October 2016

David Bromberg Band - The Blues, The Whole Blues And Nothing But The Blues

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Submitted By Iain Patience

Any new release from US roots master guitarist David Bromberg is bound to whip up a fair music feeding frenzy. For around fifty years, I personally have been an unashamed, outright huge fan of this guy and his spectacularly significant, genre-crossing musical magic. When I first heard him back around 1970, I became an avowed fan, chasing up releases as and when and where I could find them. With this latest release, Bromberg has again shown just how wonderfully versatile and untamed he really is. This is Delaware-based Bromberg returning to his blues roots with complete ease and startling control.

Kicking off with “Walking Blues,” he goes on through the old traditional number “900 Miles”, a simply superb take on “Delia” and a wonderful version of “Bulldog Blues” mixed together with his own material always brimming with his trademark Jewish humor and laconic, lyrical delivery. It hardly need be said it features some exceptional fretwork with the iconic Bromberg switching effortlessly between, electric, acoustic and slide styles at the drop of the proverbial hat.

Asked about the release, he says he considers it the best thing he’s done to date, heaping praise on producer Larry Campbell for his understanding of what Bromberg was aiming to produce and Justin Guip who engineered the project with minimal fuss or difficulty in the studio.  ‘What do I hope to get from this album,’ he muses briefly before chuckling, ‘Worldwide domination!’

Richard Ray Farrell – I Sing The Blues Eclectic

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Submitted By Iain Patience

I Sing The Blues Eclectic first saw the light of day in 2011 but is once more now available this year. Farrell is a US expat now resident in southern Spain where he gigs at clubs and festivals with a fine following and well deserved growing reputation.

This twelve-track release is little short of a showcase of his talents as both a picker and a singer/songwriter. Farrell slides effortlessly from style to style, acoustic-biased with some excellent harp-work and growling vocals that absolutely hit the blues-spot every time. He switches from resonator to straight acoustic picking and in reality there’s not a scrap of dead-wood in the mix, a genuine tribute to his writing and playing abilities.

He has clearly mastered the art of Piedmont picking, Texas shuffle and boogie woogie and has the confidence to incorporate all styles in the album. The closer is a near-gospel/spiritual number that echoes the Staples, the Revelators and Blind Boys at times while “Listenin’ To The Falling Rain” is one of those songs that immediately registers, beds itself and is a number many will recognise without ever having realised who was the driving force behind it.

Overall, this is one of those all too rare things – an album of true beauty, masterful, soulful and succulently blues-inspired.

The Golden Voice of Bonnie Dobson

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Submitted by Iain Patience
Photo: L-R Jim Cuddy, Bonnie Dobson, Gordon Lightfoot

With a hand cupped to an ear the echoing whisper can almost be heard: '……Who?.... Bonnie who?…..Bonnie Dobson….who?,' as it filters through the hall. A strange state of affairs indeed, because Bonnie Dobson is one of music's true survivors, a lady with a gorgeous, glorious voice that over half a century since her emergence in New York's nascent folk-music scene, still glints like gold.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dobson worked the incipient US folk scene alongside Judy Collins and Joan Baez, and was ranked by Time Magazine as one of the top three folk-musicians and singers in 1960s USA alongside them.

She played all the famed haunts, now steeped in legend and musical myth and folklore, hanging out in Gerde's Folk City, The Gaslight, The Bitter End. The lady toured extensively with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Mississippi John Hurt, and worked with Pete Seeger, Reverend Gary Davis, Lightnin' Hopkins, Artie and Happy Traum - always working her way and looking astutely around the world surrounding her as she wrote songs of love and loss and prescient, at times disturbing, thought.

BTW-MONA, Diamond Mind, Lowlands, Laura Rain and the Caesars, Laughed The Boy, Lori Cullen, Little Scream, Piper Hayes

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Good to hear from this crew again. It's been a few years since MONA (Nick Brown, Zach Lindsay, Alex Lindsay, Jordan Young & Justin Wilson) released anything so there\s a palpable excitement around the band and its fans regarding the Oct. 28 unveiling of the six song EP, "In The Middle"

The five piece has seen rejigging and creative tensions since their last release and has come with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh and vibrant set of newly penned songs that may very well be the best of their career. MONA recently gave fans a sneak peak of what they've been working on.

"We have always been a tight knit group, but the vibe is the best it's been and we are looking forward to bringing these songs to the public," says front man Nick Brown. The band is currently preparing to join fellow label mates - The Wombats - as special guests on the second leg of their North American Tour for a handful of exclusive shows that will run until the first week of October. The first show kicks off on Tuesday, September 27th in Denver. In addition to the series of dates with The Wombats, Mona will be opening for July Talk on their North American Tour later this fall. The tour will run through mid-December. 

BTW- Jadea Kelly, Moon Tan, Royal Canoe, Adam Baldwin, Anna Atkinson, Jimmy Bowsill & Carlos Del Junco

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Dividing her time between Toronto, ON and Nashville, TN, Canadian Songstress Jadea Kelly is very familiar with life on the road. This fall she'll embark on a tour with Winnipeg's Sweet Alibi and share songs from her compelling and intimate third studio record, Love & Lust. The album was released to rave reviews on June 3, 2016 via her own label Darth Jadea Music (distributed by Fontana North). The new record includes the CBC Radio 2 lauded track Make It Easy and Exclaim declares it to be "Kelly's finest work yet." Check out the brand new LIVE video of her track Good Girl (co-written w/ Robyn Dell'Unto and Stew Crookes), captured at her sold-out Toronto show at The Drake.

Love & Lust features 11 lovingly crafted and thoughtfully executed songs. "Beauty" in particular is perhaps the most delicate and forgiving of songs on this album, co-written with Canadian artist Peter Katz. The song was chosen to accompany a tribute video to celebrate Terry Fox, Day 11 of the Paralympics opening montage and has amassed on Facebook. Prior to the release of Love & Lust, Kelly headed into Union Sound Company to capture a collection of live performances for the new material.