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Three tracks of random radio stuff "reception 1", etc don't make too much sense to me; I guess it's an attempt to make the songs seem like random unknown voices from the ether too. Nonetheless, bags of atmosphere are conjured from some pretty sparse ingredients; Nathan's warm, slightly fractured vocal on Cinders is sung right up against the mike and supported by an arrangement of great delicacy shot through with steel - reminiscent, I suppose, of one of Lou Reed's painfully intimate songs.
If Cinders was on your mp3 and popped up out of the blue I think you'd have to stop what you were doing to drink it all in. Weary World, on the other hand, demonstrates an ability to make an apparently simple, straightforward tune and lyric carry an awful lot of emotional weight, not an easy trick to pull off whilst Change could have come from Nels Andrews' songbook; it has a similar weighty, considered style to the acoustic guitar sound, an echo-laden pedal steel for the atmosphere and an acute sensitivity for the disappointments experienced in real lives - a long way from the vacuous optimism of pop music.
Receive, in contrast, gets the electric guitar brought out and a pretty fuzzy, heavy sound backed by a thumping drum; Nathan's vocals have the edge required for a very good rock voice and the warmth that draws you in for the quieter, folkier songs. It's a slow-burner, this one, and it'd be well worthy buying or downloading what you can and familiarise yourself with Nathan Hamilton's style before you check him out live; there's hidden treasures here and I think the man could be a real find.
It's a bit over two years since Peter's last solo studio recording Incoherence , but he's been busy over that time, not just with the VdGG reunion tour and remasters but also in supervising the remastered reissues of his 70s Charisma solo albums.
All despite having suffered a heart attack, an experience which no doubt played a part in triggering this new set of songs on which Peter reflects on mortality and on considerations of history both personal and public. With admirable, if typically cryptic succinctness, Peter admits that "the main theme here is the long dive down into not being what we were", and in confronting this situation I think he's produced a very fine set indeed, one that ranks with those Charisma albums in actual songwriting power yet doesn't possess anything like the impenetrability or degree of turn-off idiosyncrasy that many music-lovers had often found such a barrier to appreciating his earlier output.
That doesn't mean to say that Peter's abandoned the experimental elements in his music - indeed, the urge to forge new and intriguing sonic landscapes is as strong as ever eg the fragmented voice and treated-piano textures of White Dot ; and Singularity is once more a totally solo effort, all instruments and voices you hear belonging to Peter himself.
Lyric-wise, the Hammill hallmarks of literate and expressive heart-baring are there in abundance, yet imbued with a new maturity in their freshness of execution. What was once a distinctly inward-looking narcissism is replaced by a worldly realism, often quite self-critical and definitely not devoid of humour. Peter's metaphors are still intelligently conceived, but they're inclusive not opaque, and the music expresses a fragile tenderness amid the sometimes still painful recollection and assessment of a personal situation.
Peter uses the key word "singularity" in both senses: At its most intense as on Event Horizon , Peter's writing exhibits an expressive beauty that's both accessible and immensely compelling. Now if in the past you were put off more by Peter's intensity, by way of his histrionic vocal delivery, than the actual admittedly often impenetrable content of his songs, then I firmly believe that Singularity may be the album to now give you the optimum chance to re-evaluate his music - for although it's still recognisably Hammill, the actual expression of the drama and thought-content within the songs is toned down naturally not in any way dumbed down, I hasten to add and, allied to some genuinely interesting musical content, makes for a most rewarding listening experience and hey, Naked To The Flame even contains a snatch of tune we can whistle along with Peter!
But that doesn't for a moment mean that Peter's compromised his ideals or his talent. Singularity is a grand achievement by any standards, flying defiantly in the face of those who'd argue that anyone who's been writing and recording for 40 years is bound to have nothing new to say.
Following in quick succession barely a month after the previous batch, here's the second tranche of Peter Hammill remastered reissues, covering his four solo releases which originally came out between March and October The album does, however, at least seem to audibly begin where Nadir's Big Chance left off, in the sense of throwing at us the proto-punk riff-heavy vibe of Crying Wolf.
Over comes with three bonus tracks: Coming complete with some striking cover photos like the front shot which I always thought made PH look like Kenny Everett! Although there's often a distinct sense of trial-and-error about much of the album, it's amazing how it hangs together and although it's not my favourite Hammill album by any means, it nevertheless retains an aggressively confident quality right through.
The two bonus tracks, spare versions of album tracks If I Could and The Mousetrap taken from the Kansas City tape, exude an intense self-containment. The followup, pH7 which turned out to be Peter's final album for Charisma , appeared just over a year later, in October ; Peter regarded it as a twin to Future, and certainly it contained a rather similar mix of experimentation and social commentary.
Its at once punning and misleading title it was PH's eighth album not his seventh! It began, however, with two for PH less characteristic tracks: My Favourite, a fairly lightweight pop-love-song with slightly laboured imagery redeemed by a charming string arrangement, and then the declamatory new-wave stance of Careering.
