude Johnstone "A Woman's Work" (BoJak Records)

"“The songwriter capacities of American composer Jude Johnstone doesn’t need to be highlighted anymore, her latest release ‘A Woman’s Work’ may be her ultimate best one yet, as it seems to contain the most personal and emotional songs she has ever written.....“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

"Singer songwriter Jude Johnstone delivers a great album full of Randy Newman like songs, easy listening piano songs, some celtic folk, some country folk, some pop and a great r'n'b ballad, this is a great album for lovers of piano music and Randy Newman, great, great album!"

- Peter Jacobs / Keys & Chords -

"Heartfelt, intimate, melancholic, yet somehow hopeful, this could be one of the best things you hear this year....."

- Mike Davies / folking.com -

"Jude Johnstone has been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks, Jennifer Warnes, Trisha Yearwood, and many more, including a #1 song for Yearwood, and she also penned the title track to Johnny Cash’s Grammy winning album 'Unchained'."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -

 

week.07

Hat Check Girl "Two Sides To Every Story" (Gallway Bay Music)

"10 songs, written in pairs, collected in 5 chapters, with short instrumental interludes, the quirky, but charming, melodies emphasize the poetic lyrics, beautiful album....."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


"'Two Sides To Every Story' isn't just the title of the new album by Peter Gallway and Annie Gallup, it's the concept too. Joined by the legendary Jerry Marotta on drums, the Santa Barbara based duo's 6th album is a collection of 10 songs, written in pairs with the couple alternating lead vocals, each of the 5 chapters separated by a brief musical interlude with them coming together to duet on the epilogue. "

- MIke Davies / Fatea Magazine -


"Hat Check Girl is the collaboration between 2 seasoned performers, Annie Gallup and Peter Gallway, 'Two Sides To Every Story', their 6th release as a duo, is a collection of 10 songs, written in pairs, collected in 5 chapters, with interludes and an epilogue."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -

 

week.06

Backtrack Blues Band "Way Back Home" (Harpo Records)

"This is blues par excellence, in truth , this is the best blues album I've ever been fortunate enough to review, musically, this disc is flawless, the arrangements and vocals are superb, and the instrumental renditions are truly magnificent…..”

- Tom Walker / Blues Matters! -


"This is Backtrack Blues Band's 5th CD and sees them in top form, and if you love bands such as Nine Below Zero or The Stumble, and who doesn't, then this is another great blues band to watch out for."

- John Knighton / Fatea Magazine -


"Backtrack Blues Band comes from Florida, but their spiritual home is Chicago, as demonstrated on their 5th and very tight album, 'Way Back Home'."

- Trevor Hodgett / R2 Rock'N'Reel Magazine -


"The Backtrack Blues Band might not be a band that record a lot of albums, but when they do, you can be sure that it’s a nice one and that’s all that you need to know about 'Way Back Home', if you ask me."

- Mr Blue Boogie / BillyBop -


“Backtrack Blues Band's own songs, and their gracious mix of blues guitar and blues harmonica, sounds fantastic, it is r'n'b that is created in the way it should always be, rhythmic and bluesy, swinging and entertaining.”

- Luc Meert / Rootstime -

 

week.05

C Daniel Boling "These Houses" (Berkalin Records)

"These are well crafted story songs, influenced by his upbringing in a traveling Air Force family, along with some years spent as a National Park Ranger, a criminal Investigator for the US Bureau Of Land Management, a very fine performer and songwriting talent....."

- Paul McGee / Lonesome Highway -


"Beautiful new album from one of the most talented folk artists of the moment, C Daniel Boling has a clear vision on people and society, that look he shares through these 13 impressive songs."

- Lambert Smits / Keys & Chords -


“In the songs on his latest album ‘These Houses’, American folk singer and songwriter C Daniel Boling reflects on nostalgic themes from his childhood, he also honours his heroes, ranging from war veterans to his musical inspirations like folk stars Leadbelly, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, these naked, pure and honest stories are the strongest elements on his newest album, next to the accompanying acoustic music.“

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

 

week.04

Jesse Dayton "The Revealer" (Blue Elan Records)

"Texan hell raiser Jesse Dayton is one of a kind, unique as they come, Dayton’s music combine a rock’n’roll beat to Texas bar room country, what a man, what a performer....."

- Maurice Hope / Flyin' Shoes -


"It is his musical output that concerns us here, Jesse Dayton is the real thing, and joins the ranks of those unreservedly in thrall to the throne of high octane country and rock’n’roll, 'The Revealer' offers the listener some righteous unrighteous uncluttered music that will shake, rattle and country roll."

