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Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

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David Ivar/ Herman Dune
Novascotia Runs For Gold

Band of Horses
Infinite Arms

Band of Horses is one of those groups you want to put on for an extended road trip through the heart of America on a warm night with the windows rolled down, the album cover even shows you a picture of stars rolling by a scenic mountain. Infinite Arms is a bit folksier than their last album Cease to Begin (and lacks any songs about great basketb...view item »

Karen Dalton
In My Own Time

Karen Dalton was part of the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s and was a favourite of Bob Dylan and Fred Neil. She also played with Tim Hardin from time to time and was one of the first to cover his song “Reason to Believe”. She died in 1993. “In My Own Time” was originally released in 1971 and showcases h...view item »

The Black Twig Pickers
Ironto Special

Les Paul & Friends
How High The Moon

Eric Chenaux
Warm Weather With Ryan Driver

I've lost touch with Constellation these days, I've not even heard this guy before but apparently he's had a couple of other albums out on the label prior. I'm quite surprised at how straight-ahead folk this is but it's decent quality stuff. Definitely more on the light Americana end of things, the press release probably hits the bullseye when i...view item »

The Inland Sea

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Philip Selway

The album clocks in at just over half an hour of songs driven by acoustic guitar. Selway's vocals, accompanied by female vocals in some songs, show decent range - sort of a toned down Thom Yorke. The songs feature a variety of quiet instrumentation in addition to the acoustic guitar. In my limited listens thus far, there's no drumset to be heard...view item »

Cat Power
The Greatest

CAT POWER is back with new single 'The Greatest'. Lifted from the long player of the same name this is a sultry piano led smoocher with strings that's somewhere between Mazzy Star and Dido (eeek!). It has that late night crying into your drink vibe'.Love & Communication' is a stripped down acoustic live so...view item »

Dylan Leblanc
Paupers Field

You can bracket Dylan LeBlanc with Jonathan Wilson in that he's a young guy who, in recent years, has recorded some authentic '70s singer/songwriter stuff. This has more of a country vibe than Jonathan Wilson's mystical Laurel Canyon-style weed-infused albums. "If Time Was For Wastin'" and "If The Creek Don'...view item »
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Songs You Can Sing

I used to like one of those scuzzy Chicago math rock groups years ago called Table. I thought "What a shite name for a band, they must be good", which unfortunately doesn't apply to the clothing company "Bench" whose range of designer togs are obviously stitched by 6 week old blind kittens with frostbite on their paws. Nattering...view item »

Robert Horton
Sleep, Wake, Hope And Then

Yet another release in on Music Fellowship this week is a CD from Robert Horton. 'Sleep, Wake, Hope And Then' sounds cool, a bit darker and noisier than the other stuff I've heard on this label. The press release says "Horton conjuring spirits with his homemade instruments, teasing objects with contact microphones, squeezing tones till they sp...view item »
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Willy Mason
So Long

Willy Mason has a new single out on CD and etched 7" and it's a slab of bar room mid west country folk with a bit of college rock thrown in for good measure. Rather mainsteam we thought... Get your plaid shirt on, get pissed and bottle someone really hard in the face. Yee har.......view item »
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Tyson Vogel

The album starts gently with some lovely sounding acoustic guitar. They are picked strings, bell like, warm and full in tone. Someone's done a good job on the recording here. Now, the second song is still brimming with the acoustic guitar but backed up with a slow, sonorous drum and cello. And vocals, and now piano. This beautifully recorded...view item »
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The Owl Service and Alison O'Donnell
The Fabric of Folk EP

The Owl Service have this 'The Fabric of Folk' EP out on Static Caravan with Alison O'Donnell. This is full timbre spook folk, the lady has a remarkable voice. She's like a possessed gypsy with a stunning range, a right powerful voice that folds itself round you like velvet on 'The Wooden Coat', a beautifully gothic number. Then it goes proper Stee...view item »