Thankfully there's stronger material to come: Not For Keith is a brief but affecting tribute to VDGG's first bass player Keith Ellis; Handicap And Equality harks back to the social-commentary folk-troubadour approach, whereas The Old School Tie is an even more obvious attack on politicians and the dawn of spin, imbued with all due venom and bile. Imperial Walls, a setting of 8th century Saxon words found displayed at the Roman baths at Bath, has a scratchy grandeur all its own.
Compositionally, the album's odd-man-out is an old song of Chris Judge Smith's Time For A Change , but it's a tribute to Peter that it suffers not from the comparison with his own songs. A Black Box, released in the late summer of , was a go-it-alone independent-label effort, self-released on S-type Records almost as a gesture of frustration at the albeit inevitable situation of being dropped from Charisma due partly to the ever-familiar story that although Peter's albums were critically esteemed, his music wasn't deemed commercially viable.
Like most of Peter's music, it can at times be tough going but it invariably rewards the patient listener. In common with the previous batch of Hammill digitally remastered reissues, the above four are state-of-the-art, and sound better than ever.
All sleeve art and lyrics are faithfully reproduced, and the reissues benefit from Peter's own commentary within the booklet notes. Listening to these albums again in sequence I experience an embarrassment of riches, a torrent of ideas and feelings that's truly overwhelming.
Peter's songs are singularly dramatic, turbulent, restless, angst-ridden utterances, yet they often possess much quiet beauty both musical and lyrical amidst all the torment. The second and third and suitably lengthily-titled! Chameleon, though a typically introspective collection, is compared with some of his earlier VDGG work less concerned with wilful sci-fi obscurity and more with the deeply personal; if it were issued today, I suspect it would probably fall most readily into the indie category notably in respect of the occasionally brittle nature of the home-studio-produced sound and its primitive, much-of-its-time approach to stereo imaging , but that's not in any way to denigrate its many abundantly impressive qualities.
As Peter himself admits, he was "stumbling under the guidance of instinct as much as conscious innovation", although "many of the moves he made at this time were to prove pivotal in his later development".
Like all of Peter's work, it's music of startling, nay frightening originality. In matters such as his distinctly independent spirit and obstinate integrity especially I often hear a kinship with significant mavericks like Bowie and Harper, but the truth is that for the most part Peter's songs sound like absolutely nobody else's, even though there may be elements and echoes of modern-day chanson flooding through pieces like In The End and the sinister pastoral of What's It Worth.
And he was at first slow to distance himself completely from VDGG, as Easy To Slip Away with its throwback to the personae of Refugees and In The Black Room a song originally destined for the band's next, unrecorded - intended fifth - album, with its grandiose, episodic nature and band dynamics both show in their different ways.
Chameleon may be the first real fruit of Peter's potential solo career, but it's an astonishingly assured and coherent album. Even at a temporal remove of some 30 years, it's almost too much to take in at once: This remastered edition comes with three bonus tracks: The third bonus track Rain 3 AM is an unreleased curiosity from around the time of the album: Peter's pulsating electric guitar work on this track in particular betrays the influence of Spirit's Randy California, who made a one-off guest appearance on another of the album's key tracks, Red Shift.
Of the four bonus cuts, three are versions of album tracks which come from a roughly contemporaneous Peel session with David Jackson in tow , the last The Lie being another delightfully over-the-top selection from the abovementioned Kansas City concert. In Camera was the first Hammill solo album on which everything aside from percussion on just three tracks was played by Peter himself.
It continues the startling advances made on The Silent Corner, notably in terms of wild experimentation, while the sheer scope of its material bravely presents the listener with at times uncomfortable challenges in the form of extreme contrasts, from the relatively orthodox reflective confessional of Again to the rockist angst of Tapeworm, the intriguing guitar-quartet setting of The Comet, The Course, The Tail to the ultra-synth texturings of Faint Heart And The Sermon, and the strange but logical pairing of the harmonium-rich Gog misprinted as Go on the back cover - oops!
Three bonus tracks, taken from a Peel session recorded shortly after the album's release, are sparse voice-and-piano readings of two of the album's songs plus a real rarity: Though released in February , barely six months after In Camera, Nadir's Big Chance saw the Chameleon mutate dramatically into Rikki Nadir, a kind of proto-punk alter-ego!
The album comprised a set of by Hammill standards pithy quasi-pop-songs though in practice few of them weigh in at under four minutes! Not unnaturally, it was received with some puzzlement and a degree of antipathy, but in retrospect, although it's not necessarily Peter's finest forty-seven minutes, I really rather like it for what it is - and it sounds great in this remaster, even though it yields no bonus tracks.
The digital remasterings of these four albums have been carried out by Peter himself, and he's opened out the original slightly thin sound with far better presence, notably in certain of the bass frequencies, and the bonus tracks are well worth having; these sensibly-coordinated reissues, which are graced with additional new notes by Peter too, are state-of-the-art.
