Frankie and the No−Go Road is the sixth album from California singer-writer Rita Hosking and the pinnacle of her recorded output to date, the recording is a delightful collection of songs of graced by the artists expressive voice and enlightened writing, so much music gets labelled Americana these days and much of it fails to get to the heart and soul of the genre in my opinion – this album is one of the exceptions
“In college, an Eastern Religions professor was drawing a dream I had on the board for the class, interpreting it as he went along. At one point, he called me ‘the hero’. I protested −I certainly didn’t feel like one in the dream, or at all. He spun around, looked me square in the eye and said ‘we are all living our own hero’s journey.’ It was one of those pivotal moments where the human puzzle began to make a little bit of sense.”
The No Go Road
I See Storms
Got my timing all wrong on posting something about this album and Rita is in the middle of a UK tour at the moment, you can still catch a show at the following venues.
Tues 24 Plymouth The B-Bar
Weds 25 Brighton The Greys
Thurs 26 London KPH, Ladbroke Grove
Fri 27 Whitstable The Royal Native Oyster Stores
Sat 28 Hunton, Kent Village Hall
Concept album, a little but the themes do ebb-and-flow on this collection of songs from SoCal native Susan James who follows her excellent Driving Toward The Sun album reviewed on Beat Surrender back in 2013 with another winner, Sea Glass is described as a collection of ‘musical fables’ on the subject of environmental and cultural destruction. The album is heavily influenced by the main collaborator Sean O’hagan (The High Llamas) who helps Susan’s music sail toward new horizons creating rich musical seascapes with a wider range of instrumentation than her previous recordings, helped by Sean challenging and encouraging Susan to write and develop her songs on keyboard as well as guitar, her usual writing instrument of choice.
“Sean and I talked about working together way back then (in 2000). After a five year hiatus to bring up my newborn daughter, I made several albums over those following years, and would always pause at some point and ask myself ‘are these the ones to work on with Sean?’ And I waited until I felt I had the appropriate songs” James reveals. “When I began writing these ones a little over a year ago, I finally had the epiphany – Here they are.”
As well as writing all of the songs and handling elements of the arrangements Susan also produced Sea Glass and the result is beguiling, the combination of her gorgeous vocal with strings, keyboards, flute, harpsichord and marimba works wonderfully well.