Friday, 18 September 2015

Off The Beaten Tracks 18 September

Today sees the release of these three albums :

Ross Ainslie - Remembering
Gilmore & Roberts - Conflict Tourism 
Mark Brown - Skin and Bone

From their press releases :

In January 2015 Ross was commissioned by Celtic Connections to write a piece for the New Voices series. Ross decided to go outside his comfort zone and try out songwriting for the first time and “Remembering” is what he achieved. It features five songs and three tune sets, from “Head High” which is a song about remaining positive and not dwelling in the past that features some words by the living legend Jock Duncan to a kind of psychedelic, thrash grass suite called “Nowhere To Go” which is in three sections. “Lullaby For Mel” was written for Ross’s friend that he lost far too early and it shows his flair for writing a beautiful slow melody. The album opens with a song called “Change” that reflects on Ross’s drinking days and the decision to go sober. Overall “Remembering” is an open and honest piece of music.

Conflict Tourism is the fourth album from award-winning duo Gilmore & Roberts. Following a year of touring in mainland Europe, Canada, and their native Britain, Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts noticed a common thread running through their latest crop of original songs. Conflict, whether an internal struggle between positive and negative, or a healthy body and a disease, is an everyday phenomenon captured perfectly by these 11 tracks.

When you first listen to Mark Brown, you might find yourself wondering where he’s been and why it took him so long to get here. Combining a sharp eye with a sly sense of humour reminiscent of John Prine, Mark makes songs that hail from everywhere, incorporating ballads, cowboy songs, jigs, sideshow melodies, and field hollers. His songs give voice to craftsmen, broken-hearted mechanics, heavy equipment operators, squatters and girls with their dirt bikes.

Ross Ainslie - Dreaming Daisy
The Rails - Breakneck Speed
Rab Noakes - I'm Walkin' Here
Gilmore & Roberts - Time Soldiers On
Richard & Linda Thompson - Night Comes In
Natalie Merchant - After The Gold Rush
Ross Ainslie - Head High
Patsy Reid - Hooray Henry
Mark Brown - Pony
Sarah McQuaid - Solid Air
The Beatles - Martha My Dear
Simon & Garfunkle - Homweward Bound

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Gregson Open Mic Revisited

Something a bit different on this week's show with seven tracks recorded back in 2008 at the Gregson Open Mic in Lancaster. The songs by Idiot Johnson and The Low Countries were from a covers night when singers could play songs written by other local singer songwriters so IJ played the Jess Thomas song 'Northern Rain' and TLC did the Kriss Foster song 'Morecambe'. You can hear Kriss performing part of his song in the video clip below.

Richard Thompson - Wall of Death
Maura Kennedy - She Worked Her Magic on Me
Hip Hatchet - Travel Map
Lucy Ward - Creatures and Demons
Wes Martin & Jo Gillot - Pink Moon
Joanne Levey - Grey Funnel Line
Idiot Johnson - Northern Rain
Jess Thomas - Break Your Heart
The Low Countries - Morecambe
Kishon McGuire - Sally Free and Easy
Wes Martin & Jo Gillot - Hazey Jane I
Fabian Holland - River
Gilmore & Roberts - Stumble on the Seam
Sam Lewis - Reinventing the Blues
Amos Garrett - Bad Bad Whiskey

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Off The Beaten Tracks 4 September

This show includes two tracks from Chas Ambler's 'Borders of Love' album. Chas was a keyboard player and drummer, a singer and owner of the Melodrome stage which appeared at various festivals up and down the country. When he gave me a copy of 'Borders of Love' he told me that he had come in to some money and decided he would use it to record the album he'd always wanted to using a variety of musicians including brass, woodwind and string instruments. 

The songs included in the album had been written over a number of years going back as far as 1979. In the sleeve notes after track 7 it says "Now would be the time to make a cup of coffee. Don't turn the CD over." 

Chas died of cancer at the end of August. He will be missed.

Chas Ambler - Coal Train to Glory
Ross Ainslie - Fly Higher
Ed Dupas - Remember My Love
Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola - Portobello Smile
Lady Maisery - The Grey Selkie
Clype - Fair Drawin' In
Michelle Lewis - Something That Simple
Old Man Luedecke - Chester Boat Song
Ed Dupas - Home In Time
Jenny Lascelles - Blue
Scott Wood Band - McCready's
Chas Ambler - Borders of Love
Nick Drake - Things Behind The Sun