Sun Kil Moon
Admiral Fell Promises

Oh bloomin' hell. Can the day get any better? The king of melancholic autumnal songwriting is back.  2008's stunning 'April' set was so deep and dense and sprawlingly gorgeous that it took at least 2 years for the thing to fully sink in. Now out of the blue we have another one to digest. I probably need a week with this to give a full d...view item »

Faris Nourallah
King of Sweden

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The Owl Service
A Garland Of Spring

Am back at work now and you'll notice how much worse the reviews get. Trying to concentrate on writing reviews here while bald headed goons run around like numpties is a nightmare. The Owl Service then....They had a CD out on Static Caravan a while back and here's their 1st full length album 'The Garland of Spring'. I love the word length me. Mr Ow...view item »

Gemma Ray
It's A Shame About Gemma Ray

I really like this album, it's timeless and unique. I don't care if they're covers of songs they are all just straight slick diamonds o' coolness. You can't go wrong, and if you do, it might as well be with Gemma Ray singing ya down the waterslide at her simply-super-fly finest. Go ahead and buy this for Halloween and it will taste just like can...view item »

Harlan T Bobo

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David G. Cox
David G. Cox

Not sure what to tell you about this guy as I've never really heard his stuff before. On first listen it sounds like Tom Waits style Americana music that absorbs a little of the blues, country and folk along the way. The most distinctive thing about it is Mr. Cox's super gruff vocal delivery. From the sound of him you'd think he was some weary t...view item »

DM Stith
Heavy Ghost Appendices

Mare's Tails

What we have here is a fine collection of intimate, folky lullabies from this Leeds-based project. For the most part we're in pure acoustic guitar territory but there are occasional flourishes from other instrumentation and low-key rhythms do rear their heads, contributing heavily to the predominantly waltz-like air of the album.. Apparently thr...view item »
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Doug Shepherd
Type Foundry Session

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Hamper McBee
The Good Old-Fashioned Way

It's an informative record sleeve. You know immediately it's by Hamper Mcbee, you know he's from Monteagle, Tennessee and you know he knows how to handle a woman after a few drinks. He looks like he means business. Also worthy of note is the killer moustache on board Hamper's face... it's nothing but genius. The album was recorded in 1977 and it...view item »

Damien Jurado
Caught In The Trees

Damien Jurado is known for writing lo-fi, folky songs dealing in betrayal, heartbreak and other such problems. “Caught in the Trees” then, is a bit different. Whilst he has always been a writer of sublime melodies, he usually keeps things very low-key. It opens with the glorious up-tempo “Gil...view item »

Roland White
I Wasn’t Born To Rock ‘n Roll

I Wasn’t Born To Rock ‘n Roll is a nice showcase for White's Monroe-style mandolin, which is in fine form here and is nicely recorded. Banjo picker Alan Munde pretty much steals the show at every turn, delivering solos that are rock-solid and classic-sounding, but with intriguing new wrinkles in the note-choice and technique. White's lead singi...view item »
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Painting Petals On Planet Ghost
Painting Petals On Planet Ghost

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Pernice Brothers
Goodbye, Killer

“Goodbye Killer” is The Pernice Brothers 6th studio album. It is more immediately upbeat than the uninspiring “Live A Little” that preceded it although Joe Pernice’s vocal comes across a little like Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies) “Bechemel” which is just w...view item »
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The Acorn
No Ghost

The opener "Cobbled from dust" immediately introduces you into the sound and tone of the album. Lyrically its warm, and heartfelt yet being experimental and familiar all at the same time. Theres "rock" songs to be found here as well. "Crossed the Wire" is a monster of song, throwing you into an entire different pace from soft spoken songs like "mis...view item »
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Nana Grizol

It's damn disappointing that this terrific band hasn't garnered more attention than this. This is the sophomore release from Nana Grizol, part of the famous Elephant 6 collective (Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, and many other terrific bands). This album smoothes out a lot of the streetpunk, live sound of the first album, and refines ...view item »
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White Magic
New Egypt

Turner Cody

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Elisa Randazzo
Bruises And Butterflies

