The Self Help Group – Not Waving, But Drowning (2013)


Mark Bruce – vocals, banjo, charrango
Clara Wood-Keeley – vocals, xylophone
Sarah Natalie Wood – vocals, xylophone
Ian Bliszczak – bass
Paddy Keeley – banjo, guitar
James Shenton – violin
Julie Adams – cello
Timothy Mercer – congas
Dominic Jeffery – piano
Nick Long – trumpet
Jamie Freeman – drums, percussion, guitar

mp3 320 kbps | 112 MB | UL | CL

Lia Rose – When You Need Me Most (2011)

liThe instrumentals and vocals featured on Lia Rose’s album When You Need Me Most each possess a quiet strength.  The two work together, one never overshadowing the other, making this a successful solo effort for the California indie singer/songwriter.
Each track has its strengths, but the two songs that stand out are “Lovely Like You” and “An Innocent Man.” “Lovely Like You” begins with drums, quickly adding keys and Rose’s tranquil voice. Aside from the vocals, the highlight of this track is the spectacular cello accompaniment by Michael Fecskes. The combination of vocals and cello throughout the track and album gives the record a relaxed feel.
“An Innocent Man” has a similar structure, this time beginning with a subdued vibraphone leading into Rose’s vocals and Fecskes’s cello. But the repetition of structure in no way detracts from the quality of the song. On this track, all the sounds have a more airy quality, giving the track a haunting melody. It’s a stunning example of Rose’s ability to mix-up her sound while retaining a consistency in the soothing blend of vocals and instrumentation.

mp3 320 kbps | 116 MB | UL | CL

Greg Brown – Dream Cafe (1992)

FolderDream Cafe represents a turning point in the career of the man considered by many to be the greatest folk singer of his generation as he for the first time enlists the help of guitarist-cum-producer Bo Ramsey. Before Dream Cafe, Brown had long been known on the folk troubadour circuit, but he still had not felt comfortable in the confines of the studio, as many of his previous albums sound like watered-down attempts to capture his onstage spirit. This time around, however, backed by the guitarist Ramsey, as well as tabla, various percussion instruments, steel guitar, and the haunting vocals of Kate MacKenize, Brown produces an album as light and refreshing as a summer breeze. Although it is plagued by the inconsistency which characterizes most of his studio work, some of his most heartfelt and enduring songs can be found on this album, most notably “Laughing River,” “Spring Wind,” and the crowd favorite “Just By Myself,” all of which are found on the superior The Live One, but receive preferential treatment here. The album covers familiar territory: In “You Drive Me Crazy” and “Just by Myself” he sings of the nuances of love and loss, the latter track devoted to the perverse pleasures of loneliness. “Laughing River” is a hymn to one of the singer’s favorite pleasures — the art of angling — and in “Spring Wind” he delves into more philosophical territory, exploring aging and what it means to spend time wisely. In the latter track, he sings, “We are a cross between our parents/and hippies in a tent.” Likewise, Dream Cafe showcases a singer true to his roots but fully matured and open to the present.

mp3 320 kbps | 126 MB | UL | CL

Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest (2011)

thth500Acony Records has announced a June 28, 2011 release of The Harrow & The Harvest, new album by Gillian Welch.   The set features ten new songs recorded at her own Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, TN and was produced by David Rawlings.  The Harrow & The Harvest, “is a new Southern sound,” wrote Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, “with the sort of songs you wouldn’t be surprised to hear issuing from some verdant, wooded hollow in Appalachia;  Songs you’d expect to hear hollered from an Asheville grange hall, all too late in the evening.  Songs with the wry humor of the back porch.  Listen to this record with the lights low.  Listen to it on an old radio, cradled next to your ear.”

mp3 VBR~217 kbps | 74 MB | UL | CL