Category Archives: Singer-Songwriter

Vinyl Love – Bryde EP2


13.10 – LONDON, The Courtyard Theatre
01.11 – BRIGHTON, The Hope And Ruin
02.11 – CARDIFF, Clwb Ifor Bach
03.11 – BRISTOL, The Old Bookshop
04.11 – SOUTHAMPTON, The Notes Cafe
06.11 – GLASGOW, Broadcast
07.11 – NEWCASTLE, Head Of Steam
08.11 – MANCHESTER, Fallow Cafe
09.11 – LEEDS, Oporto
10.11 – BIRMINGHAM, Sunflower Lounge
17.11 – NORWICH, The Shoe Factory Social Club


Facebook / Twitter / Vinyl

Sound & Vision – Emma Ruth Rundle

Emma Ruth Rundle / Facebook / Twitter

Emma Ruth Rundle is on tour in Europe with Wovenhand through to October 18th; in the meantime, her forthcoming album Marked For Death is available for pre-order now through iTunes and HelloMerch.

Sep 30 Stockholm, SE – Nalen
Oct 01 Lund, SE – Mejeriet
Oct 02 Copenhagen, DK – Vega Jr.
Oct 04 Eindhoven, NL – Effenaar
Oct 05 Amsterdam, NL – Melkweg
Oct 06 Leuven, BE – Het Depot
Oct 07 Ghent, BE – Handelsbeurs
Oct 08 Charleroi, BE – L’Eden
Oct 10 Lille, FR – L’Aéronef
Oct 11 Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie
Oct 13 Orleans, FR – L’Astrolabe
Oct 14 Grenoble, FR – La Belle Electrique
Oct 15 Feyzin, FR – L’Epicerie Moderne
Oct 16 Toulouse, FR – La Rex
Oct 18 London, UK – The Dome

Michael Rank – Red Hand

Michael Rank makes continues his bid for the title of “hardest working Americana artist” with another wonderful album of original material, Red Hand is his sixth full length release in a little over four years on which he continues to roam the fertile land of  American roots music  this time “mapping sounds of the 1970s”.

Rank is again joined by Mount Moriah vocalist Heather McEntire who shares vocal duties 50:50 providing the perfect vocal counterpoint to Ranks world weary voice, there’s no credit to the band Stag on this album and it could be credited as a Rank & McEntire – but hey, maybe their saving that for the next release?

Highly recommended, start…..

to finish.

Michael Rank & Stag / Facebook / Twitter

Tommy Hale – Magnificent Bastard

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 20.04.43

Tommy Hale is a new name to me but after hearing his new album the delightfully eclectic Magnificent Bastard I’m going to do my homework and have a good look and listen at his back catalogue. The album is set for release art the end of the month.

Friendship and nostalgia, love and loss, execution and murder, and sporting customs that only a resident of Texas will understand – these are just a few of the subjects that inspired Tommy Hale when he sat down to write his new album, the cheekily titled ‘Magnificent Bastard.’ Eight years on from his last release, the Dallas-based singer-songwriter returns with nine songs whose recording he describes as “emotionally difficult,” though the resulting LP is unarguably his most rewarding.

Magnificent Bastard.

Recorded in Wiltshire, England, with his friends from acclaimed alt-country outfits The Snakes and The Redlands Palomino Company, the record – Tommy’s third as a solo artist – draws on a wealth of musical styles, from gospel-tinged soul and country duetting to delicate pop balladry and driving rock ’n’ roll, while at its centre sits its author’s unmistakable voice. Fragile and reflective one moment, bristling with soulful intensity the next, it’s a unique ingredient of Tommy’s music, and one that has aided his rise, over 20 years, from frontman with raucous cult rockers Swank Deluxe to multi-faceted solo performer and respected face on the Dallas music scene.


‘Magnificent Bastard’ carries the weight of this history and more, mixing punk and ’70s rock influences on the brooding Backburner, reminiscing over a well-spent youth on the title track – an infectious rocker that frames old friends as heroes and old lives as legends – and unravelling threads that stretch back to Tommy’s childhood.