A few months after Nadir, VDGG ended its four-year set-aside, and the Godbluff lineup was to take up most of Peter's time for a year or so; a convenient point at which to break my survey of Hammill remasters - the next batch will appear shortly. This has actually been a really difficult record to review, basically since it's nigh impossible to capture the incredibly individual essence of Brighton-based Mary's wildly original and very very special talent as a singer and songwriter.
It's also one of those "less is more" jobs that makes much out of exceedingly minimal resources. And it's a seriously scary experience from beginning to end - at times it's almost too disturbing to listen to at all except in the comfort of your own mind. But the first thing you'll hear, after the bald tenor guitar intro that is, will be Mary's totally extraordinary voice, which will bring your ears stark upright, for it takes the art of singing into an unearthly place indeed you'll either love it or hate it with a passion, I suspect - and I love it!
It's a voice of paradoxes: Mary's writing - and indeed her whole sound-world - is peculiarly haunting. Imagery is spellbindingly strange, both significantly eldritch and properly poetic, sometimes ostensibly impenetrable but always keeping a firm handle on the boundaries of perception. Melodies sound primordial, ancient, modal, yet with adventurous turns of the screw. The feel of the music, and some of the instrumentation Mary has at her command, is imaginative and often distinctly ISB for instance, there's a gorgeous swooning cello line on Honey that just cries out to be played on bowed gimbri!
A small complement of extra musicians including Alice Eldridge, Jo Burke, Alistair Strachan, Grant Allerdyce and co-engineer Joe Watson supplement Mary's guitar, being used eminently selectively and to brilliant effect.
Perhaps the most striking marriage of words and music comes on The Bell They Gave You, but every song here has much to offer in terms of aural and verbal stimulation and even the interpolated samples on Free Grace and the cryptic Exeunt don't grate or disrupt the album's curiously logical flow. Features that might in lesser hands become just a gimmick here prove essential to the impact of the songs - for example, the hidden track Encore For Florence a weirdly touching tribute to celebrated "tuneless, tone-deaf soprano" Florence Foster Jenkins sets a parlour piano amidst the faux-crackle of an ancient 78 in the manner of a fusty attic discovery.
And maybe the strangest and most immediately memorable among the host of strange songs, is the acappella Ballad Of The Talking Dog, which takes the time-honoured "bunch of green holly and ivy" refrain from the domain of classic folk balladry and twists it around multiple vocal chords to the creepy accompaniment of hand and mouth percussion, with spectral whistling, discords and spoken counterpoints - it sounds like the Addams family singing a Child Ballad at their fireside on a bleak winter's evening!
Like the whole album in fact, this track is at once soothing and discomforting. All in all, an extraordinary record: Wayne The Train Hancock is one of those guys who believes in doing things the old fashioned way. Well, at least when it comes to recording. Extended sessions in the studio are not for these boys. A Town Blues was recorded in 20 hours and mixed in two days.
Bloodshot Records, their new label, might even be accused of providing them the luxury of extra hours. Well, at least a couple of them. The reason that he's able to do this is that the band is a hard working outfit travelling the road performing more than most. The net result is that all their albums have a spontaneous feel well, they would, wouldnt they and a bunch of songs that have matured with performance on the road.
A recipe that has worked fine for all of their albums. At the production controls, this time, is Lloyd Maines who is favoured by many of our country music friends in the US. Rightfully acknowledged on this album as The Professor for all his sterling work in this area. He closes out the album accompanying Wayne to get the regulatory forty minutes of CD time on Railroad Blues. A track that's as live as you'll get. So, if you havent gathered already, the music of Wayne Hancock is country - the honky tonk way.
All styles are here. The up tempo songs swing along with a highlight in Miller, Jack And Mad Dog warning of the dangerous effect of the demon drink and driving combination. There are lonesome ballads such as Happy Birthday Julie which has the singer passing on congratulations to the girlfriend who left him and got killed in a car crash. Mr Hancocks pen accounts for ten of the tracks with the others including Cow Cow Boogie which was made famous by Ella Mae Morse who was popular in the s and 50s.
This gives you a good clue as to where this band are positioned. Yes, its traditional honky tonk in all its flavours with great songs done just like a live show. The odds have to be that Hand - whom Willie Nelson describes as the 'real deal' - will remain as unfazed and unaffected as his music by the acclaim that will surely follow The Truth Will Set You Free. While the revolutions of Americana, 'big hat' country and 'nu country' have swirled around him, James Hand has steadfastly remained true to the heart and soul of old country, the kind that served Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Ernest Tubb so well.
While a 'career' musician, one who has done nothing else in his life, may have to search long and hard for the truth of his songs, Hand has to look no further than his own life. He has also drawn deeply on a lifetime's experiences at the 'unknown' end of the musical spectrum, James Hand isn't showbusiness, to echo Nelson's wise words, he's the 'real deal'. This collection of a dozen originals gives a small overview of Hand's work, his country music encompasses the whole range, beginning with the wonderfully light and sunny swing of Banks Of The Brazos and ending with When You Stopped Loving Me, So Did I, not only a classic country title but a song that could be as old as country music itself.