- Stephen Rapid / Lonesome Highway -


"Some days I absolutely love this job, it pains me that this is the first of Jesse Dayton’s albums that I’ve ever heard, but it certainly won’t be the last, Jesse Dayton released his 1st album in 1995 and I’ve only discovered him in 2016, and he’s a welcome inclusion in my world."

- Alan Harrison / The Rocking Magpie -


"'The Revealer' by Jesse Dayton really offers a lot if you ask me, and I’m truly happy that I can recommend this album to all of you, even if it is the very last one I’m going to recommend this year, 5 out of 5, what better way to end the year?"

- Mr Blue Boogie / BillyBop -


"12 songs from country infused rockabilly, pure country and country rock, to a little country blues and some mighty rock'n'roll, this is one hell of a great americana CD, the voice, guitar parts, and last, but not least, the songs are excellent."

- Peter Jacobs / Keys & Chords -


“Being a settled name in the world of country music, Austin based guitarist and singer songwriter Jesse Dayton also releases solo records, ‘The Revealer’ is his 9th album, in which he adds influences of rock and punk, to the country sound of his own songs, this album was created with tons of true love for the real and honest sound of good music.”

- Valére Sampermans /Rootstime -


"Come on out and listen to this tall Texan, let him take you on a zydeco flavored trip through his musical mind, you will not be disappointed."

- Branimir Lokner / Time Machine Music -

 

week.03

Jack Tempchin "One More Song" (Blue Elan Records)

"Jack Temchin's iconic songs comprise a soundtrack to a fabled era, but Jack Tempchin creates music in the present tense, as this new release, 'One More Song', reveals the vibrant spirit of an artist always moving forward....."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"The penultimate cut here is 'Tumbleweed', a number about a restless soul, a beautiful world weary live recording from a Solana Beach club 2014, leaving the album to close with its arms swaying, lighters aloft title track, a song written back, and mentioning, when he and a friend traded under the name of The Silverados, described as 'The Great American Song' by no less than Jackson Browne, who once played it in concert with Linda Ronstadt, it sounds like something that should be on an 'Eagles Greatest Hits' album, and was, in fact, the title track of Randy Meisner's 1980 solo album, but this, complete with the spoken passage, is the first time Tempchin's recorded it. Meisner's version is great. Tempchin's is better. "I've got sings in heart", he sings, and he's been keeping these close to his chest for far too long."

- Mike Davies / Fatea Magazine -

"When talking about Jack Tempchin's legacy, his song 'Peaceful Easy Feeling', written for The Eagles will always be referenced, since 1972, when he gave that song to The Eagles, he has been writing and performing hundreds of other songs of which many were of at least equal or better quality, his solo records are collections of outstanding singer songwriter material and that is most certainly also valid for the 12 tracks on his latest album 'One More Song', a selection made by Jack himself of his best work from the past years and performed on this record in a sober, acoustic and intimate, but magnificent, beautiful setting".

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -

 

week.02

Gerry Beckley "Carousel" (Blue Elan Records)

"There’s something in Gerry Beckley’s work that skews toward the edge, never at the expense of musical quality, but perhaps to avoid being sucked into the maws of commercial conformity, nothing exemplifies this better than his latest album, which is at once similar to and utterly unlike everything he’s written and recorded until now....."

- Kenneth Bremer / Blue Desert -


"The sound of the week!"

- Benny Sörensen / Musik Fra Kyst Til Kyst -


"This new release is a must for all fans of America and Gerry Beckley, and it most certainly is a winner for me!"

- Rory Stanbridge / Fatea Magazine -


"Gerry Beckley is a certified legend who delivers here once again a fantastic album!"

- Gabor Kleinbloesem / Strutterzine -


“Gerry Beckley just got 64 years young and this fouding member of the legendary band America has celebrated his birthday in 2016 with the release of a terrific new solo album called ‘Carousel’, it is composed of 9 self penned tracks and 3 carefully selected cover versions of great songs from Gerry Rafferty, Spirit and Gerry & The Pacemakers.”

- Valére Sampermans / Rootstime -


"Powerplay of the week!"

- Georges Lang / Les Nocturnes -


"'Carousel' contains several original standouts, such as the deeply personal 'Lifeline', 'No Way I'm Gonna Lose You', co-written with Dan Wilson, who won an award for his work with Adele) and Tokyo'."

- Arnaud Leger / Westcoast Rendezvous -


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