Beat Surrender Quarterly Round Up

Spring has sprung and we are a 1/4 way through 2012 already, this last few weeks has seen the arrival of a raft of wonderful recordings and I thought it an appropriate time to put something on record.

My youngest is now starting to take more notice of the sounds emanating from the various speakers and portable devices his old man appears to have permanently switched on in one form or another and made a rather sweeping statement last week “Dad you listen to so much different music” which started a variety is the spice of life conversation, not sure he wholly grasped my initial responses but with a few football comparisons thrown in a little nod of the head acknowledged the concept, so the blog will continue to ignore any central focus, genre, artist type or hype and simply focus on the music I like.

Kicking things of is Simone Felice who’s first solo album proper has made a real impression on this listener and this reviewer too – a really self-effecting album with some truly excellent writing.

Last week saw the arrival of the follow up to Lucero’s horn adorned 1372 Overton Park (2012) the bands sound has taken a larger step away from the raucous roots rock ‘n’ roll of the earlier recordings, the ‘new’ sound embracing a more soulful type of rock ‘n’ roll and after a few spins the Memphis soul-train has me on-board and stoked to be along for the ride.

Any recording by Paul Weller is of course an highly anticipated event here and of the back of the two previous albums the expectations were high for Sonik Kicks, rarely has Mr Weller been a disappointment to me and he avoids doing so this time around too, whilst the album has had the impact of 22 Dreams or Wake Up the Nation it is still a great recording and combines enough of the old and new to prove once again his status as one of nations absolute finest musicians of the last 30 years.

From Woking to Stockholm, working their magic into what I’d describe as a more radio friendly package of songs the Söderberg sisters have produced a wonderful album in The Lion’s Roar, not a weak link or shooed in track to be found it’s a fantastic collection of songs that I’m sure will remain of my playlist for years to come.

Following on from 2012 Joe Hill’s Ashes Otis Gibbs has produced another great collection of American songs for Harder Than Hammered Hell, in a parallel world of more perceptive musical tastes Mr Gibbs would be a household name and his tunes would find themselves floating out of speakers all over the place.

No round-up would be complete without a couple of records from country side of the tracks, may I recommend a couple that I’m more than keen on, the first from this side of The Big Pond is the retro-duet offering from the collective talents of Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish who as My Darling Clementine have produced a classic sounding duets album that pays homage to Johnny and June, Dolly and Porter or George and Tammy but there’s not a cover version to be found all the songs are originals and the albums are real delight, crossing over the water another album that’s getting plenty of airtime with me is Rachel Harrington & The Knock-outs self titled début, you can read my thoughts and listen to tracks here.

The advent of Kickstarter, Pledge, Indie GoGo and the like has really opened up avenues for artists to get their music out to the fans with the help and support of the fans, a winner for both sides, I’ve backed a few projects over the last couple of years and yet to be disappointed by the result of my investment and this last quarter has seen the arrival of quality albums from Nat Johnson and the Figureheads, Sons of Bill, Melody Walker, Ellen & The Escapades and some rough mixes and bonus tracks from Kasey Anderson and the Honkies.


Rachel Harrington & The Knock Outs · UK Tour · March/April 2012

I’m a fan of Rachel Harrington’s previous albums, Celilo Falls (2011), City of Refuge (2008) and The Bootlegger’s Daughter (2007) all classy Americana at the folksy end of the genre, thoughtful writing brought to life by Rachel’s engaging vocal, her latest album though caught me of-guard as she’s ditched the more ‘serious’ music and with her long-time producer Evan Brubaker and the Knock Outs, Alisa Milner (fiddle), Rebecca Young (bass), Moe Provencher (guitar) and Aimee Tubbs (drums) released a cracking album combining the best elements of classic country and honky-tonk, blended it with a little Spector-esque rock n roll and serves it up with some stylised writing making the album a real pleasure to listen too – I feel I’ve being neglecting my ‘twang’ side recently and this album is a perfect tonic to that.