Without Hands's tender touch it could easily have been swamped by corn, however three chords and the truth never hit home quite so sharply. There's almost a novelty factor in listening to an artist play pure, undiluted country music, no whistles no bells, just plain old, from the heart country. James Hand may have taken 40 years to get intot he studio but I'll bet it doesn't take another 40 for him to be back. Drifting away to Brett Spark's dark baritone on the opening cello waltzing Linger, Let Me Linger I was transported back to the days of the old school doo wop crooners like the Ink Spots, melting in the warmth of the unbridled romanticism captured in lines like "I am the puddles in the street waiting for your falling leaves".
Recorded for their 20th wedding anniversary, it's an album of admittedly often skewed love songs, steeped in spirituality and the rich loam of nature with metaphors and images of spiders, birds, trees and foliage. Indeed, the pedal steel keening Little Sparrows talks of schools of shining fish, swarms of buzzing bees, geese and ants with love painted as Jonah on the raging seas embracing the whale that comes to swallow him while the twangy, Johnny Cash evoking Wild Wood has them conjuring a stone age love nest of stick and bones as he declares he will "bark like a dog in your arms.
Invested with their longtime Louvin, Stanley and Everly influences, songs like When You Whispered carried in the traditional arms of banjo and pedal steel with bluegrass waltzes and mountain music slow dances, it's a marvellous testament to the couple's devotion to both each other and their musical roots. Nothing here falls short of wonder, but particularly deserving of mention has to be A Thousand Diamond Rings with its surf guitar noir mood, the Spanish classical guitar and gothic melancholy of The Winding Corn Maze more swarming bees, here and the 40s ragtime lounge whistling shuffle of The Loneliness of Magnets, an inspired image of separated lovers.
Here's to their 25th. Over the years they've been musical partners Brett and Rennie Sparks have built a reputation as one of the world's finest purveyors of melancholy Americana, their music conjuring images of dust hung desert nights and Appalachian mountains silhouetted against the evening sky as they sit round the camp fire singing songs of loss, death and damnation. So, a surprise then to find the new album a relatively more upbeat affair, noting a world waltzing towards self-destruction but celebrating the small and infinite moments of beauty and wonder that nature provides to soothe the soul's fears.
Using such instruments as mellotron and wine glasses and drawing on the sepia tinted worlds of hillbilly, tin pan alley ballads, cowboy country, western slow waltzers and, on Beautiful William, even medieval tunes, Brett crafts the careworn honky tonk melodies upon which songs like Somewhere Else To Be, Bowling Alley Blues very George Jones and Your Great Journey are built.
Meanwhile, Rennie takes lyrical inspiration from the life of Nicola Tesla, the electrical engineer and scientist who invented alternating current transmitters but whose ambivalence to the world let him to become a recluse in his hotel room, unable to bear the touch of human skin. However, as she notes in the waltzing Tesla's Hotel Room from where comes the album's title, one day he opened the window and befriended pigeons, finding his way back out of the darkness.
It's that contact with the universal her songs explore. Unfolding in airport lounges the throaty Neil Young-like All The Time In Airports , bowling alleys Bowling Alley Bar and graveyards White Lights , she tells stories of hunters shooting prey that transforms into their true love Hunter Green , of shoes hung over telephone wires These Golden Jewels and post apocalypse life After We Shot The Grizzly , striking emotional chords from such images as a black glove on the cliffs, broken cheap sunglasses, and 'a small bag of onion rings'.
Existential, metaphysical, whatever, the Sparks dig beneath the dry clay and turn dulled stones into diamonds. A thing of wonder indeed. The Handsome Family - Singing Bones Loose Now suitably based in Albuquerque, Mexico, baritone Brett Sparks and his ethereal voiced lyricist wife Rennie follow up 's breakthrough death ballads collection Twilight with yet another collection of poisoned dark country melancholia that reinforces their reputation as the Johnny Cash and June Carter of contemporary Americana..
If you've not encountered them before, then try and imagine a rocky mesa at dusk, cacti and stark jutting Appalachian mountains silhouetted against the evening sky, the sound of rattlesnakes occasionally breaking the silence, dust gathering in your throat, an empty whisky bottle in your hand and the death angel sitting round a camp fire with an acoustic guitar singing of the souls that have passed this way en route to damnation. This time round they've fleshed out the sound somewhat, pushing the boat out by adding musical saw and pedal steel to the basic mix of guitars, keyboards and drums mandolin and such regular embelishments as auto harp, bango and violin.
But the landscape remains mich the same with its dark valleys, black hills, and creeping shadows a perfect backdrop to songs that explore the "veil between this world and the next" on numbers such as the whippoorwilling waltz Hour Store where the sleepless and the lost push their trollies as the crying ghosts of dead shoppers flit in and out the aisles, the cowboy dying in the desert on the clacking chugger The Song of a Hundred Toads or the farmer lowering himself down The Bottomless Hole behind the barn where dead cows, garbage and tractors seem to fall forever.