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Nicolai Dunger

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James Yorkston & The Big Eyes Family Players
Folk Songs

Nice of the much loved James Yorkston to take things back to basics, with assistance from Sheffield's Big Eyes Family Players, he's unleashed a blinding collection of tender traditional folk classics, mostly picked from around the British Isles. His mellow Scots burr always brings a smile to proceedings and these contemporary interpretations range ...view item »

The Adventures of Ghosthorse & Stillborn

I loved that first COCOROSIE album. It did loads for me... this new one I'm not sure about. The cover photograph is amazing though. One of the loveliest images I've seen in ages. Anyway they appear to have lost some of their cookyness and some of their songwriting skills. It's not quite as good as it used to be.... I think I pre...view item »

The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers return with album number 5. Featuring a rotating cast built around the nucleus of A.C. Newman, this collection relies on a clean anthemic mellow rock sound with an occasional country or glam twist & strong 70s FM radio leanings. With the slinky bolshy vocals of star-in-her-own-right Neko Case being the main draw for...view item »

Jason Urick
Fussing & Fighting

Help...Im injured...some one call me an ambience (ambulance). This is brooding drone at its most droning. Its high on atmosphere and low on convention. There is a beat somewhere in there but not as we know it. The last un-named track is probably my fave. Its like opening the door and stepping into a tropical realm. I reckon this guy is probably som...view item »

Rob Himself
Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Released on Rob Himself's own imprint Wide of the Mark, 'Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes' is a collection of the artists 'tried and tested' favourites recorded with drummer and general helper-outer Adam Pollard. This is pretty much straight forward, catchy-as-hell indie-rock with a hint of traditional Irish folk. Stripped down to the basics these...view item »

Pete Molinari
Today, Tomorrow & Forever EP

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Black Prairie
Feast of The Hunters Moon

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Sam Airey
Season's Change

Tam Rush
Living Souvenirs

Don't know much about this record other than it features Richard Walters and Andrew Mears of Youthmovies as well as Einar from Eberg... That technically makes it a collaborative cross-channel super group uniting the forces of France and the UK in post-post-rock harmony. Musically 'Living Souvenirs' is not easy to define, it begins with a Current 93...view item »
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Taylor Hollingsworth
Life With A Slow Ear

Taylor is a great musician, some may have a distaste for his voice. However, let me say that if you like Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band (especially songs like "Air Mattress" and "Snake Hill") than you will enjoy this. His voice, albeit unique, works great with h...view item »
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Ben & Vesper

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Emily Breeze
The Penny Arcade

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Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore
Dear Companion

I went to see Daniel Martin Moore way back in 2011. This was the only one of his albums I didn't have at the time so I bought it at the gig. Just looking at the CD now, I found a piece of paper inside with Haley Bonar's name written on it. He covered her brilliant song "Wendy Bird" during the gig. Afterwards I d...view item »
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Puerto Muerto
Drumming For Pistols

The Principles Of Science

The whisper EP

For the love of music!  Not too many labels still put out music...for the love of music.  And that's why Lanarkshire based Chaffinch Records is such a little gem.  Releasing various artists EP's, and a little EP by a nobody artist named Anthony Reynolds (Jack!!!), these ...view item »
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Garret Baker
Fading Fast

Urgh, there's something well sinister about the sleeve for this self-released CD from Dublin's Garret Baker. I don't like the look in that fox's eyes. 'Fading Fast' is a collection of modern-sounding folk, generally just voice and guitar, that veers towards the darker, more introspective side of things and occasionally reminds me of Leonard Cohen i...view item »

Kelli Ali
Rocking Horse

Kelli Ali was the singer of Sneaker Pimps back in the mid-nineties whose singles '6 Underground' and 'Spin, Spin Sugar' used to bug the hell out of me, I was even unfortunate enough to have perform '6 Underground' as part of a module of my music production course!!! It was well pecking I tell thee!!! Nowadays Kelli Ali plies a more respectable trad...view item »

