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Outsider folk troubadour Russell Hoke has two new LPs out this week - ‘Sailor on the Blue’, which focuses on original pieces, and this one ‘With An Aching Heart’ consists of 10 covers and a solitary original track. Those of you who aren’t familiar with this truly unique artist, he’s done a whole heap of LPs of his weird experimental lo-fi over the years, many of ...

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With an Aching Heart by Russell Hoke
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8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 18 September 2013

Outsider folk troubadour Russell Hoke has two new LPs out this week - ‘Sailor on the Blue’, which focuses on original pieces, and this one ‘With An Aching Heart’ consists of 10 covers and a solitary original track. Those of you who aren’t familiar with this truly unique artist, he’s done a whole heap of LPs of his weird experimental lo-fi over the years, many of which we have in stock, with handmade sleeves and dusty songsmithery which varies from straightforward stripped back country-folk to mind-melting analogue experiments full of earthy tape-deck-in-the-middle-of-the-room physicality.

This album of mostly covers is a great place to start with Hoke, with the songs getting fairly straightforward, sparse and quite well recorded interpretations with a quavering analogue feel which gives them a timeless Harry Smith-esque feel. Hoke’s voice is clear and plangent over some measured guitar and banjo plucking as he works his way through standards like ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’, ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ as well as some lesser known numbers by the likes of The Rolling Stones and Robert Johnson. A solid effort, although Hoke says in the press release that it will be his last record. Say it ain’t so, Russell!


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