Texas Gothic at its finest, there's no better wallow in gallows humour and death balladry to be had this side of Nick Cave. This duo's fourth album In The Air was one of the listening highlights of for me, and this new one coincides handsomely with a UK tour. Husband and wife team Brett and Rennie Sparks make very strange music that's at once comforting and unsettling, smooth and caustic; it's both seriously weird and weirdly serious.
Kinda like an unpardonably sweet, easy-on-the-ear gothic country, but lots more addictive than that tag might imply - try to imagine Johnny Cash singing Beefheart lyrics!
Brett's is the golden voice, and he also plays almost everything in sight, while Rennie seems to content to pen those peculiarly poetic lyrics while contributing occasional vocals and autoharp. The songs contain some exquisite imagery, which often appears inconsequential but is actually finely crafted, while musical settings are by turns mournful There Is A Sound , sinisterly jaunty All The TVs In Town and creepy Gravity , often running counter to what you'd expect from a cursory reading of the texts.
With typical oddball directness, the insert helpfully explains that "this CD was recorded at home on our Macintosh G You must experience the uniqueness of the Sparks Family's vision at least once in your life! Formerly leader of 80s Newcastle upon Tyne underachievers Hurrah! Little short of a modern day hymn with a soaring arms-linked swaying chorus that builds to a jubilant, uplifting finale as he sings 'let now every heart rejoice', it's hard not to find the words Rufus, Wainright, Buckley and Jeff rising unbidden to the lips.
The same is true throughout the album where you might also see parallels with Martin Stephenson with whom he's collaborated on a Grant McLennan tribute , but which unfolds to reveal him as very much his own man. Indeed, that hymnal quality is also forcefully to be heard on the no less outstanding Midwinter's Feast with its hallelujah chorus, lines about church bells and wheezing harmonium and the closing piano backed, emotion quivering Peace In Our Time as he sings "God bless our bombs and the guns we are firing, caught in the crossfire of lies we told.
Dealing in themes of love, loss uncertainty and disillusion, the album's musical textures are simple but rich. The opening piano ballad Beautiful Thing hints at Brel and Buckley equally you could also imagine hearing it on an early Scott Walker album , Darkest Night is brooding, muscular bluesy soul flecked folk, River Of Song harks to Irish trad folk swayalong while acoustic Americana warms the heart of The Slow Road and the yearningly gorgeous Whisper In Your Mind with its pedal steel and Paul Heaton colours.
There's not a weak moment here but it would be remiss not to also make special mention of Let The Lights Go Down, a spare, romantically bruised acoustic song of pleading and resignation that features shared vocals with Maria Yuriko and curls around the ears like aural aromatherapy.
Hopefully it won't mirror Hurrah! Let now every heart rejoice, indeed. This at first seems a confusing record. It's labelled as "Chinese folk revival", and, whilst it certainly emanates from Beijing, its inspiration derives comes more from Mongolian folk music. Hanggai the name describes an idealised grassland landscape of mountains, trees, rivers and blue skies is a group of young musicians, mostly from Inner Mongolia.
Aiding Ilchi and his tobshuur two-stringed lute in his endeavours are horsehair-fiddle morin khuur player Hugejiltu and deep bass singer Bagen music students steeped in the traditional music , with Xu Jinhchen sanxian , Hexigtuu sihu , further assisted by producers Robin Haller and Matteo Scumaci who add electric and bass guitar, banjo and programming.
The latter hints at the nature of Hanggai's treatments of the traditional material, with authentically spare basic textures augmented by percussion, occasional western influences and natural and street sounds from the surroundings Beijing.
It's little wonder that Hanggai have attracted a cult following in China amongst those seeking an antidote to Chinese boy bands!
Some tracks sound true-traditional Wuji is just voice chanting against a wailing fiddle line , whereas My Banjo And I great title! Some western-style twang guitar embellishes Five Heroes, while Flowers builds on a hypnotic, driving lute rhythm; the rather gentler melody of Haar Hu could almost be a Mongolian version of Scarborough Fair, and - most fun of all - there's even a raucous, madly accelerating Drinking Song.
Maybe it shouldn't work, you say, but it does - and I get the strong feeling that this is but the start, and that there's plenty more territory yet to be explored in this creative and genuinely exciting reinterpretation of traditional Mongolian music. What if music had smells? If CDs were impregnated with an aroma that embodied the essence of the sounds. Motorhead would be leather, axle grease and sweat, Lucinda Williams would be the smell of tarmac intermingling with fresh cornfields, Radiohead would be antiseptic and anything from the Pop Idols stable would, of course, be a ripe processed cheese.
If that were the case then playing the Dogs would fill the room with the scent of leafy English country lanes, the grass glistening with dew, raindrops from a summer shower dripping from leaves on the trees, a clean freshness in the air. Comprising Andy Allen, formerly a jobbing member of the Pistols and Professionals, his ex-lover Joanna 'Piano' Pace, and his but not her daughter Lily Ramona, it's been four years since the South London trio emerged with their Joe Boyd overseen debut, Bareback, on his Hannibal label.
