The album consists of fourteen songs – eleven of Amy’s originals; two covers and a musical interpretation of a classic poem. She sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar and bass; and she is ably assisted by a handful of other very good musicians / vocalists where necessary. Its a fine collection. It is unmistakably ‘Amy’ in its overall sound and style; yet it remains fresh and interesting too. She is a lady with something to say – both lyrically and musically. And she has the skills to weave her creative thoughts into a tapestry of sound, using her voice and guitar.On all of Amy’s songs the lyrics; vocal harmony arrangements; and musicianship are very impressive indeed.
The Heart Breaks is the latest album from French songstress Pauline Andrès . The album delves into the ache of a broken heart amongst a musical landscape between French Chanson and Bakersfield Outlaw Country after a short stop in Tijuana.Unlike Andres’ first album, The Heart Breaks confesses a raw vulnerability, with every sharp stabbing, heart-crushing blow exposed. And in contrast to the dark lyrical content, a colorful mixture of places, people and sounds involving musicians from around the world thinly veil the cultural context where it took place. In Nashville, Andy Ellison’s pedal steel delivers a soul splitting lonesome cry to ignite Andres’ aching, smoke tinged vocals.
‘Long Shadows’ is John Illsley’s 6th album of a stop-start solo career that received a notable boost from his last studio album, the aptly titled ‘Testing The Water’.If the latter sounded like a marketing tool to find out the public’s appetite for another post Dire Straits album from the band’s former bass player, then the critical response was positive enough to suggest he’s on the right path.‘Long Shadows’ reaffirms John Illsley’s role as an observational lyricist and story teller, whose subtle arrangements and expressive vocals help shape an enjoyable and very accessible album.
Armed with an old guitar, honest lyrics and an ear for a killer melody, Tim ‘Hogie’ Higgins delivers tales of love, regret, salvation and redemption with a soulful country swagger. River Of Mercy – a collection of 12 songs of great depth and originality. Hogie’s group includes Dickenson on keyboards, as well as CJ Hillman (Billy Bragg) on guitar & pedal steel, Luke Bullen (Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros) on drums, Angie Pollock (Goldfrapp) on backing vocals, Arnulf Lindner (Ed Harcourt) on cello, blues-harp legend Steve ‘West’ Weston (Wilco Johnson/Roger Daltrey) – plus trumpet maestro Noel Langley.
Featuring guest vocals by Ani DiFranco, Julia Holter and Sara Watkins, Radio Songs offers new arrangements of some of Woody Guthrie’s oldest songs, written primarily during Guthrie’s years in Los Angeles between 1937 and 1939. Holter and co-producer, twice Grammy-nominated Ben Wendel, brought together a talented cadre of musicians for the project including Greg Leisz (pedal/lap steel guitar), Gabe Witcher (fiddle), Dave Kemper (drums), Tim Young (guitar), and Billy Mohler (bass).