In the wistful Homecoming Mum, the singer recalls the schoolboy practise of buying elaborate wearable bouquets for their sweetheart – a Southern tradition at homecoming football games (“I realised just a few years ago that that’s weird”) – while the album’s centerpiece, the anthemic Save Me (The Ballad of Odell Barnes, Jr), finds him pondering the path and plight of a high-school friend who was accused of murder and ended up on Death Row. Tommy describes this song, which he started to write eight years ago, as “the most important story of the record.”

“It really affected me,” he says of the moment he found out that Barnes, who Tommy hadn’t seen since his late teenage years, had been killed by lethal injection in 2001. “I don’t know if he did the murder or not, or anything like that, but I want people to know what it is and to know the story. I don’t know how popular that’ll be in Texas, because most people are a little bit more pro death penalty than I am, I guess.”

Death looms large on another of the album’s tracks, Sonrisas y Sunshine, which takes inspiration from a Mexican musical style called narcocorrido to tell the tale of a man seeking eternal fame via a suicide pact with his girlfriend – though it turns out that she has other ideas. “She’s like, fuck you, and she kills him instead,” says Tommy. “It amused me, the whole idea.” There’s dark amusement to be found, too, in Just How She Died, a playful country duet that Tommy describes as “a throwback to old George Jones,” in which he wonders whether the one-time object of his affection has expired – and if so, how it happened – or whether “she’s just dead to me.”

While these character pieces showcase Tommy Hale the storyteller, others suggest he has naked sincerity licked, too. Can I Lay Down Next To You? and Simple Song, the album’s most tender tracks, make the listener feel as if they’re eavesdropping on private moments in their author’s life. In fact, so direct is the latter song that the singer felt himself squirm when he played its demo version to producer/guitarist Simon Moor and multi-instrumentalist John O’Sullivan – the album’s co-writers and two people who, alongside drummer Dan Tilbury and keyboardist/engineer Nick Beere, make up a creative team for whom Tommy has “tremendous respect.”

Can I Lay Down Next To You?

“I think this is hands down the best collection of work I’ve ever put together,” he says. “And a lot of that’s because of the talents of all those other guys.”

Clearly, not everything is bigger in Texas, because this resident’s ego remains happily and humbly dwarfed by his gifts for writing and performing. Don’t be fooled by that title. ‘Magnificent Bastard’ isn’t a boast; it’s a celebration of past adventures, a purging of recent emotions and, in its closing track – a haunting cover of Bill Withers’ Hope She’ll Be Happier – an acceptance of the future, whatever it might bring. As its final note resonates and decays, and the radio that’s been crackling along in the background finds its tuning for one brief moment, it feels as if the record drifts into thought.

For Tommy Hale, a man on the cusp of his third decade as a singer and songwriter, it’s the perfect place to be.

Tommy Hale / Facebook

M. Lockwood Porter – How To Dream Again

A little over a year from the release of his album 27 Berkeley CA based singer-songwriter M. Lockwood Porter is back with another classy album of original material, the new album How To Dream Again feels as if it will translate well to an acoustic live performance, though the recording strikes a balance and doesn’t let go of all of the rock and pop elements of its predecessor but the songs definitely have a stronger troubadour feel to them soaking up the history and tradition of progressive folk and roots artists the album draws inspiration from contemporary writers including Chomsky and Klein to create a heady cocktail of social commentary, in a world of increasingly apolitical music M. Lockwood Porter has an affinity and understanding of the need for music to push past the anodyne. Highly Recommended.

“I can’t have a conversation with anyone my age right now without talking about things like inequality, gentrification, racial injustice, student debt, or climate change. I wanted to make a piece of art that captures this time, where daily life is political.”

The album is released in the UK on September the 16th through Hidden Trail Records

M.Lockwood Porter / Facebook / Twitter

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