Reviews glowed for their fusion of English folk rock, celtic country and the sort of midwest American gothic embodied by Matthews Southern Comfort, underpinning lyrics of a generally downbeat mood. However a cancelled Rankins tour on which they'd been booked as support followed by label problems, took the edge off what should have been fast lane progress up the folk roots ladder.
Now they're back via a different licensing deal, still with Boyd keeping a watchful eye, and while there's times when the mix has a few too many rough edges, if the wheels turn smoothly there's no reason why this shouldn't elevate them to the hallowed ranks of artists such as the Indigo Girls, Dear Janes, the McGarrigles, Poozies, Michelle Shocked, and the early incarnation of Suzanne Vega. Evoking worthy comparisons to the likes of McTell, Thompson and Martin Taylor, Allen's nimble fretwork dances all over the album, cascading arpeggios, tumbling lullabies, meditative strums, bluegrass banjo, steel strings twanging and resonating under his fingertips.
Here and there the acoustic guitars are coloured with mournful woodwind, hand percussion, cello, dulcimer, and double bass but mostly they're left to weave their own spells, the women's voices - sometimes in harmony, more often with Piano's dust and creekwater wearied whispering tones taking lead - providing the real complementary textures.
Her songs haven't exactly found the sunnier paths of life, but as the album title, Whole Way where they express the optimistic hope to ' sell a lot of records ' and even death song Little Door " I wouldn't say the world has opened up, just a little door but it's enough " hint there's at least rays of light coming through and any darker concerns are well shaded behind the generally sprightly tunes.
Spanning English trad folk flavours and appalachian mountain music Let Alone Me , it's hard to pin down prize tracks from the 12 contained here, but pushed to name favourites then the repeat play button hits on the haunting Half Smile with the two women weaving witchy, dank forest harmonies as a flute threads its way between the spaces, the resigned Women Who Love Too Much as Fred Neil meets Sandy Denny , Singers shades of Leonard Cohen and early Judy Collins and Hollywood , a dreamy tale of empty success, self-deceptions and those left behind in the road to fame on which Allen takes lead vocals, his timbre and phrasing sounding not unlike Billy Bragg.
It's a beguiling, intoxicating album, inhale and breath in deep. If you can't aurally picture that, then just think Ottawa's Lucinda Williams with a pinch of Gillian Welch and you'll have a good idea of what lies inside the CD case.
Songs about busted relationships, broken dreams, temptations, growing older and the slippery search for redemption, delivered in world weary dusty tones, it's a fine collection of roots country tinged here and there with bluegrass banjo courtesy of guitarist producer David Baxter and, on opening track When Lovers Leave and the waltzing backwoods folk Three Times Bent, from Toronto's Justin Rutledge.
She gets bluesy on Rest Of My Days, lover's revenge murder ballad Mary Mary and the swampy Southern groove of Riptide and ups the tempo for the slide and banjo picking of No More Rain, but to these ears it's the gentler, wistful bruised heart ballads that are the strongest.
The undulating Here We Go Again distils the uncertainty of entering into a new romance while still picking up the pieces of the last, Just For The Ride brings a jangle and twang to a yearning for the innocence of young love unaware of the hurt ahead while the album's final three numbers, the London set Somewhere A Lovely Flower, Off This Train and, conjuring memories of Kathy Mattea, Lilacs Dancing move from the search for self and happiness to a memory of being found.
It's not a groundbreaker, but her laid-back acceptance and honest delivery will make heartbreak's twilight hours easier to bear. Seems a fair way of describing the Ottowa native's album of Americana and a soulfully warm voice that's drawn comparisons with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Gillian Welch. With instrumentation built around acoustic guitar, dobro fine picking by Chris Barkely , pedal steel, upright bass and stripped down percussion, Hanson fluidly moves her musical moods between twangy roots country Eleven Months , rustic American folk Dance In The Evermore , bluegrass Cold Touch and country blues Willow Tree' revisiting of murder ballad Pretty Polly , all sounding equally assured whether she's standing tough or hiding vulnerability.
Love, life, mortality, religion and, on Tears In Your Rain, environmental concerns provide the subject matter and, if she's not rewriting any thematic concerns, she does find the human heart in the stories she tells.
And if there's no single career making standout, the lovely sadness of Seeking Juliet and More Of The Same and a gravel gritty Nazareth Bound will certainly ensure her name gets mentioned in the right places.
Out of Ottawa sporting comparisons to Gillian Welch and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Hanson recently picked up a Canadian Blues award for River By My Side which she didn't actually write but while the blues also puts in appearance on the commitment-fearing Little Stage Fright it's her Americana and Texas soul-country moods that really flavour this debut album. Recorded with unfussy production and unshowy playing that gives it a live feel, her songs are a mix of well observed snapshots and seemingly more personal reflections on relationships that have slipped or are slipping away, ranging from the aching Different Story where a couple meet at a barroom to sign the divorce papers and the lost dreams detailed with a finely observant eye on the twangy title track to the regrets of the backwoods country-folk Fell Down A Wishing Well one of several featuring Lynn Miles on backing vocals and the comfort and healing to the lilting, pedal steel laced Just A Day Away.
