Sunday, 24 January 2016

OTBT mix 23 January

Kris Drever is playing at Celtic Connection today and is touring between the 26th of March and the 14th of May. All dates on his web site

Sofia Talvik's new album 'Big Sky Country' was released on January 22. 

Unmistakably Nordic in flavour, Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her music; a North Sea siren blending sparkle and melancholy. With five full length albums and numerous EPs, singles and tours behind her, Sofia is poised to gain wider recognition with her new album Big Sky Country. Growing up in Sweden, Sofia’s music has always been imbued with her Scandinavian heritage, though Big Sky Country sees her sound incorporating elements of the Americana tradition.

A storybook of adventures and hardships, Big Sky Country features ten original songs written on the road and in the contemplation after, as well as an entrancing cover of ‘Starwalker’ by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Kris Drever, Eamonn Coyne and Megan Henderson - Parcel of Rogues
Sofia Talvik - Big Sky Country
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors - Can't Take It With You
Tom Kitching - Buffoon
Ewan McLennan - Song of the Lower Classes
Ralph McTell - Chattanooga Choo Choo
Sharon King & The Nevernever Cowboys - Cairn O Mohr
Rod Picott - Uncle John
Sofia Talvik - Give Me A Home
Dougie MacLean - For a' That

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Celtic Connection mix

A selection of Scottish and Irish artists who are playing at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow this month

Skerryvore - By Your Side
Daimh - Angus John MacNeil of Barra
Iain Morrison - Stones & Matches
Scott Wood Band - Sheep Running About
Boys of the Lough - Liffey Side
Freeland Barbour - The Sea
Kathleen MacInnes - Sing It With Joy
Peatbog Faeries - The Dragon's Apprentice
Marierad & Anna - She Loves Me
Ewan Robertson - One For The Ditch
The Alt - The Letter Song
Rura - Cauld Wind Blast

Friday, 8 January 2016

Off The Beaten Tracks 8th Jan 2016

First show of the new year and it starts with a song by Ewan McLennan. He is donating all money raised from the sale of this song to Doctors Without Borders aka Medecins Sans Frontieres. You can download it for just £1 from

Jane Kramer releases her second solo album today. It is titled Carnival of Hopes and on the press release it says, "Carnival of Hopes feels both celebratory and frank. It is filled with songs of regret and insight found after deep and gritty self-reflection. At its core, the album tells the story of facing down dark inner demons while still clinging to that tiny chirping of light in your bones that somehow keeps you tethered to keeping on,” Kramer says.

Carnival of Hopes boasts a sparkling cast of local producers and players, and was recorded at Asheville’s awardwinning Sound Temple Studios. Kramer’s long-time friend Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios, whose portfolio of clients includes such names as Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma, produced and engineered the album. Kramer is backed by Chris Rosser, Eliot Wadopian and River Guerguerian, the virtuoso trio that comprises Free Planet Radio, and by master Georgia-based bluegrass musicians/ multi-instrumentalists, Pace Conner and Michael Evers who arranged the songs for recording and perform and tour with Kramer regularly.

Ewan McLennan - Lampedusa
Jane Kramer - Carnival of Hopes
Danny Schmidt - Looks Like God
Chris Flegg - Everybody Gets The Blues Sometimes
Rita Hosking - Sing
Pete Kennedy - Rise Above
Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro - Money Don't Matter
Nuala Kennedy - The Lion's Den / The Burning House
Cara - A Wee Dobro Tune
Jane Kramer - My Dusty Wings

Here's a track by the band Jane used to be in...

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Lemmy tribute mix

A ten song mix in memory of Lemmy and Phil 'Philthy Animal' Taylor from the best known line-up of Motorhead who both died last year and Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott who died 30 years ago this month. 

Along with three Motorhead tracks I've included songs by other bass playing singers, the exception being The Damned though Captain Sensible did play bass in their early days. Lemmy toured with them in '78 when they were briefly known as The Doomed, guitarist Brian James having left the band and taken the rights to the name, The Damned, with him.

Cream's bass player and singer Jack Bruce died in 2014 and I've included The Beatles as Macca is not only one of the world's most famous singing bass players but Lemmy was inspired to take up the guitar when he heard the Fab Four's debut LP, Please Please Me.

The Stranglers' bass player JJ Burnel shared lead vocals with Hugh Cornwell right from the band's first album and 'Five Minutes' was supposedly written about how he felt after having had his motorbike stolen.

The track by X is from the Richard Thompson tribute album Beat The Retreat and their bass playing frontman goes by the name of John Doe. 3 Colours Red were a band I got into as one of their guitarists had previously played with Senseless Things, one of my favourite indie bands of the 90s. 3CR had a harder sound and their drummer came from Morecambe which is near where I live. Sadly he died eight years ago of liver failure having latterly played with the Lancaster-based band Baby Judas.

Motorhead - We are The Road Crew
Thin Lizzy - The Rocker
Cream - White Room
The Beatles - Oh! Darling
Motorhead & Girlschool - Please Don't Touch
The Stranglers - Five Minutes
The Damned - I Just Can't Be Happy Today
X - Shoot Out The Lights
3 Colours Red - Pure
Motorhead - Dancing On Your Grave

This is an instrumental version of Road Crew and you can really hear Lemmy's rhythm guitar approach to playing bass.