The back story and inspiration for the Knock Outs collaboration came when Rachel was asked to perform some songs at a Patsy Cline tribute concert, during the Seattle Theater Group ’s annual event Rachel got talking to a group of fellow artists and musicians and from their shared love of honky tonk, classic country and rock n roll the Knock Outs were born and studio time booked, on the album additional contributors include Mark Erelli,  Tommy Hannum (Steve Earle) and Tim Carroll

The album is released formally on April 30th and there’s an extensive UK tour that kicks of next week, the tour line-up includes the Knock Outs, Alisa Milner, Aimee Tubbs  & Rebecca Young, the songs on the new album will no doubt sound better still in a live setting so get yourselves along to one of the shows if you can – dates and details below.

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Tue 13th, Bilston, The Robin 2, Wolverhampton.
Wed 14th, Biddulph, The Biddulph Arms, Staffordshire.
Thu 15th, Hereford, Courtyard Arts Centre
Fri 16th, West Totton, Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Nr. Southampton.
Sat17th, Basingstoke, The Forge at Anvil Arts.
Sun 18th, Claverton Manor, The American Museum, Nr. Bath
Sun 18th, Bristol ,The Thunderbolt.
Tue 20th, Oswestry, The Ironworks, Shropshire.
Wed 21st, Lowdham, The Old Ship, Nr. Nottingham
Thu 22nd, Sheffield, The Greystones.
Fri 23rd, Cottingham, The Back Room, Nr. Hull.
Sat 24th, Cambridge, Acoustic Routes @ CB2
Sun 25th, London , The Underbelly, Hoxton Square N1
Mon 26th, Brighton, The Greys.
Tue 27th, Leicester, The Musician.
Wed 28th, Eaglescliffe, The Cleveland Bay, Nr. Stockton-on-Tees
Thu 29th, Haile, Haile Village Hall, Nr. Egremont, 01946 841094
Fri 30th, Montrose, The Links Hotel.
Sat 31st, Cromarty, Cromarty Old Brewery, Nr. Inverness
Sun 1st, Bogbain, Bogbain Farm, Nr. Inverness
Tue 3rd, Edinburgh, Leith Folk Club @ The Victoria Park House Hotel.
Wed 4th, Perth, Perth Theatre, Redrooms Café Bar
Thu 5th, Stirling, The Tolbooth

Halloween Mix


Beat Surrender’s Halloween mix-tape

Cat Power – Werewolf (BBC)  (buy)
Willard Grant Conspiracy -Bring the Monster Inside   (buy)
Rachel Harrington – Halloween Leaves   (buy)
Jon Langford And His Sadies – Little Vampires   (buy)
Halfway – Monster City  (buy)
Deadman – Ghost Story   (buy)
Eric Ambel -Vampire Blues   (buy)
Jolie Holland – Ghostly Girl   (buy)
Betty & The Werewolves – Werewolves   (buy)
Mekons -Big Zombie   (buy)
Buffalo Gospel -I’m the Ghost   (buy)
The Resentments – Zombie For Love   (buy)

And last but not least a track from The Barker Band you can get through Bandcamp.

Rachel Harrington “Celilo Falls” (Skinny Dennis Records 2010)

Celilo Falls

Celilo Falls [suh-lie-low) takes it title from a stretch of waterfalls between the states of Oregon and Washington on the Columbia River, after the building of the Dalles dam the falls were hidden from sight, “A lot of this record is, for me, about what lies beneath” Harrington says about her third studio album, for me there’s more than enough ripples on the surface to engage with before digging deeper into the albums hidden depths.

Harrington possesses a vocal purity that resonates perfectly with the blend of country-folk and sense of yearning and loss that punctuates the album, sonically staying close to winning formula of her previous albums the songs themselves move into more personal territory this time around after taking advice from Lori McKenna to write from her life experiences.

All tracks are treated with a light handed production, the supporting strumming, picking and plucking gives them plenty of breathing space, a lovely piece of less-is-more honest Americana, the CD is presented in a quality digi-pack format with full lyrics, track notes and a poignant family tribute.

You can get all three of Rachel’s albums at SmartChoice

Rachel Harrington – Goodbye Amsterdam

There’s a UK tour in support of the album in April.

April 6th,The Stables Theatre Milton Keynes
April 8th,Greystones Sheffield
April 9th,Selby Town Hall
April 13th,St. Bonaventures Bristol
April 14th, Swindon Arts Centre


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