Fine though it is, I'm not convinced that the album really needs her cover of the traditional gospel folk tune Wayfaring Stranger, a song that may have a thematic connection of sorts but feels as though it's strayed in from a live set list. That said, the fact that a song that's weathered the years as well as it has can be overshadowed by Hanson's own material, says as much for her songwriting credentials as the album does for her singing.
Did you collect payments for all your loans? You insert some money in Pedro's pocket. Insert the money in Pedro's pocket. Huwag kang magsinungaling sa iyong asawa. You should not lie to your spouse. You should not kick on those beside you. Sumipi ka ng nakasulat sa pisara.
You copy what is on the blackboard. You brush your teeth before going to bed. You sip some coke. Ikaw ba ang sumira sa aking damit?
Are you the one who ripped my clothes? I am not fond of breaking other people's things. I don't want to destroy our good friendship. Magtrabaho ka ng maayos kung ayaw mong masisante. You should do your job well if you don't want to be fired. He wants to fire lazy employees. Don't fire those diligent employees. Magsisi ka na sa iyong mga pagkakamali.
You should now repent of all your mistakes. Huwag kang manisi ng iba, sisihin mo na lang ang iyong sarili. You should not blame others, just blame yourself. We swam under the sea. Let's go under the sea. Let us auction our things. Auction the old furniture.
You should choose well your friends so you won't get into trouble. Don't get us into trouble. You should not put into your mouth the dirty spoon. Feed the rice into your mouth. You should try on some pants before we pay for it. Try and find out if what you want will work. Huwag kang manubok ng iyong asawa. You should not spy on your spouse. Sumubsob ang mukha ni Josie sa mukha ni Rey. Josie's face fell on the face of Rey.
You should be careful or you might be involved in trouble. Don't get yourself involved in their fight. Huwag kang magsugal ng perang hindi iyo. You should not gamble money that is not yours. Huwag mong paglaruan ang kutsilyo at baka ka masugat. You should not play with the knife or you might get hurt. Malapit na yatang magsugat ang kagat ng lamok. It seems that the mosquito bite is developing into a wound. Bill doesn't like to inflict pain on Monica.
Don't break the heart of Kenneth, Monica. You should not attack Bill immediately, Kenneth. Sumugpo sila ng mga daga sa bukid.
They tried to contain the spread of rats in the field. Let us contain the spread of snakes in the field. Let's contain the snakes in the field. It is not good to bribe the policemen. Don't bribe the policemen. Huwag kang manuhol ng pulis. You should not engage in bribing the policemen. Josie threw up on the face of Rey. Vomit out the poison.
Huwag mong masyadong pakainin ang bata at baka magsuka siya. You should not overfeed the child or he might throw up. You should try on some pairs of shoes. Measure the length of the rope. You try on some pairs of shoes. Try on this pair of shoes. You should wear a belt.
Ayaw niyang masuklam ang kanyang asawa sa kanya. He does not like his wife to be disgusted with him. You should comb your hair first before you face the visitors. Can you change my one hundred dollar bill? How much should I give as a change to your money? You should cover yourself with blanket if you are afraid of the thunder and lightning. Cover yourself with blanket. You should surrender to the police. Sumukob ka dito sa aking payong. You seek shelter here under my umbrella.
You should all seek shelter here in our house while it is raining hard. Let us give them shelter in our house. You should stuff some papers in the hole. Stuff some papers in the hole. You write a song.
You mend the broken pants. Mend the broken pants. Hindi mahilig ang kanyang manugang na manulsol ng kanilang anak. Her in-laws are not fond of inciting their son. Vivaldi's Folia, op 1 No 12 is a typical example of a form of variations from the 18th Century Contrary to those of the 17th Century Falconieri these variations are distinctly different, even though they are sometimes linked, following on from one another.
The different tempi and the characters follow each other with varying feelings of tenderness, vivacity and virtuosity to the delight of the instrumentalists. Carnival Carnival, the four weeks leading up to Shrove Tuesday and, formerly, to the traditional limitations of Lent, was once a season of relaxation, a historical custom now revived, even in the snow in St.
Trio Sonata 'La follia' La follia or les folies d'Espagne was once the most popular dance tunes of the Baroque period, serving composer after composer as a basis for imaginative variations.
For Corelli it provided material for a violin sonata, while even in the twentieth century Rachmaninov had recourse to the same theme in a virtuoso work for solo piano. Il s'agit vraiment d'un acte extraordinaire d'auto-affirmation d'un compositeur jeune et ambitieux. With the development of the virtuosic repertoire for the violin at the turn of the century it was only natural that the Folia should be included in it. In the great Arcangelo Corelli used it as the basis for a series of exceedingly virtuosic variations with which he concluded his most influential collection of solo sonatas for violin and continuo, the famous Op.