All My Friends Are Funeral Singers

This is the kind of record that reinvigorates the album as a relevant form, as its accomplishment builds with repeated listening. Tim Rutili is one of the most underrated singer-songwriters in indie music, in my opinion. With All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, the band achieves a mature, fully realised project, blending cooling Studebaker radia...view item »

Lucky Luke
Travelling For A Living


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Ste Mccabe
Murder Music

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Old Lights
Every Night Begins The Same

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Tom Hingley
Thames Valley Delta Blues

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Owen Tromans & The Elders
The Fall of Acre

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Piney Gir
The Yearling

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Forest Fire

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The Felice Brothers
Yonder is the Clock

The Felice Brothers fall into a category of Americana that I think of as "Heartland Gothic." That is, they use traditional Appalachian folk forms and mix them up with bits of New Orleans and dark concepts to create a sound that owes as much to Tom Waits and other musical explorers as it does to traditional American music. It helps that they seem...view item »

James Husband
A Parallax

James Huggins -- or as he is now calling himself James Husband -- comes to the public with an exciting and at the same time quaint solo debut. Famed for being part of the psych/indie/pop/baroque/genre Athens band of Montreal, Husband usually is at the back playing the drums behind a prancing Kevin Barnes. Mr Husband/Huggins sounds like a man fro...view item »
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Pete Fosco
Crescent Avenue

Pete Fosco has had a couple of release out before on Digitalis and the Reverb Worship label. Here's a new one on Dead Pilot which is packaged in a lush digipak with holes cut out of the artwork. Well nice! Inside the sleeve is a nice bit of blue paper with a cool pattern on which pokes through the holes. Suddenly the need for holes is making sense....view item »
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Nic Dawson Kelly
Old Valentine

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Richard Walters
The Animal

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Cerys Matthews
Don't Look Down

Now I've pre-empted the office joke of giving me everything welsh to review by grabbing the new album by Welsh fox and man snatcher Cerys Matthews. Sorry Cerys but I'm getting married next month love. You had your chance that time in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysilio-gogogoch. (I wish!) Phil tells me he quite liked the last album...view item »

Ola Podrida
Belly Of The Lion

Chris Garneau
El Radio

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New Leaves

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Gary Higgins

Patrick Cleandenim
Orange Moonbeam Floorshow

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Joe Pernice
It Feels So Good When I Stop

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Emiliana Torrini

Emiliana Torrini's "Rarities" is a solid collection of remixes and B-sides, ranging from acoustic ballads to trip-hop tapestries. What is it about Iceland that produces elfishly beautiful women with hauntingly breathy voices? True to the spirit of 'Bjorkness', the compositions feature interestingly complex beats and orchestrations. Those who enj...view item »

Hole Class
Hole Class

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Dawn Landes
Sweetheart Radio

Timber Timbre
Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre is Toronto based songwriter Taylor Kirk, who has earned a reputation for the atmospheric wizardry of his mesmerising live performances. This self titled release charts his musical journey from mournful, lo-fi bedroom music to his more advanced studio work creating ethereal and intensely visual soundscapes....view item »

Shirley Collins
Adieu to Old England

Barry Dransfield
Barry Dransfield

A masterpiece of modern psychedelic british folk. Wonderful and earthy interpretations of an eclectic song selection (ranging from traditional fare to Michael Hurley's 'The Werewolf', which has never had better treatment) on a recording considered one of the best of it's kind. Great fiddle playing and char...view item »

The Dovetail Consort
East & West EP

Oh nice one, more irritatingly hard to identify 3" CDs on Rusted Rail! Just what our stockrooms need! It's a good job their releases tend to be of a very high standard innit. Otherwise I'd have to start windmilling. They do good press releases too, I've just read the one for this Dovetail Consort release and it's a beauty - leaving me totally ...view item »
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Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Up From Below

There's an immediate melodic easiness to "Up From Below" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Sunny, positive catchy songs with a touch of gospel about them. There's something that makes me feel uneasy though - it might be that this should be a 10/10 album but it just doesn't quite hit those heights. Perhaps there's an air of over-confidence...view item »

V V Brown
Travelling Like The Light

This record is pop music with a real sound to it. Unlike GaGa or Ms. Spears, Brown has a true talent that is not mucked up by synthesisers and cheap production. She experiments with a rockstar sound as well as a dance sound, but also has flavoured the production with the warming touch of sixties girl groups. The singles from this album serve as ...view item »
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Terry de Castro
A Casa Verde

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The Four Fishmermen
Fallen Oak

Sally Doherty
Electric Butterfly

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Ben Reynolds
How Day Earnt Its Night

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Pagan Wanderer Lu
Fight My Battles For Me

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Ryan Driver
Feeler of Pure

The Singing Loins
Unravelling England

Ellen Mary McGee
The Crescent Sun

Ellen Mary McGee is a singer songwriter of Irish/Romany decent. 'Crescent Sun' is Ellen's first solo album following a stint in performing in irish folk outfit Saint Joan who made a few records for excellent australian label Camera Obscura. Two things worth mentioning; Ellen Mary McGee has a beautiful voice, so beautiful she could front The Chipmun...view item »
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Tom Brosseau
Posthumous Success

Posthumous Success, eh.. Noticed there's another J Dilla LP on the way, I bet he and Arthur Russell are having a serious house party somewhere with all these royalties. Cynicism aside, we do all like humous in here and I'm sure its consumption can only lead us on to greater things. I'm not familiar with Tom Brosseau but apparently he's worked with ...view item »

John Vanderslice
Romanian Names

This album is a great gift to his fans, a highlight reel of perfectly haunting and gentle songs, dream-like lyrics and experimental sound effects. I find this record satisfying, in the way a crafty novel is dovetailed...or a sublime meal is presented in small courses. Vanderslice takes time to visit a plethora of emotional corners, showi...view item »

Joanna Newsom
The Milk Eyed Mender

On first listen I was amazed by this album. How could she be so audacious as to not to attempt (at least) to create a "pretty" sound? When you make an album don't you do everything to make it "pleasing to the ear?" I realised after a few tracks... she doesn't care about that. These are her songs and she does them her way and that's that... take ...view item »

Bat For Lashes
Two Suns

I'm well into this new Bat For Lashes album. I never really heard the last one much and when I did hear it I don't think I was that arsed about it. Me being the fickle soul and perhaps the extra exposure to this album (we've had a promo kicking around for a while) means it's had time to sink in. The thing that I really like about this is her ...view item »

Richard Swift
The Atlantic Ocean

With The Atlantic Ocean, Swift continues his surprisingly catchy oeuvre after the subtle yet very quality Dressed Up For the Letdown. The Atlantic Ocean is a bit more up-tempo, comprised of a weird yet intriguing inclusion of electronica weaving in between an omnipresent piano, lonely horn section, crunchy guitar and banjo ensemble. For me, the ...view item »

Micko Westmoreland
Wax & Wayne

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Alasdair Roberts

The lord of all things Celtic and folk is back armed with a new album of tales of old. Yup Alasdair Roberts has a brand new long player out on Drag City this week called 'Spoils'. I do like a bit of Ally Roberts though he's one of these people I'd always be happy with just one album by. Having said that this album has a slightly fuller sound as he ...view item »

The Lord Dog Bird
The Lord Dog Bird

I think The Lord Dog Bird's greatest success with this album is its cohesiveness. All the songs fit together to show a bigger picture. Some songs feature effects and ideas unique in each song and some effects and ideas that expand multiple songs. Most listeners should initially be aware that the reverb on this album is turned way up. The sound q...view item »
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Parts & Labor

Receivers from Parts & Labor is a consistently surprising effort, combining noise, prog and psychedelic rock, often with 70's heavy metal guitar backdrop, into an experimental mix that for the first half of the album often doesn't even seem like the same band from track to track. They also layer on some electronic flourishes and display a re...view item »

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