In one of the most representative composers of violin music of the German and Dutch school, Henricus Albicastro, an artistic pseudonym of Johann Heinrich von Weissenburg ca. And it was not by accident that a year later, in , the young Antonio Vivaldi also chose to conclude a decisive publication in which he placed the highest hopes for the future of his artistic career, his Op. Probably derived from a Portuguese Folksong, this theme has formed the basis of instrumental and vocal variations since the late 16th century.
By following Corelli's celebrated set of with its own just five years later, Vivaldi was establishing his position in a competitive game. Each one has its own personality, and its own language'. The ground bass is a repeated pattern which allows for any number of deviations to occur, thus creating variations, some of which can be truly crazy. The other piece chosen for this recording from Vivaldi's Opus 1 the more famous La Follia on the other hand, is a sonata in three parts in the form of theme and variations.
Its thematic material is clearly very similar to that used by Corelli in the homonymous Sonata for Violin and Bass from his Opus V both sonatas being composed on the same ground bass , except that Vivaldi's version is pervaded by a sense of tension and excitement not found in Corelli's work. In paying hommage to this very famous work by the Romagna born composer.
Vivaldi, in fact, brings a nervousness to the ancient Iberian theme of La Follia through an obsessive journey which has little time for lyrical epissdes and leads to a series of final variations which are similar to Corelli's version but more pounding, hyperbolic and impatient. His Folia was one of his very earliest works. Published in in Venice it brings his first printed collection to a close, paying an obvious tribute to Corelli's opera cinque.
In spite of his youth, it already attests, with its 19 variations on this Iberian dance, to the rhythmic richness, variety an lyricism, simplicity and originality and inexhaustible verve of one of music's greatest geniuses.
In , eager to make his mark as a composer of both opera and instrumental music, the young Vivaldi published his first set of twelve trio sonatas as Opus 1. The last sonata, which is a highly virtuosic set of variations on the "La Follia" dance pattern titled only "Follia" in the print , is one of his most famous works; Vivaldi takes Corelli's variations on the same theme-and-bass pattern from Corelli's Opus 5 , which was already a famous work, and adds figuration of even greater complexity.
Vivaldi actually titled the opera 'Orlando'. Ristori and a libretto by Grazio Braccioli. Vivaldi made modifications to that opera in , and in wrote completely new music to Braccioli's libretto, which is why Scimone calls it 'Orlando Furioso'. The last lines are directed to the sorceress Alcina. The 6 'la's are sung to the Folia tune, just making it into the 3rd measure.
This snippet can be found about. Originally written for Guitar and 'big' Orchestra, Walter himself transcribed it for Guitar-ensemble and Winds ad. Jahrhunderts' Helmut Richter wrote about the track 'reflexe': I made the transcription for two guitars after talking with Fried Walter, who was pleased to hear about it and approved of the transcription afterwards.
Walter takes the theme Gaspar Sanz and adapts it into variations according to the chronological style of later musical periods and composers in sometimes a very humorous way. He was not trying to duplicate the different musical styles in a scientifical historical context, but rather intended to create the means for an enjoyable journey through the musical history. However, you can always hear the 'melody' on top of things but in quite different rhythms.
There is a theme and 8 Variations: I wrote the piece during the last couple of weeks. My reasons for the composition were several. First, it's my first attempt at a quartet; I wanted to get a feel for the instruments.
I chose the Folia theme because I've used it in several piano pieces and found it attractive. It's a nice progression to move from a minor tonic to a dominant chord in a decorated manner. Tangos usually consists of measure sections so I wanted to try using the Folia harmonic scheme as half of a pattern. I've done this in other tangos, but for this one, I also used the Folia discant as the basis of the melody.
The major-key theme is based on a descending scale pattern. The tango has had a long run as a living musical and dance style. My tangos tend to be a bit old-fashioned maybe from the pre era in style. I just find tangos to be fun to listen to, and thus fun to write.
Attached is another composition. I was trying some new ideas but I still used the Folia chord pattern and discant in parts. Actually, I used the discant the one Corelli used for a bass line too in the syncopated section. Here is a new piece that uses the Folia chord scheme in the second part of the first section and then uses the scheme at double, quadruple, and octuple speed in the coda.
I finally or Finalely wrote another piece using the Folia chord progression. It's a rumba can be danced either American or International style rather than a tango. I suppose, techincally, it's a "bolero-son" but most dancers wouldn't recognize that term. I have a new tango that uses the Folia chord pattern a bit.
Steve Hackett - Wild Orchids (SPV) It's fashionable to dismiss 'prog rock' as outdated, pretentious and 'arty', it's a bit like saying that having a Simpsons poster on your wall is cooler than an original painting. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. Jul 31, · An Online Tagalog - English Dictionary Learn Tagalog or Filipino Language for free.